Growing in our Understanding of our Indigenous Neighbours

Growing Our Understanding Of Our Indigenous Neighbours

“Who is my neighbour?” a lawyer famously asked Jesus.  The response became one of the most famous stories ever told—the parable of the good Samaritan—followed by the words, “Go and do likewise.”

As we read the news this summer, we had plenty of opportunities to educate ourselves on the national state of relations with First Nations peoples of Canada.  We might have thought about what “they” (the government and the Catholic Church) should do about it.  What we have not had much of a chance to do is to understand our situation locally or to consider our own response.

Fellowship’s Worship Committee knows that there is no quick fix, nor is there one thing we could do to put everyone on the same page, but there are still things we can do.  In fact, here are five things we can do to grow our heartfelt understanding of our indigenous neighbours. Please get out your calendars and read on!

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 - A virtual tour. This virtual tour, provided by the Woodland Cultural Centre of the only residential school in southern Ontario, takes you inside the so-called Mohawk Indian Residential School in Brantford, Ontario.   Because physical tours are not presently allowed, we have arranged with the museum to provide a private virtual event, to be broadcast in our sanctuary, at 7pm.  This will be a moderated event with opportunity to respond and ask questions.   This will also be advertised to the community as a public event. If you have not participated in this tour before, it is a “must see” event.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 – We respond in worship. We will host a worship service focusing on our relationship to our indigenous neighbours. We’ll bring the truth of God’s Word to bear as we worship.  There will be times to lament, to celebrate, to confess, and to bear witness together before God. 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 – Orange Shirt Day.  Billed as “Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”, Orange Shirt Day is a day to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools.  We invite you to join with the Etobicoke event, or you may find an Orange Shirt Day event near your home. This year, Fellowship is on the planning team for the Etobicoke event, which is scheduled for 3PM.  Come, and you will be moved!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2022 – Welcome Pablo! We join other Christian Reformed Churches to observe All Nations Heritage Sunday. Here at Fellowship, we are honoured to have a special guest speaker, the Rev. Dr. Pablo Kim Sun, Senior CRCNA Leader for Anti-Racism and Intercultural Conciliation. Pablo is a recognized leader in this field, a gifted communicator and someone with a wealth of information.  And, he lives locally!  You will not want to miss this chance to hear from our national denominational leader.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2022 – Field Trip! Yes, we are going on an all-church field trip, driving to Brantford to the Woodland Cultural Centre, Museum and Art Gallery. Woodland (also the site of the school) is a First Nations’ owned and operated education centre; it is considered to best place in Southern Ontario for the general public to hear the story of the Hodinohsho:ni people first-hand.  This is going to be fun (and educational)!

Finally, we will be including a reading focus on First Nations relations, anti-Racism and our Christian response.  Watch your Fellowship Library News in the weekly bulletin for further details!