The United Church of Canada Mission and Service (M&S) Fund supports a wide range of programs and activities allowing The United Church of Canada to bring aid and support locally, nationally and around the world. M&S projects in Canada and around the world allow us to live out God's mission in places where we cannot go as individuals or even as a congregation. To learn more about the various projects funded by M&S please see the articles below:

A Brief History of Mission and Service
Conflict Resolution in the Midst of Violence
Helping Children in Congo
Equipping-a-Child-for-School
Carole's Kenya Pilgramage
Daring to Imagine Peace
T2R2
The Asian Rural Institute
 

A Brief History of M&S

A Brief History of 
Mission and Service

When The United Church of Canada was formed in 1925, each of the foundation denominations—Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregational—had funds to which individuals could designate gifts to support the wider mission of the church beyond the local congregation.
 

At first, the church’s wider mission fund was known as the Maintenance and Extension Fund. In an effort to make it clearer that gifts to the fund supported “mission,” the name of the fund was changed in 1928 to the Missionary and Maintenance Fund. This was the name used for the next 40 years.
 

In 1968, all the work of stewardship and revenue generation were combined into one administrative unit in the United Church’s General Council Office. To reflect this change and better reflect what the church’s mission fund was doing, the name was changed to the Mission and Service Fund in 1969. This is the name we have used in the church ever since.
 

Regardless of the name changes, the role of Mission and Service remains the same: It is the unique way through which United Church people and others direct their gifts to support the wider mission of the church in Canada and overseas.
 

Mission and Service is the way we as United Church witness to God’s love, whether it is with overseas partners, in Canadian outreach, in hospital or university chaplaincies, in supporting small congregations, or in assisting new ministers. Mission and Service cannot be compared to any charity—it is much bigger and more encompassing than any charity. Mission and Service is the church.
 

Mission and Service represents our collective way to be God’s presence in the world—to be the church, to love and serve, to seek justice, to live with respect in creation. It gives us a collective voice in advocating change, justice, and peace, whether through the Canadian government or in work with our ecumenical partners. Mission and Service ensures that we are participating together in all of this work and more. And every dollar given goes to support mission. All administrative costs are covered through revenue from investment income.

God's Mission - Our Gifts

Conflict Resolution in the Midst of

Conflict Resolution
in the Midst of Violence

In Bethlehem, the largely Christian-Palestinian city of Jesus’ birth, Wi’am strives to build a just society through mediation, conflict resolution, and non-violence. Its premises are bordered on one side by Israel’s controversial separation wall (deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2005) and on another side by a street that often sees confrontations between Palestinian protestors and Israeli soldiers. Rocks, tear gas canisters, rubber bullets, and live ammunition sometimes land in Wi’am’s garden. “Simply being present here is an act of nonviolence,” Programme Manager Imad Nassar says.
 
Wi’am, a Mission & Service partner, works with all sectors of Palestinian society, Christian and Muslim, women and men, from schoolchildren to the elderly, addressing issues such as domestic violence, economic empowerment, peer relationships, and living under occupation.
 
In its work with schools, Wi’am teaches children and young adults the skills they need to mediate conflict in non-violent ways and how to live and work in a society under the constant stresses of occupation. Since starting its workshops, there has been a significant decrease in violence in the schools it has been working in. Former students talk about how Wi’am changed their lives, gave them confidence, and put them in situations where they met Israeli students like them on neutral ground— often the first time they’d met Israelis who weren’t soldiers.
 
We sing thanksgiving for the conflict resolution and mediation of Wi’am supported through Mission & Service.
 
If Mission & Service is already a regular part of your giving, thank you so much! If you have not given for Mission & Service, please join me in making Mission & Service a regular part of your life of faith. In all our Mission & Service giving, with a willing heart, we sing thanks giving to God!
 
Please join us in giving to the United Church’s Mission & Service.

The world is counting on us!
 

 

God's Mission - Our Gifts

Helping Children in Congo

Helping Children in Congo

Islington recently welcomed Poline and Ben, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Our gifts to Mission & Service help children who are still there suffering from the civil war.

