My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,
I write this to you to express my pain and shock at the announcement this week of Archbishop Mark MacDonald’s resignation as National Indigenous archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada and his relinquishment of the exercise of ordained ministry following allegations of sexual misconduct which Mark has acknowledged. I have no words for the profound sense of betrayal and disappointment that comes when a leader in the church fails to live up to the standards of Christian life.
We pray for his victim, for their healing and comfort.
For many survivors of abuse who struggle with trust and especially trust in the church, this will have triggered pain and anger. I pray for you.
In the Territory of the People this will have triggered our memories of our recent pain in our own church family. I pray for us all.
I believe in the power of Christ to take our tears and our pain and to bring healing, this takes time. I pray for us all to have hope and patience.
For our pastoral elders, our members of ACIP, our First Nations communities, I pray for comfort.
I have been in touch with Rev. Dr. Ray Aldred for him to come to the Territory of the People and to help with healing and listening circles which will be held in the Lytton area. I will have more details on these soon. Please hold Ray and his team in your prayers as they prepare to come among us.
The road to healing is long and is not smooth, but in the power of Christ we will find the strength to walk it. In Christ’s resurrection the power of sin and death has been defeated and so we know there will be healing, and restoration and new life. We might not see it, we might not feel it, hope may be hard to hang on to but we put our trust in the Risen One.
St John of the Cross said 'Silence is God's first language' Let us now offer silent prayer to God in sorrow for victims of all forms of abuse, for those who have abused positions of trust, for their families.
Please hold a minute’s silence.
Lord have mercy. Amen.
Your sister in Christ,