by Lorraine Payette, written March 18, 2014
“Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink… ”
– Rime of the Ancient Mariner
How often do you think about water when you turn on a tap? Flush a toilet? Take a bath? Water your lawn?
Chances are, you don’t, yet there are many people out there who don’t have access to readily available, potable water, let alone find it flowing freely from their taps.
“(W)hile we haven’t been worrying, things have gotten to the point where it’s now a crisis, a spiritual crisis,” says the Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, The Anglican Church of Canada’s National Indigenous Bishop. “And it’s threatening to be a physical crisis as well.”
There are indigenous communities right here in Canada for whom clean water is a luxury seldom seen, and other Canadians who live with contaminated wells or worse. In January, MacDonald spoke at a workshop called “Faithful Living on the Land”, where he addressed these issues.
“For example, when governments or industries don’t consult communities before mining or developing hydro projects, it is both an affront to the people and dangerous to their way of life,” reads an article by Debra Fieguth in “Dialogue” (part of the Anglican Journal).
“One of the biggest issues in indigenous communities is hydro development. ‘People have a right to have some say on what goes on in their territories.’ But frequently they aren’t consulted, which is against Treaty rights as well as the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
“On March 30th we will be hosting ‘Faithful Living on the Land’, an in-depth talk about our conservation of water,” says Reverend Christine Downey, Christ Church in Gananoque. “This program first ran in January and included a symposium with special guest Bishop Mark McDonald. One of the talks was given by Mary Wooding a parishioner and I have asked her present it at Christ Church on March 30th.
“We are offering this to the wider public and to those who may not have been able to take part in the original meetings. It will last about an hour beginning at 10:30 on March 30th and will include a short blessing of water, readings and music.”
For more information, please contact the Church at 613-382-3655 or firstname.lastname@example.org .