There was a joyful spirit as Archbishop John Privett presided at the Cathedral’s Eucharist and again later as people from across the province gathered to do the work of ministry and be present at an important spiritual moment in the lives of First Nations people and all Canadians. With inspiring words from Justice Murray Sinclair and Chief Robert Joseph, this day was the fulfillment of a dream of reconciliation, a happy dream that came out of a nightmare.
National Indigenous Bishop Mark McDonald preached that First Nations people read the Scriptures subversively. They know that God’s Kingdom is going to be discovered in this world, in creation and in one another. Later, it was especially moving for me to stand in the rain with members of my youth group and listen to the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., on the 50th anniversary of ‘I have a dream’, and see the light shine in the youth’s eyes, knowing that they are participating in our generation’s and our country’s civil rights issue, the economic and spiritual emancipation of First Nations people.
Bernice King reminded us that justice does not happen accidentally but is the hard work of every generation in every age, that justice involves not just symbolic walks but also participation in the creation of a system of economic equity for all. She said that of all God’s children are beautiful, that all of God’s children are First Class. This is truth. And I will listen a thousand times to the stories of survivors and intergenerational survivors of residential schools. I will believe in our ministry as followers of Jesus and I will pass these stories and this faith to our children. This is reconciliation.
And so with drums beating, and a choir singing ‘O Happy Day’, we walked together in the rain toward a better future.
Click the link to access BISHOP MARK MACDONALD'S SERMON at the Liturgy of Reconciliation, Sunday, September 22nd at 8am
Images: Top and homepage, folks from around the diocese participating in the Walk for Reconciliation on a very rainy Sunday morning. Below, the procession at Christ Church Cathedral for Liturgy of Reconciliation with the Most Reverend John Privett, centre in profile
PHOTOS: Christine Rowe