October 2022

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CONNECTING CHURCH & COMMUNITY October '22 Newcomers StrangerintheCommunity CommunityCatechesis: AnIntroduction 56 PowerinFire: ElderAmandaWallin 911 EasyYoke: TheStoryofEDGE

Publisher |BishopGeoffreyWoodcroft

Editor |JudeClaude

Accounting |JoyValencerina

Advertising |AngelaRush

Layout&design | cityfolkcreative.ca

Rupert’sLandNews ispublished10timesper year(September-June)bytheDioceseof Rupert’sLand,intheAnglicanChurchin Canada.Itconnectschurchesandcommunities fromPortagelaPrairie,MB,toAtikokan,ON, byofferingnews,events,opinions,andideas to4,000readerspermonth.RLNisavailablein avarietyofformats: Website • Facebook • Twitter

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Editorialoffices: AnglicanLutheranCentre 935NesbittBay WinnipegManitoba,R3T1W6

RLNexiststoexploreissuesattheintersections offaithandlife.Indoingsowesolicitand publisharangeofopinions,notallofwhich reflecttheofficialpositionsoftheDiocese. Weacknowledgethatwemeetandworkin Treaty1,2,and3Land,thetraditionallandof theAnishinaabe,Cree,andDakotapeopleand thehomelandoftheMetisNation.Weare gratefulfortheirstewardshipofthislandand theirhospitalitywhichallowsustolive,work, andserveGodtheCreatorhere.

RLNwelcomesstoryideas,newsitems,andother input.Ifyouwanttobeinvolvedinthismedia ministry,please emailtheeditor

Contentscopyright2022by Rupert’sLand News.Allrightsreserved.

Cover: MuhammedAslamAslam

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BecomingNewcomers

OnSeptember14ofthisyear,nearly50 Venezuelanmigrantswere takenunderfalse pretences totheislandofMartha’sVineyardin Massachusetts.Islandresidentsreceivedno communicationthemigrantswouldbearriving andwererequiredtomobilizeinashortamount oftimetosupporttheirunexpectedguests. St Andrew’s,anEpiscopalchurchinthearea assistedinprovidingimmediatesheltertothe migrantsandorganizingsupportontheirbehalf.

TheeventsofSeptember14resonatewith thismonth’sthemeof newcomers.Itis immediatelyapparentfromtheincidentwhatit mightmeantowelcomenewcomers,to demonstratehospitality,andtoliveoutbiblical callsto“lovethosewhoareforeigners”(Deut 10:19)orto“showhospitalitytostrangers” (Heb13:2).Thestoryreflectsourcallto embracethoseinneed.Ourfaithpreparesusto embracenewcomersasoutsidersinneedof welcomingintothewarmsupportofour communities.

Thisisgood;however,Iwonderhowour understandingofnewcomersasarrivingfroma dangerous outthere toasafeandgenerous here mightobscuretheinterconnectednessof oursituations.Forinstance,themigrantswho arrivedatMartha’sVineyardhadleftVenezuela, acountrywhichhasbeendevastatedoverthe lastnumberofyearsbysanctionsimposedonit byAmerica,Canada,andotherpowerfulnation states.Theprosperitywhichthepeopleof Martha’sVineyardwereabletowelcomethe migrantsintoisconnectedtoAmerican imperialism,andthearrivalofthemigrantswas directlyrelatedtotheworseningconditionin Venezuela causedinlargepart byAmericanand Canadianimpositiononthecountry.

RecentlyIhavebeenlearningfromChristians inVenezuelaabouthoweconomicsanctionshave directlyimpactedthem.InmanywaysIfeellikea newcomer,knowingrelativelylittleabout

internationalpoliticsandthewaysinwhich(often well-meaning)imperialistpoliciesaffect communitiesglobally.Butthefruitfulnessofthese encounterssuggeststomethatthereismuchto begainedfromhavingourchurchcommunities notonly welcomenewcomers,butbyusbeing willingto benewcomers totheknowledgeand wisdomwhichexistoutsideourimmediate institutionalcircles—wisdomwhichmay,attimes, undermineourself-understandings.

ArticleswithinthisissueofRLNtakeup diverse,provokingperspectivesonthetopicof newcomers.AconversationwithElderAmanda Wallinrecognizesnon-Indigenoussettlersas newcomerstoTurtleIsland.ElderAmandaWallin discussesherexperienceswithCirclesfor Reconciliation,aprogramwhichhasIndigenous andnon-Indigenouspeoplemeetandunpack thehistoriesofsettler-Indigenousrelationsand oppressionofIndigenouspeoplesonTurtle Island.Shealsodiscussestheongoingsearchfor thebodiesofchildrenwhodiedatresidential schools,andtheimportanceofsacredfiresto Indigenouscommunitiesforprocessinggriefand honouringthechildrenlost.TheoRobinson considerstherecentreopeningofchurchesand whatChristiansarecalledtoastheymay encounternewcomersattheirdoorsteps.Finally, AlisonBrooks-StarksprofilestheUnitedChurch ofCanada’sEDGEministriesandconsidersfertile waysofbridgingchurchandcommunity, listeningnewlytotheunexpectedwaystheSpirit ismovingintheworld.

