First Nation’s carver Xwalactun and Bob Dolphin of St. George Fort Langley with a pole that the Coast Salish artist is carving for the parish hall. (Wayne Chose photo)

The campaign chairs of the Honouring Our Commitment campaign at Diocesan Synod urged parishes to keep up the effort to raise funds during the final year.

Gordon Lee and Linda K. Robertson reported that as of March 31 the campaign had raised $900,174.

The original campaign goal of $1.6 million has been reduced by 40 per cent to $976,000, but there are also campaign costs of $142,000 to recoup, she said.

The reduction in the goal is due to a renegotiation of the original agreement in which the diocese committed to paying into the Residential Schools Settlement Fund.

Robertson singled out St. Faith’s, Vancouver, St. Phillip’s, Vancouver, St. John’s  Burnaby, St Francis in the Woods, West Vancouver, St Richard’s, North Vancouver, The Church of the Epiphany, St John’s, Whonnock, and St. David’s, Vancouver, for having met or exceeded their campaign goals already.

“Some are small parishes and not wealthy parishes,” she told the Synod. “If they can do it, every parish can.”

Lee and Robertson however emphasized that Honouring our Commitment isn’t primarily about money, but about reconciliation and healing relationships with Aboriginal peoples.

They pointed to projects undertaken by St. George, Fort Langley, and St. James, Vancouver, in cooperation with local First Nations groups.

Diocesan First Nations Coordinator Sherry Small and Bishop Michael Ingham speak to Synod during the Honouring Our Commitment report about relationships with First Nations people. (Wayne Chose photo)

Diocesan Coordinator for First Nations Ministry Sherry Small told delegates she is always available to help them in a “non-threatening way” to work with local First Nations groups.

Bishop Michael Ingham spoke briefly about attending an Alternative Dispute Resolutions Settlement session to represent the Anglican Church. While the details of the session had to be confidential, he did say the story of abuse told by a First Nations woman was very difficult to hear.

“In 34 years of ministry, this was the longest day I’d ever undergone. What she went through, no person ever should have experienced,” he told Synod.