“Our history is increasingly hostage to a deep and broad ecological crisis. Stalking us for centuries, it is now upon us in the interlocking catastrophes of climate destruction, habitat degradation, species extinction and resource exhaustion. Some call it ‘peak everything.’ “All we have to do to destroy the planet’s climate and biota and leave a ruined world to our children and grandchildren” concluded environmental policy analyst James Gustave Speth in The Bridge at the Edge of the World, “is to keep doing exactly what we are doing today…”
( ― Bayo Akomolafe )
Friends in Justice,
For the past few months, much of British Columbia has been experiencing an extended period of unseasonably warm, dry weather. It is hard to square the beauty of endless blue skies and late-blooming flowers with Speth’s dire warning of a ruined world. Yet the headlines speak of the darker side to this long dry spell, with reports of dying salmon unable to return to their spawning grounds and forest ecosystems struggling due to lack of water.
Our sacred story, read afresh, reveals that issues of place, land, and right alignment with all creation are central to its overall message. Our Christian faith calls us – more and more urgently – to build strong foundations of creation care across our ministries and increase church-wide participation to look after God’s living world. At the June General Meeting, PMR members approved a proposal for promoting faithful climate conversations within the region to engage in theological reflection, thoughtful action and advocacy in response to the climate emergency. A series of initial online conversations were held in September, and more opportunities are in the works. You will also find a number of climate-related events and resources included in this newsletter. As we move beyond the material abundance of Thanksgiving, let us remember those places in creation where want, need, and danger are present and where our “response-ability” is beckoned.
Join the Pacific Mountain Justice Network’s live webinar to learn how the Faithful Footprings program can benefit your church!
Read The United Church of Canada’s first sustainability report (2020), “Living with Respect in Creation,” for examples of how it is putting its house in order, raising its spirited voices, and reconnecting with the earth.
Road to COP27: Fall Webinar Series
For the Love of Creation (FLC) will be sponsoring two young women to join a global delegation to the 27th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP 27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The delegation is organized by KAIROS, with UN accreditation from the United Church of Canada. Tia Kennedy and Yusra Shafi each impressed the interviewers with their commitment to climate action, Indigenous rights and the sustainable development goals, and their demonstrated ability to mobilize a variety of means of communicating on these issues.
While the delegates are busy preparing to travel, For the Love of Creation calls on each of you to join FLC on the Road to COP27, by praying, learning, acting and advocating together over the course of three webinars and beyond.
Tuesday evenings online at from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
- October 11 | Road to COP 27: Spirit & Change
- October 18 | Road to COP 27: Spirit & Solidarity
40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism is kicked off with award-winning writer and anti-racist activist Desmond Cole. He is the author of The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. He’ll be speaking with the United Church on October 11 at 4pm Pacific / 5pm Mountain
Visit the event page to find out more.
Though the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation has passed, reconciliation is something that can always be worked towards in your daily life. Our sister region of Chinook Winds has produced a valuable resource, Journey Towards Indigenous Allyship Toolkit, which can be found at this link or by clicking the adjacent image.
40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism
Would you like to be part of a weekly online study group, focused on anti-racism? The groups will meet once a week for 1.5 hours each time.
These weekly study sessions offer an additional opportunity to participate in the United Church of Canada’s 40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism, as part of a group. The 40 Days will be a time of rich learning, reflection and action.
Details & registration here.
The United Church Bookstore is offering a discount for these featured books in anticipation of 40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism:
- The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power
- Wait Is This Racist?: A Guide to Becoming an Anti-Racist Church
- Jesus and the Marginalized: Jesus Christ for Koreans in The United Church of Canada
- Healing Haunted Histories: A Settler Discipleship of Decolonization
- The Other Side of the River: From Church Pew to Sweat Lodge
- Reflections on Emancipation and Anti-Black Racism for Canada
Use promotional code 40DAYS for 20% off orders of two or more books, from now until November 30 at midnight, as well as the promotional code FREESHIPPING on orders over $100 for free shipping on your order.
For October 16th, World Food Day:
From the Canadian Foodgrains Bank & Until All Are Fed – ecumenical resources can be found at this page.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
This upcoming Monday, October 17, 2022, is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Resources for this day, including for worship and education, can be found at this link.
Korea Peace Appeal Update
Have you signed the Korea Peace Appeal yet? If not, it can be found here. Globally, 121,902 people have signed the Korea Peace Appeal, a great step towards peace.
For more information on the United Church’s ongoing participation in calls for peace in Korea, check out this link.
Miss this live Zoom discussion? It can be found at this link, on the LeaderSHIFT Youtube channel.
B.C. Opioid Crisis Hits Home
Let us join in mourning for those most impacted by the current crisis. Let us also explore ways of coming together to take action. Four ways that you can help:
- Join Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH) a national network that advocates for the change of failed drug policies, provides peer support to grieving families, and assists those with loved ones who use or have used substances (https://www.momsstoptheharm.com/)
- Read Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada’s Opioid Crisis, find the book here.
- Write to your Member of Parliament to support Bill C-216, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (example of a letter template: https://www.casw-acts.ca/en/letter-support-bill-c-216)
- Learn about Online Naloxone Training here
For another of the many stories surrounding the Opioid Crisis, read Holden After and Before: Love Letter for a Son Lost to Overdose.
Find the book here.
From the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre:
Listen in as Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre’s Adrian Jacobs engages elders from across Turtle Island in conversation on today’s current events.
Details & access through this link.
I Wanna Come Home
Gloria Snow is a UCC Candidate and student at VST in the Indigenous ministry program, walking across Canada to bring the 215+ home:
She stated, “The project is a four-year commitment to touch 🌊the oceans in four directions and until all the babies are found, honoured and laid to rest with ceremony and prayers 🙏🏽🙏🏽🦅🦅🧡🧡 and to raise awareness for the children.”
Her gofundme can be found here, and her facebook page about her walk across Canada here.
Learn about Ukrainaian History
Organized by Kamloops United Church
Saturdays in October
9-10am Pacific / 10-11am Mountain
Online via Zoom
More details here.
Just Conversations is back!
Taking place the 3rd Thursday of the month, 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain
Upcoming dates in 2022: Oct 20, Nov 17, Dec 15
Caring for Each Other on Splatsin Traditional Territory – RETREAT
Friday, October 28, 2022
9:30am – 5:30pm Pacific / 10:30am – 6:30pm Mountain
In person at St. Andrew’s United Church
More details here.
OPPORTUNITIES IN JUSTICE
|Come and See Pilgrimage to Palestine & Israel
Rev. Marianna Harris and George Bartlett are organizing a Come and See for March 2023. 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.
Please contact them (Rev. Marianna Harris, email@example.com or George Bartlett, firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested and share this opportunity.
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.