LETTERS: Open letter from Island/North Shore United Church of Canada clergy

Dear Editor:

We write this letter out of concern following the events that took place at Manitoulin Secondary School on September 14, 2018.

Not having been at MSS on that day to witness first-hand the altercation, we cannot know what specific spark ignited the initial confrontation. Many suggestions as to what this spark might have been are in themselves disturbing. What is further clear and troubling is the deep pain and mounting frustration that has been expressed since this incident.

The United Church of Canada holds core values of inclusion and acceptance, and advocates the practice of peaceful and respectful dialogue as the only effective path to resolving conflict. As Manitoulin Island and North Shore United clergy, it is our prayer that those impacted by the September 14 events—and that’s all of us, to some degree—would engage in sensitive and constructive conversation that makes space for healing and reconciliation.

Sincerely,

Pastor Paul Allard (Little Current)

Rev. Mary Jo Eckert-Tracey (Spring Bay)

Rev. Janice Frame (Silver Water)

Rev. Martin Garniss (Providence Bay)

Rev. Mercedes Hughes (Gore Bay)

Rev. Joshua Kang (Mindemoya)

Pastor Maxine McVey (Gore Bay)

Pastor Erwin Thompson (Evansville)

Rev. Cory Vermeer-Cuthbert (Elliot Lake)