Reaching the million dollar mark in the Honouring Our Commitment campaign is something about which we as a diocese should be proud.
It hasn’t been easy. The campaign came at a time when many parishes have had to re-mortgage due to an attack of "leaky condo syndrome". Others have seen congregations age and numbers decline. Controversies haven’t helped.
It is hard to dig into ones pocket to atone for episodes that took place in residential schools decades ago. The Anglican Church ended its association with residential schools in 1969.
But the Honouring Our Commitment has been the right thing to do, and not only because victims of sexual and physical abuse were suing dioceses and the national Church in the courts. It became evident that the whole enterprise of bringing the Church to First Nations (“uncivilized Indians, they were considered back then) was a mistake.
The century and more of involvement in residential school was a well-meant effort by many who spent their careers and lives teaching - but a mistake nonetheless. Rather than integrating First Nations people economically and culturally, it too often took away identity and pride. Only now assisted by the treaty process are wrongs being redressed.
The Honouring Our Commitment campaign has been so important, and positive. It has made a statement: that the Anglican Church recognizes that it was in error an error made in good faith, but still an error, and that the Church wants to correct it, and begin a new era of healing the reconciliation.
So let’s keep up the effort to raise the $100,000 it will take to complete the campaign, and, if possible, go over the goal (now about $1.12 million). Anything extra raised will go directly to diocesan and national work with First Nations people.