A letter from Gord Waldie, Northern Spirit Executive Chairperson and Annual Meeting Convenor
November 3, 2021
Friends and Siblings in Christ,
May the Grace and Peace of Christ be with you all!
At our Annual Meeting in May we passed a proposal encouraging and urging us, as a Regional Council and as individual people and Communities of Faith, to respond to the reality of racism within our communities. At our last Executive Meeting we took time to discuss more deeply how that proposal can be put into action.
Whether we choose to admit it or not, racism is a part of life in our cities, in our towns, even in
our faith communities. Some instances of racism, often the most violent or egregious, make it
into our evening news. Many of them happen without most of us even being aware. Some of
them happen in our presence and we do not notice or recognize that racism is present.
In 2020 the United Church of Canada made a choice to work towards being an anti-racist
As members of the United Church, as Communities of Faith within the United
Church, we are invited and urged to join in this work. This could take the form of intentional
study and discussions in our local contexts. It could take the form of naming that anything which
denies that all our neighbours are created in the Image of God (racism, homophobia and
heterosexism, sexism, transphobia – to name a few) is unacceptable and sinful. It could take the
form of actively resisting those same things. It could take the form of participating in the national
church’s 40 Days of Engagement of Anti-Racism. It is my belief that if we are to live as if the
Realm of God, the Reign of Shalom is real and present in our midst we must act on those things
that shatter shalom and fight against the Realm of God.
As we on Executive discussed what it might mean for us as a Regional Council to take on this
work we knew we needed people to guide us. When we talked about becoming an Affirming
Ministry we set up a Task Group to guide us. The Affirming Task Group is not doing the work
for us, they are leading us as a Regional Council in doing the work. To become an intentionally
anti-racist regional council we need the same thing. So, we are looking for people with passion to
join a Task Group that will help us all learn what it means to be intentionally and actively antiracist as a part of living out our calling to be the church, to love and serve others, to seek justice
and resist evil (and probably give us a few nudges or challenges along the way).
If you are interested in helping to lead Northern Spirit Regional Council in this way, or if you
can think of someone who would be a great resource for this work, please contact the Regional
Council Office (firstname.lastname@example.org; or 780.435.3995).
Racism is a reality in our culture. But God is at work, calling us to rethink how we build our
communities. Becoming anti-racist will improve our understanding of what it means to follow
the God who created this wonderfully diverse world and called it all very good. It will remind us
that we are called to love the whole world as we have been loved.
God has called us to do this thing. How will we respond?