Liturgy in a Time of Climate Crisis

The Collegeville Statement from Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission

In the hottest summer on record on our planet, the Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission (APLM) met from July 17 to 21 to launch a year-long program accompanying six congregations in the US and Canada as they develop new resources and practices for worship and mission  in response to the urgency of the climate crisis. Gathering at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and making creative use of the beautiful oak groves, lakeshore, and wooded paths of the grounds, about two dozen participants deepened their understanding of the climate crisis, explored how existing  resources for prayer, theological reflection, liturgy, and ministry can be brought to life in ways that respond to the climate crisis, and tried on new practices of liturgical planning, and community action.

The conference featured addresses by Amy McCreath, on the project and the work of the conference; Juan M.C. Oliver and Peter Nunnally on  methodologies for  planning worship; Andrew Doss on the urgency of the climate crisis; Timothy Brunk on liturgy and the land; Samuel Torvend on liturgy and the climate crisis; Kerri Meyer on the ministry of Good Courage Farm, and John W. B. Hill on the practice of mystagogy, with  Celeste Geldreich and Maylanne Maybee on participation in the project during the coming year. 

The gathering and launch of the year-long parish partnerships are made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. In the months ahead, APLM Council members will accompany worship committees at each of the six partner parishes as they develop, offer, and reflect on contextually-responsive worship and develop missional partnerships that respond to the climate crisis.

The congregations involved in the project are: 

St. Andrew’s Church, Ayer, MA – Diocese of Massachusetts; Christ Episcopal Church, Tacoma, WA – Diocese of Olympia; St. Columba’s, Inverness, CA – Diocese of California; St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul, MN; Salal + Cedar, lower Fraser Watershed, metro Vancouver BC – Diocese of New Westminster; and Sunshine Coast Anglican Collaborative, Sechelt, BC – Diocese of New Westminster 

Participants were reminded  of the warning from scientists  that unless the wealthier nations can reduce carbon emissions to net zero in the next seventeen years, our planet will continue to get hotter until all human life is extinguished.

In light of this grave crisis, and grounded in our conviction that worship forms God’s people for mission, APLM calls the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church to respond vigorously and immediately by developing new resources and practices in worship. APLM also calls all dioceses and congregations to develop action-oriented mission programs at the local and national level to respond to the crisis. 

These actions are in keeping with General Convention resolution A057, “Liturgical experimentation and the creation of alternative texts,” and with General Synod resolutions A203 and A204, which encourage members of the Anglican Church of Canada to live out the Fifth Mark of Mission and baptismal covenant, to “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”; and all parts of the church, among other things, to reduce the carbon impact of travel for meetings and undertake actions that demonstrate the church’s commitment to address the climate crisis.

Finally, APLM also calls on the General Convention, the Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada and their bishops to actively promote serious, responsible liturgical creativity in this time of crisis.     

More information about APLM and our resources for robust and contextualized liturgical planning can be found at our website,

Water Ceremony

At our May meeting, Salal + Cedar’s Mutual Aid and Solidarity Team decided to contribute funds to the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust’s Water Ceremony so that Elders from out of town could attend. Sacred Trust is an initiative of Tsleil-Waututh Nation focused on stopping the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX), a project approved by the Canadian government without the consent of the Nation and this year Salal + Cedar paid our voluntary “land tax” to TWN Sacred Trust.

On June 25th I attended the ceremony which invited the public to connect and deepen their relationship with water in the face of TMX. Rueben George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and manager of the Sacred Trust Initiative, began the day with a welcome to the territory and gratitude to those that had made the day possible. Paddlers were then called to head out on the water in three 35-foot ocean-going canoes that paddled as close as possible to the Burnaby TMX Westridge Marine Terminal. Near the giant oil drums, they rafted the canoes together as the matriarchs voiced powerful words, songs, and prayers to their ancestors and creator and offered sacred earth to the waters.

Returning from the water a circle of 150 came together to join in the ceremony led by Elder Minnie (Grinder) Kenoras, Red Hummingbird Woman (Judy Wilson) and Sun Woman (JoAnne Buffalo), Xaliya (Ta7ah – Amy George), Ts’simtelot (Charlene Aleck) and Roxanne Charles. The women offered powerful and inspiring words to keep moving this work forward, and to never stop protecting the waters and all living beings. Young water carriers such as Kayah George were called to speak and lifted spirits by saying the orca are probably having a rally right now too.

