Fostering compassion and courage
A community gathering in response to polarizing political forces has been planned for March 22 in Wolfville.
In this anxious and confusing time, the Wolfville and Area InterChurch Council (WAICC) wanted to offer a space for people to gather, share a meal, hear voices asking questions that are on many hearts, and discuss ways people can come together and stay together in the midst of it all, said Rev. Sandra Fyfe.
Theologian Dr. Anna Robbins and political scientist Dr. Andrew Biro are lined up to speak.
Fyfe said Robbins will talk about sustaining compassion and hope, while Biro will address challenging politics and the language of fear and scarcity.
“We are waiting to hear from a representative from the Muslim community who we’ve asked to talk about walking in solidarity with our Muslim neighbours,” she noted, “and a psychologist who we’ve asked to talk about building emotional resilience in an anxious time.”
The past few months have been increasingly filled with voices that polarize and isolate, encouraging anxiety and mistrust, fostering fear of ‘others,’of strangers, Fyfe said, and then the unthinkable happened.
“Six of our fellow Canadians, Muslim men at prayer, were gunned down. Since then, Jewish cemeteries have been defaced, and threats of violence have been made against Muslim students at a Canadian university,” she said.
From Compassion to Courage; From Prayer to Prayerful Action - A Gathering to Share a Meal and Our Thoughts is the title that WAICC has chosen.
Come at 5 p.m. with an ingredient for our Stone Soup, Fyfe suggested, meet one another, and share a soup supper at 6 p.m.
At 7 p.m. the more formal part of the gathering will begin, with speakers looking at how people can sustain compassion, challenge fear, build resilience and walk in solidarity with our neighbours. Small group discussions will follow.
A freewill offering will be taken to cover expenses.