By Ali Symons, Anglican Church of Canada
Dec. 17, 2012–The Mohawks of Tyendinaga are passionate about supporting their northern Indigenous sisters and brothers—and the Gifts for Mission gift guide provides an essential conduit for this generosity.
In 2011 and 2012 the Mohawk Guild of the Parish of Tyendinaga gave hundreds of dollars through Gifts for Mission, the Anglican Church of Canada’s gift guide. They supported stipends and education for Indigenous clergy, suicide prevention programs, and sacramental ministry in the north.
Shirley Maracle, the 77-year-old guild president, doesn’t like to brag. She says, quite simply, that the women and men of the group like to raise funds for this work through quilting and bake sales.
“We just all believe in the old adage that it’s better to give than to receive,” said Ms. Maracle with a chuckle.
Their rector, the Ven. Brad Smith, is more forthcoming. “This is a very generous parish,” he said.
Mr. Smith recalls that a couple of years ago, parish members were moved by a presentation at the diocesan synod about high food prices in Canada’s Arctic. Now they give a monthly donation to the Council of the North, the Anglican Church of Canada’s 10 northernmost dioceses.
The Parish of Tyendinaga is 70% Mohawk. In 1784, after the U.S. Revolutionary War, Mohawk allies of the British moved from New York to settle in Tyendinaga. The parish now includes All Saints Church and a chapel royal, a symbol of the historic friendship between the crown and the Mohawks.
Occasionally, Mr. Smith fields calls from people who want to “help the poor Indians” in his parish. He just encourages them to follow the Mohawks’ example and give to the Council of the North.
This generosity keeps on growing. Mr. Smith says he dreams of a day when the parish can open a storefront ministry to serve the nearby town of Deseronto.
“If you subscribe to the Marks of Mission, one of the great works of the church is to transform the world,” said Mr. Smith. “The gift guide helps us do this-especially in offering loving service and transforming unjust structures.”
Join the Mohawk Guild and give a gift that supports Indigenous ministry:
- Help nurture northern leaders
- Help honour clergy in northern communities
- Support the pastoral work of the Council of the North
Above: The Parish of Tyendinaga helped pay tuition and travel costs for Indigenous theology students, like this group from Saskatchewan.