Ancient Hebrew herders would gather at night around a fire and tell stories. Often they were stories about their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Stories about how Abraham was promised a land by God, and the improbable, perhaps miraculous way that that promise was fulfilled when the Hebrew people took possession of the land of Israel.
Many centuries later, and thousands of kilometers away, the hunters and warriors of the Plains Cree would gather around a fire and tell stories. They were stories passed on from their ancestors about how human community developed on Turtle Island, and the evolution of the Clan culture, and how the ceremonies celebrating the seasons came around.
Many years later, the Presbyterian immigrants brought their stories of rescuing the church of Jesus Christ from the abuses of the Catholics, and surviving the oppression of the English aristocracy, and through faith and entrepreneurial spirit, they were determined to create vibrant community in a new land. And at the same time the Methodists, the English church of the working class, followed the workers, and established missions to the Indigenous, and shelters for the poor, and claimed to be the church for the forgotten and dispossessed.
Then, in the spirit of the age of unity Canada’s confederation dovetailed with the uniting of the major protestant churches to create what was called “The Church With the Soul of a Nation”.
What are your memories of the United Church? What did your grandparents tell you?
Today we are creating new stories of faith. What do you imagine the story of Jesus will be going forward? I invite you to respond with your thought and stories to PrairieSpiritUC@shaw.ca.
Let’s create a new story.