Saturday, June 30, 2018

What to Make of St. Peter

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St. Peter

Impulsive master of misunderstanding
You comfort me with all your big mistakes;
Jumping the ship before you make the landing,
Placing the bet before you know the stakes.
I love the way you step out without knowing,
The way you sometimes speak before you think,
The way your broken faith is always growing,
The way he holds you even when you sink.
Born to a world that always tried to shame you,
Your shaky ego vulnerable to shame,
I love the way that Jesus chose to name you,
Before you knew how to deserve that name.
And in the end your Saviour let you prove
That each denial is undone by love.

Malcolm Guite

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 1
And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah!
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 
 18 And I tell you, you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 
 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,
and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 16:16-19 (NRSV)

Yesterday was the Feast Day of St. Peter, which doesn't really matter much to me because I'm not much  of a venerate-the-saints guy and Peter has never really captured my imagination. And what are we to make of Peter anyway?  Leave fishing behind and fish for people -- that's got to be good. Attempt to walk on water -- A for effort? Confess Jesus in an aha! moment, then blow it immediately. Grab a sword to defend Jesus, then deny him three times when Jesus needs him most. Peter clearly has issues with consistency. Don't we all, come to think of it?

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I like the sonnet written by singer/poet/priest Malcolm Guite. It invites us to dive deeper into why Jesus gave impulsive Peter the keys to the kingdom, as unlikely a candidate he might seem. Now, what do we make of Peter as the first pope?...another discussion...

The Denial of St Peter

The Denial of St. Peter - Philip Sutton

Friday, June 29, 2018

Praying for Equality

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On a couple of my trips to Israel a leg of the journey was on El Al, the Israeli state airline. There are a couple of memories from those experiences. One, that security was so thorough all of us felt guilty of some crime even though we were as virtuous and unthreatening as could be -- and that was in the days before 911. The second was that Orthodox Jewish men went to an area of the aircraft to pray with the nodding rhythm of their tradition. It was both odd and captivating that they were so devoted, not to mention the willingness of El Al to accommodate them in this prayer practice.

There was an announcement this week that the airline will no longer be so accommodating with another expectation of Orthodox men. For years El Al has dealt with the insistence that these men not sit next to women they didn't know on flights. Women were asked to change seats, and we can imagine the inconvenience for other passengers and the annoyance of those women and men who  don't adhere to these religious practices or any other, for that matter. El Al says it will no longer facilitate discrimination and that “Any passengers refusing to sit next to other passengers will immediately be removed from the aircraft.”

This didn't come about because El Al saw the light about gender equality. The software development giant NICE is situated in Israel and recently informed the airline they would no longer fly with it if the policy wasn't changed. Apparently the economic benefits of serving business outweighed religion in this case. Still, it was a good decision.

Praise Yahweh that gender-based religious discrimination is being challenged wherever it persists. This will be a long slow process, to be sure, but we can pray anywhere we are that it will continue.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Qualities of Mercy and the Cost of Addiction

A new study reveals the cost of substance abuse in Canada was $38 billion in 2017, with alcohol and tobacco leading the way.
“Similarly, grace seeks us but will not control us.
Saint Augustine once said that God is always trying to give good things to us,
 but our hands are too full to receive them.
 If our hands are full, they are full of the things to which we are addicted.
And not only our hands, but also our hearts, minds, and attention are clogged with addiction.
Our addictions fill up the spaces within us, spaces where grace might flow.”   

    Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions― Gerald G. May

You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that there is an opioid drug crisis in Canada. We're told that first responders are overwhelmed by the number of calls to which they respond, often heroically and at personal risk at times. Last year more than 4,000 sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, partners, died as a result of opioid overdoses.
I was startled to see yesterday that the financial cost of substance abuse in this country was $38 billion in 2014, or about $1,100 per Canadian, and the stats show that the most significant toll in both human and financial terms was from alcohol and tobacco. Read this from the Canadian Press:
The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction partnered with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to examine the data and estimate the harms of substance use based on health, justice, lost productivity and other costs...

