While circumstances had me unable to attend Classis this time around, you can catch my report again here if you were not a delegate to Classis. Here are some highlights:
The Classis Indigenous art pieces, Creator’s Sacrifice, were in Fort McMurray for the Easter season and to the Christian School there. The prints were then loaned to our ecumenical friends at St. Joseph’s Catholic College on the University of Alberta campus. This happened in the summer for the lead up to the Lac St. Anne pilgrimage. Were they seen by the Pope on his stay in Edmonton, only rumors can say for certain… but I don’t think so. They have been requested by Avenue CRC for the 2023 Easter Season but can be loaned out anytime during the year. If your church has not had them, or you would like to host them again, please be in touch.
I was blessed to be gifted tickets to the Catholic Mass by ministry friends from the Anglican Church. They were looking for partners and friends to come as ecumenical observers so Jim Jossee, Neil DeKoning, Michelle Kool, Stewart Williams and myself went to represent the CRC. While I have heard a lot of reflection on the positives and negatives of the Pope’s trip to Alberta so far, I feel less inclined to speak on my own judgements of it as a settler guest to this land. I find this comment from an Indigenous activist resonated with me… “Let’s see what the Catholic Church chooses to do once the Pope gets back to the Vatican. Its actions or lack thereof will be the true test of its commitment to reconciliation.” - Pamela Palmater. The Pope’s visit has been good inspiration for us to continue our efforts at building positive relationships and doing the work of reconciliation.
At our regional deacon gathering we have discovered a new term called ‘The Covid Deacon.’ Not in a bad way, or one who has the virus, but a deacon who has started a new term during covid and has not known any other time than service during a pandemic. It was interesting for the new covid deacons to hear stories from seasoned deacons about what types of ministries used to happen, what things used to be done in the church but have not been part of their experience. We talked about the curiosity of whether or not some of those things will return and if the covid deacons will have to learn about them, or if brand new opportunities of service will become part of the role post pandemic. This will require more sharing and listening to how things are being shaped in each of our different contexts. If you have a story, of new ministry or ministry returning to former glory, we would love to hear about it.
Day of Encouragement plans are forming with an ecumenical approach to reparations/reciprocity. We are working with The Micah Centre and local Indigenous elders to explore how themes of Biblical Jubilee and Indigenous ceremonies of Give Away have similarly important meaning and value. Stay tuned as details form but save the date in your calendar for November 5, 2022. Note: It was amazing hearing from Elders Francis Whiskeyjack, Russell Auger and the ever gifted and amazing, Michelle Nieviadomy.
This fall I also announced my resignation as NADC consultant. I have notified ministry leaders, partners, Classis and others by email and phone, but more to come on my last blog. Be sure to give any input about the work of this role and how you would like to see it continue or not, to the CIC or Classis Stated Clerk.