August 15, 2009 18:03 ET

New Moderator Passionate about Creation

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2009) -

She tweets. She's green. She's media savvy. She's animated.

That's Mardi Tindal, the 56-year-old newly elected Moderator of The United Church of Canada.

Speaking to reporters shortly after her election on August 14, it was obvious she will bring to her position as Moderator a visible passion for creation, for people, for the diversity of the United Church, and for living in the abundance of God's grace.

During her time with reporters she was effusive and warm, speaking in an evenly modulated voice well-honed through years of media work. She was at times lively and passionate about her ongoing convictions and deep sense of call to offer herself to the church in its highest elected office. The new Moderator is also an avid user of communication technology, posting a "tweet" (a short online comment) just minutes after she was elected.

"Let me say how excited I am to have this opportunity to serve the church in this way," said Tindal, who is the fourth lay Moderator. "I have a passion for continuing the work that has been done so well."

Tindal's hope is to support the church in its desire to live in covenant relationship with God and with each other.

"I am committed to encouraging young leaders," said Tindal, who is the Executive Director of the Five Oaks Centre, near Paris, Ontario, a United Church education centre.

"I am deeply committed to [a] right relationship with creation, in and beyond our faith community," she said.

"I will be inviting the church to imagine new ways of caring for creation," says Tindal, noting that this calls for "small actions and very significant large actions. It's bigger than us, but we are called to portray the integrity of creation.

"When I talk with youth and young adults in the church, it's their passion as well," says Tindal, an adult educator, author, and video producer who has served in several roles at all levels of the church.

In conversation, she passes on stories of people undertaking changes in their own lifestyles, or other actions, that will offset the carbon emissions of someone else. In fact, she may invite others in the church to take actions that will offset the carbon emissions related to her travel across the church as Moderator.

Raised in the rural community of Victoria Square, Ontario, and now living in Brantford, Ontario, she has an M.A. in psychology from the University of Toronto.

To a church struggling at times with the perception of inadequate resources, she would say, "What's most important is to discern what's faithful, set a course, trust in God's abundance, and invite people into it."

One of her spiritual disciplines is to begin each day with 20 to 30 minutes of silence-the practice of Christian meditation-to be silent, still, and simple. "In those times I'm reminded of God's abundance, and things are put in their proper perspective, and the day is different as a result," she said.

Tindal noted that she has been shaped profoundly by Parker Palmer and the Centre for Courage & Renewal in Bainbridge Island, Washington. It is there she learned about the concept of circles of trust. "I am committed to creating safe space," said Tindal, "for souls to show up completely."

In 2008, the United Church's Francis Sandy Theological Centre honoured Tindal as a Companion of the centre. Her work as a video producer and presenter has been seen on TVO, affiliated CTV stations, Anglican Video, and on VisionTV, where she was co-host of the United Church television show Spirit Connection.

Tindal's international church experience includes leading pilgrimages to Iona (Scotland), continuing education in Jamaica, and giving leadership within the global ecumenical network of retreat centres.

Her active involvement in the life of the church continues as a member of Sydenham Street United Church in Brantford, Ontario, and as a member of Erie Presbytery.
/For further information: Mary-Frances Denis
Program Coordinator, Media and Public Relations
The United Church of Canada
416-231-7680 ext. 2016 (office until August 5, 2009)
416-400-7273 (cell/voice mail August 5–18, 2009)
250-807-9451 (August 7-16, 2009) PLEASE NOTE THIS PHONE DOES NOT HAVE VOICE MAIL

Contact Information

  • Mary-Frances Denis, Program Coordinator, Media and Public Relations, The United Church of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-231-7680 ext. 2016
    Toll-Free: 800-268-3781