Outdoor Worship Service on July 5th

Church of St Paul Hosts an Outdoor Worship Service
Sunday, July 5th at 11:00 am
Weather Permitting

The Board of the Church of St Paul has decided that the congregation will offer an outdoor service on the church lawn at 11 am on Sunday July 5. This will provide an opportunity to gather together for some worship and conversation after a three month hiatus, something that many people have missed. The Board has extended an invitation to the congregation of Trinity Shared Ministry in Clearwater to join with the Church of St Paul for this service.

 

A few practical matters:

  • People are asked to bring their own lawn chairs and/or blankets.
  • Social distancing will be practiced.
  • Following the service, we will have a “picnic time”.  Everyone is invited to bring their own picnic lunch, including drinks, plates, cutlery, etc.  In this way we are able to break bread together while maintaining social distancing.
  • If the weather is inclement, the service will be canceled because there is no way for us to gather in the church hall while maintaining distancing.

If you haven’t already, come and meet our new Priest/Minister/Pastor!

This outdoor service is a week later than the usual Annual Parish Worship Service and Picnic, yet will provide a bit of the same flavour of that annual gathering.  This will also be an opportunity for many to meet the Rev. Bruce Chalmers who took up the position of priest/minister/pastor of our Parish on June 15th.

Reopening of the Church of St Paul Thrift Store and Flea Market

We’re Pleased to Announce
the Thrift Store
and Flea Market
Are Open!!

Beginning on June 23rd, the Church of St Paul Thrift Store and Flea Market will be open to serve customers on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Donations will also be accepted.

The Annex Thrift Shop, which is found in downtown Barriere, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

 

A Light of Peace for Korea

An On-line Prayer Vigil
June 25th at 5 pm PDT

Join United Church of Canada Moderator Richard Bott, Rev. Dr. HyeRan Kim-Cragg, representatives from the United Church’s Korean partners, and others for an online prayer vigil for peace in Korea, Thursday, June 25 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, live-streamed on the United Church of Canada’s YouTube channel.

June 25, 2020 marks 70 years since the start of the Korean War in 1950. Halted by an armistice in 1953, the Korean War has never officially ended. Although armed conflict has ceased, tensions remain high and extreme militarization has persisted on both sides of the Peninsula for seven decades. In solidarity with Korean people, we pray for healing, reunification, and an end to war.

This special event links the United Church with the World Council of Churches’ (WCC’s) global prayer campaign A Light of Peace, inspired by United Church partners in Korea. The campaign invites people of faith around the world to pray and act for peace on the Korean Peninsula and for a world free from war and nuclear weapons.

~ information from the United Church of Canada’s Facebook page and website

More information can be found here.

National Indigenous Peoples Day – June 21st

A Letter from the Leadership of the
Anglican Church of Canada and the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

In a letter from Indigenous Archbishop Mark MacDonald, Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Linda Nichols, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Bishop Susan Johnson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the three leaders lift up National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The full text of the letter follows.  A pdf of the letter can be viewed here.

Dear Friends in Christ,

The ongoing public health restrictions mean that this year’s celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day will be less about gathering and more about building up relationships in new and creative ways.

The Government of Canada describes this as a day for all to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.1  We give thanks for these heritages, cultures and contributions. We honour Stewards of the Land and Defenders of the Water.

This is a day to re-affirm our churches’ commitments to ending racism: discrimination and racism against Indigenous Peoples, anti-Black racism and all other forms of racism in Canada.  This month, both Anglican bishops and the Lutheran Conference of Bishops made statements that commit the church to calling out racism as sinful and deadly, acknowledging the place of racism and colonialism in the Canadian context, and doing the work of dismantling the systems that oppress.2  We pray for the Spirit to prod us forward.

This is a day to re-affirm the commitment of our churches to the work of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.  The way to reconciliation is a long path; there remains much to do, much to hear, much to feel and much to change.  We pray for the Spirit’s guidance and support for healing journeys.

