Sacred Circle Gathering – Day 3 Report

This is the daily report of the third day of the National Indigenous Anglican Sacred Circle, held last month in Prince George, British Columbia.

Sacred circle procession.
A group in procession at the National Indigenous Anglican Sacred Circle. St. Philip’s deacon, Rev. Tanis Kolisnyk is at the middle right of the photo.

Sacred Circle Gathering Day 3

Morning Prayers and Music: The morning opened with moving poems from Dennis Saddleman, music, prayers in Manitoba Cree and Nlokepmcin. Prayers were also given for the PG fires and people that have lost their homes. Members broke into their groups for GBD this morning. “Every time we meet we can feel the bond that grows more. It makes you see what could happen if you did GBD regularly.” “It is eye opening. It allows you to see God working in other people and feeds your spirit.”

Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconcilliation and Justice: The Rev. Andrew Wesley and The Rt. Rev. Riscylla Shaw explained the terms of reference for the commission, the work accomplished, including the hiring of Melanie Delva as Reconciliation Animator and the production of a video on the Doctrine of Discovery by Anglican Video. Members watched an early version of the film. The memory keepers were very moved by the film. “I’m so proud of these people, but also sad about how little has changed.” “We have incredibly intelligent and successful Indigenous people among us.”

Vision Keepers Council: The Rev. Laverne Jacobs, Judith Moses, Danielle Black, The Rev. Leigh Kern and Aaron Sault explained the terms of reference for the Council and work they are currently engaged in. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is their minimum standard. The Council will be monitoring parishes for projects and actions that further self-determination and create an online inventory of these projects including a contact name. Before lunch, the Diocese of Saskatchewan sang and said grace in Woodland Cree.

Archives: Nancy Hurn, Archivist for the ACC explained the work of the Archives Department and the many collections around residential schools. She showed how to search the Archives database and pulled up documents and pictures from residential schools. Larry and Elizabeth Beardy and Peter Kitchekesik presented her with a friendship blanket, as she will be retiring September 1st.

ACC Website and Social Media: Brian Bukowski gave an overview of the Indigenous Ministries website including resources, history and information on current programs. He

accessed liturgical texts, and showed that some were available to download in Cree, Facebook and www.Anglican.ca/SClinks

ACIP Members elected in Provincial Caucuses: 2018-2021

Province of Rupertsland: Mabel Brown, Theresa Halkett, Martha Kunuk, Freda Lepine, Sheba McKay, Murray Still, Rosie Jane Tailfeathers, Manasee Ulayuk. Province of Ontario

Sandra Fox, Dorothy Patterson, Norm Wesley. Province of BC/Yukon, John Haugen Ingrid Johnson, Willard Martin. Province of Canada, Annie Ittoshat. (11 women, 5 men).

New Zealand Partners: The Rt. Rev. Richard Wallace, The Rev. (Nganehu) Mere Wallace and The Rt. Rev. TeKitohi Wiremu Pikaahu described the evolution of the Anglican Church in New Zealand from 1814 to the present. Currently there are 5 Indigenous Maori Bishops.

Day 2 – National Indigenous Sacred Circle

Here is the report from the second day of the National Indigenous Sacred Circle. You can find day one’s report here.

Sacred circle cross
A cross set up as part of the Sacred Circle

Sacred Circle Daily Report — Day Two

Music and Prayers: The morning opened with music and prayers from the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh in Oji-Cree including prayers for the fires in the area.

Gospel Based Discipleship: Bishop Mark MacDonald explained the development of Gospel Based Discipleship. It has been especially successful in indigenous communities and in urban settings where the traditional form of church is foreign to people. Bishop Mark offered support to those that walk in this pledge of discipleship to care for people’s spiritual needs. He asked members to put the gospel in the center of their circles and put Jesus in the center of their hearts. The memory keepers felt that hearing about the history behind GBD was helpful. “It is a really important way to connect and talk about what people feel as opposed to the head approach.” In Acts we are told that where people meet, that is where the church is.”

PWRDF: Judith Moses and Will Postma explained the work of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. They will be creating a new 5 year strategic plan and would like to have a greater emphasis on reconciliation and indigenous healing. There were many questions and comments from members expressing the numerous areas where help is required in indigenous communities. The memory keepers had much respect and appreciation for the work of PWRDF. “It might have been helpful to have some images of the work currently being done.” There is a need for a much more focused relationship addressing the many crises in indigenous communities.”

