Wednesday 17 May 2018 3:00 p.m. The Rev. Bruce Bryant-Scott – “Unsettling Theology: Beyond Genocidal Theologies” #2

What theologies or theological concepts will help us to avoid genocidal behaviour in the future?

Suggestions from the floor:

1.The Great Commandment

2. Creation Theology

3. Doctrine of the fall – we are all limited and called to live with humility

4. the Golden Rule

5. Respect for the dignity of every human being

6. Incarnational theology – God is among us in all of creation

7. Micah 6:8:

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God?

8. all are made in the image of God

Bruce points toward Philippians 2:5-8 – kenosis, the self-emptying of Christ:

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
   did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross.

the Father is related to the Son and the Son to the Spirit by self-emptying. God is related to all of creation by self-emptying. We too are supposed to think this way.

Are we willing to let go and return lands to Indigenous people? Reconciliation needs to be more than warm fuzzy feelings. There is much more we need to do around land and autonomy.


Following Bruce’s presentation, the Bishop introduced Jill Harris elder of the Penelakut First Nation of British Columbia. She addressed the gathering:

There are many times I have been very resistant to becoming part of an institution like the clergy in which I would be caused to say things that are foreign to my people and cause me to be part of colonization.

Jill Harris is my “stage name.” One day I was given my rue name. I was instructed how to conduct my life of service to my people. I am trying to create this service into a job description.

I was fortunate in discerning how I would accept conversion to the church in having friends in Ralph and Gloria Cope who didn’t judge me as an aboriginal person or say you must become Anglican.

After all the Residential School and Convent School education I had I still doubted that God remembered me and that I was a worthy person to have a career. Before I left school I decided I wanted to become a nun. But I was told I was poor and Indian and if my parents could not come up with $1,500.00 to pay for me to enter the novitiate, I was not worthy to be a nun. My parents, when I approached them and said I wanted to join the convent said it would be just like marrying a white man. So, I married a white man.

My parents fad faith God would be with me through all my struggles. Their faith was like a thread that carried me through.

As a Roman Catholic I had never heard of Indigenous people worshiping in their own way. The doubt so many Indigenous people have is because we have never had the chance to rise above being “uncivilized.”

I have been honoured to serve as an elder in our community. This means someone has seen me being who I am.