Reflections from John Snow, Indigenous Minister, PMRC
Today we are witness to an Apology from the Holy Father in Rome. This is a very emotional and difficult period for the countless victims of the Residential School experience. We pray for healing of all our people. We remember scriptures and calling of Creator.
John 10:16, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd” NRSV
I first delivered this passage in Israel on the Come and See Tour, with the United Church of Canada and Sabeel organization the teachings have ongoing meaning and revelation and offer continued discernment to all denominations. We are now at a place where we begin to hear truth. We have always known Creator. We are part of Creator’s Love and plan, and we share in the prayers, healing and ceremonies that were given to our many Indigenous families across the country.
The trip of the Indigenous Groups to the Vatican speaks to this prophecy of other sheep. These pilgrims have traveled to a place and time that has heard their voice and we see the unfolding of scripture in our time. We see the importance of Indigenous teachings of Creator. For me, this event validates the work of many elders, many clergy and of my father and mother the Rev. Dr. Chief John and Alva Snow. The work at the Morley Indian Ecumenical gathering allowed for a voice and healing to begin. This has culminated in effecting Apologies from the United Church in 1986 and 1998. It is now time to witness the Apology from the Vatican in 2022. Now is a time for deep reflection and healing. As we gather and pray remember the victims of the Residential School experience. Remember the Children of the unmarked graves. Search in your heart, what will be your calling? What will be your narrative at this historic moment in history?
Share your time with Indigenous communities in prayer, feasts, and ceremony. We have much work to do, and we will need to move forward with Ecumenical partners. If we are united in our work with and among ecumenical partners there is much we can accomplish. It is a historic time in the life of the church, and we seek to walk into a path of Reconciliation. Reach out and pray for one another and see what Jesus is calling you to do in your work, your ministry, and your church.
John Snow, Indigenous Minister, PMRC