What began as one friend helping another friend with a rehearsal space and a venue from which to stream a LIVE concert has grown into a monthly event, “Songs and Stories from St. John’s”. Our next instalment will feature a “Traditional Indigenous Worship” and a blend of inspirational stories and drumming.
The Reverend Vivian Seegers, gathering priest for Urban Aboriginal Ministry in Vancouver, will lead us through the four spiritual components of an Indigenous worship. The first half of the livestreamed event will focus on “A call to Gather” where all ancestors and spirits are invited to join, followed by “Speaking the words of our Elders”. This sacred portion of the event lays down and honours the traditions that have guided Indigenous life since pictographs were etched into walls. After a brief interview to be conducted by last month’s Songs and Stories performer Shawn Bullshields, Rev. Seegers will return and complete the final two components to “Honour the words and Traditions” and “Give Thanks”. Vivian will be joined on stage by Diane Champagne whose rich voice and traditional drumming will touch your heart and soul. “We honour the culture, and our spiritual songs, our drumming and singing are traditional ways of praying. We are respecting First Nations spirituality.”
Since COVID-19, opportunities for artists to present their craft have become limited to non-existent. While we continue to hope that life will eventually return to normal, it is clear this is going to take some time. While we await a return to onsite worship and events, St. John’s Anglican Church in Shaughnessy has opened its doors to Indigenous artists as a practice space as well as a venue from which to stream a live event.This is a FREE event, however, donations will be gratefully accepted. All proceeds will be directed to care+share - an initiative of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster that directly funds new ministries. The concert will be livestreamed to the St. Johns Shaughnessy YouTube channel linked here.
Photo: Natalie King, Vivian Seegers and Sarah Good lead the "Deer Song"