National Gathering - 2024

Tuesday, September 24 – Friday, September 27, 2024

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DUCC Winnipeg National Gathering 2018

40th DUCC Anniversary logo designed by
Ev Robertson and Rachel Nadon

40th Anniversary of DUCC – 1984 to 2024
Wednesday, September 25 at 6:30 pm
(time to be confirmed)


More information …. for DUCCS migrating “home!”
The evening will include a celebration banquet, reminiscing (shared stories, timeline, time capsule, photos), open mic, 80’s dance party, escape room game, closing words. Dress code: 40 year anniversary = ruby red! Please join in the fun and come in your red shoes, red dress, red shirt, red pants, red hair, etc. 😊

What is a DUCC Gathering and why should you attend?
DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada) is a national organization of diaconal ministers, candidates for diaconal ministry and those people who are diakonia-adjacent . We gather every two years so that we may reconnect with friends and colleagues and to meet new people who are involved in diaconal ministry within the United Church of Canada. There will be ample time to visit, enjoy time with one another and to make new friends. Drumheller has a fascinating landscape – we will definitely be touring the Royal Tyrell Museum, otherwise known as the dinosaur museum.

Our gathering in September will be a time of celebrating our diaconal history and discussing the future of diaconal ministry within the church. You will meet the people working on DUCC’s various committees and of hear the work they are doing. You will learn of the opportunities to be involved in the many different aspects of diaconal ministry in the wider church. We hope that you will return to your homes and ministries feeling inspired, supported and grounded in diakonia.

Why a Travel Pool?

travel pool really is like a pool… everyone brings water to fill it. They then gather around it, prepared to share it with those who need it the most.

If everyone jumps in there is less room for everyone.

There will be some folk who would prefer to sit on the sides – so they don’t take up any water space.

Some folk are just beginning to learn how to swim and they need more support and space than others.

At DUCC, we all put $50 into the Travel Pool.

Anyone can apply for a reimbursement toward their travel expenses.

If everyone applies, then we’d all get $50 back.

If those who don’t need support don’t take up the space, then the remaining funds are distributed to those who do need it. 

DUCC National Gathering

40th Anniversary

September 24-27, 2024

Drumheller Alberta

FROM THE EDGES: Diaconal Ministry – Past, Present, Future

What is the future of the United Church of Canada? What is the role of diaconal ministry in shaping the Church’s future?

When we choose to live, love, obey, and cling to YHWH, our God has plans for us: a future with hope that calls us to love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly. (based on Deuteronomy 30: 19b-20a-The Inclusive Bible; Jeremiah 29:11-NSRV; Micah 6:8-NRSV)

Registration is open.  Click on the first link above to register.  Registration deadline is August 31st.

Please provide your information in the second link above to request transportation from Calgary.

Online Participation
If you prefer/need to attend the National Gathering online – the registration fee will be $50.

Keynote Speaker
The United Church of Canada’s General Secretary, the Reverend Michael Blair

Cost: $500 which includes:

  • Double accommodations for three nights (September 24, 25, 26) Single supplemental cost – $210 for the three nights
  • Meals as follows:
    • Tuesday – supper
    • Wednesday – breakfast, lunch, supper
    • Thursday – breakfast, lunch, supper
    • Friday – breakfast, bag lunch
    • Snacks and beverages
  • Travel Pool contribution ($50)
  • Transportation, as needed, from the Calgary airport
  • DUCC’s 40th Anniversary Party

(For financial assistance, please apply to the Kaufman Fund.)

Gathering Highlights & Documents


Keynote Speaker, Michael Blair

Rev. Michael Blair serves the General Council of the United Church of Canada as the General Secretary, a role he began, November 1, 2020. He is the first person of African descent to serve in this role in the United Church.

In his time at the General Council Office, he has served in a number of capacities including as Executive Minister for Ethnic Ministry; and Executive Minister, Church in Mission.

Before joining the General Council staff, Michael served as the Executive Director of the Toronto Christian Resource Center (CRC) in Regent Park, Toronto. Michael previously
served as a congregational minister of a number of Baptist churches in Toronto and St. Catherine’s, Ontario; a staff member with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at the
University of Toronto, and as a community chaplain with the Ontario Multifaith Council’s Reintegration Program.

Michael serves as member and moderator of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME). In 2021, Michael delivered the Gandier Lecture at Emmanuel College, on the theme of Becoming the Beloved Community. He also recently contributed the Afterword to ‘For the Sake of the Common Good,’ a collection of essays in honour of Lois
Wilson, one of his mentors.

Born in Jamaica, Michael is a graduate of Ontario Bible College (Tyndale), University of Waterloo and Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. He is the
father of two adult sons.

Michael enjoys photography in his spare time.

Ecumenical Guest Christine Ball

Christine Ball graduated from the Christian Education Degree, Diploma Program offered by Ewart College and the University of Toronto and was Designated to the Order of Diaconal Ministries in the Presbyterian Church in Canada May 1984. 

Her first appointment was as a mission worker at Flora House, Inner City and Native Ministry in Winnipeg.  While their two children, Michelle and Nathan were young, Christine and her husband, shared one position for 10 years, at St. James Church in Chatham, ON,

Following a move to Ottawa, Christine was appointed as an Educational Consultant and Regional Minister in the Synod of Quebec and Eastern Ontario.  Christine enjoyed the variety of roles this position encompassed, including: teacher and elder training, youth ministry, camping ministry, mission education, congregational development and supporting the Women’s Missionary Society. 

Christine was working as Director of CE at St. Andrews Ottawa when she and her husband accepted a joint call to Mill Woods Presbyterian Church in Edmonton, AB.  

Christine enjoys being active, gardening, camping, hiking, swimming, cross country skiing and a good book or puzzle when the weather is poor.  Christine and William especially value having time with family, who live at a distance, but live in wonderful locations to vacation.