Thismonth’sissue alsoinitiatestworecurring sectionsofthemagazine, includinga“Community Catechesis”section, beautifullyintroducedby AndrewRampton,anda “ParishProfile”section, whichinfutureissueswill functionasaspaceto introduceandshowcase individualparishesinour diocese.

JudeClaudeistheeditor ofRupert'sLandNews.
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EDITORIAL

Newcomers

Awomanisimmersedinthecrowded marketplacewhensheseestheincarnationof Godcloselypassingby.Localcustomand religiouslawsuggestsheisunworthybefore God;shehassufferedfromaninfirmityforover adecade.However,instinctively,spirituallyshe knowsshemustapproachJesus. Pleaseread Luke8:40-48

FrommysecurevantageIhaveoften thought“Jesusissokindtoher.Ialsoshouldbe sokind.”ThenIpausetorealisethatIwrite-off morethanthreequartersofthestory:Jesusis onhiswaytodoministry,travellingwithhis disciplesascrowdspressuponhim.Afterhe realisessomeonehasreachedforhispower Jesusasksthedisciples“Whotouchedme?”, andtheyreply“Howshouldweknow?It’s crowdedhere.”Thewoman,knowingshe cannothide,comesforwardandadmitsher crime.Jesussaystoher,“Go,yourfaithhas madeyouwell.”

Theone-who-was-made-wholehadgreat couragetoseekandtouchaknownteacher. Certainlyheractivitywouldhavebeenseenas criminal.Theone-who-was-healedmusthave hadabeautifulandclearvisionofGodinher midst—seeingtheman,seeingthepower,and reachingforward,evenamidapressingcrowd. Theone-who-was-made-wholeunderstoodher relationshipwithGod.Theone-made-whole trustedtopushpastapressingcrowdand inattentivedisciples.

IconsidertheimmensityofJesus’question andthedisciples’answer:“Whotouchedme?”

and“Howshouldweknow?”Jesusisasking disciplesofeveryageaquestionthatif answeredtruthfullymightexposeourlackof concernforothers,ourinattentivenesstowhat Godisdoing,andperhapsevenourown selfishness.Thequestionisraw,“Whotouched me?,”andtheanswer“Howshouldweknow?” mightgivetheimpressionthatthespeakerdoes notcareordoesnotwanttocare.So,Inowask myself,willGodhealmethroughtherisky womaninthecrowdedmarketplace?

Ithinkoftherisknewfolkstakeonandthe courageittakestoenterintoanewcircleof people,especiallyifoneisenteringforthevery firsttime,andIhavealotofquestionsontheir behalf:Doesthegroupclearlydemonstrate whatitisanddoes?Doesthegroupdesirenew relationships?Doesthegroupimmediately embracetherecentlyarrived,orarethere courtingritualsthatmusthappenfirst?Isthe newpersoninvisibleuntiltheleader acknowledgestheirpresence?Aretherecentlyarrivedcalledtobeapartofthegroup?And,in ourChristiancontext,isthestrangerinour midstnoneotherthanthepresenceofGod?

YouandIarerequiredtohaveJesus’story, our compellingcaseforChrist, alwaysreadyfor thosewhodesiretomeetGod.Itisincumbent uponeveryChristiantoproclaimthelife,death, andresurrectionofJesusChristintheirown uniqueandgiftedwaytotheseeker,stranger, andnewcomer.Disciplesdonotask/say“How shouldIknow?,”becausedisciplesdoknow, andweseektoserveChristinallpeople,loving ourneighboursas ourselves—Christinall people,amagnificent realityfortheBodyof Christtoengagenewly eachmorning.

Whatdoyouneedto developthe compelling caseforChrist inyourown uniquetelling?Lifelong learningisonevery importantplacetobegin.

GeoffreyWoodcroft GeoffreyWoodcroft, BishopofRupert’sLand Photo: CallumSkelton
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Community Catechesis: AnIntroduction AndrewRampton

TheChurchneedstostarttalkingabout catechesisagain.

Andwe'renottalkingaboutthekindof catechesisyougetinSundaySchool,orwhen yourparentsorgrandparentstellyoutogetup andgotochurch,butratherthekindof catechesiswegetwhenwe’retryingtofigure outhowlifeworkstogetherandhowtoliveour livesasChristiansfaithfully.

Whatiscatechesis?Catechesisisaword usedbythechurchtodescribeallthose educationalandformativethingswedo—from explainingourfaithandtraditions,tohelping peopleunderstandtheirroleintheworld.Itis thepracticeofteachingChristiandiscipleship andpreparingeachotherforthelifeand missionwehavebeencalledtoembrace.And it’soneofthemostimportantactivitiesthatwe doastheChurch.Asweareremindedin Proverbsonthevalueofwisdom:“Donot forsake[wisdom],andshewillkeepyou;love her,andshewillguardyou.Thebeginningof wisdomisthis:Getwisdom,andwhateverelse youget,getinsight”(Proverbs4:6-7).

