UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Between Aug. 16 and 19, hundreds will gather in Montreal for Rendez-Vous 2017, a national gathering of United Church youth, young adults and leaders. Courtesy of Dean Bere, Wikimedia Commons

Rendez-Vous 2017 — Day One

‘We are part of a united — and uniting — community that we call church’

By Aidan Legault


It’s finally here. Rendez-Vous 2017. Between Aug. 16 and 19, hundreds of young people from the United Church of Canada will gather at Montreal’s Concordia University. People are going to see old friends or meet new ones while gleaning inspiration from peers, leaders and presenters from across the country and beyond. Feeling excited yet? Well, you should be; Rendez-Vous is a one-of-a-kind experience because of participants’ energy, passion and complete openness to the Spirit. You won't find anything else like it in the country. You won’t find another gathering of young people more committed to making the world a better place.

Of course, this is going to be an incredible few days for all of us, but I’m certain that many of us — myself included — are feeling quite nervous right now. After all, at this monumental gathering, and there are going to be a lot of people whom you don't know, or find intimidating and unapproachable. But if I may, I'd like to offer this piece of advice.

Talk to people.

Sure, it's scary. Although I was lucky to be among friends from the Manitou Conference during my first Rendez-Vous in Winnipeg in 2014, the prospect of trying to fit in with — and befriend — dozens of people was nauseatingly frightening. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though: everyone’s in the same boat. And yet everyone is worth getting to know better. It was true for me and true for every other Rendez-Vous participant I've met. Besides, I’m sure you've all noticed that our future looks murky and uncertain at the moment, and in the coming years, it’s going to be our generation that will have to stand up, unitedly and bravely, for what’s right. The people you meet at Rendez-Vous over the next few days will not only become your friends, they will be your allies in the fight for peace, justice and compassion in the world; your support system during the darkest of times; and your Family in Christ as our church seeks a path to a brighter tomorrow.

So just bring a friend if you're nervous! Get to know your roommate if you haven't already, sit at a table with different people for each meal and befriend the people in your own homegroup! Or talk to me! Together, we’re part of a united — and uniting — community that we call “church.” As our creed says, "We are called to be the Church.”

So I hope that this will serve as a reminder of that call to be united and brave, and to meet your new family with open arms. We'd love to get to know you, too!

Peace,

Aidan

Read Rendez-Vous 2017 — Day Two

Read Rendez-Vous 2017 comes to a close


Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!

Announcement

New Observer editor and CEO, Jocelyn Bell. Photo by Lindsay Palmer

New editor named

by Observer Staff

Promotional Image

Editorials

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations

by Jocelyn Bell

We’ll miss you, David Wilson

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

Promotional Image