August 14, 2009 23:18 ET

United Church Elects New Moderator

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2009) -

Mardi Tindal, from Hamilton Conference, has been elected as the next Moderator of The United Church of Canada.

Tindal was chosen on the fifth ballot at the 40th General Council in Kelowna, British Columbia. The Rev. Maya Landell, from London Conference, was the other nominee on the final ballot. Landell moved for a unanimous adoption of the election results, seconded by Jim Angus, from British Columbia Conference, who was also a candidate for Moderator.

In her remarks to commissioners, Tindal first expressed thanks to the other seven candidates. "I expect that each of you, like me, has had your faith deepened this week by the witness of all the other moderatorial nominees. I have been inspired by each of you," said Tindal. Calling on all the nominees by name, she encouraged them to continue to walk with her. She added that the candidates had formed a particularly special relationship throughout the week.

Tindal, 56, also thanked her family, including her mother, her husband, Doug, and their two sons, Chris and Alex. She drew the attention of the Council to the power of prayer in her own family.

"Mom, I know you're praying for me in this moment, as you have in every moment since I was born," she said. "I hope you know how grateful I am for that."

An adult educator, author, and video producer who has served in several roles at all levels of the church, Tindal is currently Executive Director of Five Oaks Centre, one of the United Church's education centres. Her home congregation is Sydenham United Church in Brantford, Ontario, where Tindal lives. She also previously served as co-host of the former United Church television program Spirit Connection.

Tindal told the Council that the lectionary readings from Ephesians 4:25 5:2 this week had particularly moved her as she contemplated the rules that she and the church will share for the sake of their abundant life together in Christ.

The passage spoke of putting aside malice and bitterness. Tindal said that these two traits were not completely unknown to the church and that the words in Ephesians provided good advice.

"As the writer of Ephesians has said, let us 'live in love as Christ loved us.' As Jim Angus said to some of us this afternoon, we will walk together," she said. "Let us do so in order that we may love God, creation, and one another with all our heart and all our soul."

Looking ahead at the next three years, Tindal spoke of entering into a covenant with the church "as we live into ministry together." Tindal concluded her remarks by suggesting a spontaneous hymn from More Voices, "We Will Take What You Offer." As the band members were moving to the stage, Tindal started with an a cappella version.

The outgoing Moderator, the Rt. Rev. David Guiliano, later told the Council that many years ago Tindal had been one of his camp directors and that he had a crush on her at that time.

In addition to Tindal, Landell, and Angus, the other Moderator candidates were the Rev. Dr. Ross Bartlett, from Maritime Conference, the Rev. Dr. James Christie from the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, the Rev. Richard Hollingsworth from the Bay of Quinte Conference, the Rev. Dr. Stephen Mabee, from Toronto Conference, and the Rev. John Thompson,from the All Native Circle Conference.

Tindal is the fourth layperson to be elected to the position of Moderator. The last lay Moderator was Dr. Marion Best, who was elected in 1994.

Tindal will be installed during a service at the General Council on August 15.

/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