The ceremony included witnesses from/representing the furthest participants south, east, north and west, two of whom I sat with at the feast and got to know a bit better. Jim Leyden, whom we supported with court costs and with presence at his Supreme Court appeal was there, blanketed, and spoke at the feast. Several members of Salal + Cedar attended and Ruth Ruth Walmsley was blanketed with thanks for her work with the Prayer Circle which gathers at the Watch House on Burnaby Mountain on the Second Saturday of each month.

By Adele Finney (Mutual Aid and Solidarity Team) with information from Sierra Club BC

Reconciliation with Creation

Laurel Dykstra spoke on March 8 as part of the New Westminster Ministerial’s Lenten speaker series on reconciliation. As requested by participants in the event these are Laurel’s speaker notes with links to resources.

My background for approaching these questions

I am the priest of Salal + Cedar -worship outdoors, equip ppl for climate action, for next brave step

8 + years doing work to engage Christians and churches in climate justice work

-started by asking youth

Wild Church movement, – In the past 10 years, dozens of Wild Churches, communities which gather outdoors to pray, have sprung up all over North America. Wild Churches have a range of practices, leadership models, and relationships to denominations and even to Christianity. They are a kind of functional critique of Christianity’s failure to care for creation and most Wild Churches claim to exist as a response to climate crisis or as a place for engaging climate grief.

Watershed Discipleship -older movement with Ched Myers as the key articulator.

A Watershed is the geographical rain catchment area that divides up our land, the area within a circle of mountain peaks that drain into the ocean at the same place. Watershed discipleship plays on two aspects of this word—the first is that the watershed itself—a natural division where species, weather and sometimes Indigenous languages change—is the primary place where we live out our discipleship (more on that later)—the little lifeboat of species with whom we are thrown together.

Watershed is also a word that is used metaphorically—we say that we are at a watershed moment when things are critical—a raindrop above a mountain could go 2 different directions with vastly different outcomes. –and in terms of species extinctions, deforestation, ocean pollution and global climate change we are at a watershed moment. A little difference now could result in a big change.

Prior to that I was part of the team preparing for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Residential Schools

 -for 3 years met with Indigenous and church leaders building relationship

TRC out of process in South Africa

-El Salvador(?), -both offered amnesty in exchange for truth in a situation of extreme power imbalance or imbalance of perpetrators

-Greensborough –Klan shot up a rally,  Detroit -redlining of Black people from housing

I had mentors who worked in each of these processes

I don’t know of a process that I would call an unqualified success -but from my people I know they have sometimes been places of transformation and healing

Why we need to be careful about reconciliation language

In Canada particular caution -even though TRC process was requested by indigenous -residential school survivors it was also a government mandated process

-in my experience right now many more church people are enamoured with the idea/language of reconciliation, and many indigenous people feel very disillusioned

-among the critiques that I hear and these are not all, are:

the truth was not told (esp the way the commission excluded examination of the deaths that occurred at the schools)

-that reconciliation supposes a return to a right, good and equal relationship

Latin roots: to become friendly again, or to reinstate a friendship

 -many ppl this never existed between indigenous and settler people, between Indigenous children and govt. mandated, church-run schools

-the harms of residential schools continue to be perpetrated in ongoing ways and benefitted from, so cannot reconcile (in Christian language) without repentance and without restitution,

Without stopping harm

-despite the fact that “all Canadians are named parties”-side-stepping of responsibility -at the height of the residential school era the vast majority of Canadians identified with one of the denominations that ran RS, people who are not Christians say -it wasn’t us, Christians say it wasn’t our denomination, or we paid our share of the settlement agreement, or that was another generation

-that the Calls to Action of the TRC have mostly been ignored or taken up in less than meaningful ways –as we move to talk about reconciliation with land/creation/ the calls around Indigenous People’s right to Free Prior and Informed consent to what happens on their land is particularly relevant.

Reconciliation with Creation

So we’ve riffed a little on some of the issues with “reconciliation” -let’s talk about creation, the planet, the more than human world.

I cannot overstate the magnitude of climate emergency. The biggest deal in our lifetimes. The future is likely to be very different for young people, in ways that we can’t imagine.

-profound distortion

Anthopocene –age of human impact

Eremocene -age of loneliness (e.o. Wilson)

Is reconciliation the right language?