This is a day to celebrate the gifts and witness of Indigenous Ministries.  We commend to you the Rule of Life from Gospel Based Discipleship:3

Creator God, we acknowledge and give thanks that:
In Jesus we know we belong to a Sacred Circle with the Gospel and Baptismal Covenant in the centre.
In this Sacred Circle:
We are all related;
We live a compassionate and generous life;
We respect all life, traditions, and resources.
We commit ourselves to spiritual growth, discipleship, and consensus.

These words of prayer and wisdom are a gift to the whole church as we seek to deepen our discipleship; to endure and adapt to the impacts of COVID-19; and to become the community of respect, equity, justice and peace that God calls us to be. Meegwetch!

This is a day to read the Gospel. Jesus says, “So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:31, NRSV)

We hear in these words:
A call to face our fears, whatever they may be;
A call to honour the dignity of each one and the value of every one;
A call to notice birds and nature with open hearts for the Creator’s wisdom;
The assurance that God is with us in all that we face.

For resources, please visit https://www.anglican.ca/im/nidp/

What opportunities do you see in your context? What actions reflect the next step on your spiritual journey?

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Anglican Indigenous Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

1 www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1100100013718/1534874583157

2 See www.anglican.ca/news/our-own-house-is-not-in-order-bishops-issue-statement-on-confronting-racism/30026802/ and elcic.ca/news.cfm?article=570. The second half of this sentence is adapted from these statements.

3 www.anglican.ca/im/introgbd

~ from the Anglican Church of Canada website and the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada website

Highlights from Meeting of the Leadership of the Anglican Church of Canada

Council of General Synod Met June 13, 2020

Members of the Council of General Synod meet via Zoom conference on June 13, 2020. Photo: Brian Bukowski

Members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) gathered together online at 11:30 a.m. EDT via Zoom conference.

Opening Worship

The Rev. Louise Peters led an opening worship service.

Primate’s Remarks

Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church Canada, began her remarks by noting that the last CoGS meeting in March had been held on the cusp of widespread lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that CoGS members immediately each went into self-isolation. The primate said that no travel would take place before 2021, noting the postponement of events such as the Lambeth Conference and the next Sacred Circle. Consecrations of bishops have been delayed, or done with minimal participants and broadcast online. New ways of working meant that the House of Bishops had met by Zoom in April.

The primate’s own work has changed dramatically due to the pandemic. Instead of travelling across Canada and overseas, she had been confined to London, Ont., for the last 12 weeks. At the same time, she had the chance to look at other ways of gathering: using video conferencing technology to meet with clergy, youth ministry teams and military chaplains, and recording greetings and messages for Anglicans outside Canada. Archbishop Nicholls has taken care to stay in touch, meeting every two weeks with metropolitans across the country and helping Church House staff manage changing conditions.

“One of the things that COVID-19 has done is that it has broken up some of the moments of resistance we’ve had to changing what we’ve always done,” the primate said. “It’s broken open new ways of being the church.” She cited the affection Anglicans can hold for buildings as an example and said that experiences during the lockdown had shown that “we’re church wherever we are.”

Though the reaction in early weeks was one of grief at developments such as not being able to gather in person for Easter worship, the church had subsequently experienced a “quick learning curve” of putting everything online and learning new skills. In some cases, technology had allowed people who might not attend a church service in person to access worship online. The primate highlighted Indigenous Ministries for its online activity, which included hosting gospel-based discipleship three times per week and its recent online gospel jamboree, emceed by National Indigenous Archbishop Mark MacDonald.

Though there have been some upsides of time apart during lockdown—with a deepening of relationships and of prayer life—it has also affected the economy and church resources, Nicholls said. Government subsidies have helped cushion the blow, but it is difficult to foresee what the church will look like in one or two years. The primate suspected it would be a mix of online activity and smaller in-person gatherings. Moving forward in this context may prove challenging, but the primate found it “encouraging to see that God’s church is capable of change and doing things fresh and anew.”

Nicholls noted changes in staff within the primate’s office, with Principal Secretary Paul Feheley recently concluding his ministry in that position after 16 years of service. She also said that the search for a new general secretary had been delayed partly because of COVID-19, but that current general secretary Michael Thompson had “graciously offered to continue” in his position until August 31.

