As you know, over this past week, our Bishop Logan has led clergy and lay folk of our diocese to stand in solidarity with the hereditary leadership of the Wet’sowet’en people. Some of you have been concerned by this news. Some of you are upset or angry.
The concept of ‘reconciliation’ has been a major topic of reflection for us at St Mary’s over the past several years. Not only ‘reconciliation between settler Canadians and First Nations’, but true reconcilation as the core of the Good News of Jesus for whom we are supposed be ambassadors. (A good reminder of that ministry is found in 2 Corinthians 5.11 - 6.12.)
So, this is a great chance for us to talk, and to listen to one another, as we wrestle with our own responses to the events of the past week. I invite you—and anyone else you think would benefit from a time of respectful listening and sharing—to a conversation:
This Saturday: February 15, 1:00pm at The Churchmouse Bookshop, St Mary’s Church (1701 Elgin Rd).
I’ll have the coffee on.
In the meantime, here are some useful links to help round out the information we have about the nature of the issue that has prompted Bishop Logan and other spiritual leaders to act as we have:
Statement by the bishops of our episcopal province (BC and Yukon) (source: The Anglican Church of Canada)
Some terms and historyconcerning the current crisis faced by the Wet’sowet’en (source: Huffington Post Canada)
Information about the question of jurisdiction, and the issue of First Nations governance, as it relates to businesses (source: The Conversation – a network of not-for-profit media outlets that publish news stories written by academics and researchers)
And finally: some excerpts of an email from Bishop Logan to participants in Wednesday’s walk of solidarity:
“I want to first thank those of you who joined me today in our walk of solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters. Over the lunch hour approximately 50 of us walked from the steps of Christ Church Cathedral to the grounds of the legislature. At both the beginning and the end we prayed, shared scripture (Romans 12:1-8) and spoke about why were gathered there. I, personally, saw this as another step along the Sacred Journey that we’ve been on together.
“… For us this is not about politics, it’s about faith. … The work of reconciliation is not simply something we talk about when there is no conflict, it is something we are called to embody in the midst of conflict. And this, friends, is where we find ourselves today. We continue to journey, healing the wounds of history and building a culture of peace.
“We are standing in peaceful solidarity and respect for Wet’suwet’en people and their law—a law that has existed for millennia. We are calling on all levels of government to live into the commitments made in Bill 41 (Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) and to embody the values and principles of reconciliation the government proports to uphold.
“We are not protesting pipelines.”
I'm looking forward to seeing some of you tomorrow!
[Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash]