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Reconciliation

Justice Prayers - July 20, 2022

"Creator Sets Free (Jesus) lifted up his voice and said to them, "I am the light shining on this dark world.  The ones who walk with me will not stumble in the darkness but will have the light that gives them life."  - John 8:12 (FNV)

Around Here

“Well, I see we will have to agree to disagree.” 

Justice Prayers - June 22, 2022

 "God of the poor, Friend of the weak
Give us compassion we pray
Melt our cold hearts, Let tears fall like rain
Come, change our love, From a spark to a flame."

- A prayer in the words of Graham Kendrick


Single Use Plastics

Canada has announced a ban on the manufacture and import of named single use plastics to take effect next December.

Lord of all, even our inventiveness,

We're Indigenous People Too

In 2018, I was gifted to be one of one hundred and fifty First Nations people chosen to fly to Scotland to be featured in an internationally acclaimed television series. Upon arriving in Glasgow, we were loaded onto a tour bus and given a tour of the city. Our hosts welcomed us by stating, “You’re Indigenous, we’re Indigenous too. You were taken away from your families and put in residential schools; we were taken away from our families and put in industrial schools. You weren’t allowed to play your drums; we weren’t allowed to play our bagpipes.

End of a journey or only just begun

Last weekend marked the final gathering of our formal meeting together as the Hearts Exchanged cohort in Classis Niagara.  Because of our relatively close proximity the majority of our meetings were held in person.  This was a blessing as it was a physical reminder that we need not journey alone. I am grateful for my fellow travellers and guides.

Justice Prayers - May 25, 2022

You alone have strength to carry this people.
Carry us now, O Lord.
You alone have wisdom and power to heal the wounds of a nation.
Heal us, O Lord.
You alone have compassion enough to enter our widespread grief, and turn it to hope.
Be merciful, O Christ!

- Grieving a National Tragedy (Every Moment Holy)

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.  

Talking in Circle

Hearts Exchanged is a perfect name for the program I was privileged to participate in this past year.  Instead of a purely intellectual exercise about Indigenous people and the church in Canada, this was a meeting of hearts and souls.  Real learning and listening took place. It was a laying out of beliefs and understandings.  Sharing of first person accounts. Gentle correction. Encouragement. Pledges to do better and ideas for how to do so in real and meaningful ways. 

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.

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