Thursday, September 21, 2006

Retrouver les gestes anciens pour une foi nouvelle

Les représentants des peuples indigènes célèbrent le Dieu de tous les peuples

"Dieu, feu d'amour…" ces paroles prennent un sens nouveau lorsque la neige tombe à flocons légers sur le lavvu, la tente Sámie des éleveurs nomades de rennes. Autour du foyer flamboyant, les coeurs s'unissent dans la prière pour remettre à Dieu, chacun dans sa langue natale, les travaux de la conférence Une communion indigène et les préoccupations de son peuple.

Préparée et conduite par Tore Johnsen, pasteur Sámi de l'Église de Norvège, cette célébration était l'occasion pour les hôtes de la conférence de présenter le travail liturgique effectué dans la langue sapmi depuis plusieurs années, dans un mouvement de réconciliation entre la foi chrétienne et les traditions culturelles.

Le lavvu, structuré à l'image d'une église avec ses différentes parties et ses lieux sacrés s'organise autour du foyer central. Le feu, brûlant en cette région où les températures descencent largement sous la barre des zéros degrés et lumière en ces plateaux du Finnmark où la nuit hivernale dure deux mois, symbolise ici la présence de Dieu "lumière du monde, feu de l'amour".

Retrouvant les gestes ancestraux, le pasteur Johnsen verse la coupe de vin, à l'issue de la communion, dans le foyer. "Ton sang n'a pas seulement été répandu pour les êtres humains mais pour la rédemption de la création toute entière".

La préoccupation au sujet du salut de la création résonnait aussi dans les paroles du sermon de William Lo, pasteur de Bornéo (Malaysie), inquiet de voir les membres de son peuple vendre la terre de leurs ancêtres pour survivre à une économie mondialisée.

Redecovering the Ancient Gestures for a New Faith

Indigenous representatives worship the God of all peoples

"God, Fire of Love…" these words get a new sense when snow slowly falls on top of the lavvu, the sámi reindeer shepherd's tent. Around the glowing fireplace, hearts unite, each one in their native langage praising God for the LWF consultation "An Indigenous Communion" and for the concerns of his people.

This service was prepared and lead by Rev. Tore Johnsen, a Sámi pastor of the Church of Norway. It was the occasion for the conference host to present the liturgical work done in recent years, in Sapmi language, to reconcile Christian faith and traditional culture.

The lavvu, structured like a church with different places and sacred areas, organizes itself around the fireplace. The fire, burning in this region where temperatures often fall far below zero limits the night light for two months during winter in the northern Finnmark region. It symbolizes God's presence, "Light of the World, Fire of Love".

With his ancestors' gestures, Johnsen, pours wine onto the fire after communion. "Your blood was not shed only for human beings, but for the redemption of all creation."


The creation's salvation preoccupation was also echoed in William Lo's sermon. This Borneo, Malaysia, pastor expressed his anxiety about his people selling the land of their ancestors to survive in a globalizing economy.

Sámi Student of Christianity Finds Practicing Faith Hard

Youth leader excited to meet other indigenous people

Kirsti Guvsám is a 27-year-old Sámi who is a student of Christian studies at Oslo University, Norway, who says she does not find it easy being a Christian.

It's coffee time on the second day of a consultation of indigenous people from around the world and she arrives for her interview to talk about her role on the Sámi Church Council. She is smiling, her blond hair flowing.

She is delighted about the consultation in Karasjok, where indigenous people from every corner of the globe have gathered.

Asked what she felt after hearing she was invited to the LWF consultation, she replies. "I was looking forward to meeting other indigenous, because we are like a family and we are sharing stories. We have the same challenges. For example, the challenge is to get Church practice and indigenous people together."

She continues, "It's not easy to be Sámi and Christian at the same time. Sámi would like to use their own songs at services, but here it's not possible. And that makes us sad. It's very important to somehow bring together culture and liturgy."

So what steps should the Church take to get closer to Sámi people and their youth?

"I think we need our own Church. We need freedom to use our own songs and to put some of our own things into the liturgy. Our culture is colored by some specific notes from pagan days, so we miss them in Church."

