Laurel  Dykstra
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Salal and Cedar Watershed Discipleship Community is a new ministry of the diocese to help Anglicans and others live out the Fifth Mark of Mission “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” This new project, under the leadership of the Reverend Laurel Dykstra, includes outdoor Eucharist, education, advocacy, activism and a liturgy team who visit congregations with a service and activities tailored to each community and integrating the symbols and species of the Fraser River—Salish Sea watershed. Therefore with angels and ancestors, orca and salmon, salal and cedar, bear and raven we join our voices with all creation in their unending honour song: Holy, holy, holy…  

Since our start date of July 1 we have been busy. Individuals from different parishes and denominations have met in various configurations to celebrate the Eucharist, share a meal, learn about our drinking water supply, support Indigenous people opposing pipelines on their territory, visit farms and wilderness areas, and renew our baptismal vows. In our adventures we have encountered mosquitos, eagles, raccoons, and an aggressively friendly duck. We have learned about many native and cultivated plants and in the recent windstorm members of our group were narrowly missed by a falling tree.  

Our plan for the first year includes short-term partnerships with different groups and organizations to see what we learn and what relationships grow. Our first ministry partnership is with St. Anselm parish with their community garden and unique location in Pacific Spirit Park. St. Anslem is providing office space and we are helping them to explore and deepen their relationship to place. Possible future partners and projects include water and salmon, support of agricultural guest-workers.  

We try to make our community accessible to as many bodies as possible, all ages, attention spans, genders, budgets, families and abilities are welcome. We post information about transit, terrain and toilets but if you have other accommodation needs or concerns please contact us to see if what we are doing is a good match for you.  

What are people saying about Salal and Cedar?

It was a privileged feeling to be there in the forest on Saturday morning, peaceful, and blessed. –Dora Harvey, St. Catherine

There’s something good and right about being outside, as opposed to being inside which is actually quite exclusive, being outside you’ve opened your circle of prayer to anyone who wants to come in. Aaron White, 614 Community

I feel passionately and vibrantly that our environment is foundational, as I don’t have time and energy to do everything, this ministry is essential and we are putting our money into this program. Alecia Greenfield, St. Clements

First Nations, have a holistic worldview being part of land and relationship to Mother Earth in a real, familial and animate way. Our values and beliefs tell us to take care of our own Mother on whom we depend for sustainable living. –Brander McDonald, Indigenous Justice Ministries Coordinator, diocese of New Westminster

Congratulations on this wonderful and inspiring project! –Ched Myers, Bartimaeus Institute  

Upcoming events include: a celebration of Salal and Cedar’s new ministry on the Autumnal Equinox, September 21 at A Rocha farm 19353 16th Ave (enter off of 192nd Street). South Surrey, making sacramental wine from local grapes, an anti-oppression workshop called “compassionate intervention,” and we have support from the national church for an environmental justice leadership camp for youth in the Summer of 2016. Community members are working on: writing prayers, godly play-style curriculum, organizing a film screening. If you would like to join us for worship or other events, visit our website , like us on facebook, join our mailing list or give us a call 778 885-WILD or 778 885-9453.    

PHOTOS

1. Our first Eucharist, July 1, 2015

2. Anderson Creek salmon stream at Hi-Knoll Park in Surrey (a gift to the Ecclsiastical Province from the late Doris Skelton)

3. Lois Boxill and her son Jaden learn about our drinking water on the Lower Seymour Watershed Tour

4. Margot lays the Altar at Rice Lake

5. Takuji Yamada picks some lettuce from the Faith House garden

6. Takuji samples a cherry tomato

7. The Salal and Cedar community July 1