Sept 30- Orange Shirt Day, National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. This federal statutory holiday gives us a chance to recognize and commemorate the intergenerational harm that residential schools caused to Indigenous families and communities, and to honour those who have been affected by this injustice.

The ‘Orange Shirt’ originates from Phyllis Jack Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation who attended St. Joseph Mission Residential School. On her first day of school, Phyllis wore an orange shirt that her grandmother had given her. It was immediately taken away, and that marked the beginning of Phyllis’s long separation from her family and community, a separation caused by actions of the church and federal government.

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Help Support relief efforts in Haiti

The need is great right now in Haiti after the second major earthquake to hit in 10 years. There are many agencies helping in the relief.

One is our United Church. Read about the efforts and a link to a donation page at United Church info and donation link. Donations will be matched by our Federal Government.

The second link is through the Non-Profit ‘ Humanitarian Coalition’ , which is an association of 12 agencies. Donations will be matched by the Federal Government Humaitarian Coalition link

United Church’s response to the Kamloops graves

This information may be traumatic for residential school survivors. If you are feeling pain or distress because of your residential school experiences, please call the free 24-hour crisis line: 1-866-925-4419. You can also call the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310. It’s toll-free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Message to People of The United Church of Canada

Grace and Peace to you.

Since the announcement of the discovery of the undocumented and unmarked remains of 215 children on the grounds of Kamloops Residential School, we have received many messages of sorrow, concern, and outrage from members of the church.

We share these feelings.

We have also been asked many questions about the United Church’s intentions regarding burial sites and missing children, about the sharing of our residential schools records, and about our response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Many biblical passages remind us of the importance of working together for peace and justice. We would like to take this opportunity to answer your questions so that together we can honour all those affected by the residential schools system, and live up to our obligations as a participant in it.

The United Church of Canada operated 15 of the residential schools covered Continue reading “United Church’s response to the Kamloops graves”