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The sacred gift of water

February 18, 2010

By pwrdf

Voices of Hope Pew Bulletin Story
Canada

The congregation of St. George’s Anglican Church, Clarksburg, Huron,welcomed Shirley John, an Ojibway elder from Saugeen First Nation as they celebrated their PWRDF Sunday. Known as Strong White Buffalo Woman, Shirley has carried her water teaching all over Ontario and to Newfoundland and Hawaii. Shirley, one of Mother Earth’s Water Walkers, has set a goal to walk around the Great Lakes to draw attention to the need for clean water. She recalled walking from Wasaga Beach to Goderich; she and her husband carried a large heavy pail of water. Shirley brought a group called the Healing Drum Circle, from the M’Wikwedong Native Cultural and Resource Centre in Owen Sound, who shared aspects of their culture and rituals. Holding up a small vial of water, she urged the congregation to be resourceful: “One day this will be very, very expensive for our grandchildren and great grandchildren,” she cautioned. Before renewing baptismal vows, the M’Wikwedong women led a powerful Ojibway water ritual to the four directions. Each person had brought a vial of water for the common bowl, which was blessed and sprinkled over all. The congregation affirmed, “We remember water is a sacred gift and a collective responsibility. We do care. We will respond.” Later, the consecrated water was carried outside to pour into the Memorial Garden in honour of the ancestors.
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