Black History Month service a celebration of diversity and unity
Over 400 worshippers from 20 different denominations came together at St. Faith’s Anglican Church in Edmonton January 31 to kick off Black History Month with an ecumenical service.
“Out of many, we are one people,” presider the Rev. Miranda Sutherland, a native of Jamaica and interim priest-in-charge at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Drayton Valley, told the congregation.
“Together, let us reach out in peace and hope to the world…we can draw strength from others’ experiences as a diversified people who believe in Christ,” said the Rev. Mike Grange, associate pastor of Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ, who expressed gratitude and appreciation to everyone in attendance on behalf of the Edmonton branch of the National Black Coalition of Canada.
In his homily, the Rev. Errol Campbell, pastor of Victory Family Fellowship Church in Calgary, spoke of an imperfect world, where co-operation is necessary for survival.
“The time is now, when we must approach life with our neighbours without malice or scepticism; but with a lit candle of hope and goodwill,” he said. “This, certainly, was one of the reasons why Jesus asked the father to make us one,” he continued. “Folks, we are not atomistic. We did not come into this life all self-sufficient…at some point in our lives, somebody invested in us for us to achieve. It is now our time to return the favour.”
Safe Harbour closes amid financial difficulties
Ten months after opening to great fanfare, Safe Harbour in Saint John closed on January 29 due to financial difficulties.
“It’s a pretty sad thing that this is happening,” said Bishop David Edwards, who sat on the Safe Harbour board until a year ago. “We really need it to stay open. It’s necessary. It’s demonstrably necessary.”
In the 10 months, 55 young people sought refuge at the shelter, which sits on land once occupied by St. James Anglican Church on Broad Street in Saint John. Social workers found alternate housing for all 10 residents before the shelter closed. Fourteen employees were laid off.
The bishop had hoped that funding would be found, perhaps via the province, before the January deadline, but it was not to be.
The financial problems stem from a $540,000 lien on the building. Not all the construction bills have been paid, due in part to construction cost overruns, a harsh winter last year and the fact that not everyone who made earlier financial commitments to the shelter has kept them.
The diocese of Fredericton accepts donations to Safe Harbour—online at anglican.nb.ca/giving/index.html, via telephone or in person.
—The New Brunswick Anglican
Program connecting Indigenous youth and elders receives Foundation grant
The Coming Home Society, an alcohol and drug recovery program for young Aboriginal women supported by the diocese of New Westminster, has received a $10,000 grant from the Anglican Foundation to help fund a new program that supports at-risk Indigenous youth by connecting them to Indigenous elders.
The program, called Wisdom of the Elders, is being created in partnership with the Urban Native Youth Association and will help youth receive spiritual care, cultural teachings and ceremonies and individual one-on-one support from a core group of Indigenous elders.
The program will operate out of the Native Youth Health and Wellness Centre on East Hastings Street in Vancouver, and will augment the health care and psychological counselling services already being offered by providing spiritual and cultural healing to Vancouver’s Indigenous inner-city youth.
The grand was one of five awarded by the Anglican Foundation to support “service or outreach projects that involve interfaith collaboration.”
—The Diocesan Post