Carmen Lansdowne elected United Church of Canada moderator
Theologian and pastor Carmen Lansdowne (Kwisa’lakw) was elected to serve as moderator of the United Church of Canada, a three-year position, on July 23. Lansdowne, a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, was the sole nominee to be the denomination’s new spiritual leader. She will be the second Indigenous person to serve in the role. Stan McKay, a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation, was moderator from 1992 to 1994.
To serve as moderator, Lansdowne will be on leave from her position as executive director of the First United Church Community Ministry Society, a nonprofit that provides essential services like food, shelter, and clothing on the Downtown Eastside neighborhood of Vancouver.
Lansdowne is a Christ Institute fellow with the Westar Institute, a member of the Vancouver Foundation’s board of directors, and a “keeper of the vision” for the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, a leadership training center for Indigenous members of the United Church of Canada.
The denomination’s general secretary, Michael Blair, said in a statement that Lansdowne’s election had generated “great excitement across the church.” “She embodies the deep spirituality, bold discipleship, and daring justice to which the church aspires,” he said.