The name of this column was developed by reflecting on many of the extraordinary events involving indigenous peoples over the past three years.
More and more people have experienced a spiritual awakening, an awakening born of the realization that, despite the years of bitter misery and oppression, mercy and grace might actually bring justice and reconciliation to Canada and to the People of the Land and Seas-the original inhabitants of this land. Out of this awakening, non-native people have asked the First Peoples, “What can we do?” The answer, every time I have heard it asked, is “Walk with us.”
So the name of this column has a lot of depth and its full meaning will unfold over time. But we can say this much at this point: it is an invitation of solemn grace that cannot be answered lightly by words. Instead, words of promise must now become attentiveness, commitment and dedication.
We should think about the times that people ask us to walk with them-at weddings and at funerals, during times of joy and times of sadness and pain. All of these are present in this invitation, in this undeserved honouring. It is a great moment for a church that has learned to regret its moments of arrogant disregard of gospel mandates.
So, the indigenous peoples of the Anglican Church of Canada are on a healing journey. There will be many moments of challenging truth as well as overwhelming joy.
Let us walk together.
Bishop Mark MacDonald is the first national indigenous Anglican bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada