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.”