Meeting Technology

The Rev. Monique Stone, co-chair of the Planning and Agenda Team, explained use of Zoom and how council members could ask questions. She described how votes would be taken through polling questions onscreen. CoGS took a test vote, then voted to approve the agenda of the current meeting.

How CoGS Will Work

Stone described plans for how members would conduct the business of CoGS while lockdown is still in place. The idea is to hold council meetings online with one-day sessions on a more frequent basis, likely every six weeks.

March Meeting Recap

Prolocutor Karen Egan gave a summary of the last meeting of CoGS in March. With some significant absences at that meeting, she hoped to get everyone caught up. Much of the previous meeting focused on the work and responsibilities of CoGS, as well as its aspirations going forward.

Governance Working Group

Chancellor David Jones provided an update on work of the Governance Working Group (GWG). Following his report at the March meeting of CoGS, he had made the same presentation to the House of Bishops, which then formed a small committee to consider the discussions for a review of church governance structures. The GWG itself had met the Wednesday before the current meeting of CoGS and prepared a memo which sought guidance from the council on how to move the project forward.

For GWG, the organizing principle for the project should be how the national church can govern itself effectively, and what provisions in its constitution and rules of procedure add value to the work it does as a corporate body. In reflecting on what possible changes might be made, the GWG grouped them into the following categories:

  • Changes to the membership of General Synod;
  • Changing methods of voting on different issues; and
  • Changes to operating rules of order and procedure.

Making changes in one area, Jones added, could impact how other provisions work in practice.

Council members took turns to ask questions and make comments. One member noted that the church should clarify why there may be a need to change its governance structures in the first place. Jones then put forward polling questions for CoGS members:

  • Is CoGS committed to the project of considering and deciding on proposals for change to be taken to General Synod 2022 and 2025, given that whatever changes are proposed will need to be adopted using the current amending formula?
    • If so, does CoGS agree that the next step is for GWG to prepare tentative possible motions to focus the discussion and identify whether there is sufficient agreement to move forward from there?

Large majorities of council members voted “Yes” to both questions.

Each member then answered nine more polling questions to give some idea to the GWG about the priority of various proposed revisions. Results suggested that the areas of highest priorities for members were “putting the Rules of Order and Procedure into plain language” and “a revision to the ‘bands’ or ‘tiers’ that determine the number of clerical and lay members a diocese is entitled to send to General Synod.”

Council members took a break from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Dismantling Racism

Archbishop Nicholls recalled how she had made anti-racism a focus for CoGS at its meeting in fall 2019. She did not know at the time why she felt called by the Spirit to address racism, but said in light of recent events, that focus may have been prescient.

The primate referred to ongoing popular protests against anti-Black racism that had exploded across the United States and around the world following the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans. In Canada, she said, there is much racism against Black, Asian, and Indigenous people. But systemic racism can be difficult to see for those who may have benefitted at the expense of others.

Dismantling that racism, Nicholls said, is work that will continue. The primate expressed optimism that the anti-racism working group—which was formed by CoGS years ago but had “fallen into a bit of a quiet space” of late—might be reinvigorated. She hoped people with lived experiences of racism and anti-racism work might help to create change at all levels of the church.

At the November meeting of CoGS, the primate recalled, Episcopal Church representative Noreen Duncan and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) representative Pat Lovell had raised the fact that aside from Indigenous members of the council, there were no other people of colour on CoGS besides them. While she did not think anyone made a deliberate choice in that regard, Nicholls said, she believed that it “says something that the vast diversity of our church does not find itself reflected in our governing bodies.”

As primate, Nicholls had received emails from many Anglicans describing racism they had experienced in the church, which she called heartbreaking. The church must take such allegations seriously and act on them, she said. The primate commended the Episcopal Church for taking leadership in fighting racism in the United States. As a sister church, the Anglican Church of Canada must take similar action in challenging systemic racism at home. She invited council members to bring that focus back to their dioceses.

General Secretary Michael Thompson introduced a presentation by General Synod Archivist Laurel Parson, who Thompson said was “chiselling away at the great granite face of racism” through her work decolonizing descriptions and records in archives.

