Earlier this month church leaders in Canada were made aware of a unique opportunity to partner with the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) in a timely joint statement recognizing and marking the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) in the Canadian context. As the world continues to reel from George Floyd’s murder in the United States, it is imperative that we look inward at our own racial biases here in Canada to support positive change in our own communities.
With this opportunity to stand up for racial justice in mind, we distributed a survey to you via our mission centre mailing lists as well as our social media channels. You responded with swift and overwhelming support. We received over 100 responses from all across the country, and the results are in:
We hear you, and I have asked Kerry Richards, our designated representative with CCC, to proceed in formally adding Community of Christ’s support to the joint statement.
Jonathan Schmidt, Intercultural Chair of the Canadian Council of Churches, had this to say about our process to survey membership:
“I really like the engagement you are doing across Canada--making this more than simply signing on as a leader, but also engaging your communities in conversation.”
We see value in- and are proud of- our culture of theocratic democracy. Thank you for helping us to bring this unique aspect of our tradition to the CCC.
While signing a document in and of itself is not enough, it is the beginning of a larger ecumenical conversation and actionable steps. By joining this declaration, we are making strides toward fulfilling our call to “…work tirelessly to tear down walls of separation and to build bridges of understanding.” (Doctrine and Covenants 162:6b) We seek reconciliation within our own denomination and through our communities across Canada, and we look forward to hearing from you about the unique ways in which you prioritize to combat anti-Black racism in your congregations.
Apostle Art Smith
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537