This article also appears in the June issue of the Diocesan Post.
by Logan McMenamie
And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors. 2 Cor. 5 Let me thank you for your leadership during the past year of reconciliation. We have done much at various levels of our individual and common lives. Thank you for engaging in this journey.
The year of reconciliation has come to an end. We have recognized that it has been, for us, a year of learning about reconciliation.
As we have journeyed with the First Peoples on these islands and inlets, we have learned a great deal about the challenges as we tried to define what reconciliation might look like. Through the continuation of the sacred journey, we have begun to build relationships with First Nations communities. The building of these relationships are the first steps on this journey.
Late last year I was invited to visit the fish farms on the traditional territories of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Nation. The invitation was to learn and understand the place of fish farms on their territory. I wrote and met with the chief and elders, and with government leadership to help facilitate a conversation about rights and industry. I said to the government that if we are serious about reconciliation, then First Nations must have the right to say what industry is present on their territories.
I was also invited to Kingcome, the traditional territory of the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw. During a ceremony at the big house I asked for permission for us to enter and stay in these territories. I was honoured by the chief and elders and given that permission.
Building upon the work we did with the leadership from the Corrymeela Community through its program Dialogue towards Peaceful Change, we created the diocesan Community of Learning. In the pilots we worked with conflict/dispute resolution as it applied to us personally and as congregations. The pilots have been good and positive experiences for those who participated, as well as for those who led the initial module. We hope to create other modules for the Community and build it up in the diocese as a significant piece of the vision under lay leadership and training.
In some parishes within our diocese, when conflict has occurred, we have helped to clarify language and practice. We continue to bring the voices of the Corrymeela Community in Ireland and the Community of the Cross of Nails from Coventry in the U.K. into our diocese.
Many parishes have experienced the Blanket Exercise and Building Bridges through Understanding the Village workshop and have found them to be profound experiences. If you have not experienced either of these, I encourage you to look for one that you can attend. We have also continued to look at pilgrimage as a personal act of reconciliation within oneself, with creation or others.
We are here
in the hope of a world
May we practice reconciliation
with each other,
in our community,
in and with our world.
For you, God,
are the one who brings all things together
the one who leads us into deeper life.
- Corrymeela Community