On Saturday, 11 August, I had the rare privilege of spending the whole day at the Anglican Church of Canada’s National Sacred Circle in Pinawa, Manitoba. The Circle is usually held every three years or so, in different places across the country, and there were well over two hundred indigenous Anglicans in attendance from all over Canada, and special guests from New Zealand Aotearoa, the USA, inluding Hawaii, and Cuba.
It was a joy to be invited, and an even greater joy to be there for that last day of the week-long event. Local Anglicans were involved, of course, including the Rev. Barbara Shoomski, the Rev. Canon Murray Still, the Rev. Deacon Vincent Solomon, the Rev. Barry Bear and his wife and partner in ministry, Freda Bear, the inimitable and indomitable Sylvia James, as well as a number of others. I also got to meet and get at least a little acquainted with aboriginal Anglicans from all across this great land of Canada, from Quebec and Ontario to BC and the northern Territories. There were Cree, naturally, but also Inuit and Mohawk and Blackfoot and Ojibwe and many others, some of whom could not speak English, but they are all Canadians, all Anglicans, and, most importantly, all Christian.
My overall experience was of a deeply caring, beautifully committed gathering of Christian sisters and brothers. Oh, yes, they have their differences too, even their energetic differences on matters of policy and practice, but the strength and joy of real Christian community shone through. I can’t go into detail here, but, suffice it to say, I’m glad I was able to go and be an involved observer; I give thanks to God for another opportunity to experience this part of the church we call Anglican.
If you have the capability, I encourage you to go to YouTube and see the many good, short videos available there. Anglican Video did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the week. If you check out the one on Canon 22 you might even see your Dean singing and clapping, and greeting both the Primate, our ++Fred, and the ELCIC National Bishop, Susan Johnson.
See the videos here: Anglican Church of Canada National Sacred Circle.