Minister’s Message – September 22, 2017
Front Page Uncategorized

Minister’s Message – September 22, 2017

“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
– Albert Camus
This Sunday, people from across the land we call Canada will be gathering in downtown Vancouver to walk. People from various First Nations, settlers and descendants of settlers will join with one another to walk together, as a reminder of our broken relationship, as a sign of hope, and as a commitment to work together for a future of truth and reconciliation.Folks from Dunbar Ryerson United Church will be there, along with other United Church congregations. For many of us, this is a pilgrimage – walking with all who gather, and walking with God. In this walk, we remember our church’s deep participation in the Indian Residential System and other colonial ways that did damage to the people of the First Nations; but we also remember the hard work of confession and reconciliation that we’ve been living into.

It’s not easy. As a descendant of setters, there are times I want to say, “That’s in the past. I didn’t do that.” But then I look at the broken education systems and the decades long “Boil Water Advisories” in many First Nations communities, the disproportionate amount of poverty, suicide, and incarceration of people who are First Nations, and that our governing systems (whatever party is in power) seem to not want to recognize our treaty responsibilities – and I realize that, as a Canadian, I am part of the systemic racism that continues on.

As followers of Jesus; the one who pointed out that all of our lives hang upon our love of God and loving our neighbour as we love ourselves, we need to be people who are not afraid to hear the truth about our broken relationship, and we need to people who are not afraid of living into the hard work of reconciliation that that love calls us to.

In our hearts, in our actions, and with our lives, let us walk together – no matter how difficult that may be.

If you not able to walk, we will still be gathering for Sunday morning worship at the church. Our commitment statement says that we seek to be “…a diverse, affirming and reconciling congregation.” Brian Thorpe will speak with us from the walk – God and technology willing. This way the congregation will still worship together – even as we gather in different places. One way or another, we look forward to seeing you Sunday.

Christ’s peace – Richard

The work to find a name for the congregation continues!
The Naming Committee invites everyone in the congregation to gather in the East/West rooms of the Memorial Center, after church on October 1st, to discuss the most popular names that have been suggested and hear about our next steps.

Save the Dates!! On October 17 (and perhaps October 18 if we go into overtime), Vancouver City Council will hear Dunbar Ryerson’s application for rezoning. THIS IS HUGE FOR OUR PROJECT AND MISSION. This will be a public hearing and we need as many supportive people as possible present. We also need you to write to City Hall to speak in favour of the proposal. For information about who to direct your letters to, and what points you could address in your letter, click here…. (Please don’t feel you need to mention all the points, but in case you’re looking for something to help you get started on your letter, here you go). Please let Debra know if you wrote, and if you are coming to the meeting. (She anticipates hearing from all of you 🙂 )

We printed 250 of the Dunbar Ryerson UC Fall Program & Community Guide… and all of them went in the first week! While we’re printing more, so that there are always copies that can be shared with family and friends, you can also get a digital copy here.

For a copy of this Sunday’s announcements bulletin, please click here.

Photo: An Ode to Mogly by Ajay Goel