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Hi Friends- below you'll find some "Spiritual Growth Ideas" for June. In light of the horrific discovery of the mass grave of 215 precious children, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few reflections on truth telling and reconciliation as they relate to the life of faith. Please keep the families those 215 children in your prayers, as well as all survivors and the families of those who have been impacted by the evil of the residential school system. The majority of these "ideas" are direct quotes from authors I've recently been reading, otherwise they are quotes that have been reworked. Three of the authors are from a book recommended by member of our parish called, “Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization.”
1) "Our ancestors need to rest... knowing our spirits are free from the shameless violence rooted in a foundation of hate by those who have tried to oppress us." -Leah Gazan
2) "A group segregated systematically over many generations experiences a decisive undermining of self-respect' - Howard Thurman
3) "The freedom and dignity of every person of every race and gender is not a gift dispensed by a benevolent ruler. It is a blessing each of us received from our Creator" -Rabbi Harold S. Kushner
4) Capitalism reduces human labour and nature's providence to figures on the London or Tokyo stock exchanges. It hammers whole ways of life into speculative chips, drip-feeding a casino economy." -Alastair McIntosh
5) Our stories are a secret reservoir of values: if individuals and nations tell themselves stories that are lies, they face the future consequences of those lies. Colonialism force-feeds lies into the diet of the people.
6) Buddhism outlines the "10 Duties of a Ruler". Number 8 speaks to "Non-Violence" (avidimsa) which means not only that the ruler should harm no-one, but also that they should promote peace by avoiding and preventing war, and everything that involves violence and destruction of life.
7) "I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries and government orders." ~Leo Tolstoy
"The hour is coming, and is now here, when (people of faith) will remember what their sacred Scriptures say: 'let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24).'" - Susanne Guether Loewen paraphrasing Jesus' meeting with the women at the well
9) "When White People first harvested salmon in the Salish Sea to feed factory workers in England, the daily catch lined the dock waist high. Now there are few salmon in the overfished, acidified, and too warm waters of 'Puget Sound.'" ~Wes Howard-Brook
10) Jesus ate and drink with so-called outcasts and sinners. The only requirement for eating at the Lord's Table at church (with Jesus) should be that you are hungry, and knowing that you are hungry. Believing that Christ will feed you and meet you where you're at.
Sources: Ben Okri, Will Willimon, Rev. Dr. Walpola Rahula, Wes Howard-Brook, Susanne Guether-Loewen, Leo Tolstoy, Alastair McIntosh, Rabbi Harold J. Kushner, Leah Gazan
- image "Summer daisies at the Courtenay Estuary”