UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Moderator-elect Mardi Tindal acknowledges an ovation from General Council commissioners Friday in Kelowna, B.C. Photo by Mike Milne

Mardi Tindal elected new United Church moderator (Friday, Aug. 14, 2009)

By Mike Milne

An Ontario lay woman with a background in adult education, church camping, communications and leadership development is the new moderator of The United Church of Canada.

Mardi Tindal, 56, currently executive director of the Five Oaks Centre near Paris, Ont., was elected Friday at the church’s General Council meeting in Kelowna, B.C. The meeting, held every three years, decides church policy and selects a new spiritual leader for Canada’s largest Protestant denomination. Tindal is the fourth lay person and the fifth woman to hold that position in the church’s 84-year history.

Tindal’s acceptance speech – thanking her seven fellow candidates plus family, mentors and colleagues — laid the groundwork for leadership built around  personal spirituality, polite but righteous truth-telling and care for God’s beleaguered creation.  Quoting Scripture from Ephesians, she reminded church people that they need to speak truth and avoid “evil talk,” while building up one another. Tindal told the group that “malice and bitterness are not completely unknown to us and this passage is always good advice.”

Tindal has a long history of working on environmental issues. In interviews following her election, Tindal promised to continue that work with “enabling leadership” by “inviting the church to imagine new ways of caring for creation and lifting up some of the ways members have already committed themselves to it. . . . Because the healing of creation is so desperately needed.”

Tindal is perhaps best-known in the United Chirch as former co-host of the now-defunct United Church television series, Spirit Connection, alongside Very Rev. Bruce McLeod and Rev. Ken Gallinger. She has also worked on youth ministry, leadership, communications and stewardship on General Council and Hamilton Conference staff. She was also director of York Presbytery’s Camp Big Canoe.

Mother of two sons, Alex and Chris, Tindal is married to communications consultant Doug Tindal. She will be installed as moderator Saturday, Aug. 15, during closing worship of the General Council meeting.

Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!


The author is baptized at Central United in Calgary. (Photo courtesy of Al Coe)

Why I got baptized in a United Church at the age of 42

by Jacqueline Mercer-Livesey

"I told myself that I didn’t need to go to church to believe in God. I found peace and the Holy Spirit in the things that surrounded me. But still, there was a nagging sense of something missing."

Promotional Image


Editor/Publisher of The Observer, Jocelyn Bell.

Observations: The rewards of letting go

by Jocelyn Bell

Editor Jocelyn Bell reflects on the upcoming changes for The United Church of Canada, the magazine and in her own life.

Promotional Image


ObserverDocs: Two nurses tackle Vancouver's opioid crisis

Richard Moore is a resident of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. In this poignant interview, he explains the important work of nurses Evanna Brennan and Susan Giles.

Promotional Image


July 2018

250 United Church leaders have a message for Doug Ford

by Emma Prestwich

They're urging the new Ontario premier to remember those in need as he carries out promised economic reform.


July 2018

Tracing Nelson Mandela’s path a century after his birth

by Tim Johnson

A travel writer visits some of the places that shaped the anti-apartheid icon’s life.


July 2018

Jamil Jivani sheds light on why young men radicalize

by Suzanne Bowness

In his book 'Why Young Men,' Jamil Jivani talks about his own experience as a troubled youth.

Promotional Image