Susiya Home Demolition Update

Beth Baskin, Program Coordinator, Social Analysis and Congregational Engagement, The United Church of Canada, shares the following Take Action request.

Susiya’s lawyer is writing with urgency:

  • The Government of Israel gave notice on Jan. 10th that they intend to demolish 15 homes and structures in the Palestinian village of Susiya.  According to the High Court decision days earlier, this triggers a 15 day clock.
  • Advocate Mishirqi Assad, attorney for Susiya, has until this Wednesday to oppose.
  • Then it is up to the High Court to issue an injunction against demolition to stop the bulldozers now set to demolish on January 23rd.

Many of you have spoken to the Canadian Government already, but we are asking you to do it again. The impact that ordinary people who seek justice can have when they take action is clear. Demolitions have been postponed thus far. Contact your elected representatives, asking them to act urgently for the sake of justice for the people of Susiya.

Write to the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and your member of Parliament:

  •  Ask Minister Freeland to call on the Israeli government reverse the decision to demolish the villages of Susiya.
  • Ask Minister Freeland to urge Canada to call on the Israeli government to immediately freeze all settlement activity and demolition orders.
  • Request that your MP call on Minister Freeland during question period to ask what actions Canada is taking to press the Israeli government to reverse the demolition orders.
  • A sample letter is available on the United Church Take Action webpage.
  • Share this Take Action on your social media networks. Use the hashtags #UCCan, #Susiya, #Israel, #Palestine.
  • Urge Minister Freeland to request that Canadian diplomatic missions in Palestine and Israel visit Susiya immediately. We have contacted the office in Ramallah asking them to make a visit. In 2015, European Union representatives visited the village of Susiya, which was then also threatened with demolition. International publicity from this visit was vital in halting the planned demolitions at that time.

You have already written, then give Minister Freeland a call at 343-203-1851 and your MP too. You can find your MPs contact information through this link. I trust that you all have your own words, since many of you have done this before, but you can modify the sample letter from our earlier Take Action as is helpful to you.

As noted in the Haqel press release found on Rebuilding Alliance website, Adv. Quamar Mishirqi-Assad, legal counsel to the village of Susiya and and Co-Director of Haqel, states:

“The demolition of 20% of the structures in the village will create a grave humanitarian disaster leaving at least 100 residents without shelter in harsh winter weather. The State’s intention is nothing less than a lack of good faith and testifies to the lack of goodwill and the absence of any genuine intention to regulate the village as required in accordance with international law.”

Don’t get discouraged – please send your emails and call again now. You are doing this in concert with concerned people in numerous places worldwide.

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Saskatoon Nov 20-24: Inquiry into Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

November 20-24, the national Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will hold its only planned SK hearings in Saskatoon. The All My Relations Network of SK Conference invites your support through presence, prayer, your contributions to comfort bags, and more.

Please see the AMRN blog for a complete list of suggestions. Please note that as we receive more information, we will post updates on the All My Relations blog. AMRN is thankful for the partnership we share with the Iskwewuk e-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together) community group as we accompany each other in this work.

Are refugees a risk? Some resources

Are refugees a risk? Responses and resources

Following the attacks in Edmonton on September 30 2017, and the arrest of a Somali refugee as the main suspect, some people are rushing to paint refugees as dangerous.

Darren Wooff, Refugee convener for Saskatchewan Conference, suggests the following links and resources from the Canadian Council for Refugees. These offer background while laying out the case that born-in-Canada Canadians are in fact the most likely people to commit attacks that can be reasonably associated with terrorism. The United Church of Canada is a longtime and active member of the CCR.

Members of the United Church community are urged to also read the Moderator’s March 2017 reflection on racism, in which she notes, “Hatred so often has its source in fear—fear of change, fear of difference, fear of the unknown. We are all vulnerable to fear. When we are afraid we become defensive, we want to protect ourselves from real and perceived threats. The language of exclusion, the desire to draw lines between “us” and “them,” words and actions designed to dehumanize others, all are rooted in fear.

The antidote to this type of fear is love.” Read on for some good resources.  Continue reading

Dialogue is the only way to avert a war- Korean churches statement

“War destroys all of us: we desperately appeal for peace on the Korean peninsula.”

Dear Friends,

With tensions steadily increasing between the United States and North Korea, the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) continues to call for peaceful dialogue to resolve the rising conflict between these two governments to avoid war in the Korean peninsula.

The NCCK, along with each moderator from the member churches of the NCCK, participated in a press conference to express their unified stance on a peaceful resolution.

To read the collective call and the urgent appeal to the international community for peace in Korea, please click here.

Sincerely, the NCCK International Team

Jeremiah 33:6 “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and I will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”

 

 

 

 

Worship and action resources for World Food Day, Oct 16

Throughout this week in October we are invited to take action for food justice. As the harvest is gathered and as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike respectfully hunt and fish in preparation for winter, we give thanks for the beauty and the bounty of God’s Creation. Please set aside time in worship to give thanks, and to pray and take action for the millions around the world and in Canada who are hungry in the midst of plenty, or who are hungry because they are fleeing disasters and violence.

See the United Church’s national page for resources. The United Church and many of our own farmers are also partners with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, which also offers a special 2017 worship resource.   Continue reading

Speaker opportunity: Global partner stories at home

Out of Many, One: bringing home stories of global partners in Kenya, Cuba, and Palestine

Three SK Conference members have been recent guests with global partners in Cuba, Kenya, and Palestine/ Israel.  These partners, our global family, share in our mission and in our givings to Mission and Service. Throughout the fall of 2017 and winter/ spring 2018, we encourage you to invite them to share their stories in worship, workshops, and at Presbytery. Some support for their travel is available through the Conference Generosity in Mission Fund.

Get in touch with Cindy, Brenda, and Sandra to find out how your ministry can host them for worship, workshops, and more. Or contact Laura Sundberg, Global Personnel Coordinator, or Julie Graham, Education staff. In order to protect email addresses, we ask you to use the Conference Directory or contact Julie if you need help finding contact information. Email her at jgraham(at)skconf(dot)ca

Rev. Cindy Bourgeois serves Wesley United Church in Regina. On behalf of the United Church and Affirm United, in 2017 she attended an historic church gathering in Cuba for the transgender community.

Rev. Brenda Curtis serves Humboldt pastoral charge. In the spring of 2017 she participated in a clergy “Come and See” visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.

Sandra Fowler is a licensed lay worship leader at Spirit Hills pastoral charge.  She represented SK Conference in March 2017 on the Mission and Service Pilgrimage to Kenya.