Slideshow image

Good morning, James Bay United Church,

Last night's rain (HUGE rain) has me thinking about people without adequate shelter right here in our city these nights -- and days.  It's especially poignant when "these people" are known to us, "part of the family."  So these days, among the Thrift Shop volunteers and the Tuesday morning drop-in folks, we're mindful of Shawn who has been diligently searching for housing all October, and here we are in November.  You're likely aware of the housing crisis in Victoria these days.  Shawn needs our help. If you have any leads on an apartment or suite in a home for $800/month, please be in touch with me.

A week from today is Irene Nepstad's 102nd birthday!  In a visit with her ealier this week I was again blessed by Irene's humour, her thoughtfulness, her gratitude as she re-visits so many moments and events of grace in her life, her enquiry into our life and deep desire for our well-being.  Just to be in Irene's company is good medicine.  While she is aware that some day soon she will be slipping away, she continues to be very present in this life.  Thanks to Aleksa, we will have a card to sign for Irene, available tomorrow.  So please be on the look out for that.

Bev Tracey continues to make great progress in tending the physical property of our church.  In recent days, you may have noticed new, working door handles at the ramp entrance and the men's washroom; a new pack-in pack-out policy that applies to everyone using the space, for items of garbage and recycling; and some great work done to consolidate and free up storage space in the lower hall.  Next on the list:  stay tuned for an invitation from Bev to come and be part of a work-bee ... that will be as much about fun and connecting with each other as it will be about making the place shine with TLC.  Big thanks to Bev.

Last week we received a note from Rabbi Harry Brechner of the Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue alerting us to Kristallnacht, inviting our participation in this year's commemoration of that event, beginning at 7pm on Wednesday. November 9th, 1461 Blanshard St.  Rabbi Harry writes:

Chaverim (Friends)
Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass is a commemoration of a state sponsored pogrom in Germany on November 9, 1938, that is understood as the precursor and beginning of the Nazi Holocaust.  The commemoration event has become an opportunity for our greater community to come together in solidarity and to make a strong statement together that we will never allow for the discrimination, persecution, racism and violence that occurred in Nazi Germany.  
I hope you can represent your faith community and join us on Wednesday November 9 at 7 pm. and participate in a pledge that I worked on with second and third generation survivors of the Holocaust who have organized this years commemoration. The pledge is attached.  [It reads as follows:
*Silence in the face of injustice is to agree with the ones who perpetrate injustices.
*Never will we stand by to allow expressions of racism, xenophobia or discrimination against any peoples in our community.
*We will do our utmost to encourage meaningful dialogue and positive action to foster understanding among diverse groups based on mutual respect.]
Thank you in advance for doing all that you do to ensure that our greater community is characterized by tolerance, acceptance and good will.
B'virkat Shalom
With blessings for peace and wholeness
Rabbi Harry Brechner
A member of the organizing group offers this further description of the event on Wednesday:
The tragedy of Kristallnacht reminds us of how quickly lives can be changed and of our continued need for unity and collective vigilance. Kristallnacht is not only is a painful scar in the pages of Jewish history, but a lesson for all humanity. Before it is permitted to manifest into anything larger, all of us must respond promptly and loudly at the first appearance of injustices targeting any group. This message is particularly significant in today's world when acts of irrational and violent prejudice are all too prevalent. Our program will include a candle lighting ceremony by survivors, second- and third-generation representing all who perished in the Holocaust. In addition, the program will include a variety of other presenters including local faith leaders and politicians, musicians, readings and a special, symbolic activity representing hope and resiliency."   

Before we get to November 9th, there is tomorrow!  Not only does that mean Sabbath rest, but we get given an extra hour in the middle of the night.  In case you need a further reminder, tonight's the night we turn our clocks back one hour which will save you arriving unnecessarily early tomorrow morning for worship.

Grace and Peace, Karen

PS  Can you help help solve the mystery of the rug hook picture