“Let all that you do be done in Love.”
(1 Corinthians 16:14)
Good evening, Friends
I’ve carried a note on my To-Do list, a simple reminder to “write a fall letter,” since returning from my summer holidays. The intention was to craft an inspiring message, brimming with interesting programs our Region would embrace this autumn—a reminder that we are unified partners on a collective journey. We’ve been striving through ever-changing times to cultivate a vibrant and exciting ministry. While these aspirations remain true, my heart and mind are presently consumed by disheartening news of zealous anti-2SLGBTQIA+ protests slated for the upcoming week at legislatures, city halls and school board offices across the country.
It’s disconcerting to witness messages of hatred, discrimination, and a stark anti-inclusive sentiment attempting to dominate the narrative in Canada. I never imagined such a scenario in our country. Yet, here we stand, with a narrative of hate pervading our social media. As children of God, we are summoned and invited to disseminate a different message—a message that resonates with our gospel, a message that implores us to stand up for the most vulnerable among us.
In the capable hands of Affirming Connections’ leadership, we’ve been presented with various ways to bolster the counter-narrative, to share a message of hope and love in a world that sometimes seems devoid of these essential qualities. I encourage you to make use of these resources. Fortunately, we are a community founded on faith, hope, and love, and we understand the impact our positive actions can wield.
If ever we questioned the relevance of the church in our modern society, this moment serves as an important reminder of our vital role. Our message of love and inclusion is critical, and while our current energies are rightly focused on rejecting hate from our world, we must also tend to the well-being of our church. This ensures we can continue to be a voice for the voiceless.
As a Region, our primary commitment is to support the lives and work of our faith leaders and communities within our borders. Our main objective is to cultivate sustainability in our communities by offering resources and unwavering support to Communities of Faith and their leaders. For those of you who regularly read our newsletters (I know you all do 😊), you’ll notice lots of Regional events, many through LeaderSHIFT. These opportunities are designed to foster growth, learning, and collaboration within our community. Our goal is to deepen relationships and nurture connections among us. I’m particularly excited about the upcoming Lenten 2024 pilgrimage to Guatemala, where leaders are invited to embark on a shared journey of learning about how we can embody love in the world.
Let us remember, as we face the challenges of the present, that our mission is rooted in love, and it is love that will guide us through these trying times. Together, we can be beacons of hope, inclusion, and compassion in a world yearning for such virtues.
With faith and love,
Treena Duncan, Executive Minister Pacific Mountain and Chinook Winds Regional Councils