Catechesisissomethingthatweoftenthink ofastheclergy’sjobandconnectedparticularly tothosemilestoneslikebaptismand confirmation.Whileit’struethatoneofthe ministriesoftheclergyistoteachinour communities,wearecertainlynottheonly peoplewithteachingtoshare.(Thanksbeto God!)Somanypeoplehavegiftsforteaching, formation,discernment,andreflection.Even morepeoplehaveexperience,wisdom,and storiestosharethatwillteach,form,and challengeus.Ourlearningandformationas

Christiansisalifelongprocessforthewhole communitytosharein.

Catechesisisacorepartofbecomingand growingasdisciplesofChrist.Prayer,study, self-examination,exploration,andreflectionare allimportantpiecesofthisprocess.Catechesis isalsosomethingthatneedstobedonein community.Wecanlearnsomethingsonour own,butweareremindedagainandagainin holyscripturethatweareallmembersofthe samebody.Ifweneverbringourlearning, questions,andchallengestoourcommunities fordiscernmentandreflection,wearenotliving intothefullnessofourbaptismalpromises.

Thislearningandgrowthinfaithand discipleshipcantakesomanyforms.Thereare familiarformatsthatIthinkofwhenIthinkof learning:conversations,groupdiscussions, lecturesandclasses,andbookandbiblestudies. Buttherearealsofilmnights,storytellingparties, feastsandfasts,neighbourhoodclean-updays, communitygardenmaintenance,volunteering, andso,somuchmore.Nearlyanythingcanbea catecheticalmomentorexperienceifwedoit withsomeplanning,intent,andreflection.After all,theaimofcatechesisistoteachandshapeus asChristianswholiveauthentically,intentionally inourfaitheverymomentofourlives.

Withthisinmind,Rupert’sLandNewsis beginningaseriesofarticlescalledCommunity Catechesis.Ineachissue,authorswillshare introductionstoChristian teachingandpractice, theologicalideas,stories, andotherwisdomrelated tothethemeoftheissue. Ithasbeenadelightto havebeenaskedtoshare afewideasaboutwhat catechesisisandwhyit’s importanttoustodayto kickthisseriesoff.Iam lookingforwardto learningandgrowing alongsideallofyou,with God’shelp,asthisseries continues.

Photo: AntRozetsky TheRev.AndrewRamptonis therectorofHolyTrinity, Winnipeg.Heisalwaysupfor aconversationaboutliturgy, music,books,andchurch trivia.Hecanbefoundon mostsocialmediaplatforms as@bookishpriest.
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ItisasunnydaywhenImeetElderAmanda Wallinatherhomeinthecountry.Iintendto speakwithheraboutherexperienceswiththe programCirclesforReconciliationandabout Indigenousorganizingthathasbeendone aroundthediscoveriesofhundredsof unmarkedgravesofchildrenwhodiedwhile attendingresidentialschools.InfrontofWallin’s homeisalargehardwoodtablewhichshelater callsher“Jesustable,”capableoffittingtwelve ormore.Herlab,Bruno,eagerlygreetsmeon theporch,andIseethatbehindthelargetable isanequallylargedoghousewithamedicine wheelprominentlypaintedonitsfront.

Myvisitisaboundinginhospitalityfrom ElderAmandaWallin.Shereferstomeas“my

dear”andimmediatelyoffersmeachoice betweentwowalkingsticksmadeofsmoothed, staineddriftwoodshecollects.AsIchooseone, shehandsittomeandadvisesmeto“walkwith God.”Soonaftershelaysoutatrayoffood whichremindsmeofMennonitepotlucksI attendedasachild,holdingcheeseand kielbasa,andindividualslicesofrolledmeat. Onherlivingroomwallsthereisalongstring holdingnumerousbundlesofsage.Thereare alsopaintingsdonebyWallin,onewiththe silhouetteofabearagainstanightskythatsays “Courage.”TherearealsofamiliarChristian printswithimagesofJesus.

Thisamalgamationofidentitiesapparentin ElderAmandaWallin’shomecarriesthrough ourconversation.WallinisamemberofPeter BallantyneCreeFirstNation(Treaty6territory), andgrewupgoingbackandforthbetween Kinoosoa/Co-opPoint,SaskatchewanandLynn Lake,Manitoba..Hergrandmotherwasa devoutAnglican,whileherfatherwasa traditionaldancerandhermotheramedicine womanwho“knewherstuff.”Wallinspentpart ofherchildhoodatMarymound,inWinnipeg. Shesays“IamwhoIamtodayasapartofthe nuns,asapartofmyself,asapartofmy teaching,asapartoflearningmycultureand livingmyculture…withoutbeinganAnglican andwithoutmytraditionsthatIhaveasaCree traditionalperson,Iwouldn'tbewhoIam today.AndIlikeme.”Sheexplainsthather CreenamemeansBlackCloudWoman,aname shewashesitantaboutuntilthepositive

PowerinFire: ADiscussionwithElderAmandaWallin JudeClaude Photo: CourtneyCook PaintingbyElderAmandaWallin
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connotationswereexplainedtoher:hername representsaraincloudwhichnourishesthe earthwhereveritgoes.

