Newsletter – Justice for the Week of April 8 & Beyond

“Without community, there is no liberation…but community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.”

( – Audre Lorde )

Friends in Justice,

On this Friday prior to the start of Easter Week, here is an excerpt from a Lenten reflection written by Grace Okerson, currently a Master of Divinity student at Candler School of Theology in Florida:

“This quote by Audre Lorde always reminds me that liberation is intricately connected to the company we keep; we are all connected—for better or for worse.

As a queer, Black woman [Okerson writes], belonging is something that I have always craved. I have always strived to be “enough” and have tried to contort myself to fit into the boxes that society has made for me. Rather than try to find a box that can encompass my identity, I have found that I need to get rid of the boxes entirely. I was not created to fit into a box or conform to societal standards. I was fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God tasked to bring Christ’s kin-dom here on earth. I am different. And my difference matters, and makes me unique. I am a person who values community above all else and strives to create inclusive and affirming communities where individual flourishing can be realized. When thinking about freedom and liberation, I often love to ask others the following question: “Who would you be if you were allowed to flourish in all the desires of your heart?”

As Christians, we need to focus on liberation. Liberation and freedom are a part of God’s intention for humanity… God’s intention was for all humans to have dignity and worth. God created us to be bound up with one another. Adam and Eve were “bone of bone and flesh of flesh,” intricately connected to one another for better or for worse. Humanity was created to be free. Although we are radically free, there is responsibility in said freedom. The freedom we have is for something. It is for creation, for God, and for others. Freedom for is not power over something or someone. It is freedom that is oriented toward the flourishing of the earth, of one another, and for receiving God within our lives. The freedom for one another causes us to be dependent upon one another.”

We are not alone.

— Jane Dawson, Justice Minister (she/her pronouns)

Please note as a result of Easter and the Pacific Mountain Regional Council Office move, the next Justice newsletter will be distributed on May 6th.


The Pacific Mountain Regional Council is proud to share that Reverend Carmen Lansdowne, who serves First United Church in Vancouver, BC, has been included as a nominee for the YWCA Metro Vancouver’s 39th Annual Women of Distinction Awards.

In addition to the award category in which they are nominated, all individual nominees are eligible to win the Connecting the Community Award—the only award category where the recipient is selected by public vote. Each nominee has chosen a YWCA area that is important to them for a chance to donate $10,000 to the YWCA program of their choice, courtesy of Scotiabank.

Justice work in the church can often feel lonely and discouraging, working for change that doesn’t come easily, if it comes at all. Just Conversations is a monthly online gathering for anyone in PMRC wanting to connect with others involved with justice work around the region. It will be a chance to deepen your justice work in your faith, share stories about what is happening around the region and develop strategies for working together to support each other in “being the change.”

The next Just Conversations takes place Thursday, April 21st!

United Church Mission & Service partners are responding to the rapidly unfolding crisis in Ukraine. To donate through the national church, check out this link.

Art for Peace Eggstravaganza

A Public Art Project by Kids for Kids

Installation Date: April 13 – 15  / Exhibition Date:  April 16 – 29

Location: šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (North Plaza) Vancouver Art Gallery

Suggested Method and Supplies:

  • 2 eggs (real, plastic, egg carton or 3-dimensional ovoid shape)
  • 1 meter of skinny string, a bead for the bottom
  • Paints, markers, craft supplies (shiny plastic eggs need either gesso or chalk paint on them first before decorations markers adhere)
  • Pysanky sleeves (decorative shrink wraps) are available online at Amazon or Etsy.

Step 1:  If using a real egg, take one egg, carefully blow out the egg yolk. Do the same to the second egg.Step 2: Decorate the hallowed-out eggs. The shells can be coloured, covered in paper-mache, beadwork, or things found in nature – use your imagination. (shiny plastic eggs need either gesso or chalk paint on them first before decorations markers adhere)Step 3: String together 2 decorated eggs on a piece of 8mm waxed cotton or hemp cord, one metre long. Each end of the cord should have one decorated egg ornament, tie a knot on both ends. Your decoration will hang from a tree branch with one egg on either side of the branch.Step 4:  Attach a small label to the decoration with your name / school / and age.*Note: Another label with the words “Peace Begins With Me” in English and one other language will be attached to each decoration.Step 5: Drop off your eggs from April 13-15 [contact Ellen or Patricia for location]. The Art for Peace Exhibit will run from April 16-29.

Art Contacts:

Patricia Hogarth

Engaged Citizen


Ellen Vaillancourt

Simon Fraser University, MA Candidate

604.614.3553 / 604.679.5309 /

Take part in the United Church campaign to get 10,000 Canadian signatures on the international petition calling for an end to the war in Korea. Go to the campaign webpage and sign the petition yourself and invite your friends and church to sign.

Resources for Commissioners and Others Learning about Israel PalestineSix proposals related to the United Church’s position on Israel and Palestine are coming to the General Council for review. Commissioners are delegates from the church throughout the country who will make decisions at this highest level of decision-making of the church. If you know a General Council Commissioner in your region, please encourage them to review this compilation of resources relevant to Israel Palestine. The resources range in relevance for those new to the issues to those fully immersed.


