Our congregation is on a learning journey, and we take seriously our commitment to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
As a congregation, we are educating ourselves through reading and engaging in various activities.
In 2019 we did “the Blanket Exercise” which is an interactive experience seeing Canadian history from an Indigenous Perspective. Each year since then we have engaged in a variety of activities as part of our learning and responding to our call to seek justice and resist evil.
Yearly we honour Orange Shirt Day/National Truth and Reconciliation Day with a vigil focussed on
LIGHT – Lighting a candle in memory of residential school survivors who did not make it home.
LEARN – Learning about United Church Residential Schools, and what happened in them before, during, and after their existence, particularly about intergenerational trauma. Providing bookmarks with “what we can do” to support the work of Truth and Reconciliation.
LOVE – Each person is invited to take an orange heart, and place it somewhere they can remember, and pray for the children who did not make it home, and their families.
LAMENT – People are invited to write their own lament about colonialism, residential schools, and intergenerational trauma.
Most recently we moved this vigil to our table at the Ridge Meadows “The Healing Journey Continues” at Memorial Park. Here we acknowledged the United Church run residential schools in BC, and seek to take responsibility for our part in this ongoing tragic history. We share the names of those we know who died there.
The wider United Church of Canada is responding to the Calls to Action in a variety of ways.