The Longhouse Council of Native Ministry started 30 years ago as an outreach to Indigenous people in Vancouver, British Columbia. Established without a building, today its home is a church in the low-income Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood, and its outreach extends to all those seeking a caring community.
The ministry still maintains a significant commitment to First Nations. There is a weekly sharing circle mostly (but not exclusively) attended by Indigenous people, a carving and language class, and several 12-step groups, including an Aboriginal Alcoholics Anonymous group. However, poverty and homelessness, now growing in leaps and bounds, have made the congregation a hub for anyone seeking economic and social justice.
Regular Sunday worship, baptisms, marriages, and funerals are central to Longhouse. So, too, are the weekly food bank, and participation in annual Advent and Lenten vigils to raise awareness of those who are silenced in the city. As the Rev. Barry Morris says, there is a “creative tension between being a pastoral charge and a community ministry,” an urge to support as well as to change society.
Longhouse is one of the many community ministries across the country supported by Mission & Service.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.
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