“All activities should be done with one intention. Whatever you are doing, take the attitude of wanting it directly or indirectly to benefit others. Take the attitude of wanting it to increase your experience of kinship with your fellow beings.”
( ― Pema Chodron )
Friends in Justice,
Today, March 14, we are celebrating PIE day — a special day set aside every year to celebrate the full inclusion of LGBTQ2SIA+ people in faith communities and beyond. The theme for 2023 is the Year of Intention. What would a Year of Intention look like in your community and in PMR, as we move forward in our second year of being an Affirming Regional Council? What is an area you want to put intention towards this year, and how could you reflect on this as a faith community? Being intentional means continuing the process of awareness, education, advocacy and social action as we express radical love to those who have been vilified and marginalized in church institutions and other places in society. All these, when done with intention, can be transformative. We encourage you to have these conversations with your faith community and to be open to what you can do in the year ahead!
— Jane Dawson (she/her)
Why PIE? PIE = Public. Intentional. Explicit. Those are the standards we hold ourselves and our welcome to when we seek to live into being Affirming, Welcoming, or Inclusive people and communities.
PIE Day’s theme for 2023? The Year of Intention
- What would a year of intention look like and feel like for your community?
- What is an area of your Affirming journey that you want to put intention towards this year, and how could you reflect on this as a faith community?
- We encourage you to have these conversations with your faith community and to be open to what you can do in the year ahead!
News From Affirm United
Affirm United is looking for a new Executive Director!
The Applicant will be experienced in organizational transformation, change management, development, and implementation of five-year plan, taking in to account current structures, processes, and people along with financial capacity and what needs to change to ensure Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble continues to meet the challenge of its growing mission.
Full job posting here.
Meet (or re-meet) our western Affirming Ministries Coordinator!
“My name is Eli (EE-lye) Carter-Morgan and I use they-them pronouns. I am here to re-introduce myself as the western Affirming Ministries Co Ordinator. I have had the honour of serving in this role since 2016, but a re-introduction is needed as I am going by a new name and pronouns.
I also hope that this time can be a learning experience for those of you who have never experienced working with someone with a non-binary identity. I am happy to answer any questions or be a part of any local (Edmonton) or online panels if that is helpful.”
Check out their full message here!
We want your Pride photos!
With an eye towards updating the Affirming Ministry section of the Pacific Mountain Region’s Justice Ministry site, we’d like to encourage you to submit photos celebrating Pride and Affirmation from your Community of Faith!
Additionally, if you attended the 2022 AGM & Affirming Celebration in Prince George, we’d especially love any photos you have!
Send them to Alexandra (she/her), at firstname.lastname@example.org
First United’s Lenten 2023: Truth-Telling Calendar
As we approach the Season of Lent, First United Spiritual Care Team focuses on truth-telling in our Truth & Reconciliation journey.The attached Lenten Calendar 2023 will guide you during Lent, focusing on Call to Action #60. Some days have more than one link for you to click. On some Sundays, the link encourages you to share your story with First United. Some days are more difficult than others. But all of the days help us focus on Truth & Reconciliation.
Join PalNet Pacific
PalNet Pacific is a network created by individuals living in the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada. We are a Regional Chapter of the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI). Through our education and advocacy activities, we strive for justice and equity for all people living in Palestine and Israel. You can like us on Facebook @PalNetPacific and/or sign up for our email list at PalNetPacific@gmail.com
And check out this PalNet event:
UNJPPI’s March 2023 newsletter [link] includes: a recording of the Toronto worship service with Jonathan Kuttab, advocacy opportunities to address the escalating violence in Israel and Palestine, a link to order fair trade dates, upcoming opportunities for educational tours to Israel Palestine, information to join the upcoming Voices from the Holy Land Film Salon and much more.
About the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) UNJPPI brings together United Church members, adherents and friends in partnership with Palestinians and Israelis working for peace. We believe it is important to understand the complex dimensions of the path to peace in Palestine and Israel. In our monthly newsletter, we curate relevant resources such as news articles, advocacy campaigns, webinars, book studies, films screenings and travel opportunities. We hope you will use these resources to learn more and help in the way of peace.
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.
How Can You Help?
On these days, engage with your local politicians, members of parliament (MP), municipalities, or provincial representatives by:
- Meeting with them
- Gathering outside their offices
- Attending a town council meeting
- Inviting the politicians in for a GLI-focused service (could be a great photo op for them)
For a sample vigil format and other resources, check out the GLI Downloads.
Find out more about GLI & getting involved here.
Greening Sacred Spaces Certification Program
Developed in 2011, the Greening Sacred Spaces Certification program motivates, recognizes, and celebrates those faith communities that demonstrate commitment to caring for the environment through action. There are 3 levels to aim for and complete: Light Green, Medium Green and Deep Green. Each certification level has a corresponding checklist of possible actions in 8 categories such as Community, Energy, and Water.
Whether you are just getting started or are ready for the next level of greening, the GSS Certification program is an excellent way to engage your faith community in stewardship right at your place or worship. It is an opportunity to showcase what you have accomplished together.
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 will take place on the third Thursday of every month, from 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain.
- March 16, 2023
- Open to ministry personnel and congregation members · Registration is required for the Zoom access. Register here.
Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) – First United: You Can Still Donate!
