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November 22, 2021:
Our book is finished and last night, Brenda reviewed with us the segments at the end -- A Note on the Ending, Publisher's Notes and "Finding Father," an essay which was recognized in 2015 by the Canadian literary world. Richard's life was not easy and his success as a writer did not happen overnight. He left school at the end of grade nine and self-educated himself by reading favourite authors. His description of the back country of Nechako valley was amazing. Time and again, it was like we were observers -- right there with the wolves.
In Breakout rooms last night we shared our reaction to the book. This week's Pause to Consider will share our thoughts. Our sound bite of Wesley French's interview with Shelagh Roger's -- CBC -- who was a close friend of Richard Wagamese -- was cut short because all too soon it was 8:30. Opener was Bernard and Closing by Sheryl. Thank you so much.
November 15, 2021:
Book Three: Unbroken Country is similar to Wagamese's Book One and Book Two in that all three carry more than one meaning. Unbroken Country could refer to the Back Country on the Farm or to the characters of the book "Starlight." It will seem strange to leave this book behind as our study draws to a close. The filters which it raised in our minds have helped us to find better ways to know truth and to experience reconciliation. A quote that Father Rohr shared in his daily meditation this morning reminds us that "we cannot heal what we do not first acknowledge."
Sound bites from tonight's session will be included in the "Pause to Consider Session #8." Please join us on Sunday morning, November 21, 2021 as our Monday Night Book Study leaders, Wayne, Joan and Brenda share in the service, reflecting on our book, "Starlight."
November 8, 2021:
Book Two: Deer Stalker concluded with an update of the progress for Cadotte's evil intention to find Emmy and Winnie and make them pay for their escape, an amazing conversation between Eugene and Frank regarding Eugene's understanding of how Frank thought and acted, an explicit description of Emmy approaching a doe along with further remembered experiences in the lives of Frank and Emmy before Emmy and Winnie came to work on the farm with Frank and Eugene. "You touch a deer. You gallop a horse," says Frank as Book Two concludes.
Two short videos featured Wagamese's discussion of the art of story telling. Sound bites from each chapter read by Wesley French added to our understandings.
November 1, 2021
Frank and Eugene's bachelor lifestyle is changed quite dramatically when Emmy and Winnie join them as housekeepers. Winnie has a chance to attend school regularly and, for the first time in her short life, she begins to develop new skills for coping with life's difficulties. Emmy and Winnie are introduced to living on the land beginning with trail riding and moving into free running, camping, fishing... so many things to learn. Frank is the expert and his ability to share his wisdom becomes foundational to the story.
We continue to increase our understanding of indigenous ways through the story telling of Wagamese, whose pride in his culture emerges in his writing. Be sure to check out the link to the presentation for 47-06 and the "Pause to Consider" for 47-05.
October 25, 2021
We are so fortunate to be the "One Book, One Community" that Richard Wagamese discussed in 2015. At that time, the book to which he was referring could have been "Medicine Walk" or "Indian Horse" however, the sentiment remains the same. For 90 minutes we are one community sharing our thoughts and ideas with one another. Readings for next week are chapters 4-6 of Book Two. Enjoy!
October 18, 2021
We had twenty-six plus my computers on for tonight's Session #4. Time passed quickly, the conversation was awesome, breakout rooms lively... all in all, a good experience. Thanks for sharing this evening with us.
Wagamese deals with many issues within the art of story-telling. The quote "Teachings come from everywhere when you open yourself to them. That’s the trick of it really, to open yourself to everything and everything opens itself to you." Tonight 'Teachings' involved generosity, vengeance, forgiveness, residential school -- "What did native people really lose?", learned hatred, battered woman syndromed with a taste of social services and small town experience.
Readings for next week are Chapters 1-3 of Book 2, Deer Stalker. Have a great week.
October 4, 2021
Session #3 took us on a journey with Emmy and Winnie as they are befriended by Viv Anders on her farm and sent away with gas and groceries, with Cadotte and Anderson as they escape the house fire, lucky to be alive, with Frank and Eugene as they finish digging the septic tank replacement then go to Endako, their small town, to get supplies and take pictures of the wolves to Frank's agent, Elmer Deacon, with Emmy and Winnie as they find a deserted farm house, far from Endako, to make a home, and, finally, with Frank and Eugene as they cut lumber and stack it at home for their winter supply of firewood.
Opening prayer tonight came from a book entitled, "In Our Own Aboriginal Voice." The author of the prayer was Darlene McIntosh, an elder with Lheidi T'enneh Nation. "Come -- be with us today Giving us patience and understanding." A reminder of the purpose Wayne has set for this study: "To find better ways to know truth and experience reconciliation."
