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1) Public Statement of the KAIROS Board of Directors: 'Hope in the Midst of Challenge'
2) KAIROS funding saga continues
3) Roll with the Declaration

4) KAIROS Joint Statement on Sisters of Spirit

"KAIROS is <NOT> going away" T-shirts

Bishop Samuel Ruiz

1) The struggle for dignity behind a rose: a reflection for Valentine’s Day - Rachel Warden
2) Continents Apart: Same Pain – Shared Hope - Alfredo Barahona
3) Budgets are Moral Documents - John Mihevc

1) Calls for change sweeping the Middle East
2) Lenten Resource: WCC weekly reflections on water and just peace

Going into hibernation, Saskatchewan-style

'The Value of Gold' - Ian Thomson

Hope in the Midst of Challenge

(Please note that our previous send included an error in the link to the Board of Directors Public Statement.
Please take a moment to read the correct statement from the KAIROS Board of Directors.
Our sincere apologies for the confusion.)

KAIROS' Board of Directors, representing all our member churches and church organisations, met in Ottawa for two days at the beginning of the month, emerging "with a renewed appreciation for the deep commitment within the KAIROS movement to faithful action for justice in Canada and around the world."

Please take a moment and read the short, and very encouraging, public statement from KAIROS' Board following their meeting.

The KAIROS funding saga continues

Circumstances surrounding the rejection by Minister Oda of KAIROS' 2009 - 2013 proposal to CIDA continue to generate debate in parliament and substantive media interest. On March 9, the Speaker of the House of Commons ruled on the question of privilege raised by Liberal MP John McKay on February 17, finding sufficient evidence of confusion and permitting a motion to refer the matter to the Procedures and House Affairs Committee for resolution. The motion was passed in the House of Commons yesterday, and the committee is to report by March 25.

To view KAIROS current position, letters of support, as well as ongoing media, go to 'KAIROS and CIDA Funding', read our FAQ 'The KAIROS CIDA Funding Controversy', join us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter at kairoscanada.

For more specific information on KAIROS and Israel-Palestine see our FAQ, 'KAIROS Works for Peace in Israel and Palestine'.


For media inquiries please contact:
Adiat Junaid
Communications Program Coordinator
416-463-5312 x 223
1-877-403-8933 (toll free)

Roll with the Declaration

To you the churches and faith traditions
I give this challenge:

If the word of God is real when He said,
“You shall love thy neighbour…”
then show me.

Don’t tell me
because I have no more time
to listen.

Art Solomon, Anishinaabek elder

For years, KAIROS and its networks have been urging Canada to endorse and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  While Canada endorsed the Declaration in November 2010, it has yet to demonstrate how it will implement this important human rights instrument.  KAIROS continues to campaign for the Declaration’s implementation – please continue to circulate and gather signatures on our revised petition calling on the government to “work collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples on the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and provide the Parliament of Canada with regular reports on how the Government will reform laws and policies that fall below the UN Declaration’s standards.” You can download the petition here; please return them to KAIROS by May 1.

KAIROS also seeks to meet the challenge offered by Art Solomon in the poem above – to truly show, not just profess, our love of neighbour. We are asking churches, groups, and communities across Canada to join in a national action to show the government that many Canadians care deeply about Indigenous rights and want to see the Declaration implemented as next step towards right relations.

That action, “Roll with the Declaration,”  takes place between now and June 20, 2011.  We are asking you and your church or community to design and make  a banner showing your support for Indigenous Rights and calling on the government to implement the Declaration.  Churches and communities all across the country are making these banners and KAIROS, after traveling the country by train to collect them, will use them in national event in Ottawa on June 20th demonstrating how committed we are to Indigenous rights, and asking our government to act.

We have materials to help you, including a flyer/poster, banner-making instructions, and agendas for 45 minute, half-day and full-day community events. Please visit www.kairoscanada.org/roll to obtain these materials.


For additional help or information please contact:

Anne Herteis
1-877-403-8933 x 243

KAIROS Joint Statement on Sisters of Spirit:
The Canadian government must publicly commit to supporting the Sisters In Spirit Initiative

KAIROS joins numerous organizations calling on the Canadian government to make a clear public commitment to:

• supporting the ongoing work of the Sisters in Spirit Initiative;
• providing sustained, long-term funding for research and advocacy led by Aboriginal women;
• ensuring that Aboriginal peoples' organizations, including Aboriginal women's organizations, are centrally involved in the identification and delivery of effective solutions to address the high rates of violence faced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis women;
• working with Aboriginal women's organizations to develop a comprehensive national plan of action consistent with the scale and severity of violence faced by Aboriginal women and girls.

