The tri-chairs of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) circulated the following message to Council members on March 26, 2020, regarding the special Sacred Circle gathering planned for June 2020.
Dear brothers and sisters of ACIP:
Grace and peace to you from God the Father His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. As we write, our communities are facing the challenges of living with a pandemic that forces us indoors and brings on self isolation and social distancing measures to combat the COVID-19 virus. Some communities have taken drastic actions such as a lock down, not allowing visits to the community. It is for many a time of great uncertainty, anxiety and even fear.
As tri-chairs of ACIP we recognize the importance of keeping our folks safe so we can be there for our families, our children and grandchildren. As a result, we met with Archbishop Mark, Ginny Doctor and Teresa Mandricks who agreed to consult widely about our planning for the coming months.
After meeting with the Indigenous House of Bishops Leadership Circle and members of ACIP by way of teleconference, we discerned the right thing to do is to postpone our scheduled meeting of ACIP in Toronto and the planned Sacred Circle in June in Orillia, Ontario. We will meet as ACIP again on April 8 at 4pm ET. You will receive the reminder emails shortly including instructions for accessing the conference call.
Meantime we will recall we are an Easter people in this time of Lent. The dark road of suffering and challenge is not new to us. Instead, it is in this time we seek deeper relationships with Jesus and with each other through prayer, by phone and Internet. Archbishop Mark reminds us to engage the Gospel everyday using Gospel Based Discipleship. Also, he reminds clergy to be faithful in reading morning and evening prayer. Where possible, clergy should celebrate the Eucharist on Sundays and Feast days with family and others as appropriate. Keep it small, keep it at home. There are many clergy who are offering church services on the internet and if you are interested we can provide you with a number of resources. Now, more than ever, we need to embrace our technology and stay in contact. Please pray for Indigenous communities and for our leaders affected by this pandemic, that this dark road we are on will lead to new life, that the light of Christ will become stronger in each of us and that we all know we are not alone. Soon, we will once again shout “Alelluia! Christ is risen!”
Yours in Christ,
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