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FALL 2020
   Where is the Love?
By the Rev. Simon Park, St. Timothy’s Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Ont.
The following is adapted from the message available on St. Timothy’s Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Ont., website at the-love.
Cities are burning south of the bor- der—not only are the physical struc- tures on fire, but also the very fabric that keeps society together. Anger, brutality, retaliation, ruptured trust: these are the things we are seeing.
How do we respond as individuals and as a church? What is our voice
in this situation?
We first reflect on who we are as
articulated in our mission statement: we are a compassionate community that stands in solidarity with those who experience alienation and mar- ginalization in society. This is how Jesus lived, and so do we. In this context, we stand in solidarity with Black people in the United States and Canada.
Many people focus on the violence stemming from the protests. We in the church agree with Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said that riots are “socially destructive and self-defeat- ing.” We stand by the principles of non-violence that he espoused. That was how Jesus lived, and the way that led to his death on the cross.
However, we also stand by some- thing else Martin Luther King, Jr., said:
“It is as necessary for me to be as vigorous in condemning the con- ditions which cause persons to feel that they must engage in riotous activities as it is for me to condemn riots... In the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard... As long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again.”
We are seeing the effects of justice that has been postponed. It is time
for us to say with prophetic boldness and loving solidarity: Black lives mat- ter.
Those of us who are white walk the streets without worry for our safety due solely to the colour of our skin. We do not fear making it home. We do not fear being looked upon with immediate suspicion. We can breathe freely.
“I can’t breathe.”
That is literally and metaphorically a living reality for many of our Black brothers and sisters. In Canada, we have hidden for too long beneath the veneer of equal treatment for all, and of Canada being a nice place that is equally nice to all. The myth is be- ing exposed. Only when we see and confront Canadian racism for what it is can we then begin to effectively bring about justice, healing and rec- onciliation.
This is a time for the rest of us to look honestly at ourselves. What conscious or unconscious biases do we have toward Black people? How have they affected our attitudes and behaviours toward them? How are we talking about this issue in our families? Have we been complicit in the system that discriminates against and oppresses Black peo- ple? Have we purposely buried our heads in the sand to remain oblivious to the experiences they face, day in
and day out? What is our calling for this time and place?
Let us prayerfully reflect on these questions. There is a time for meas- ured reflection, and there is a time for prayerful action. This is the time for the latter.
Let us pray. Let us stand in solidar- ity. Let us be agents of truth, justice, peace and reconciliation.
And let us ask our Father to send us some guidance from above.
May God’s peace and blessings be with you.
Presbyterians Sharing advocates for justice and human rights.
 Committee to Nominate Standing Committees
The Committee to Nominate Stand- ing Committees presents a slate of proposed names to the General As- sembly to serve on the Assembly’s committees, which are: Assembly Council, Church Doctrine, Theologi- cal Colleges, Ecumenical and Inter- faith Relations, History, International Affairs, Life and Mission Agency, Maclean Estate, Pension and Ben- efits Board, Trustee Board.
The Committee calls for nomina- tions from presbyteries, synods and committees/boards to consider. From these nominations, the Committee proposes to elect people to serve on the denomination’s committees based on gifts, skills, perspectives, backgrounds and geographic loca- tion, etc., to ensure a broad spec- trum of involvement. The Committee appreciates the input from across the church in this nomination process and encourages the church to submit names for consideration. Information concerning the annual nomination process is circulated in late fall. The annual deadline for nominations is February 28.
The Committee meets at least twice a year and consists of nine members of the church, appointed for a three-year non-renewable term. The members are nominated by the eight synods, with one synod, every three years in rotation, nominating two members to make up the full
complement of nine. Each synod al- ternates between nominating a clergy and non-clergy representative. The convener is named from among the members.
In its deliberations, the Commit- tee carries out its duties with discre- tion, fairness and balance, seeking
to build up the church, to reflect the ethnic diversity of the denomination and challenge members to service. Among its duties, the Committee will
• communicate to the church the various opportunities for service on committees, and the skills, gifts and time commitment re-
quired for each committee;
• correspond with each standing committee and board in order to call for nominations and seek to ascertain the skills particularly needed over the next term of of-
• correspond with Sessions,
presbyteries and synods to call for nominations to the various standing committees;
• ensure that there is a balance between ministers and laity, re- gional representation, gender, and will strive to include the cul- tural diversity of our church.
The Committee presents a slate of nominations for the commission- ers of General Assembly to consider. Proposed changes can be made by commissioners before the General Assembly votes to confirm the mem- bers of standing committees for the coming year. Following the General Assembly, the General Assembly Of- fice will inform the people appointed to standing committees and express appreciation to those members whose term is completed.

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