IaskElderAmanda Wallinhowshewould describeCirclesfor Reconciliation,a programwhichshetook partinduringthe pandemiclockdown. Shesaysitis“ateaching processthatyouenter intowhichyouwillwalkawayfromwithvaluable learninglessonsthatwecanpassdowntoour people,ourbrothers,andsisters,and eventuallyourchildren.”

CirclesforReconciliation describesitself as aiming“toestablishtrusting,meaningful relationshipsbetweenIndigenousandnonIndigenouspeoplesaspartofthe94Callsto ActionfromtheTruthandReconciliation Commission.”Itdoesthisthroughthecreation ofsmalldiscussiongroupsmadeupofequal numbersofIndigenousandnon-Indigenous participants. Themes andtopicsdiscussed week-to-weekintheprograminclude residentialschools,themeaningoflandfor Indigenouspeoples,historiesoftheTreaties, andtheimplementationoftheIndianActand thePassSystem,etc.

Thematerialisdifficult,especiallyfor Indigenousparticipantswhoareimmediately impactedbythehistoriesconsidered.Wallintells methatthecontentwaschallenging.Shesays “Youhavetowalkwithhumilitywhenyougoin there…becauseyou'regoingtohearsome things...Itcomesbacktoyoulike,‘Oh,I'vegotto prayaboutthisone,becausethisoneisreally affectingme.’”Wallinalsoarticulatesthat discussingthematerial,whichunpackeddifferent elementsofsettler-IndigenoushistoryonTurtle Island,wasalearningexperienceforbothnonIndigenousandIndigenousgroupmembers.

AparticularlyprofoundmomentforElder AmandaWallinwaswhenshebegantoexpress herangerwithwhattheywerereadingtothe group.Shesaysshewassurprisedbythe

responsefromotherparticipants:“Iwas receivedwithopenarms.”Theexperiencefor herwasvaluable.“Itwasjustlikesomebody hadopenedthefloodgatestoourheart,the tearsthatweshared,thetearslikesomany tearsthat,youknow,thereweresomesessions andwejustsatinsilence,andwecouldjustlook ateachother.”Shesaidthattowardstheendof thegroup’stimetogether:“wewouldtelleach other,‘Weloveyou.’That'showwonderfulthat groupwas.”

Shehasstayedconnectedwithmanyofthe group’sparticipants.ShesaysofCirclesfor Reconciliation“MaybeIjustgotlucky.Butfrom everyoneI'veheardfrom,itsoundslikeit'sbeen arealsuccess.”

OneofthetopicscoveredintheCirclesfor Reconciliationisthehistoryofresidential schools.IaskElderAmandaWallinaboutthe hundredsofunmarkedgravesfoundat Kamloopsandotherresidentialschool locations.Shesays,“Youlookatthatandyou thinkCanadahaswokenuptoeverythingthat we’vekepthidden….everythingweweretold nottotalkabout.”

Wediscusstheencampmentatthe LegislativebuildinginWinnipegwherevarious Indigenousorganizershavekeptasacredfire goingsinceJune2021andintendtokeepthe firealightuntilallformerresidentialschool groundshavebeensearched.Wallinisclearthat herpersonalpoliticsdonotalignwith everyone’satthecamp,whichhasrecentlyseen aturnoverinmembers,butshespeakstothe importanceofthesacredfire.Shetellsmeshe hasbroughtfirewoodtothecampnumerous timesafterseeingonFacebookthatcamp membershadbeenwanderingthecitylooking forpiecesofrefusetoburn.

Shewalksmethroughimportantelements oftraditionalpracticesinvolvingsacredfires. “Wecontinuallyburnthesacredfirebecause webelieveit'sthroughlightandfire,thatwe gettothespiritualrealmwherethere'smore power….weprayandprayandpraytotheeast, tothesouth,tothewest,tothenorth.Wepray forourbrothersandsisters,andweprayforall

7 Community

ourancestors.Andweprayandaskfor protection.Andweusethefoursacred medicines.”

Shetalksaboutthespiritualimportanceof thefire.“You'retalkingtotheCreator,butit's alsoaplacetotakeallyourhurt,your resentmentandallyourangerandputitinthe fire.FirecanhandleIt.”Speakingofthefireat theLegislatureshesays“I'vebeentotheLedge manytimes.Theyhavetobacco—tobaccoon thefire.Andyou'reprayingforallthosehurting intheworldwithanintent,andthattobacco risesup,andthesmokerisestotheCreator… Thereissomuchpowerinfire.“

artist.Inherbasementsheshowsmeherartist’s workshop.Photosoflovedones,includingher fatherintraditionaldress,hangaroundher workspace.Elsewherethereareartsupplies whichhavebeenknockedoverbyhervisiting grandson.Wallinshowsmeabeautiful,large, blueacrylicpaintingwhichfeatureswhitelines recedingupintosky.Sheexplains:

“Whenthenewsbroke…”(aboutthe discoveredunmarkedgraves)“weweredriving homeandIlookedupintheskyandIthought ‘Why,God,why?’”Atthattimetheimageof Jacob’sladdercametoWallin’smind.“Itwas justsobeautiful,andwhenIcamehome,Iseen theywereputtingshoesonthestairsofthe Ledge,andthenthetwojustcametogetherin myhead.I'mgoingtomakeaJacob'sLadder with215pairsofchildren’smoccasins.”

