Doctoral Student Charles Meeks Ventures to Wemindji, QC to Teach
Thursday July 12th, 2012
I was apprehensive at first about making the journey to Wemindji, QC, for the 2012 Moosonee School of Ministry. Though I'm from the States, I've traveled a fair bit in Canada…but never that far north! Fortunately the trip (both there and back) went perfectly. And though I had to make some adjustments on the fly, my time spent in the village was unforgettable.
The school started on Monday night the 2nd with a Eucharistic service of praise and worship. It was a huge blessing to break bread with the folks at St. John the Baptist (and especially Rod and Lisa BrantFrancis, its co-rectors). My friend Ben, who accompanied me on the journey, and I were warmly welcomed. All week, we were blown away by the hospitality and generosity of the people of the church and the people of the village. Tuesday through Thursday were "teaching" days; in the mornings, Norman Wesley from Moosonee taught sessions on being Cree and Christian, helping to connect the Cree to their past in order to understand the present and look forward to the future. In the afternoons, I taught sessions on the Early Church (specifically the Apostolic Fathers) in order to help the Cree understand how their faith is a part of a larger stream of handing the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles on to subsequent generations. I believe I may have benefitted more from the morning sessions than they did from my sessions…
Thursday night's traditional feast capped off a wonderful week of learning and growing. I hope to have more opportunity in the future to work with the Cree!