Marie was 11 years old when she was raped and became pregnant. Her story is that of many girls in DRC. Many social services are not provided by the state, so hospitals and schools are run by churches, like Mission & Service partner Église du Christ du Congo.
 
For years, this partner of ours has supported unaccompanied children, many of whom are survivors of sexual violence. Some 150 of these children are gathered at PRENAO Light School. There they continue their education and get help dealing with the traumas they have experienced. And, students and teachers receive a meal each day. PRENAO also supports young girls who are mothers, like Marie. They learn a trade or skill that gives them an opportunity to earn a living and make a life for themselves and their children. They also receive psychological support.
 
Marie is one of the girls PRENAO has helped. She now has eight-year-old twin boys. Through PRENAO she received an education, support, and trauma counselling. Her sons now attend PRENAO while Marie continues her studies at university.
 
We sing thanksgiving for our global Mission & Service partners who are transforming lives.
 

Please join us in giving to the United Church’s Mission & Service.

The world is counting on us!
 

 

God's Mission - Our Gifts

Equipping a Child for School

Equipping a Child for School

For most Canadian children a day off school is a cause for celebration. But for many children in India, an education is something they can only dream of. One of our Mission & Service partners is working towards full inclusion of all children in Indian society.

India remains a divided society with a clearly defined caste system. People in the lowest caste experience widespread discrimination and are often limited in the kinds of jobs open to them – most are low-paying and unstable. Most families in these castes, many of them headed by women, live below the poverty line. For many, survival depends on all members of the family working, including children. The most basic school supplies are beyond their means, as are school uniforms and fees.

In spite of government support programs, the school dropout rate for these children continues to increase. Imagine being stopped from continuing your education for the sake of a school bag, a notebook, a pen, a geometry set.

Our Mission & Service partner, the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation supported 520 children living in poverty to continue their secondary school education. Thanks to this support, 302 girls and 218 boys received basic school supplies, and their uniforms and school fees were covered, too.

We sing thanksgiving that, by working through others, Mission & Service changes the dream of an education into a reality for children in India.

Please join us in giving to the United Church’s Mission & Service.


The world is counting on us!
 

 

Carole's Kenya Pilgramage

An Interview

Carole Bennett's Kenya Pilgrimage
An Interview

WHEN ISLINGTON UNITED CHURCH'S CAROLE BENNETT volunteered for a recent Mission & Service (M&S) exposure trip to Kenya, she came away transformed. She spoke to us about her experience, and welcomes the opportunity to visit congregations across Toronto Conference.


 

How has being a lifelong member of Islington United shaped your faith journey?
Islington United Church is like an extension of my family. I have such a strong sense of belonging because I've been invited to be a part of the life and work of the church virtually my whole life: from Sunday school in my youth to social justice and right relations as a senior today. As my faith has evolved, there's always been a place for me in my congregation to learn and respond.


What fuels your commitment to volunteer service in The United Church of Canada?
I want to work to live out the Gospel message of the United Church. I'm proud of what our church says and does, the way we continue to answer God's call to love and justice.


What inspired your M&S trip to Kenya? What did you learn?
I've been a M&S enthusiast for more than 20 years. When this opportunity emerged to see how our M&S gifts are used "on the ground" by some of our overseas partners, I applied for one of the 14 openings for volunteers. I wanted to go and see for myself so I could tell others about the remarkable work that M&S fosters.


I was amazed by the depth and scope of the work of our United Church partners in Kenya. The Christian churches work so closely together and address a count­less array of human problems.


We witnessed the work of the National Council of Churches of Kenya in the Kakuma Refugee Camp. We learned about the work of the Pembizo Christian Council with LGBTQ people who are at extreme risk in many African countries. We observed the impact that conservation agricultural techniques are having on crop yields and the food security of families near Meru. We met with St. Paul's University students who are studying Christian-Muslim relations with the prospect of working in communities to foster peaceful co-existence. And there was so much more!
 

What would you say is the value of M&S trips such as yours?
A pilgrimage like this provides the opportunity to go and see what our M&S partners are doing with the support we offer. We see how the Gospel message is lived out in other places. And for me, it reinforced the merit of the approach we take: working with partners to help enable them to find the solutions that work in their situation.


