“Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Book of Isaiah Reading for Sunday June 20, 2021
Now is the time we need to renew our strength; now is the time to mount up with wings like eagles. The road of Reconciliation lies in front of us. It is not an easy road, but with honesty, listening and repentance we can individually and collectively walk with our Indigenous, Inuit and Métis sisters and brothers. And with the Creator’s power and Indigenous resilience, opportunities for engagement, respect and connection can develop.
The last few months have been moving towards hope that COVID-19 illness and restrictions were coming under control.
In the midst of that hope has come the heart wrenching report identifying 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. That sorrow came after the sudden passing of The Rev. Cannon Ginny Doctor, one of our Indigenous leaders in the National Church. And then our own Rev. Vivian Seegers passed away from complications of COVID-19. She is the 11th Indigenous Clergy person to die from complications of COVID-19 in the Anglican Church.
Which way do we turn, what can we do in response to such losses, losses that some have never heard about before? Many in the Church have asked, “What can we do?” “Listen” is a good start. Walk in the footsteps of the children, the parents and grandparents and try to feel what it is like to not be respected, or cared for by those in control of your schooling, your resources, your life.
Bishop John Stephens has asked that all diocesan churches with bells, ring out their bells on June 20. If it’s possible to ring the bells 215 times please do!
Our Rev. Vivian Seegers prepared a Prayer to the Four Directions for our 2020 Indigenous Day of Prayer. The ending of her prayer is prophetic. She prays for the Cedar trees, and we are very aware of the discussions currently happening regarding logging and old growth trees. The video of Vivian’s prayer, is linked below on YouTube as a memorial to her and for our National Indigenous Day of Prayer 2021.
For those of you who would like an Mp4 file to insert in online worship it is linked here in Dropbox
Supporting that prayer is a brief meditation on the Four Directions collected from the writings of Richard Wagamese:
We begin in the EAST
- The East is where the sun rises, where the sunlight first appears, and our day begins.
- The East is the place of HUMILITY.
- The Old ones say Humility is the foundation of everything.
- Humility is the ability to see yourself as an essential part, but still just a part, of the greater whole.
- In the Ojibway world “humility” means “like the earth.” The Earth, our Mother, is the ultimate humble being. When Mother Earth is given the ability, everything and everyone is allowed the same opportunity to grow, to become what they can be.
- May we be open to HUMILITY.
Please turn clockwise and focus on the SOUTH
- The South is the place of TRUST
- Trust develops as a spiritual by-product of innocence.
- The Ojibway say innocence is learning to look at the world with Wonder. When you see the world with Wonder you see and live in a learning way.
- Trust also gives us the ability to open ourselves to teachings. Teachings give us the opportunity, the gateway to becoming who we have been created to be.
- May we practice TRUST
Turning clockwise we focus on the WEST
- The West is where the sun sets and the day as we experience it comes to an end.
- It is natural that the WEST is seen as the place of INTROSPECTION.
- On the Medicine Wheel INTROSPECTION is the “looks within place.”
- HUMILITY from the East, and TRUST from the South offer many teachings. INTROSPECTION is the way of seeing how these apply to our lives. It is both a place of VISION and a RESTING place. It is also a place of COURAGE as the hardest place to look, is within.It is a place where the story, the song we have created so far can be reviewed and unnecessary things be let go.
- INTROSPECTION is meant to give us Balance
Completing the circle, we turn clockwise to the NORTH
- The North is the place of WISDOM.
- Wagamese says “to be truly WISE is to understand that knowing and not knowing are one. Each has the power to transform.”
- Wisdom is the gathering of teachings gleaned, bit by bit, from our lifetime journey.
- Our goal is to share those teachings around us while we are still here.
- We are all on the same journey, and we become more by giving that wisdom, that treasure away.
May it be so.
All Our Relations.