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The devastating news of hundreds of unmarked graves and the remains of children has triggered pain and sorrow. So many Indigenous children never came home from the schools where they were forcibly taken, and the weight of the trauma that loss has wreaked in Indigenous communities, in which The Presbyterian Church in Canada shared a large role, is still causing intense harm today.
Creator God of love and justice, Comforter of those who mourn,
We have learned of more Indigenous children lost, more children who never were able to return to their families from schools they should never have been forced to attend in the first place. This news is devastating. We pray first for healing for the children’s families and communities, who are met again today with pain no one should ever have to bear.
We also acknowledge the actions of your church, our complicity in running residential schools and taking children like these, who were just found, from their families. We repent for the pain and ongoing harm we have caused, and ask for the will and wisdom to act to end that harm. We have asked for forgiveness and committed to work for healing and reconciliation. But we recognize that for many, that change came too late.
Comforting God, we pray for healing in the communities and families of all who experienced residential schools, comfort for all those grieving, and strength for all to pursue reconciliation.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada operated 11 residential schools and, in addition to the trauma of being forcibly taken from their homes, families, and communities, students faced abuse, neglect, non-consensual experimentation, increased illness and death. The church has confessed its role in running the schools and is seeking a path of reconciliation with Indigenous people (see this web page for the Confession, and a study guide to work through it.) But the trauma those schools caused for individuals, families and communities continues to significantly impact Indigenous people today. As a church, we are called to repentance and to action.
To learn more about the work of the National Indigenous Ministries Council (Indigenous ministries of the Presbyterian Church in Canada) see this web page.
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. Romans 12:4-8
We'd love to have you be as one with us. You’ll find a kind Christian community who cares about you, your family and our world.
Acknowledgement of Traditional Land
We acknowledge the land we are meeting on is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.