Kars, ON, Canada
Special email messages from our minister
January 30, 2017
As I pray and reflect on the news over the weekend: of refugees being turned away in the USA; and, our collective sorrow and anger at the killing of 6 and injury of so many others who were at prayer at their place of worship in Quebec City on Sunday evening, my mind turns to the hymn "God Weeps" in More Voices. The first verse is "God weeps at love withheld, at strength misused, at children's innocence abused, and till we change the way we love, God weeps."
God weeps and weeps and weeps. With us. For us. There are no other words I can think of at this terrible time except to invite you to pray for peace and justice and love to break forth in our broken world.
With this note, I also share below a letter from our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell which was released today.
We share your grief, as we share your determination to stop the forces of hate that seek to divide and destroy us
Published on January 30, 2017
To all of our Muslim brothers and sisters,
Our hearts overflow with sorrow for the victims of the shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec last night. Shock and outrage mingle with our tears at this horrific act of terror perpetrated against innocent, faithful people. We are holding you all in our prayers at this most terrible time.
This heinous violent act and other recent attacks targeting Muslims in Quebec and elsewhere are designed to instill fear and division within and between our communities. We will not let this happen. The United Church of Canada stands with our Muslim neighbours. We share your grief, as we share your determination to stop the forces of hate that seek to divide and destroy us. Trusting in a compassionate and just God, we will resist fear and prejudice with love.
In love we reach out to you, our sisters and brothers, our fellow Canadians, to offer support and comfort. We open our hearts to you as we extend the hand of solidarity. We commit to redoubling our efforts to seek peace and justice for all peoples within and beyond Canada. We will work side by side with our neighbours of every faith and of no faith to heal the brokenness that fractures our communities and forge bonds of friendship and cooperation.
You are not alone. As people of faith across this country hold prayer vigils for the victims of the shooting and their families, know that you are embraced by the arms of love.
May the Creator, Allah, God, who gives us our common humanity, give us the strength of spirit and will to walk in unity and love in these troubled times.
In peace and solidarity,
The Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell