National Aboriginal Day June 21: Find an event near you

Many groups have called on the federal government to make June 21 a national holiday, so that all Canadians can celebrate and learn alongside Indigenous communities.  We aren’t there yet, unfortunately (something to bring up with your Member of Parliament!).  But all who are able to take some time to attend events the week of June 21st  are encouraged to do so as an act of education and reconciliation.

The Office of the Treaty Commissioner has a number of events listed, many of which include local United Church participation: http://www.otc.ca/events

Saskatchewan Aboriginal Friendship Centres offer many events as well and can help direct you to local events: http://www.afcs.ca/

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Blanket Exercise in Regina on June 1

Join us June 1 from 2:30 onwards at Christ Lutheran Church in Regina for the Blanket Exercise, an interactive experience that explores the impact of the history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Without knowing our shared history, we cannot come to reconciliation.

All welcome, no matter your age or identity! The church is wheelchair accessible.

Please share the poster and our Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/568729493304121/

This will be our SK Conference annual meeting education event.

Affirming Sunday Resource for May 1

This May 1st, honour inclusivity by using our Affirming Sunday resources in worship.  Eastside United in Regina has written resources for us this year. Click here to see the resource.

Being an “Affirming” United Church means fulling including LGBTQ people and communities in the entire life and work of our church. Saskatchewan Conference is Affirming, and has an additional ten Affirming ministries within. Several others are in process.

Holding an Affirming worship this May, or at any other time, sends a crucial message of welcome and support to a community that is too often excluded from church circles.

To find out more about becoming Affirming, see the Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble website: http://affirmunited.ause.ca/affirming-ministries/

The Intercultural Network welcomes new supporters! To get in touch with co-conveners Cindy Bourgeois and Yvonne Terry, email Julie Graham at jgraham@skconf.ca

Courageous Witness

Courageous Witness: River Bend Presbytery article on visit with Korean partner congregation

River Bend Presbytery is an Affirming ministry in central Saskatchewan. Last fall they sent a delegation to South Korea as part of their many years of mutual work on deepening their relationship with Incheon Presbytery of the United Church of Canada’s global partner, the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK).  They met with the SumDol Hyanglin Church, one of the very few congregations in the PROK to fully welcome gender and sexual minorities.  Rev. Laura Fouhse’s shares the story of this courageous congregation here; read a very sobering overview of LGBTQ+ rights in South Korea here.

Affirm United Jan-Feb 2016 Newsletter

Have a look at Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble’s January-February newsletter, and its news and resources from around the country and across the church. Of special interest to Saskatchewan Conference: Our own Rev. Cindy Bourgeois and Wesley United Church in Regina are featured!
Here’s the link: http://us9.campaign-archive1.com/?u=cc608c73f94333ec58cfbfdf2&id=5e8afe8abd&e=64a383ad17

You can subscribe directly to the newsletter through Affirm’s website: http://affirmunited.ause.ca/sign-up-for-our-newsletter/

Julie Graham
Program Staff for Education and Mission
Saskatchewan Conference, The United Church of Canada
jgraham@skconf.ca
Home office: 306-244-2157
www.sk.united-church.ca

Participate in the Blanket Exercise

Explore the 500 year relationship between indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples through an experiential activity and conversation.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016   from 1:30 to 3:30pm
Queen’s House of Retreat & Renewal Centre
601 Taylor St. W., Saskatoon, SK

If you are planning to attend, please contact us at director@ccforum.ca  by January 26 so we can have a good estimate of participant numbers.

Optional Conversation to follow:
Theology and Culture from 3:45 – 4:45pm
Building on the Blanket Exercise and other experiences, an opportunity to reflect on how culture shapes theology as people of faith relate across cultural differences.

Blanket Exercise facilitators:  Julie Graham and Dory Cook.  The Blanket Exercise was
developed by the Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC), one of ten ecumenical coalitions the churches brought together to form KAIROS in 2001.
Sponsored by Canadian Churches Forum www.ccforum.ca

This opportunity, open to the wider public, is a part of the week long program, “Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry”  www.ccforum.ca/DUIM   Can’t make it to this event?  To bring the Blanket Exercise to your community, contact Saskatchewan Conference Mission and Education staff Julie Graham at jgraham@skconf.ca

For a poster for this event, please click here .

Meeting Acknowledgements

Saskatchewan Conference encourages congregations, pastoral charges and presbyteries to include two acknowledgements at the beginning of their meetings/worship services.

The first acknowledgement should be regarding the traditional territories and treaty land that we are situated on.  To facilitate that we have included a map to help determine your location in relationship to the Treaties Areas .  For information about the language group, which will give you whose traditional territory you live on, please check out one of these links:

Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre   (maps coming soon to this site)

Saskatchewan GenWeb   (please scoll down to the Aboriginal – First Nations – Native section)

Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan 

The other acknowledgement is around being an Affirming Conference. The following is included in the minutes of Conference Executive minutes:

And so we also acknowledge that Saskatchewan Conference is an Affirming Conference of The United Church of Canada as one that embraces diversity and strives to include and be a safe place for all people regardless of age, gender, race, culture, education, ability, economic status, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Please feel free to contact the Conference Office, at 306-721-3311 or  bdiebert@skconf.ca    if you have any questions.