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Oh behalf of the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada, I sent this letter to the Muslim associations in BC.


March 16, 2019

To our dearest Muslim brothers and sisters,

In the absence of our President, the Reverend Jay Olson, who is out of the country, I write to you, on behalf of Christ’s people in the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada, with a broken heart. We share a common practice; to gather in community, on the Sabbath, to give to the God who animates all life, our devotion, our praise, our commitment, our lives. And in the doing, we each pray for healing in God’s world, that all may live in peace and justice. Yesterday, we watched in horror as your brothers and sisters in faith, in Christchurch New Zealand, gathering for Sabbath worship were assaulted by violent gunfire, killing 49 faithful followers, injuring many more. With sighs too deep for words, our hearts ache with you.

When fear and anger visit the earth with such a rampage, the whole world suffers. Faithful people of all traditions will assert this is not God’s way. This is not God’s intention. This is not consistent with our common call – to love God, and to love and serve our neighbour. While you mourn, we mourn. While you pray for healing, we will pray for healing. While you seek justice and God’s grace, we will seek justice and God’s grace. May our loving action bring us closer to a lasting compassion and peace.

We offer our deepest condolences.

S. Blair Odney President Elect,

Pacific Mountain Regional Council

United Church of Canada.