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Boats, Booths and the Body

Boats, Booths and the Body

June 10, 2021

Written by Robbie Friesen – Youth Pastor @ La Salle Community Fellowship

In the book of Leviticus, God introduced something called the festival of booths, a yearly festival that continues to this day. The festival begins with everyone building an outdoor tent and then living in it for seven days. It was instituted to remember the 40 years the Israelites lived in tents under God’s protection. Recently, it was stated that this festival was also a great equalizer of the people. No matter your occupation, income or age, you were to live outside in a tent with all of God’s people. It would seem as though this festival may be an excellent lens through which to view our pandemic. No matter one’s occupation, income, age, or anything else, everyone has been faced with living in the midst of this together.

We start to see the differences in the different ways people react today, to this great equalizer. Some choose to ignore this festival and go on living as if nothing in the world has changed. Others take great caution to make sure their tents are precisely in accordance with the law. Finally, the third and largest camp accepts the reality of this time and looks for ways to acknowledge the festival and find unique ways of continuing their lives.

Our church has found itself living in the third camp for the past 15 months. There is an acceptance that COVID is among us and a desire to find ways to live well through it. A recent example of this was the SOAR program run by Multiply at the end of March. SOAR is a regular on the church’s calendar year and a time of unparalleled growth for many young people. As SOAR approached, our church had two main questions to wrestle through. What does success look like this year, and how might God use our circumstances to reveal himself to us?

The first question was tough to work through. In a typical year, it is easy to see what a successful SOAR looks like. Large gatherings of countless youth on fire for Jesus, people choosing to give up vacations and holidays to serve the inner city of Winnipeg and finally, the sights of Jesus overtaking their lives as they surrender their hearts to God. This was a hard vision to give up. However, with our numbers dwindling and restrictions making it impossible for churches to gather together, we needed a new vision of success. Our church decided to make the event open to all ages and encouraged church members to attend sessions over the five days. 

It was in this place that God met our church. Not in a room bustling with young energy as the songs of praise rose to God, but in a small circle with one youth and nine devoted pillars of the church. 

Along with members from the Multiply team, we sat in silence and listened for the voice of God together. It did not take long for a particular image to rise to the forefront of our time together. A simple image of a shipwrecked boat with a broken mast filled with sailors trying to get the ship to work again. For those unfamiliar with the church in La Salle, this boat represented an accurate depiction of the state of our church family. Shipwrecked, a broken mast, and a group of people looking to make it go again.

As we continued listening, God placed our members on the boat itself. We laughed, cried and rejoiced as we understood the vital role that each person in the circle had in repairing, organizing and encouraging the restoration of our church body. At the end of our time together, it was evident that God used our circumstances to show up to our larger church body in a way we were not expecting.

But this is not where the story ends for our church. A few weeks later, the Leadership Team met and wrestled with this same image. As we spoke together, we once again noticed new things, we reshaped our idea of what God wanted from our church, and we prayed for guidance and discernment as we moved after God’s heart.

Finally, this image emerged one final time in the course of our church life. In a conversation with a pastoral candidate, the Leadership Team asked Kevin Dyck where he saw himself in this image. His answer was a true testament to God’s direction to our church. It would seem as if his role filled the very gap that would aid our church in unifying itself once again. This is just one reason why our church is so excited to welcome him onto our Pastoral Staff this summer!

So what have we learned from all of this? It seems as though there was something divine about the origins of this year’s SOAR program. God challenged our church to leave our comfort and predictable models of success for something new. To live outdoors as an equalized people to make space for God to work. He brought together a group of devoted parishioners to share a vision of where the church was now; as well as where the church is going. We are moving after this mission with the help of everyone in the room and the future help that he would send.

I’m not sure what the context of your church’s ship is. It could be broken. It could be a well-oiled machine. It could be that you’re overflowing and ready to put another ship in the water! In any event, God is calling you to find yourself on the waters with a gift and a task. Will you choose to enter into this to bring about God’s glory here on earth?

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God at work at Westside Community Church

God at work at Westside Community Church

April 13, 2021

Written by Gerald Dyck – Lead Pastor @Westide Community Church (WCC)

How we’ve seen God at work at WCC this past year? Wow, what a question! It’s been a year of “survival.” We’ve attempted to learn as much as possible by viewing  The challenge as an opportunity. 

