President's Blog

Thoughts and comments from current and past BC Conference Presidents.

Preparing for Corner Brook

July 23, 2015 - Keith Simmonds

BC Conference General Council Commissioners Gathering

On July 4th, while our neighbours to the south were celebrating the birthday of their nation, some of the commissioners chosen to attend the 42nd General Council of the United Church of Canada (GC42) met at BC Conference offices in Burnaby to learn more about our roles and responsibilities.

The way of reconciliation

July 2, 2015
Keith Simmonds

This blog post was published by Victoria's Times Colonist online column, "Spiritually Speaking". 

I was born in Kitimat, but didn’t know a lot about the Indigenous kids in Kitimaat Village. They were across the channel from us, too far away for me to know. We moved to Flin Flon when I was 12, at the time a white/European community surrounded by thousands of Cree on various reserves in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. I didn’t know much about them either. They weren’t in town a lot, weren’t all that welcome in restaurants and hotels. Not in some of the stores either.

Looking back I can see we lived in a racist culture. It wasn’t as easily seen then as it is now. Although it should have been. I served drinks in the Royal Hotel, the only bar in Flin Flon that would serve First Nations customers. Not out of any sense of altruism or human rights. No, we were told to keep ‘them’ in ‘their’ section, no straying into the other seats, to serve ‘them’ until they were too drunk to drink any more, then toss ‘them’ out to make room for the next one.

There is no word for apology

June 30, 2015
Keith Simmonds

This blog post was published by Victoria's Times Colonist online column, "Spiritually Speaking". 

Stan McKay is a wise and respected elder. A minister and former moderator of the United Church of Canada, he is rooted in the traditions of the Swampy Cree of Fisher River, Manitoba. I was fortunate to have him as a teacher during my formation in ministry and hold his teachings close to my heart.

Especially on days like these.

Days when I shudder under the enormous implications of being a white male protestant who has mined, milled and smelted much of the beauty of the earth. Who has been deeply engaged in the adversarial systems of political discourse that thinly veil our struggles to be the direct beneficiaries of the ongoing exploitation of planet and people.

Thank you: An inaugural blog post

June 23, 2015
Keith Simmonds

I would like to begin by saying thanks.
Thank you to my predecessor, Karen Medland, for so ably and capably filling the role of President of BC Conference. 
Thank you to my successor, Cari Copeman-Haynes, for being willing to take up the position in two years, bringing years of experience and ability to her role as President Elect. 

An opinion on the Supreme Court's ruling on physician assisted suicide

February 7, 2015
Karen Medland
This comment was prepared in response to request from journalist Susan Lazaruk of The Province newspaper.
As someone who has walked with people on that part of life's journey that we call death, I know that it is not an easy journey for all. It is a privilege to be asked to help others in such moments to listen to their hopes and fears and to help them strive for a "good death".
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