VOL 29 NO 1
Five Things You Can Do To Develop A Relationship With Indigenous People.
As the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the mission of Canada Lutheran is to engage the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in a dynamic dialogue in which information, inspiration and ideas are shared in a thoughtful and stimulating way.
In the Middle of a Call to Right Relationships
As I worked with the material for our cover story, I began to reflect on my own experiences with Canada’s indigenous people. My earliest encounter happened in the early 1950s.
I remember a day in Grade 2 or 3 when a frightened little boy was brought into our classroom, and we were told that he would be part of our class from now on. We exchanged awkward glances. None of us knew what to do or say, and the teacher offered us no guidance. It was a while before I noticed that he never came back after that day.
My experiences as an adult have been disturbingly similar. I wonder for how many Canadians, Canada’s indigenous people somehow drift by on the margins of our lives.
When we hear Anglicans and indigenous people in the same sentence, many of us are likely to expect only news about the residential schools. My own perspective broadened greatly when I attended the first Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in Ottawa last July.
At the Joint Assembly, I began to understand how much Anglicans and indigenous people have been, and still are, connected; several are both Anglican and indigenous. I was amazed by the large number of indigenous Anglican delegates and came to appreciate the important role they have in helping to shape the future of the church.
I also realized how little most of us Lutherans know both about that relationship and about the situation of indigenous people in Canada in general. National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald is re- ported to have once described Full Communion as a journey of faith together: Anglican, Lutheran and Indigenous. Notice how Bishop Mark places us right in the middle of things?
It would give a false picture to suggest that Lutherans have not been engaged at all. Rev. Karen Kuhnert helps us understand some of our journey by providing a personal reflection on the challenging gift that she has received by representing us in the Kairos Indigenous Rights Circle. Past issues of this magazine have also reported some of our activities.
As Lutherans and Canadians, we are in the middle of a call to right relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people. This issue offers insights and ideas for us to grow with.
Also in this issue in Practising Our Faith, you’ll find an intriguing approach to strengthening marriage by using our Sunday liturgy as a model. If you’ve ever wondered what the Lutheran confessions are and why they are so important to us? (or never heard of them?), check out Q & A.
Rev. Daranne Harris has agreed to provide an- other series for Kindling: A Bible Study. She begins the new year looking at how Jesus sets up a balance between work and rest.
Kenn Ward, Editor