Parson said that this work of General Synod Archives reflected its commitment to “truth-telling and reconciliation with all races and nationalities in Canada”—including First Nations, Métis and Inuit—by responding to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. While General Synod Archives has preserved and made available records related to ministry of Chinese and Japanese people in their homelands and in Canada, she said, its largest collections are Indigenous materials.

In responding to its commitments, the church has continued to make available records found in its collection “to acknowledge the right of Indigenous people to know the whole truth about what happened—and why—in regards to human rights violations committed against them in residential schools.” Citing UNDRIP Article 13, Parson said the church was committed to describing all library and archival material so that Indigenous people could find their own histories and cultural materials by using their own names for communities, places and persons.

General Synod Archives has an extensive collection of materials that highlight writing systems, literature and culture of Indigenous peoples in places such as northern Ontario, northern Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik. It plans to describe these materials appropriately and make knowledge of them more available by cataloguing them into its online databases.

As examples, Parson showed archival items made by priest and missionary Herbert Girling in the early 20th century. These included photos and linguistic aids documenting what Girling referred to as the “Copper Eskimo” people. These records now have been updated to refer to “Inuit” rather than “Eskimos”, while the “Copper Eskimo” language is now referred to as the Inuinakton or Inuvialuktun language. However, both old and new labels remain in the archive descriptions to make materials easy to find. Changes are being made in consultation with Indigenous people and by working with resources from other organizations responding to the Calls to Action, such as the University of Alberta.

Decolonizing descriptions, Parson said, is a “big project” and she thanked Indigenous people for their “grace, understanding and patience.” The primate and various council members in turn thanked Parson for her work.

Strategic Planning Working Group

Judith Moses, chair of the Strategic Planning Working Group (SPWG), and fellow member Ian Alexander presented a report on the group’s work.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the SPWG had had to shift its plans, setting aside its original intention for surveys and in-person group consultations in March. Instead, the group’s proposal for CoGS was now to step back and “listen carefully, intentionally and respectfully to Anglicans during this difficult time” through a series of national deep “listening sessions” planned with specifically targeted groups. The objectives of these listening groups are:

    • to hear from key groups in the church about how things are going at this time;
    • to share with each other what current experience suggests about the future of Canadian Anglicans;
    • to inform ongoing reflection and discernment about strategic directions for the national church; and
    • to offer pastoral support and embody the national church’s convening, connecting role.

Moses and Alexander laid out an approach in which listening sessions would begin in July. Small online groups would ask open-ended questions, share stories, engage in respectful listening, and seek to “identify positive potential to be carried forward into a transformed future, from the present moment.”

They described the methodology of the listening sessions, which would involve groups of 8-12 people from sectors representing the life of the church (e.g. bishops, executive archdeacons, cathedral deans, lay youth and young families, finance officers, etc.) who would meet once or on multiple occasions over the next few months. Each group would make notes of their meetings and send them to the SPWG, which would “debrief” CoGS on emergent themes and patterns and discern next steps before making recommendations at the November council meeting.

These listening groups are currently in various stages of formation and recruitment. Janet Marshall, director of congregational development in the diocese of Toronto, has been engaged as a trainer and overall facilitator. A training session for “chief listeners” and note takers is scheduled to take place on June 26.

Three polling questions were put before CoGS members:

  1. Do you like this idea?
  2. Do you think this is the right approach for the times we are facing?
  3. Are there any groups missing [from the list of potential listening groups]?

The first two questions saw 100% of council members voting “Yes”. For the third, 26% of members identified missing groups which they would email to Alexander.

The primate thanked Moses and Alexander for their presentation, and offered her gratitude to the SPWG for creative thinking and adjusting its direction to listen deeply to the church.

“This is a wonderful, creative moment for the church…. We’re standing in the fog [of the pandemic], and we have a chance to do something radically new,” Nicholls said. The primate expected to hear good ideas in the process of listening to the church, but wondered if the process would be complete by 2022. She suggested that the present triennium would go down in history as a “triennium of transitions”.

General Secretary’s Report

In his report to CoGS, General Secretary Michael Thompson said he was glad at being able to have more opportunities to be with members of the council. He expressed gratitude for the hard work of General Synod staff members.

