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Praying For Healing as Graves Emerge

Still frame of footage showing the Kamloops Indian Residential School, circa 1937.

Still frame of footage showing the Kamloops Indian Residential School, circa 1937.

My main vocation is to pray. So is yours, as a follower of Christ.

And I admit, as some of you would, that praying is hard. List for me all the ways prayer has been difficult for you, and I’ll list you mine: no time, don’t know how, guilt, Is he even listening?, laziness, more guilt, plain unbelief. Guilt.

But I’m not going to let up or give up. The Spirit repeats to me more than once, with grace, that prayer is the only way. The only way to know God, to know myself, to live alive-full in him. Praying opens up the glory of God, the beauty of God, the wonder of God to my weary, wayward, temperamental heart.

But the field of prayer is much wider than my own heart. Yes, in prayer the depth of my soul communes with the awesome depth of God’s love and mercy. But prayer is also expansive and all-encompassing. Praying like Jesus crosses borders, reaches through dividing walls, embraces history. Praying as Jesus did willfully receives the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. And this is perhaps the most challenging thing about prayer. To pray not just for my own sake, but for the sake of others.

This is the temptation I’m led to every day - that life and work, play and prayer is all for me. It is natural for me to make my needs and desires central; this is not solely caused by the culture I live in, but by the outright selfishness of my heart. But I belong to Christ now - such is a grace too wonderful!--and so my life is no longer about me, but about Jesus. My life is no longer for me but for Jesus and his kingdom way.

I’ve been praying through the terrible news out of Kamloops, BC and the discovery of a grave site of 215 children at a residential school. The horror of this! I was appalled, terrified, and so very sad. There is word from Indigenous leaders to not be surprised if more graves are discovered. I can’t even imagine. But, the existence of these graves at residential schools, as I’ve learned, is no secret. It is widely known, documented even, that these graves exist. Some are marked, but many are not. So, my shock is twofold: that these graves exist and that I didn’t care to even know they existed.

I have since learned more about residential schools in Canada. About the mistreatment of children, of whole Indigenous communities and of the generational trauma that has been leveled upon these people. My heart aches. There is much to learn still, and much to be done to reconcile and move toward healing.

But there’s also this important question: How now, shall I pray?

Here is what I have been reflecting. Extracting focus off myself, the Spirit continues to chisel my stony heart. Compassion, he is teaching me. I must pray with compassion. Not a compassion that flexes my superiority: “I have lived better than you, I am in a better position than you, let me carry you up, offer you a piece of my life so you might have comfort.” This is not compassion at all. Compassion, the Spirit shows me, is what Jesus displays. He knows the pain of those in pain, he hears the cries of those crying, and without yet offering what he alone can give (comfort, healing, and whole and holy peace)...he gives his attention fully to the person. He weeps with them. (See John 11:28-37, and all his healing moments in the Gospels.)

I don’t believe tears are necessary for prayer to be true. But the Spirit moving our inner being to care more, understand more, and so see the plight of our neighbour - this is praying compassionately. The reality of their pain must be known on their terms. No rushing. But also no hiding, or covering, but seeing, hearing and naming the truth - this also is compassionate prayer. This is Jesus’ compassion on us. So, as we receive this from him, may we pour our our prayers compassionately for others.

As new graves emerge at residential schools across Canada, let us pray for greater compassion.

A call to action is always appropriate. Some may be ready to do something immediately. Some, not yet. Regardless, movement to greater compassion, like that of Jesus, has no terminus. So let us learn more, the Spirit leading, of the pain of our neighbours, and specifically, our Indigenous neighbours whose voices need to be heard. Let us cry with those crying. Let us feel the pain of those pained.

Let us lament.

Graciousness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Psalm 85:10 NASB

Jason

National Statements from the President of The Alliance Canada

David Hearn, the President of The Alliance Canada, has recently issued two important statements. One regarding the Kamloops Indian Residential School and another on Anti-Asian Racism.

As we are a member church of The Alliance Canada, it is deeply encouraging to know our family of churches is bound in Christ, mission and purpose to stand against injustice in all its forms.

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Listen in as we catch up with them, realize connections, and learn about challenges and joys of serving abroad. To learn more about the Lims, be sure to visit their website at www.lovethelims.ca.

Click here to go to the 3 P’s in a Pod[Cast] Playlist

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At the end of May, we gathered at our “All Hands on Deck Ministry Meeting” - all those brothers and sisters who have been serving in Children’s Ministry, Youth & Young Adult Ministry and all other English Ministries. It was an opportunity to listen in to one another, and to God, how he has been working through each of our ministry areas and lives. It was also a chance to remember the call to persevere in ministry, with perspectives reminding us God is sovereign and in control, despite everything that has happened this year. And most of all, it was an opportunity to give thanks for all these servant leaders who all have given of their time and commitment to server our Lord together. If you’ve gained from any ministry from our church, remember these folks, pray for them and with me, give thanks for what God is doing in and through their lives. Thank you all you servant leaders!

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Special Members Meeting - July 25, 2021

To all members of RCAC, please take notice of an upcoming Special Members Meeting to be held on Sunday, July 25, 2021.

For more information, click the orange button below.

Special Members Meeting Information

Joint Missions Convention 2021

The Canadian Chinese Alliance Churches Association (CCACA) organizes a convention every two years to gather churches together to renew our call to missions.

This year, the convention is held online, and on July 3 and 4 all RCAC congregations will be participating in this convention in our worship services, while also celebrating our 44th church anniversary.

We encourage you to participate in the whole convention. It is free and all the information, including a link to register, can be found by clicking the orange button below.

2021 JMC Information

Summer Day Camps at RCAC

To all parents and guardians: 6 weeks of day camps beginning July 19 is available for a maximum of 20 kids per camp/week. For RCAC families, priority will be given to working parents (including families who are at working at home).

Click Here to Register