World Day of Prayer March 04

The World Day of Prayer is a global ecumenical movement which brings Christians of many traditions together to observe a common day of prayer each year. It has been held in Canada since 1812, when women first encouraged each other to engage in personal prayer and take leadership in communal prayer within their mission auxiliaries and associations.

The 2017 service was written by the World Day of Prayer Committee of The Phillipines. The theme is “Am I being unfair to you?” Participants will learn from women in the Philippines, a country on the front lines of climate change, foreign mining and resources, insurgency and social upheaval due to migration.

The organizing committee in Squamish have extended an invitation to other Faith groups to join them in this year’s service. It will take place  at St. John the Divine Anglican Church, 1930 Diamond Road at 2 p.m.

A great way to come together in prayer with our Christian neighbours.

 

 

Show of Solidarity brings people together

Despite the stormy wintery conditions, a gathering of some 70 souls from many different Faith traditions gathered at St. John’s Anglican Church on the evening of February 05. An act of inhumanity had brought us together, the brutal massacre of six Muslim men at the Islamic Centre in Quebec City. This somber yet moving vigil was initiated by Squamish United Church in collaboration with the Squamish Multifaith Association, the word spread through a flurry of e-mails and from the pulpits earlier in the day. People stretched themselves beyond their usual comfort zone to attend. Many of them entering this Christian sanctuary for the first time and in the quiet peace of this place of worship, the inescapable bonds of our common humanity were deeply felt.

The vigil was opened by the Rev. Karen Millard by reading a letter from the Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Jordan Cantrwell.

“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.”

Candles were lit for each of the fallen:

Azzedine Soufiane, age 57 

Khaled Belkacemi, age 60

Aboubaker Thabti, age 44

Abdelkrim Hassane, age 41 

Mamadou Tanou Barry, age 42

Ibrahima Barry, age 39

This was followed by a prayer chanted in Arabic.

Representatives from Muslim, Sikh, Catholic and Baha’i Faith, each in turn offered prayers and voiced their commitment to fellowship and solidarity. A prayer for peace was chanted in Hebrew as all present raised their lighted candles aloft.

The sisters at Queen of Peace Monastery, located deep in the snow- gripped Squamish Valley, were unable to come but held their own vigil in concert with us.

“We wish also to express our deep sadness and distress at the loss of life resulting from the terrorist attack at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre. We are grieving with you. As sisters and brothers in humanity here on earth we implore God for the gift of mutual respect and peace. We are snowed in but we shall be praying with you this evening in our monastery.”

Squamish Multifath will be participating this year in a “Get to know your brothers and sisters in Faith” series of events. Please sign up to receive this blog to receive notices of upcoming events.

 

 

 

Candlelight Vigil

Location: St. John’s Anglican Church – 1930 Diamond Road (Behind London Drugs)

TIME : 7 P.M.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 05

Squamish United Church in partnership with Squamish Multifaith Association
will be holding a multi-faith peace vigil to support our Muslim brothers and sisters
after the tragic shooting in the Quebec Mosque on Sunday January 29th;
along with all the political turmoil and decisions being made throughout
our world at this time. We would like to provide an opportunity for
all people of faith or of no faith affiliation to come together
for a time of peaceful gathering.
Please contact Rev. Karen Millard for more details
minister@squamishunitedchurch.org

Homelessness topic attracts a crowd of 50+

Squamish Multifaith Association held its 5th annual Unity in Diversity Dinner on October 22nd at St. John’s Anglican Church. This popular community event brings together a diverse group of people to explore topics of mutual concern and interest. The topic of ‘homelessness’ attracted a crowd of 50+ participants. Panelists Mayor Patti Hentzman, Maureen Mackell and Sherry Small provided an overview of the current situation in Squamish with thoughts on community engagement. The figures were alarming, with more than 100 adults categorized as homeless during the October count. High rents and limited low income housing options have exacerbated the situation. Helping Hands Society executive director, Maureen Markell described a population way more diverse than the mental health/addictions profile that fits the current stereotype. The society provides emergency shelter, a drop in centre and hot meals. There are several other  organizations who are also providing services for this in most need, including Howe Sound Women’s Centre and Sea to Sky Community Services. Mayor Heintzman outlined some strategies that the district are working on to alleviate the situation, including working with existing partners and the development of more rental units and transition housing. Sherry Small, a long time advocate for those marginalized, got to the heart of the matter as she emphasized the gifts brought by each individual regardless of their circumstance. Turning the topic on its head or perhaps we should say heart, she saw the challenge not so much as structural as human.  “Listen to understand,” she invited the participants so that in community we can help one another and work as one.

If you are interested in learning more or becoming in engaged, check out http://www.squamishhelpinghands.ca and this site for future updates.

Annual Unity in Diversity Dinner

Squamish Multifaith Association  multifaithcircle_200
Annual Unity in Diversity Dinner

The subject for this years Unity in Diversity dinner presentation is ‘homelessness’.
Hosted by Squamish Multifaith Association, this event brings together a diverse group of people each year to a shared food and learning event.

Come join us for our 5th Unity in Diversity Dinner on Saturday October 22nd at St. John’s Anglican Church, 1930 Diamond Road. Starts at 6 p.m.

Speakers:

Mayor Patti Heintzman

Maureen Mackell – Executive Director
Helping HandsSociety, Squamish

Sherry Small – Aboriginal Community Developer
Kwayatsut Housing, Vancouver

 

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