Thompson noted that the national church had used various means to cushion the economic blow from COVID-19 on staff members, from taking advantage of federal wage subsidies to asking staff to participate in a work-sharing program should it become necessary. The lack of staff travel during lockdown, he said, had substantially reduced costs, as had lower distribution costs for the Anglican Journal after asking readers to confirm their subscriptions. Many dioceses have made a “sacrificial commitment” to fulfill their 2020 contributions to General Synod as much as possible. For these reasons, Thompson believed the national church would make it to the end of 2020 without significant financial impairment. However, he added, 2021 was more of a concern.

The general secretary put forward a motion designed to set aside additional money for reserve funding. In the current moment, he added, the church was learning a great deal about new ways of working. The possibility of shorter, more frequent meetings of CoGS might keep members more aware of the work entrusted to them. He thanked members for their willingness to work in a new way.

Members voted and the motion was carried.

Resolution

That this Council of General Synod support the suspension of the terms of reference of the Ministry Investment Fund for one year, and allow the entire amount available for allocation to MIF projects to be recorded as income in the 2021 budget.

Primate’s Closing Remarks

In her closing remarks, the primate thanked staff members for helping keep the meeting on track with technology. Given that this was the first CoGS meeting to be conducted via Zoom, a “debriefing” would follow to see what might be improved upon. Council members would receive an evaluation form following adjournment. Video conferencing, the primate said, would be the council’s manner of meeting for at least the next six to seven months.

Noting the hard work of clergy and bishops across the country at this time, she hoped that members would find time to rest during the summer. The next two CoGS meetings are tentatively scheduled to take place on July 25 and Sept. 12.

Closing Prayer

Louise Peters led a closing prayer. The primate concluded the meeting with a blessing.

The council meeting adjourned at 4 p.m.

~ from Anglican Church of Canada’s website

View a pdf version of these highlights.

United Against Racism – An On-line Worship Service

Sunday, June 14th at 4 – 5 pm Pacific Time

Black Lives Matter to the United Church of Canada

We have participated in demonstrations. Letters have been written and statements have been made. Now it is time to worship together as people of faith.

The Black Clergy Network of The United Church of Canada invites the whole church to join virtually for a time of worship, prayer, and reflection to face the issues of anti-Black racism across our country and in our church. In worship we will lament, we will hope, and we will be reminded of the need to act against racism.

This service of prayer and reflection will be led by members of the Black Clergy Network and will be live-streamed on The United Church of Canada’s YouTube Channel. You will be able to observe the service as well as chat and comment through YouTube.

Another Opportunity to Listen to the Voices of United Church Black Clergy

Moderator Richard Bott shared a response to recent events from from members of the Black Clergy Network of The United Church of Canada stating that “it is an honour to share this video.”

Let’s listen deeply.
Let’s listen deeply, and speak, and act
Black Lives Matter.

~ from Moderator Richard Bott’s Facebook page

The video can be found here.

Additional Reflections

More reflections from our three denominations and church leaders will be found on our earlier post “Church Leaders Acknowledge the Racism in Their Midst”.

The Pacific Mountain Regional Council Executive, at an extraordinary meeting on June 10th, the 95th birthday of the United Church of Canada, gathered to recommit this Regional Council to the work of becoming an anti-racist Church.   The post “Our Commitment to Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Racism” on the Pacific Mountain Regional Council’s website provides a sense of the Executive’s discussion and its decisions.

United Church of Canada’s Birthday

On June 10, 2020
the United Church of Canada is 95!!

The inaugural meeting of the United Church of Canada in June 1925 in the Mutual Street Arena in Toronto.

On June 10, 1925, in the Mutual St. Arena in Toronto, The United Church of Canada was formed by a union of Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, and the General Council of the Local Union Churches.

A Prayer for This Day from the Moderator, the Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott

(Based on a prayer offered at the inaugural worship service of The United Church of Canada, June 10th, 1925.)