To read the full statement click here >>

KAIROS Community:
Going into hibernation, Saskatchewan-style

KAIROS Oakville-Mississauga committee

Ever get so caught up in justice work that you feel exhausted or isolated? From January 28-30 sixteen people faced that reality by going into hibernation at a “Balm for the Spirit” retreat shared by KAIROS and the United Church’s Calling Lakes Centre in Fort Qu’Appelle, SK. Gathering from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, from five local KAIROS communities and beyond, from the Cree and Metis Nations, we spent the weekend sharing our stories and struggles and taking extra-long coffee breaks.

Justice work can be isolating and demanding, we admitted to each other. Often we get painted as "troublemakers" and we feel very alone. If we don't stop to breathe, to connect with each other and the Creator, and to feel the impact of the difficult stories and situations we embrace as part of our calling we risk burnout. If we don't share with others our doubts, our fatigue, and the "disempowering soundtrack" that gets stuck in our heads, we will eventually face mental and spiritual paralysis. If we don't let go of the long-term results of our work, and if we can't see what we have accomplished, we will feel hopeless.

Kathryn Scott of the KAIROS Swift Current community writes, "On Saturday, although we were inside, snow was with us, in large stainless steel bowls, enriching our reflection on justice work. The snow was an image of the flowing of our spirits, which sometimes get stuck when we have negative messages in our heads or around us. We expressed these through a word wall, speaking them out loud, and by the action of packing them into snowballs, which were then placed back into the bowls. The melting snow was observed during the next sessions which took us beyond obstacles and negativity to reflecting on when our work had results and we experienced success."

Through song, poetry, prayer, meditation, painting, a drum circle, laughter, tears and very bad jokes, we drew to a close on Sunday feeling lighter and freer. We returned the melted snow to the Earth, surrendering our fears and anger to God and thanking the Creator for the countless gifts of life, struggle and community that uphold us. Then we went our separate ways across winter's sleeping landscape, knowing that we're carried along by many communities of humans, the Creator's gift of Earth, and the Spirit. We are not alone. Thanks be to God!


For information about joining or forming a KAIROS local group or joining our companions and communities program, please contact:

Caroline Foster
Partners & Network Associate
416-463-5312 x221
1-877-403-8933 x221


I heard a surprising story the other day.

A pastor preaching his Sunday sermon on the topic of wealth illustrated his lesson with some stories about the toxic legacy of gold mining. He had traveled to the Philippines a year earlier and met people living downstream from a gold mining district. Hearing their experiences of poisoned rivers and abject poverty affected him emotionally and motivated him to share their story.


gold rings

After the Sunday service was over, one of the elders of the congregation approached the pastor and held out his hand. In it, he held a pair of gold wedding bands. The elder had found them in the collection plate. The pastor was stunned and then realized that one of the married couples in his congregation must have taken his words to heart and decided that their gold rings could be put to better use. He was speechless.

Few of us are able to translate our learnings into action as quickly as this. We struggle with change, talking ourselves into comfortable complacency and turning away when we can’t quite reconcile our beliefs and actions.

You may not have spent much time reflecting on the place of gold in our society. But gold continues to hold great power over people. We seem to accord it a special, almost religious, reverence. While the gold standard was abandoned decades ago as the underpinning of our currency, we continue to mine gold, trade it, invest with it and almost worship it. Most Canadians continue to exchange gold rings during wedding ceremonies. It appears in some of our religious symbols. Our top athletes are given gold when they beat out all their competition.

When we think about the harm done to the planet in the name of mining for gold, it’s hard not to cringe. After all, there is enough previously mined gold above the Earth’s surface to satisfy all the functional needs and industrial applications where gold is required today. Unlike oil, once gold has been extracted, it stays in circulation forever.

Yet humans continue to be entranced with gold. We still assign great value to it. Over $1,400 (U.S.) per ounce, the last time I checked. Most of the world’s gold is locked away in bank vaults and jewelry collections. Gold mining persist today but is driven primarily by the conspicuous consumption of those who display it, and as a “safe haven” in turbulent economic times for those who trade it.

