Interest in the reflections for the Outdoor Way of the Cross 2015 prompt me to post the following. First is the instructions for developing a reflection then an example.
GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPING A “ STATION” 2015
Time Frame: 3 – 5 minutes for the entire spoken part of the station, EXCLUDING the song.
2015 Theme: Justice and Reconciliation!
Scripture Passage: All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” NRSV
The walk needs to be completed in 2 hours so each station must be no longer than 5 minutes. It helps to have no more than 2 or 3 people involved in the speaking. It is also encouraged that there be gender balance and youth involvement where possible and appropriate.
Each speaker must speak SLOWLY AND LOUDLY into the microphone. Practice your part out loud and time it.
PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING OUTLINE TO DEVELOP THE PRESENTATION AT YOUR STATION:
1. The opening statement at the station should Name the station, the location and the focus: eg. Station 1 is here at the Marion Centre where the hungry are fed a warm meal and welcomed with Christian hospitality on a daily basis. Here we will reflect on (name the focus for this station within the context of the general Theme).
2. The structure for developing the reflection at each station is 3-fold: Name the Pain, Proclaim the Hope, Issue the Challenge. It may be developed in a way similar to this:
A Reflection (Name the pain) Example:
- Describe the situation of brokenness and pain that needs reconciliation with respect to the particular focus for your station. What is the experience? What is the cause? What faith values are being affirmed by this situation? Which are being denied or compromised? Stories and factual information may be helpful.
- Where possible, try to use a couple of examples of work being done to heal the pain, bring reconciliation….
B Scripture Reading: (Proclaim the hope – the Good News)
Perhaps choose a scripture reading that speaks to the issue and calls us to our Christian responsibility to fulfill our ministry of reconciliation by taking up the Cross and work for justice.
C Prayers: (Issue the Challenge) Compose 2 or 3 prayers. If you want the people to respond to each prayer, tell them what you want them to say.. Eg: “Lord, hear our prayer: or “Hear our prayer, O God “
You may wish to focus each of the prayers as follows:
One focused on the past (perhaps asking forgiveness for our inaction in the past and praying for all those who have been victims of injustice)
One focused on the present (praying for all those currently suffering …and calling on all Christians and people of good will to share their resources and whatever…..
One focused on the future perhaps praying for the next generation to take up the Cross and create a world based on justice and peace and reconciliation…
- 3. Song: The planning committee and music team will choose the songs for each station. If you have a strong preference for a particular song, please contact ———- . In order to obtain copyright permission, we need your selection by March 4, 2015.
4. NOTE: IMPORTANT Please provide a copy of your reflections (your message, scripture, and prayers to ———– by March 27, 2015.
I was asked to participate this year and this is my participation.
STATION 7, 2015 Ambrose Place, 9629 106 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 0N5
Welcome to Ambrose Place, station # 7.
This is the first development for Niginan Housing Ventures where people of Indigenous descent who are facing a multitude of challenges, can find healing and restoration. They have a home, a community that supports them, a feeling of control over their lives, and the opportunity to be inspired to be who Creator made them to be – Indigenous people. They have a ceremonial room, sacred space where they can connect with Creator spending time in prayer, healing, and building community. This came about through hard work of passionate and determined people, through many partnerships of Indigenous and settler groups, with faith and hope.
The focus at this station is Indigenous and settler people together for justice and reconciliation.
How did it get this way? So many Indigenous people still hurting, living far from Creators plan for them. The pain is that Indigenous people were assaulted at the deepest levels.
Very briefly, when settler groups came to North America, they discovered people and resources. In order to exploit the land and resources, they had to deal with the people who were living here, the Indigenous people. The easiest way to do this in supposedly ‘good conscience’ was to declare the Indigenous people as heathens and savages who needed to be saved and taken care of. So the assault began and effectually has never stopped.
The hope is that Creator has not abandoned us and our Indigeneity is still in our genetics. No one can take that away. Our spirit can be restored and renewed from brokenness and hopelessness.
The hope is that some settler people acknowledge the assault and have taken responsibility as citizens of Canada. They realize their prosperity has come at the hands of the identity and the very lives of Indigenous people.
The hope is that forming more partnerships and doing more to restore Indigenous people, as much as possible to their pre-contact health and well-being can not only address injustice but usher in the blessing of God.
I remind you of Proverbs 11:3-6
3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.
4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.
Let us Pray, Great Creator, Forgive us as a nation for continuing to exploit this part of Turtle Island and oppress the original inhabitants. Forgive us as individuals for the darkness we allow to rule our heart toward Indigenous people.
We pray Creator in particular for the survivors of residential school. We ask you to revive their spirits and restore hope and joy. Help those on their healing journey to stay the course and those who are lost in woundedness to be inspired to newness of life. We ask you to reveal to our spirits what our capacity is to be a partner in reconciliation, restitution and justice. Lord we ask you to prick the conscience of those who choose to follow a path of destruction, especially towards Indigenous people.
Reveal your mercy and truth to the younger generations of Indigenous people, particularly those who are estranged from family. Heal their spirit and put an urgent desire in their heart for wholeness. Cause those with a hard heart to release anger, bitterness and hopelessness and increase their capacity for healing.
We thank you Creator for the healing we see every day. Open our eyes to the wonder and healing virtue in your creation. Thank you in advance for the miracles of healing, restoration, reconciliation and redemption in all peoples living in this great land. Help us to be more responsible citizens both on the earth and in your kingdom. Cause peace, love, joy and shalom rule our hearts.
And a word to Indigenous people, “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. In Jesus name Amen.