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Nova Scotia is in mourning. So is Canada. Today marks the sunrise of the first day since the mass killing that took place this weekend in Portapique Nova Scotia, a town of only 100 full time residents. The victims include an RCMP officer, a teacher, two nurses, neighbours, correctional officers, a 17 year old fiddle player, and entire families. Our whole country is devastated and heart broken for families that can't be together in comfort or in memory of loved ones. The fear and hurt are feelings that cannot be subsided by the day light.  Yet fear cannot overtake us. 
 
We know that many among us have deep roots in the Maritimes. You are extra close to us in prayer today. We cannot be physically together in vigil today, but we know that darkness can not  drive out darkness. Only light can drive out darkness. So we ask that you join with us tonight at 8:00 pm in a " Woodcliff Alone & Together Vigil". With a flameless candle, or with a regular candle used safely, bring light to your space and join others from Woodcliff as we pray together but apart. Join with us in bringing light to drive out the darkness from your home. Join us to restore hope and search for peace. Join us in a gesture of solidarity with victims, with families, with our country - broken by this act of devastation and fear. Join us to share love and tears and promises of hope. 
 
May the following words and prayers guide you in your vigil tonight:
 
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can not overcome it. 
 
Lord our God, keeper of our fears and our sorrows
Be with us as we search for good in the world broken by hatred and distrust
Be with us as we seek understanding and reason in a place where none exists
Be with us as we search for hope in a world filled with fear
Be with us as we offer prayers of healing and care
Share your light with us in dark times and 
show us to be strong together to share your love and light with our world. 

 
A prayer
For the people of Portapique,
neighbours and community,
grieving today,
I pray.

For the victims of the shooting,
though I don’t know name or number,
I pray.

For their pain and their loss,
for their shock and confusion,
for all that has happened because of
this violence,
I pray your grace,
your compassion,
your strong presence,
your overwhelming love,
God of all creation.

In Jesus’ name...
—A prayer for the people of Nova Scotia affected by the shootings of April 18‒19, by the Right Rev. Richard Bott. 
 
It is important that we take up the role of hope and light in dark times so that darkness does not overcome us. We are here, together in light, in life and in prayer. 
 
Peace be with you. 

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5010 Spruce Drive SW T3C 3B2
403-249-3121
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Find more information about the wider Church at:
Chinook Winds Region: https://albertanorthwestconference.ca/
The United Church of Canada: www.united-church.ca
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Woodcliff United Church · 5010 Spruce Dr. S.W. · Calgary, Ab T3C 3B2 · Canada

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