“And if any of your kin becomes poor, and cannot maintain themselves with you, you shall maintain them; as a stranger and sojourner they shall live with you. Take no interest from them or increase, but fear your God; that your kin may live beside you…”
( Leviticus 25: 35-36 )
Friends in Justice,
The world can be a harsh place, where some profit at the expense of others; some go hungry and homeless in the midst of plenty. We live, as theologian Ofelia Ortega has said, in a “civilization of inequality” that threatens the very substance of life for many. For those of us who profess to be followers of Jesus, we are given – in story and parable, through community, ritual and action – an alternative grounded in covenantal and prophetic tradition. Jesus reminded the oppressed and marginalized people of his day that God sought their liberation through an economy of care and compassion. Let us do the same. Ofelia Ortega writes, “we as churches are called to create spaces for, and become agents of, transformation, even as we are entangled in and complicit with the very system we are called to change.”
SFU Campus Ministry Food Hampers!
“During Advent, Inlet United sponsored SFU Campus Ministry as their Christmas project. Inlet collected non-perishable food and donations for the students at SFU who are struggling with the rising cost of groceries. Inlet raised $750 towards a food hampers for students! On Wednesday, January 11th, SFU Campus Ministry rolled a double decker cart full of groceries into a lounge of students and set up a pop-up food pantry. Students of all ages came and shopped for themselves. We also walked around campus with crates of food to give away to students who were not in the lounge. There were a lot of smiles and grateful hearts. This was the biggest event SFU Campus Ministry has done so far. We got to feed approximately 50 people! I am so grateful that we can do this incredible event again later in the semester thanks to Inlet United’s support.”
— Luna Harlow, SFU Campus Minister (they/them)
Rev. Barry Morris of Longhouse Ministry has lawn signs and bumper stickers available
– these can be picked up from the Longhouse Ministry (604 254-4531 / 2595 Franklin St., V5K 1X5)
almost any time and any day.
United Church Welcomes More than 100 Refugees [link]
Despite this good news, the United Church continues to face delays in the sponsorship of at-risk refugees. Although the news item below is in Ontario, similar challenges exist here in PMR and across the country.
2 Afghan families need help now. But a Toronto-area group says Canada needs to move faster – CBC [link]
Is your faith community thinking of making upgrades to your church or service buildings in 2023? You may be eligible for financial assistance through The United Church of Canada’s Faithful Footprints program. With the church’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2030, this one-of-a-kind program offers up to $30,000 in grants towards energy conservation and renewable energy projects (conditions apply). To learn more about how your faith community can be supported, visit FaithfulFootprints.org.
February is Black History Month. Discover Black authors at the United Church Bookstore, and expand and challenge your perspectives with their experiences as Black Canadians.The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole and Reflections on Emancipation and Anti-Black Racism for Canada.Dive deep into anti-racism titles like
“Faithful Climate Conversations” is a free, online series offered by the PMRC Justice Network, and drawing from the multi-denominational, Canada-wide “For the Love of Creation” discussion resources. It will run in two series during early 2023.
- The first series, in three parts, will be offered January 25, February 1, and February 8, all from 3:30-5pm Pacific. Register here!
- The second series, in four parts, will be offered March 9, 16, 23, 30, from 7-8:30pm Pacific. Register here!
Find out more here! For a poster you can print out and share with your congregation, click here!
An educational event focusing on the overdose crisis is coming to United Churches of Langley in Murrayville. On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, the Langley Overdose Response: Community Action Team will be presenting an overview of the current situation with the toxic drug poisoning crisis in Langley, as overdose deaths continue to occur in all Langley neighbourhoods and various segments of society.
- In person at United Churches of Langley, January 25th, 7pm Pacific / 8pm Mountain
- Details here
5pm Pacific / 6pm Mountain. Register here.
FAITH PERSPECTIVES ON ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE AND CONSERVATION
Price: FREEDate: February 2, 2023 Time: 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain
This panel discussion will be moderated by Sabrina Chiefari, Creation Care Animator, Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto and feature:
Areej Riaz, Climate Programs Manager, EnviroMuslimsRev. Michelle Singh, Executive Director, Faith & the Common GoodAgnes Richard, MLSM Canada Coordinator, Faith & the Common GoodRandy Haluza-Delay, Ecological Justice Program Coordinator, Kairos Canada and Chair, For the Love of Creation There have long been faith-based interests in the well-being of Earth. This year, at COP15, the first ever “Faiths Pavilion” was featured at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity where multifaith NGOs from all over the world met around the Global Biodiversity Framework Recommendations. Here in Canada there are several faith-based NGOs that have engaged in conservation, sustainability, and climate justice work for decades.
Join us on February 2nd, at the beginning of World Interfaith Harmony Week, for a conversation with Canadian faith-based ecological and climate justice professionals who will introduce their work and explore how to expand their efforts and connect with others.
Learn more about how different faith-based NGOs based in Canada have been working within and across their communities to prioritize and act on environmental concerns. We will also discuss how different faith communities have, or have not, connected with their local ENGOs and envision future possibilities for truly collaborative approaches.Learn more & register here.
Antiracism and the United Church
*Please note poster times are in EST, below times are PST
- Antiracism Workshop with Selam Debs: Tuesday Feb. 7, 2023, from 7-8:30am Pacific
- Antiracism, You and The UCC with Rev. Alcris Limongi: Tuesday, March 7, 2023, from 7-8:30am Pacific
Learn more and register here.
Poster times in EST – 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain start. Zoom link here.
Wednesday, February 15
5pm Pacific / 6pm MountainRegister here.As a special United In Learning event, join Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble and Affirming Connections to learn about the malicious misinformation campaign and threats that have been launched against the drag and 2SLGBTQ+ communities across Canada – and what you can do. Our speakers will address some of the dangerous myths circulating around drag, trans and other queer identities; look at recent Canadian online and in-person instances of anti 2SLGBTQ+ hate, some of which include Christian groups; and explain how these connect to wider hate, racist, and extremist anti-vaccination movements. Our guests will also share some ideas on what you and your community of faith can do to bring a faithful public response in your context, as well as support and care for those who need it.
Coldest Night of the Year Walk with FIRST UNITED
Join FIRST UNITED for this year’s Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) walking event. Support our life-saving work in the Downtown Eastside. Start a team with friends, family or fellow members of your congregation.
More information: Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 4pm-7pmStarts and finishes at 312 Main St., Vancouver (or you have the option to do it virtually and walk in your own neighbourhood)
5km and 2km routes through the DTES, Chinatown and False Creek seawall (the 5km option has a rest stop).
Register here and learn more at this link. Questions? Email or phone Will Goldbeck, Development Coordinator, at email@example.com or 604.243.3032.
OPPORTUNITIES IN JUSTICE
Come and See Pilgrimage to Palestine and Israel – New October 2023 Dates
Rev. Marianna Harris and George Bartlett (former Ecumenical Accompanier) invite you to come on a pilgrimage to see for yourself what is happening in Palestine and Israel. Visit key holy places while reflecting on God’s vision of peace and shalom. The program will be facilitated by the Sabeel Center in Jerusalem, a Mission & Service partner. Details here!
Come and See Pilgrimage to Palestine and Israel – En Français
Along with local partners, the United Church of Canada is offering a guide to the Holy Land in French!this link.Dates, cost, and other details at
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.
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