-yes humans have lived in relationships -mutually nourishing with place, creatures,

Different cultures differently but all of us have an ancestral past that

But some of the same critiques apply

-Are we telling the truth? –Gale Yee Hebrew Bible scholar talks about bible in climate denial, denial about culpability Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice event (Lenten Bible Detox)
Are we committed to not doing harm?
Are we taking meaningful action?

I think it is fantastic that you are embarking on these questions together during the season of Lent  -a time when we think about sin and repentance

-biblically an awful lot of the focus on sin and repentance has nothing to do with individuals and everything to do with nations, cities, peoples, communities. –so individual repentance won’t change corporate sin -are we taking corporate responsibility? And that doesn’t mean beating each other up for using straws or not eating vegan.

But naming and opposing the principalities and powers -that we participate in

Capital-ocene –just ordered a book theology ecologically focused, with solidarity as key

So there are a LOT of cautions and caveats here but if Christians are to seek reconciliation with the more than human world it must be both individual and corporate

What I offer for the rest of my talk is a review of some elements (not a comprehensive program) that I think are core to that work.

Act like it is an emergency

Seth Klein’s book A Good War looks at Canada’s mobilization in WWII as a model for how we might do the corporate work to respond to climate emergency

-policy and funding “do what it takes”

-tell the truth

-leave no one behind

We have to act, and action is an antidote to despair

Mutual Aid and Solidarity -Dean Spade’s book Mutual Aid
Sheryl Johnson’s Serving Money Serving God -on how churches can put our money where our mouth is in terms of justice

Climate Justice Approach

In their unprecedented Joint Message for the Protection of Creation (2021), Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox church, Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic church, and the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby leader of the global Anglican Communion echo the language of the climate justice movement saying, “the people bearing the most catastrophic consequences of these abuses are the poorest on the planet and have been the least responsible for causing them.”

The term “climate justice” has been in use since the 1990s, its origin is credited variously to groups from the global south and communities fighting environmental racism in North America. In deliberate contrast with the term environmentalism which positions “the environment” as a backdrop acted upon but separate from humans, climate justice attends to power differences between individuals, communities, and nations related to race, gender, indigeneity, economic status. The impacts of global climate change are not borne equally and neither is the work of responding. Racialized, impoverished, Indigenous, coastal and island peoples experience the greatest impacts while bearing the least responsibility and are at the forefront of movements for land defense, mutual aid, and corporate and governmental accountability globally and in North America. Climate justice reshapes climate action from a technical effort to cut emissions into a just transition that also addresses human rights and social inequality. 

Climate reparations although voluntary were part of the -latest COP gathering

Reconciliation with creation means talking about racial and economic justice and it means being alert to ecofascism (teen Vogue has an excellent primer) -overpopulation in impoverished places as key problem

Interspecies humility, curiosity and reciprocity

Western/Christian worldview is that humans have a special place -above creation -whether that is steward, or extractor

–kin Queer Nature –who I really can’t recommend enough talk about creature-kin and the practice consent with creatures

Robin Wall Kimmerer -potawatimi botanist -braiding sweetgrass, gathering moss

Grammar of animacy, species as sovereign, relationships of reciprocity

“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”

-not romanticizing wilderness as “untouched and human-free”

Spiritual practice/sacrament

Sallie McFague -work around the sanctity of the more than human world

The earth as God’s body

S+C take traditional sacrament -esp eucharist out of doors

But more importantly to see the sacred in all that is around us

To practice wonder

-around grief, loss, lament, repentance

-listen for the divine word in Scripture and in nature

-is collective

Spiritual Disciplines
not b/c it will change what is wrong in the world -but b/c we hope we will not be changed by the world
We do that in 3 ways—through 3 spiritual disciplines.
To know our story
To know our tradition
To know our place

Most of us in this room are not Halkomelem speaking people but here we are on this land to know our story/or our histories—how did our people come to this lower Fraser Watershed? Our you one of the first people’s whose creation stories are here and whose ancestors have been here for tens of thousands of years? Did your family come 100 years ago? Or 10? Or last year? What are the forces of extraction, migration, flight, conquest that brought you here and how do they connect with the trees, minerals, fish, oceans of this place

knowing our tradition—delving into scripture and church practice to find those places that particularly honour and celebrate our connection to creation and engaging those and applying them here in our watershed. Do you know how many figures in the bible have a great spiritual experience under a tree? By a special body of water? Do you know how many trees have names? That the Land is called a witness and participant in covenant?

knowing our place—also called Watershed Literacy means learning the geography, the geology, the plants and animals of our bioregion. I have heard that on average a child can identify more than 100 corporate logos and fewer that 10 plants. –Can you tell a cedar from a hyssop? Do you know our 5 local species of salmon? Could you tell them apart?

