Quebec and Religion: Response

In the light of Quebec’s proposal of a new “secularism” law today, I share this (entirely appropriate and relevant) statement of the Presbytery of Montreal from 2014.

Response to Bill 60 from
The Presbytery of Montreal, of
The Presbyterian Church in Canada (2014)

The Presbytery of Montreal, a body of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, hereby offers its response to Project de loi no. 60: Charte affirmant les valeurs de laïcité et de neutralité religieuse de l’État ainsi que d’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes et encadrant les demandes d’ accommodement. We offer our response in terms of the following affirmations and the following areas of disagreement.

  1. AFFIRMATIONS

1.1  We acknowledge and celebrate the unique identity of Quebec as a Francophone nation and province within Canada, and acknowledge the particular religious and cultural history that has shaped its values, laws, and social fabric. We also acknowledge and celebrate the presence of other linguistic and cultural communities within Quebec – including a large Anglophone minority – and celebrate the contributions such communities have made to the history, identity, and success of Quebec as a liberal democratic polity. We believe that Quebec has been enriched by this diversity.
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shaped by remembrance

Final sermon in the Gospel and the Gazette series…

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This morning we are thinking about the act of remembrance – about an intentional looking back into the past. More specifically this morning, we are thinking about an intentional looking into the past by which we are shaped as the children of God here and now. This morning we are reminded that while the past is over and done with, the past is not done with us. The past is and can become a source of renewal and transformation by which we are shaped as the children of God here and now.

So we begin this morning by looking at words that we read together in our responsive Psalm – Psalm 105. Psalm 105 is a Psalm of praise and thankfulness to God. It begins with these words: “O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples…” And then it continues in verse 5 with these important words: “…remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered.”

Psalm 105 is a Psalm in which the people of God remember, in which they bring to mind, in which they rehearse, what God has done for them in the past. Psalm 105 is rather a long Psalm – we only read a small part of it. It speaks of God’s history with his people. Continue reading