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A 10 minute video about the Advent initiative for the Good Food Junction, produced by Kip and Tim Yaworski for the Saskatoon Church Leaders
The Saskatoon Church Leaders: Bishop Donald Bolen, Bishop Bryan Bayda, Jay Cowsill, Rev. Harry Strauss, Rev. Ron McConnell, Rev. Jeremiah Buhler, Bishop Cindy Halmarson, Bishop David Irving, Peter Guenther, and Rev. Amanda Currie
Photo courtesy of The Prairie Messenger

UPDATE: A video outlining the Church Leaders’ initiative is now available on YouTube.

The leaders of many Saskatoon churches gathered on Wednesday, November 24th to sign a letter of support for Station 20 West’s Good Food Junction grocery store. The churches have agreed to work together as an ecumenical advent project, to raise much-needed funds for the equipment required by the store.

At today’s public event, the Rev. Amanda Currie (Presbyterian Church in Canada) and Bishop Donald Bolen (Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon) offered their reflections on this project. Speaking about the dream of having a full-service grocery store in the core neighbourhoods, Currie said: “What may come as a surprise to many people across Saskatoon is that many of the families and individuals who live in the core neighbourhoods are not dreaming that they’ll get to move to the East side. Their dream is the transformation of their own neighbourhoods. And that is a dream that can become a reality.”

“We do have differences which separate us as Christian communities, but nevertheless we chose to stand together today,” said Bolen, the Roman Catholic bishop of Saskatoon. “We hope this is an invitation to all of Saskatoon to rise above differences, political differences, differences of neighbourhoods or perspective, to join in support of people of Pleasant Hill.”

“The only politics that really belongs here is the politics of providing food to people who need food, to providing food security for this neighbourhood,” said Bolen.

To find out more about Station 20 West and the Good Food Junction grocery store, watch the video “Station 20 West – Sustainable Good Food Health Centre.”

The church leaders’ letter of support reads as follows:

Saskatoon Church Leaders support of the Good Food Junction at Station 20 West

This Christmas season many churches in Saskatoon seek to enhance the momentum of a vital project – the community-owned Good Food Junction cooperative store located at Station 20 West. It is a community project that the churches seek to support as a concrete expression of God’s love.

Christians share the conviction that in Jesus Christ God has drawn near to us. The Advent and Christmas seasons remind us that when God in Christ came to dwell among us he was born and lived in poverty and simplicity. In Jesus’ ministry, we see his profound concern for those who were in need. He gave dignity to those who were poor, suffering or oppressed. He identified himself with those who were hungry or thirsty, saying that whatever we do for those most in need, we do for him (Matthew 25:31-40). As his disciples we have a moral imperative to follow his example.

Church groups serve in many projects which support the people of the core neighbourhoods, such as the Food Bank, the Bridge, the Salvation Army and Friendship Inn, among others.

Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods are the heart of the city. For our city to be healthy, it needs a healthy heart. Maintaining good health is a challenge for many in the area whose needs are high and whose resources are limited. Access to healthy food is vital for wellness and self-reliance. Since 1997, no full-service grocery store has operated in our core neighbourhoods. Many residents have no cars and thus have little access to healthy, affordable food.

The Good Food Junction, at 20th St. and Ave. L, will provide in-store nutrition education and offer healthy food at reasonable prices, close to home. Equipping the store will cost approximately $650,000. Being able to accomplish this without going into debt is crucial to the store’s success.

Together we can bring this essential service to the people of our core neighbourhoods. This is not specifically a church initiative: neither is it the project of a single political party, nor should we as Christian communities allow it to be so. The potential for good is immense.

As church leaders and as individuals we commit ourselves to making the Good Food Junction a priority for the weeks leading up to Christmas. We will express support through our prayers, practical assistance, and where appropriate through fundraising to equip the store. We do this in the name of Jesus Christ who is Emmanuel, God-with-us.

Signatories:

• Most Rev. Bryan Bayda, C.Ss.R., Bishop, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon
• Most Rev. Donald Bolen, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon
• Rev. Jeremiah Buhler, Area Church Minister, Mennonite Church Saskatchewan
• Jay Cowsell, Saskatoon Monthly Meeting, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
• Rev. Amanda Currie, Minister, Presbytery of Northern Saskatchewan, Presbyterian Church in Canada
• Rev. Claire Ewert-Fisher, Executive Director, Mennonite Central Committee
• Rev. Cynthia Halmarson, Bishop, Saskatchewan Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
• Rt. Rev. David Irving, Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon
• Rev. Ron McConnell, Chair, Riverbend Presbytery, United Church of Canada
• Rev. Harry Strauss, Chair, Saskatoon Evangelical Ministers Fellowship

Posted: November 24, 2010 • Permanent URL: http://ecu.net/?p=1779Add a comment
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