At the Heart of Justice blog continues the focus on health care in Canada with a series by Bill Blaikie, The United Church of Canada’s representative to the Canadian Health Coalition. We offer this personal reflection by Bill as an invitation to move deeper into the many important issues surrounding health care in Canada.
This past January I experienced a reversal of roles thanks to my having become The United Church of Canada’s representative on the board of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC).
When you can’t find a family doctor in your community, or if you’re a hospital patient waiting for care from a desperately overworked nurse – then you understand the importance of finding solutions to Canada’s shortage of doctors and nurses. But allowing more private health care facilities won’t fix the shortage of health professionals. In fact, it will make it worse.
Many church ministries are going through a process to declare that they are Affirming—enabling the full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Despite these efforts, stories of heartache and healing continue to unfold.
This month’s At the Heart of Justice blog focuses on the work of eradicating poverty. We offer this personal reflection by Bonnie Morton (Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry) as a way to move deeper into the important issue of poverty as a human rights violation.
Scripture tells us that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), and throughout the Bible we are reminded to act justly and to care for those on the margins (Isaiah 58:5-10, Mark 10:21). The United Church of Canada believes that as we lead lives of compassion and justice, “the poor must have priority… over the wants of the rich.” (“The Church and the Economic Crisis (1984)” see 1c.)
The United Church’s “A New Creed” reminds us that we are called to live with respect in creation. Not respect “for” creation, as a separate entity. But respect “in” the creation that is all around and within us. That is our origin story, we people who were formed of soil and of one another.
The United Church of Canada cares for refugees because we believe that sharing God’s love is our prime purpose. We believe that justice is the public face of God’s love, and work to share God’s love on a personal, local and global level.
I see the face of God in refugees’ faces: those claiming protection, resettled, warehoused in urban ghettos or camps the size of small cities. Refugees embody the world’s brokenness. The image of a refugee child sheltering in a cattle’s shed or lifeless on a shore, cuts to the heart of God’s justice. To quell the hurt, I must respond.