It’s been a year of continual adjusting and maneuvering. When gatherings restrictions were put in place, we faced challenges such as, how do we stay connected, how do we provide content, how do we as staff justify getting paid? (Just kidding, of course) But more importantly, how do we carry out the mission of the Church in a time when the church is needed more than ever.

Right from the beginning, it seemed as though God was saying, “Who are you or what are you about when you don’t have Sunday morning available to you?” We can’t say we had a great plan or strategy. We simply wanted to love and care for our community with a posture of humility and an eye on the hope of Jesus Christ. Here are some of the things we’ve done and how the Kingdom has been revealed to and through the church.

Going Remote

We decided early on that we wouldn’t record and post a typical-for-us worship service. We didn’t have much online presence in March 2020, but we did have some people from our church who are skilled in film production –Golden Hour Creative Agency, who now had some time available. They had the passion and vision for producing content that would be engaging and of high production value. This allowed us to film weekly messages from remote locations around our community. For eight months, we recorded in greenhouses, cemeteries, bars, museums, city jail, chicken coops, a baseball dugout, sunflower fields, cow pastures, woods, etc. 

We hoped to promote our community spaces while we fed the people of Westside. We also hoped this would appeal to our community to discover where we were filming each week. As a result, we’ve had many Kingdom conversations with our community business owners, grocery stores and other workplaces.

It’s been great to receive online interaction with many who appreciate our attempts at connection. One individual shared, “You won’t see me in a church, but I have cancer, and someone told me to watch what your church is doing. I did, and now I would like to talk about life and death, you know, a light conversation or two.” We’ve been able to connect and share the gospel message in a very real way. 

Christmas Tree

We have a large oak tree at the front of our church, which is off the main highway through the middle of Morden, and we decided to light it up for Christmas. After purchasing lights and renting scissor lifts, the tree was lit for the entire city to see. We hoped it would be a symbol of joy and hope. We were surprised at how many appreciative comments we received from those who did not have any pre-existing connection to the church. Comments such as “I smile every time I pass that tree” and “I feel hope, and I know this COVID season won’t last forever when I drive by,” or “Please keep that tree lit when Christmas is over.” (The tree remains lit, and the plan is to keep it that way.) It’s just a tree with lights, but it’s actually so much more. The tree serves as a nightly reminder that we are to be a light to the world, not to be hidden but to be bold and in the world. 

Co-op Grocery Store Shrink

“Shrink” is the soon-to-be postdated or damaged packaged goods that grocery stores usually discard. For the past year, we have entered into a partnership that has us picking up food and distributing hampers on Mondays to various families and stocking other food cupboards. Past its prime, produce and bread can go to feed livestock. This has opened the doors to relationships with so many who wouldn’t usually come through our church doors. We were also given the opportunity to be the community food bank for a month over Christmas. 

The local Co-op recently created a Facebook promo of partnership with a local church and how they appreciate the relationship and look to expand the partnership in the future. 

Weekly Soup

We collaborated with a chef in our congregation to make approximately 275 bowls of soup a week. The soup was then distributed to our front-line workers such as hospital staff, clinics, teachers, daycares, city administration, seniors,  city workers, police, etc. To date, we have provided approximately 4 thousand bowls of soup to our community. 

These simple acts have generated goodwill with our community. They have been a way for us to be the Church in ways we probably wouldn’t have taken on without the reality of society in isolation and times of desperation.  As we have begun to resume Sunday services, we have some new faces in the building and new ways to engage with others. 

I’ve been impressed by how other Mennonite Brethren churches have been reaching out to serve others. We indeed followed some great examples. Just to name a few, Winkler MB Church has been doing work like this for years, and we steal as many ideas from them as we can. Jubilee Church in Winnipeg and 188 Princess have modelled what it looks like to be deeply involved with the people in their neighbourhoods. 

It’s a challenge to be engaged directly in community work which automatically makes us a messier place. But through our interactions with our community, we have been invited into more and more opportunities to serve others.

We’ve also noticed that the more we know, the less we know. We’ve been humbled by our ignorance and are daunted by the opportunities. We know that only God can pull off what’s next. Our reliance on Him is paramount. It’s only through prayer and availability can we be who God has called us to be. God has been teaching us to love our community. Our Sunday morning gatherings should be about equipping all those in attendance or watching online to embrace the gospel message and extend it to others each day of the week.

