September 30 marked Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In recognition of this day, ACTS Seminaries faculty, staff and students participated in the Day of Community Learning organized by Trinity Western University. We spent time learning about indigenous history, listening to the experiences of indigenous people in Canada, and mourning together the discovery of countless unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada.
As Christ-followers, it is particularly appropriate that we join in learning about these initiatives, promote the voices that have been silenced and commit ourselves to walking well with our First Nations brothers and sisters. We would like to share some reflections from various members of the ACTS community as they participated in these activities on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
I attended virtually but was deeply moved by the stage that featured so many meaningful elements full of symbolism and significance. I soaked in the sounds of the drums visualizing mothers and fathers grieving for their children. As a mother, I cried with the mothers’ hearts during the video representation of the children who never came home. And the stories! Such power in personal journeys when they are shared in truth and honesty.
The messages were compelling and convicting, propelling me forward as I continue to reflect.
- Liisa Polkki, Director of Enrolment – ACTS Seminaries
The TWU National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th was a very significant and deeply moving event—a remarkable first step. But how it was significant will depend upon where it moves us in the days ahead. We were reminded several times that it’s the journey after the first step that will ultimately tell.
- Brian Rapske, Professor of New Testament – NBS/ACTS Seminaries
New things are hard. And hard things are hard. But what is there of real value in our lives that is easy?
Two of the most challenging and difficult things in my life, but at the same time valuable and life-giving, have been the scripture and people. On the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, I received instruction from the scriptures by Chief Andrew Victor, challenging me to live up to the clear call of Jesus in the gospels. And I spent time with elders who shared their experience as survivors of the residential school system and the 60’s scoop. What amazed and humbled me was the desire, not for revenge, but for right relationship. I was grateful to take this first step in relationship and look forward to continuing in the journey.
- Ryan Klassen, Executive Director – ACTS Seminaries