Friday, February 3, 2023

United Church of Canada approves euthanasia prayer.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

*Sign our petition opposing the United Church of Canada's pro-euthanasia prayer (Link).

On March 9, 2022, Churchill Park United Church in Winnipeg Manitoba hosted the euthanasia death of Betty Sanguin (86).

As euthanasia becomes widely prevalent in Canada and available to an expanding list of people living with physical or mental illness, the United Church of Canada approved a prayer written by cleric David Sparks and Sheila Noyes, former co-president of the euthanasia lobby group, Dying with Dignity Canada.

Prayer in the Midst of Fear

I am afraid. I feel fear penetrating my mind and my heart. I feel fear in my gut.

I am afraid to die. I do not know what lies beyond the barrier of death. I am afraid to release myself to the great unknown.

I am heartbroken and afraid to leave my family. I am still needed!

I have let go of hope for healing, and I hold on to hope for the next life.

I am afraid that my family and loved ones, children and grandchildren will be troubled when I tell them I plan to die using medical aid in dying (MAID).

(Prayerfully speak of other fears)

But, in the midst of my fear, I have hope that my family and loved ones, children and grandchildren will understand the choice to end my suffering.

I hope they will be proud of my decision and will understand that MAID is consistent with the love and compassion of Jesus. I have such peace in knowing this is my choice. My family loves me but they cannot feel my suffering, they cannot comprehend my helplessness.

I have hope and assurances that my death will be gentle. I am grateful that I can make this choice, for I am terrified of dying in pain and being helpless.

This choice to determine when I have had enough gives me peace even in the midst of the fear.

I feel that fear throws up a barrier between you and me, Loving God, a barrier so hard to penetrate, and I want that barrier down.

Come to me, Compassionate God, come to me as fear weighs me down and gets in the way of the joy and peace I want to feel and share around. Come to me and embrace me with your Eternal Love.

In the deepest part of me, I believe it will be your love that casts out fear for this waiting time and for my final journey through death.

I pray in the name of the suffering Jesus. Amen

*Sign our petition opposing the United Church of Canada's pro-euthanasia prayer (Link). 

People should always have compassion for people who are living with physical or mental illness, but the United Church is praying for and approving the act of killing.


Charlene said...

People are the creation of God, not the creator. A Christian faith that is allowing MAID -- Lord have mercy. The line that really stuck out for me -- "I hope they will be proud of my decision and will understand that MAID is consistent with the love and compassion of Jesus." Jesus suffered the most physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual death on the Cross -- crucifixion, and humiliation on the way to Calvary, etc. He said, let your Will be done. He died on the Cross for our sins. "The United Church believes The Bible is the shared standard for their faith, but members are not required to adhere to any particular creed or formulation of doctrine." So I guess it fits that they are allowing this. If you're not required to follow sacred scripture....

Alison Whittaker said...

This grieves my heart. To see Christ’s church not only supporting but encouraging the deaths of it’s people. This is blasphemy

John said...

Some familiarity with Carmelite Spirituality, St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) and St. John of the Cross, especially John's Dark Night of the Soul where he shows that God draws us away from our attachments, where we supposed our existence has meaning, so Jesus can give us his life. John's mystical theology helps us to understand that suffering and natural death are not meaningless but experiences where God deals with us supernaturally as God; Jesus wants us to cling to him when we are burdened. (Mt 11: 28-30) Suggesting that Jesus approves of suicide, as the prayer says, is heresy, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Iam a United Church member, I am trying to comprehend this kind of support . Iam Troubled!

Lee said...

I agree that this prayer is not one we would pray, at least to the God I know. Jesus would never condone MAiD. We have always been told that perfect love drives out fear. To give in to fear is to not trust in God. And if we don't trust in God and honour His promises to us, why would he honour us? I have been with and cared for many people as they passed and know that they are the truly corageous ones.

Will said...

A prayer to be said before a person kills themselves? What's next- a prayer to be said before they murder someone? Actually, that's what this already is --- a prayer before they murder themselves!


Anonymous said...

Not one person, regardless of spiritual or philosophical persuasion, would accept trashing or throwing away a gift knowing it came from someone special, without thought of its usefulness. We would hold onto a scrap of paper if it contained the address of someone we love. We would be horrendously offended if we gave something of value to another and we received it thrown back in our face as if it were of no value. Life is the greatest gift we have from God, the Creator, or however we wish to refer to our source. Why then would anyone come to think that as difficult as life may be it is worth so little as to be useless. Suicide is the act of throwing the gift of our lives back in God's face. God is forgiving, yes, but with condoning our own act of disrespect, we have rejected forgiveness for our arrogance. Suicide, or acceptance of another's initiation of it is the ultimate of disrespect to God and a total rejection of the gift without remorsefulness or apology on any account. Like driving off a cliff, it's a bit late when you're in free fall; it's a bit hard for anyone on the outside to think you had a conversion at the last moment of time. Hence, one has also disregarded the hope of family and friends, and removed their last opportunity for kindness in the face of suffering.

Deacon Bill Gallerizzo

Kingdom Expansion said...

Let's be transparently honest here. This could NEVER come from a church who knows the Living Christ. Jesus is NOT the suffering Christ, he SUFFERED!!! HE is NOW RISEN AND ALIVE! God's grace is made perfect in weakness. This is a travesty in the name of Christianity. It is not Christianity at all. This prayer is a stain on religion.

Unknown said...

February 10, 2023

I cannot understand how a church could support this prayer. I as well cannot understand how our government could support MAID for disabled people and people with mental illness.
Many people who want to kill themselves end up coming out of depression with the Lords help and live very productive lives. I know as I was one of those people. I have not been on medication for 20 years now and have been living a very joyous life. God has given us this life and those who encourage people to take their lives and speak death to them will one day stand before God. They will not have anything to say except, forgive me Lord for I have sinned against you. Do the people who wrote this prayer really know God's voice?

Anonymous said...

My older siblings decided to kill my father by medical means.

He could not give his consent as he had dementia but otherwise was quite healthy.
I had no idea that they were doing this. One of my siblings told me that my father cried out that he was "burning" as they took turns administering the lethal drugs
This was NOT a painless death. This was murder--- an abomination in the face of God.
Euthenasia ?
This becomes a slippery slope in the hands of greedy sinners to whom the inheritance matters more than those they should love and protect.

Rev. Paul said...

Lord have mercy on the misguided. Come Jesus and rescue what's left of humanity from its self destruction and eternal death.

Tershia said...

My comment is late but still valid.
IMO Christians should come out of apostate churches. One cannot sup with God and the devil at the same table.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how many times is the word FEAR used in this "prayer"? They are literally glorifying the exact opposite of God (love)... which tells you who the god of the United Church is...