This kairos moment
When you have KAIROS in your name, it tends to lead you to think about kairos moments – the question of what time it is, not from a chronological perspective but from a significance perspective. What time is it in the world? What time is it in Canada, here where we are located on Turtle Island? What time is it at KAIROS? What is it the opportune moment for? The question calls all of us to reflect on the significance of this time and what action might be required of us.
One answer to the question “what time is it?” is that we are as close to midnight as we have ever been according to the Doomsday Clock, which tracks existential threats to humanity. The time is 90 seconds to midnight. Nuclear weapons risks, A.I. for military and weapons use, and risks of escalating climate change effects have never been greater.
Another answer is that this is a time – more than ever – for people of faith and conscience to communicate loudly through our actions and our words is that now is the time for peace. Now is the time for justice, for respect for the inherent dignity of each person and for our planetary home – the abundance of creation that we depend on for sustenance. This is a time that has been and continues to be urgent in this marathon of seeking to bring people and the planet itself into relationships of reconciliation and reparations for harms done to other people and to the Earth.
And, this moment also requires of us that we continue to wrestle with the legacy of racism and colonialism in Canada and how that plays out in ourselves and in our work. Repentance and transformation can be the hardest work of all, and it is a journey with no clear destination, just a commitment to keep walking this path that centres the rights and dignity of all. But I firmly believe that our smallest actions and relationships ripple out into broader systems. We must commit to this transformational work in all of our relationships, at all levels, from the personal to the political.
I want to leave you with a final thought about what time it is, what this kairos moment calls of us. In Western popular culture we often use the language of heroes. Such as, “This is the age of heroes! We need more heroes to step up!” But I believe that in this kairos moment what we need is not more heroes but more collaborators. More allies, more people willing to show up for each other and work together in large and small ways. That is the power of KAIROS, the organization. Where denominations and agencies come together along with regional working groups, donors, letter-writers, and an international network of grassroots peace and human rights organizations. Our collective power lies not in being heroes but in being partners and collaborators together in the work of seeking justice.
Thank you to all who are stepping up in this kairos moment, furthering the vision of taking faithful action together for human rights and ecological justice. It’s an honour and a joy to walk the path alongside you.
Leah Reesor-Keller is the Interim Executive Director for KAIROS Canada