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Ask the Nominees: Week 1

Each week leading up to GC43, we are asking the Moderator Nominees one question to help everyone get to know them.

Q: What scripture do you find yourself turning to again and again?

Moderator Nominee Susan Beaver

Rev. Susan Beaver

In Genesis, creation is something holy, blessed and good. By the second chapter, every ocean, star, mountain, blade of grass, animal, and breeze has been called into being, blessed, and declared good by God. The only thing in all of creation that God cannot bless or call “good” is human loneliness. Genesis 2:18 says it is not good for humans to be alone. From that time on, the Creator sends us companions to love and who love us. This one verse reveals the truth of our purpose in life: we are here to love each other.

Moderator Nominee Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud

Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud

My vision for our church in this time of transition is Proverbs 31:25. She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. I turn to this frequently when struggling to support others to have faith in the future of the church.

Moderator Nominee Richard Bott

Rev. Dr. Richard Bott

Genesis 18.16-33. I hear in this God's desire to explore God's choices with humankind, and Abraham's desire to know that the God he's covenanted with is a righteous (or even a fair!) God. Abraham's willingness to challenge God, and God's openness to being changed by those loving questions, are central to my understanding of the relationship between the Divine & creation.

Moderator Nominee David Hart

Rev. David Hart

The scripture passage that has consistently accompanied me on my life journey is Psalm 139: “Where could I run from your Spirit? Where could I flee from your Presence?” This Psalm speaks to the amazing intimacy of God in our lives, an intimacy that reveals God to be present both at our beginnings and endings. “You stitched me together in my mother’s womb! …if I make my bed in death, you are already there!” Could this be the psalm that informed Jesus’ sense of intimacy with God, such that he called God “Abba” or Daddy? I like to think so!

Moderator Nominee Cathy Larmond

Rev. Cathy Larmond

I turn to Isaiah 43:1-4. At our family's request, my mother read it at my husband’s funeral. I remember her reading that we are precious in God’s sight. It reminds me that no matter whether things are going well or badly, I am not alone. As a church, we are going through times of tumult and change. Deep waters and fiery trials, or hard times, God is with us. We are not alone and God loves us!

Moderator Nominee Catherine Faith MacLean

Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean

In Ezra 3 the community is in turmoil, wondering how to be God’s people in new circumstances. They set out to rebuild the Temple. It’s hilarious that they can't get it built. The stewardship plan doesn’t work. They’re afraid of the neighbours. They appoint youth. Imported labour finally gets the thing up, on a government grant! Half think it's wonderful; half are consumed with lament. Elation and keening mingle in the wind—the neighbours can’t tell the sounds of sadness from joy. We, too, have choices about how we respond to change, and what our neighbours hear.

Moderator Nominee Dr. Colin Phillips

Dr. Colin Phillips

I lived into the call to “let justice roll down like waters…” (Amos 5:24) as a BSW practicum student at an ecumenical social service agency in Waterloo Region that used that verse as their mission statement. It’s a treasured verse for many that becomes all the more powerful when we look at the entire passage (Amos 5:21-24). I’m constantly drawn back to its call to a life of simplicity, intentionality, and, above all else, worship through service in the struggle.

Moderator Nominee Rev. Wanda Stride

Rev. Wanda Stride

There are two. In Genesis 22, Jacob wrestles with the angel. One of the churches in my pastoral charge is called "Peniel," which means Face of God. Lately it feels as though change is everywhere; regional team ministry here at home, restructuring on a national level. We are wrestling! Then there is John 15:11. May God help us to find the joy of Jesus in all this wrestling.

Moderator Nominee Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kuile

Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kuile

Romans 5:3-4. " … knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." I sometimes wonder where hope comes from. Are hopeful people just lucky? Paul says here that hope doesn’t simply pop up because we are feeling so happy, or optimistic. There are times when difficulties create new strength. Hope arises from a character that has been formed in hardship as well as in joy. And as Paul goes on to say, such a hope does not disappoint.

Moderator Nominee Rev. Donalee Williams

Rev. Donalee Williams

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26