“God intends that all people enjoy a life free from exploitation and abuse. Created in the image of God, everyone has a right to be treated with respect and protected from harm.”
Friends in Justice,
“The latest discovery of possible graves, found at a former residential school site in Williams Lake, reminds us again that we need to do more than be sorry and read an apology. (…) we need to take seriously the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We need to act on the Calls to the Church. We need to live the apology. We need to lead the work of healing in our communities. We need to listen to Indigenous siblings and respond to their calls.”
(From First Metropolitan United Church, in Victoria, BC)
One week ago, the United Church of Canada launched its Korea Peace Appeal Ten Thousand Signature Campaign, declaring that “70 years is enough. It’s time to end the Korean War.” The Appeal is a global campaign calling for a peace treaty that would bring a formal end to the Korean War. The campaign, supported by some 370 civil society organizations in Korea and beyond, seeks to collect 100 million signatures by 2023. Long-time partner in Korea, The National Council of Churches, has challenged The United Church of Canada to join them in support of the Korea Peace Appeal by adding 10,000 signatures to the online petition by this summer.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Held in the month of February, The United Church of Canada has a variety of Black History Month resources online, from worship services to study guides, all of which can be found at this link.
COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR
A walk to raise money for local charities serving people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. Team up, walk, and fundraise! It’s cold out there… but there’s no place like home. Link to participate and donate, as well as further details, here.
Fairfield United Church in Victoria, BC, is participating, and their campaign can be donated to or joined, and is listed under ‘Fairfield Trekkers‘.
JUST PEACE REPORT
Among the reports to be received and proposals to be discussed at the United Church of Canada’s 44th General Council, is GCE04 Just Peace in Palestine and Israel: A Call to Costly Solidarity. The proposal and its affiliated report originate in work done by a task group to assist the church in discerning how best to respond to the call of partners in Palestine and Israel.
More information on the proposal and its affiliated report can be found at this link.
Sinixt History and Culture with Lori Barkley, Staff Anthropologist for Autonomous Sinixt
Presented by Castlegar United Church, this workshop is made possible in part by a grant from Heritage Credit Union.
Workshop to be held this Saturday, January 29th, at 2-3:30pm Pacific / 3-4:30pm Mountain, online via Zoom. (Tomorrow!)
More details available at this link.
HAVE A HEART DAY
The United Church of Canada is asking their communities of faith to participate in Have a Heart Day, held on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. This day is a project of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, led by Dr. Cindy Blackstock, which educates about and advocates for the rights of Indigenous children across Canada.
A prayer, and details about a Have a Heart Day activity can be found at this link.
The hope for Have a Heart Day is for non-Indigenous kids to learn about the different experiences of kids in Canada and take action out of a sense of compassion, and for Indigenous kids to speak from their hearts about what they want and need.
FOR THE LOVE OF CREATION
A national initiative that brings together faith bodies and faith-based organizations in Canada under a unified banner to mobilize education, reflection, action and advocacy for climate justice.A variety of events will be held in February, and they currently have an open call for participants in their Faithful Climate Conversation From Concern to Action, as well as for Facilitators for subsequent Conversations. More details available here.
National Affirming Day / PIE Day
With Affirm United
Why PIE? PIE = Public. Intentional. Explicit.
We use the acronym PIE because it’s easy to remember and those words set the standard for an affirming welcome of LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people. PIE represents three ways for us to test just how real our Affirmation and celebration of gender or sexual diversity is.
This year’s theme is “Everyone Gets A Slice!”
Looking at the LGBTQIA2S+ acronym, which represents an endless diversity of identities and expressions, we acknowledge that some of the people who are represented by these letters often tend to get left out or underserved.
We are invited to consider which folks we may not have included in our Affirming programming and educational efforts and take strides to remedy that.
AN ACADEMIC & COMMUNITY CONFERENCE
Climate change, global warming, fossil fuel dependence, ecojustice, and threats to biodiversity call us to urgent social conversations. Spiritual and religious traditions can be important voices in the conversation. Many traditions teach about ecology and ethics through scriptures, rituals, and contemplative practices. They inspire communities of action, providing opportunities for study, advocacy, and support. How can the resources of our traditions be helpful in this conversation?
May 24th – 26th, 2022
More information at this link.
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.