Canadians to update ECUSA on schools

Published October 1, 2003

A residential schools update will be sent to the Episcopal Church of the United States as its executive council members prepare to vote this fall on a proposal to send General Synod a million-dollar gift, said Archbishop Michael Peers, the Canadian primate. “ We’ll write to them and include more material on what is happening,” he said, referring to ongoing litigation, the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proposal, and an update on the Anglican Church of Canada’s New Agape program. If granted, the funds will go to a national church restoration fund, not the settlement fund, he emphasized. The U.S. and Canadian churches have had an ongoing dialogue over residential schools for the past several years, he said. Archbishop Peers’ last update was a special presentation to ECUSA’s House of Bishops on July 31 during that church’s General Convention in Minneapolis. Archbishop Peers’ presentation focused on two elements: the national church’s Aboriginal Healing Fund and the restoration of funds for mission. The latter involves ideas to replace funds used by dioceses and General Synod in residential schools litigation. The agreement the church reached with the federal government also requires the establishment of a $25-million settlement fund to which both General Synod and each of the 30 dioceses must contribute. Archbishop Peers said he was gratified by the positive reaction he received from the U.S. House of Bishops. “ I’ve spoken to them twice before, he said, “and they have always asked ‘how can we help.’”


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