Learn from the healing circle
Re: “A spiritual movement” (Mar., p. 4)
What all aboriginal communities across Canada truly deserve is access to their traditional healing/sentencing circle.
Our criminal court system, where the judge sits elevated above the accused and the rest of the court, can be unproductive and even destructive. In the aboriginal healing/sentencing circle, everyone faces each other and has equal status. The accused is made to answer directly to those he has hurt. He hears and responds to his victim’s pain, and may in turn choose to express his own pain.
Our current adversarial justice system could learn from the healing/sentencing circle, especially when dealing with those who are already enduring a life affected by mental illness and/or substance abuse.
Frank G. Sterle, Jr.
White Rock, B.C.
Violating GS 2007
Re: CoGS backs Vision 2019 (Apr., p. 3)
Well done. One concern: recent actions in several liberal Canadian dioceses will hurt us as leaders in the Anglican Communion and in ecumenical actions. This report totally ignores the harm our actions have caused and the result they have of blocking achievement of this aspect of our vision. We are violating General Synod 2007, the Anglican Communion and our ecumenical partners!
Breach of Trust
B.C. diocesan bishop James Cowan has complained of breaches of trust within this diocese by churches splitting up over theological issues. In the diocesan handbook for parish treasurers, directions are given regarding gifts received for special purposes and known as pass-through funds. “Unreasonable delay in forwarding gifts or using them for some other purpose is a breach of trust,” it states. Not only, it goes on, would it be morally wrong, but may also be a criminal offence.
Many of the parishes on this island were started and endowed by a gift of land so that there might be a church. Surely disestablishing that church and taking its land and endowments to support other parishes or pay diocesan debts is as gross a breach of trust. Such a scheme stands condemned by the diocese’s own rules.
Cobble Hill, B.C.
Tribute to all women
While the Anglican Award of Merit is greatly appreciated, I think it important to see it as a tribute to all women who have kept along the path of service. In the past I have been honoured by an ethics award and by Anglican women at the UN, but this is different, and I think it represents not one woman but all who give to issues of justice.
The Anglican Consultative Council has set a goal of equal numbers of women and men on policy making units throughout the entire Communion. The church would be less than one-half its membership and greatly diminished in hundreds of ways were it not for women. I have had the privilege of meeting them in large urban areas, in convents, on remote reserves, and in rural townships. Outside of Canada others have fled for their lives in times of violence, or walked dangerous miles from their villages to obtain water for just one more day, or dared to speak out against political oppression.
For all the unsung women whose gifts sustain us all, and for the men who work with them, thanks, this is their Award of Merit too.
M. Elizabeth Loweth