On the eve of leaving for #GC42

August 5, 2015 – Keith Simmonds

Hello My Friends,

In two days I’ll be travelling to the 42nd General Council in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. By the time I get there I should be as ready as I’ll ever be for the conversations, considerations and discernment that will follow. Our schedule looks fairly packed, with lots of intentional work before us over the course of our week together.

The list of guests reminds me of those engaged in spreading the good news of Christ in many different situations and circumstances. People dancing in the light of Christ, people caught in war and famine. Ministers and congregations working to build bridges between faiths and combatants. Ministers and congregations victimized, imprisoned, maimed and killed for standing in solidarity with the poor, with the land, with one another. In the light the Loving One, they dance, work and stand.

Some of the proposals before us call upon all of us to reflect on our own stance:

  • Will we continue to invest in carbon that poisons our air, pollutes our waters and decimates our climate?
  • Will we continue to fatten our pension by aiding mining operations that are fought and protested by our global partners and indigenous peoples around the world?
  • Will we continue to voice our disapproval of land occupation in Israel and Palestine, while forgetting to address the question of land occupied illegally in our own country?

Like Jacob at Peniel, we will wrestle with the Spirit in these questions and others. Wish us well, and pray for us, if you will.

We will also have time for fun and fundraising. We’ll be enjoying an evening of Newfoundland hospitality and are encouraged to bring clothing appropriate to our cultural heritage. I’m torn between finding space for my kilt and bringing along flip flops, shorts, t-shirt, ball cap and sunglasses.

We’ll tour parts of the countryside around Corner Brook and we’ll be walking and running in the Alvin Dixon Memorial Run. Alvin Dixon was a BC member of the General Council Executive who did much to help us in the work of reconciliation. Alvin was a wise and respected elder, a member of the BC Conference Executive, and a man who brought care and consideration to all he did. I knew a little of him and am pleased to be able to participate in this run, along with many others from across the country. If you can’t be with us to run, you may wish to donate.

Other links to live streaming, podcasts, interviews and news stories can be found at If you’d like to be part of the conversation, keep an eye or an ear on us, or drop me an email if something helpful occurs to you. I’ll do my best to respond and keep you in the picture.

Blessings and Shalom,