The bishop has given the parish of Christ Church, 'Yalis (Alert Bay, Cormorant Island) notice that funding for a full-time incumbent position will not continue after June, 2022. Instead, the diocesan leadership will step back, in a posture of deep humility and a desire to work in true partnership with the local leadership to determine the best way for the diocese to support and walk with the people of 'Yalis in a sustainable and life-giving way.
The diocese has been on a healing journey of truth-telling towards right relationship and reconciliation with the First Peoples of this land. Since the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada formally apologized in 1993 for our part in colonization and the resulting genocide of the residential school system, we have begun to consider, in real terms, what it means to address the sins of our past.
In 2019, the diocesan council identified five important issues we need to coalesce our collective energies around including systemic racism and building new relationships with the First Peoples. To that end, we have begun the work of examining our institutional life; policies, governance, leadership models etc. to identify those places where we have ordered ourselves in a way informed more by colonization than the Gospel. This includes the models of parish ministry we have fostered and upheld since coming to these shores over 150 years ago. Our ministry at 'Yalis is such an example.
Between now and June 2022 we will work with community members, including the parish of Christ Church, Alert Bay and ‘Namgis First Nation, to identify and address any immediate pastoral voids this change will create and to seek new opportunities for the diocese to come alongside the ways God is already working in their midst.
This does not represent a walking away from 'Yalis or Christ Church. It is, in the spirit of Bishop Logan’s 2016 Sacred Journey walk, our way of symbolically leaving the territory and returning, as we should have 150 years ago, asking permission to stay, in a good way with open hearts and hands.