“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
( ― Jeremiah 29: 11 )
Friends in Justice,
It is almost mid-June, approaching summer solstice and the Third Sunday after Pentecost. The seasons change and sometimes this brings life changes as well. This will be the last PMR Justice Newsletter before the summer break, and also will be the last one from me in the role of Justice Minister. I will be retiring from my position at the end of June in response to a call in new directions, while continuing my social justice work as an independent educator.
It has been a privilege to serve the justice ministry of Pacific Mountain Region and I hope to remain connected (there will be a final Just Conversations online gathering on Tuesday, June 20th, 1-2:30 pm and would love to see you there; you can find the link in the newsletter below). I have been particularly grateful for the opportunity to work with my amazing colleague Alexandra Barr in putting together this newsletter. Alexandra will continue in her role supporting PMR Justice Ministries as a part of her portfolio while the search for a new Justice Minister goes forward. I wish everyone blessings of peace as we all, individually and together, continue to find ways to live out shalom in our work, our relationships, and in the community of creation.
— Jane Dawson (she/her)
It’s been an absolute delight and a privilege to work with Jane for the approaching-on two years I’ve been working at the Region. Her passion for justice and her presence as my colleague have been motivating, inspirational and fulfilling. I want to wholeheartedly congratulate her on her retirement and thank her for everything she’s done, and hope that she finds this new phase of her life fulfilling!
— Alexandra Barr (she/her)
A Justice Minister position will be posted on the Pacific Mountain website at a future point, keep an eye out if interested.
Justice at the Pacific Mountain Annual Meeting
There was plenty of Justice to be found at the PMR Annual Meeting, taking place over the first weekend of June, in Abbotsford.
Below you’ll find some of the booth setup! In order: the Pacific Mountain Justice table, the Affirming table, the UNJPPI table, and the Urban Indigenous Circle table.
23-02: Get Rid of Greenhouse Gases (GROGG)
23-05: Unsettling Hewlett Packard
23-06: Advocacy & Action for Guaranteed Livable Income
For the full text of the proposals, check out this PDF.
As June begins, Pride celebrations take place in communities across the country. We wish the Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community a happy Pride Month and encourage allies to renew their commitment to fighting alongside the 2SLGBTQIA+ community for a future where all can live in freedom and security. Read the full statement from the National Church.
At the Pacific Mountain Region, we stand with our Siblings in Christ at Ladner United Church, who faced acts of vandalism and bigotry in May. As an Affirming community of faith, they shine love & belonging for all of God’s people. Learn about what happened, and the beautiful community response, here!
Call on the Canadian government to ensure that funding to the Government of the Philippines does not harm human rights defenders.
Learn more here, and act now!
Contact Foreign Affairs Minister The Honourable Mélanie Joly, MP, requesting that the Government of Canada:
- Make available how projects funded to build the capacity of the military, police, and other security agencies in the Philippines to fight terrorism have been monitored to ensure compliance with international human rights.
- Withdraw support from the Philippine government’s counter-terrorism campaign.
- Call on the Government of the Philippines to repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Engage your community by sharing this letter with friends and family.
Pray for those facing human rights abuses and those seeking justice.
June is National Indigenous History Month
In anticipation of Indigenous Day of Prayer (June 18) and National Indigenous Peoples’ Day (June 21), check out these resources:
- 2023 Indigenous Day of Prayer | The Possibility of New Beginnings
- 2023 Indigenous Day of Prayer | The Sacred Drum
And learn more about the history behind both days on the National Church website!
Preserving Language through the Mohawk Language Bible
A dedication of the Bible is set to take place on September 9, 2023, in Kanesatake, QC. The translation is expected to be available in hardcopy, digital copy, and audiobook formats. Done with support from the United Church Foundation! Learn more here!
Disability and the Canadian Church is a podcast produced in collaboration with New Leaf Network, where they talk about the intersections of disability and the Christian faith in Canada and beyond.
Find the podcast here!
Media Coverage of Mohammed Tamimi
Two year old Mohammed Tamimi was in a car with his father when the Israeli army shot at the car wounding his father and fatally wounding Mohammed. We are asking you to please write a letter of appreciation regarding this radio broadcast created by The World and aired on CBC Radio One 1230 (CFFB) on June 6, 2023. You can listen to the broadcast here.
Learn more in Canada, Stand Up For Children’s Rights’ June newsletter, here!
Congratulations to Whitehorse United Church on becoming Affirming!
All are welcome to their celebration.
- June 18, 2023
- 10:30am Pacific / 11:30 am Mountain
- Live at 601 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon
- or online via Facebook at this link
Honouring National Indigenous Peoples Day & The Summer Solstice at 15 MINUTES FOR PEACE
- Tuesday, June 20, 2023
- 12:15 -12:30pm Pacific / 1:15 – 1:30pm Mountain
- In person at the International Friendship Garden, Abbotsford, BC
More information at this link.
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.”
- June 20, 2023, at 1pm Pacific
- Just Conversations is free and drop-in style
- Open to ministry personnel and congregation members · Registration is required for the Zoom access. Register here.
Sacred Spaces: Indigenous Day
- Tuesday, June 20, 2023
- 6-8pm Pacific / 7-9pm Mountain
- In person at the Spiritual Path to Awakening (SPA), Abbotsford, BC
More information at this link.
The prophet Amos urges us to “… let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5: 24) in all aspects of our lives, including our care and regard for God’s wonderful Creation. Each year, churches around the world celebrate the Season of Creation from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4. Parishes and congregations can participate in myriad ways. This webinar offers practical suggestions and resources for planning for the 2023 Season.
- Thursday, June 22, 2023
- 2pm Pacific / 3pm Mountain
- Online via Zoom
Register at this link.
OPPORTUNITIES IN JUSTICE
Come and See Pilgrimage to Palestine and Israel – 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!
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.