Today we have the privilege of receiving Sue and Tony Vander Woude’s reflections on our value of Justice and Peace. Thank you Sue and Tony for your willingness to engage this conversation so openheartedly, and for naming some of the ways you’ve been supported on your Justice and Peace Journey.
I wonder what stirs for each of us…?
Justice and Peace
As God’s people, we seek to embody and evoke the gift of God’s presence in all situations including right relationships (justice) and peace (shalom). God being our helper, we will endeavour to:
- approach our divine call to care for the world positively and lightly, knowing that our response will be a natural outflow of our life in God.
- become more aware of our own complicity and our own inner landscape in terms of attraction and aversion around responding to the world’s beauty and brokenness.
- support one another in our community, as we continue to converse about our anguish and helplessness around what we see and allow God to move us into hope.
- join God in healing the world in ways that are true to our own gifts and limitations.
It is a privilege and a bit daunting to respond to such an important value, Justice and Peace. It is because of this value and our SoulStream community’s response to the Doctrine of Discovery that the ‘world’ of justice and peace began to have a more profound impact on our lives. We have become more aware of the injustices suffered by Indigenous people and others who are not white or are different in gender identification, those who have suffered injustice in church systems, and the work place. The list could go on.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the systemic evil and injustice of 200 years of colonialism and its ongoing effects. As we open ourselves to this history, learn, and grapple with these issues, we realize that there is an inner reckoning going on in us as we own our white privilege and complicity in these injustices. We have lived many years in naïve innocence. We realize that making peace may be a costly endeavour. How we respond will entail ongoing discernment and intentionally making space for God’s presence so that we can ‘hear’ what our part is to do or not to do.
As we wrestle with these things, we have been gifted and supported with ongoing wisdom from the partners in our SoulStream community, on-line discussion groups, documentaries, books, and podcasts.
We have been especially nurtured and inspired by Indigenous wisdom such as finds expression in this Richard Wagamese quote: “Walk gently on the earth and do each other no harm.” These wise words invite us to be grounded so that our actions and words flow from a non-violent posture. We are encouraged by the hope that if we practice justice, peace will follow.
Special thanks to Jeff Imbach who introduced our SS Community to the Doctrine of Discovery; to Susan DeLong for suggesting the book, “Speaking our Truth” by Monique Gray Smith and leading us in an online book discussion using the Indigenous practice of ‘passing the stone’; our community together participating in the Kairos Blanket Ceremony; to Jutta Shaw for giving leadership to and facilitating SoulStream’s Initiative, Contemplative Response to the World. All of this has helped to support our Justice and Peace journey.
We conclude with this benediction from Micah 6:8 –
With your God