Tonight's videos featured Richard Wagamese telling us a little of how he became a writer, followed by a sorrowfilled song sung by a group of folks, rowing a longboat through coastal waters, then a short update on poverty for children in BC right now and, finally, by a lament on Confederation offered by Chief Dan George in 1967 as Joan's closing.
There is no class next Monday night - Thanksgiving Monday. Read Chapters 10-14 which will take us to the end of Book One, entitled "Wild Things-1980."
September 27, 2021
Session #2 of our Monday Night Book Study called upon participants to imagine what the usual slides, videos and images would have looked like -- our Zoom account did not allow us to share screen so... we, instead, spent an enjoyable, informative and successful evening on gallery view of Zoom.
This is an important week in the life of Canadians with a new National Holiday. On Thursday, we will be marking the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Last night we discussed this newly instituted action by the Federal Government along with a wide range of topics emerging from the readings -- Prologue and Chapters 1 to 4. We have met Frank Starlight, Emmy and Winnie, Jeff Cadotte, Eugene and Anderson so our character development has begun. This week we will be reading Chapters 5-9 of Part One and next Monday, we will have the opportunity to live up to our purpose: to know truth and experience reconciliation in our study of "Starlight."
September 30, 2021 Truth and Reconciliation Day
(Also, Orange Shirt Day)
Truth and Reconciliation Day was established in Canada this year in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools and honour the survivors, their families, and communities.
Online Panel with Ecumenical Indigenous Clergy
for Truth and Reconciliation Day 7 pm MDT
We gather a distinguished panel of ecumenical Indigenous Clergy voices from various denominations and spaces to discuss the history of residential schools, the impact of intergenerational trauma, the recovery of children’s bodies and the ongoing role of Indigenous ministry in the church’s dialogue about reconciliation today. Representatives from The United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada among others will join us to discuss the efforts and challenges of reconciliation in their own contexts. Via zoom. Everyone Invited! Register HERE
September 20, 2021: Yes, it was election night in Canada but, in spite total news coverage, 25 of us gathered on Zoom to launch our Monday Night Book Study that will focus on the writings of Richard Wagamese. We welcomed back our out of town participants from Kamloops, Medicine Hat and Toronto and we realize that several long time participants were working on the election or otherwise, unavailable for this first class.
We shared our understanding of the challenges of Truth and Reconciliation with the particular reference to recent developments in Canada. The reading for next week is the Prologue and Chapters 1-4. As you read, consider what this reading says to you about Canadian indigenous cultures, its meaning and values…
Contact the church at 403 284 2276 if you would like to be added to our email list. There is no cost for the study-- just buy your book, "Starlight" by Richard Wagamese, and click on the zoom invitation. See you next week.
September 13, 2021:
A Message for our ACTS community:
Next Monday night, September 20, 2021, our book study will commence at 7:00. On Thursday morning at 9:30, Bible study begins. Watch for your invitations to Zoom. We will be reading "Starlight" by Richard Wagamese, one of Canada's best story tellers of this century. If you are not on our e-mailing list, contact the office and your name will be added.
August 13, 2021:
A message from Wayne:
Dear Monday Book Study People:
We have received 10 book suggestions for the autumn season and have made a selection.The title will be "Starlight" by Richard Wagamese, a Canadian Indigenous writer what we studied once before but felt his last book would be a worthy study. Thanks to Deb. Charnuski for suggesting it last year.
Please order your copy from Amazon.ca or Indigo in time for class next month. Our 10 week series runs from September 20th through November 29th on Zoom - 7:00 - 8:30PM. Brenda, Joan and I will be leading the study as usual. Have a good end-of-summer. I hope you will find a copy and join us again this autumn.
Starlight by Richard Wagamese (paper, $19.75)The final novel from Richard Wagamese, the bestselling and beloved author of Indian Horse and Medicine Walk, centres on an abused woman on the run who finds refuge on a farm owned by an Indigenous man with wounds of his own. A profoundly moving novel about the redemptive power of love, mercy, and compassion--and the land's ability to heal us. Frank Starlight has long settled into a quiet life, working his remote farm, but his contemplative existence comes to an abrupt end with the arrival of Emmy, who has committed a desperate act so she and her child can escape a harrowing life of violence. Starlight takes in Emmy and her daughter to help them get back on their feet, and this accidental family eventually grows into a real one. But Emmy's abusive ex isn't content to just let her go. He wants revenge and is determined to hunt her down.
Starlight was unfinished at the time of Richard Wagamese's death, yet every page radiates with his masterful storytelling, intense humanism, and insights that are as hard-earned as they are beautiful. With astonishing scenes set in the rugged backcountry of the B.C. Interior, and characters whose scars cut deep even as their journey toward healing and forgiveness. lifts us, Starlight is a last gift from one who believed in the power of stories to save us.