Clergy Notes — Presentation of our Lord, Sunday January 30 2022

Extract from a Letter from the Metropolitan to the Territory of the People, on the discovery of unmarked graves at St Joseph’s Residential School, Williams Lake.


It is with deep sadness we hear that ground penetrating radar has again confirmed what we already knew, that there are bodies of children in unmarked graves at the site of the former St. Joseph’s residential school. We know that this announcement brings further trauma to Indigenous communities, especially survivors and intergenerational survivors of residential schools. We lament with them, and we pray for strength and courage for them, as they receive and process this.


I also pray that we in the non-Indigenous community continue to feel outrage at the atrocities that were done against Indigenous peoples in Canadian church-run government institutions, and that our outrage fuels action. We renew our commitment to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to address not just the wrongs of the past, but racism in our own hearts and in our social systems today. I urge each parish to look through the 94 Calls to Action, especially those directed to the Church parties (59-61), and to discuss in your parish how you might take action.


Please pray for the Pastoral Elders of the Territory; for all Indigenous leaders; for the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) and our Territory ACIP representative John Haugen; for Archbishop Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Archbishop; for the Rev. JoAnn Hinter and the parish of St. Peter’s Williams Lake; for the whole community of Williams Lake; for the community of Lytton and the Rev. Angus Muir; for the survivors and intergenerational survivors of St. George’s residential school in Lytton; and for community workers and suicide prevention workers.


As Primate Linda Nicholls said regarding the childrens’ graves at the Kamloops residential school found in the Spring of 2021:


“These are days to listen to the stories of Indigenous people – to acknowledge that our Church shared in the perpetrating of this pain – to recommit to the
hard work of truth-telling and reconciliation.”


I pray that we have the courage to be present to this work that is ours, to follow our Lord, the suffering servant who was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53), who bears our burdens and invites us to bear each other’s. May God deepen our compassion, kindness, and our outrage, turning our outrage to action.


Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Lynne McNaughton


Download the Sunday service booklet here:Liturgy at Home Presentation of Lord January 30 2022