"Once your eyes have been opened to issues of race, class and gender, you see them everywhere, from the street to the screen. Through this lockdown, many of us are spending our evenings at home watching films or series on streaming services. Many of these deal overtly or subtly with issues of race, gender and class, and can prompt us to a deeper exploration of our assumptions in a world dominated by white men. Here is a brief selection of some I've found especially noteworthy". Author looks at four shows: Lupin (Netflix), Funny Boy (CBC Gem), Bridgerton (Netflix) and The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song (PBS). "Over the course of my life and ministry I have had my eyes opened again and again and I'm aware that I much more learning -- and unlearning -- to do. I am buoyed with the hope that as I -- and we -- become more aware of the dehumanizing of people because of their race, gender, class or sexual orientation, there will emerge a more robust embracing of the question in the baptismal covenant: 'Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being ?' My prayer is that my song -- and our song -- will truly become, 'We will, with God's help'."
Author is "adjunct faculty at Vancouver School of Theology and leadership coach in private practice; from 1994 to 2019, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver".
"Re: Your front-page article ('Welby, Francis vow to strive for social justice', Dec. 2016), which opens with the line, 'While decisions by some Anglican churches to ordain women and allow same-sex marriage have been major hindrances to formal unity between Anglicans and Roman Catholics ..'. In other words, living equality in church life is a major hindrance. We should be ashamed that we do not publicly denounce all those churches of any denomination who believe that discrimination is God's way. And if we don't believe that, how do we call ourselves Christians ?" [Text of entire article.]
"I am a 63-year-old Anglican who 'religiously' reads the 'Anglican Journal' and 'The Diocesan Times'. In the April 2011 issue of the 'Journal' I read an article that made my heart and soul soar: 'What colour is your church ?' [p. 4] is the only article I can ever remember actually clipping from the paper. .... The line 'When one person is shut out by a congregation, it colours the whole, like a single drop of ink in a glass of water' reminds me there is far too much ink in the Anglican water today. Many of us, myself included, often reach for the negative instead of the positive. I believe humans are all equal before God. .... I am sick and tired of discrimination within my church -- where instead of coming together, it's smoke and mirrors. Oh, I am so disappointed ! Time to reread 'What colour is your church ?'"
The writer reflects on a recent morning when he pulled into a gas station and glimpsed a man who "had his shoes off and he was kneeling on a spread-out garbage bag. He was facing east. He was praying". At the same time "CBC Radio had Donald Trump on saying: 'No more Islamic terrorists ! We don't want them !'." "The aural message and the visual message, received at the same instant, were irreconcilable. ... Trump's miserable, hateful edict about an important issue that may affect millions, an issue about which he demonstrates no real knowledge, interest or compassion, versus the sight of a devout Muslim, an ordinary man, a cab driver as it so happens, performing his simple morning ritual ... The very next morning, six men were killed in a mosque in Quebec City. They were shot in the back while praying. We cannot allow our private lives or our public policy to be governed by fear and ignorance".
"Seeing is a prominent theme in the stories and parables of Jesus". "My own life has been shaped by experience that have invited -- and sometimes forced -- me to see what I initially could not. Living in another culture for five years repeatedly forced me to see the limiting attitudes and expectations forged in me by my Canadian upbringing. Whether it was in addressing my expectations of daily life or my attitudes to other faiths and cultural practices, I had to let go of quick judgements and privileged expectations and discover wisdom and beauty where I had not expected them". "For me, as a Christian, this practice of learning to 'see' is a lifelong exercise of trying to see with the eyes of Jesus, as God sees, and letting go of -- or expanding -- the ways we have learned to see with the eyes of our time or culture, our class, privilege or gender". "What blindness in ourselves is being challenged as we look into this new year ? We are being deeply challenged to understand how colonialism and racism have coloured and shaped our world view, our Church and our society". "Once we seem, we cannot 'unsee'. Then we must ask what we will do with what we now see differently. Will we follow Jesus on the path of compassion and justice, or will we join the Pharisees, whose claim of sight without compassion or justice is sin ?"
Author "is the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada".