“Building Trust takes time, but can be shattered in a moment.”
Approximately five years ago, Holy Trinity, North Saanich, was asked by the Tsawout First Nation to host a Grief and Loss Circle. We did so for two years until we were forced to stop by COVID-19. Last September, we were able to start meeting again.
We are thankful for the relationship we have with the First Nations, which began about 20 years ago with a program named by Pauquachin First Nation as Trinity Time. Since then, we have hosted many workshops, family gatherings, healing circles and cultural events. All are centred around a meal (eucharist) as we gather on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish People. We strive to build trust and meaningful relationships with our participants. Many are going through vulnerable and difficult times in their lives. It is a time of sharing stories that are often difficult to tell, of mourning and of finding support and encouragement. Also, it is a time to find joy and the motivation to live life again. We are told by many members of our group that “Holy Trinity feels like home.” We begin our Grief and Loss Circle with a lunch. Tables are usually arranged in a circle and a First Nations Elder offers thanks and gives a blessing before the meal. After lunch, there is a sharing time that is facilitated by a First Nations councillor.
The Grief and Loss Circle is now a joint ministry between three bands (Tsawout, Pauquachin and Tseycum) and two parishes (Holy Trinity and the Parish of Central Saanich). As Lynda Clifford at Central Saanich says, “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to journey together with Holy Trinity. There is strength in numbers and it does make sense to combine our resources when we are in such close proximity. It is good to work together. The Parish of Central Saanich has enjoyed meeting new friends, but more importantly, we have become aware that we have so much to learn from each other. We are thankful for this opportunity.”
The Grief and Loss Circle meets every Friday from noon to 3 p.m. All are welcome to join. For more information please contact [email protected].