God…
at Pentecost, you gave your Holy Spirit
to a waiting church –
disciples divided in so many ways,
but one in their love for Christ;
95 years ago, you brought together
a union of unions,
disparate, but not dis-Spirited,
United in spite of differences,
by the oneness of their love for Christ;
United and united again through the years,
with congregations, and with the EUB*;
gathered as we are now, today –
together, though separated by no desire of our own…

we ask that you would pour that same Spirit
upon your church, in this time and place,
upon all who worship you,
upon all who live for you,
wherever we may be…
that we would expect great things of you,
and do great things for you,
and, one in you,
we might share with the world,
the love that Christ shares with the world,
and, in that sharing,
bring you honour and glory,
always and forever.

Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!

Amen.

* EUB – Evangelical United Brethren Church

Read more about the history of the United Church of Canada here.

Church Leaders Acknowledge the Racism in Their Midst

Our Three Denominations Issue a Joint Letter

In response to the demonstrations across the United States and Canada in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, and The United Church of Canada have issued a joint letter.

The full text of the letter follows.  Download a copy of the letter here.

Protesters in Halifax demonstrate against police action in the death of George Floyd and others. Monday, June 1, 2020.
Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

The events taking place across North America in response to the murder of George Floyd have given all of us a stark reminder of the ongoing sin of racism in our communities. Centuries of anger at injustice and anti-Black racism are literally bursting into flames as people stand for political and cultural change to address these deep-seated systems that work to oppress so many members of our communities. Coupled with the death of Ahmaud Arbery, the threat against Christian Cooper who was participating in a park activity so many of us take for granted, and so many other day to day activities, we are reminded of the horrendous consequences of anti-Black racism again and again, depriving people of their safety, their freedom and their lives.

We as church leaders, acknowledge the pain, frustrations and anger of our Black communities, and recognize that systemic anti-Black racism is prevalent in our context in Canada as well; in the streets of our communities, in the justice and policing systems, and in our congregations and parishes. It is important for church members in our largely white churches to look at how we continue to perpetuate anti-Black racism, either inadvertently or intentionally.

George Floyd’s words, “I can’t breathe,” continue to ring in our ears; they act as a prophetic voice of the pain and re-traumatization that is coming from peoples of African descent again and again. The voice is weary and tired. “We can’t breathe” is the collective chant of peoples of African descent, especially those in North America, as they continue to struggle against centuries of racism and systemic discrimination.

We are hearing the same voice from ministers of African descent, particularly as they pastor predominantly white congregations. This voice is tired of violence towards Black lives. This voice is tired of the exclusion of people of African descent in our structures of leadership. This voice is tired of the emptiness that comes from supposed allies who aren’t willing to acknowledge their own privilege and responsibility.

As Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, The National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and Moderator of The United Church of Canada we want to affirm our commitment to ending our silence about and working towards the dismantling of anti-Black racism.

In March, we jointly released a letter in support of the International Decade for Peoples of African Descent, acknowledging the reality of racism in our institutions and committing ourselves to naming and working towards the eradication of anti-Black racism. We are inviting the members of our communities to join us in this commitment by visibly and concretely demonstrating the call for solidarity in the UN decade. Some suggestions are:

      • Reach out to a friend of African descent and listen to their story and how these events have affected them. This is also a good practice for primarily white congregations whose minister is African descent.
      • Conscientiously and prayerfully consider joining public expressions of solidarity towards seeking justice against anti-Black racism;
      • Read books and other materials on Black history in the Canadian context, the impact of anti-Black racism, and the reality of white privilege;
      • Research critical elements of Black legacy;
      • Engage with the artistic and cultural production of people of African descent, with a commitment to learn the history and context within these expressions.

We call upon our members to join with us in this commitment.

Sincerely yours,

The Rev. Susan Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Richard Bott
Moderator, United Church of Canada

Each of our denominations have more resources on their websites.  Here are some links:

Anglican Church of Canada

This link leads to the post of the above letter and links to

    • A Charter for Racial Justice in the Anglican Church of Canada
    • Call for churches to do more to address anti-Black racism
    • From the Primate: Lament and mourn today—and seek change tomorrow via Anglican Journal

Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada issued a statement on June 8, 2020 identifying that “our own house is not in order” to remind everyone of the Church’s commitment to confronting racism in its own life and acknowledging the place of racism and colonialism in Canada. They have stated that “this commitment needs to be renewed daily”.

