This article has been reposted from mykawartha.com.
It’s important for the church to embrace the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Join us as we seek the truth and lasting reconciliation, at the Walking the Good Way Together conference, Oct. 19 and 20 at the Selwyn Outreach Centre, writes Rev. Brad Peters
I have always had a healthy respect for the separation of Church and State.
And, I find the older that I get and the more that I learn, that healthy respect only grows healthier. That being said, there is one government initiative that I not only wholeheartedly endorse, I also feel that it is incumbent on all Christ-followers and churches to embrace, and it’s the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
So, as a column writer, I find myself in uncomfortable territory. As a writer, I’ve promised myself (and the editors of this paper) that my privileged space would never be used as a platform for “what’s happening at the church this week.” Those columns do little to foster conversation and, to be honest, are of very little value to anyone outside of the church.
Those who take the time to read this column regularly will know that I’m intentional about presenting ideas that encourage and provoke discussion, because I believe that the societal issues of our day deserve to be viewed from a faith perspective.
Thankfully, I’m proud to belong to an association of Baptist churches, the Trent-Valley Association, that has a similar perspective and has heard the great need for genuine conversation about the issues of truth and reconciliation, in light of the TRC report, and, of course, its immediate impact on the area in which we live.
Truth and reconciliation. If there were ever two concepts that the church should embrace, surely these two are near the top of the list. In fact, when you consider the teachings of Jesus Christ, for the church, truth and reconciliation really define who we are, as so much of Christ’s instruction and mission were about truth and reconciling all people to God.
When you factor in that, as the Canadian community, we are finally viewing truth and reconciliation in regard to our Indigenous Peoples, the Walking the Good Way Together conference is exactly what our area needs.
But the strength of this conference comes not just from the fact that it exists, or that the organizers have been working at putting it together for well over a year, but the strength comes from the way in which the event is structured.
This is not the church or faith community telling the larger community what we need to do; this conference is inviting others in to listen and to learn from gifted and passionate Indigenous scholars and leaders.
Proving again that Scripture really does speak to all situations in all ages, one of the theme passages for this conference comes from Jeremiah 6:16: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Join us as we seek the truth and lasting reconciliation, at the Walking the Good Way Together conference, Oct. 19 and 20 at the Selwyn Outreach Centre.
Rev. Brad Peters is the senior pastor of Murray Street Baptist Church, 175 Murray Street. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-745-4376.