For me this spiritual discipline has been the one with the greatest spiritual richness -coming to know and love my watershed neighbours

Senegalese environmentalist Baba Dioum said, “we won’t save places we don’t love; we can’t love places we don’t know; and we don’t know places we haven’t learned”

Having plugged others’ work in my talk I want to do a little “shameless self promotion”

Book coming out in the fall –Wildlife Congregations -Hancock House that is about attending spiritually to creatures and the question of interspecies loneliness –really about spending a year visiting as many gatherings -mass congregations of local wild creatures as possible

Invite Salal + Cedar come and animate your Sunday Worship, or Sunday School, or vacation bible school.

And as we move into discussion I’ll leave you some paired concepts to ponder:
Sin and repentance
Collective and individual action
Kinship and wonder

stop TMX solidarity events

support land defenders
Ruth Walmsley of the Burnaby Mountain Prayer Circle has compiled this list of solidarity opportunities:
Thursday January 19, 6:30-10pmSecwepemc Sovereignty Fundraiser Concert Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue, Vancouver, BC Secwepemc land defenders and their supporters have been convicted for protecting ancestral lands while holding ceremonies in October 2020. After over 20 days in court and inhumane and unjust treatment from the BC Court system, all 8 will be sentenced the week of Feb 21st 2023. The crown prosecutor is seeking a range of 1 – 6 months of jail time. The group includes: Hereditary Chief Saw ses, Secwepemc Matriarchs Miranda Dick and April Thomas, Nlaka’pamux land protector Billie Pierre and four settler supporters; Romilly Cavanaugh, Heather Lamoureux, Susan Bibbings and Laura Zadorozny. We will have a T-shirts for sale and food by donation. All funds will support fees for the sentencing lawyer and necessary food and travel funds for the sentencing process. Register to attend the fundraising event here:
Please consider donating to their legal support efforts here:

Tuesday January 24, 2023, 8:30 AMCourt Support – Stand with Will!BC Supreme Court, 800 Smithe St. Please join us at the BC Supreme Court to support courageous land defender Will George from Tsleil Waututh, at 8:30 am on Tues Jan 24. Will has to turn himself in to the court at 9 am at the 800 Smithe entrance, and his appeal will be heard in the BC Court of Appeal that day.  Facebook Event:

Thursday January 26, 6:30-8pmHidden Costs of Canada’s Fossil Energy Expansion Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue SFU – 580 West Hastings Street – Vancouver The UN Secretary General is very clear and vocal about the threat to global health and well-being from climate change. Secretary Guterres is also clear that no new fossil energy infrastructure should be built. The Government of Canada, however, argues that we should be allowed to continue expanding our oil and gas emissions well past 2030 and justifies this position based upon the profits to be made. This panel will examine the hidden costs of major Canadian fossil energy projects using the Trans Mountain Expansion project as a case-study, with consideration of work planned and ongoing on Wet’suet’en territory in Northern BC. Join us for an informative dialogue on January 26. Free; Reserve a spot:

Friday January 27, 9am (rally), 10am (trial)“Dino” Court Support BC Supreme Court, 800 Smithe St. Come and support Emily & Lucy who are facing criminal contempt of court charges for blocking TMX pipeline construction (wearing T.Rex costumes) on unceded Coast Salish Territory in Burnaby and are each expected to be sentenced to three weeks in prison. Come support the T.Rex and sit in the gallery!

Tuesday February 21, 8:30amBC Supreme Court, 800 Smithe St. Eight Indigenous and settler land defenders, who took their case to trial and were convicted of criminal contempt last month for violating the TMX injunction in Secwepemc territory, will have their sentencing hearing on February 21 in Kamloops. Rallies in support of the land defenders will be held on Tuesday, February 21 at 8:30am in both Kamloops and Vancouver.
Please consider donating to their legal support efforts here:

Justice By Annoyance

18th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 24(29)
Luke 18:1-8

By Caitlin Reilley Beck

I know another story about praying, persistence, not losing heart and an unjust judge. It is happening here, on Coast Salish territory, and it is still happening.
For many years now, work has been happening on Burnaby Mountain to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline in order to increase the amount of bitumen it can transport from the Tarsands in Alberta to the coast to be shipped out in tankers internationally. But this pipeline was built on stolen land – that is on unceded indigenous territory and without the free, prior, informed consent of all those nations whose lives and territory are affected by its presence. The expansion would be going through this same territory and has also failed, multiple times now, to meet the bar set by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of obtaining from all the indigenous nations their free, prior and informed consent for it to proceed. Free – that is not coerced or pressured in any way, but a decision made knowing there is another option available; prior – a decision made before plans are drawn up and trees are cut down and giant machines have begun work; and informed – given all the relevant information and an honest account of the impacts and intentions of those involved. This is the standard for consent which must be given and in the context of such an unbalanced relationship of power between indigenous and settler governments and peoples, the onus is on settlers to ensure this standard is met.

Instead, the federal government, the Alberta government and oil companies have sought to push the project forward. But they have met fierce resistance – both in repeated, successful court challenges by First Nations and grass roots, direct action led by indigenous people from across Turtle Island and others who have heeded their calls for support. This resistance is deeply rooted in prayer and the connections that exist between all parts of creation – human and more than human.

But this story also has an unjust judge. In March of 2018, BC Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck granted an injunction to Trans Mountain to prevent blockades and other forms of protesting which water protectors had been using in order to slow or stop work on the twinning of the pipeline.

Since then, over 200 people have been arrested for violating this injunction and seeking to stop work on the Trans Mountain Expansion. Many people involved in the resistance to TMX have taken part in repeated demonstrations, direct actions and prayer vigils. There is a constant, persistent presence on Burnaby Mountain in the form of Kwekwecnewtxw or the Watch House. It was built in 2018, by indigenous water protectors, just before the injunction came into effect, and is part of a Coast Salish tradition of Watch Houses. It is a structure from which they watch for enemies on their territory in an effort to protect their communities from danger. The TMX is connected to some of the deadliest threats to indigenous and non-indigenous communities – colonialism, resource extraction and climate change are all at play in this case. Once again, indigenous people are leading the resistance to threats that impact all of us – and for this reason, settlers must follow their lead.

This Watch House and those connected to it are constantly praying – singing songs, conducting ceremonies, providing hospitality, sitting in silence – all these things happen regularly at the Watch House. This is persistence embodied.

Many of the people who have been arrested on Burnaby Mountain resisting the pipeline expansion are my friends and many have gone before Judge Affleck for breaking the injunction he granted. As time goes on, punishments for violating the injunction are becoming increasingly harsh. They include serious fines, hours of community service and jail time.

This experience of persistent prayer and demanding justice has given me new insight into the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge. I used to find her annoying, in fact it sounded to me like she had basically annoyed this judge into giving her what she wanted and it didn’t sound like what I imagined justice to be. Since spending time on Burnaby Mountain, at the Watch House and previously at Camp Cloud, I have learned more about what kind of justice could have motivated the persistent widow in this Gospel reading. It turns out that being persistent and most likely also annoying to some – I imagine including Judge Affleck – is more than warranted at times when Justice demands it; when the answer to our prayers is a sense that we are called to act, to speak up and use our voices and bodies to protect what is vulnerable and valuable in this world.

Caitlin Reilley Beck is one of Salal + Cedar’s Wardens. They are a fat, queer, genderqueer settler who lives on stolen Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh land, but is originally from Ottawa in Algonquin territory. Caitlin’s ancestors are from all over Europe, but include French Huguenots, Polish Jews and Irish Catholics. Caitlin is currently the Camp Director for Queerest and Dearest, an intergenerational camp for LGBTQIA2S+ Christian people and their families.

Wild Lectionary, a weekly reflection on land, creation and environmental justice themes in the texts of the revised common lectionary, is curated by Laurel Dykstra, gathering priest of? Salal + Cedar?, Coast Salish Territories.

A Day with Vancouver Christian School

By the Grade 11 Team
Our third day of PEAK week started early with the bus ride to Salal + Cedar full of nodding heads and heavy eyes. With weak feet, we joined Laurel in a circle and introduced ourselves. As we slowly warmed up, we proceeded with a grid activity, exploring our views and opinions visually. We discussed topics such as environmental impact, and care in creation. We had the chance to listen to members of a church who had an ardent love for the change we can make in climate change.