ElderAmandaWallinhadalreadybegun paintingthemoccasinsbutcoveredoverher firstefforts.“Theyweretooclosetogether,and Iwentrightovereverylittlepairofmoccasins.” Sheexplainsherpurposeinattendingsoclosely toeachandeverypairofmoccasinsshepaints: “Iwillhonourandprayforeverychild'sgrave thattheyfound.”

Wallinrecountsthatatonepointwhenshe attemptedtodeliverwoodtothe encampment,shewasmetwithresistancefrom theLegislature’ssecurityguards,butshefound awayaroundtherestriction.“Wewentaround theside.Isaid‘Parkthetruck’…Iwenttothe encampment,andIsaid…‘Grabyourbags, grabeverything,becausewe'renotallowedon theground’”Shesaidtheguardscouldnottell campmembersnottocarrythewoodfromoff thegrounds:“I'mnotbreakinganylaws.Yeah, Iwillkeepthissacredfireopen.”

ElderAmandaWallinisalsoatalented

PaintingbyElderAmandaWallin PaintingbyElderAmandaWallin
8 Community

Strangerinthe Community

Communityisanessentialpartofthehuman experience.Connectingaspartofacommunity isimportanttoourmentalwellbeing.Eventhe mostintrovertedpersonneedssomesortof humancontactandsupport.

Acommunitycanbegatheredina geographicspacewherepeopleconnectinperson,oravirtualspacesuchasasocialmedia grouporprivatecommunityplatform.Being partofasharedspace,whetherphysicalor virtual,givespeoplethechancetobeinspired, solveproblems,sharehumour,venttheir frustrations,andsharetheirachievements. Belongingtoacommunityhelpsusdevelopa strongersenseofpersonalandcollective identity.Itcanalsogiveaboosttoourselfesteemandtoourwillingnesstotakeonthe worldandmakeourdreamsmanifest.

Sincehumansareinherentlysocialbeings, whenpeoplefeeldisconnectedfromtheir community,itisdetrimentaltotheirmentaland physicalhealth.Accordingtoanarticleon happiness.com,“somestudieshavelinkedthe emotionalstrainoflonelinesscausedbysocial isolationtophysicalillness,includingsleep disorders,heartdiseaseandaweakened immunesystem.APublicHealthstudydonein

Canadaevenrankedsocialisolationasahigher riskfactorforprematuredeath.”

Itseemstomethatoverthelastcoupleof years,whileunabletoattendschool,childrens’ mentalhealthhassuffered.Withoutinteraction withtheircommunity,kidsturnedinon themselves,forgothowtoactaroundothers, andgrievedthelossofbeingwithfriendsand teachers;youcouldseetheweightontheir shoulders.Similarly,whenpeoplefeel disconnectedfromtheirfaithcommunity,itis detrimentaltotheirspiritualhealth.

We,asachurch,haveauniqueroleinthat weareacommunitythathashistory,thatis multigenerational,thathasnoentrance requirements,andthat(intheory)hasanopendoorpolicy,meaningeveryoneisallowedin.

Thechurchcouldbetheepitomeof community.

InPaul’sepistles,oneoftherepeated themesisthatofincorporationintotheBodyof Christ.Peoplewhoareisolated,separate,and alonearecalledintothelifeofanew community.

Pauldescribesthisrealityinhislettertothe Galatianswhenhesaysthatforthosewhoare clothedinChrist“(t)hereisnolongerJewnor

Hospitality TheoRobinson Photo: JonTyson
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Greek,slavenorfree,malenorfemale”(Gal 3:27-28).Butinlife,weknowthatthose distinctionsdoexist!Weknowthatinthechurch ofGalatiatheymostcertainlyexisted.Whyelse wouldPaulhavewrittenthis,iftherewerenot strugglesrelatedtothestatusofJew,Greek, slave,free,male,andfemale?

Thosedistinctionsalsoexistwithinour church.NotliterallyJewandGreek,butmost certainlythe“in”andthe“notsoin.”Perhaps notslaveandfree,butcertainlythosewith powerandthosewithoutpower.Andwho woulddenythattherearedistinctionsmade amongstusbetweenmaleandfemale,gayand straight,richorpoor,Indigenousandsettler, etc?Thosedistinctionsmostcertainlyexistand testifytothemeasuretowhichwefallshortof thestandardofwhatPaulsaysitmeanstobe clothedwithChrist.

