Decorative collection boxes at St. Jude’s in Oakville, Ont. Photo: Contributed
A young Cree man from Alberta is the first recipient to benefit from a $1,000 scholarship from the parishioners of Oakville’s St. Jude’s parish.
The Cree, who says that it “was a long journey” to reach this place in his life, has just entered his first year at the University of Toronto.
The scholarship was the brainchild of Faith Banton who envisioned an annual scholarship to be presented to an Aboriginal student entering a university or a college. The only prerequisite designated was a “real need” for the financial gift.
“Loonie Toonie Sunday is a way to revisit the Great Commandment, Mark 12: 30-31 and the Great Commission, Mark 28: 18-20,” says Banton, who created four decorative Loonie Toonie Sunday collection boxes. “Perhaps, the original missionaries had these two thoughts in mind, but ‘got a lot wrong.’ So, Loonie Toonie Sunday is a way to try again and hopefully ‘get the loving and the sharing and the learning more right.’ “
The money was raised by hosting a Loonie Toonie Sunday collection three times in the church year: vestry, church picnic and feast Sunday in the fall.
Parishioners were asked to donate loonies or toonies that they could part with in these unsure economic times, and as always, the St. Jude’s community addressed the need and donated generously.
The facilitators of Loonie Toonie Sunday feel that this initiative is one worthy to expand into other parishes-citing a host of churches participating in Loonie Toonie Sundays would go a long way to heal the emotional wounds of aboriginal people; they believe education can do that.
Any parishes wishing to conduct their own Loonie Toonie Sundays, but need some pointers can contact Len Fortune at [email protected] or 905 842 0246.