On Christmas Day Super Typhoon Nockten (known locally as Nina) made landfall in northeastern Philippines bringing winds of 185 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 255 kilometres per hour and intense rainfall. The typhoon made 8 landfalls, affecting at least 384 villages in 4 regions of Bicol. High winds and flooding have caused extensive damage, displacing many people. There are four confirmed deaths at this time but communication systems have been affected and access to the region is difficult.
God has brought forth human beings who are male, female, and sometimes dramatically or subtly a complex mix of male and female in their bodies. Trans people are ministers and leaders in the United Church. They are members of our families, our loved ones, our friends, colleagues, and neighbours, and they deserve to have their identities protected by the law.
As Christians, we are witnesses to the sacredness of the Earth and all of its communities. United Church partners have called us to respond to the grave injustices continuously faced by Indigenous peoples as a result of mining and exploration.