Nestled among trees sits a beautiful old red brick building, Oneida United Church, that has been serving the people of the Oneida Nation of the Thames (Ontario) since the 1840s. The church holds services in the Oneida language.
Retired minister the Rev. Grafton Antone speaks passionately about the ministry of the church and the community that surrounds it. The welcome table prominently displays copies of the Gifts with Vision catalogue and Minutes for Mission booklets, showing the giving heart of the Oneida congregation, who are able to offer ministry through funding from Mission & Service.
Oneida United Church went through a time of transition when the Rev. Antone retired. They have recently welcomed a new minister into their congregation and thanked the Rev. Antone for his many years of joy-filled ministry. He will continue to be an important part of the community, walking with the hurting, hearing stories, and offering leadership in the healing process.
Oneida is a spiritual home for those on the First Nation, and we thank Mission & Service for the support to continue this ministry. A short distance away, the neighbouring community of the Chippewas of the Thames is the home of what was the Mount Elgin Indian Residential School, which opened its doors in 1851 and was permanently closed in 1946. The school was operated by The United Church of Canada. Survivors use their artistic abilities to express their experiences and their faith in moving forward, giving the entire community a creative way to walk the path of reconciliation.
Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.
Loving God, we are called to be your colours in the world, to walk with each other, to share in love through our gifts for Mission & Service. Guide us to shine brightly in the world. Amen