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Poverty. In the simplest sense of the word, its a state where one lacks access to basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. It is also used to describe a person whose living conditions prevent them from being able to acquire education, seek medical help, secure a stable job, and participate in recreational activities due to a lack of money.

These days we speak of needing to earn a “living wage.” That’s the amount a family of 2 adults and 2 children (one in full time day care and the other in before and after school care) need to earn to maintain a modest standard of living, once government transfers have been added to the family’s income, and taxes have been subtracted.” In Canmore (one of the most expensive places to live in Alberta) that amounts to $37.40 per hour! But its not just about having enough money. It is also about having access public transit at an affordable cost; access to medical help and a local doctor, access to justice.

And then there is social isolation which can result in loneliness and poverty among adults in which there are fewer and fewer opportunities to connect with people. It is often connected with the ways our neighbourhoods are designed and the ways the internet has redefined the concept asked by God, “who is your neighbour?”

I am so proud to be a part of St Michaels and St George-in-the-Pines. Two Churches, in two towns that are really concerned with poverty. Not just through Food and Friends, the Monday evening meal program, which works to deal with poverty in the traditional sense of the words; but with the idea that anything in which the reduces what it means to be a human being, created in the image of God, and brings about a poverty of the body, mind and spirit.

So thank you to all that you do. Thank you for all the ways you look to bring about justice and end poverty. I want to encourage you to keep on volunteering and keep on loving one another and God.

Oh heavenly Father
the earth is thirsty for your love.
We pray for you to shower us with love.
Lord we pray that you will will pour out your Holy Spirit
that we might know how powerful your love is,
that we might look for ways to share your love with others.
You command us to love one another as much as we love ourselves.
Your love strong enough refresh the lands
and communities of the whole world.
Teach us to be better stewards, of all the blessings you provide,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.