Anglican Church Leadership Invites the Church into an Intentional Time of Discernment
The Archbishop and Primate, Fred Hiltz, and the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, Mark L. MacDonald, give the background and description of the “22 Days” planned for the time between the Closing Ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on May 31st to the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer, on Sunday, June 21st in an invitation to the Church.
Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which has addressed the sad legacy of the Indian Residential Schools will hold its final event, the closing ceremonies of its six-year tenure, in Ottawa for four days commencing on Sunday, May 31st.
The daily themes are as follows:
Day 1, “We are all in this together”;
Day 2, “We still have lots to learn”;
Day 3, “Reconciliation means respect and change”;
Day 4, “This ending is only the beginning”.
In the spirit of the 4th-day theme, we are calling our Church into “22 Days” of prayer and renewal in our commitments to healing and reconciliation among all people – the Indigenous Peoples of this land and all others who have come and settled and also call it home. These 22 Days will take us to the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer, on Sunday, June 21st.
Inspired by a conversation among a number of Cathedral Deans in dioceses where the TRC held National Events, and with the support of a number of General Synod staff, this call is heartily endorsed by the national House of Bishops.
Together we are calling the Church to take time in each of these 22 Days (a description of each of these points is found in the invitation).
• to listen to the story of a survivor of Residential Schools.
See the 22 Days website.
• to pray for all those affected by the long shadows of Residential Schools.
• to ring church bells for the murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.
• to consider our steadfastness on the long journey to reconciliation in this country.
• to consider our commitment as a Church to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in their cry for justice.
• to post your own stories of learning and witness to the call to renewed relations with The First Peoples of this land. See the 22 Days website.
In these 22 Days between the Closing Event for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and National Aboriginal Day, we invite one and all to join us in labouring for that for which we pray, saying
In speaking and hearing and acting upon the Truth
may we as individuals and as a nation
meet the hope of a new beginning.
Great Creator God
who desires that all creation live in harmony and peace,
Remembering the Children
we dare to dream of a Path of Reconciliation
where apology from the heart
leads to healing of the heart
and the chance of restoring the circle,
where justice walks with all,
where respect leads to true partnership,
where the power to change comes from each heart.
Hear our prayer of hope,
and guide this country of Canada
on a new and different path. Amen.
– Prayer from “Remembering the Children” Church Leaders Tour, March 2008
Read the entire invitation here. More information about the history of Residential Schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and our churches’ involvement and work towards reconciliation will also be found on our Truth and Reconciliation page.