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Indigenous Theology

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Changing The River Course

Water is one of the most common metaphors for God in the Bible and is used to convey a range of experiences: being nourished by life-giving rain; being swept along by a powerful river joining in the flow of justice, or still water reviving our souls. Just as a body of water can buoy us, refresh us, and sustain us, it can also become fearsome in a storm and overwhelm us.

Five Ways to Embody and Engage Reconciliation

September 30th 2021 marks the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.  It coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots commemoration marked by the wearing of Orange Shirts for children forced to leave their families and attend residential schools.  In honour of this day here are five ways that you can engage in working for reconciliation.  

Reflections for National Truth and Reconciliation Day

September 30th 2021 marks the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.  It coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots commemoration marked by the wearing of Orange Shirts for children forced to leave their families and attend residential schools.  

Why I Write

A few years back, I sat at the feet of my oldest surviving Aunt. It was a family gathering and nearly everyone had gone home, only a few stragglers remained. My aunt sipped a beer and I waited for the reticence to fall away before posing my question. “Aunty, can you tell us about the residential schools?” I asked in a low steady voice. She sipped on her beer and glanced down at me, “they were okay.” 

“...but Aunty, I worked at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings. I heard all the stories...” my voice tapered off. 

Laughing Ceremony for the Soul

There are Indigenous rituals and traditions in the Americas that might alarm the Christian white Euro-centric culture that are not involved or aware of the history and cultural aspects surrounding them. There is nothing wrong with having culture and customs per say. However, I have seen where some ceremonies clash with the word of God and many of them become unsavory salt amongst the salted disciples. Christian Indigenous leaders must discern the parts of our culture which lead us away from God but also those which will benefit our spiritual walk.

The Emotions of Hearts Exchanged

I had the great fortune this past year to be invited to join the first cohort of Hearts Exchanged. I knew going into it that I would learn some new things, and that some of these things might be unpleasant. What I didn’t expect was that I would feel so many different things along the way. 

Diaspora

In studying Bible commentaries, I came across a word “diaspora”. Historically, the word diaspora was used to describe the mass dispersion of a people from their original “indigenous” territories to different locations, in the Bible specifically the dispersion of Jews. That got me to wondering if this word “diaspora” could apply to Indigenous dispersal in North America.   

Exchanging Hearts

“When it comes to cross-cultural ministry, I could give you techniques, but what has made the greatest impact is when we exchanged hearts.” (Ray Aldred, Hearts Exchanged Report, 2000)

Emergences

If we are to understand that Indigenous people had prior knowledge of God, as stated in Romans 1, before Europeans landed on this continent, might there be manifestation of God through Indigenous peoples narratives? 

Defining Neighbour

We as image-bearers of God have an unprecedented opportunity to re-engage with our community tables that have been set before us. Our tables need to be large enough to invite our neighbors to join us for food, laughter and conversation. So naturally we ask the question, who is my neighbor? 

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