Building a Bridge: A Starting Place for Dialogue, A response to the Truth and Reconcilation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Building a Bridge: A starting Place for Dialogue

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action Number fifty-nine:

We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.”

What follows is offered in the spirit of this Call to Action: 

A Message and Invitation from Doug Bowen (Parish Council Member & Rev. Wally Eamer, Deacon)

As presented to parishioners on Sunday May 1, we have spoken at length with Butch Dick, a Songhees Elder and representative who has agreed to facilitate two sessions with approximate 20-30 members of our congregation and associates on May 20 and on June 10.   These 2 sessions are intended as a starting place for dialogue:

As such they are intended to bring awareness and information to those who attend.   We have all agreed that the sessions need to recognize and acknowledge our desire to build a ‘bridge’ for our future relationship….a bridge which will support our respective peoples understand each others perspectives, history, values  and customs.

May 27, 2016

The first session will be Friday – May 27, 2016 [9:00-11:00] at St Peter & St Paul Church Hall.  This session will seek to expand our understanding and awareness of the Songhees ,Lekwungen people – their rich culture, language and heritage within the ancestral lands on which St Peter and St Paul Church rests. Butch Dick as the Songhees Nation representative will walk us through a Songhees PowerPoint presentation that will provide us with an opportunity to gain information, generate discussion and better understand of the Songhees people. Following a short break we will open the session to a conversation intended to create a better understand our Songhees neighbors.

June 10, 2016

The second session will be on Friday – June 10, 2016 [9:30-11:00] tentatively at the Songhees Wellness Centre. This session will seek to introduce our work together through a practical ‘ hands on/ interactive’ piece of work that will assist participants identify ways of achieving stronger relationships while at the same revealing ways of overcoming problems that either support or  hinder our work together.


These two sessions are intended to begin a renewal of our relationship with Songhees and indirectly with Esquimalt First Nations – it will be the start of a journey with the Songhees people – a journey which we hope will begin to correct some historic wrongs, create understanding and healing and at the same time grow into a strong and truthful relationship.

Collaboration calls on us to take some risk as we explore new and important ideas—- most of all it takes an openness which can enable us to work together in ways that have never occurred in the past. With this in mind it will be important to be gentle with each other and as our Bishop has said ‘we need to “walk gently on this journey together”.


We look forward to seeing those who sign up — join us in our walk together with the Lekwungen people. – with an willing heart and understanding spirit.



Doug Bowen, Rev. Wally Eamer

Please call Rev. Wally, at 250-888-6376 to sign up if you have not already.



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Cancelled June 1 only! Selirk Regional Ministry happening in our Parish Hall! Life Spirit Art Studio: Every Wednesday from Noon-3PM, In our Church Hall! Jane’s Contact information 250-213-1982,

Life Spirit Art Studio

We create Art here to reflect on our lives and our spiritual journey. We can use canvas, paper, sculpture, the story, the handmade journal, or other means of expression. You can choose either to practice art making and or to develop some tools for spiritual living and enrich your life. In the LifeSpirit Art Studio our daily lives and experiences are fodder for spiritual reflection. Deepening awareness of `God ‘ in our lives may or may not surface during the creative activities of the weekly 3 hour session, but the Studio gives us all the chance to relax, enjoy, and engage in quiet and contemplation. The Studio includes times of gathering for prayer, discussion, reflection and individual art exploration. Our sessions will encourage opportunities to look through magazines, read poetry or devotionals for ideas and inspiration, and to share with each other. Music may be used for stimulus and or drawing ourselves into quiet concentration or reflection. To ensure a feeling of safety and confidentiality the expectations of a `respectful and safe’ environment will be reviewed each week, as there maybe new participants attending each session. Media such as paint, pastels, collage, colouring, multi media sculpture, fabrics, sewing or stitching can be provided, or, bring your own media. Recycled materials will be included and have endless uses for creativity and storage. Donations of any media for others to use will be gratefully accepted. The Studio provides tea and coffee, so bring a mug that you don’t mind getting dirty! Attendees can bring a bag lunch. There will be time for chat and a chance to get to know one another informally through the day. Fun is permitted, encouraged!

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Come and Worship with us! Encounter the living Christ always! Sunday May 29 at 8:30 and 10:30! The Rev. Wally Eamer, Deacon preaching!

May291016BAS.doc Service Bulletin Day of Pentecost
Lord God of the nations, you have revealed your will to all people and promised us your saving help. May we hear and do what you command, that the darkness may be overcome by the power of your light; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

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Hi! Are you New to our Parish, New to our Website? Help us to help you!

If you have questions that you do not see the answers to please E-mail the rector, The Ven. Lon Towstego at, or call Myrna in the Church Office, Tuesday-Friday from 9AM-1PM. LonMyrna-Bennett-1024x768

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Come and Worship with us, Sunday, May 8, Jerusalem Sunday!

