In worship on November 10th, we will pause to remember our veterans as well as remind ourselves of the many gifts that come to us from the traditions of the United Church of Canada. Formed in 1925 as a union of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist Churches in Canada, the United Church has a long history of blending faith and action, church and community.
On November 3rd, All Saints Sunday will be celebrated as we look at the Anglican tradition. With their commitment to the via media or “middle way” between Roman Catholicism and Reformed Protestantism, Anglicanism has much to contribute to the wider ecumenical church.
The prayer books of the Anglican communion will help shape our worship this day and help us to discover what is meant by “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”. The hymns will be drawn primarily from the Anglican tradition, and I have it on good authority that they are quintessentially Anglican in nature. For this Sunday, the scripture readings will be those for All Saints Day, November 1st.
To do a bit of exploration of the history of the Anglican community in the Barriere area, see our new page about the Church of the Redeemer.
Knowing that frost was soon to come, members of Clearwater United picked the carrots that they have been growing in raised beds at the back of the church. They report that not only were the carrots bigger this year but there were also more of them. After they were topped, cleaned, and packaged, they were delivered to the Food Bank.
For the next three Sundays, Pastor Brian will be exploring the roots and gifts of the three denominations to which we relate as an Ecumenical Shared Ministry. He says, “I am not a historian but there will necessarily be a bit of history included in each sermon. It is my intention that each sermon will highlight those ways in which each denomination has been formed by their unique history and how they continue to form and shape our congregations. Lutherans, Anglicans, and Uniteds each have their own individual way of being faithful and that is part of their gift to an ESM. I hope you will find the series enlightening, inspiring and interesting.”
October 27 Lutheran Church
In the Lutheran Church, this is Reformation Sunday. As well as using the readings (Jeremiah 31: 31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3: 19-28; John 8: 31-36) for Reformation Sunday, the hymns that have been selected have roots within the Lutheran Church with some of them having been written by Martin Luther. One tradition in some Lutheran churches is to wear red on this Sunday.
November 3 Anglican Church
All Saints Sunday will be celebrated as part of looking at the Anglican tradition.
November 10 United Church
In this fifteen-minute news report, CBC News reporter Duncan McCue takes viewers behind the scenes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s National Event in Vancouver held October 18th-21st, 2013. He includes interviews and scenes from the hearings and other events.
The Closing Ceremony was held in the Panel Area, a space that was made to feel like a longhouse.
Leslie in front of one of the pillars at the entrance to the Panel Area
The Bentwood Box into which artifacts and writings are offered as part of the permanent record of the TRC can be seen at the front on the left.
Commissioners Chief Wilton Littlechild, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Jusice Murray Sinclair introducing the Survivor Birthday Party Celebration.
A Birthday Party for Survivors was held during the Closing Ceremonies. Churches in the lower mainland provided 4,000 cupcakes for the party. Everyone received a cupcake and glowstick. While the cupcakes were being distributed, “Happy Birthday” was sung in English and then in as many First Nations’ languages as were present as well as French and in sign language.
Justice Murray Sinclair giving closing remarks at the Closing Ceremonies of the TRC National Event on September 21st.
The annual gathering of Clearwater and area singers who love to sing in harmony and to tell the Christmas story in song has begun. The Voices United Community Choir will be presenting A New Birth, A New Beginning in December. Practices are on Wednesdays at St. James’ Catholic Church from 4:30 – 5:30.
Reconciliation Canada organized a Walk For Reconciliation for Sunday, September 22nd, the day following the last day of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s National Event held in Vancouver. Prior to the Walk, both the United Church and Anglican Church held worship services for those who would be walking. Leslie, from Clearwater United, attended the service at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church and walked on behalf of the North Thompson Pastoral Charge.
Leslie was somewhere in the middle of this sea of umbrellas.
The Walk was a dream of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph who had hoped for 50,000 to join him. There were 70,000 people of all ages and all ethnicities who joined him on a soggy Vancouver morning. We gathered in front of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. The keynote address was given by Dr. Bernice King.
Reconciliation Canada has posted a short video that gives a sense of the Walk.
The start of the Walk going past the stage on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
Moderator Gary Paterson’s blog “TRC Vancouver: Walking Together” gives a good sense of both the service at St. Andrew’s-Wesley and the Walk.
Crossing the Viaduct
Regardless of whether one walked the two or four kilometre route, a tile that had been painted by a child from somewhere in British Columbia was received.
The front of Leslie’s tile
During the Truth and Reconciliation’s National Event in Vancouver, there were times set aside each day for individuals, organizations (including a variety of religious groups), and representatives of the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to make statements, presentations, and/or apologies. Most placed some symbol (a written work, illustration, or object) into the Bentwood Box that is travelling to all the National Events and will eventually be housed in the National Research Centre at the University of Manitoba.
The United Church of Canada’s Moderator, Rev. Gary Paterson, captured the sense of these presentations in his blog titled “TRC Vancouver: Expressions of Reconciliation“. The following are links to some of the presentations that were made:
BC Conference of the United Church of Canada
Anglican Church of Canada
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver
Kairos Canada: BC/Yukon
University of British Columbia
Chief Bev Sellars presented her memoir, They Called Me Number One, published by Talonbooks
Resolution Managers of the Government of Canada
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Union of BC Municipalities
During the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s National Event held in Vancouver from September 18th – 21st, the PNE Agrodome was transformed into the Learning Place.
It was filled with a variety of displays, vendors, and an area where Survivors and their family members could share their experiences with church representatives and receive a personal apology.
One of the displays, “100 Years of Loss”, included a large timeline and posters to highlight the history and legacy of residential schools.
(Click on the poster to the right to read all the words.)
The four denominations that had managed residential schools had archival displays. Read an earlier post for more information.
On Education Day (Thursday) of Reconciliation Week, 5,000 elementary and secondary students from around the province participated in educational activities at the TRC site. This video gives a glimpse of their day, what they learned, and their impressions.
At its September 29th Congregational Meeting, the Clearwater United Church congregation voted unanimously to become an Ecumenical Shared Ministry that relates to the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the United Church of Canada. The work now begins to work with the North Thompson Pastoral Charge to write and approve the necessary documents to formalize the decision and to receive approval from the denominational judicatories for the wording of those documents. A committee is already formed to do this work. Then, hopefully, by the time of the Annual Congregational Meetings, there will be a time of celebration as we more formally continue our exploration of what it means to be an Ecumenical Shared Ministry.