Ms. Ann Harbridge has been nominated for Moderator of the United Church of Canada. To see Ann’s profile on the General Council 42 website, please click here.
1. What gifts and passions do you have that you believe the United Church of Canada needs today?
My passion is for a church that is relevant to the seekers who are looking for a spiritual home, a place where they can hear the stories we love so dearly, and be able to connect those stories to their own lives. I believe I can inspire others along this line. I have great hope for our church, and I believe our church can offer hope to the communities we serve.
I believe my gifts in leadership, and in encouraging others to use their gifts are both important at this time. I believe I can offer a calm presence for the times of chaos we will undoubtedly face in the next few years. My past experience in leadership in a National organization will be beneficial. And I chair a pretty good meeting.
2. Which Christian author has had the greatest impact on you?
I’m not good at remembering the names of the authors for books I have read, so I went to my bookshelf to take a look. The name I found most often was Henri Nouwen. There are many others, including several fiction writers such as Beth Wiseman.
3. How would you articulate the good news that Canadian society needs to hear from our church in this time and place?
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. The stories of our faith need to be interpreted so that our Canadian Society, which is becoming ever more secular are able to relate to the lessons (I often refer to these lessons as truths), even if they have trouble with the stories themselves. It is these truths more than the specific details of the stories that are important. We need to continue to live our faith, so that they will know we are Christians by our love, by the actions we take to make our world a better place. We need to continue to care for God’s wonderful creation. We need to speak of our faith and the hope it instils in us.
4. “Cruxifusion” means “united by the cross.” What does Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection mean to you?
God so loved the world, that he sent his only Son. Cliché perhaps, but I believe that by sending Jesus to live among us, to show us how we should live in relationship with one another, God was indeed showing his great love for us. The cross, as a symbol of Jesus death and his resurrection three days later reminds us that God has the last word. It offers us hope and a promise of new life, through faith.
5. How can we best pray for you?
Please pray for all the nominees. It is a humbling experience to imagine that others feel we are worthy to be Moderator of this wonderful church of ours. It’s also a little overwhelming at times. So prayers for calm, and courage. If elected, ongoing prayers for wisdom to know what the church needs going forward. And prayers for those who will cast their ballots, that they will choose the person best suited to lead the church thru the uncertain times ahead.