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Milestones along the Reconciliation Journey

“Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’ve come.” There’s deep wisdom in this line from the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. It reminds us of the story of the Israelites setting up a pile of rocks, after finally crossing the Jordan River into Canaan (Joshua 4). Why did God tell them to set up this pile of rocks? To remember. To mark a spot where they had seen Him at work.

The road to restored relationships is long. 500 years of difficult history between Indigenous peoples and the descendants of immigrants on this land will not be fixed quickly. And yet, as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) wraps up its 6-year mandate this May, we can look back and say: Creator God has been at work. Hallelujah!

We see His hand in massive turnout to TRC events. In the nationwide calls for an inquiry into the disturbing pattern of missing and murdered Indigenous women. In conversations around the reForming Relationships tour stops. In unexpected connections made across racial barriers. In providential circumstances that put us in the right place at the right time to hear the story that changes our perspectives.

So in this historic moment, let’s take a page out of the Israelites’ book: What was your milestone? What memory sticks in your mind? When did you catch the wind of the Spirit blowing through your heart?  

Maybe you saw the beautiful paintings of the reForming Relationships tour and met an Indigenous neighbour.

Perhaps you participated in a Blanket Exercise and learned about the broken history of the relationship between our peoples on this land.

Maybe you attended a TRC event and witnessed firsthand the resilience of Indigenous peoples and their cultures.

Or maybe something just clicked for you when you first heard A Tribe Called Red.

We’re on this journey together. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24) Send us a picture that symbolizes your milestone, whether metaphorically (eg. a picture of broken glass that reminds you of a story that really broke your heart) or more literally (eg. a picture of yourself in a group that attended a TRC event that moved you along on the reconciliation journey). We will put these pictures together in both an online collage (probably through Prezi) and a physical collage (which would be displayed at Synod and at an ecumenical church service in Ottawa the week of the last event). 

Here's one example of what a contribution might look like. You can use your own picture, or submit another picture (as long as you have permission to use it!). 

Let’s pause to mark these milestones together and celebrate the work of Christ, who is reconciling all things to himself.

Contributions can be sent to Shannon Perez at or Danielle Rowaan at before April 10th. 

[Image: Flickr user Graham Hodgson]


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