Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Uniting community through prayer

Joyce Sasse = It was an honour to be invited to a “Community Day of Prayer” at the Piikani Nation. Time had been set aside by the Elders’ Society and the Faith Communities of the Reserve during Aboriginal Week. The intention was to help participants focus on holding fast to spiritual truths. They were supported by leaders of various community wellness programs.

The theme for the gathering was “Uniting Community Through Prayer”. As participants read scripture and led in prayer, each gave a brief testimonial about distress they had face, and told how support of family, community and their faith in Christ helped them survive.

The theme speaker drew particular attention to the commandment to honour our parents. He looked directly at the High School students in the front row and didn’t pull any punches. What kind of parents will you be? Girls don’t get pregnant on their own! And even if you don’t have a father-figure present in your life, think about how important that role is. Beware of drugs! Act responsibly and with integrity. Be proud to be who you are. Think through the teachings of your elders.

A second speaker, against the backdrop of the Truth and Reconciliation theme, pointed out how “Our People” had the stamina to survive through those seven generations of agony. Against the greatest of odds they proved their fortitude. He beamed as he looked at the students. You are our future! You make us proud! I feel very hopeful for our future.

The Elders, too, were reminded about the importance of their role in transmitting the cultural and spiritual truths to their children and grandchildren – to the next fifty generations.

I too was filled with appreciation and hope. But I was a little envious that I have not recently heard similar unified sentiments share in my non-aboriginal community by our elders and faith leaders.

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