The Rev. Jenn Geddes, minister at Comox Valley Presbyterian Church in Comox, BC, led Tuesday morning worship. Joonim Presbyterian Church, Waterloo, shared music, and Don Kim, an elder at Joonim, read a passage from Romans 12.

Jenn preached on the importance of connection, even amidst differences and diversity. She said that our future relies on our connections to one another, to other churches and ecumenical communities, and to anyone who is seeking faith in this secular world. “Connections will get us through,” she concluded. “If we are to take up a posture of possibility and hope, it has to be through those connections. So let us lean on each other and work together to be the body of Christ in our world.”

Rula Odeh, Canadian Friends of Sabeel
Samia Odeh, musician, Founder and Director of the Canadian Music Academy and Montreal Academy of Music

Guest speaker Rula Odeh, Board Chair of Canadian Friends of Sabeel , was joined by her sister Samia Odeh, who shared songs to accompany Rula’s speech. The women are of Palestinian Christian heritage, and their father is a 1948 Nakba survivor from Jerusalem.

Rula noted that speaking at the General Assembly gave her much hope and energy. She talked about her family’s story, what it means to be dehumanized, and what it means to practice ‘costly solidarity.” She spoke of the horrors taking place in Palestine and asked that we continue to insist on accountability, including advocating for the Canadian government to uphold international human rights law. This is an opportunity for us as Christians to bring our values to the table and share the stories of our Palestinian Christian family siblings.

Rula concluded by saying, “We pray for Justice and Peace for all – for Palestinians and Israelis alike… It is not antisemitic or racist to call for these things – it’s about truth, justice and our values. It’s the only way to ensure that Israeli and Palestinian children will have a future full of hopes and dreams they can actually achieve one day.”

Samia ended the session with an original song called “Kites,” written for Palestinian children with the hope that one day they and Israeli children will fly their kites together in peace.