Remembering agony of war… committing to peace + justice

Remembrance Day 2020: a small group, including staff and WYLD youth, from the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre joined with a small group from the Royal Canadian Legion for a COVID-compliant ceremony at the Cenotaph in front of St Mary’s Anglican-United Church, just across the TransCanada Highway from our Centre. 

In our tiny gathering, two Canadian military veterans and a woman who was part of the Dutch resistance during the Second World War… plus a handful of others who gathered to remember the horror of war, to mourn the losses and to commit to a just and loving peace for all humanity.

At precisely 11 am, the Legion led us in a solemn remembrance: “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.” Then, we sang O Canada.

After that, Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre Executive Director Michael Shapcott led the small gathering in a service adapted from a Remembrance Day service of the Church of England:

  • We prayed for all service women and men, including members of the military;
  • We prayed for civilian women, children and men whose lives are disfigured by war and terror;
  • We prayed for peacemakers and peacekeepers.
  • We prayed for those in political, military and religious leadership, asking that they find wisdom and resolve to move towards peace and reconciliation.
  • We remembered the Beautitudes from Jesus, setting out a way of living in the world based on justice, peace, love and a profound respect for the dignity and value of all people.
  • We jointly offered three commitments: “to strive for all that makes for peace… to seek to heal the wounds of war… to work for a just future for all humanity.”

The Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre is grateful to Mel Arnold, our Member of Parliament, for delivering a Remembrance wreath to us that we were able to place at the Cenotaph. 

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