By invitation of the Primate and the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, members of the Anglican Church of Canada gathered for The Road to Warm Springs from Sept. 15-17, 2017 in Pinawa, Manitoba.
Sixty-eight Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the Anglican Church of Canada who had demonstrated a commitment to reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination, including bishops, clergy, and laity, gathered for what Archbishop and Primate Fred Hiltz called “a holy time and a very hopeful time”.
The consultation affirmed the continually emerging of a truly Indigenous church, and called on all the baptized to stand in solidarity with Indigenous people in their quest for self-determination. [Lay Canon Grace Delaney and The Rev. Norman Wesley participated from the Diocese of Moosonee.]
See the Church National website (www.anglican.ca) for foundational documents circulated to participants prior to or during the consultation, and videos of plenary sessions. This webpage will be continually updated as videos are edited and become available.
A Call from Warm Springs
As brothers and sisters in The Lord gathered in Pinawa, MB for The National Consultation on Indigenous Self-Determination, we have grounded our work in the story of The Road to Emmaus. In an Indigenous version of the New Testament it is known as The Road to Warm Springs. Like the disciples on that road we have experienced the presence of Creator Sets Free (Jesus) among us.
On the first day we felt Him drawing alongside us in our conversations concerning the call from The Covenant of 1994 to build a truly Indigenous Anglican Church. We gave thanks for how far He has taken us on this journey and we rejoice in many significant steps along the way. We acknowledged that we still face many challenges and we pray for courage and wisdom to address them without hesitation or further delay. We were humbled by an invitation to ponder the reconciliation necessary to move forward. We were enriched by those among us who spoke from the heart of how reconciliation had transformed their lives and how they believe it could transform the life of our Church.
On the second day, like the disciples on the road to Warm Springs (Emmaus), we asked Creator Sets Free (Jesus) to stay with us. We considered a way for moving forward with self-determination for Indigenous Peoples within The Anglican Church of Canada and felt a growing unity in that way. We heard a number of stories of local indigenous ministries, some longstanding and some emerging. Our hearts burned within us as we heard how deeply rooted in the scriptures these stories are. We felt extraordinarily blessed by the presence of the Rev. Dr. Martin Brokenleg. He taught us about who Indigenous People are as Spiritual People, and he engaged us in a deeper awareness of the importance of Traditional and Christian Teaching in self-determination. We all learned much and were very grateful.
On the third day we knew Creator Sets Free (Jesus) in the opening of the scriptures and in the breaking of bread. In that sacred feast He gave himself to each of us. We also believe He gave each of us some work to do.
With eyes wide open we are looking to the future with great hope and we hereby renew our commitment to The Covenant of 1994 and the vision of a truly Indigenous Anglican Church. We commit ourselves to all the work necessary to bring this vision to its full flowering.
In the spirit of our Church’s endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples we call all our bishops, clergy and all the baptized to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples in their quest for self-determination.
We call our entire Church to pray that Creator Sets Free (Jesus) will continue to draw near, bless us on our way and guide us in our work.
Sunday, September 17, 2017