“The witness of the biblical texts and our history is this: Our growth in our relationship with God expressed in our worship and our work for justice are inextricably linked. They drive each other… The invitation to engage in deep spirituality is an invitation to enrich and enliven our acts of justice in the world. They are not two different things. Hear me. They are not two different things.”
( ― Rev. Michael Blair, General Secretary, speaking at the Love and Justice Gathering, November 3, 2021 )
TAKING A SACRED PAUSE
Janet Gray, a United Church member of the virtual ecumenical delegation to COP26, the UN Conference on Climate Change, writes that her experience of creating and sharing her daily “seeds” during this experience has prompted her to embark on another journey.
Gkisedtanamoogk, an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, contributed to a resource called Taking a Sacred Pause. This resource invites us to consider how and why we love creation. You can read his reflection here.
A simple practice using the words Sense, Appreciate, Connect, Respect, Express, Delight (SACRED), guides us in remembering or discovering how to be in relationship with creation – a relationship of love and respect.
Using this resource as a guide, Janet will be sharing her reflections over the next four weeks – offered with hope, peace, joy and love – for each of you and the light that you bring to this world! For anyone who is interested in receiving Janet’s reflections can contact her at email@example.com
A MESSAGE FROM THE GUARANTEED LIVABLE INCOME NETWORK
Friends and colleagues in the faith:
Along with Lois Wilson, the co-chair of our national United Church of Canada’s Advocacy for a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) network, we are engaged in a national campaign to encourage Federal MPs to support a recent letter signed by 47 Members of the Senate proposing a five-year demonstration of a GLI in Prince Edward Island. The Senators are calling for federal support that will enable PEI to model the benefit of a national GLI, a necessary step to implement this tool towards a just recovery and transition.
Using the attached letter template [download at this link] we are encouraging all United Church members to write a letter to your MP to express your support for this initiative. The United Church has been a proponent of a Guaranteed Livable Income policy in Canada for over thirty years. Along with many other Canadians, we recognize we are now in a time requiring quick and decision action. It is especially a “kairos” moment for a GLI for its inter-relationship with the climate crisis and the now obvious need for a meaningful just transition from a fossil fuel to a green economy – fuelled, that is, by a decent guarantee of a livable income.
In the peace of Christ and the pace of Advent — Christ-mass — Epiphany seasons:Rev. Barry K Morris
Longhouse Council of Native Ministry
firstname.lastname@example.org / 604-254-4531
THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
On November 29th many United Church groups in PMRC and across Canada gathered to mark this day in 1947 when the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine (resolution 181 (II)) and to acknowledge that in 1977, the General Assembly called for the annual observance of November 29th as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B).
These gatherings were also in support of the Canada Stand Up for Palestinian Children’s Rights Campaign to ask the Canadian government to appoint a Special Envoy to look into the apprehension, interrogation and detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli military. Here is a selection of United Church people who gathered in different locations around PMRC to express their support for this campaign, along with Quaker, Unitarian, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Jewish advocates for Palestinian rights. Many thanks to the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) for their advocacy and leadership.
Further countrywide activities in support of this movement can be seen in this video. We would encourage other people in PMRC to approach their MPs in support of this campaign. To get resources and information contact Natalie Maxson at this link.
About Canada, Stand Up For Children’s Rights here.Twenty people from across Canada make up the planning team for this campaign. The planning team come from a variety of backgrounds including several different church denominations. The campaign is open to anyone who wants to take action for the rights of Palestinian children. The campaign started with a parliamentary e-petition 2667 in October 2020. Background information can be found
IN THE NEWS
Shaughnessy Heights United Church in Vancouver was featured in CBC News at the end of November for their giant floor map based on the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. Beverly Brown, a Squamish-Heiltsuk board member of the UCC, told reporter Janella Hamilton that the map is a valuable tool in helping students understand and learn about Canada from an Indigenous perspective. Read the article at this link.
Environmental Justice has been in the mind of many in the Pacific Mountain Region after the floods that devastated so much of British Columbia, in a year where wildfires and record-breaking heats have already caused significant damage. Our thoughts are with those who have lost homes and livelihoods due to the damage, as outlined in an article in Broadview by Emma Prestwich, found at this link.
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.”
- Just Conversations is free and drop-in style
- Open to ministry personnel and congregation members
- Facilitated by the PMRC’s Ministry for Justice (contact Jane Dawson for more information)
Just Conversations will take place on every third Thursday of the month, beginning on January 20th, 2022, from 10:00 am – 11:30 am Pacific / 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Mountain.
Register at this link.
OPPORTUNITIES IN JUSTICE
Social Justice Advisory Circle – The Justice Ministry is looking for a small group of people who can serve as an informal advising circle for the Minister for Justice position to help shape priorities and planning. The commitment is a two-hour online conversation every month except July and August (sharing the tasks of agenda-setting, facilitation, and note-taking among participants).
(Up)Rising Hope Social Justice Conference Planning Team – One of the landmark events in the social justice work of the Pacific Mountain Region (then BC Conference) was the Rising Hope Conference that took place in Chilliwack in 2015. Let’s begin planning a similar event for 2022. The planning team will work together to help develop an overarching theme for the event, identify possible speakers and venues within the scope of the available budget (the meeting schedule to be determined by members of the planning team).
If you’re interested in becoming a part of either group, contact Jane at her email or via cellphone (672-514-7390).
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.