Ordination Stole – finished!

Remember this mess?DSC_0048

Shortly after Christmas I had a number of projects in various stages of completion.  I crossed another off the list this past weekend.  March 10th the lay missionary at Chetwynd Shared Ministry was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  The Presbytery of Peace River decided to give her a stole as an ordination gift (at my suggestion).  I had the ‘top’ almost completed when I stumbled upon a blog that listed a block as ‘Fruits of the Spirit’, which coincided with much of the liturgy.  So I decided at almost the last-minute to use that block as the reverse for the stole.  Not surprisingly, this created a challenge to meet the deadline.  She was very pleased with the gift, having stated in the meeting prior to the service that she intended to petition the quilting group in her congregation to sew one for her.

This is the front of the stole.  It appears like an inordinate amount of work, but with a little thinking outside the box I managed to reduce the frustration of sewing countless little squares together.


This is the reverse.  In many ways it was a great project to use up scraps and pieces left over from other projects. It is the first project that I attempted free motion quilting on the entire piece.  It didn’t quite turn out as well as I would have liked.  The leaves were supposed to be palm branches.  Okay for the first time.  I’m confident I will improve.

Numbers 27: 15 Moses said to the LORD, 16 “May the LORD, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”  18 So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. 19 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. 20 Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him.

June 8, 2008 Thinking about tomorrow

Tomorrow is my first day at Anishinabe. On the 11th of this month, Wednesday, the government of Canada is issuing an apology to First Nations people for the legacy of the Residential School System. All the communications media are flooded with stories and opinions about the past and the expectations for the apology. I am going to be in a unique place to observe this momentous occasion when Prime Minister Harper speaks on behalf of the Canadian government.

I have actually just returned from Ottawa. I was there for a week to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church as a resource person on behalf of St. Andrew’s Hall and Vancouver School of Theology. While there I had a disturbing conversation with my sister’s coworkers, members of the RCMP. The attitudes towards First Nation’s people was alarming, sterotypical and less than humane. How can relationships improve when some people (professions?) have such a disregard for a segment of our society?! I asked one why he wanted to be a police officer. “To do good and fight evil!” was his response. I came away wondering what his conception of evil was…

It’s all very discouraging to think that those hired to ‘serve and protect’ would treat people that way and expect society to become ‘good’!

I expect the coming week is going to become a very emotionally charged experience.

June 7, 2008 An Introduction

I am a second year theology student at Vancouver School of Theology, an affiliate college of the University of British Columbia. I am doing my final field unit at Anishinabe Place of Hope, a mission of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, operating in the inner city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is a 20 unit residence that offers safe housing for people serious about staying alcohol, drug and substance free, upgrading education and seeking gainful employment. The residents are predominantly First Nations. On Sundays there is a worship service. Monday to Thursdays there is also a drop in center that provides coffee, shelter from the elements, advocacy, emergency food kits, linens, a local telephone line, information on various social agencies, councelling, occasionally a hot meal, and so much more. I invite you to drop by once in awhile and discover the “so much more.”