Clearwater Congregational Meeting

Following the service on Sunday, September 29th, the Clearwater United congregation will be having a meeting to determine if it wants to become an Ecumenical Shared Ministry relating to the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.  If yes, then both points (the other being the Church of St Paul in Barriere) of the North Thompson Pastoral Charge will be Ecumenical Shared Ministries.  Also, a committee of the Pastoral Charge Board would then begin work on a Shared Ministry Agreement for the entire Pastoral Charge.

Pastoral Charge Outreach

In the last few months, the people of the North Thompson Pastoral Charge have been moved to respond to events taking place beyond our region.  The Church Women of the Church of St Paul sent contributions to the Canadian Red Cross as a result of the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic.  They and Clearwater United Church responded to the United Church Alberta flood appeal by donating through the Mission and Service Fund, while the Church of St Paul gave funds directly to High River United Church.  The Clearwater United Church has also sent funds gathered at fund raising events to Darby Memorial United Church in Bella Bella to be used to assist their community as it recovers from arson and vandalism.

All Nations Canoe Gathering

As a prelude to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s National Event in Vancouver, British Columbia, Reconciliation Canada organized the All Nations Canoe Gathering for Tuesday, September 17th in False Creek.  Reports of this event can be read and viewed on a variety of news websites.  Some of the reports are

“Paddlers hit the water for Reconciliation Week” from the CBC

“Canoe Gathering kicks off events for B.C. Reconciliation Week” from the September 16th issue of the Vancouver Sun explains why an Iranian outreach worker was included in a Nisga’a canoe.

“First Nations canoe gathering marks start of Truth and Reconciliation Week” from the September 17th issue of the Vancouver Sun gives the story of one of the survivors and links to other pictures and articles.

“First Strokes of Justice at Reconciliation Hearings” from The Tyee

Letter from Bishop Greg encouraging participation in the Walk for Reconciliation

In a letter to congregations and Rostered Ministers of the BC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Bishop Greg recognizes that while the “Lutheran church was not directly involved in operating residential schools, as members of the Canadian public we nonetheless are complicit in the systems that led to such actions.”

As well as giving some background information and describing the decisions and participation of Anglican churches, Bishop Greg encourages Lutherans to attend the Walk for Reconciliation.

The Walk for Reconciliation is one more step along the journey of establishing renewed relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.  I invite and encourage each of you to pray, prepare, and learn during this National Event of September 18 to 21.  Please attend whatever part of the Truth Commission you are able.  Then, on September 22nd, join tens of thousands of other Canadians of good will – Indigenous and non-Indigenous, of all faiths and none – in walking together towards renewed relationships for us all.

Bishop Greg concludes his letter with this desire and prayer: “May God’s spirit move among us as we seek reconciliation and renewed relationships.”

For information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Residential Schools see Truth and Reconciliation on this website.

Truth and Reconciliation Logo

TRC circle logoThe shape of the TRC logo — a circle — reflects the Circle of Life.  In the Circle, we join together to share truth.

The flames sustain life in the Circle and provide safety and sustenance.  Most importantly, the flames shed light on what needs to be shared in the Circle — the experiences of those affected by Indian Residential Schools.

The seven flames that make up the circle represent the seven sacred teachings: love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility and truth.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws on each of those teachings in the work of truth-gathering, truth-telling, reconciliation, and each TRC National Event is dedicated to one of them.  The British Columbia National Event is dedicated to the sacred teaching of honesty.

~ from the TRC British Columbia National Event Program

Week of Reconciliation

Monday, September 16th begins a week long Reconciliation event in Vancouver that includes the sixth of seven national events hosted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  Each TRC National Event is dedicated to one of the Seven Sacred Teachings – love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility and truth.  The Vancouver event is dedicated to honesty.  It takes place from the 18th to 21st at the PNE.  A major component of this time is to hear and witness to the stories of survivors of the Residential Schools.  The full programme is available on the TRC website.

This Vancouver Sun article gives some background and describes the importance of this event.  The article begins “Blame and anger will not be the emotions fuelling 76-year-old residential school survivor Alvin Dixon as he takes part in Truth and Reconciliation events in Vancouver next week.  He instead is seeking mutual respect from all Canadians, as a way to acknowledge past sins to First Nations children and commit to working together to build a better future.”  Dixon serves on the United Church’s General Council Executive.

A brief description of the event, United Church participation, and some history are found on the BC Conference website.

For information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Residential Schools see Truth and Reconciliation on this website.

Syrian Refugee Relief Appeals

All three denominations have established relief funds for Syrian refugees through their mission organizations.  Individuals who wish to donate can contribute directly to a denomination or put your donation in with your offering, clearly marking your envelope for the amount that you want to go to Syrian relief.  To read more about these appeals, check out these links:

Each denomination has already provided some emergency funding or supplies to their partners in the region.

CBC’s Daybreak North interviews prof about hunger and medical experiments in residential schools

Host of Daybreak North, Betsy Trumpener, speaks with Mary-Ellen Kelm, the Canada Research Chair in History, Medicine, and Society at Simon Fraser University.  Hear the interview in which she comments on recently released research, her many conversations with First Nations elders regarding hunger at residential schools, and her own archival research.