A PAOC Response to the Kamloops Tragedy
The Fellowship of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada is profoundly moved and grieved at the recent discovery of the loss of life for 215 children under the residential school system. As a nation we have all been forced to revisit sins of the past, as though they happened just yesterday. The feelings are raw, emotions run deep, and there are no quick and easy answers.
Words do not come easy (nor should they) and profound proclamations are not needed … but the Spirit’s presence is. And so, in His Spirit, we desire to stand with the Indigenous community in this time of horrific tragedy. And we hurt because humanity hurts.
On May 9, 2012, The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, along with its Aboriginal leadership, nationally expressed a commitment to mutual covenant relationship, recognizing that reconciliatory efforts are not one-time events but ongoing encounters that we must walk together in every day. As 2 Corinthians 5:18 declares, we have all been given the ministry of reconciliation. It is with this commission of ministry in full view that The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada takes a humble stance, posturing ourselves to listen and lament with the brokenhearted. To be willing to help bear the burden and journey with those who feel a deep sense of loss.
We encourage our pastors, leaders, and congregational members, our brothers and sisters in Christ, to take active steps to listen and learn along with us. And with saddened and troubled spirits at this recent discovery of such tragedy, we pray for the Indigenous community today. And we pray for our nation of Canada during this time of reckoning. Full healing and reconciliation can only come when we are first reconciled to God in Christ. Reconciled with God we are able to demonstrate love for God and love for our Indigenous neighbours through the tangible steps of action our Creator leads us to take.
May His peace and comfort reign in our lives and in the lives that have suffered such a great loss.
Rev. David Wells
Rev. Dan Collado
Chair, Mission Canada Indigenous Guiding Group