on November 17, 2010 by test_editor in Archive_2010, November, Print Articles, Comments Off on November 18, 2010: Remembering Our Women.

November 18, 2010: Remembering Our Women.

Remembering Our Women.
Kitchissippi’s First United Church Holds Annual Service.
By Sue Taylor.

Twenty-one years ago, on  December 6, there were 14  women killed at L’Ecole  Polytechnique de Montreal. They  were killed because they were  women. Two years later, the  Canadian Government declared  December 6 to be the National  Day of Remembrance and Action  on Violence Against Women.
First United Church has held  a service every year for the 21  years to mark that fateful day  when fourteen women were  murdered at L’Ecole  Polytechnique. It has always  been a very moving and powerful  gathering. As the names of  the 14 women are read, candles  are lit and silence wraps our remembrance.  There follows the  naming and lighting of candles  for women of the Ottawa  Carleton Region who have lost  their lives to violence over the  last year. We remember the more  than 500 Aboriginal women  who have been missing or murdered,  the names of friends and  family members we want to remember  and honour and the  many women and children who  live each day in fear of violence.
During these 21 years, the  service – that we now refer to as  an indoor Vigil – has evolved and  has an increasing emphasis on  naming the dimensions and dynamics  of the serious problem of  violence against women and the  abuse of power and of calling for  strategies of change. The themes  reflect those various emphases:  Women Rising in Strength;  Restoring Right Relationships:  Planting Seeds of Change; A  Gathering to Remember and a  Call to Action. Our Aboriginal  sisters have joined us for a number  of years now and drumming  has been part of the gathering for  as long as I can remember. Last  year we had some women from  the Muslim community attend.
A generation of young women  have grown up for whom the horror  of that day 21 years ago was  not a reality. What is a reality for  them is the ongoing violence  against women today. Equally, is  their determination to bring about  change that might help to bring it  to an end. This year our emphasis  is on youth and our theme reflects  that determination and  commitment of a new generation.  The theme is: “Daring to  Hope Together/Oser Esperer ensemble.  Young women from  Youth Services Bureau, high  school and university will lend  strong voices this year.
Our theme speakers are : Rev.  Sharon Moon – former minister  of First United and a prime initiator  of the original service, and  Marie Josee Cleroux and her  mother Linda Valenzuela. The  free will offering will go to  Youth Services Bureau’s Young  Women’s Emergency Shelter  and Transitional Housing.
This year’s planning committee  invites you to join us on  Monday, December 6 at 7:30 pm  at All Saints Westboro and First  United Church at 347 Richmond  Road, just west of Churchill Ave.

For more information, please  contact Sue Taylor at First  United Church, 613-232-1016.

No Comments

Comments are disabled.