Bishop Elect of the Territory of the People, the Ven Lincoln Mckoen, wrote a pastoral letter on racial injustice.  It can be viewed here and downloaded here.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

A few days after the release of the joint letter, the national and synod bishops released a follow-up letter to the church:  National, Synod Bishops acknowledge racism “within us and within our communities”

United Church of Canada

The United Church of Canada’s website includes an Anti-racism page that provides links to many resources, programmes, and other news releases.  There is a link to the United Church’s Racial Justice Training work.

The Rev. Jay Olson, President of the Pacific Mountain Regional Council, wrote a pastoral letter to the region on June 8, 2020.  She writes

. . . a biblical passage sprang to mind. The context in the biblical story is, on the night Jesus was betrayed he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane and he had asked his friends to stay with him. “Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?'” (Matt. 26:40) . . .

People of faith including us in the Pacific Mountain Regional Council sit in the garden of crisis and terror and we must no longer fall back asleep immobilized while the Christ calls us to stay awake and be alert to what is happening and what needs to happen.

In a blog, the Rev. Dr. Paul Douglas Walfall calls on White people in the church to put their love into action to counteract racism.  He is the ministry personnel in the Fort Saskatchewan Pastoral Charge in Northern Spirit Regional Council.

The Rev. Dr. Paul Douglas Walfall (left), with the United Church delegation to the ACT March to End Racism, Washington D.C., April 2018.
Credit: Catherine Rodd, The United Church of Canada

 

 

On-line Pentecost Devotions From Lutherans Connect

Spirit of Restlessness
a devotional for the Pentecost Season

How can we make space in the midst of deep uncertainty in our pandemic lives, and great unrest in the world around us, to hear how the Holy Spirit calls us to live? What can we learn from the tensions in the letters of Paul to the early church, or from the home churches of the first century?

Join us for devotions on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from May 21 to August 15, 2020.
Come, Holy Spirit!

~ from the Lutherans Connect Blog
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurahelene/3675687455/in/photostream/

Each devotional includes images, scripture readings, music, a reflection that could be prose or poetry, and a commentary that often concludes with a question to consider.  This devotional can be accessed from the Lutherans Connect Facebook page or from their blog.

On-line Pentecost Service

Hosted by the Southern Interior Region
of the BC Synod of ELCIC

The leadership of the Southern Interior Region collaborated to produce an on-line worship service for Pentecost that is available on YouTube. The essence of Pentecost is embodied in this service.  There is a coming together of many communities.  A variety of languages are heard.

Here are some highlights:

  • For those that like the idea of Wild Church, you will appreciate the Thanksgiving for Baptism.
  • Anyone who is missing having a children’s story as part of worship will discover that is included.
  • Naturally, all of the hymns are from Evangelical Lutheran Worship.  The music, if not the words, will be familiar to our North Thompson congregations.  A variety of musical instruments are used.
  • The Psalm is chanted.
  • One of the scripture readings is read by a member of Trinity Shared Ministry.
  • Six pastors share in giving the sermon.
  • The Lord’s Prayer is sung to a lovely tune that will be new to many of us.

Because it has been filmed in a variety of locations, you will get a glimpse of the interiors of some of the churches in this Region.  You will also see six of the pastors and several lay people.  Perhaps those visuals will give a deeper sense of these congregations when the church names appear in the weekly prayer cycle.

Link to the service:  https://youtu.be/i7ETLia9DqI

You can also download the following (the words to the hymns are included in the bulletins):

Churches in the Southern Interior Region

Ascension Lutheran Church, Nelson

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Penticton

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kelowna

Faith Lutheran Church, Rutland, Kelowna

Peace Lutheran Church, Vernon

Deo Lutheran Church, Salmon Arm

Hills of Peace, Kamloops

Church of St Paul, North Thompson Ecumenical Shared Ministry, Barriere

Trinity Shared Ministry, North Thompson Ecumenical Shared Ministry, Clearwater