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Hello friends! I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce myself as the new Social Justice Program Facilitator. Some of you might know me as the drummer on Sunday mornings. Some of you I have had the opportunity to get to know a bit better through the church committees and programs I have been part of, or even through Sunday morning interactions over the last 3 years.

I am thrilled to be given the privilege of serving in this position as it has long been a dream of mine to be in a career that serves the community and that champions social justice. And to serve within the context of my home church is a double blessing! The sanctuary at the Murrayville location has been a place of sacredness and peace for me over the years. I used to show up at the sanctuary during the week when no one was using it, and I would meditate for about an hour there. Sometimes I would lie on the chairs looking up at the beautiful vaulted ceiling architecture and talk with God or with my grandfather. I would sing the bowl and just listen to the quietness that followed. It was peaceful. It felt sacred. And it was a nourishment to my soul and to my faith. And now to be working in the same building with my church family, I am at a loss for words as to how amazing this is. I suppose if you don’t see me in my office, check the sanctuary. I may be meditating there.

For the last 19 years I have been in the IT industry, ending my career there as a Senior Software Developer. During this time I was also unpacking my faith, and my personal life trauma, and my experiences with racism, and my privilege as a cisgender male. Through this time, counselling and therapies have helped me tremendously in overcoming my struggles and helping me grow over the years! And because of personal life experiences, social justice has been a strong passion of mine for a long time. As far back as 2005, I used to organize and coordinate documentary movie nights at my church along with gathering signatures for petitions I created, collected, and mailed. As technology changed, I started filling out online petitions and I was constantly adding my name to online petitions I supported. Those who are friends on Facebook will have seen the many many online petitions and social justice issues I have shared over the last decade. In 2015, with growing awareness of the Syrian refugee crisis, I organized and led a team of 6 families in refugee sponsorship through Canada’s Private Refugee Sponsorship (PSR) program. At around the same time in 2016, I led the support of a Government Assisted Refugee (GAR) family.

As the years went by, I grew increasingly aware that I desperately wanted to have a career that helped leave this world a better place than when I came into it. I realized that when I died, I wanted those who knew me to say that I cared, and that I loved, and that I did what I could to help those who needed help, and included those who needed inclusion, and affirmed those who need affirmation. And I wanted to leave this world, having made it a little better for my child.

So that’s a bit of a short introduction to who I am. I can also add that in my leisure time these days, I enjoy acrylic painting, skateboarding, and hot yoga. I also like challenging stereotypes; although I'm not sure if that qualifies as a leisure activity. How about you? I would love to hear your story. I would love to hear what you're passionate about, especially if it is regarding social justice. Drop me a line, or stop by to say ‘Hi’. Let’s journey together for social justice in Langley!

And if you’re interested in following this journey, let me know if I can add you to a monthly mailing list to keep you updated. You can also follow me on our YouTube channel by subscribing to Social Justice Langley.

Looking forward to journeying together!
Nigel (he/him)
e: nigel@ucol.ca
p: 604.530.2929 ext. 207

I would like to acknowledge that I am on the traditional and unceded territories of the Kwantlen, sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie), Matsqui, and Semiahmoo peoples.