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A joy-filled Advent, a hopeful Christmas

Outward expressions of faith and church ministries abound near PWRDF Executive Director Will Postma’s home.

December 8, 2021

By Will Postma

Christmas can’t come soon enough. Bring on the joy and peace, the part about the light for the world. It is a message of hope for all people and a foretaste of the compassion that Jesus will show, later in his ministry.

We have been staying nearer to home this past year, but we are reminded nonetheless of the far, far too much suffering around us:

  • hunger in Afghanistan and the Tigray region of Ethiopia, and the many challenges for PWRDF and other aid agencies to get funds to women-headed households;
  • shockingly low vaccine rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, with reports of vaccines expiring in airports and in shipping containers;
  • the horrific impact of fires and floods in British Columbia, particularly on First Peoples. Atmospheric rivers – a new expression for me – were falling in torrents just as the Global Glasgow Climate Declaration was finalized. How we need to care for Creation.
  • even greater vulnerabilities in the Middle East, the backdrop for the first Christmas story and where the ministry of the Prince of Peace was and remains today, to bring people in from the margins.  

Despite these unspooling tragedies, there has been much joy in this past year. It has been such a blessing for me and other PWRDF staff and board members to remotely join so many church services and gatherings, from our dining room tables, to yours. What an opportunity to visit parishes on the east coast and the west coast – sometimes even on the same Sunday!

Another small joy in this stay-near-to-home year that I have experienced has been to get out on my bike and explore some new places. That includes riding by beautiful Anglican churches near my home, with some eye-catching curbside reminders of programs and ministries that parishioners support. So many churches outwardly expressed their faith, when they were not permitted to let people in. Those ministries include PWRDF, but so many more… that every child matters, Remembrance Day, community gardens, being thankful and loving our neighbours here and around the world.

This Advent and Christmas season, we long for joy, peace, hope and compassion. What an encouragement to be reminded of these things all year long.

Will Postma is the Executive Director of PWRDF.

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