Prayer for Jerusalem: O God, We give thanks that your dear Son has gathered us in the embrace of his redeeming love and sent us to make that love known to the ends of the earth. We pray your continued blessings on the steadfast witness of the Church in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East. Give your deep joy to those who welcome the pilgrims seeking to know this land and its many peoples. Grace those who proclaim the Gospel. Guide all who teach a new generation of young people. Draw near to those who are sick and bless those who tend them. Sustain the hope in all who long and labour for a just and lasting peace in the land of The Holy One. And may the companions of Jerusalem be many and faithful. We pray in the name of our merciful Saviour, Friend, and Brother, our Lord Jesus Christ.   Amen.


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Highlights of the 97th Synod of the Diocese of BC, held April 22,23, 2016!

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They are settling! Welcome to Canada! We meet the amazing family from Syria who our Parish, Church of the Cross Lutheran Church and the Community Group have sponsored.

It has been two and a half months since our Syrian Family arrived in Canada.

They are very appreciative that the Anglican Church and St Peter and St Paul were their sponsors to come to Canada.  We are so grateful for the financial help provided by the Lutheran Church of the Cross and another group of Victorians who raised money and collected furniture for the family. The family is amazed at how friendly and welcoming Canadians are and how generous they have been to them.

They almost immediately started to explore our city, taking buses everywhere and seeing and learning about Victoria. As a family they are all very positive and very optimistic about their future in Canada as they feel there are many more opportunities for all of them here in Canada.

Ibrahim had some English before he came to Canada but his understanding and his comprehension and reading skills, through daily practice, has increased a hundred fold.  Ibrahim has enrolled in three different English classes.  He hopes this will help him to quickly learn to read, spell and completely understand English. He is dedicated to obtaining his license to practice his profession as a pharmacist as soon as possible.  His other goal is to learn to drive in Canada.  He has just received his learners’ permit and is now able to practice driving.  Getting the permit was no easy feat as he had to read and understand everything in English to pass.  If anyone would like to help him prepare for his driving test by taking him out to practice, please let Sharon Wickware know.  He had his own car in Syria and has driven for years.

Ranim initially started out slowly to understand and speak English.  She took English in high school and had done very well. However, when she went to Turkey to go to university she had to learn Turkish and had no opportunity to speak English.  She soon forgot it.  Now, with the English foundation, her understanding of English, her use of the correct words and the correct tenses has improved dramatically. She is very comfortable speaking English and she improves daily.  She needs to practice.  In her eagerness to speak English well, she has enrolled in English at Camosun with Imbrahim as well as at the Intra Cultural Centre.

Nigar, the eight year old, is in grade three. Her teacher said she is doing well and is learning English quickly.  The other students are being very supportive.  Nigar has also learned to ride a bicycle at school and has just enrolled in soccer and is loving it.

Limar is five and is not in school yet.  She has discovered TV and so her English is improving as well. Limar has enrolled, along with her father, in a Saturday morning soccer group.  They enjoy playing soccer together.  Ibrahim is a very involved father and is protective and supportive of his family.

Nilay, at two, is still learning Arabic but is picking up English words as well.  She is a very busy little girl.

Nikar, the grandmother, is a lovely woman and is so pleased that she also has the opportunity to take English classes.  She is enrolled at the Intra Cultural Centre and will begin classes soon.  She has picked up a few words and seems to be understanding some of the English conversation now.  She is a bit apprehensive but her desire to learn will outweigh her concerns. Nikar, along with the rest of the family, is very welcoming and gracious.  She is an amazing cook, preparing everything from scratch.  She and Raneem make delicious family meals which I have had opportunity to sample. Syrians culturally are very hospitable and eager to feed you when you visit to my delight, I might add, as their food is very delicious.They are all eager to learn about their new home and have settled into a routine that will help them to become “productive citizens of Canada” (their words).  They are a lovely family and are a joy to be around.

It has been wonderful to get to know them.  I am hoping that when we have our next parish dinner in May they will join us so that you can meet them.

If you would like to get to know our family and help out with some of the different things that come up  that they may need assistance with, or just to meet and chat with them (they love the opportunity to practice English), please call Sharon Wickware – 250-477-6301.

Thank you.  Sharon Wickware, Syrian Family Sponsor Team

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The Next St. Peter and St. Paul, Community Lunch, Monday, May 23 at noon! All are welcome!

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The Sacred Journey. Our Diocesan Bishop, Logan MacMenamie has walked from Alert Bay to Victoria

Our Bishop, Logan, walked from Alert Bay to
Victoria during Lent of 2016. He will began at Christ Church, Alert Bay on Sunday, March 6, with a time of ritual preparation and an act of repentance, both for himself personally and for all Anglicans in the Diocese. Then he crossed to Port McNeill to continue the journey south. The walk will finished at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria after three weeks on Easter Sunday, March 27.

Here he is March 26 in our Parish Hall after walking from the Songhees Wellness Centre.

Bp Logan


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Women’s Fellowship Group visits Butchart Gardens!


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