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Words from Janelle Braun…

Words from Janelle Braun…

January 19, 2021

Janelle Braun

Could it really be 2021 already? For most of us, 2020 was a strange year. One filled with new realities, new obstacles, new blessings and an ever-changing “new normal.” Although each of us carried our own unique experience this past year, we all carried a shared reality. Things had to be done differently.

Often, I embrace change with a very optimistic perspective, that this newness will shape me and bring forth growth opportunities. But to be honest, this past year, I’ve struggled to maintain this optimistic attitude. Upon returning from my maternity leave in March of 2020, little did I know I’d be leaving again in January 2021 without having had the chance to reconnect with many of you in the meaningful ways I had imagined. 

One of the aspects of my role with MBCM that I have enjoyed the most is growing and learning together with and from you, the greater MB family here in Manitoba and beyond. However, in reflecting over this past year, I can honestly say, amidst the grief, sadness, confusion and exhaustion, I do have much to be thankful for.

Although we have been restricted by the type of gatherings we’ve been able to have, I am thankful that we’ve been able to walk through this together. Reminding one another of truth, the power of community & togetherness and the gracious sustaining nature of our God. God’s presence has not changed, nor has God’s promise of redemption and restoration for our hurting world. The message of hope that we as the church hold is needed more than ever. Of this, I remain confident.

And now, as I look forward to yet more change, adding another little human to our family and stepping away from the MBCM team, I want to leave you with a word of encouragement in your work and service. Wherever you find yourself in this season, I pray that you would be given fresh wind beneath your wings, to know that every little thing you do, when you do it unto the Lord, can and will be used in mighty ways! May you continue the good work that God has already begun and will continue to accomplish in and through you. I love you, my brothers and sisters, and am thankful to be a part of this family.

Philippians 1:6 (The Voice) – a newer translation that was introduced to me this past year: “ I am confident that the Creator, who has begun such a great work among you, will not stop in mid-design but will keep perfecting you until the day Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, returns to redeem the world.”

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Prayer Requests (Nov 2020)

NEWS

Prayer Requests (Nov 2020)

November 26, 2020

– Pray for people in our community as they look for housing as the cold approaches. Pray for perseverance & courage as they seek to get off the street. Pray for those of us who are advocating and trying to help them as well.

– Like all churches, we are struggling to stay connected. Many of the people that are part of our community have no other means of connection (online, phone, etc). Pray that we will be able to find creative ways to remain a positive presence in people’s lives.
 
-We are grateful for those who continue to support the work of One88 in this economic climate. Pray for the on-going sustainability of this work in the downtown, particularly as we look to expand our network.
 
 – Pray that we would have enough food for community families during this challenging season 
 
– Pray for enough funds to continue providing emergency services  
 
– Pray for God to create new connections with our northern partners and put us in contact with new partners during the pandemic
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Please pray for peace in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Habtemicael Beraki is one of our lead pastors (Philadelphia Eritrean Church) in the family of the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba. Habtemicael has two brothers living in Mikele, the capital of Tigray in Ethiopia. All communication with his family has been cut off. Here’s some news on the matter. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-55037162

From Pastor Habtemicael. “First of all I would like to say peace and grace for all brothers and sisters in Christ. I am writing this on behalf of all Ethiopians and Eritreans. Our countries are in a terrible war situation and our peoples are between life and death and now in the moment thousands are dying. So we need your urgent prayers.”

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PostureShift Postponed

NEWS

PostureShift Postponed

October 13, 2020

EVENT POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 29 & 30, 2021

On October 7, a group of MBCM leaders met in person to the degree that it was possible, with others via zoom, to work toward the following outcome. A strategy in place that accurately reflects our path forward, honors our confessional convictions and leads our churches to be places where LGBTQ+ persons experience the love and care of Jesus.

We recognized the discouraging necessity of this kind of sentiment, as every person should be able to experience the love and care of Jesus in our churches, and yet acknowledge that this hasn’t been the case for some. We made good progress in our conversation and look forward to moving this strategy forward in the days to come.

