Truth and Reconciliation Day – September 30th
Thursday September 30th 2021 is a statutory holiday in Canada, marking the first national day of recognition for Truth and Reconciliation. This is a solemn day set aside for all Canadians to remember the tragedies of the residential school system, especially the children who never returned home. It is a day for us to confess our failure to live up to the Gospel of Jesus, who took children in his arms and blessed them. It is a day for us to pray for those whose lives continue to be filled with terrible grief for all that has been lost, for those who find no comfort in words alone.
At our recent synod we, as a diocese made the commitment to walking in peace and reconciliation with all of our relations. Let us, as Anglican Canadians in the dioceses of Algoma and Moosonee spend time on Thursday in prayer and reflection on the hurts of the past and stand in solidarity with those who weep bitter tears for the children who ‘are no more’ (Lamentations 31:15). One of the visible signs of solidarity is the wearing of something orange on September 30th, both as an act of remembrance and a commitment to being part of a new future.
This day of remembrance has come upon us quickly and not every parish may have something special planned. However, there are some simple ways for you to commemorate this day.
- Archdeacon Jay Koyle has prepared Prayers of the People based on the readings for National Aboriginal Day for parishes to use during prayer services or at Sunday worship.
- Gather with two or three disciples and read the Gospel appointed for the day and encounter the words of the gospel by responding to three questions from it. What words or ideas did you hear? What is Jesus (the Gospel) saying to you? What is Jesus (the Gospel) calling you to do?
- Join with other Canadians in your local community for a time of silence and reflection.
- Read the 94 Calls To Action to create within yourself and your faith community an awareness of how we are being called to respond to the atrocities of the past in concrete ways.
- Make an effort to respect the oral tradition of Indigenous peoples by listening attentively to their stories, especially the ones about children who went to Residential School and who died there.
- Pray for those who bear the wounds of the past that they may find peace. Pray in a spirit of humility and hope for all who mother and father and grandparent children, and all who teach and minister to them.
God our Creator and Redeemer, we thank you for the gift of children entrusted to our care. Give us joy in their enthusiasm for life, their delight in discovery and their fun at play. May we be patient and understanding, ready to nurture and guide them in good ways. Through our love may they come to know your love and your will, that they may be healthy and happy. We pray in the name of your dear Son, whose heart for the children was beautiful, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Synod office will be closed on this important day and reopen on Friday October 1st at 9am.