Melanie Delva, Reconciliation Animator for the Anglican Church of Canada, publishes a newsletter detailing her work with Truth and Reconciliation across Canada.
The newsletters are brimful of exciting projects Melanie is involved with and will be of interest to our own parishes within the Territory of the People.
Below is the content from Melanie's October Newsletter....
Fall = Renewed Activity
Dear friends, Happy Fall! The leaves in Vancouver, where I live and work, are turning but the rain hasn’t started yet—it is beautiful. Thank you to those of you who sent such encouraging feedback about the first Anglican Reconciliation Connections (ARC) newsletter. Keep the feedback coming!
What I’ve been up to:
Four exciting things I have been up to since the last newsletter are:
I attended the All Parties Table meeting in Ottawa. This is a gathering of representatives of the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). It is the legal agreement that our church signed, and which led to the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are still working together to wrap up some pieces of the work, and see which of the TRC 94 Calls to Action we can and should collaborate on.
I attended and spoke at the Provincial Synod of BC & Yukon at the beautiful Sorrento Centre. Together with Bishop Logan McMenamie of the Diocese of BC, I spoke on Reconciliation as a Spiritual Practice, and then laid out some practical ways that folks can get involved in reconciliation.
I organised the General Synod Staff at Church House in Toronto to participate in Orange Shirt Day, honouring survivors of the Residential Schools. You can read more about the story of the orange shirt here. I know many Anglican churches that also participated. Maybe you would like to get involved next year?
For me, the most exciting part of the last month was attending the acclamation and consecration of Bishop Isaiah Larry Beardy as the first Bishop of the Northern Manitoba Area Mission of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh. It was an incredibly moving event. You can read more about it here.
Coming up next:
This fall is proving to be quite busy—which I see as a good sign, as Anglicans across Canada seek to engage more deeply, or even for the first time, in reconciliation. I am very much looking forward to preaching at the Diocese of Caledonia Roots and Wings Diocesan Gathering this month, as well as speaking with the Executive of the Diocese of Yukon about their desire to continue their commitment to reconciliation. In addition, the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice and the Vision Keepers Council will be holding a joint meeting in Toronto to discuss their mandates in holding our church accountable to its commitments to the TRC 94 Calls to Action and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
So, how can you be involved? Well, at this moment there is a very practical way! You may have heard of Bill C-262—an Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the UNDRIP. It has passed through the House of Commons and is now before the Senate. You can help see that it is passed by writing to the Senators. Our friends at the Mennonite Central Committee have made it incredibly easy to sign and send a letter to the entire Senate in under a minute! Please consider sending yours here. Encourage others to do the same! If you want more background information such as FAQs, KAIROS has compiled a great backgrounder.
If you have any questions, or if your diocese/parish has been working on a reconciliation initiative you think I should know about, please don’t hesitate to email me... [email protected]
Our mailing address is: Anglican Church of Canada 80 Hayden Street Toronto, Ontario M4Y 3G2