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From Bishop John Stephens:

On Saturday, November 20 people around the world will mark Trans Day of Remembrance.  

This day began in the late 1990s to commemorate the life of Rita Hester, an American trans woman, who was murdered in Boston in 1998. Her murder remains unsolved. The violence of her death and the lack of media and community attention to her murder, led to candlelight vigils and memorials that have spread around the world and that honor thousands of other trans people who had died, committed suicide, or been subjected to violence. Canada is by no means exempt from this sad record. 

Trans Day of Remembrance is also a day to commit and recommit to ending transphobic violence and discrimination.  

We as members of the church need to confess how we have contributed to the situation faced by trans people. How have our thoughts, words and deeds, and the things we have done and left undone allowed this violence and discrimination to continue? How often have we failed to see the trans people in our families, our parishes, our communities as fully human and worthy of our concern, support, respect and love? What steps can we take as individuals and parishes to ensure safety for trans people? How can we educate ourselves about gender identify and expression in ways that change the church, our societal institutions, and our personal understanding of gender and identity. 

I would urge you to seek out and participate in events being held in your area or on-line to mark Trans Day of Remembrance this Saturday. Bring that experience to your justice work in our parishes and in our diocese, challenging all of us to become allies or to become better allies to members of the Trans communities. How can we in the church chart a different path of love, living out the grace of God? 

I encourage you to remember the trans community in your Prayers of the People this Sunday.  

Please share this information on your electronic sites.

Here is a link to more information on the CUPE website

Here is a link to the QueerEvents website with information about November 20, 2021

Blessings and Peace,

Bishop John