On Friday we launched our Lunch and Learn series. It was our first “Second Friday.” We were blessed by the presentations on the “Theology of Accompaniment and Solidarity” by Dianne Baker and Louise Simbanduwe. Twenty-five people filled the Kay Pearson Room at CCS for this rich conversation. (Videos of the presentations will be available on the CCS blog in the next few weeks.)
Dianne Baker served with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel for three months in 2011. She also worked as an Overseas Partners in Trinidad and Tobago for three years. She is presently employed as a Family therapy Clinician at New Directions in Winnipeg. From these varied experiences, she offered reflection on the nature of accompaniment as companioning and listening. She related several stories of standing and walking with others shaped by the Micah 6 vision of kindness, justice (and peace) and humility. She also upheld the role of solidarity in resisting isolation, bigotry and silencing.
Louise Simbanduwe is Director of Asset Building Programs for SEED Winnipeg. She has over 15 years of experience in a variety of local and international CED work. She has worked on development projects in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa. At a local level, she was involved in establishing a worker’s collective based on participatory economic principles. She has been actively involved in Amnesty International. In all this work she has shown amazing commitment and integrity but she is also conscious of the need to make compromises and discern what is possible and do-able in any given context. She finished by quoting Leonard Cohen,
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”