Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
The website can be found here: http://www.communityofcommunities.info/index.php
Make sure to look for us on the site!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
"5) I commit to making our house a house of true hospitality. I will strive to make our house welcome to all. This means I will do all I can to serve our guests and our members by keeping the house clean, daily dish washing, cooking, providing meals and shelter, as well as creating welcoming conversations and activities, etc." Romans 12:13
When I first heard about The House Famous I thought that it would be a lot different than it is now. I had this image in my mind, somewhat similar to the later half of the movie “Fight Club”. I envisioned homeless people coming in and out. Everything being a mess, people talking everywhere, laughing and joking abounding, and just having general chaos everywhere.
Having moved in, I have found (with mixed feelings) that this is in fact, incorrect. People move around a lot, but it’s not as chaotic, nor as full as I originally thought it would be. We don’t have homeless folk and friends coming in and out at all hours of the day, and it’s not really like the last part of Fight Club.
This may seem like I’m going on about a very simple revelation but I’m actually going somewhere with this. What I found after living here for a while, is that things seem to go in stages. We generally work with one homeless or needy friend at a time. We spend some time getting to know one friend, we invite them over, and they spend some time with us. Then sometimes that’s where it stops, and sometimes it continues.
But right now, we’re still in that first stage. We have a homeless friend that we’ve spent some time getting to know, and now he trusts us enough to come over and visit us every evening. Almost every night, just after supper, a knock comes at the door and we hear our friends voice of greeting. He comes in, removes his coat and shoes, and takes a seat in our living room. We offer him food or drink, and he usually asks us for a glass of orange juice. After drinking his juice we spend some time asking him about his day and how things are going. In the course of our conversation he usually tells us some amazing facts about things like serial killers, or a story about how Dan Akroyd (“Dan”) nearly ran him over with a car. We all laugh along and enjoy his stories and his company. Then when he feels he’s stayed long enough he’ll remark “Well, I better go” and then he’ll get up, put his coat back on and head back outside.
This isn’t what I was expecting, but regardless of my expectations, whenever our friend leaves, I feel as if in some way Jesus has just left our home.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This injustice is manifesting itself again in Algonquin Territory of Ardoch First Nation and Shabot Obaajiwan First Nation. Despite all the environmental concerns about uranium mining, the negotiations, blocking the gate, and doing just about anything to keep Frontenac Ventures from drilling for uranium, on December 1st, money talked and drilling was accepted as a possibility by the Shabot/Obaajiwan First Nation. The situation was made to look like a beautiful collaboration between Frontenac Ventures, Ontario, and First Nations groups; however, Ardoch First Nation has still not agreed to the terms, and Shabot Obaajawin made its deal with 77 million dollar lawsuit hanging over their heads. The deal looks a little more like coersion than collaboration to me.
Bob Lovelace says it better here.
From November 15-23 I had the blessing to be sent by the House Famous to participate on a Christian Peacemaking Teams delegation in Algonquin Territory supporting Algonquin First Nation groups' attempts to keep a Frontenac Ventures Uranium Mine off of their traditional lands.
Throughout the very busy week we met with Ardoch First Nation leaders including Bob Lovelace and current co-chief Mireille Lapointe who taught us much about their claims to the land and how Canada has continued to ignore First Nations claims throughout our history. It seems our province of Ontario has been especially bad with honoring treaties, placing economic interests above right relations with Aboriginal People. We also met with the OPP who taught us about their ART and MELT teams which were developed in response to Dudley George's death at Ipperwash, and have improved the OPP's interaction with First Nation's groups. Finally we met with settlers in the area, some who support the mine and many who were against the mine. It was interesting to learn the full perspective on the situation as too often I read about injustices such as these and then wonder how much of what was said was true, and most often I end up doing nothing. This time will be different.
It seems to me that at the very least, the uranium mine should be stopped for the sake of right relations with the Algonquin people who have claim to the land. They never gave up the land to Canada with any treaty. They have the right then to determine whether a mine should exist.
Numerous towns and cities including Kingston, Ottawa, and Perth have declared a moratorium on uranium mining and it's clear that uranium mining is an environmental disaster. By attending this delegation I was able to look on the area that would be affected by the extraction of uranium, and it includes the whole Mississippi River (of Ontario!) watershed. I went on my first canoe trip with Camp IAWAH on the Mississippi and my memories are marked with the stunning beauty of the land we passed as we paddled. That land needs to be protected from being poisoned by uranium byproducts. Some things are more important than economic development.
I learned a lot on my trip about right relations, my own white privilege, racism and even spirituality. I spent a lot of time reflecting on ways I have benefited from ignoring Aboriginal Rights. I then spent a lot of time lamenting and repenting. At that point I was also blessed to learn that guilt will only keep me doing nothing, that moving forward to establish right relationships is far more important than feeling bad. A huge lesson.
Here is a report on our delegation from Christian Peacemaking Teams
Thursday, December 4, 2008
As all of the recent media headlines worry over the economy, the political posturing of the "coalition" vs Harper, and of course all of the festive preparations for Christmas, there is one story that has not made it to the headlines. But it should.
Peaceful protesters, with children and elderly people present, are tear gassed and beaten by a riot squad. This happens frequently. The issue and the images are shocking, it seems hard to believe that this kind of thing is happening in Canada. The conditions that the Barriere Lake community is forced to live under are at third-world levels; no power, no water, no services such as hospital access, random arrests and puppet leaders installed to be in power with no consultation from the residents. It is sickening and shameful. But we can do something about it.
Watch the video. Check the website. Take Action. Don't allow this insane oppression to continue unnoticed.