Hope, Gratitude, and Solidarity
The Canadian Council of Churches joined religious leaders from across Canada to issue a common message to all who call Canada home, expressing the need for hope, gratitude, and solidarity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This ecumenical and interfaith message is a response by religious leaders from across Canada which was initiated by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and The Canadian Rabbinic Caucus with the support and coordination of The Canadian Council of Churches and the Canadian Interfaith Conversation. The French translation was funded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The message reflects a unity of thought and concern among Canada’s diverse religious communities in the face of the uncertainty, fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19. Acknowledging the significant impact of COVID-19, the message reminds Canadians of the hope we share, the reasons we have to give thanks, and the ways we can act together for the good of one another.
“In spite of present sufferings, which can seem overwhelming at times, the flames of hope cannot be extinguished,” the statement reads. “Love, which gives life its fullest meaning, continues to seek out the common good in spite of individual difficulties.”
It goes on to
“urge all people in Canada to listen and follow attentively the directions of our Public Health officials and government leaders. We, as religious leaders, pledge to lead by example. We all must act together in confronting this virus. While everyone is vulnerable during this crisis, let us not forget those in our society who, prior to COVID-19, were already vulnerable to health and social ailments. As religious leaders, we raise our collective voices to highlight the necessity for greater attention to the needs of the homeless, the incarcerated, the elderly and those already suffering from social isolation. We remember too those people, especially women and children who face abuse and violence, who are not safe at home and may suffer additional abuse and violence as stress increases.”
We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to join our voice with religious leaders around the country to communicate hope in this difficult time. It also marks the first time historically that both the CCC and the CIC–Canada’s premier ecumenical and interfaith bodies, respectively–have achieved consensus among their members and participants, making a truly ecumenical and interfaith statement possible.
Looking to the future, the statement reminds us to “pray for healing, for the continued efforts to relieve human suffering, and for perseverance throughout these challenging times. As history records these moments for our country’s future, let us pray that, in the face of COVID-19, we respond with an abundance of hope, gratitude and solidarity, trusting in the loving and ever merciful God, the source of all hope.”
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity: A Message to Canadians from Religious Leaders in Canada in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic includes five pages of religious leaders’ signatures including the leaders of all three of our denominations.