“Jesus announced the coming of God’s reign — a commonwealth not of domination but of peace, justice, and reconciliation.”
( ― Song of Faith  )
Friends in Justice,
The justice work of the church can sometimes feel overwhelming and ineffective – especially in times like these, when the news is full of stories of war, racist-motivated violence, the repudiation of women’s reproductive rights, escalating costs that make those at the margins even more vulnerable, and evidence of increasing environmental damage to land, air, water and biodiversity. It is at such times that we are apt to feel most vulnerable, as though, in the powerful words of W.B. Yeats, “things fall apart; the centre can no longer hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”
What, then, shall we do? Perhaps one response is to look upon these intimations of apocalypse as one more wake-up call, a sharp prompting to look past the taken-for-granted to see what else might be possible. As Richard Rohr tells us, about the book of Revelation, in these stark events we are being shown what it feels like when everything falls apart. It’s not a collapse. It’s an invitation to depth. It’s what it takes to wake people up to the real, to the lasting, to what matters. “It’s not meant to strike fear in us as much as a radical rearrangement. It’s not the end of the world. It’s the end of the false world we have taken as reality – a call to move from what is to what if….”
For all those attending the PMRC AGM (June 8-12, 2022)
In person or online
There will be opportunities at the AGM – both in person and virtually –
to make connections and share information about justice events and networks happening around the region.
If you have any information you would like to share
(events, brochures, media resources),
Let us know!
Contact Alexandra Barr: firstname.lastname@example.org
The celebration of May as Asian Heritage Month continues. Officially recognized in Canada since 2002, this is a time to prayerfully reflect on the contributions of Asian Canadians to Canadian society. Various worship resources are available at the national website.
Take part in the United Church campaign to get 10,000 Canadian signatures on the international petition calling for an end to the war in Korea. Go to the campaign webpage and sign the petition yourself and invite your friends and church to sign.
And attend the following event:
Songs & Stories of Korea: Korea Peace 10,000 Signature Campaign
An online prayer meeting in support of the Korea Peace 10,000 Signature Campaign.
May 25, 2022, from 11am Pacific / 12pm Mountain
Details & Zoom link here.
JUSTICE IN THE UNITED CHURCH
National Gathering: Anti-Racism in the United Church
Picking up from the last gathering, we will continue reflecting on what it means to decentre whiteness and to centre the needs of people of colour in our work, before discerning together what this network’s role might be in the Church’s journey toward becoming an anti-racist denomination. In preparation for these conversations, you are invited to to watch this video on Becoming an Anti-Racist Church as an example of what centring the needs and voices of people of colour could look like.
This network and gathering are open to anyone in the Church who is actively engaged in anti-racism work in their ministry contexts. If you know others who might be interested, please have them complete this brief form to be added to the list.
June 22, 2022 from 11am-12:30pm Pacific / 12-1:30pm Mountain
A project of the United Church of Canada’s Anti-racism and Equity Office and the Office of Vocation.
By engaging in this project you can help the United Church of Canada do better in supporting Equity-seeking Ministry Personnel [Indigenous, racialized, Deaf, those who speak English as an additional language, disabled, Two-Spirit, LGBTQIA+, and female] and their Communities of Faith. The UCC seeks to learn what helps or hinders your Pastoral Relationship in thriving.
Learn more & participate here.
Daring Justice: Engaging in Courageous Conversations Across Divides
An online engagement event to discuss urgent, current, and compelling issues for people of faith, such as increasing inequities, injustice and deepening polarizations.
June 1st, 2022, from 10am Pacific – 1:30am Pacific / 11am Mountain – 12:30pm Mountain
Rev. Marianna Harris, UNJPPI member who helped organize the Gathering and friend.
“Responding to a Cry for Hope” was the theme of the United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI) Gathering held in London, Ontario May 5-8. “How Are the Children?” was the pre-event open to the wider community. Zeina Ashrawa Hutchison from Defence for Children International Palestine showed the film “Obaida”.
It was a joy to be present in person. Asking ourselves how do we de-colonize the work around Palestinian human rights we were intentional about listening to Palestinians rather than speaking for them. 65 people from across Canada attended. 15 were from BC including 3 young adults and 4 Palestinians.
Soon recordings from the sessions will be available to share the powerful testimony we heard. One highlight was the interview on Zoom by Nur Watad of Mariam Barghouti – a journalist in Ramallah who brought up-to-date news from Palestine and reports on how Palestine voices are being silenced. It was 3 days later that the voice of Shireen Abu Akeleh was silenced forever as she wore her clearly marked press credentials.
A global sign-on initiative to call for no more exploration, development, or subsidies for new fossil fuel infrastructure, and a quick phase out of existing fossil fuel dependence. Learn more here.
Join the interfaith call for the Treaty’s implimentation here.
The Shining Waters Regional Council has just released a five-episode podcast series on harm reduction and decriminalization. Find it here.
GUARANTEED LIVEABLE INCOME PETITION & VIGIL
If you’re in North Vancouver, St. Andrew’s United Church and the Longhouse Ministry are collecting signatures on a petition regarding GLI in PEI to present to North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson. Sign the petition early, or join their May 30th vigil, by contacting Sarah at email@example.com.
If you’re not in North Vancouver, sign the national online petition here.
Citizens for Public Justice’s Virtual Conference “Seeking Justice In Our Institutions”
From May 25-27
Register & learn more here.
Youth-Led Climate Action: An Interfaith Conversation
Young Canadians of diverse faith backgrounds are addressing climate change and taking action to protect the environment. Hear from speakers about how climate change is affecting their lives and how their faith is inspiring their efforts to find solutions. These youth leaders will share the challenges and opportunities they’ve experienced as they work to green their local communities.
Wednesday, June 8, 2022, from 3 – 4:15pm Pacific / 4 – 5:15pm Mountain
Register at this link.
OPPORTUNITIES IN JUSTICE
Opportunities with the National Church
Ecumenical Accompanier – Palestine and Israel, 2022 & 2023
The United Church is looking for three people to serve as Ecumenical Accompaniers between November 2022 and December 2023, each for a period of three months. In this position, they accompany Palestinians and Israelis who work in nonviolent ways for peace, and people in Palestine and Israel navigating daily routines, often under duress.
More details about the position of Ecumenical Accompanier, as well as the application process, can be found 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.