It found the four substances related to the largest costs are alcohol at $14.6 billion, tobacco at $12 billion, opioids at $3.5 billion and marijuana at $2.8 billion.
“One of the key messages that comes out of this report is that while we do need to pay attention to the opioid crisis, while we do need to think very carefully as we move toward legalizing recreational cannabis, we shouldn’t forget about alcohol because it’s around and it’s costing Canadian society,” said Matthew Young, a senior research and policy analyst at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction in Ottawa.

What about the spiritual cost of addiction and our Christian response? I've always felt that churches and pastors, including myself, were woefully unprepared to address the realities of addiction. It was as though Jesus followers wouldn't have to deal with addiction because they were nice middle class people. When I did a chaplaincy internship at Kingston Penitentiary during my seminary training I realized how many of the inmates were there because of addiction related crime.
In congregations addiction was stealthier. I spoke with a public health nurse who visited in a toney retirement community not far from one congregation I served. Many of our members lived there. She wondered if I knew how many of the seniors were dealing with substance abuse issues, often because of loneliness or pain relief gone awry.

Some with addictions sought out solace and strength within the church and I tried my best to respond, but the veneer of respectability in church sanctuaries left most feeling passively unwelcome. The irony is that many church basements are used for Twelve-Step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous but the upstairs and downstairs congregation rarely interact.

All this makes me think of Gerald May's excellent book Addiction and Grace in which he reminds us that we all have addictions, some more evident and overtly destructive than others. One of his chapters is called The Qualities of Mercy and I have to wonder whether we have lost the sense of Christ's grace and mercy and loving acceptance, to our peril.

The Greenwich Observatory is reopening and I write about it today in my Groundling blog
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hospitality and the Latest "Bun Fight"

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Wow. Who knew that an incident in which a person was refused service at a restaurant because of the principles of the owner would spark a nation-wide discussion on civility in the United States -- an often uncivil debate I might add.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Press Secretary for President Trump, was seated in a small eatery called The Red Hen in a town in Virginia which is divided politically. The owner is accustomed to providing meals for people from across the spectrum and keeps away from making an issue about allegiances. But staff members called the owner about Huckabee Sanders' dining party and asked what they should do. The owner came to the restaurant, took Huckabee Sanders aside to another room and asked her to leave, letting her know that the rest of her group were welcome to stay. Sanders said that she would leave and her party went with her. There was no charge for what they had already eaten.

That might have been the end of it,  a discreet expression of protest by someone who profoundly disagrees with the Trump administration's horrendous practice of separating migrant parents and children as they arrive at the Mexican American border. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been a strong defender of this policy in her role and has been less than civil in responding to reporters who have challenged what is an illegal and immoral policy. She has also claimed that it was biblical to do this because of passages about obeying the law, a gross misrepresentation of the spirit of scripture and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I find it fascinating that there are Christians who are questioning the choice of the restaurant owner because she was inhospitable and that she only deepened the divide which is so apparent in the United States at the moment. Some have used the example of Jesus sharing a table with tax collectors and sinners as an example of the Christian response. This is an odd example in my estimation because Jesus and those tax-collectors chose to have this meal together and Jesus is pointedly joining with those who are seen as outside the pale of religious acceptability.

Of course it was Huckabee Sanders who used her official Twitter account to reveal what had occurred, and the President once again stooped into pettiness in his response. They both used the power of empire to call out the restaurant owner who acted according to her own moral and ethical lights. By all accounts she was not uncivil, nor was Huckabee Sanders in the moment, but this became the issue.

Surely there are times when we chose to act against what might be a facile notion of hospitality? When I was a prison chaplain intern I spent time with sex offenders and murderers and did my best to respond to them with the grace of Christ. It wasn't always easy to do because of the nature of their crimes.

