Shelburne vigil Sunday responds to Quebec mosque shootings

February 2, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Next Sunday, February 5, “in response to the recent violence in Quebec City and the increase in xenophobia throughout the world,” Trinity United Church in Shelburne will host three short contemplative services at the top of each hour at 6, 7  and 8 p.m.

Last Sunday (January 29), just before 8 p.m., six men were murdered and five critically  injured during evening prayers at Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec in Quebec City. The alleged shooter, a 27-year-old student from the faculty of social sciences at Université Laval, opened fire on the worshipers. Alexandre Bissonnette has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder.

According to the Montreal Gazette, posts on Mr. Bissonnette’s Facebook page show he “liked” Donald Trump, French Front National leader Marine Le Pen and Mathieu Bock-Cóté, a Quebec City columnist known for his pro-nationalist and anti-multicultural views.

Hosted by the Shelburne and Primrose Pastoral Charge, Sunday’s vigil will be led by Rev. Candice Bist, who says, “We grieve the loss of life for the innocent Muslims at worship. But sorrow must also be the response we hold for the student who found himself separated from his own tenderness, drawn into an act of irrevocable cruelty.”

Dufferin Warden Darren White released the following statement this week: “Like many Canadians and communities across the country, the County of Dufferin is shocked and saddened by the tragic attack at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec located in the Ste-Foy neighbourhood of Québec City. We stand together with fellow Canadians to offer our deepest condolences to the victims in Quebec City and to honour our values of peace, diversity and inclusion. As we start this year, the 150th year of Canada, the County of Dufferin continues to be a generous and welcoming community. We remain committed to working to enhance the lives of residents by investing not only in public infrastructure, but also in poverty reduction initiatives, refugee and newcomer support, social programs and community events. We support open communication, collaboration and working together for a stronger community and stronger Canada.”

“It will not be easy,” said Rev. Bist, “But we must make our way forward never the less. So, here in Dufferin County, right here in our home territory, we begin. And we begin with a simple act of solidarity. We stand with all people, regardless of religious tradition, gender orientation, colour of skin, or creedal choices, who choose justice, kindness, and warm embrace as the way forward. We stand ready to open our eyes to the realities around us that allow hateful discourse to continue, young people to feel alienated, and communities to be shattered. There is no enemy but fear. There is no antidote but compassion.”

All are invited to join in the vigil at Trinity United Church, 200 Owen Sound Street in Shelburne and show solidarity with all Canadians.  For Further information contact Trinity Church at 519-925-2233.

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