A Way Forward: Danielle Black and Aaron Sault presented the document, “A Confederacy of Indigenous Anglican Lands in Circle with the Primal Elements”. The PowerPoint presentation examined a way forward to an Indigenous Anglican Spiritual Ministry in a journey with the Anglican Church of Canada. The Diocese of the Artic sang and offered grace in Inuktitut before lunch.

Focus Groups: During the afternoon, members broke up into 6 focus groups based on areas of interest. They included the following topics. Opiod Crisis, Resource Extraction/Climate Change, Governance for Self-determination: Canon 22 and a Constitution, MMIW and G, Marriage Canon, Suicide Prevention

The memory keepers both attended the Suicide Prevention group and were impressed with the factual, inspiring and ground level presentation. “We have a major key to help in this crisis – faith and hope in Jesus. It is our responsibility to help.” “Yolanda Bird and Jeffrey Stanley with mentoring from The Rev. Norm Casey are doing really important and life giving work.” “The focus of traditional indigenous and Christian teachings are a powerful way of dealing with grief.”

God’s Vision of Globalization: The Rev. Malcolm Chun from the Diocese of Hawai’i discussed God’s vision of globalization, which was defined as the bringing of distant people closer together. He noted this was the dream of the United Nations and the dream of the Anglican Church of Canada and the dream of Sacred Circle. The memory keepers enjoyed the presentation. “It was refreshing to hear a talk on globalization from a divine perspective.” “I appreciated his enthusiasm.”

Episcopal Church Greetings: The Rev. Brad Hauff, Indigenous Minister of the Episcopal Church extended greetings from the Episcopal Church and Archbishop Michael Curry. He described his personal calling and the work of the Ethnic Ministries Department. The memory keepers had the following comments.

Ninth Indigenous Anglican Sacred Circle

August 6-11th, 2018 marked the Ninth Indigenous Anglican Sacred Circle. This year the Sacred Circle was held in Prince George, British Columbia. The theme for the Sacred Circle was: “Making and Strengthening Disciples: Reborn in Water and Spirit,” Matthew 28:19-20.” St. Philip’s deacon Rev. Tanis Kolisnyk was part of the this gathering. Over the course of the gathering there were four daily reports given. Starting today and continuing for the next four days, we will be sharing them on our website. 

Sacred Circle Daily Report — Day One

Blessings and greetings: The Eucharist opened with a water blessing from Bishop Mark MacDonald and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. Greetings and gifts were extended from The Rt. Rev. Barbara Andrews and members of the Territory of the People.

Memories and Hope: In his homily, Archbishop Hiltz, remembered the apology by Archbishop Michael Peers 25 years ago and asked for a moment of silence for Vi Smith, who accepted the apology on behalf of indigenous people. Archbishop Hiltz explained that the thrust of the apology was about the intention and hope to create a new life for indigenous people. Memory keepers were moved by his message. “He started with the history and brought back a lot of memories – that was an amazing and sacred day for us.”

Reports received: Reports were received from the co-chairs of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, the Coordinator of Indigenous Ministry and the National Indigenous Aboriginal Bishop highlighting their work over the past three years. Bishop MacDonald further explained the history and role of the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop and noted that “what we do here this week will guide us for years to come. I pray that you do it with a heart that is aware of the healing power of God, so that we can bring back that healing power to our communities.”

History Highlights: A video produced by Anglican Video showing the history of the Anglican Indigenous Church in Canada was shown. The memory keepers were moved by the video. “It was good to remember the people that are not with us anymore and that their spirits are still with us.” “The eagle in the closing gives us inspiration.”

An Indigenous Spiritual Movement: The document, “An Indigenous Spiritual Movement: Becoming What God Intends Us to Be” was distributed. Members broke into small groups to read and discuss the document and later report back to plenary. The memory keepers found the process good, but thought that more time would have been helpful. “ We all learn differently and allowing for this would have been good.” They were also inspired by the report from the youth group. “It was great when the young people said, “We’re still here!” This message was repeated numerous times today.

Spirituality of Self-Determination: The Rev. Dr. Martin Brokenleg was the guest speaker and spoke about the path forward on the road to self-determination. The memory keepers were very impressed with the presentation. “Martin’s presentation really brought the whole day together, completing the picture.” “It is important to not have a Pollyanna view. Life has roadblocks and we either give up or find a way around them.” “Indigenous spirituality is not complicated!” “I think it leaves us with feelings of hope.”