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Eucharist: Gathering - On Whose Land Do We Gather?

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Roy Henry Vickers - Easter 1985
Roy Henry Vickers - Easter 1985

How good and pleasant it is
    when brothers and sisters live together in peace
!  Psalm 133.1

Every time we gather for worship at St John the Divine, and indeed in most Anglican Communities on these islands we acknowledge that we are on the Ancestral lands of the first peoples of this nation. Our Bishop, Logan, has encouraged us to repeatedly and publicly affirm our commitment to the task of ‘truth-telling, healing, and reconciliation’ and the shared journey which settlers and First Nations are undertaking at this time.  And it’s a tough journey, though it started some years ago in many ways it has just begun - it will involve continuing to acknowledge the great harm done to First Nations since ‘contact’, and the harms still perpetrated by prejudice, intergenerational trauma, and impoverishment. It will involve learning from one another, learning from our shared past, gleaning the good from the bad, moving on together, and an honest and generous response to one another.

As a small part of this acknowledgement, we remember the importance of the connection to the land felt by our First Nations, and admit our part in disconnecting the original peoples of these Islands from their lands.  As we Anglicans gather in prayer and worship, we hope that our relationship with our First Nations will grow in trust, respect and mutuality. That all may enter into a place of healing, peace, and love. And so we will continue to acknowledge the land upon which we worship.

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