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All around the Diocese of New Westminster communities are praying, learning, and organizing in anticipation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools National Event in September.

St. Hilda’s By the Sea and St. John’s Sunshine Coast (United Church of Canada), together with survivors of the Sechelt and St. George’s Lytton schools and leaders of the Sechelt band learned about the history and legacy of the Indian Residential School in Sechelt through the Project of Heart, a community based collaborative art project.
In late May, Vancouver School of Theology hosted the Regional Advisory Council to the TRC as they met with Chief Commissioner Justice Murray Sinclair to plan events for September. Church involvement includes an archival display, words and gestures of reconciliation from our leaders, a birthday party for former students, and a church listening area.

Churches in the North Vancouver deanery have taken part in a Sunday morning program which includes liturgy, Sunday school curriculum, music, guest speakers and educators from the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, the NFB film Muffins for Granny, the travelling resource library and time for reflection and sharing.

St. James’, Vancouver reconciliation groupis promoting a free showing and discussion of the film We Were Children, June 11, 7pm, 149 West Hastings.
Several communities have registered parish or deanery teams for the Sept. 22nd Walk for Reconciliation. The Cathedral and Anglican Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald are planning an 8am Eucharist before the walk.

At the sleep-over for Youth Synod Delegates, May 24th, 2013 at St. Margaret’s Cedar Cottage the focus was on learning about the history and current impacts of Residential Schools with leadership from Vivian Seegers of St. George’s, Vancouver. Vivian will be hosting Bright New Day - Healing through the Nations, potluck meal and healing circle on the last Friday of the month, 6:30-9:30pm at St. George's, Vancouver

July 27th, St. Alban's, Richmond is hosting an all day Reconciliation Circle event. (Click the link to access their website for more information.)

The TRC national Event will be taking place at Hastings Park, within the bounds of the parish of St David of Wales. St. David’s are preparing to act as "host parish" inviting the diocese to several events. June 22, the day after National Aboriginal Day, is a reconciliation workshop, Education for Reconciliation; Sept 13—15 is a weekend of prayer and fasting; during Reconciliation Week (Sept. 15-21) other parishes are invited to plan and celebrate daily Eucharist at St. David’s to join in prayer for the work of the TRC.

Click the link to access Bishop Michael's Pentecost Pastoral Letter

Images: Top and homepage, Decorating tiles in Sechelt. Middle, Ross Muelfarth of Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society visits St. Agnes, North Vancouver, May 19th, 2013.