The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017 - 22

sTorIes oF PeaCemakers

Confessing Our Sin
continued from page 21
are you here as a Baptist? you didn't even run schools, and it
really sucks to be here as a Church representative in the first
place. Why would you choose to be here?"
So I was talking eloquently about "sharing in the body
of Christ" and "carrying each other's burdens" and someone
came and said, "Hey, Jodi, there's someone here from the
Baptist Residential School, and she wants to talk to somebody
about it." And I said, "What?!"
BPFNA: So there was a Baptist residential School?
JS: there was one! It ran from 1950 to 1966. Basically, no one
has claimed this school. It was called the Baptist Indian mission.
So a woman named Adeliene Webber said to me, "I understand
that no one is legally responsible for this, but, in order for those
of us who went to this school, and in order for our community
to heal, we need two things. First, we need photographs like
everyone else who's here-"
(Photos were a big part of truth and Reconciliation. the
archives had been released so people could go online and look
at pictures from their childhood, which they had never seen
before, because they had all been held in church archives.)
So Adeliene said, "We know there are pictures. We remember them being taken, but we have no pictures of our childhood.
And, second, we need people with whom to be reconciled."
BPFNA: Does nobody know who the organizers were?
JS: yes, we do, but it was a Baptist missionary from Seattle
who was supposed to go to Alaska. he was an independent
missionary. At that time, all Baptist work in British columbia
was run out of Seattle. there have been splits that had happened since then, so how do you trace those lines? Who ends
up with that responsibility?
As I tell these stories to other Baptist churches in Western
Canada, many respond by saying, "We want to be this face.
can we do that?" that's important and powerful.
Also, it's my experience of pastoring a church that, for so
many people, it doesn't matter what label the church had that
ran the school, the reality is that people who look like me came
in the name of jesus and did horrible things.
As a church, we met outside. there were lots of people
who, in the winter when we had to move inside, would never
come in with us, because they felt that was violating the memory of a loved one. But, if they could be outside on the land,
they were very attracted to the person of jesus and the message
of the gospel.

more comfortable being wounded than being perpetrators of
any kind of violence. this owns that the site of the church
has been a place of wounding of Indigenous folks in canada
and enables us to say that over and over and over so that the
healing can come.
A large aspect of my work is to help non-Indigenous communities learn from Indigenous leaders who already know what is best
for their communities. they know where healing is needed, they
know where practical work is needed, where solidarity is needed.
I try to gather Indigenous leaders in particular communities and
then local churches, and say "How can we make churches ready
to be good partners in solidarity with you?"
We're working to give theological construct for why and
how it is that we actually embrace our identity as perpetrators.
That is the place where we need to find mercy. The church
that's now awakened to these realities has real things to do on
the ground. the question is, will we show up to those things?
BPFNA: To confess our sin?
JS: Exactly. this is our foundation, but we've gotten our
audiences wrong. We've preached repentance to Indigenous
people, and we have not done it ourselves. It's time to turn that
around. And Indigenous people already have this message of
hope and grace and mercy that is really powerful, and they
will offer that before we can demonstrate that we're worthy of
receiving it. But it's a powerful, powerful thing and a privilege
to bear witness to.
So I try to create an environment where this conversation
can happen. I think it's deep and good healing for all peoples.
As non-Indigenous people learn to be good guests, Indigenous
people already understand themselves to be guests-guests of
the land, guests of god.
We need to recover the idea of being a good guest, and
it has implications too for how we welcome the strangers who
come by migration as well. the Indigenous communities in
canada are receiving refugees and welcoming them into communities that don't even have access to drinkable water. they
are welcoming refugees and showing these beautiful ways of
continuing to be places of welcome and hospitality.

BPFNA: how can BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz assist
you in your work?
JS: the sharing of resources and the sharing of connections
between Indigenous communities is huge. I think the advantage of this network is that it could also facilitate the making
of connections. For example, it would be amazing to go under
the umbrella of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz to Chiapas
with some Indigenous folks. A cross-pollination of Indigenous
communities directly would be really exciting. And I think it
would benefit us all. Some people think we're separate in our
BPFNA: Tell us about your other work.
work, but actually when we do this work well it bleeds out
JS: the other work that I do, what I like to call healing at the
into all these other aspects of our lives and theology and our
Wounding Place-and it always gets misnomered as healing
frameworks.
at the Wounded Place because we still have a sense that we're

22 Baptist Peacemaker

Oct-Dec 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America October-December 2017

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http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/38-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/37-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/36-3
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/36-2
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/36-1
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/35-4
http://www.brightcopy.net/allen/peacemaker/35-3
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/35-2
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/35-1
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-4
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-3
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-2
http://www.nxtbook.com/allen/peacemaker/34-1
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com