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Showing posts from February, 2017

Safe Injection Sites and the Gospel of Harm Reduction

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I guess it is not surprising that I would weigh in on the controversial project of the proposed safe injection sites in Edmonton.  The response from people is a mixed bag of apples of course.  Health care workers and even the Edmonton Police Service know and believe this could work and be successful.  Then there are the living room critics who have shared some of the most inhumane comments I have read in various news articles.  Clearly, as a people and a nation we are losing compassion for our brothers and sisters in God.  Therefore, I suggest the Gospel of Harm Reduction as a means to understanding the issue.

The Gospel of Harm Reduction is similar to that of the four Gospels in that forgiveness, reconciliation and love are at the centre of helping people who are hopeless (Matt. 18:21-22).  The light in Gospel of Harm Reduction is not just about a safe place to inject and enabling, rather, it is about medical professionals, social workers and addiction counsellors who make themselves…

End Poverty: It will take effort and self awareness

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On Wednesday I went to the End Poverty meeting at the Mustard Seed.  Since I minister to the impoverished, homeless and addicted, I felt it necessary to be more informed about the city's strategy and the barriers that may inhibit success of this plan.

First, there are some staggering facts that people in Edmonton and the rest Canada are going to have to face. One is that poverty is on the rise.  One out of eight people in Edmonton live in poverty (that is below the poverty line)!  There is less affordable housing options available with property values increasing 11 percent in one year!  This market, obviously, is bringing in investors into poorer neighbourhoods to build new housing with the intent of making the highest profit possible.

The cost of living is going up rapidly, wages stay stagnant, and new people are starting to enter the poverty world that I work in.  The demographic is changing and End Poverty Edmonton is doing its part to get secure funding for new affordable hou…

Broken Homes and Broken Bones

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For those who do not know, I live close to the inner city.  Even my neighbourhood is considered low income, despite all the re-gentrification that has happened in the past ten years.  As I walk to work, one can not help but notice all the abandoned houses due to fires or closures by the health board.  My neighbourhood is littered with them and so is the McCauley area.  Boarded up to prevent squatters, these places tend to just sit there and take up space for years, the landlords just leave the lots as they are or empty.

I can not help but to make an analogy of these broken homes with some people that I serve, those whose spirits and bones have been broken.  You encounter people like this coming from all walks of life and from all cultural and economic circumstances.

When really wounded there is always that "danger keep out" sign in front of them.  Boarded up to protect what shell of a house remains.  As sad as this analogy may seem, there is hope for the human spirit.

All …

My Sermon from Last Sunday

My dear friends in Christ, we continue with the Sermon on the Mount.  To remind us what we have learned thus far let us have brief review of the past Sundays.   Jesus has called us “Repent” that is to be awakened from the slumber of complacency of simply just following God’s rules.  We are called to engage God’s laws in such a way that these laws deepen our relationship with Jesus and the world.  We have heard the great beatitudes.  Blessings that calls us to be open to a new way of living and to receive the light of life that the laws of God permeate.  The beatitudes asks us to do nothing more but to engage the world as humble peacemakers, and honest witnesses to Jesus love for us and the world.  In today’s gospel, Jesus continues his sermon by addressing the Laws of God and how they were misinterpreted or misunderstood.             Each Law addresses a theme: murder, adultery, divorce, and taking oaths in God’s name.  These actions break apart communities, divides families and leaves…

Welcome

Well this is my first blog in years.  To catch everyone up, I used to write a blog called God's Geste.  I have disbanded that blog quite some time ago.  Recently, I have been inspired again to share meditations, reflections, and sermons about my personal faith journey of working and living in the inner city of Edmonton.  As a pastoral associate in the inner city, I hear of people's struggles, pains, sufferings, successes, joy and beauty.  These themes are the inspiration for my reflections.  Thank you for taking the time read this.

Peace and God's Joy,

Billy