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The Good Friday Walk for Justice for 2015 will take place on April 3 beginning at 2:00 at the Church of the Holy Trinity, in Toronto.
The annual Ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Justice in downtown Toronto will focus on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which will issue its final report June 2. The TRC has gathered first-hand accounts and archival material on the legacy of residential schools for generations of First Nations. The final report will offer ways of moving forward.
National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, will speak at the start of the Walk at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Trinity (Trinity Square). Participants will proceed to Nathan Phillips Square where TRC Executive Director, Kim Murray, will address the gathering.
We will look to the Four Directions in Native teachings and hear from Aboriginal people to deepen our understanding, mindful of Jesus’ solidarity with the suffering of the world, before returning to the church for a common meal. This year’s planning team includes representatives of Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Council, and members of Roman Catholic, United, Anglican, Mennonite and Presbyterian churches and Christian Peacemakers. All are welcome on the Walk and supper.
We are a Good Friday People.
Centuries ago, a holy man invited a group of people on a journey.
That journey turned out to be both harrowing and life changing.
It ended in death, a violent death on a cross,
but also in the exciting realization that in the end
death is not God’s final answer to the human struggle
for meaning, hope and liberation.
The power that Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate thought they had over Jesus
turned out to be illusory.
The Passion Story unveils another kind of power at work in the world, and in the Word.
When Jesus said, “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth,”
he was not talking about domination and control
but about solidarity and liberation
At enormous cost, Jesus confronted the life-denying forces of his day and entered death,
showing us that our lives too can confront and overcome the forces of death in our day.
Jesus entrusted us with an amazing gift: the gift of knowledge
about what the real purpose of our lives is,
a purpose dramatically at odds with a world marked by violence, oppression and alienation for far too many.
He offered up his life with this message and challenges our souls through his example.
Conversion of our own lives and of the death-dealing power systems of our times is within our reach.
And so today as we walk, we journey together with Jesus,
enacting a hope that can be for all people,
a hope that had and still has the power to confront the myriad forces of death
and overcome them in all their forms,
moving beyond the brokenness of our world
toward abundant life for all.
All who share our vision are welcome.
The annual Ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Justice drew between 300 and 400 people again this year, to bring attention to contemporary crucifixions due to injustice in our political and economic systems. Under the banner, “Sold out for Silver,” participants gathered at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Trinity Square, Toronto, to prepare to visit four ‘stations of the cross’ in the downtown core. At
the artificial pond on the Ryerson University campus, native women calling themselves Water Keepers lamented the neglect and damage done to what is an essential, sacred gift, the gift of clean water. Signs protesting Line 9 drew attention to the potential for environmental damage posed by gas and oil pipelines, particularly due to a lack of adequate environmental assessment and proper consultation with First Nations.
Walkers then marched through the Eaton Centre to Old City Hall where Migrante, gave a dramatic presentation to highlight the issue of unfair exploitation of migrant and domestic workers. At the federal courthouse at Queen West and Simcoe Streets, we heard from those supporting refugee claimants who have been the subject of secret trials and prolonged neglect of their claims.
Returning to Holy Trinity where a Homeless Memorial lists over 700 people who have died on Toronto’s streets from homelessness.
Bonnie Briggs, Sherman Hesselgrave and Michael Shapcott addressed this issue before the group entered the church for a closing ritual and meal of soup and bread.
Human trafficking,devastation from the oil industry (specifically, Line 9 here in Ontario) and the plight of homeless persons will be held up in this year’s Ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Justice on April 18, 2014. Jesus’ betrayal by one of his own disciples sets the theme, “Sold Out for Silver,” as Christians demonstrate the relevance of Jesus’ crucifixion to the sufferings faced by millions of people today. The Walk will focus on the modern-day betrayal by institutions and systems that put profits before people.
“The three focus stations this year offer us the opportunity to recognize, lament and be empowered to transform how marginalized people and God’s good creation are currently devastated by the corporate, consumer and personal greed that ‘sells out’ thousands and even millions of lives and our collective future in the name of short-term profit for only a few,” says the Rev. Brian McIntosh, a long-time member of the Walk planning team.
The Walk begins at 2 p.m. at Church of the Holy Trinity beside the Eaton Centre. Participants will visit three “stations” representing each of the issues before returning to the church at approximately 4:30 p.m. for a closing ritual and simple meal of soup and bread. The Ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Justice began 35 years ago. The planning team for this year’s walk includes people from the Anglican, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and United Churches and Christian Peacemaker Teams.