by Rev. Pamela Rayment
Last week I had the privilege of participating in The Road to Warm Springs – The National Consultation on Indigenous Anglican Self-Dertermination, in Pinawa, Manitoba. This consultation marks the next step toward a fully Indigenous expression of the Anglican Church of Canada; a spiritual and theological movement that has been taking shape for more than 20 years. Throughout the consultation, Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans gathered, prayed, listened, talked and imagined together. As stories of Indigenous Ministries across the country were shared and celebrated, a gracious patience and generosity of spirit was experienced by all present, and a hopeful excitement of possibility began to build. As the consultation drew to a close, a call to the whole of the Anglican Church of Canada was given shape and during the closing Eucharist, the call was signed by those present, committing to ongoing action and renewed movement post haste in ensuring Indigenous self-determination becomes a reality.
What does this mean for non-Indigenous Anglicans? This means standing in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ and working to remove existing barriers to a truly Indigenous expression of faith. This means knowing the history of Residential Schools and the Anglican Church’s involvement and in turn living into the way of apology and reconciliation. This means knowing and living into the 94 Calls to Action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015. This means knowing and living into the United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This means responding in this Diocese, this Deanery, and this congregation to The Call from Warm Springs and continuing in the ongoing work of learning, listening and asking how can we best serve this movement of the Spirit.
I pray that this important work will be embraced by all Anglicans and ask your prayers as the vision of an Indigenous Anglican Church comes into focus.