Letting their testimonies settle in, we had a moment to reflect before getting our hands dirty and working on community projects. We handled and broke down pallets, built bug hotels for insects and explored a creek and smaller labyrinth similar to the one we walked on day one.

As an ending activity, we explored Rice Lake and experienced a Eucharist. Being in a Christian denomination, it was a first for many of us. I remember Laurel preparing the altar on rock, with all of us breaking and sharing bread while returning wine to the earth.

What impacted you the most?

The different outdoor experiences had their own impacts to offer. A grid activity which was led by Laurel gave us the opportunity to know ourselves, and our friends better. We explored how we feel and view different topics such as faith and climate change. Exploring Rice Lake and Coleman Creek opened our eyes to see the beauty which was offered. Alone time in the forest at rice lake during the Eucharist allowed me to understand why God gave us the Earth to preserve and restore. God entrusted us to care for his creation, so we should carry out his will. As people have built an attachment to the area of nature around them, this gives us more reason to continue to care for God’s creation.

Dear God, We are thankful for the opportunity we were given through this motivational and formative peak week experience. The time we had at Salal and Cedar gave us takeaways of how important God’s creation is and how we should respect and admire the earth around us. God provided us with this wonderful opportunity through VCS and Salal + Cedar and we are very thankful! Amen. 

Clear Cut Colonization–Not Trees Solidarity with Nuchatlaht First Nation

By Tracy Tobin
This past Saturday afternoon, while gathered in her backyard with Salal + Cedar in worship together, Sister Vikki motioned for me to come closer. I sat beside her and we chatted briefly. Her gregarious invitation for me to bring her “Clear Cut Colonization—Not Trees” painting to the Courthouse–– in support of the Nuchatlaht First Nation––was joyfully accepted. The artwork was carefully handed off and my mission for the following Monday determined.

 A slight chill in the air and blanketed in soft rain, more than one hundred faithful supporters gathered at the steps of B.C. Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver to champion Nuchatlaht’s rights and title to their traditional lands. Traditional Cedar bark woven hats and headbands, vibrantly painted Nuchatlaht solidarity posters, intricately painted drums, and hand painted signs were peppered through the crowd. ‘Every Child Matters,’ ‘Support,’ ‘Clear-Cut Colonization -Not Trees,’ and large ‘Nuchatlaht Land Back’ signs declared boldly the intentions of those who held them and those in attendance.

Joining in this act of witness I carried around my neck a prophetic proclamation painted by our very own Sister Vikki. A forest of barren trees and stumps boldly calling for resistance, the image is a stark one, evocative of loss and the suffering of creation. Instantly recognised, strangers approached me with astonished voices. “Ohhh,” ‘that’s Vikki’s painting!” “Can I take a picture?” Humbled and proud, connected and connecting, sharing in presenting Vikki’s gift was such an experience of blessing others, and being blessed myself.

I must confess that the plight of the Nuchatlaht First Nation was unfamiliar to me. After a Google indulged Internet deep-dive I learned a few things about these absolutely stunning lands and ancient peoples.

Approximately three hours west of Campbell River, and around 200 square kilometers in size, Nuchatlaht is a small community of about 150 members, with 20 living on reserve, remotely nestled off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Nuchatlaht ancestors have lived on Nootka Island and the surrounding coastline since the late 1700s. One of fourteen members of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council in ongoing treaty processes with the Provincial Government.

The Tyee has a great

Adele and Tracy at the court support for Nuchatlaht

AGM/Vestry Meeting

“It was electrifying” – one participant’s verdict on Salal+Cedar’s annual Vestry meeting held on Zoom on February 28, 2022 at 7PM.  With facilitation by Laurel and Caitlin, we moved through the agenda using consensus (from five fingers:  I am in total agreement – to one:  I need serious conversation before I can come on board with this).

    A Google jam board image was the basis for a review of 2021.

Transition Plan Laurel outlined our transition plan for the next three years, which Laurel and a team are working on.  We will aim for increased financial sustainability and institutional independence, boosting funding through an expanded donor base, grants and educational offerings.  Building a flatter leadership model will allow us to continue to flourish when Laurel takes a sabbatical in 2023.  

Finances Bunny presented the Audited Statements for 2021 and the Projected Budget for 2022 (see below), both of which were approved.  Our budget for this year includes reimbursement for a bookkeeper, administrative staff, a young adult to work on summer programs, and a fundraising consultant. As we implement our Transition Plan over the next three years we will spend some of our reserve funds to increase our capacity. Our goal is to be bringing in $68,200 a year by 2024.

