I received an email in late August asking if I would be interested in assisting the Messy Church team at St. George’s, Fort Saskatchewan with the planning and doing of an Indigenous based Messy Church. I immediately said, 'yes' and from that Messy Church Reconciliation came to be. We have now had two Messy Church Reconciliation events in the diocese: the one at St. George’s, Fort Saskatchewan and the other at Christ Church, Edmonton.
The Indigenous Ministry Initiative of the diocese has put together a team that has both interest and expertise in planning and implementing this for both the urban and rural parishes of our diocese. Our goal is to show both the joy of cultural experiences, as well as the seriousness of those experiences.
Messy Church Reconciliation gives parishes a chance to explore the context for reconciliation work and our church’s involvement and running of Indian Residential Schools. We also lay out our need to say, 'we are sorry' and our need to build new relationships between First Nations and settler people.
How do we this? Through acknowledging whose land we are on, the sharing of Cree Creation story, with Indigenous based crafts and games, by smudging together, by involving local First Nation leadership, by praying together. We do it by creating an experience through an Indigenous lens that is open and inclusive of all who come - from the little ones to the older ones.
If you are interested in having Messy Church Reconciliation at your parish, please contact Fiona Brownlee, Aboriginal and Rural Communities Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Rev. Nick Trussell at email@example.com