Dear interfaith colleagues across Canada: I am happy to alert you to a remarkable film about interfaith cooperation among youth here in Canada. As Canadians, we can be proud that this kind of interfaith youth cooperation is taking place in Canada. Here is a description of the film followed by a youtube link that will enable you to view this must-see film.
“What happens when Jewish, Muslim and Christian kids attend a summer camp in London, Ontario? Find out as Ahlulbayt TV brings you first-hand experiences of the young campers attending the London Interfaith Peace Camp. Interfaith work doesn’t stop there. London’s Mayor and two City Councillors also attended the camp as an interfaith team of Chistianity, Judaism and Islam emphasizing the importance of embracing Canada’s growing diversity. In a world often filled with challenges and uncertainty, “Peace, Salam, Shalom” will certainly inspire viewers to plant the seeds of friendship and understanding from a very young age. Kindly send your feedback to email@example.com. Enjoy the documentary: https://youtu.be/MpYJq69Lif8
Recently the Regina Leader-Post included an article about a Christian group that meets monthly to pray for the conversion of Muslims. Members of Wascana Presbytery (within Saskatchewan Conference of The United Church of Canada) wrote letters to Sabreena Haque of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan and to the Editor of the Leader-Post in response.
Hours after Saskatoon’s Pride parade ended, we heard about the mass murder of LGBT+ people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This hate crime is now the biggest mass shooting by a single person in American history. It joins the murder of over 300 Lakota people at Wounded Knee in 1890 as a deadly expression of hatred and dominance.
In the words of our Moderator, “If there is a word of hope to be uttered in the face of such tragedy, this is it: When we stand together in defiance of hatred, we are stronger and we are safer. No act of violence can strip us of our humanity—particularly when we respond to homophobia, transphobia and Islamophobia with love.”
Please read the Moderator’s statement and use it in worship: http://www.united-church.ca/news/moderator-speaks-about-orlando-shooting
Click here to read and share Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble’s statement on the Orlando hate crime, and feel free to use this at Sunday worship and anywhere else.
If your ministry is Affirming, or feels that it can be in respectful solidarity with LGBT people and communities, please prayerfully consider how you can express that solidarity. Affirming ministries in the Conference can help; they include all the congregations listed here, as well as River Bend Presbytery, St. Andrew’s College, and the Conference itself. Our public witness to God’s unconditional love is needed.
Many groups have called on the federal government to make June 21 a national holiday, so that all Canadians can celebrate and learn alongside Indigenous communities. We aren’t there yet, unfortunately (something to bring up with your Member of Parliament!). But all who are able to take some time to attend events the week of June 21st are encouraged to do so as an act of education and reconciliation.
The Office of the Treaty Commissioner has a number of events listed, many of which include local United Church participation: http://www.otc.ca/events
Saskatchewan Aboriginal Friendship Centres offer many events as well and can help direct you to local events: http://www.afcs.ca/
Join us June 1 from 2:30 onwards at Christ Lutheran Church in Regina for the Blanket Exercise, an interactive experience that explores the impact of the history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Without knowing our shared history, we cannot come to reconciliation.
All welcome, no matter your age or identity! The church is wheelchair accessible.
Please share the poster and our Facebook event:
This will be our SK Conference annual meeting education event.
This May 1st, honour inclusivity by using our Affirming Sunday resources in worship. Eastside United in Regina has written resources for us this year. Click here to see the resource.
Being an “Affirming” United Church means fulling including LGBTQ people and communities in the entire life and work of our church. Saskatchewan Conference is Affirming, and has an additional ten Affirming ministries within. Several others are in process.
Holding an Affirming worship this May, or at any other time, sends a crucial message of welcome and support to a community that is too often excluded from church circles.
To find out more about becoming Affirming, see the Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble website: http://affirmunited.ause.ca/affirming-ministries/
The Intercultural Network welcomes new supporters! To get in touch with co-conveners Cindy Bourgeois and Yvonne Terry, email Julie Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org
Courageous Witness: River Bend Presbytery article on visit with Korean partner congregation
River Bend Presbytery is an Affirming ministry in central Saskatchewan. Last fall they sent a delegation to South Korea as part of their many years of mutual work on deepening their relationship with Incheon Presbytery of the United Church of Canada’s global partner, the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK). They met with the SumDol Hyanglin Church, one of the very few congregations in the PROK to fully welcome gender and sexual minorities. Rev. Laura Fouhse’s shares the story of this courageous congregation here; read a very sobering overview of LGBTQ+ rights in South Korea here.