Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity

Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
Hope, Gratitude
                        and Solidarity
                               A Message to Canadians
                               from Religious Leaders in Canada
                               in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic




PHOTO: YOKSEL ZOK / UNSPLASH
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
In spite of present sufferings, which
can seem overwhelming at times, the
flames of hope cannot be extinguished.

Let us witness hope to each other
and so become beacons of light
during these uncertain times.


PHOTO: YANIKAP/ISTOCK




    C
           anadians are experiencing the devastating         can bring us closer in spirit, despite the require-
           impact of COVID-19 in what has become             ments of physical distancing. Let us witness hope
           a rapidly evolving crisis. Understandably,        to each other and so become beacons of light dur-
    this crisis has brought about feelings of anxiety,       ing these uncertain times.
    apprehension and fear. Critical elements of our
                                                             Canada has gone through several difficult and
    daily lives are being thrown into uncertainty:
                                                             painful experiences in its history. When current
    health, employment, financial security, recre-
                                                             and former generations have responded to these
    ational activities, as well as our ability to gather
                                                             challenges, many were empowered by unwaver-
    as worshiping communities. In view of these
                                                             ing hope as well as human and spiritual resilience.
    difficulties, we as religious leaders wish to bring
                                                             For religious believers, this hope takes on a special
    forward a message of hope, gratitude and solidar-
    ity to all people who call Canada home.
                                                             We draw hope from a variety of sources: from

    A Message of Hope                                        our religious beliefs, the love of our families,
                                                             the relationships with friends and the work we
    We draw hope from a variety of sources: from our         do. Each of these, and others as well, provides
    religious beliefs, the love of our families, the rela-
    tionships with friends and the work we do. Each          rays of hope to our daily lives.
    of these, and others as well, provides rays of hope
    to our daily lives. Likewise, hope provides cour-        and unique dimension. It assures us of the caring
    age to face the burdens we bear and the ability to       embrace of the Creator, a sacred relationship sus-
    look onwards toward the dawning of a new day.            tained by prayer, and which flows into our human
    In spite of present sufferings, which can seem           relationships whereby we care for one another
    overwhelming at times, the flames of hope cannot         and bear each other’s burden. Yet, hope brings for
    be extinguished. Love, which gives life its fullest      everyone a promise of renewal, even in the midst
    meaning, continues to seek out the common good           of human suffering. Hope assures us that this
    in spite of individual difficulties. Acts of kindness    affliction too shall pass.


2   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
As religious leaders, we raise
                                                                                                                  our collective voices to highlight
                                                                                                                  the necessity for greater attention
                                                                                                                  to the needs of the homeless, the




                                                          PHOTO: LISEGAGNE / ISTOCK
                                                                                                                  incarcerated, the elderly and those
                                                                                                                  already suffering from social isolation.

                                                                                                                  Governments across Canada as well as religious
                                                                                                                  leaders are bearing particularly heavy burdens in
                                                                                                                  steering our communities through this calamity.
    A Message of Gratitude                                                                                        It is comforting to see that in such demanding
                                                                                                                  times, political differences are being set aside to
                                                                                                                  serve the common good. This too is a witness of
    During this time of crisis, we as religious leaders
                                                                                                                  hope for Canadians. For all these acts of generos-
    wish to offer words of appreciation and grati-
                                                                                                                  ity and dedication, let us add our expressions of
    tude. Health care professionals are providing
                                                                                                                  gratitude for the important work of the diverse
    unfailing and dedicated service under stressful
                                                                                                                  leaders of our country.
    and difficult circumstances. They provide for us
    a powerful witness of care, expertise and service
    in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
                          There is also the increased
                                                                                                         A Message of Solidarity
                          risk of exposure to infec-
                                                                                                                  We urge all people in Canada to listen and
                          tion along with other
                                                                                                                  follow attentively the directions of our public
                          hardships being experi-
                                                                                                                  health officials and government leaders. We,
                          enced by so many others.
                                                                                                                  as religious leaders, pledge to lead by example.
                          For instance, while the
                                                                                                                  We all must act together in confronting this
                          rest of society rightly
                                                                                                                  virus. While everyone is vulnerable during this
                          heeds the precautions of
                                                                                                                  crisis, let us not forget those in our society who,
                          physical distancing, many
                                                                                                                  prior to COVID-19, were already vulnerable to
                          remain at work in grocery
                                                                                                                  health and social ailments. As religious leaders,
                        PHOTO: FOROUZANI / UPSTOCK




                          stores, pharmacies and
                                                                                                                  we raise our collective voices to highlight the
                          factories. Students, the
                                                                                                                  necessity for greater attention to the needs of
                          middle-aged, and those
                          close to retirement are
                          fulfilling a variety of
                          essential front-line jobs in
                                                                                PHOTO: ROCKETCLIPS / ADOBESTOCK




                          the supply chain, ensuring
    that stores remain open, shelves remain stocked,
    and goods are delivered so that others can have
    food, medicines and other essentials for their
    families and communities. We express a deep
    appreciation and gratitude for these workers.