At the same time I might refuse to break bread with an elected official or representative of a movement that is racist or homophobic. Would that be inhospitable or a matter of principle grounded in my notion of justice? In my last congregation we decided not to give space to a Christian youth organization which was openly anti-LGBTQ in its literature. It wasn't an easy choice but it was prayerfully made. The owner of The Red Hen must have known that there was the potential for backlash to her decision and decided to act just the same.

Ah well. This "political bun fight" as someone has put it will pass and judging from the current political climate in the US the next incident will soon be upon us.


The end of Cap and Trade in Ontario? Today's Groundling blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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noun: gratitude
  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
    synonyms:gratefulness, thankfulness, thanks, appreciation, indebtedness;

I was at the gym early this morning and had a friendly exchange with Mike, a fit guy in his seventies who is there regularly. When I was still working he discovered that I was the minister of Bridge St. Church and it turned out he is Roman Catholic and involved with the inter-church and inter-faith Syrian refugee project. Mike is always friendly and positive. Today he commented on the beautiful start to the day and said, with a smile, "I suppose the word of the day should be gratitude."

I read recently that an extensive study conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia has found that we don't express thanks nearly as often as we think we do. More than that though, expressing thanks is not the same as feeling gratitude and while some people in some cultures are more likely to say thank you, it may be a convention rather than a conviction. I see the steady effort of our son and daughter-in-law to get our two grandson to express gratitude. They are happy, sweet boys who nonetheless need lots of nudges in that direction.

Of course it is the "attitude of gratitude" that Mike was speaking about this morning and which parents hope to inculcate in children. Other studies indicate we are mentally healthier when we are able to live our thanks rather than self-interest or ingratitude.

Diana Butler Bass has a new book called Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks and the title really sums up Jesus' invitation to live a life of gratitude. He told parables about having a generous heart and when he broke bread he gave thanks.

As Mike was leaving he found me and commented that he'd heard about keeping a gratitude journal, writing down what we're thankful for each day. I agreed that this would be a good antidote to the harshness and anger we hear constantly.

I hope that in this day there will be opportunities to express and experience thanks, whatever your circumstances may be. And thanks for reading!

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Monday, June 25, 2018

The Hijab and the Wimple

We stayed at our younger daughter's place in the lovely Roncesvalles neighbourhood of Toronto a couple of weekends ago. We were only a few minutes walk from High Park so we enjoyed a stroll through this urban gem. In one open area a large group of picnickers had gathered, all people of colour, with the women dressed in long clothes and their heads covered with hijabs. Later we realized that it was the end of Ramadan so the group may have been there to break their fast with a celebratory meal. We passed immediately by a number of the women and I noticed that while all their heads were covered there was distinctiveness in the colour and fabric and embroidery of what they were wearing.

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Later in the day we hopped on a streetcar as we headed to a concert and at the next stop a Roman Catholic nun wearing a wimple and habit and another woman got on and sat in front of us.In many RC orders traditional dress is no longer required but this woman sounded Eastern European as she spoke to her companion and she may have brought this more identifiable clothing with her.  

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I wondered aloud to Ruth about how often the nun has been harassed for wearing her head dress and how many times the Muslim women had been verbally challenged or assaulted. I hope the answer is never, but that probably isn't the case, at least for the Muslim women. Canadians are increasingly indifferent to Christianity, except when certain right-wingers want to insist that we are a Christian country regardless of their own religious practice. The hijab is a flashpoint for xenophobia and Islamophobia, sad to say.

We could argue that both the hijab and the wimple are reminders of male oppression of women, a form of enforced modesty. It would be interesting to hear what the women we encountered in passing would have to say about this contention. All I know is that we should treat all women with respect in their choices in a country which has religious freedom as a core tenet of its Charter.

