Our gifts for Mission & Service support the important work of reconciliation with Indigenous members of The United Church of Canada. One of the programs Mission & Service supports is the National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering. Many Indigenous members met on the territory of the Chippewas of Rama near Orillia, Ontario, in August 2019 to discern and decide on the structure and priorities for the self-determining Indigenous church within the United Church.
This fourth National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering provided opportunities for listening to and discerning the Creator’s plan, visioning, spiritual nurture, mutual accountability, inspiration, education, youth development, and expressing the voice of the Indigenous community on spirituality and ministry.
Using the Biidaabin* (“first light of a new day”) process of education, reflection and discussion, discernment, and decision-making, participants created and named a new national Indigenous church organization, elected a new National Indigenous Council, appointed a National Elders Council, and set priorities for the next triennium. The National Indigenous Council is an intergenerational group that includes two youth leaders.
As the planning team declared in its vision statement, the gathering would “inform, transform, and manifest healing and vitality. This is our act of decolonizing.” This vision and the decisions made at the gathering will help the Indigenous church to speak with a strong voice as its members continue to live into right relations.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.