Aswecomeoutofthispandemic,weare witnesstoadeclineinchurchattendance.That said,somechurchesareexperiencingasurgeof newpeoplecominginthedoorsofthephysical building.Thesefolksarelookingforchurchand itscommunity;theyarewantingthekindof connectionthathasbeenmissingduringthe pasttwoyears.Sohowdoweensurethatthese newpeoplearewelcomedintoourcommunity? AccordingtoJesus,it’sallabouthospitality.

Duringmypostulancy(atrainingperiod whileworkingtobecomeanAnglicanpriest),I spentayearvisitingvariouschurchesaround thecity.WhatIfoundinterestingwastherarity atwhichIwasapproached.Iwasastrangerto thesechurches.Andyet,itwasarareoccasion whensomeonegreetedme.PerhapsIwas spoiledbycomingfromaparishwhosegreeters kneweveryparishionerandwhensomeonenew arrived,theywerewelcomedwithahandshake, andthendirectedastohowtofollowalongwith thebulletinduringworship.

Thechurchcanbeagreatsourceof community—acommunityofmutuallove.This mutualloveisthefoundationofdoinggood andsharingwhatyouhave;thefoundationof beinginrelationshipwithGod,andwitheach other.

So,onaSundaymorning,knowwhothe strangersinyourbuildingare.Greetthem, makethemfeelwelcome.Showthemhowto readthebulletin–neverassumesomeone “knowshowtoworship,”forlackofabetter phrase.Allofusaretaskedwithmakingour churchesinclusiveandwelcoming–inwordsand inactions.Itisnotourjobtogatekeeporto guardthepews.Christ’stableisopento everyone.Ourjobistomakemoreroomatthe table,andtoensurethatwearemakingroom forall,notaselectfew.Wedonotgettodecide whoisallowedtobepartofthecommunityand whoistobekeptoutside.Communitycreates relationships,fellowship,andgrowth,but growthcannotbethemaingoalofour hospitality.Wearen’tcreatingcommunitytoget somethinginreturn.Wearecreatingaloving community,followinginthelovingfootstepsof JesusChrist.

Makingroomforthestrangermayupsetthe balanceofthechurchforawhile,butopening thedoorsofthechurchisnotmeanttobea threateningsituation.Makingroomforthe strangerreaffirmsthehumanityofallpersons. Ourhumanityisnotbaseduponphysicalor mentalability,ourintelligence,noronour historyorculturalbackground.Ourhumanityis shapedbyourunderstandingoftheimportance ofthecommunityandtheaffirmationthatwe areallcreatedinthe imageofGod.Eachofus springsforthfromthe imaginationofGod, regardlessofwhoweare.

InHebrews,Paul remindsuswhataChristian communitywasmeantto be:acommunitywhich expressesandshareslove andinthatcontextpraises God,becauseGodisa Godwhoreachesoutin loveandcompassion.

Sodon’tturnthe strangeraway.Instead, welcomethemhome.

Hospitality TheReverendTheoRobinson isanAnglicanpriestserving asaPastorintheInterlake RegionalSharedMinistrywith theLutheranChurchofthe MNOSynod.Heisalsoa spiritualcarepractitionerin healthcare.Youcanfollow hisblogat tjrobinson.blogspot.com
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Andtheyspakeinparables,saying:“AUnited ChurchofCanadacongregationsayeth,‘Weare dying.’Theycried,‘Wehavebut50bums,only 50bumsintheseatsonanygivenSunday.’And verilytheywereasked:‘Whatelsehaveye?’ Andtheyreplied,‘Wehaveaweeklymeditation group.Ithasamultitude,Isayuntoyou,ithosts 300participants.’Butstilltheyweptbitterly, gnashingtheirteeth,andtearingtheirclothesin lament.‘Woeisus.Wearedying.’”

EDGEasks:Arewedying,really?

Considerthis, EDGE,thelittle-known innovationarmoftheUnitedChurchofCanada (UCC)hasquietlylaunched589projects groundedinspirituality,over500social enterprises,and55newministries.EDGE startedasathree-yearexperiment,butisnowin its12thyearofreimaginingchurchthrough grassrootsinitiatives.Haveyouheardof LumsdenBeachCamp’snewapiary selling honeynearRegina?EDGEwasthere.The launchof 1JustCity’sIndigenousCultural Program inWinnipeg?EDGEwasthere. Faith& theCommonGood’sinteractivemap tracking greenenergyinsacredspaces?EDGEagain.

Thissoundslikealiving,breathingchurch tome.ButasExecutiveDirectorRobDalgleish says,“Wejustcan’tseeitbecauseweare caughtingriefaboutsomethingthat’sbeen

lost.”Wearegrievingthepackedpewsand teemingchildren’sprogramsofthe50sand60s. Withfewermembersinthechurch,financesare astruggle,includingmaintainingproperties, manyofwhichareclosing.EDGEwas establishedbythenationalofficetohelpthe churchadapttothisnewsocialcontext.And they’vedoneit.EDGEcanshowtheyhave foundsustainablemodelsforlivingoutchurch. TheproblemisthatthoseinvestedintheUCC structurehaveahardtimerecognizingwhatis emerging.Dalgleishsayswhenpeoplesee EDGE’sincredibleresults,“Theydon’tbelieve it.Theydon’ttrustit…theysay,well,that’snot church.”Culturechangehasbecomeoneof EDGE’sbiggestroles;shiftingperceptionsof what“counts”aschurch.

