“Not a new initiative but a step in a journey already begun”
June 1, 2014 will mark a major milestone in the journey of establishing of a self-determining, self-sustaining Indigenous church within the Anglican Church of Canada.
That day the Metropolitan of Rupert’s Land, the Most Reverend David Ashdown acting on the resolution of the Provincial Synod of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land and with the concurrence of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, will officially proclaim the newest diocese in the Anglican Church.
This new diocese which will be known as the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh will encompass over twenty-five First Nations communities in Northwestern Ontario and Northern Manitoba. Its structures and program will be uniquely aboriginal in that it will be an expression of Indigenous self-determination within the Anglican Church, committed to upholding the tradition, order, and discipline of the Church, expressing that commitment in a manner that is consistent with the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Indigenous people of the region.
The Proclamation will set off a week of special events centred in Kingfisher Lake First Nation which will include the first meeting of the Sacred Gathering, the governing body of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh on June 3, with special presentations and nightly gospel jamborees spread out over five days.
The Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa will be formally installed as the first Bishop of Mishamikoweesh on June 4, the 93rd anniversary of the birth of the Venerable Dr. William Winter who died March 31, 2011, having devoted his life to pursuing the dream, carried by the elders for over six decades, of a self-determining, self-sustaining Indigenous church within the Anglican Church of Canada. Under his leadership the people chose to move carefully and prayerfully along the journey to make that dream a reality. William and the other elders repeatedly cautioned patience, knowing that everything must be done according to God’s time. To mark this occasion and to honour the dream, the Anglican Foundation of Canada and the Council of the North are sponsoring a gathering of elders from across the new diocese in Kingfisher Lake during the week of celebration.
For more information on the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh and the events planned to celebrate its birth, please contact the Mission House, Kingfisher Lake, ON 807-532-2085 or Bishop Lydia Mamkawa at [email protected]
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