Mutual Aid and Solidarity is a core value of our community.  We have budgeted $4,000 to give as aid to individuals and support for organizations.  A team meets monthly to disburse the funds.

Affirmation of Leadership three new members of the Mutual Aid and Solidarity team were introduced and affirmed: Evie Sargent, Levi Saunders and Adele Finney. Brynn Craffey and Victoria Marie will continue as members.

Melanie Delva and Erin Aleck will become Lay Readers, in affirmation of the work they are already doing in prayer and spiritual care.

Galina Freed and Caitlin Reilley Beck were affirmed to continue as wardens and signers on our bank account. Bunny Wilder was affirmed as treasurer and our books will be done by a company called Not Another Bookkeeper.

Laurel Dykstra will continue as priest and bank account signer, Elizabeth Mathers has covenanted to another year as our deacon. Sandy Hwang is considering a student placement starting in the fall.

Members Present: Mary Louise Hiebert, Adele Finney, Evie Sargent, Levi Saunders, Elizabeth Mathers (deacon), Bunny Wilder, Victoria Marie, Jan Constantinescu, Sarah Bjorknas, Denzil Asche, Erin Aleck, Melanie Delva, Laurel Dykstra (priest), Caitlin Reilley Beck, Brynn Craffey

Regrets: Julia MacRae, Galina Freed, Alecia Greenfield, Sandy Hwang, Tracy Tobin

Guests: Uta Reid, Fern Logan

Our account balance on Feb, 28, 2022 is $67,539.98

S + C on Sunshine Coast

On Saturday March 5, the first week of Lent, Salal + Cedar joined our friends for worship on the Sunshine Coast. We met at Porpoise Bay Park under bright blue skies. We read about Jesus’ testing in the wilderness and asked questions about what wilderness means to us -danger, adventure, untamed wildness, away from creature comforts, places that are threatened, resilience. We were joined by dogs, eagles, ducks and a manx cat on a leash.
There was such enthusiasm for our visit and so many people mentioned folks who would like to come, or couldn’t come this time, that we plant to make visits to this area a more regular part of our itinerant worship pattern.

We come from the earth

And we return to the earth

A home observance for Covid
Lent (from the Old English word for Spring) is the season when the church prepares for Easter; it is a time of solemn anticipation and getting our hearts ready. During this Covid pandemic many of us have already given up a great deal, so our shared practice at Salal + Cedar will be to cultivate noticing and wonder. You have received a container of blessed ashes, as you take time to prepare for this season, alone or with members of your bubble, make use of those prayers, readings, and actions below which speak to you.

Creating God, who loves us and made us and called us good. We know that we do harm to ourselves, to one another, and to this good earth by our choices, our mistakes, and our participation in systems. Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we turn from harm, acknowledging our brokenness, and return to your love and right relation. In the name of your child Jesus, who greeted the friends who denied and betrayed him saying “peace.” Amen

A Reading from Isaiah 58
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day,
   and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
   and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
   will not make your voice heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
   a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
   and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
   a day acceptable to the Lord?
Is not this the fast that I choose:
   to loose the bonds of injustice,
   to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
   and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
   and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
   and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
   the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
   you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

Ash Wednesday -by Jan Richardson
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.
excerpted from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

We begin our journey to Easter with the sign of ashes, an ancient element speaking of the transforming power of fire and the fragility and the cycles of human life. This year we of Salal + Cedar, who pray for climate justice, will mark our foreheads with ashes from a tree burned in the Lytton fire collected in prayer by community members Melanie and Erin who were made homeless by this human-caused disaster. They collected ash from a place early settlers called the “breadbasket of the Nlaka’pamux Nation” a place where Erin brings people to get connected and grounded to do their grieving work. Take a moment holding or sitting before the container of ashes or earth that you have gathered, consider and let go of whatever you need to release, that keeps you from wholeness.  
When you are ready, use the ashes to mark your own forehead or your companions’ with a cross saying one of the following:
You are/I am dust and to dust you/I will return. or
You are of the land and will return to the land. or
Your are earth and to the earth you will return.

You are invited to observe a holy Lent, to prepare your heart for wonder by the traditional practices of self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and by reading and meditating on the word of God in scripture and in nature. While we repent of our part in this climate crisis and the harm to creation you are also invited to hold yourself gently as a beloved creature of the Holy One’s making.