“…your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven…”
“When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, asking for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we acknowledge that the world as we know it now is not the world as God intends for it to be. By doing so, we orient ourselves in the direction of God’s intended world, as Jesus did. This implies hope that, in the secular words of the global justice movement, ‘another world is possible.’ If we invest ourselves in this vision, we work to make it so. Through faithful action we embody hope. We live hope into existence.”
( ― Sharon Delgado )
Friends in Justice,
What does it mean to be living hope into existence? Sometimes the challenges of the world can feel so large, overwhelming and unstoppable that our actions for justice seem fruitless and ineffectual. And yet, it is often in the small, unexpected things where the seeds of hope grow into something larger. We don’t know how much we need hope amidst justice until we are faced with the reality that some things are beyond our power to know or control. “Your will be done” is one of the most challenging verses in the Lord’s prayer. It is not an impassive prayer of resignation, but a radical invitation to trust that even our smallest efforts for peace and justice make a difference, beyond what we may ever know.
An invitation to an online Reading Circle for Reconciliation: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (UNDRIP)
From 2010 to 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) listened to and documented the experiences of survivors, families, communities and anyone personally affected by the Indian Residential School Experience. In June 2015 they published their final report, which outlined 94 Calls to Actions for Canadians. The TRC made the UN Declaration the centre piece of its Calls to Action.
Thursday, November 3, 2022
From 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Pacific
Online via Zoom
Register at this link
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.
To respond from here in Canada:Please write to Minister Melanie Joly, and ask her to make 2 calls: one to the Israeli Government and one to the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa, demanding the immediate release of Shadi Khoury, alongside all children unlawfully kidnapped, interrogated, and violently detained by Israeli occupation forces.Melanie.Joly@international.gc.ca
Call to Action from Sabeel co-founder Samia Khoury
Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots movement among Palestinian Christians and a partner of the United Church working for a just peace in Palestine and Israel. Yesterday, Sabeel co-founder Samia Khoury sent a message to international friends saying that her sixteen-year-old grandson Shadi had been arrested in the night and taken to the interrogation centre of an Israeli military police compound where he is being held without the presence of his parents or a lawyer. Such actions are in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Convention on the Rights of the Child | UNICEF).
In her message, Shadia calls for our support: “Because you care for human rights, and the rights of children, I am asking you to take action now and contact your parliament or congress representative, to put an end to these grave injustices especially against our children as well as our whole population living under a brutal military occupation. Shadi should not be sleeping in a prison cell. He is a child and should be home with his family”
You are also encouraged to support the Canada Stand-up for Children’s Rights Campaign Campaign Background – United Network for Justice & Peace in Palestine & Israel.
Help amplify the voice of “Canada, Stand up for Palestinian Children’s Rights” by signing up at http://eepurl.com/htSZpb.
Learn more about this justice ministry at https://www.unjppi.org/join-childrens-rights-campaign.html
PLEASE NOTE: Poster times are in Eastern Time
For more on Palestine, listen to this podcast interview with Shadia Qubti, who is currently completing a degree in Interreligious and Indigenous Studies at Vancouver School of Theology in Canada.
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.
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.
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.
Jesus and the Marginalized is a five-session online book study led by Rev. David Kim-Cragg, exploring the meaning of Jesus for Koreans in the United Church of Canada, from the perspective of marginality in the Canadian context.
The study runs every wednesday at 4pm Pacific, for five weeks, beginning October 26th.
Sign up and learn more at this link.
On Wednesdays, starting October 19th at 7 pm, AbbeyChurch hosts a discussion series to allow you to sink into This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation and the Stories That Make Us by Cole Arthur Riley.
The title is a nod to the character Baby Suggs, in Toni Morrison’s epic novel, Beloved. Suggs, the matriarch, gathers an enslaved, freedom-seeking family as they dwell in a ghost-haunted home. She leads them in a set of embodied actions – icluding dancing, crying, and laughter – and then delivers to them a sermon of sorts. Bailey quotes from her words, “In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard” (4).
In person at First Metropolitan United Church
Learn more in the Emmaus Community/Abbey Church newsletter, here.
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.
Save the Dates!
Reading Matthew with Ecological Eyes
Four Wednesday mornings in November: 2, 9, 16, 23, 2022
10:00 – 11:30 am Pacific
More details coming soon!
Vigils for Climate Justice
November 11-13, 2022
From November 6th – 18th of this year, world leaders will gather at the COP27 conference in Egypt to discuss their plans to address global heating.
Despite increasingly clear evidence of the climate emergency, leaders across the world and particularly in Canada are failing to take the decisive action needed to protect our world, and particularly the most vulnerable member of the global community. Canada has yet to reduce our national emissions, our government continues to approve and subsidize new fossil fuel infrastructure, and we are falling behind in our commitments to fund energy transitions in less developed countries. This cannot continue.
In recognition of the need for change, members of ClimateFast and For the Love of Creation invite groups across Canada to host candlelight vigils in their own communities on the weekend of November 11-13, 2022. This will be a time to reflect and share our love for our planet, our concern for ourselves and our fellow human beings at risk from climate change, and our hopes for truly transformative action to happen at COP and through each other. This invitation coincides with and complements the call for a Global Day of Action on November 12. Candlelight vigils are already being planned in several places.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or George Bartlett, email@example.com) if you are interested and share this opportunity.
World Council of Churches Weeklong Eco-School, New York
The United Church of Canada encourages young adults (18-30) to apply to attend the World Council of Churches Eco-School in Stoney Point Centre, New York, USA in December of 2022.
The Eco-School motivates and prepares young people to contribute to the work of the churches at the regional and local level on issues related to water, food, nutrition, health and climate change towards a sustainable future. It will bring together 25 young people from North America region to discuss the nexus between Water, Food and Climate Justice. The WCC Eco-School will be hosted by the churches in North America, and is a program of World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) in collaboration with various WCC programmes including the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), Economic and Ecological Justice programme, Youth Engagement in the ecumenical movement, Health and Healing and Mission from the margin programmes.
Learn more at this link.