How do you want to continue to serve the church in the future?
In the short term, I'd love to share what I experienced with congregations across Toronto Conference. And I'll continue to work on social justice in my community. In the long term? Who knows what opportunities God will offer? I trust I'll respond to where God calls me.
 


 

Daring to Imagine Peace

God's Mission
Our Gifts
You’re here to be light, bringing out
the God-colours in the world.
- Matthew 5:14 (The Message)

 
Daring to Imagine Peace
 
“Children’s art is dangerous for war,” reads a sign in a school on the south edge of Bogota, Columbia. The sign reflects the work of building a culture of peace among children and youth in the war-torn country.

In the wake of 60 years of civil war, work for peace in Columbia takes place in many different settings: official peace talks among warring factions; advocacy for victims of violence; and education to strengthen the voices of women, youth, Indigenous people, and Afro-Colombians - all groups that have often been left out of decisions made by those who hold power.

The Latin American Centre for Popular Education, known as CEPALC (SAY-palk), one of three United Church partners in Colombia supported by Mission & Service.

CEPALC is an ecumenical group that helps children who have lived their entire lives in the midst of war imagine peace and experience healthy community. It also offers training in media production to many community radio and cable TV stations in different parts of Columbia challenging the norms of violence and lifting up alternative ways of living in peace. CEPALC makes its own radio, video, theatre, dance, and puppet productions as it works towards a culture of peace throughout Columbia.

Another sign in the school says, “War is afraid of children’s art.”

We are thankful that CEPALC, supported by Mission & Service, helps children become a force for peaceful change in Colombia.

Please join other Islington United folks in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.


 
God’s Mission – Our Gifts
 

 

T2R2

God's Mission
Our Gifts

The Word became flesh and blood
and moved into the neighbourhood.
John 1:14 (The Message)


Mission & Service – Into the Neighbourhood


The Mission & Service (M&S) of The United Church of Canada enables us to offer service and love in neighbourhoods where we cannot go as individuals or even as a congregation.

God’s Mission – Our Gifts
 
In worship Sunday we’ll hear about T2R2 and other programs that foster healthy relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth. Rainbow Camp is another youth program supported by Mission & Service (M&S). It’s a one-week summer camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning (LGBTQ+), and allied youth aged 13 to 17 and their siblings. The camp is a safe community where youth can be themselves enjoying traditional camp activities. It also includes daily educational times on gender, sexuality, trans issues, body image, health, community, leadership, and creating safe spaces.

God’s Mission – Our Gifts at work for just and safe neighbourhoods

As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, give thanks for the good work of Camp Rainbow, Wampum, Neechi, T2R2, the GO Project, and the many children’s and youth programs of the United Church – all made possible by our commitment to Mission & Service. Please make a generous offering to Mission & Service in thanksgiving today.
 

 

The Asian Rural Institute

God's Mission
Our Gifts

The Word became flesh and blood
and moved into the neighbourhood.
John 1:14 (The Message)


Mission & Service – Into the Neighbourhood


The Mission & Service (M&S) of The United Church of Canada enables us to offer service and love in neighbourhoods where we cannot go as individuals or even as a congregation.

God’s Mission – Our Gifts
 
In worship Sunday, we’ll hear about The Asian Rural Institute. Like the institute in Japan, the Chipembi Farm College of Agriculture in Zambia is focusing its efforts on training farmers. The college’s 200-plus student body developed a two-hectare demonstration plot using conservation farming techniques. Where these methods have been practised crop yields have increased significantly. So, in May 2014 the United Church, with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, approved a grant to Chipembi College so that the students can take the methods of conservation farming into the surrounding communities for local farmers to adopt to reduce hunger and poverty.
 
God’s Mission – Our Gifts at work in rural neighbourhoods in Zambia

As we approach Thanksgiving, give thanks for the good work of the Chipembi Farm College and our 93 other global partners – all made possible by our commitment to Mission & Service. Please make a generous offering to Mission & Service on Thanksgiving Sunday. Envelopes are available in the pews.