In honour of our Indigenous friends, today's service welcomes special guests, Marie Williams and Dorothy Walker, accompanied by Vern Luchinski on guitar, provided teaching, song and ceremony. Rev. Peggy presented Marie with the protocols, tobacco and prayer flags, who, then, performed the smudging ceremony. Her words focussed on the importance of the words we use and how they demonstrate resilience and courage. Her prayer was in Cree after which she offered her explanation to us of the significance of the words chosen. As the smoke from the smudging drifted up through the lights filtering into the sanctuary, we felt the peace and assurance from Marie's words. Following service we enjoyed the fruits of our kitchens as lots of bannock was laid out for us in the Tatanga Mani room (with jars of jams and jellies).
As Marie fanned her smudge with her eagle feather, her prayer said first in Cree then English expressed her gratefulness to the creator for the creator's hand in her life. She went on to say...
"So the prayer I said and the prayer I say first thing in the morning when I smudge is "Thank you, Creator, for my life, for all things surrounding me, for my life and for people in my life who play a role helping me pay attention, whether I like it of not. That's the way it is. That's life. And I thank Creator for all the elements of my body ... my thoughts and I thank my ancestors and I tell them we are learning all the time. We are the Creator's children, not small but pitiful (in our need for learning). We need help by the spirit of the Creator.
And then I say, "Look at us. Help us. Help me on our journey." And you know what I thought about - paying attention to my words. Sometimes we have to be careful for what we are asking. If I pray for patience, I can fully expect to be put in a situation that requires my patience. If I ask for courage, I will be put in a place where i have to utilize courage and learn how to love and learn how to be loved.
And now I want to leave you this day with this - that paying attention is an incredible way to live. When you discover this with your mind, your heart, your physical being, you will have a different life. You'll be tenacious and able to do whateer you wish to do with your life. No matter your age.
Have a great day!"
WORDS SHARED BY MARIE WILLIAMS as transcribed by Brenda Wallace