HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA! The words sound a little strange at first. Maybe it’s because I am not sure who to say them to, or it’s because of the scope of it―a country is so much bigger than an individual and our country is enormous! Yet in many ways it is not so different from celebrating the birthday of a friend or family member. We get together, have parties, presents, cakes and candles, fireworks, and make nice speeches. In reality, we celebrate birthdays for those people and times that we are thankful for. And I am so thankful for Canada.
Canada was not my birthplace, nor have I been a Canadian for that long. So for me and many other “newcomers”, Canada’s birthday is a time to express how thankful we are for the privilege of belonging in Canada. But whether new or long-time citizens, we can all treasure the freedom, the values, the kindness and compassion found in abundance in our nation. We are blessed with the beauty and sheer immensity of our land and by the rich diversity of its peoples; we are grateful for those who sacrificed so much to build Canada, to make it a country we can be proud of.
Quilt of Belonging is our collective gift to Canada―a tribute to all its peoples who together have woven the nation’s fabric, a vision of the way our country and the world can live in peace. It is therefore not so surprising that we have been asked to take part in this year’s birthday celebrations. The theme is “Canada welcomes the world” and that is what the Quilt volunteers have done. More than 1 million visitors will see the Quilt this summer. Did you know that our new website had almost 9,000 visits in the first month alone from 163 countries? And we have been contacted by a number of schools who are making their own “Quilt of Belonging” as their special project for 2017.
Thank you to each one of you for reaching out to others, and sharing your gifts, time and talents to make this amazing gift. Thanks for your dedication and sacrifice and patience to see the dream through to completion. Most of all, thank you for giving me, your fellow man, our nation of Canada and the world what God calls “the greatest gift of all”- the gift of love!
To read more –> Spring 2017 Newsletter