I mentioned last week that we’re ringing bells from our steeple. Unfortunately, they’re not real bells – it’s a recording that we play through speakers. If we had a real bell, then we could ring it a set number of times. As it is, we can only play our bell recording for an appropriate amount of time. There’s nothing wrong with this, and we won’t stop doing it – the bells will continue to ring as outlined elsewhere.
But there’s more to reconciliation, and to moving towards healing past wounds, than ringing bells. Today I met with the staff worker at the local Friendship Centre – I’m not unknown at the Friendship Centre, which helped (I think). The Friendship Centre hosts a French pre-school that we had Adriana in, and have now had Ashleigh in for two years – 3.5 years total, that we’ve been taking our children there. The man who owned and ran the organization when we started there, with whom the woman who currently runs it worked, was a friend. Interestingly, he had grown up in the parish that my father is now the rector of. He passed away a few years ago, and I officiated at his funeral.
So I met with Carol, at the Friendship Centre, and we set up a meeting for next Wednesday. This gives us a week to gather a few community figures to join us at that meeting. When the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission came out last week, there were 94 action recommendations included. The plan is that we will look through these items and consider how we might start to effect change in Swift Current. Because it is at the local level that wheels need to be put on reconciliation between peoples, between cultures, in our society.
May God be with us in these efforts to create a lasting unity in this nation.