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By Rev. Joan Kessler

Acts 2: 1-4 Psalm 104: 24-34

Today is special to me. Today is the anniversary of my Ordination which was celebrated six years ago at McDougall United in downtown Edmonton. I cherish this day like any special anniversary, and I recall it often. In my humble estimation, coming from one who has attended my share of celebration of Ministry services, it was the best one yet. The service was a gathering of all the things that show the United Church of Canada at its very best. The church was packed that day with family, friends, and the wider church all coming together to hear and see and taste the gifts of that Spirit that showed up that day. There were Afro-Canadian dancers, Indigenous Elders, street people, trans people, cis-gender people, rural people, and urban people. There were retired people, young people; there were joyful people, fed people, strengthened people.

We sang hymns in different languages. We sang of building a house where all belong. We were reminded that God knows us by name and calls us to all sorts of amazing things – ministry and leadership, both ordered and lay. It took 20 mins to serve everyone communion that morning. This celebration of ministry service was an outpouring of the Spirit that is already there and here and everywhere … one that Is and Has Been and Is Still to Come!

The United Church of Canada has seen many changes since its inception and official coming into being in 1925. I think a big piece of the way it remains relevant and challenging