| |

A new song for Indigenous Sunday

Seeing different styles of worship as a gift and sharing them in relationship with one another is a beautiful vision of life in Christian community.

“The Lord is God. He watches over all the lands, and we are put together, from the earth, by His hands,” sang Don Amero, a Cree musician and member of a Winnipeg CRC church. They are the opening lyrics to a song Amero wrote for the Canadian Indigenous Ministry Committee (CIMC).

The committee’s focus for Indigenous Ministry Sunday (June 19th) is on Indigenous expressions of worship, particularly using the drum. When developing the special content for this Sunday the committee was especially moved by the story of one Indigenous person who attended the 2019 Canadian National Gathering and, because of the presence of the drum, was brought to tears.

“From the opening drum beat my heart was freed. I belonged . . . for that moment fully welcomed in the church and thus in God’s world,” this individual shared.

Many Indigenous people and communities have long been told that their culture and language needs to remain outside the doors of the church. This story was a reminder of the power of worship and song through the drum.

Not only does the drum signify welcome for Indigenous people, it can also be a blessing to the whole body of Christ.

“When you hear the drum don’t say, ‘oh this isn’t for us.’ Realize that the drum is a call to unity” said Jonathan Maracle, a Christian Mohawk musician. Seeing different styles of worship as a gift and sharing them in relationship with one another is a beautiful vision of life in Christian community.

Maracle has led worship across Canada and his experiences have shown him, “if people will allow us to be who God has created us to be, we will bring great blessing to the church and to the body of Christ here in Canada. We will bring great blessing as we come, play our drums, as we bless you and welcome you to this land.”

These values are what drove CIMC to reach out to Amero to collaborate on a song. He met with staff and agreed to work on a piece that could be shared with churches.

As the church continues to work towards being a space for richly reconciled relationships the final words of Amero’s song ring out: “We pray for tomorrow, for all that we don’t have today. And we trust in God’s plans because He knows the way.”

May singing and worshiping together guide us along the road of reconciliation.

Amero’s song can be listened to at crcna.org/indigenous and the chord sheet has been generously provided for anyone who wants to play along.

This page is made possible through a partnership with CRC Ministries within Canada.

Author

  • Victoria Veenstra is the Justice Communications Team Coordinator for the CRC, working for the Centre for Public Dialogue, Office of Social Justice, and Canadian Indigenous Ministries Committee.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.