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Words of Wisdom

by Rev. Joan Kessler

Proverbs 8:22-31

Today we commemorate Orange Shirt Sunday, and as a community we recommit ourselves to learning about our past history with Indigenous peoples. Why is this work so important to the United Church of Canada? This year, I invite us to look at a significant part of our church history that has shaped us to who we profess to be today.

Back in 1981, at a meeting of the General Council, the highest court of the church, Alberta Billy from a First Nation in British Columbia, asked for an apology from the United Church of Canada over how the institution treated her people and had participated in running Residential Schools. Her bold and brave request charted the course for the United Church. Alberta Billy passed away in June of this year, but I want us to take the next few minutes to listen to an interview she gave about what happened at a church gathering back in 1981 and the events that followed:

From: Truly and Humbly: Memories of the First Apology