Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Anglican Church of Canada and Their Response to Residential Schools Horror

The video below is about Canada's role in residential schools for First Nations children. 

The Anglican Church of Canada played a role in this dark chapter of our history, and began taking steps to acknowledge the history and begin the healing in the 1990s. Here's a link to a summary from the national church's web site: http://www.anglican.ca/tr/schools/

Then-Archbishop Michael Peers issued an apology on behalf of the national church in 1993: http://www.anglican.ca/tr/apology/english/

I was General Synod 2004 in Waterloo, ON when First Nations observers were present for the first official time (I think), and were telling their stories of what happened to them and their families because of residential schools. 

At the same meeting, members were discussing what was to be done about litigation, and someone asked the General Synod Chancellor, Canon Bob Falby, whether the issuing of the apology had been 'wise', and whether it had made us more to be sued. 

The Chancellor very wisely said (and I was proud to be there to hear it) "Who Cares?! It was the Right Thing To Do!". We don't usually applaud at General Synod, but I seem to remember we did then.

Above written by my sister-in-law, Tanya Moxley, who is daughter to Sue Moxley, who was the first female Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Canada.

video 2:43

A couple weeks ago a Conservative Senator Lynne Beyak rather foolishly announced that there were many good people doing good things in the Residential Schools and they should be recognized for such. The response condemning her remarks came from many places including the Anglican Church which actually ran many of the schools.

Leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada have penned a strongly worded letter to Lynn Beyak, the Conservative senator who recently mounted a defence of the Indian residential school system, to denounce her remarks and take ownership of the atrocities committed in the church-run schools.

The head of the Anglican Church of Canada, Fred Hiltz, wrote a strongly worded letter Monday condemning Senator Lynn Beyak's defence of the Indian residential school system. (Anglican Church of Canada)

In a letter sent Monday, church leaders said they were "dismayed" that Beyak would try and shed a positive light on the system, telling her, rather, "the overall view is grim. It is shadowed and dark; it is sad and shameful."

"Senator Beyak, you are quite right in saying that for a small minority of survivors, their personal experiences of residential school were 'good.' But in much greater numbers, the personal experiences of children who were housed in those schools were 'bad — very bad in fact," the letter, written by the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, the archbishop and primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Right Rev. Mark MacDonald, the national Indigenous Anglican bishop, and the church's general secretary, Michael Thompson, said.

The church leaders note children were forcibly removed from their homes, subjected to exacting punishment for speaking their native tongues and were subjected to "rampant" physical, sexual and mental abuse.

"There was nothing good about children going missing and no report being filed. There was nothing good about burying children in unmarked graves far from their ancestral homes. It heaped cruelty upon cruelty for the child taken and the parent left behind," they wrote.

Children pictured at Gordon's Reserve school in Saskatchewan, run by the Anglican Church of Canada, have a meal in 1945. (General Synod Archives/Anglican Church of Canada)

Between 1820 and 1969, the Anglican Church ran three dozen "Indian" and "Eskimo" residential schools and hostels, many of which were built by the federal government. As the church itself concedes, the goal of the schools was the assimilation of educated Indigenous peoples into the non-aboriginal world — "the 'savage' child would surely be re-made into the 'civilized' adult."

Beyak, an Ontario senator appointed by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2013, said she has spoken to Indigenous people who have told her of the positive experiences they had while at the schools, adding many have kept their Christian faith after it was imparted to them by school administrators.

Actually, I know a few such people myself and at least one has told me he would not change a thing in his past if it meant that he never found Jesus Christ. But Residential Schools were not a model for evangelism that Jesus  Himself would ever have approved.

In a meeting of the Senate's Aboriginal Peoples committee last month, Beyak said, "I was disappointed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report in that it didn't focus on the good. The people I talk to are Christians."

"Conditions in these schools led to fires, to outbreaks of diphtheria, to gas leaks. Children died. We cannot speak about the residential schools without acknowledging these truths. To do so would once more silence the witness of thousands of children — some of whom never returned home," the leaders write in response to the senator's assertions.

The letter notes that a former leader of their church, Archbishop Michael Peers, issued an apology to survivors in 1993, more than a decade before the federal government acknowledged the destructive nature of its assimilationist policies.

Hiltz, the most senior archbishop in Canada, added later in an interview that the church accepts it played a hand in this dark chapter in Canadian history, but it is resolved to do what it can to foster a spirit of reconciliation. Beyak's comments hinder that effort, he said.

"What I would say to the senator, with respect, is that she has a responsibility, I believe, as a person in public office to make sure Canadians are hearing the whole story," he said in an interview with Rosemary Barton on CBC's Power & Politics.

"What this points out is that there are a number of Canadians, who, I think, need to make a concerted effort to educate themselves about this sad and lingering legacy in our country."

Hiltz said Beyak is correct to point our many schoolchildren had positive experiences — he said he knows some of them, and they are "actually grateful for that" — but many more had negative experiences that subjected First Nations communities to intergenerational trauma.

Trauma includes, unfortunately, intergenerational child sex abuse, which, I thoroughly believe has a great deal to do with the disturbing rates of child suicides on many remote reserves.

The Anglican Church has taken the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action seriously, Hiltz said, and has formally adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes provisions on spiritual matters, including the right to practise, develop and teach their own spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies.

Indigenous peoples make up about four per cent of the Canadian Anglican population, according to the church, and about 225 congregations have all or nearly all Indigenous membership. There are approximately 130 Indigenous Anglican priests in Canada, many of them working on a volunteer basis.

The Anglican Church has had some sort of relationship with Indigenous people in Canada since 1753 when the Rev. Thomas Wood came as a missionary to the Mi'kmaq people.

As I expressed to my sister-in-law, the Anglican response to the horror of residential schools is very refreshing after posting many reports from around the world on church responses to child sex abuse. Accepting responsibility and putting the survivors and their sorely affected children and grand-children above the reputation of the church itself is a clear sign that there is almost certainly a strong relationship between the leaders of the Anglican Church in Canada and the Lord they serve.