Just and inclusive tables: KAIROS Thanksgiving video message
As Thanksgiving approaches, I would like to share with you a short video message about our common work of setting a just and inclusive table. I invite you to take a moment to watch it and share it with your family, friends and community. You are welcome to post it on Facebook and Twitter, show it in church and/or share it through your e-lists.
The video also highlights some of the struggles facing migrant workers, such as those whose labours contribute to bringing food to our tables. In response to the video, we invite you to join our action for migrant workers. Contact your Member of Parliament and the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and urge Canada to move towards permanent residency for migrant workers on arrival, leaving no one behind.
In solidarity and hope,
Jennifer Henry, Executive Director
Read the video script
In the Christian tradition, we have a story of an iconic meal.
A meal Jesus has with his friends, just before his death. Historically, many artists show Jesus sitting at a long rectangular table, with friends on either side. That shape has also influenced architects who design the altars in our churches.
When I think about this meal I imagine a round table. One where there is no first and last, no pointy corners. A table where people can see each other easily, and where there is always room for another. A round table would be indebted to the wise Indigenous teachings of the Circle – teachings European visitors have been slow to learn.
Round, just, inclusive tables, are what we seek to create in families, faith communities, organizations, and movements. Spaces where what’s on the table is important and all voices are heard. The work of creating round tables is not easy. It is intentional and deliberate. But food and story, memory and hope, and maybe even a little song makes it easier.
As I gather around a table this Thanksgiving, I will think of those whose leadership–voice, labours, sacrifices–have rounded the corners and brought people together around new tables, or when necessary, turned them over so that they can be set anew in equity.
I will also try to stay mindful of absence and loss. Mindful of the migrant agricultural workers whose labour helps bring food to our table, but who are denied a just and fair place in our nation, around a table set also with their gifts and contributions.
I will think of the migrant caregivers who must rely on the Internet to share a table with their family at Thanksgiving. I will think of the hungry, the lonely… there are so many…so many others to bring to mind.
There is much to work to do. So much learning and unlearning. So much listening and acting. So much to do to make tables round, and to set them with the food of justice and the wine of true hopefulness.
This Thanksgiving, I want to express our deep gratitude, as KAIROS, for all you do to round pointy corners and build just and inclusive movements for transformation.
Whatever shape of table you gather at this Thanksgiving, blessings to you and yours. And most of all, deep gratitude to our Creator who ever blesses us with Her good gifts.