When we became followers of Jesus in 1982, our pastor gave us each a scripture as a life verse, Mark's was Matthew 6:33, and Cheryl's was Proverbs 3:5&6.
"Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5&6
Since then, we have held tight to these verses. In times of abundance and scarcity, in times of confusion and clarity, in times of great joy and deep sorrow, these verses have grounded us, guided us, consoled us, emboldened us. We have, too often, failed to heed their wisdom. But not once have they failed to give us wisdom.
In 1989 we began our pastoral ministry in Vernon, BC. Here we also started our family, three, now grown, children. In 1995, we moved to Vancouver Island, BC and to another pastoral position. We were in the Duncan, part of the Cowichan Valley, for 18 years. That is where God first woke us up and opened our eyes to our Indigenous neighbours.
That is where our own New Story began.
In those years, through many conversations with Indigenous friends and Elders (for whose patience we are forever grateful), through much reading and pondering, through much trying and failing and trying again, we began to understand both the staggering beauty of Indigenous peoples and cultures, as well as the deep harm and trauma that many Indigenous people and communities struggle with.
We began to repent – to change our minds, and to change our ways. We began to use our voices to raise awareness. We began to get involved – clumsy and misguided at times, but slowly moving toward genuine friendship and partnership with Indigenous peoples. We began to experience real and lasting change in ourselves.
Somewhere along the way, we fell in love: with the people, with their wisdom, with their ways.
All that has led to this, New Story Community.
So Please read on.