One space of discernment was the timing of PostureShift. There was universal agreement that PostureShift would be a significantly positive resource for our churches, leaders and families toward a better future. We also recognize that this moment in time carries significant weight that works to diminish investment in a resource like PostureShift. People are focused on survival and the necessary in the midst of pandemic uncertainty. That’s ok, it’s kind of a big deal. In light of this reality, we have decided to postpone PostureShift until we can more fully engage with this important resource as a larger community.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more opportunities to engage in resourcing opportunities. Thank you for your understanding.

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Pastoral Transitions (June – August, 2020)

Pastoral Transitions (June – August, 2020)

July 9, 2020

Join us in welcoming the following into their new positions:

  • Shannon Wiebe – Youth Pastor @ Boissevain MB Church(Summer 2020)
  • Joe Welty – (Transitional) Lead pastor @ Crossroads MB (Summer 2020)
  • Greg Wiens – Lead pastor @ Westwood Community Church (June, 2020)

We are grateful the following individuals who have served well within our MBCM Churches and we honour their impact within our community as they move on:

  • Delbert Ens, Eastview Community Church (Retired, June)
  • Marvin Dyck Retired (Retired, June)
  • Hugh Froese, Manitou Christian Fellowship – (Resigned, August)
  • Greg Armstrong – One88 (Retiring, Summer of 2020)

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Support Your Home Team

Support Your Home Team

July 9, 2020

David Wiebe, Westwood Community Church

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers recently ended a Grey Cup drought of almost 30 years. Through that time, people stopped attending games or dropped season tickets. Not “Abby” my wife’s hair stylist! “Big Blue” was her team, no matter how they bungled things. She went to Calgary last fall and experienced the thrill of victory – finally – firsthand! She loved her team, thick and thin, and it spoke to me.

Our “home team” is MBCM, the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba. But far above the sports analogy, it’s an ecclesiological – churchly – thing. Your local church, mine, and the other 40-odd local churches make up the Manitoba MB “Church” collectively.

The idea of the church is so rich, the New Testament writers used multiple analogies: family of God, temple, house, body of Christ, and so on. After the Reformation of the 1500s the church splintered into some 25,000 denominations today. So, it’s hard to visualize a unified church beyond our own local body.

But we’re foolish not to. We yearn for fellowship to gain strength and ideas. Look at the thousands of churches that joined Willow Creek Association, even “independent” local churches. So then, consider the strength that comes from being one church under a common theological Confession and a historic path of shared ministry.

MBCM has accomplished a great deal in its history of shared ministry. MBCI High school, Square One World Media, and CMU would not exist without the historic work of MBCM. Alumni of Winkler Bible Institute still impact at local and conference levels. Simonhouse Bible Camp and the “northern Manitoba” churches would not exist without MBCM. Our common Confession and its application led MBCM to affirm women in ministry leadership at the turn of the Millennium. We challenged CCMBC to take it on, resulting in the 2006 decision to open all church positions of leadership to gifted, called and affirmed women and men. These and more witnesses to the gospel are the product of our shared path as Mennonite Brethren in Manitoba.

“Abby” wore her Bomber pride (and love) on her sleeve. Can we be as proud of and committed to our provincial church-family? Do you love and pray for MBCM – and its spiritual leaders Jason, Cam, and Janelle? It’s a spiritual calling and will require deliberate choice to prioritize MBCM.

It took me awhile to learn to do that. We can do more together than alone.

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Physical Reopening

Physical Reopening

July 9, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Manitoba, the physical shutdown of our MBCM churches was pretty uniform. While the church continued to function as the body of Christ, everyone paused all in-person gatherings. Some churches chose Livestream as the way through this unprecedented season. Others pre-packaged video and provided various ways to engage. Faces on a screen became the normal church experience for many. For all of the variety and creativity that we experienced in the early days of the pandemic, there was a togetherness in the shutdown of in-person church.

One of the best parts of my work is spending time with our pastors. A couple of weeks ago, a few groups of pastors took advantage of an opportunity to spend some time together over lunch. I know not every pastor was able to participate, if you’re a pastor reading this and you didn’t have the chance to connect with your peers, hear that we care about you and we look forward to the next opportunity to connect with you. These meetings were special times to come together, listen to each pastor share about their unique experiences and pray for each other. It was a privilege for me to be with our pastors. I am so grateful for them! They have forged new ways and experienced ministry during so much change. At the same time, I’m concerned about the impact the coming days might have on our pastors. Not just our pastors and leaders, but everyone in our congregations. Let me tell you why. As I listened to those pastors process together, there was a common thread. This next phase won’t be like the shutdown in March. It’s not going to be uniform. As in-person gatherings begin to unfold, they are going to look different. A church of 25 people has different questions to answer than a church of 700. It might not be easier, but it is different. Here are some of the ways our churches are beginning to reopen physically.