Thoughts? Bye the way, the women in the photos above are not the women we saw in Toronto.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Treaties, Justice & the Church

The first page of the Williams Treaty with the Mississauga First Nations of Rice, Mud and Scugog Lakes and Alderville, which was signed in 1923.
The last congregation I served before retirement was in Belleville, our current home community. Bridge St. U.C. celebrated its 200th anniversary while I was there, and one of our members wrote a very good historical play which took us back to the Methodist origins of the congregation. It included a recollection of the mission at Grape Island in the Bay of Quinte.  In the early 19th century a group of roughly 130 Mississauga First Nation people were settled on the island under the auspices of the Methodist church. David Mowat from the Alderville First Nation wrote the thoughtful portion of the play about this mission and acted it with great dignity.

It's hard to believe that so many people could have survived on such a small island. Ruth and I have kayaked out to Grape Island a couple of times and it takes only a few minutes to circumnavigate it. Today it is home to a single cottage and an impressive osprey nest. But how could an entire community survive there through raw winters? In a few years the community moved from Grape Island to Alderville, on the mainland. The Alderville First Nation website describes the experience:

By 1826 the Methodists at the Bay had convinced the Mississauga to take up the development of a mission and attempts were made at teaching the people a new agrarian economy. On tiny Grape Island, the people learned to read, write, and to worship in a different manner, becoming a major target group of the early assimilation policies of Canadian church and state.
While the people basically accepted the value of learning to read and write and adapting to a new economy, at the same time their sense of identity would not allow for a complete surrender of their cultural values and language. The Methodist experience among the Mississauga can best be described as a hybrid, or a mixed composition of traditional and western values and spiritual worldview.

Now seven First Nations including Alderville are voting on a billion dollar settlement of the controversial Williams Treaty from early in the 20th century. In some of these communities there is tension about what may seem like a huge settlement, but this money will fund projects such as a water treatment plant at Curve Lake and there are concerns that it simple won't be enough.

I hope that we will all pray for a fair and equitable outcome in these negotiations and that there will be wisdom from within the communities to navigate the way forward.

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Grape Island is between Massassauga Pt. & Big Island, upper centre

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Walking, Praying and Working Together

Pope Francis praises “ecumenical day” in Geneva for WCC anniversary
And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human?
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3: 1-9 NRSV

Pope Francis was in Geneva, Switzerland this past week for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches, with the theme of Walking, Praying and Working Together. It's only about 900 kilometres from the Vatican to the home of John Calvin who some have called the historic pope of Protestantism. Still, Francis' presence does mark a significant moment in the lengthy journey toward reconciliation and understanding between two of the great streams of the Christian religion.

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Christians are really skilled at not getting along with one another. Jesus had to tell his disciples not to squabble about who would be the greatest in heaven and in the fledgling days of the Christian community the apostle Paul admonishes, then encourages followers to get along.

In my lifetime I've been involved in ecumenical groups, working with Christian pastors of every stripe, but at times so frustrated with the "my faith is better than your faith" attitudes that I wanted to abandon the enterprise. Often it has been conservative Protestant Christians who supposedly really love Jesus who have been the least charitable and open to finding common ground.

Francis seems to have the ecumenical spirit of a predecessor, Pope John the 23rd, whose Vatican II Council encouraged dialogue and prayer with other Christian denominations. This was a huge shift in outlook but some of John's successors were less inclined to honour the tone of Vatican II, including Pope Benedict, whose arrogance about Roman Catholicism as the true faith was disconcerting to many Catholics and non-Catholics.

During his flight home Francis said to reporters “For me, to be a peace church is the mandate of God. I believe that all the churches that have this spirit of peace must come together and work together, as we said in our speeches today.”

Hey, this sounds downright biblical and Christian!

I live with respect for...turtles? Today's Groundling blog

Thursday, June 21, 2018

First Nations Cloud of Witnesses

Toward Woody Island Tickle, Change Islands

Last year at this time we were packing up for our departure to Newfoundland for a month. We'd rented a house on Change Islands, adjacent to Fogo Island off the northeast coast of the province, next stop Ireland. It proved to be a wonderful few weeks during which we never left Change Islands except for some excursions to nearby Fogo. We paddled out to icebergs and even smaller islands in our kayaks and explored both formal and informal trails. With all our exploring we seldom encountered another human being, yet there were moments when we were deeply aware of those who had gone before us in that place.