Isn’t it time that we re-examined the role of gold in our lives and our churches? This is not about being puritanical. I’m asking what we truly value in our lives, and whether we can create positive change in the world by reflecting our values in our decision-making.

Eschewing gold can be a deeply spiritual act.

We need to ask ourselves some tough questions about gold. Is it ethical to invest in gold mining activity? Should we continue to incorporate gold in our religious symbols? Is it ethical to exchange gold bands at weddings? These are questions we should struggle with as Christians.

This Lent season, I will be reflecting on the ways that gold is a part of my life, everything from the wedding band I wear to the investments in my church pension fund. This will involve some challenging conversations, both within my own family and within the broader church community. I hope that by examining my relationship with gold, I can begin to act in solidarity with communities who are opposing destructive gold mining projects in the developing world. Gold mining is unnecessary in this day and age. It will only end when enough of us stop buying into the golden dream.

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KAIROS is 'not' going away

Learn the story >>

KAIROS is not going away t-shirt

KAIROS not going away t-shirt

Au courant, chic & cheeky.
Let KAIROS cover your back!

Make a statement and purchase the now renowned KAIROS t-shirt
to support KAIROS!

Bound to become
a collector's item!


Shirts are available short or long sleeved with the text “KAIROS is (NOT) going away.”   The logo is displayed on the reverse. 

Short sleeved - $20
Long sleeved - $25
Available in a variety of sizes. 
Bulk discounts are available. 

T-shirts are produced and manufactured by Me to We style and are sweatshop free and eco-friendly.

To order please contact:
Caroline Foster
Partners & Network Associate
416-463-5312 x221
1-877-403-8933 x221


Bishop of Chiapas, Mexico

Bishop Samuel Ruiz

On January 24 Bishop Samuel Ruiz of Mexico died at the age of 86. He has been described as the diminutive giant of the church in Mexico. He had been Bishop for 51 years and was Bishop of Chiapas for 40. The church has lost a great leader, an inspiration and light to many, many people. The Indigenous peoples of Chiapas have lost an advocate, a tireless defender of their rights and a friend – jTatic or Don as he was fondly known.

It has been said that his life was a gospel – stories and examples of how to follow Jesus Christ. His leadership was a model for all church leaders. As we mourn his death, we need to remember the lessons from his life and the seeds of transformation he has planted. Don Samuel had a profound impact on the ecumenical, social justice and human rights communities in Canada. Ecumenical and denominational delegations travelled to Mexico and met with him, he came to Canada on a number of occasions, and people throughout the network were touched by their interactions with him. In an effort to commemorate the life of Don Samuel and the impact he had on so many of us, we have begun collecting testimonies, reflections and photos from people who have been inspired by his teachings, his words and his life.

Please visit KAIROS blog to read more reflections and view slides of Don Samuel.

If you have reflections, stories or letters please send them to us >>


The struggle for Dignity behind a Rose: A Reflection for Valentine’s Day
- Rachel Warden

"A rose is a rose is a rose – or is it? For many Colombians, particularly women, a rose has become a symbol, not of love, but of exploitation, massive displacement and pesticide poisoning."

Continents Apart: Same Pain – Shared Hope
- Alfredo Barahona

The Philippines and Latin America share a common history of colonialism and extreme poverty that forces our peoples to migrate.

Budgets are Moral Documents
- John Mihevc

"The current economic crisis and climate crisis are interconnected. They challenge people of faith to proclaim a different set of values that begins with the vision of one humanity, one creation."


The Middle East and North Africa have been in major upheaval over the past month as pro-democracy demonstration move from country to country. We continue to pray for all who face violence and intimidation, and all who stand strong in their non-violent commitment to real change in their nations.

Read KAIROS’ comment on the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt, Sudan and beyond.


For more information contact:
John Lewis
Human Rights Program Coordinator
1 877 403 8933 x 224


Starting on Monday March 7 the World Council of Churches (WCC) will explore, through weekly Lenten reflections, the connection between access to water, struggles over this precious resource, and building just peace.

The importance of access to water was recently affirmed by the Central Committee of the WCC. The WCC governing body issued a statement during its meeting in February calling for the implementation of the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right.

Visit the WCC 'Water and Just Peace' Lenten reflections as a resource for your own Lenten practice.


KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
310 Dupont St. Suite 200, Toronto, ON, Canada M5R 1V9
Tel: 416-463-5312 | Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933| Fax: 416-463-5569