Join Climate Writer in Residence Katłįà Lafferty and Indigenous climate advocates Xwechtaal Dennis JosephBrandi MorinPanikpak Letitia Pokiak, and Dr. Nicole Redvers to learn how Indigenous Peoples are leading the fight against the climate crisis.

Saturday, April 9, from 2-3:30pm Pacific / 3-4:30pm Mountain
Details & registration here.

Indigenizing Canada: Learning from Indigenous Philosophy & Identity
with Prof. Ray Aldred, Director of the Indigenous Studies Program at VST

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, from 4:30 – 6pm Pacific / 5:30 – 7pm Mountain
Details and registration at this link.

Sponsored by the Urban Indigenous Circle, Chinook Winds Region and Pacific Mountain Region

This year we examine Lent through the lens of our Indigenous Elders. 50 years ago the Elders of the Indian Ecumenical Conference gathered from across Turtle Island, including many from the US, Central America and beyond. During this time,  Traditional Spiritual Leaders, Wisdom Keepers, Elders, Indigenous Clergy and our ecumenical partners in the United Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Canada, Catholic Church and others attended to understand and demystify traditional Indigenous spiritual practices. The sharing of these Elders and Knowledge Keepers helped shape Indigenous advocacy, outreach and visions for reconciliation. We delve into their teachings to understand their vision for our current time.

Tuesdays through Lent, taking place at 6 pm Pacific / 7 pm Mountain

Register at this link, Zoom details to follow.

United for The Love of Creation Earth Week Session
Come together to learn about current For the Love of Creation Advocacy Effort – Give it up for the Earth led by Citizens for Public Justice and the current GC44 resolution on Climate. A great way to mark Earth Week.

Online via Zoom, 10:30 am Pacific / 11:30am Mountain, on April 20th.
Register at this link.

Acknowledgement of Indigenous Territory WorkshopApril 27, 2022 7:00am Pacific, online

Antler River Watershed, Horseshoe Falls, Western Ontario Waterways regions are offering a practical workshop designed for individuals and communities of faith who are considering either starting a practice of acknowledgment of Indigenous territory in their worship and other activities, or would like to re-visit their current practice.We will follow a PowerPoint presentation developed by Rev. Matthew Stevens, which will introduce some key questions and considerations as you consider your acknowledgment of territory. Find out more, and register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

ALSO: UBC is running an event discussing the importance of Land Acknowledgements, with a panel of Indigenous speakers. It’s held April 12th, at 5:00pm Pacific. More details available here.

Broad View United is offering Basic English opportunities as a part of their focus on bridging newcomers to the local community while supporting intercultural understanding and integration of those who are open and brave in our community.

ICaB – BE (Basic English)

Many newcomers speaking English as a foreign language find it challenging to integrate into the local community. ICaB offers a safe space to meet people of a diverse cultural background who look for opportunities to practise and improve their English language skill. Depending on the number of English speakers, participants are divided into very small groups to share opinions or experience on a weekly topic based on current affairs of our community.

The Intercultural Conversations at BVU will continue online weekly on Thursday afternoon at 2:30-4pm (Pacific Time), free of charge. We welcome both English speakers and learners. Please register at the BVU website.

United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel, 2022 Gathering

Location and speaker details, as well as registration, can be found at this link.


Opportunities with the National Church

Ecumenical Accompanier – Palestine and Israel, 2022 & 2023

The United Church is looking for three people to serve as Ecumenical Accompaniers between November 2022 and December 2023, each for a period of three months. In this position, they accompany Palestinians and Israelis who work in nonviolent ways for peace, and people in Palestine and Israel navigating daily routines, often under duress.

More details about the position of Ecumenical Accompanier, as well as the application process, can be found at this link.

Korea Peace Encounter with Young Adults from Korea, United States and Canada

The national church is looking for young adults aged 18-30 to participate in the Korea-US-Canada Young Adult Peace-Making Workshops. More details about this opportunity here.

Ecological Justice Coordinator – KAIROS

KAIROS is seeking a dedicated, highly organized, Ecological Justice Coordinator to support and coordinate KAIROS’s environmental action work across the organization and throughout KAIROS’ networks. More details available here.

St. Andrew’s United Church is looking for a Community Outreach Assistant

This position will involve work on the North Vancouver church’s community garden and their community dinners, as well as working with staff and volunteers on climate and environmental issues with a view to planning events or supporting action plans that mitigate negative impacts. More details at this link.


The PMR website page for Clusters and Networks has been re-designed and updated! Find the link here. If you are part of a justice-related cluster or network in the Region, please contact Tressa Brotsky, the PMRC’s Communications Specialist, for more information on how to post your group.

If you’re interested in the work of the Justice Ministries, we would love to hear from you.Have you come across articles and events in our community that you’d love to share? Please get your suggestions in by Thursday at noon to ensure they make it in the newsletter.


Want to subscribe? Click here, and check off the box labeled ‘JUSTICE NETWORK’.

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