Many of our churches, in the 250 and smaller range, are starting to gather. Attendees pre-register and are screened at the door. As people enter buildings, spacing and hand sanitizer are necessary. There are new signs here and there. Families and individuals are ushered to a physically distant place to sit and participate in the service. Familiar faces are present, if a bit farther away. Worship may or may not include singing. Some will wear a mask, and some won’t. The parking lot after the service might include a chance to visit, while some churches have asked for people to head to their vehicles. Our larger churches have adopted small groups or house church concepts for the time being. There are logistical challenges to getting many groups of 50 together safely and responsibly. A few churches are simply waiting until fall to take the next step. Churches who began offering other ways of engaging, such as Livestream or video production and other creative solutions, continue to provide them for those who are unable or unwilling to gather physically. Hybrid solutions of in-person and digital offerings are being considered and delivered.

It’s not uniform. A pastor or parishioner only needs to look down the street at another church to see something different about how your neighbour church is reopening physically. Navigating the unique needs and circumstances of each church is a real challenge. I know that our pastors and leaders are up to this challenge, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some concern for them. Please be kind to your pastors. Go out of your way to express your appreciation for them. Let them know that you’re in this together.

I have one more area of concern to share with you. Each person will experience physical reopening differently. Some are very ready to get past the pandemic with all speed. They are finished with physical distancing, maybe because they see the low numbers in Manitoba or for any number of reasons. Others are doing their best to be a part of the ongoing health solution for all of us by adhering to the guidelines given by Manitoba Health. These are only two versions of what people are experiencing. These varieties of experience are prime landscape for judgement and resentment toward the people around us. I invite you to notice that these differences will exist among us. Be kind to one another, especially when you notice a person experiencing sensibilities that vary from yours. Be generous and gracious to the people around you. Consider what they need as more important than what you need. Recognize that this might not be easy.

Our pathway forward might not be uniform in terms of how physical reopening happens. But there will always be something uniform about the church, the Person on Whom we are built. Jesus is the same. We serve the same God. For all the differences, perhaps we can find togetherness around Jesus. I’m reminded of the great commandment, where Jesus is asked a big question.  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:36-39

With love for God will come love for others. May this be our way forward together.

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Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy

June 11, 2020

Excerpt from prayer by Joel Jolly during a service at The Meeting Place, Winnipeg

Father, as we live in a world that seems to be constantly filled with unrest we pray for peace. As we watch the protests taking place across the United States we ask that your peaceful presence would be known amongst all of the people involved. We also remember that Jesus in the sermon on the mount said “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” For the lack of peace in our world and for those times we have failed to be peacemakers in our homes, communities, and world we pray:

Lord have mercy.

In a world that seems to grow more divided along lines of race and ethnicity we pray for unity, for understanding, for love. As we learn in this series how to “love our neighbours as ourselves” we ask for opportunities and reminders in our daily lives to practice this central law in our faith. And for those times we have acted out of fear, spite, or anger; for the times we have failed to act out of love when love was needed we pray:

Christ have mercy.

As an aboriginal man with a mother, a sister, aunts, cousins, and nieces I was saddened to hear about a delay in the release of the national action plan on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Father I pray for those in government, that they would be motivated and inspired in finding and acting on ways to protect and empower indigenous women and girls. Most of all this morning I ask forgiveness for the times I have failed to use my voice and actions to advocate for the vulnerable, the marginalized, the oppressed, the forgotten and I pray that I would be reminded daily of the responsibilities included in my privilege. For the times my actions have made someone feel unsafe, for the times I have failed to stand up for the oppressed I pray:

Lord have mercy,

Christ have mercy,

Lord have mercy

Amen

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Staff Reflections [June 2020]

Staff Reflections [June 2020]

BOMBA

Last week during our MBCM staff meeting,

I invited our team into a conversation about racism and injustice. My heart was heavy. As a black man, the senseless and inhumane murder of George Floyd shook me to the core, and I was having trouble keeping up with my emotions. I was angry.

