Dear Relations in Christ:
As I prepare to end my term as your Moderator, I take this final opportunity to thank your community of faith for recognizing Indigenous Day of Prayer, which The United Church of Canada observes in conjunction with June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day.
We mark Indigenous Day of Prayer not as a simple response to June 21, or as a nod to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Rather, we do so as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the unique cultures, spiritualities, and contributions of Indigenous peoples on the land we call Canada.
We do so as a sign of commitment to the church’s 1986 Apology to Indigenous Peoples, and to building new relationships based in mutuality, equity, and respect.
We do so because of our creedal commitment “to reconcile and make new.”
In all of these commitments, The United Church of Canada has been led by its Indigenous membership, which responded to the 1986 Apology by imploring that together we “unite our hearts and minds in the wholeness of life that the Great Spirit has given us.”
Rising with Indigenous peoples in the church and across Canada on June 21 is one powerful way we do this. Joining with them in prayers they have created for the whole church is another.
May both of these actions continue to inspire you, in the next year and beyond, as we continue to seek being good relations with each other.
The Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell
Moderator, The United Church of Canada