“Look favourably on your whole church … carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation.”
These familiar words, take on a new meaning when describing the ground work being done in the Indigenous Anglican Church. “The Sacred Circle” is the name tentatively chosen for the church itself. And the church’s work is a process of widening and inclusive circles.
Work is being done on a Covenant, what some would call a constitution. A document; “Our Way of Life,” what some could call “canons” has also been developed. These documents are being reviewed and translated into Indigenous languages for consultation in local communities as well as the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Indigenous House of Bishops Leadership Circle. According to Archbishop Mark MacDonald, these documents are to be “fulfilled and sealed” at a Eucharist in June 2022.
While circles are unbroken, they can certainly be stretched and COVID-19 has challenged the Indigenous church with the loss of nine elder clergy. The community is working hard to respond to this great loss in leadership. The internet and online meetings are being used to train and support leaders with the goal of ordination and service in the community.
Circles of connection are being maintained virtually through gospel-based discipleship, gospel jams and webinars. A widening of the circles of support is happening through efforts to establish youth call lines in 10 areas across Canada in response to the fight against suicide and the promotion of mental health supports.
And work is being done to broaden the circle of financial support to include the our Indigenous clergy who are unpaid for their sacrificial care and ministry in their communities.
In these trying times let’s take a moment to remember and take actions to support the important work of The Sacred Circle as it develops structures and a process that furthers the Creators plan of salvation in our time.
IMAGES from General Synod July 12, 2019