Reflections at the End of a Most Tumultuous Year

By Carriere, Vianney | Anglican Journal, December 2000 | Go to article overview

Reflections at the End of a Most Tumultuous Year


Carriere, Vianney, Anglican Journal


THE YEAR'S last month is ever the most perplexing. What to make of this gift of dismal weather and awesome joy? Of long, dark, endless nights and sparkling music. Of gaiety and companionship to those with companions and of despairing loneliness, all too often, for those without. Of reverie and of fear. When we ponder or bask in the joy and closeness of Christmas, it is worth remembering that this season of good cheer is also the season with the highest suicide rates. When we smell the food from the kitchen from a cozy chair by a crackling fireplace, it is worth remembering those who are homeless, hungry, and whose lives perforce are spent in the cold Canadian outdoors. Such things are trite to speak, and yet they are worth speaking. They are worth remembering with each passing year.

Like cold, dark Canadian winter evenings, year-ends ever seem an appropriate time for reflection. It is a time to ask questions, even when we haven't an inkling as to answers. It is a time for positing possibilities even in utter ignorance of what will be possible tomorrow. It is a time to dream even as our fears keep us awake nights.

Certainly, it has been a tumultuous year in the life of General Synod, and oddly, the heartbreak we experienced seems somehow, today, reflected in the world at large. It's odd to begin a year with an utmost sense of uncertainty as to whether or not we shall still be here to offer similar reflections a year hence.

Archdeacon Jim Boyles, the general secretary of General Synod, has said on several occasions, that barring a breakthrough resolution of the residential schools crisis that afflicts this church, among others, General Synod will run out of money some time this year.

This is a fairly clear, fairly distinct conclusion to the journey we began as a church more than a century ago, when we entered into an ill-fated, now repudiated deal with the federal government to help run a number of schools designed to implement an ill-fated, now repudiated social policy, the assimilation of Canada's native people.

Now, the journey, one way or another nears, if not an end, a significant turning point.

Elsewhere in this issue of the Anglican Journal, one of the nation's senior politicians is quoted as saying that the federal government neither wishes nor intends to let the country's major mainline churches go bankrupt. This is heartening, despite the temptation to dismiss the statement as politically expedient. …

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