The Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth
June 1, 2020
We have all been watching the events unfolding in the United States this past weekend, and those here in our own country.
Any person who calls themselves Christian should be shocked and appalled at racial injustice.
The Anglican Church has not been immune to being biased against other races or cultures, especially with our involvement in the Residential Schools, and we acknowledge and own up to that. We cannot say “well that wasn't me” because we do have a responsibility for the actions of others in the past and present theologically, spiritually and pastorally.
When we say “We believe in the communion of saints”, we are saying that we believe in the interconnectedness of all souls through the grace and mercy of God. Thus we believe we are all connected through Christ, so yes, we have a responsibility to own the past and present, and make amends for a better future.
Any person who follows Christ is commanded to love. This was never a suggestion, nor did Jesus make it optional. When we do not love, whether by intent, by omission, by silence, or by ignorance, we fail Christ himself by not loving our neighbours as ourselves.
We all have a responsibility as the royal priesthood to minister to the needs of others. This means serving, but it also means speaking out against racial injustice. This even means speaking out to your family or friends when they make bigoted comments. Standing up for true justice means change within ourselves and change outside of ourselves to repressive and oppressive systems. We cannot gloss over any bigotry anywhere in our lives, nor do we have any excuse for tolerating it.
Change begins with each and every one of us, so that any person of colour, any landed immigrant, any indigenous person does not have to live in fear.
The name of our Diocese, the Territory of the People, means that it is for the whole people, not just any one group. It is made up of followers of Jesus of different walks of life, of different cultural and racial backgrounds and family histories. It was the recognition of a new way forward for any and all who wish to join our fellowship.
All members of the Anglican Church of Canada should familiarize themselves with the Charter of Racial Justice, adopted by the whole church, which can be downloaded here.
Clergy and parishioners should talk to local organizations and Band Councils on ways they can be a support to this change. Beyond that, be a follower of Christ as Christ calls you to be.
In Christ, Lincoln
Image credit: Josh Hild, Unsplash