Relationships strengthened with First Nations

Posted: August 28, 2007

Dr. Dwayne Uglem, together with Brian Gobbett, Dale Plett, and Wes Olmstead, recently returned from a six-day tour of the Moosonee, Moose Factory, and Waskaganish communities located in the James Bay region of northern Ontario. This trip served as an opportunity to listen to and learn from the stories of First Nations people as part of a project called Re-Visioning Relationships: First Nations Communities and Theological Education in Dialogue.

The team was hosted by Abraham Jolly, an alumnus of Briercrest College. Together the team was able to tour the communities and spend time visiting with the people, attend a regional gospel jamboree, witness a baptism, and worship and minister in a local church Bible study.

"It was an honour to be in Abraham's community and to be introduced to the story of his family and the story of the gospel in their community. God has worked in amazing ways through the church in this region. These families have become important leaders in their community, some as pastors and missionaries, others in community development and regional leadership." - Dr. Dwayne Uglem

This trip served as an important precursor to the Re-Visioning Relationships Conference being held on campus November 9, when First Nations leaders will have an opportunity to speak into the relationship of Briercrest with the First Nations' church in Canada.
"For me, this was a trip marked by sharply contrasting images (and realities). On the one hand, we saw firsthand some of the complex, sobering issues that the church in these communities faces. On the other, we also witnessed the tremendously significant ministries in which our graduates are engaged. We saw them weep over the needs of their people and heard them preach with power and conviction and anointing. We heard them speak of their deep gratitude for their years at Briercrest, but also of some of the pain that they experienced here. Several of the leaders with whom we met plan to join us for our November 9 conference and I think all of us have come out of these few days together with a fresh anticipation for renewing and extending our conversations when we gather then." - Wes Olmstead

This trip was enabled by the generous support of The Bridgeway Foundation.