THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

December 13, 2007 17:20 ET

MODERATOR OFFERS ENCOURAGEMENT TO FASTING CHURCH MEMBER

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2007) - For United Church Moderator David Giuliano, a telephone conversation this morning highlighted the realization that living out one's faith in the world can take many forms. And in Dr. David Swann's case, his faith has led him to a fast for the people of Darfur.

Swann attends Scarboro United Church in Calgary and serves as a member of the Alberta provincial legislature. He began his fast on Tuesday, December 4. He hopes to be able to continue the fast until at least next Monday, December 17.

Giuliano phoned David Swann to offer his encouragement when he heard of Swann's initiative. "David is a member of our church family acting on his faith. He's putting himself on the line," commented Giuliano after the conversation.

"While many of us are preparing for Christmas feasts, here is a man who is fasting to draw our attention to the heartache that continues to rock Darfur," said Giuliano. "When I asked him how he was holding up, David told me that he felt his sacrifice is a small one compared to the suffering in Darfur."

But for Giuliano, the conversation with David Swann left him thinking about a lot more than the irony of fasting in this season of feasting.

"Most of us know the Christmas story, about Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the manger. We tend to sentimentalize it, make it into a warm domestic scene. But we need to remember that Jesus and his family spent his early years as refugee, fleeing a genocide. As an adult he preached compassion for those who were suffering in his world."

This is why Giuliano says he was particularly moved by David Swann's personal sacrifice.

"Sometimes our faith, our sense of moral outrage, becomes insistent, refusing to let us continue on as though nothing was happening. I think that has happened for David, and he is trying to wake up the moral outrage of his fellow citizens," says Giuliano.
/For further information: Mary-Frances Denis
Communications Officer
The United Church of Canada
416-231-7680 ext. 2016 (office)
416-885-7478 (cell)
416-766-0057 (home)
David Swann
403-614-3208 (cell)
david.swann@assembly.ab.ca
www.davidswann.ca

/ IN: INTERNATIONAL, POLITICS, RELIGION

Contact Information

  • Mary-Frances Denis, Communications Officer, The United Church of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-231-7680 ext. 2016
    Secondary Phone: 416-766-0057
    Toll-Free: 800-268-3781
    E-mail: mdenis@united-church.ca