Solid Start to Building Bridges at First Wesley United Church
THUNDER BAY – First Wesley United Church on Brodie Street in downtown Fort William is reaching out into the community. On Sunday, the church community started their service hearing about how residential school, and intergenerational residential school has impacted people.
Amanda Perreault addressed the congregation and shared some of her story with the group. The congregation received the message in a spirit of engagement and listening.
The Church is looking to reach out and make amends for some of the mistakes of the past. It represents a positive step forward for the church and for the community as well.
Sunday’s service continued at Paterson Park with a neighbourhood picnic that exceeded organizer’s expectations. They had so many people stop by that they ran out of hotdogs. However there was something for everyone and people were all able to gather and meet.
United Church Moves Forward
The First Wesley United Church is reaching out as part of a national effort from the United Church of Canada. The Church states that “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission unveiled a history that is not simply about misguided and profoundly abusive attempts to assimilate Indigenous peoples.
“It also revealed a colonial legacy that continues to this day, making itself known in inequities and injustices in areas as far-ranging as education and child welfare, violence against women, and violation of treaty and nation-to-nation rights in the face of resource extraction on Indigenous lands. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has confirmed for Canada that the path towards reconciliation is also unquestionably the path towards justice”.
In receiving the final Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and through resolution at General Council 42, the Church has committed itself to an agenda for reconciliation and justice.
The efforts of the church are not stopping with a single Sunday, already the Church Council is looking to support the Bear Patrol which has started in Thunder Bay, and are looking for more ways to reach out and help in downtown Thunder Bay.
The efforts are off to a solid and positive start.
Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day and the Chiefs of Ontario are also working on programs and efforts to ensure that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the 94 recommendations that Senator Murray Sinclair and the Commission brought forward are implemented.
Chief Day states, The TRC talks about what happened to our people as a result of colonialism, and our children”.
“We are at a point in time where we can move forward with the social mending and healing in our communities”, added Chief Day.