Presidents Report

It seems strange, as I move through this season of Lent, to consider what sort of appropriate Lenten practice I might adopt. I am reminded of the remarks by our local Prison Chaplain in his sermon last week, “that we have been walking a Lenten path for almost a year now.” I am struck by those sentiments, and share them with you here, as a way of acknowledging how we all, in our own way, have been forced into some form of deep spiritual reflection. We mourn the millions dead from COVID, many known to us. We grieve the shortcomings in healthcare for the most vulnerable, especially in isolated Indigenous communities. We have been isolated and separated from our loved ones for the sake of the health of our communities and our world. This past year has called us into a kind of sacrificial living.

Against this backdrop we have witnessed communities of faith gather on Zoom. Technology is helping bright ideas and communities grow and flourish. Last November the National Restorative Justice Symposium was held, on line. In February of this month, the Kairos Institute hosted an event on line to help us understand more deeply what UNDRIP is and how Bill C-15 will affect the restoration of relationships between Canada and its Indigenous population. There were 488 on line participants.

The hunger for knowledge about Restorative Justice continues even in a pandemic. At this time of extreme confinement and social isolation, we are given insights into the lives of Canadians serving time in jail. When we emerge from this pandemic, will the technologies so helpful for the gathering of community and the sharing of knowledge and good ideas, finally find their way into our Prisons and Detention Centres?

As spring emerges, the rivers around here are still locked in ice. But as I have learned over the past year, even when things seem frozen in time and place, the spirit is moving amongst the community and gathering strength. Good ideas and new ways of doing things will always find a way. Thank you for keeping your connection to CCJC “plugged in” and alive and well.

Pamela Dillon

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