AHEAD OF ITS TIME
by Brita Chell
Member, Church of St. Stephen and St. Bede
Member, Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission
 
The Church of St. Stephen and St. Bede
99 Turner Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3J 2S9
204-837-9812    
[email protected]
www.churchofststephenstbede-wpg.org
We acknowledge that the Church of St. Stephen and St. Bede is located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Cree, and Dakota Nations, and the homeland of the Metis Nation, and that we gather on Treaty 1 land. We are grateful for their stewardship of this land and their hospitality, which allows us to live, work, and serve God the Creator here.
A MISSIONAL PEOPLE
HEALING AND RECONCILIATION
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature;
the old things have passed away;
behold new things have come.
Now, all these things are from God,
who reconciled Himself to us through Christ
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."

 
2 Corinthians 5:17, 18
Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission delivered its final report on June 2, 2015, after hearing an estimated 7,000 stories of survivors of the residential schools in Canada. The Anglican Church of Canada responded with 22 days of reconciliation, listening to stories of survivors and educating the public.
 
At St. Stephen and St. Bede, we offered prayer walks and rang the church bells (Alfred Wischnewski in right photo) in solidarity with families of the missing and murdered indigenous women and children in Canada.  In March, we hosted a sharing circle on the treaties, and our Sunday worship service on June 21 was dedicated to the theme of reconciliation.  Canadians are treaty people and part of our journey in faith at St. Stephen and St. Bede is to walk in solidarity and partnership with First Nations toward healing and reconciliation.
Our pastor is a First Nations priest in the Anglican Church, tracing his heritage to Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation. For over 20 years he has been actively involved in the ministry of healing and reconciliation.  He has served as chaplain in the International Order of St. Luke the Physician (OSL) and at the national church level, attending sacred circles and serving the Anti-Racism Committee and the Faith, Worship and Ministry.  He was one of the six writers of the National Native Covenant that led to the establishment of Canon 22 on Self-determination for Indigenous People within the Anglican Church.

Reconciliation is not an indigenous concept, though it is a desire within the indigenous community. The Christian community is to be engaged in the ministry of healing and reconciliation. On Sundays and at mid-week, prayers of healing with the laying on of hands and anointing with oil are offered. Our pastor has also been involved in offering the fifth step to the Alcoholics Anonymous movement and in spiritual counsel.

The ministry of reconciliation belongs to the community, but it begins with forgiveness offered by God. That forgiveness starts with the individual. Once forgiveness is accepted and acknowledged, a ministry of reconciliation or repair of relationships can begin. To be reconciled is to be in a restored or positive relationship, with God, with self, with others.

Community is involved in the restoration of relationships and through the offering of its love and acceptance.  When Jesus healed, he would often send the once-broken individual back to the community to be welcomed.  St. Stephen and St. Bede is a welcoming community that takes the love of Christ seriously.  For additional information on healing or reconciliation or to schedule an appointment for counsel contact 204-837-9812.
Components of healing and reconciliation are integral to the Indigenous Spiritual and Pastoral Care program at the United Centre for Theological Studies, University of Winnipeg.  The two-year diploma program was developed by our pastor, the Rev. Canon Dr. Murray Still  (pictured second from left above).
 
Restoration of language, spirituality and culture is an important element in the reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
 
In a cross-Canada webinar aired on November 9, 2016, educator Connie Wyatt Anderson gave viewers a detailed outline of the ​​​Treaty Education Initiative created by the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. To view the webinar online, click  Teaching Treaties With the Treaty Education Initiative .  For a copy of the presentation, click here . Find more examples on this web page of indigenous awareness initiatives our church has promoted or undertaken.

Justice and Reconciliation Tour Visits Split Lake
 

Visit our Photo Gallery for more pictures during the Split Lake tour and of our follow-up gift of the games table  .
Participants were amazed by what they learned and experienced during a church-organized visit to the northern Manitoba community of Split Lake, June 28 to July 5, 2016.  This Justice and Reconciliation Tour was the outcome of an invitation a year earlier by the Rev. Dr. Larry Beardy when he attended a service at St. Stephen and St. Bede .​
In response to the conditions seen during the visit to  ​Split Lake, Manitoba in summer 2016, our two churches  followed up with the gift of a multi-purpose games table. Residents in the northern community can now enjoy activities such as pool, foozeball, shuffleboard and ping pong. Many thanks to those who helped load and to to Gardewine for their help. 
View Tour video 
by the Rev. Tyler Gingrich 
Click
After his presentation, Rev. Solomon (right) met informally with those in attendance, including Pastor Murray and Alfred Wischnewski.
On June 16, St. Stephen and St. Bede welcomed Rev. Vincent Solomon, Urban Indigenous Mission Developer, Diocese of Rupert's Land, who spoke about important reconciliation issues. 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:
Calls to Action
 

Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission delivered its final report on June 2, 2015. Many in Winnipeg attended a ceremony commemorating this watershed occasion.
Click image above to view the online or as a pdf document.

Open Letter from the Primate's Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation, and Justice
 

On December 9, 2016, the ​General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada issued this important Open Letter from the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation, and Justice.  Everyone is urged to take its message to heart and adopt the attitudes and practices therein.  Click to view/download the message online or as a pdf document.  
In March 2015, our church hosted a sharing circle to examine the treaties in Canada.
Our pastor (above, centre), Bishop Don Phillips (far left) and three others from Rupert's Land attended the national church's Sacred Circle in Port Elgin in August 2015.