A message marking National Housing Day

Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are
members of my family, you did it to me.
Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)

As we mark National Housing Day this year, many of us have been spending more time than is usual in our homes. Living spaces have become offices, classrooms, and places of refuge from the anxiety and uncertainty of the pandemic we are all living through. In the midst of this, tens of thousands of Canadians continue not to have access to safe, affordable housing and this pandemic has exposed the very real impacts of this reality on our communities across this country. Emergency shelters are filled beyond capacity, waitlists for affordable housing continue to grow, many Indigenous communities continue to experience an acute housing crisis, and people experiencing homelessness and unstable housing are more likely to be impacted by COVID-19.

Our churches continue to pray and work for an equitable housing situation in Canada. The current National Youth Project encourages young Lutherans and Anglicans to learn more about the housing crisis and take steps toward action.  Congregations and parishes have developed housing initiatives on church properties, while others provide important services and supports to those experiencing homelessness and lack of access to affordable housing. Church leaders have continued to advocate with all levels of government for long-term, sustainable solutions to this crisis.

Both of our churches endorse the Recovery for All campaign along with dozens of faith communities and civil society organizations. This campaign calls on the Government of Canada to end homelessness by investing in people and infrastructure to ensure that there is a recovery for all from this pandemic. We encourage you to visit the campaign website and let your elected representatives know that ending homelessness is both possible and necessary.

Building a society in which everyone has access to safe, supportive, and affordable housing requires us to continue working together in many different ways. Our faith as Christians calls us to care for all of God’s people, and so today let us particularly hold up those experiencing homelessness and lack of access to affordable housing, through our advocacy and through our prayers. We offer this prayer today to help centre our commitment together to end homelessness:

God of all,
We remember all those who are experiencing homelessness or who are unable to find affordable housing.
Grant that each person will have a place to belong, and that all of us will be renewed in our relationships to water, land, home and each other.
Sustain us with patience, persistence and commitment for doing our part in showing love for your world. Amen.

The Most Rev. Linda Nichols
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, the Anglican Church of 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.”