HOLDING SPACE FOR LIFE
Our gifts for Mission & Service support community ministries to hold space for those who otherwise would be lost and unknown.
A simple candle is lit in the chapel at First United Church in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The gathering on unceded Coast Salish traditional territory is acknowledged. We honour a community member who has died from drug poisoning. There have been too many.
People in our neighborhood have come for many reasons. In spite of living on or below poverty incomes, in inadequate housing or rough on the street, they have made this community their home. In a relatively small footprint of land, people know and care deeply for one another. Today the church opens its doors to hold space for affirming life.
Across Canada, more than 12,800 opioid-related deaths occurred between January 2016 and March 2019. Eighty-two percent of accidental opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues. Likely every church and community that reads this Minute for Mission has been affected by drug poisoning. Vancouver’s inner city has been profoundly shaken by this pandemic. Public education, access to harm reduction supplies, and safe consumption sites have begun to slowly reduce the numbers. We advocate for change in drug policy, increased housing, easier access to treatment facilities, and more supports for those who struggle with mental illness.
On this day we honour a person much loved in the community. Your support for Mission & Service allows First United and other community ministries to continue a ministry of seeking justice and holding space for life.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.