As Christian Clergy in downtown Ottawa, we write in solidarity and care for residents, retailers, restaurant owners, and all who work in the city centre during the ongoing protests and occupation. We see and know the anxiety and distress that this causes, particularly to the most vulnerable among us.
Our faith tradition calls us to seek the welfare of the city in which we live. It pains us to see how the chaotic, unruly and unlawful behaviors, and hateful language, signs and symbols hurt our community. Like many of you, we have experienced the intimidation used by protesters to target our city’s citizens. We lament how this tears at our social fabric and we call on all levels of government to continue to work for a peaceful end to the protest.
The present protest shocks us all. We know the civility, respect and dignity within the DNA of our neighbourhoods. Because you live and work in the Nation’s Capital, you have seen many protests, but this situation has become untenable.
While the language of individual rights permeates much of what we are seeing, we would recall you to the identity we have as a community and the care we are called to offer each other, body, mind and soul. None of us are in this alone. Along with other faith traditions and community support, we are also here for you. Our resilience can come from the hope we find in mutual encouragement, the recognition of our neighbours and their needs, and the generous flow of compassion. From our love of this city, our pain and sorrow, and even our outrage, will come resolve to carry us through this present darkness.
In hope and solidarity,
Clergy of Downtown Ottawa Christian Churches
The Very Reverend Beth Bretzlaff, Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, 414 Sparks St.
The Reverend Teresa Burnett-Cole, Glebe-St. James United Church, 650 Lyon St. South
The Rev. Geoffrey S.W. Chapman, Incumbent, St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, 217 First Ave.
The Rev. Dr. Karen Dimock, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 82 Kent St.
Rev Demanya Kofi Akoussah, Eglise unie St-Marc, 142 Lewis St.
Rev. S.K. Moore, Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Ave.
The Rev. Canon Hilary Murray, Chaplain, Cornerstone Housing for Women, 314 Booth St.
The Rev. Canon Stewart Murray, Church of St. Barnabas Apostle and Martyr, 70 James St.
Rev. John C. Perkin, Minister, First Baptist Church, 140 Laurier Ave. West
The Rev. Jim Pot, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar St.
The Reverend Victoria Scott, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, 760 Somerset St. West
The Rev. Gary van der Meer, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, 154 Somerset St. West
The Rev. Rhonda Waters, Church of the Ascension, 253 Echo Dr.
Rev. Paul Wu, Minister, St. Giles Presbyterian Church, 181 First Ave.
Rev. David White, Centretown United Church, 507 Bank St.
Chaplain Sid Ypma, Ottawa Campus Chaplaincy, 151 Laurier Ave. East
Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey, Parkdale United Church, 429 Parkdale Ave.
Rev. Joel Crouse, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 400 Sparks St.
Rev. Laurie McNight, MacKay United Church, 39 Dufferin Road
Rev. Peter Woods, MacKay United Church, 39 Dufferin Road