WhenCarlaLeonbeganhercontractwork withEDGE,shewantedtogetalayoftheland andtofindoutwhatchurchesneeded.So,she

Community Photo: Vinicius"amnx"Amano EasyYoke: TheStoryofEDGE AlisonBrooks-Starks
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calledandasked.Thatistosay,shecalled800 people.Thisworkedsowell,thatEDGE’sLori Houlecalled“therestofthem,”saysLeon. That’saround2200communitiesoffaithon Houle’sspeeddial,andnow“outreachand feedback”isherfull-timegig.

WhenLeoncalledthose800 congregations,herfirstdiscoverywasthata thirdofthechurchesneededtomakeproperty decisions.Withalltheenergyaroundthis,she andtheEDGEteamsensedacallfromthe spirit.Butitwas“reallyintimidating.”Theyhad “zerorealestateexperience.”Shesays,“I heardit,andItriednottolisten;hearditagain, triednottolisten.”Thecallcontinued, relentlessly.Finally,Leonbroke,realising,“Oh [expletive],we have to.”Ittook“sixyearsof internalpolitics,”butEDGEpartneredwiththe CanadaMortgageandHousingCorporation, specialistsinaffordablehousing,andstarted the UnitedPropertyResourceCommission (UPRC).Theyareshiftingthechurchmindset awayfrombuildings-as-burdens—empty spacestolight,toheat,andtomaintain.Any realestateagentwouldseetheseplacesasthe hugeassetsthattheyare.ForUPRC,itisabout advancingsocialjusticethroughhousing.Thisis theworkofthespirit.Leonsays,“Iwouldbrag thatI’veneverlaunchedanythingthatcame fromme.Itallcamefromthephoneanditall camefromtheconversationsand relationships.”God’suptosomething.Donot beafraid.

EDGEhasreallylivedintoitsname.Buttrey explainsthatatfirst,theyworkednearly exclusivelywithministersandcongregations, fullywithinthesystem.Theworkshifted outwardfromthere,totheirownchurch properties,thenfurtherstill,tolocal organisations,communityministries,and nonprofits.Andheretheysit,ontheedge.They arethego-between,viaaphoneline,between thenationalUCCstructureandyourlocal congregationonthecorner.Theyaretranslators ontheedge.Tothesecularworld,EDGEis constantlyexplainingwhypartneringwitha faith-basedorganisationmakesgoodsense.To

thechurch,theyaretaskedwithtranslatingwhy theseNGOs,socialenterprises,co-ops,and newinitiativesarechurch.Whiletheyaredeeply investedintheirministries,EDGEdoesnotown them.BronwynCorlettsaystheyaresupporters, encouragersandnetworkers.Itisnotabout EDGE.Itisaboutmidwifing.

Whatbabywillbecaughtnext?Thereisa callEDGEisnotyetheeding.ZoëChaytors says,“There’sthislayerwehavetoconfront–whitesupremacyandcolonialisminour [church’s]history,andthatmeanslettinggoof control,andgivingupthingsthathavebeen successfulandgivenuslotsofpowerand privilege,andhavingtoletgoofthetenantsof capitalismthathavehelpedthechurchsurvive.” DalgleishtellsmeabouthearingCayugaFirst NationoftheSixNationsReservespiritual leaderAdrianJacobsspeak.Whenaskedhow thechurchcouldgetrelevance,Jacobssaid, “Givebacktheland.”Dalgleishnamesthefelt impossibilityofusdoingsoasthe“spiritual paralysisofthechurch.”Hesays,hearingthishe realised,“theprofoundtruthofitisthatifwe actuallydidthat,itwouldsoopenustowhat Godisdoinginthistime.”Headds,“Knowing whatweknow,whywouldn’twe?”

EDGEseesthemselvesontheroadto Emmaus.Theythinkthat,likeJesus,thechurch hasalreadyrisenagainandisinourmidst.Yet, likeJesus,becausethechurchlooksdifferent, nobodyisrecognizingit.Consumedbygrief, nobodybelieves,nobody cansee.Itisfirstcentury women’sworkallover again.Thewomenare saying,“He’salive,he’s alive!”EDGEissaying, “Thechurchisalive!The churchisalive!”Maybeif weweretowitness EDGE’sministries,we wouldbelieve.

