Ending homelessness and housing need in our communities

Dear Friends in Christ,

November 22 marks National Housing Day in Canada, an occasion for all of us across these lands to reflect on the right of our neighbours to safe, affordable housing and to work to end homelessness in all our communities. We invite you into a time of prayer, learning, and action on November 22 to make real the Gospel call for justice for all people.

The statistics on homelessness and housing need in Canada are staggering. Approximately 235,000 people experience homelessness in Canada every year, with between 25,000 and 35,000 individuals experiencing homelessness on any given day. The rising cost of living has increased the number of people in danger of becoming homeless and made housing even more unaffordable for those who were already struggling. Precarious housing and homelessness contribute to food insecurity, increased stress, and poor health.

As Christians, we are called to ensure that all people are afforded a life of dignity. Anglicans and Lutherans across these lands already provide a variety of front-line services and resources to communities experiencing homelessness or precarious housing, and yet there is still more we must do. This National Housing Day, we encourage you to learn more about the realities of housing need in your communities, to pray for shelter for all, and to call on all levels of government to work together to identify solutions to our national housing crisis.

Ending homelessness and securing a future where every person in Canada has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate housing is possible, but only if we work together with others engaged on these issues.

We commend this prayer to your use on National Housing Day and throughout the year:

Creator God,
You have provided all that we need to care for one another. Help us to recognize our responsibility to all our neighbours and to work toward an end to homelessness and housing need in our communities. Empower us to walk together with those experiencing poverty, homelessness, and housing insecurity toward creative solutions in these difficult times. Embolden us to make our faith tangible by calling for justice and dignity for all your children.

Through your son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Yours in Christ,

[signed] +Linda Nicholls
The Most Reverend Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

[signed] +Susan C Johnson
Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”