Mission and Service

The work of The United Church of Canada across the country and around the world is funded by the Mission and Service Fund. Members and supporters of the United Church know that it takes money to put their faith into action. In the Mission and Service Fund they combine their gifts so that the work of the church can be done effectively.

The Mission and Service Fund is the unique way we as United Church witness to God’s love, whether it be with overseas partners, in Canadian outreach, in hospital or university chaplaincies, in supporting small congregations, or in assisting intern ministers.

The Mission and Service Fund 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.

Mission and service in Canada
The Rev. Ellie Hummel is the chaplain at Concordia University in Montreal. She shares this story about how Mission and Service helps students explore spirituality as a part of their university experience.

What do you know about Zoroastrianism? The group of students and staff from Concordia University who were invited to a Zoroastrian ceremony last winter knew very little. We followed, with interest and a sense of awe, the colourful ceremony, the prayers and words in a language foreign to us. We thought of ouor own spiritual traditions and the stories of our faith. Afterward, we were able to ask questions and learn more, and then we celebrated with a feast of laughter, good food, and friendships renewed and formed.

As we left, we marveled that, as much as this was a new experience, we also saw someething very familiar: hospitality and welcome, the celebration of sacred stories, and the joy of gathering in the community.

We have attended other sacred ceremonies: a Quaker worship, a Jewish community centre, a labyrinth, an orthodox church. Every time, we discover something about our neighboursin this great city and in the world, and we learn about ourselves and our own spiritual path.

Sacred Site Visits is one of the programs offered by Concordia Multi-faith Chaplaincy that helps students explore ethics, values, faith, adn spirituality. Your donations to Mission and Service ensure that this program, and similar ones at universities across Canada, will remain strong and life-giving.

Mission and service around the world
These days many of us are investing in seeds and plants, expecting to see great results over the coming months. Mission and Service is investing in agriculture in a bigger way. Here’s a story about conservation farming in Zimbabwe.

Christian Care, a Mission and Service partner in Zimbabwe, is part of an exciting project helping farmers produce more maize on less land and also work independently of global farm corporations. All that’s needed is mulch and a hoe.

Farmers in Zimbabwe have faced seven droughts in eight years. Their soil is less viable, and they have become dependent on chemicals and unreliable hybrid seed on the bad advice of commercial seed corporations. As a result, up to 80% of households have needed food aid donations in recent years to survive.

The Christian Care conservation farming program has significantly improved the situation for over 500 families by training farmers and organizing farm exchange visits and community seed banks. The results have been extraordinary. The farmers produced ten times as much, even in drought conditions, and were able to save and share huge amounts of seed. The techniques are simple: crate an organic layer of mulch over the ground; fertilize with manure; and prepare the fields well during the dry season for planting. Another partner supported by United Church congregations and Mission and Service, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, collaborated with Christian Care in this project.

Your gifts to Mission and Service are supporting conservation farming in Zimbabwe. Together, we can focus on people’s right to food.