My name is YoonOk Shin, serving ministry in this church since Feb. 1, 2020. In the midst of the cold January weather between 35-50 degrees in Edmonton, I moved to Toronto, where my new life and ministry began. Just one month later, the world Pandemic, COVID-19 happened, which of course resulted in me along with our WE United Church people, living a very different, extra-ordinary world, as all others and churches are encountering.
During this time, I have been hearing our sisters and brothers in our churches crying out to Stop Racism; protests to end anti-black and anti-indigenous racism are happening in many places around the world.
Political concerns have been increasing; we hope and pray that changes occur in political leadership in places where uncertainty reigns; we pray especially for the United States and the upcoming election of the President of the United States.
God’s creation is suffering and crying out. Extreme weather; floods, fires and many natural disasters affect people all over the world and impact many economies. It is especially hard on the poor and marginalized. Our prayers continue for the people affected by the massive explosion in Beirut and places of violence, hatred and evil.
We reflect deeply on where God is and what God is doing in the midst of these struggles.
I often reflect on Grace and mercy in this time of our challenging world. Look around at the beauty of everything. For example, as we have been working in the Community Church Garden, we have appreciated and enjoyed each other’s company. Church members, children and parents, strangers, young and old have gathered from our neighbourhood. They have come to meet and share their stories all through the summer. We are a church and they are a part of the church we are called to serve.
It has been delightful to see the possibility to be church in different ways and different places. I have much hope to help our WE United Church be more open to change and grow with more depth of understanding. God is much bigger than we think and believe. Becoming an intercultural faith community means that we are on the move – we can make it if we can make it different. “God of grace and God of love are in our midst.”