“Most gracious God, we give thee hearty thanks for this good land of Canada in which we live, and for the freedom we enjoy. Keep us mindful of our duties and faithful to our trust; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
(Service for Young People, Book of Common Prayer, p. 626)
As a youngster, I memorized this prayer, and it is still dear to my heart. In its call to gratitude, it takes me from a pondering of the beauty and bounty of this land, all of which we celebrate especially at this time of year, to a pondering of all the freedoms we enjoy-social, religious and political.
I’m especially mindful, in the midst of a federal election campaign, of our freedom to vote.
To help us exercise this right responsibly, our church has produced a resource for our engagement with those who are offering themselves for election. Entitled Compassion, Justice and Reason: An Anglican Approach for Election 2015, it addresses three broad themes we think are critical in this campaign.
Bridging Divides calls us to grapple with issues of child poverty, intergenerational inequalities and affordable housing.
Restoring Right Relations draws us into conversation about the journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, with particular reference to the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It invites us into new dialogues on restorative justice, new conversations on diversity and inclusion and new commitments to our care for the environment, all in the spirit of interfaith co-operation.
Promoting Peace and Stability summons us to serious conversations about our levels of international assistance, the way we welcome and accompany refugees and build partnerships for peace in the Middle East.
The resource, online at www.anglican.ca, is intended to help us to be fully engaged in issues that are important to us as people of faith.
Grateful for our right to vote, let’s be diligent in exercising our responsibility to do so and let’s be diligent in encouraging others to do the same!
“Lord, keep this nation under your care. Bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Help us elect trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and thus serve you faithfully in our generation to the honour of your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
(For Responsible Citizenship or for an Election, Book of Alternative Services,
Archbishop Fred Hiltz is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.