United Church Moderator Invites Acts of Hope and Encouragement

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

United Church Moderator Invites Acts of Hope and Encouragement

Toronto: In a video posted today on The United Church of Canada’s YouTube Channel, the church’s Moderator, the Right Rev. Gary Paterson, is inviting Canadians to join with him this Friday in offering signs of encouragement to government and First Nations leaders who will be meeting that day.


“This call to action is being made to encourage Canadians to demonstrate their support for the January 11 meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a delegation of First Nations leaders, including Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence,” explains Paterson.

For some people, he says, the response to this call may mean a day of fasting; for others it could mean writing a letter to the prime minister or setting aside time for intentional prayer.

Paterson explains that whether fasting or praying, the common hope will be for a positive outcome from this meeting as a significant step in healing the fractured relations between the Canadian government and Canada’s First Peoples.

Paterson says he welcomed the prime minister’s decision to meet with First Nations leaders on Friday as a hopeful sign, and wants to emphasize that as a country Canada has reached a point where urgent action is needed.

He adds that events over the past month have made it clear that in many places and in many different ways, “the current status quo is no longer tolerable.”

“The challenge to Canadians-not only the prime minister and not only the government, but all of us-is to end the legacy of colonization, inequality, and abuse and to walk the road of justice and reconciliation with Canada’s First Peoples,” says Paterson.

For further information:
Mary-Frances Denis
Media and Public Relations
The United Church of Canada
416-231-7680 ext. 2016
1-800-268-3781 ext. 2016