Rev. Karen Fraser Gitlitz, minister of Saskatoon Unitarians, will be the Confluence Lecturer at the Canadian Unitarian Council’s National Conference. An event sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada (UUMOC), the lecture allows the presenting minister a chance to explore a topic that interests them and is relevant to a wider audience. When asked if she’d deliver this year’s lecture, Fraser Gitlitz said yes, recognizing the invitation had come at a good time.
 “I’ve been in ministry serving congregations as a professional minister for 10 years”, she says, “so it seemed like a particularly good time for me to think about ‘Well, what have I learned over the past 10 years?’”
The lecture is also the first since the CUC adopted its new vision statement in 2016, “As Canadian Unitarian Universalists, we envision a world in which our interdependence calls us to love and justice”. The theme of this year’s conference, accordingly, is “Invitation to Love and Justice”. While the Confluence Lecture, which began in 2003, hasn’t always tied into the conference’s theme, Fraser Gitlitz was pleased at the opportunity to do so this time.

“The CUC has a new vision statement that I think has something really important to say to us about where we might go and how we might get there”, she says.

Looking back over her decade in ministry, Fraser Gitlitz says her understanding of interdependence and love and justice has shifted considerably over the years. However, she believes that this a natural part of Unitarian Universalism, which recognizes that conditions change and new thoughts and ideas come across.

Like many Unitarian congregations across Canada, Saskatoon Unitarians have been engaging in reconciliation work in recent years, and while Fraser Gitlitz says they’re still in “baby steps” on this front, she believes there are still insights to offer which she’ll share in her lecture.

“The title of my talk is ‘What Love and Justice Look Like Now’, and it’s very broad and makes it sound like I know the answer, which I don’t,” she says with a laugh.

But even if — indeed, because — she doesn’t know all the answers, Fraser Gitlitz hopes the lecture will spark a conversation about the new vision statement, which she believes many congregations are engaging with in important ways.

“There are lots of congregations doing great work and so many people are thinking about these things, and this is just my learning in this area”.