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Beothuk Encampment with a sea-going canoe

One day near the end of our stay I walked along a coastal path which was once the road to the main community from a cluster of houses which no longer exist at what is called Woody Island Tickle. Older people we know once lived there in the summer and eked out a living in the fishery. At one point Ruth paused to explore a pebble beach and I strolled further. I was overwhelmed in the moment by a sense of the pre-European peoples who came to these islands in the summer months to fish and pick berries. They crossed dangerous waters to their seasonal camps for generations. Some were Beothuks, the Native people at the time of contact who were eventually wiped out by the Europeans. Before them were the Paleo-Eskimo people whose forays left behind spear tips which were found quite by accident by others we know on Change Islands.

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Palaeo Eskimo spear tips from Change Islands cache

Today, on Indigenous Peoples Day, I recall what was a spiritual experience of the "cloud of witnesses" in that rugged, ravishingly beautiful landscape. I mourn the extinction of a culture by those who eventually built churches and worshiped the Prince of Peace without a sense of contradiction. I admire the determination of those who arrived from Europe and established communities which are still in evidence, despite decline. I can't forget those who were here when they came and deserved a better fate.

Read more at my Groundling blog

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trans Mountain & the United Church

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When I heard the news that the Canadian government was purchasing the old, leaky Trans Mountain oil pipeline I was appalled. The cost is supposedly $4.5 billion but we know that the feds will borrow the money to make this purchase, so add a billion or so to the pricetag. And this has nothing to do with the cost of a new and controversial pipeline to transport diluted bitumen (dilbit) from Alberta to the BC coast.

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Along with many other Canadian taxpayers I feel that this is rash expenditure and that we're being "had" by a corporate entity which will now give massive payouts to key executives -- take the money and gleefully skip out of town.

I am also disgusted that a government which campaigned on promises of environmental responsibility and a new relationship with First Nations appears to have abandoned those commitments. As a Canadian who is a Christian, both of these are front and centre in my desire for a better country now and for my grandchildren.
Right Reverend Jordan Cantwell, Moderator

The moderator of the United Church, Jordan Cantwell, has written to Prime Minister Trudeau and I encourage you to read what she has to say.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Zero Tolerance & Unjust Laws

One may well ask: 'How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?' The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all.'

Martin Luther King Jr.

We have all being hearing and reading the horror stories about migrant children being separated from their parents when they arrive at the United States border, a definite strategy which the duplicitous Trump administration vigorously denies even all the evidence is there. They claim there are no cages to house these children, even though they are evident in photographs, and that the children are treated well, despite tapes of kids wailing while a jailer mocks them in the background.

This "zero tolerance" sure seems to be part of a barely veiled White Supremacist agenda and many in America are pushing back, including all four living former Presidential First Ladies. A fund has been established to help reunite deported families and it has already reached four million dollars.

Christian leaders have spoken out as well and this is encouraging because the Christian protests are almost universal, including evangelicals such as Franklin Graham, a staunch Trump supporter until now.

What is really chilling for me is that the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, quoted scripture, namely Romans 13, to justify what is happening. This is  a Pauline passage about submitting to authority and rulers, verses trotted out by pro-slavery Christians in the 19th century. Of course if the Sessions misuse of this passage was accurate then the Apostle Paul wouldn't have been put to death by the Romans, the American Revolution would be null and void, and every resistance movement the United States has ever supported should be deemed illegal.

Sessions is supposedly a United Methodist and now a group of more than 600 clergy and laity have brought charges against him. In their they have accused Sessions of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of the doctrine of the United Methodist Church.

My anger about what is occurring in the States borders on rage at times. Instead I need to pray for those who are resisting this despicable and illegal tactic by the US government so that sanity and humanity and democracy will prevail. God has zero tolerance for the oppression of vulnerable children.


