Monday, September 21, 2015

Letter About Residential Schools

It’s a letter written in the mid-1960s on a common Underwood typewriter. The words typed on the paper, however, are not common at all. They depict a childhood of pain, torment, deprivation and starvation.

Russell Moses was a member of the Delaware band of the Six Nations of the Grand River. Born in 1932, he was not unaccustomed to poverty and discrimination, like many other aboriginal children of the day. And like 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, he found himself at the age of 8 removed from all he knew and thrust into the Mohawk Institute, a residential school just outside of Brantford, Ont.

The Gap Between First Nations People and the Rest of Canada (Video)

This video titled Rich country, poor Nations offers 11 disturbing facts about the gap between First Nations and the rest of Canada. The Globe and Mail's Sherrill Sutherland takes a look at the disconcerting differences in education, wealth and health between First Nations people and the rest of Canada.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Primate's Address to the Anglican Sacred Circle

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canon, delivered a sermon during the opening Eucharist service of the eighth national Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle on Aug. 17, 2015.

A judgement against Israel, a psalm of penitence, and an invitation to a gospel way of living, that’s what we have in the Readings for this opening eucharist of Sacred Circle 2015, gathered under the theme “Lifted on Wings of Faith: Heeding the Indigenous Call”.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ACC shares reconciliation experience at international Anglican gathering

The Anglican Church of Canada continues the journey of healing and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. This path away from the legacy of colonialism and racism including the Indian residential school system reflects the unfortunate universal experiences of human conflict and resilience against egregious acts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lighting the Sacred Fire

Gathered outside in the early morning hours, a circle of onlookers watched as volunteers rubbed spindles into fireboards, trying to produce enough friction to create an ember.

For young men in the Diné tradition, building a fire from scratch remains a rite of passage. The hard work of sparking a blaze without the aid of matches, lighters, etc. teaches virtues such as patience, forbearance, and perseverance.

For those attending the eighth national Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle in Port Elgin, Ont. from Aug. 16-22, sparking the Sacred Fire that would burn symbolically throughout the week offered a similar learning experience to those who volunteered their efforts.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tree Planting Ceremony at St. Philip's Church Commemorating Canada's Indigenous People

On International Peace Day, Monday, September 21, 2015, St. Philip's Anglican Church will be hosting a tree planting ceremony commemorating the reconciliation between the Anglican Church and Canada's indigenous people.

The event comes slightly less than four months after the conclusion of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which addressed the sad legacy of the Indian Residential Schools. Here is an excerpt of a statement by the Anglican Church of Canada and other Canadian Christian denominations:

"Beginning in the 19th century and continuing until the late 1960’s, our churches were partners with the Government of Canada in running Indian Residential Schools. Notwithstanding the good intent and care of many who worked in the Schools, it is clear that Indian Residential Schools, in policy and in practice, were an assault on Indigenous families, culture, language and spiritual traditions, and that great harm was done. We continue to acknowledge and regret our part in that legacy."

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pope Francis Urges All Religious Communities to Help with the Refugee Crisis

Pope Francis has called on every religious community across Europe to do their part to stem the refugee crisis and offer sanctuary to migrant families.

In front of a crowd of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square, the Roman Catholic leader said it was not enough to simply encourage the refugees with calls for courage and patience. Instead, he suggested, tangible demonstrations of help were required.

“May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family,” he said.

The comments came as thousands of refugees from Syria arrived in Austria and Germany after an exhausting journey form Hungary, amid an escalating debate within the EU about how to handle the crisis.

The European commission is expected to release a proposal this week calling for EU members to agree to a quota system in which each would agree to host a portion of an estimated 160,000 refugees.

In Germany and other parts of Europe, thousands of migrants have been welcomed by volunteers who have donated food and clothing. But the pope is calling on the faithful to do more.

“Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned,” he said.

For Catholics, offering shelter to a refugee family would be seen as a “concrete act of preparation” for the Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning in December, he added.

Francis said the Vatican would itself be extending help to two families who will be taken in by Vatican parishes.

The Argentinian pontiff rarely makes such specific statements about ways to offer charity and assistance, but he has been an outspoken supporter of refugees and migrants since the beginning of his papacy.

In 2013, long before the current refugee crisis, in which thousands have died attempting the treacherous journey from Libya to the southern shores of Italy, became daily news, Francis made a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa to visit migrants. There he criticised what he called the “globalisation of indifference” to their plight by rich countries.

More recently, Francis made pointed remarks about refugees and the European debate, including a comment in June that those countries and people who shut their doors to migrants ought to ask God for forgiveness. The comment came amid clashes between police and migrants on the border between France and Italy, after France refused to let migrants cross the border.

The pope’s stance has prompted rare criticism of the church by Italy’s rightwing opposition, led by Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, who in a radio interview once sarcastically asked how many migrants were living in Vatican City.

It seems that now Pope Francis will be able to offer a reply.

Article Source: The Guardian

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Refugee Crises: Call to Prayer and Action from the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

The following statement by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Adele Finney, executive director of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), in response to the Syrian refugee crisis was originally posted on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 at the PWRDF website.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Refugee Crisis: We Must Do More Than Cry

I will admit it. I am, literally, in tears as I write this.

The picture. Yes—that picture that started circulating yesterday of the 3 year old boy washed up on the beach in Turkey.

He and his family were trying to come here—to Canada. The heart strings are pulled.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Primate's Letter in Support of the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Dear friends,

People everywhere are becoming more and more urgently aware of the perilous state of much of creation, and our responsibility as stewards of the earth which we inhabit.

Earlier this month Pope Francis called the 1.25-billion members of the Catholic Church to annually observe on September 1 annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Since 1989 many Eastern Orthodox Christians have observed on that same date as a Day of Prayer for the Environment.