Fos­ter­ing com­pas­sion and courage

Valley Journal Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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