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 A New Approach that Embraces Diversity - St Michaels and All Angels News

They say that necessity is the mother of invention.  Our Lay Ministers of Word and Sacrament have been carrying the heavy responsibility of organizing and leading our Sunday Services for the last several months. To support them in this ministry, and to provide faith education opportunities for the community, St. Mikes decided to intentionally invite several guest speakers to use the homily part of our service to help us explore other aspects of God’s work.

On Oct 4, St Michaels, in partnership with Grace church, held a special Season of Creation service where Clayton Gauthier, a Prince George-based artist, carver and drummer, with Necoslie and Cree heritage, spoke on his understanding of ‘Indigenous Spirituality of the Land’.

It was a very impactful and interesting talk: Clayton started off with drumming and singing and then he told a story about how man (and woman) were given responsibility for the care of the land and all the other animals by the Creator.  Clayton spoke in depth about how he looks to the land and nature for inspiration and spiritual guidance; and that all other living things have as much knowledge as man does and that they are all his relations.

This deeply moving service was followed by a wonderful pot-luck lunch shared with Clayton and some of his family members.  At St Mikes we hope that events such as this, will also help us to move along the path of better understanding of Indigenous values and culture in our journey of reconciliation. 

On October 23, a new member of our congregation, Daffni Pendleton, gave a homily on the importance of being an inclusive accessible church for persons with special needs.  Daffni, who has been in a wheelchair for most of her life, shared her experiences with accessibility, and challenged us to make our church more welcoming and safe, for people who are deaf, blind, cognitively impaired or who suffer from dementia.

In 2023, on Sunday January 29 our next guest speaker was Yulia Yablonska, a Ukrainian refugee, who shared with us her journey of faith and courage, ‘God’s Gift of Courage’ ,which brought her from a war battered country to Prince George with her children and mother to start a new life here in Canada.  It was difficult emotionally for Yulia to tell her story, but this, also an act of courage, gave us a better understanding of the effects of this terrible war and the help and support that refugees need.

By listening to these heartfelt stories and learning from those who so often are forced to live at the margins of our society; we enter into the heart of Jesus; for it is among them he finds his home.

We are also extremely grateful to have the Revd. Louise Peters as our Interim rector since early October 2022.  It has been a true blessing to have her so generously sharing her ministerial gifts with us and Grace Anglican for 10 days a month. This has helped us incredibly as we wait and pray for the shared Three Rivers Ministry rector position to be filled.  We are also grateful for the Revd Peter Zimmer who has ministered tirelessly to Grace and St. Michael’s and continues to work in tandem with Louise to provide food for our souls on our journey of listening and learning about God’s call in our lives.     

 Photo credit: Philomena Hughes