Pictured: Blair Galston (Regional Archivist) Alexandra Barr (Reception & Administrative Support for Justice Network and Indigenous Ministries) Lindsay Veenstra (First Third Ministry Animator), Marina Lecian (Office Manager & Pastoral Relations Coordinator), & Rev. Aaron Miller (Campus Minister: UBC), the Pacific Mountain Region staff who attended the Coldest Night of the Year Saturday, February 25th, in support of First United Church.
First United is 95% of the way towards its goal, and donations are still accepted until the end of the month! Click anywhere here for the link to donate.
Give it up for the Earth – Lent
As in past years, For the Love of Creation is partnering with Citizens for Public Justice on “Give it up for the Earth,” a Lenten initiative. This annual campaign runs from February 22 – April 8 (Easter), pledging personal actions and supporting FLC’s advocacy goals from COP 27. A webinar on Biodiversity and COP 15 will also be held in March. Sign up to CPJ’s newsletter for updates. Resources for Give it for the Earth 2022 are available.
Preserving Biodiversity Webinar
On Thursday, March 23, at 3pm Pacific/4pm Mountain, join Citizens for Public Justice and For the Love of Creation for a thoughtful conversation on biodiversity and creation care in Canada! Register for the Preserving Biodiversity webinar, and get ready to hear from a group of expert and diverse panelists as they talk about planetary boundaries, the latest updates from COP15, and Indigenous perspectives on biodiversity.
Water and Plastics: What We Can Do
Our climate is in crisis, the issues so overwhelming we can become paralyzed in our response. Join this more than timely workshop on March 27th, from 7 to 8:30 PM via ZOOM. The speakers are passionate workers in the field from whom we can not only learn what has and is being done to change current realities but what we can effectively do personally and collectively to make a difference.
The BC Synod (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) and the Climate Justice Action Group (CJAG) would like to invite the United Church to join them!
Pre-registration link here or click above image.
Holding ground – Holding balance – Holding hope
Friday, March 31 11-1 Pacific / 12-2 Mountain on Zoom
This will be a virtual time away that supports members of the United Church of Canada’s anti-racism network to lament, find our balance and hold onto hope (when doing anti-racism work) in this Lenten season.
It can be disappointing or frustrating that the work of dismantling racism does not progress as quickly as we would like. We are still discerning our collective identity, and continue to learn how to be community in this COVID19 altered world. Many of us are tired.
We hope you will bring your own realities and experiences with you, whether they echo those above or not. Come to this gathering of the anti-racism network with a spirit of openness to listen for God, to self, and others. Leave with a renewed soul.
Niki Andre and Yvonne Terry will lead us with story, scripture, and music in a time of written & spoken reflections, embodied spirituality and small group conversations.
Register in advance at this link.
Earth Week 2023 – Together for the Love of Creation
During the week of April 16 – 23, engage in a climate justice activity…praying, learning, acting.
Coming together for the love of creation is a way to connect, grow, listen, inspire hope and affect change. Your activity could be visibly joining a community-wide event or creating something new. This is a chance to reach out to other faith communities and neighbours in your climate justice initiatives.Read more, and put your event on the map!
A PMR Justice Network Event: Our Watershed Moment
A part of Earth Week 2023. Watershed discipleship is an emerging understanding in our life of faith. It invites us to connect with place in a deeper way – theologically, spiritually, physically, and morally. You are invited to join PMR Regional Council in an online learning opportunity to explore “our watershed moment” as a faithful response to the ecological crisis.
Save the date: Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 1:00-2:30 pm PT/4:00-5:30 ET
Registration details coming soon!
Has your community of faith participated in The United Church of Canada’s Faithful Footprints program? Consider hosting a Faithful Footprints Retrofit Tour of your building this Earth Week to celebrate and showcase your building’s completed energy and decarbonization retrofit projects! This is an opportunity to inspire others by sharing your experience, lessons learned, as well as the carbon, energy, operational costs, and impact your community has experienced. Retrofit Tours must be hosted between April 16 and 23, 2023, and can be held in conjunction with other Earth Week events taking place throughout the week. Sign up to host a tour!
The John Albert Hall Lecture series happens May 4-6 (what a great weekend to be in Victoria!) Check out more details hereFeaturing:
- Carmen Lansdowne, Moderator of the United Church of Canada
- John G. Stackhouse, Jr., Professor of Religious Studies, Crandall Univ.
- Kathy Chan, UVic Law Professor and Acting Director of the CSRS
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!
Ecumenical Accompanier, World Council of Churches – Palestine and Israel, 2023
The United Church of Canada is seeking two individuals to serve as Ecumenical Accompaniers between June 2023 and March 2024, each for a period of three months. Created in 2002 in response to an appeal from local church leaders, EAPPI(opens in a new tab) is an ecumenical response to create an international presence to contribute towards the realization of a just peace in Palestine and Israel. More here.
National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee
The National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee fosters open dialogue, mutual respect and builds long-lasting friendships and cooperation between Christians and Muslims. We are currently seeking one United Church of Canada representative at this time. More here.
Minister, Social Justice/Partner Program Director-Southwest Ont. RC/Five Oaks
The Regional Councils of Southwest Ontario of The United Church of Canada and Five Oaks Centre is seeking an individual to fill the role of Minister, Social Justice/Partner Program Director on a full-time basis (35 hours per week) for a two-year term. More here.
Anti-Racism Common Table
Seeking two members with experience in anti-racism and justice work to develop strategies, policies, and processes that will further the United Church’s Anti-Racism Action Plan. More 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.
Want to subscribe? Click here, and check off the box labeled ‘JUSTICE NETWORK’.