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By Rev. Joan Kessler

Luke 10:1-11; 16

I have been thinking a lot the past few days about the Canada Day we just celebrated and maybe you have too. This year was the first time since 2019 that public celebrations have been widely offered in communities across our country. I am thinking about how much things have changed. I don’t even know if I can capture my feelings into words, other than to say something is different. When I see a Canadian flag these days, I have this moment of hesitation. I wonder what the bearer thinks and believes about nationhood. Do they think the same or differently from me?

There has been a movement this past week to reclaim the flag; to remind ourselves and each other that our flag should always be a symbol of freedom and inclusion of an open country that welcomes newcomers to create a rich diversity. Our Prime Minister reminded us that the flag represents our accomplishments and our desire to improve; that the maple leaf continues to stand for compassion, hope and justice.

I attended the pancake breakfast and festivities with some of you at Swalwell Park on Friday morning. And it was wonderful to be outside with friends and fellow residents alike, dressed in festive red and white. But in the days leading up to Canada Day, I was a bit worried over how I would approach the maple leaf, our flag.