I recognize that this atrocity is not an isolated event but is, in fact, a display of the deeply racialized society we live in. I acknowledge that systemic racism is present here within Manitoba as well. I’m convicted for my silence and for not being a voice for the voiceless. I seek repentance for the ways in which I have not been a part of the solution. I have a choice. I can choose to cower away in fear and be overcome by helplessness, or I can press in.

To me, a big part of pressing in means having conversations. Lots of intentional conversation. I need to embrace having uncomfortable discussions. I need to welcome the opportunity to share my experience and learn from others. I need to understand what it looks like to make daily choices that reflect my desire to stand alongside the oppressed.  Could I invite you to initiate and join in conversations regarding this in your context?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those that are already engaging. I see you. Your courage inspires me. I realize that stepping into these conversations is not easy, yet its where we must start if genuinely desire to bring awareness and change. Thank you to each one of you for sacrificing comfortability for the sake of understanding. As you read some of the reflections from within the MBCM team, I pray that you feel brave enough to engage in conversation with humility, love and grace.

CAM

My prayer for us as MBCM,

is that we would be churches that are willing to have courageous conversations. To be open to discovering what it is that God may be inviting us to learn. How can we be genuinely curious in seeking to paying attention to the Holy Spirit at work in our midst.

I’m thankful for many friends that are extremely gracious to me, friends who encourage me to be genuinely curious, not to assume or to pre-judge, or to pretend to figure things out on my own – but rather to listen, to ask what feels at times like awkward or silly questions, and to seek to truly understand.

I have learning to do, and I believe we as the church have much to learn in regards to racism in our midst. My prayer is that we can be genuinely curious together, graciously exploring with those around us what it is to learn what we need to, and then to have the courage to change.

Janelle

In the past few weeks,

I have found myself surprised and saddened by what is happening in our world. As I sit with these emotions, I realize that my surprise perhaps speaks to my lack of understanding of a reality that exists daily for many. I have always been aware that our world was filled with injustice, but perhaps I could also say that I’ve allowed myself to sit at a “safe distance away.” The fact that I have had the choice speaks to my privilege, something I have also been thinking about.

In my sadness, I’ve grieved all that I’ve seen and heard. I’ve grieved that it has taken a social media explosion to awaken us of something that is not new. I grieve that humanity is so broken. This has, to some extent, kept me “frozen” unsure of what to say or how to respond. I am scared. In my vulnerability, I am afraid to be wrong or to say something that isn’t right. But I realize I must respond, and Christ calls us to “act justly” (Micah 6:8).

So here are three words I’ve chosen to embrace in my response, listenlearn and lament. I want to press into the pain and the emotion, engage in the conversation by listening to the stories of those who are willing to share when I reach out and intentionally ask. I will commit to learning, reading more, and not staying at “a safe distance away.”

Finally, I will lament humbly. I lament how I have perpetuated this issue, I lament the brokenness that exists in our world, and I lament because at the very core, racism grieves the heart of our Creator, who created every living thing and saw that it was good.

jason

We’re in this together.

It’s a line that I’ve heard a lot in the early stages of the pandemic of 2020. And we have been. We’ve taken care of the vulnerable by staying at home when possible. We’ve cared for those who might suffer more acutely from COVID-19 by keeping our distance. Here in Manitoba, it seems we’ve done well.

In the last week, our attention has been drawn to another place of vulnerability. Specifically, the systemic racism that exists around us. We haven’t done particularly well. We may not have noticed it, but more likely, we didn’t look. Systemic racism is here, and it might be closer than we thought. It’s time to learn. It’s time to get it. You don’t need to have the answers; I know I don’t. But I do know we’re in this together. Some good news? I’m pretty sure Jesus showed us the way.

Amanda

I have found myself,

once again, confronted by my privilege, specifically the privilege of having choices. As the voices of people who have been silenced rise, I can choose to listen – to turn my ears and my heart towards their suffering – or I can bury my head into my everyday life and wait until it blows over. But Jesus tended to the suffering, the disregarded, the weak and the voiceless and since I choose to follow Him, I am trying to do the same. Sometimes with courage and strength, sometimes with reluctance and fear. My prayer sounds like the word ‘selah’ feels. Selah – stop and listen.