RJC students explored the theme of “Building Bridges and Mending Fences” for this year’s Deeper Life Days at RJC. Students were challenged to be ‘bridge builders’ with their neighbors, whether across the street or around the world. Ryan Dueck, pastor of Lethbridge Mennonite Church, shared his church’s story of sponsoring Syrian refugees. After hearing the news of the effects of the Syrian civil war, his church decided to respond by offering safe haven to people in need. Linda Swab also shared about Eigenheim Mennonite Church’s sponsorship of a young Muslim Syrian family. They both shared about the challenges and rewards of these bridge building adventures.
Closer to home, RJC students invited students from Muskeg Lake First Nation and Beardy’s First Nation to join them for a ‘Mennonite Feast’ at lunch followed by games in the gym and a Treaty Days celebration in the Rehearsal Hall. RJC’s Native Studies class presented some research on the history of Treaties and the RJC Concert Choir performed ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’, which was followed by dancing and drumming from our First Nation friends. Harry Lafond from the Office of the Treaty Commission was in attendance, and offered his words of encouragement and support. We were reminded that we are all Treaty people, and we all have a role to play in making our treaty relationships work moving forward.
The Faith and Life Committee also coordinated some sharing circles where students were able to talk about some challenges at school, and the Worship Arts worship team lead in music. Thank you to all who helped make this event a success, and challenged us to be ‘bridge builders’ and ‘fence menders’ in our world. May God help us to this end.