Symbolism over substance from the United Church of Canada, via today's Ottawa Citizen:
Forget the bottle, use the tap.
That's the message the United Church of Canada is sending three million Canadians tied to the church after passing a motion this week to discourage the purchase of bottled water.
Church delegates at a triennial general council in Thunder Bay backed a resolution saying "water is a sacred gift that connects all life" and that "its value to the common good must take priority over commercial interests." . . .
The church isn't calling for a boycott, [social policy co-ordinator Richard] Chambers said, only asking its members to avoid buying bottled water wherever possible. . .
Mr. Chambers said there are more than one billion people on Earth who are without a clean supply of drinking water.
Mr. Chambers said the church wants the federal government to sign a United Nations convention that would recognize water as a human right as well as help provinces and municipalities upgrade their water infrastructure.
This comes from the mainline denomination that allows the ordination of practicing homosexuals, blesses homosexual "marriage," and once elected a national moderator, Bill Phipps, who denied the divinity of Jesus, the Resurrection, and the afterlife. But God forbid that any church member should buy a bottle of Evian!
But how is this resolution going to help those one billion people without clean water? Rather than pass useless resolutions, if the United Church actually wants to do something about the problem, it should spend its time and resources in Africa digging wells and building water-treatment facilities, rather than making Canadians feel guilty because we have great big lakes of fresh water just lying around. (It wasn't United Church parishioners who put them there, was it?)
Meanwhile, here in Ottawa, you can receive absolution from your sins by listening to classic rock. The Church of St. John the Evangelist, a local Anglican church, is offering forgiveness for 1,000,000 CHEZ 106 Platinum VIP Club points. (By way of comparison, absolution costs 20 times as much as two Who tickets.) Even though it's a gimmick, you can never be sure whether you're supposed to take St. John's or the Irreverent Canon Garth Bulmer seriously. In 2004, they hosted a lecture by author and former Anglican priest Tom Harpur on his book The Pagan Christ, in which he argued that there was no historic evidence for Jesus' existence. Next Sunday, their bulletin says they "will celebrate Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Day at the 10:15 service."
[sigh] I think I'd rather go to the clown Eucharist; at least they know they're clowns.