Community AlisonBrooks-Starks(she/ her)(picturedherewith Jovan)isawriterin Edmonton,AB.Sheleads eco-spiritualretreatswiththe organisationEmberwood.
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ParishNewsRoundup

ReflectionsonLambeth2022

ReadBishopGeoff'sreflectionsonthisyear's Lambethconference here

RefugeeandMigrationCrisis StatementfromLambeth Conference2022

Readthestatement,puttogetherbybishops fromtheworldwideAnglicanCommunion,on theinternationalrefugeeandmigrationcrisis here

OnlineServicesinRupert'sLand Serviceinformationavailable here. AttentionParishes:ifanyinformation regardingyouronlineserviceshaschanged, pleasesendanemailto rlnews@rupertsland.ca

FallRummageSale-St.Mary AnglicanChurchinCharleswood

October14,5-8pm October15,9am-1pm 3830RoblinBlvd,atHaney(justoverthe CharleswoodBridge)

StMaryAnglicanChurchinCharleswoodis havingaFallRummageSale.Itemsinclude whiteelephanttables,booktables,household items,clothing,andmanyothertreasures!

*Pleasebringyourownshoppingbags.Masks required.

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*Some conditions may apply. Choose from more than 200 fullyprepared, frozen dishes — all with free delivery.* MADE FOR Seniors! Fr Fr Get your menu Tastes that take you back! This is the stew thatbringsasmile. This is the stew that brings a smile! This is the stew that brings a smile! This is the stew that brings a smile! 2657 Winnipeg 3 x 3 204-816-8659 Locally Owned by Fred Pennell HeartToHomeMeals.ca 204-816-8659

Yourparishcouldbecomean Ambearrister!

Attentionparishes!TheCaringSociety’s ReconciliationAmbearristersprograminvitesall typesofgroupstohostaReconciliation Ambearrister(ambassadors+barristers)who willguideyouthroughyearsoffreewaysto implementtheTruthandReconciliation Commission’sCallstoActionandmakea positivedifferenceforFirstNationschildren, youthandfamilies. SpiritBear isamembearof theCarrierSekaniTribalCouncilandisan AmbearristerwhorepresentsFirstNationsand otherchildrenwhoarestandingupfor culturally-basedandequitableFirstNations publicservicesattheCanadianHumanRights Tribunal.Hebelievesthataddressing discriminationtakeslove,honesty,compassion, andarealcommitmenttohelpingothersdothe rightthing.SpiritBearhaswrittenbookstelling thetruestoriesofhowchildrenofalldiversities havehelpedensureFirstNationschildrenget thepublicservicestheyneedwhentheyneed them.Still,thereismoreworktodoandmore workthanSpiritBearcanhandlealonesohis relativeshavecometohelphimeducateand engageotherchildren,youthandadultstohelp maketheTruthandReconciliation Commission’sCallstoActionareality.

TheAmbearristersaremeanttobuild relationshipswithlocalFirstNations,Metis,and Inuitpeoplestoworktowardasharedvisionof reconciliation.Weareintroducingaphasedin approachtotheAmbearristerprogramthat recognizesthatsomegroupshavegood relationshipswithFirstNations,Métis,andInuit peoplesintheirterritoriesandothersarejust gettingstartedinbuildingthoserelationships.

WhileyouandAmbearristergettoworkon reconciliation,weaskthatyoukeep@SpiritBear andtheCaringSocietypostedeachmonthon theinnovativewaysyouandthelocalFirst Nationscommunityareworkingtoimplement theTruthandReconciliation’sCallstoAction andthe MissingandMurderedIndigenous WomenandGirls CallstoJustice.

Afterspendingayearwiththeir Ambearrister,groupsmustwritealetterand/or prepareavideoexplainingalltheyhave learned,andtheirAmbearrister’sstory.Since groupsareaskedtoupdatetheCaringSociety monthly,compilingtheirlettersand/orvideos shouldbeaneasyprocess!

Doesthissoundlikeaprojectyourparish mightbeinterestedin?Alltheinformationyou needabouttheReconciliationAmbearristers processandrequirementsison TheFirst NationsChild&FamilyCaringSocietywebsite.

Youmayalsoreachoutto info@fncaringsociety.com

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Photo: DavidClarke Diocese
Introducing: ParishProfile Welookforwardtohearing yourresponsesandgettingto knowyouabitbetter! Inupcomingmonths,Rupert’sLandNews willbeincludingaParishProfilesectionin themagazine.Ourdiocesespanspartsof bothTreaty1and3lands,rangingfrom SouthernManitobatoNorthwestern Ontario,andincludingchurchesbothrural andurban,withrangingdemographics, differentworshipstyles,andunique perspectivesonthelifeofourdiocese.The ParishProfilesectionisintendedasan opportunityformembersinthedioceseto becomebetteracquaintedwithour existingparishes,andtoexploretheways weseeGod’sloveatworkinourindividual communities. RLNwillbereachingouttomembersof differentparishes(proceedingby geographicallocation)toconsiderthe followingquestionsand,asthereis capacity,tocompileshortresponseswhich maybepublishedinthemagazine: •Canyoutellusaboutthenameofyour church? •Howdoesyourchurchunderstand "place"?Whereisyourchurchlocated? Whatgeographicalcommunitydoesit serve? •Whatarethreewordsyouwoulduse todescribeyourchurchtoastranger? •Whoattendsyourchurch? •Howwouldyoudescribeyourchurch’s worship? •Whatdoyouvalueaboutyourchurch community?/Wheredoyouseelifein yourcommunity? 16