3   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
This is a time for human solidarity.
                                                                                                             We all need to pull together.

                                                                                                                      neighbour. This includes care and solidarity for




                                                        PHOTO: SDOMINICK / ISTOCK
                                                                                                                      the global community who face this crisis with far
                                                                                                                      fewer resources than those accessible to Canada.
                                                                                                                      This is a time for us to draw closer to God.
                                                                                                                      Religion and spirituality can indeed contribute
                                                                                                                      to building people up, to providing a sense of
                                                                                                                      meaning, inner strength, new horizons and
                                                                                                                      openness of hearts. As religious leaders, we wish
    the homeless, the incarcerated, the elderly and
                                                                                                                      to emphasize, especially in times like these, the
    those already suffering from social isolation.
                                                                                                                      power and importance of prayer. We earnestly
    We remember too those people, especially women
                                                                                                                      pray for healing, for the continued efforts to
    and children who face abuse and violence, who are
                                                                                                                      relieve human suffering, and for perseverance
    not safe at home and may suffer additional abuse
                                                                                                                      throughout these challenging times. As history
    and violence as stress increases. We must never
                                                                                                                      records these moments for our country’s future,
    overlook or exclude these groups from our plan-
    ning, preparedness and response to this pandemic.
    We are particularly mindful of First Nations,
    Métis and Inuit communities, including isolated
    Northern communities, who were already facing
    pre-existing challenges and for whom the COVID-
    19 outbreak could prove singularly devastating.
                                                                                    PHOTO: KIEFERPIX / SHUTTERSTOCK




    Likewise, we need to remember the needs and
    vulnerabilities of the many refugees and migrant
    workers who have come to Canada seeking safety
    and security.
    Charitable organizations in Canada will face
    greater challenges during this time of crisis and
    will need greater assistance from governments so
    as to continue their vital work. This is a time for
    human solidarity. We all need to pull together. It is                                                             let us pray that, in the face of COVID-19, we
    essential to carry out the practical requirements to                                                              respond with an abundance of hope, gratitude
    limit the spread of this virus. It is also important to                                                           and solidarity, trusting in the loving and ever
    maintain a posture of attentive caring towards our                                                                merciful God, the source of all hope. O O



                        Let us pray that, in the face of COVID-19, we respond with an abundance
                        of hope, gratitude and solidarity, trusting in the loving and ever merciful
                        God, the source of all hope.
                                                                                                                       Hope, Gratitude
                                                                                                                             and Solidarity
4
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
Religious Leaders

    Rev. Kenesha Blake-Newell                          Kevin Schular
    Rev. Kenesha Blake-Newell                          Kevin Schular
    Itinerant Elder (Grant AME)                        Executive Director
    African Methodist Episcopal Church                 Baptist General Conference of Canada


    Farhan Iqbal                                       Charles Mashinter
    Farhan Iqbal                                       Charles Mashinter
    Missionary                                         Executive Director
    Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada                    Be In Christ Church – Canada


    Rev. Shane B. Janzen                               Lee Nicholas-Pattillo
    Rev. Shane B. Janzen                               Lee Nicholas-Pattillo
    Archbishop                                         President
    The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada             Canadian Association for Baptist Freedoms


    The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls                       MGen Guy J.J. Chapdelaine, OMM, CD, QHC
    The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls                       MGen Guy J.J. Chapdelaine, OMM, CD, QHC
    Archbishop and Primate                             Chaplain General
    The Anglican Church of Canada                      Canadian Armed Forces



    Rev. Fr. John Benjamin Vic Paradero, OMHS          Rev. Dr. Terry G. Smith
                                                       Rev. Dr. Terry G. Smith
    Rev. Fr. Jose Mark John Jamili, OMHS               Executive Director
    Rev. Fr. John Benjamin Vic Paradero, OMHS          Canadian Baptist Ministries
    Rev. Fr. Jose Mark John Jamili, OMHS
    Apostolic Catholic Church of Canada
                                                       Dr. Peter Reid
                                                       Dr. Peter Reid
    Rev. Wesley E. Mills                               Executive Minister
                                                       Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada
    Rev. Wesley E. Mills
    President
    Apostolic Church of Pentecost of Canada, Inc.      Rev. Tim McCoy
                                                       Rev. Tim McCoy
    His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan                  Executive Minister
                                                       Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec
    His Grace Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan
    Primate
    Armenian Holy Apostolic Church Diocese of Canada   Rev. Rob Ogilvie
                                                       Rev. Rob Ogilvie
    Mobeen Khaja, O Ont.                               Executive Minister
                                                       Canadian Baptists of Western Canada
    Mobeen Khaja, O Ont.
    President
    Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada



5   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
Religious Leaders (continued)

    Dr. Adriana Bara                                     Zul Kassamali
    Dr. Adriana Bara
    Executive Director
                                                         Aileen Van Ginkel
    Canadian Centre for Ecumenism                        Zul Kassamali, Co-chair
                                                         Aileen Van Ginkel, Co-chair
                                                         Canadian Interfaith Conversation
    +Richard Gagnon
    +Richard Gagnon
    Archbishop of Winnipeg, President                    Rabbi Reuven Poupko
    Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
                                                         Rabbi Baruch Friedman-Kohl
    Elton Da Silva                                       Rabbi Debra Landsberg
    Elton Da Silva
    National Director                                    Rabbi Jonathan Infeld
    Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
                                                         Rabbi Reuven Poupko
                                                         Rabbi Baruch Friedman-Kohl
    Rev. Stephen Kendall,                                Rabbi Debra Landsberg
                                                         Rabbi Jonathan Infeld

    Pastor Peter Noteboom                                Co-chairs
                                                         Canadian Rabbinic Caucus, an affiliate
    Rev. Stephen Kendall, President                      of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
    Pastor Peter Noteboom, General Secretary
    The Canadian Council of Churches
                                                         Beverly Shepard
    Imam Mohamed Refaat Abo Onar                         Beverly Shepard
                                                         Presiding Clerk
    Imam Mohamed Refaat Abo Onar                         Canadian Yearly Meeting of the
    President                                            Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Canadian Council of Imams

                                                         Rev. Dr. David Hearn
    Nina Karachi-Khaled                                  Rev. Dr. David Hearn
                                                         President
    Nina Karachi-Khaled
                                                         The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada
    President of the National Board
    Canadian Council of Muslim Women
                                                         Rev. Ann Stainton
    Rev. David McGrew                                    Rev. Ann Stainton
                                                         Moderator
    Rev. David McGrew
                                                         Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada
    National Director
    Canadian Fellowship of Churches and Ministers
                                                         The Rev Dr. Darren Roorda
    Pandit Roopnauth Sharma                              The Rev Dr. Darren Roorda
                                                         Canadian Ministries Director
    Pandit Roopnauth Sharma                              Christian Reformed Church in North America
    President
    Canadian Multifaith Federation


6   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
Religious Leaders (continued)

    Michel J. Carter                                    H.G. Anba Mina
    John N. Craig                                       H.G. Anba Makar
    James E. Evanson                                    HG Abba Boulos
    Michael R. Murray                                   H.G. Anba Mina
                                                        Bishop Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada
    Elder Michel J. Carter                              H.G. Anba Makar
    Elder John N. Craig                                 Bishop of Goshen, Egypt;
    Elder James E. Evanson                              Papal Vicar in the Archdiocese of Toronto
    Elder Michael R. Murray                             H.G Abba Boulos
    Area Seventies                                      Bishop of Ottawa, Montreal, and Eastern Canada
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints     The Coptic Orthodox Church in Canada



    Rev. Dr. Ian Fitzpatrick                            L.K. (Rev. Fr.) Messale Engeda
    Rev. Dr. Ian Fitzpatrick                            L.K. (Rev. Fr.) Messale Engeda
    National Director                                   Head priest and Administrator
    Church of the Nazarene Canada                       Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada


    Kerry Richards                                      Dr. David P. Lavigne
    Kerry Richards                                      Dr. David P. Lavigne
    President, Canada East                              Bishop
    Community of Christ                                 The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada



    Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka, CM, Ph.D                     Bruce J. Clemenger
    Rabbi Reuven P. Bulka, CM, Ph.D                     Bruce J. Clemenger
    Rabbi Emeritus and spiritual leader                 President
    Congregation Machzikei Hadas, Ottawa                The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada



    Rev. Dr. David Schrader                             Dr. William Taylor
    Rev. Dr. David Schrader                             Dr. William Taylor
    National Pastor                                     Executive Director
    Congregational Christian Churches in Canada         Evangelical Free Church of Canada



    Netta Phillet                                       The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
    Netta Phillet                                       The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
    Coordinator                                         National Bishop
    Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education & Action   Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada




7   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity
Religious Leaders (continued)

    Tim Dyck                                             Dr. Ronald A. Kuipers
    Tim Dyck                                             Dr. Ronald A. Kuipers
    Executive Director                                   President
    Evangelical Mennonite Conference                     Institute for Christian Studies


    Rev. Steven F. Jones                                 Halil Yurtsever
    Rev. Steven F. Jones                                 Halil Yurtsever
    National President                                   Intercultural Dialogue Institute
    The Fellowship of Evangelical
    Baptist Churches in Canada
                                                         Brian A. Hawes
    Steve Falkiner                                       Brian A. Hawes
                                                         President
    Steve Falkiner                                       Interfaith Committee on Chaplaincy
    President                                            in the Correctional Service of Canada
    Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada

                                                         Imam Ilyas Sidyot
    Bill Hall                                            Imam Ilyas Sidyot
    Bill Hall                                            Grand Mosque of Saskatoon
    President                                            Islamic Association of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) Inc.
    Grace Communion International Canada

                                                         Jennifer Henry
    Philip Bryant                                        Jennifer Henry
    Philip Bryant                                        Executive Director
    Executive Director                                   KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
    Grace Fellowship Canada

                                                         Naj Mankal
    His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios                     Naj Mankal
    His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios                     President
    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada                 Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario


    Pandit Roopnauth Sharma                              Imam Zubair Sidyot
    Pandit Roopnauth Sharma                              Imam Zubair Sidyot
    President                                            Lethbridge Muslim Association (Alberta)
    Hindu Federation of Canada

                                                         Belle Jarniewski
    Rev. Paul McPhail                                    Belle Jarniewski
    Rev. Paul McPhail                                    President
    General Secretary                                    Manitoba Multifaith Council
    Independent Assemblies of God International Canada




8   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
Religious Leaders (continued)

    Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos Episcopa              Imam Irshad Unia
    Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos Episcopa              Imam Irshad Unia
    Bishop, Diocese of North America And Europe         Prince Albert Muslim Association (Saskatchewan)
    Mar Thoma Syrian Church

                                                        The Rev. Marijke Strong
    Doug Klassen                                        The Rev. Marijke Strong
    Doug Klassen                                        Executive Secretary
    Executive Minister                                  Regional Synod of Canada
    Mennonite Church Canada                             Reformed Church in America


    Zul Kassamali                                       Pascale Frémond
    Zul Kassamali                                       Pascale Frémond
    President                                           President
    National Alliance for the                           Religions for Peace Canada
    Advancement of Pluralistic Society

                                                        Commissioner Floyd J. Tidd
    Muneeb Nasir                                        Commissioner Floyd J. Tidd
    Muneeb Nasir                                        Territorial Commander
    Co-Chair                                            The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory
    National Muslim Christian Liaison Committee

                                                        The Most Rev. Zenji Nio
    His Eminence, Archbishop Irénée                     The Most Rev. Zenji Nio
    His Eminence, Archbishop Irénée                     Abbot, Samurai Buddhist Temple & Museum
    Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada                     Tokyo, Japan & Bay Street Corridor, Toronto
    and the Archdiocese of Canada
    Orthodox Church in America
                                                        Rabbi David Seed
    Rev. Dr. David R. Wells                             Rabbi David Seed
                                                        President
    Rev. Dr. David R. Wells                             Toronto Board of Rabbis
    General Superintendent
    The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada
                                                        The Most Reverend
    Rev. Terry W. Snow                                  Lawrence Huculak, O.S.B.M.
    Rev. Terry W. Snow                                  The Most Reverend
    General Superintendent                              Lawrence Huculak, O.S.B.M.
    Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland & Labrador   Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg
                                                        for Ukrainian Catholics in Canada
    The Rev. Amanda Currie
    The Rev. Amanda Currie
    Moderator
    The Presbyterian Church in Canada




9   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
Religious Leaders (continued)

     His Eminence, The Most Rev.                                     David Ruis
     Metropolitan Yurij (Kalistchuk)                                 David Ruis
                                                                     National Director
     His Eminence, The Most Rev.                                     Vineyard Canada
     Metropolitan Yurij (Kalistchuk)
     Archbishop of Winnipeg and the Central Eparchy
     Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada              Pastor Mike Stone
                                                                     Pastor Mike Stone
     Rev. David Rowley                                               Executive Director
                                                                     Vision Ministries Canada
     Rev. David Rowley
     General Secretary
     The Union of French Baptist Churches in Canada                  Rev. Dr. Eric R. Hallett
                                                                     Rev. Dr. Eric R. Hallett
     Rev. Brian K. Magnus                                            District Superintendent, Central Canada District
                                                                     The Wesleyan Church
     Rev. Brian K. Magnus
     Bishop
     The United Brethren Church in Canada                            Venerable Dr. Bhante Saranapala
                                                                     Venerable Dr. Bhante Saranapala

     The Right Rev. Richard Bott                                     West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Centre


     Nora Sanders                                                    Jaskaran Singh Sandhu
     The Right Rev. Richard Bott, Moderator                          Jaskaran Singh Sandhu
     Nora Sanders, General Secretary                                 Executive Director
     The United Church of Canada                                     World Sikh Organization of Canada




                            Code: 185-140 ISBN: 978-0-88997-874-4
                            Legal Deposit: Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa
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10   HOPE, GRATITUDE AND SOLIDARITY
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