Rev. Carmen Lansdowne. (Courtesy photo)

Topics: UCC in Focus | Church News

Carmen Lansdowne elected as United Church moderator

The second Indigenous person to serve as the church's spiritual leader, Lansdowne was also uncontested


Rev. Carmen Lansdowne has been elected as the 44th moderator of The United Church of Canada. Lansdowne is only the second Indigenous person, and the first Indigenous woman, to serve as the church’s spiritual leader. She was also the sole nominee for the position.

“My vision for The United Church of Canada is that together we can work to continue to define who we are,” she said in a vision statement included with the news of her nomination.

“To build new connections and rebuild old ones. To work towards social change that sees a world cared for, and human dignity honoured.”

Lansdowne will replace Rt. Rev. Richard Bott as moderator when she is installed on Aug. 7. Moderators typically serve three-year terms, but Bott led the church for longer than intended as the 2021 General Council meeting was postponed until this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Interested in more stories like this? Subscribe to Broadview’s weekly newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“I look forward to supporting our new Moderator as she leads the church in this critical time,” Bott said in a press release. “A powerful voice, Moderator-elect Lansdowne will bring lived experience, wisdom, and an abundance of gifts to lead needed transformation in the church and the world.”

The moderator-elect is a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation and currently the executive director of the First United Church Community Ministry Society in Vancouver.

Lansdowne has expressed hope that, under her leadership, the United Church could further reconcile with Indigenous members of the denomination. She has pointed out that the United Church’s landmark apology in 1986 to Indigenous peoples has not been truly accepted.

She also said in an interview earlier this year that she hopes the church can speak out more clearly on economic injustice.

“I think that if the church endorsed raising our voices to reclaim some moral authority around economic systems of injustice in this country, that would go a long way to heal some of the political divides [in this country],” she says.

Emma Prestwich is Broadview’s digital editor.

We hope you found this Broadview article engaging. 

Our team is working hard to bring you more independent, award-winning journalism. But Broadview is a nonprofit and these are tough times for magazines. Please consider supporting our work. There are a number of ways to do so:

  • Subscribe to our magazine and you’ll receive intelligent, timely stories and perspectives delivered to your home 8 times a year. 
  • Donate to our Friends Fund.
  • Give the gift of Broadview to someone special in your life and make a difference!

Thank you for being such wonderful readers.

Jocelyn Bell



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

  • says:

    What does "penitential" mean?
    ("Pope lands in Edmonton to start 6-day 'penitential' trip aimed at Indigenous reconciliation." CBC, July 24, 2022)
    Should he not all also be saying, "Thank you, - for helping my empire become in terms of wealth, the 3rd most rich n the world at one time, through colonization and the high-jacking of the Scriptures for profit?"
    (Just a thought.)

  • says:

    In regards to my last comment, I maybe getting too old and now approaching the "rust bucket".
    But we have to carry on, nonetheless...