Did you know that weather trading is a job? Today's Groundling blog

Monday, June 18, 2018

Voyages of the Damned 2018

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Recently I reflected on the decision of the Canadian federal government to apologize for a nearly 80 year old wrong. In 1939 the Canadian government turned away the ship called the MS St. Louis and the nearly 1,000 Jewish refugees who were fleeing Nazi Germany. Canada followed the lead of other nations in rejecting these vulnerable migrants and the ship returned to Europe. Well over 200 of those passengers eventually died as a result of Nazi persecution. An Oscar nominated dramatic film was made in the 1970's called Voyage of the Damned.  

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Apologies are important, although they can be a form of "cheap grace." seeking forgiveness for sins of omission or commission rather than conscientiously striving to act in ways that do no harm to others.

I thought about the MS St. Louis last week when we heard that the Aquarius, a ship full of migrants,  was turned away from first Italy, then Malta. Many European countries are establishing more restrictive immigration policies to stem the flood of migrants from North Africa and elsewhere. The crowded ship spent a number of days at sea with no port, until Spain accepted it.

While Canadians are currently more focused on the atrocity of separating migrant parents and children at the southern border of the United States, not to mention our own border challenges, there are asylum seekers drowning every week in the Mediterranean. One of those deaths, of a toddler named Aylan Kurdi, prompted Canadians to open their hearts and borders to Syrian refugees. Many faith groups responded with practical compassion as more than 20,000 came to this country in a matter of months.

Perhaps we all need to be asking whether our response to the drowning  of a Syrian child and our outrage at the draconian immigration policies in the US are just an emotional response or whether we genuinely want to address the humanitarian crisis which deepens around the planet.

It is understandable that we weep over the fate of destitute children. It is a matter of justice and Christian compassion to do more. Do we really want another apology a few decades down the road?

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Indigenous Day of Prayer

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Let us give thanks to our Creator
for the Creator is always with us.

God is with us in the call of a loon
and in the flight of an eagle.

Our Creator is with us in the changing of the seasons.

God is with us when we gather together
and when we are alone.

Our Creator is with us in our giftedness
and in our search for new understandings of ourselves,
new visions of our communities.

Prayer for Indigenous Day of Prayer

All my Relations or Mitakuye-Oyasin (pronounced mi-TAHK-wee-a-say or Mee-tah-koo-yay Oy-yah-seen) is a saying in the Obijway or Lakota language meaning We are all related or All are related.

Thursday of this week is the 22nd anniversary of National Aboriginal Peoples Day in Canada. It is a celebration which coincides with the summer solstice and over the years the number of events held on this important day across the country has grown. There are nearly 1.7 million aboriginal people in Canada, with approximately 600,000 of them being Metis. This is 5% of the Canadian population and they are younger, on average, than the population as a whole.

The United Church of Canada has been engaged in a process of  apology, healing, and reconciliation with Native Peoples for the past thirty years and more, in part because of our participation in the Residential School debacle, an exercise in colonialism and cultural genocide which was not the Good News of Jesus Christ it was supposedly intended to be.

There are worship resources for this day, including the prayer above, some congregations welcome First Nations speakers, and there is the United Church crest which now includes the colours of the four directions and the words in Mohawk which are "all my relations,"  the equivalent of the United Church motto, "that all may be one" from John's gospel.

The balance between celebration and contrition is an uneasy one, to say the least. There is so much that is positive to acknowledge in the reemergence of identity and pride for Native communities. At the same time, many Aboriginal communities deal with the lack of clean water and inadequate education for children. Youth suicide is a tragedy which recurs. Federal governments make promises about recognizing the sovereignty of First Nations in negotiations over land use and getting to the heart of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, but disappoint again and again.

Today we can also acknowledge that while we are appalled by the separation of migrant children and parents in the United States, that is what happened with Residential Schools and still happens today. Far more First Nations children are in foster care today than at the height of the residential schools of an earlier era.

It is important for us to pray today and every day that our country will move beyond prejudice and injustice in all our relations.
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