The focus of "Giving with Grace," the Anglican Church of Canadas annual fundraising campaign, in 2017 will be to replenish the church's fund for Indigenous healing, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has announced.
In a five-page pastoral letter to Canadian Anglicans on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, Hiltz first discusses the meaning of Epiphany, which, he notes, means literally a manifesting or showing forth, and is meant to suggest the glory of Jesus as it was revealed to the nations of the world.
In Epiphany, Hiltz says, we trace the steps of the Holy Child's growth through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood. In these stages, he says, "we come to know the power of his love to heal and reconcile, to re-set our relations, one with another, in the wondrous grace of God."
In 2017, Hiltz continues, Epiphany lasts until the end of February. In these two months, he says, "if we listen carefully we will hear his invitation to show forth that same gospel in the manner of our living, particularly through the vows of our baptism."
Hiltz's letter notes a slew of anniversaries that will be commemorated in 2017. One, he says, is the 150th Anniversary of Confederation. Citing the Prayer for the Nation in the Book of Alternative Services--"Make us who come from many nations with many different languages a united people"--Hiltz says there is now great hope that the contributions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people to the fabric of Canada will be recognized, "and that where that fabric has been torn, we will have more resolve than ever to mend it."
The 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the legacy of the Indian residential schools, Hiltz says, declare what Canada needs to do as a country. He asks for Anglicans to pray that the prime minister, Parliament and churches of Canada respond adequately to these calls.
For its part, Hiltz says, the Anglican Church of Canada expects to appoint, in a few weeks, a full-time staff person who will be entirely dedicated to fostering reconciliation work between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
Hiltz also notes that both Giving with Grace (formerly known as the Anglican Appeal) and the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation--established to fund programs that promote healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans--will be 25 years old in 2017. This convergence of anniversaries, he says, presents an opportunity...