Il est difficile de pratiquer sa foi, selon une étudiante Sámie en théologie

Kirsti Guvsám, blonde et souriante étudiante en théologie à Oslo de 27 ans, reconnaît qu'il est difficile pour un jeune Sámi de vivre sa foi chrétienne.

Excitée à l'idée de vivre cette rencontre de la "grande famille des peuples indigènes", elle souhaite partager au sujet des défis qu'ils ont en commun. "Les Sámis aimeraient pouvoir chanter les chants de leur tradition à l'Église, mais cela n'est pas possible. Il est très important de pouvoir réunir culture et liturgie." L'Église devrait pouvoir, selon elle, se rapprocher des Sámis, et des jeunes en particulier, en offrant la liberté de chanter le joik, quand bien même celui-ci est hérité des temps du paganisme.

Indigenous in Karasjok Recall How Winnipeg Assembly Launched Their Campaign

New steps to broaden process is next goal

They remembered how it began three years ago in Winnipeg, Canada, so they paid tribute to Rev. Humberto Ramos Salazar, former president of the Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELB). They remembered his role in beginning the process, but he was killed in 2004 in a car accident. Participants said he gave strong impetus to a campaign for Indigenous People during their meeting at the 2003 LWF Tenth Assembly in Winnipeg.

"The goal of this meeting is to make a common understanding of indigenous issues, there this consultation is directly continuing the one we had in Winnipeg," said Tore Johnsen, a Sámi pastor said.

At the Winnipeg Assembly those working on the matter held four productive meetings that ended with a resolution on Indigenous Peoples which the LWF Assembly accepted.

Now is time to take new steps in the development of this resolution," said Johnsen in Karasjok
Therefore, they spoke about developing structures that advance their goals.

One speaker said they recognize that the LWF can enable churches to recognize indigenous people at a local level. He noted that for indigenous people it is very important to keep their own identity, language, culture and territory and that the LWF along with local Lutheran churches can be of great help in facing the issue.

Click here for here for the LWF Tenth Assembly Message, adopted 30 July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access this link - pdf/69kb)

Click here for a Compilation of Resolutions and Statements adopted by the LWF Tenth Assembly in Winnipeg, Canada. (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access this link - pdf/59kb)

The Lutheran World Information (LWI) published the following news stories about the participation of Indigenous peoples in LWF Assembly:
Indigenous Peoples Participants in LWF Assembly Amplify Global Concerns, Call to Join in Common Journey on the Path of Healing.

La conférence se remémore comment cette campagne a débuté lors de l'Assemblée de Winnipeg

Rappelant le processus ayant mené à cette conférence, le pasteur Sámi Tore Johnsen, a souligné le rôle clé joué par Humberto Ramos Salazar de Bolivie, lors de l'Assemblée de la FLM en 2003 à Winnipeg, Canada, décédé en 2004. "Il est temps d'effectuer de nouveaux pas dans le développement de la résolution votée alors."

L'un des intervenants a remarqué que la FLM pouvait, en lien avec les Églises luthériennes locales, être d'une grande aide dans le maintien des identités, langues et cultures particulières, avant peut-être de développer des structures pour servir ces objectifs.

Cliquez ici pour lire le message de la 10e Assemblée de la FLM, adopté le 30 juillet 2003, à Winnipeg, Canada. (Utilisez Adobe Acrobat Reader pour ouvrir ce lien - pdf/69kb)

Cliquez ici pour une compilation des résolutions et décisions prises à la 10e Assemblée de la FLM à Winnipeg, Canada.(Utilisez Adobe Acrobat Reader pour ouvrir ce lien - pdf/59kb)

Le "Lutheran World Information" (LWI) a publié les articles suivants sur la participation des peuples indigènes à la 10e Assemblée à Winnipeg, Canada (uniquement en anglais): Indigenous Peoples Participants in LWF Assembly Amplify Global Concerns, Call to Join in Common Journey on the Path of Healing.

Indigenous Indian Tells of the Gifts Her Community Has for All

In community there is no "I" only "We"

Nijhar Minz, a pastor from an indigenous group in India, took Bishop Eugenio Poma from Bolivia, when she washed his feet.

"We can't distinguish spirituality from theology and neither of those two, from ethics. It's how we live our lives," said Minz after washing the feet of Poma, seconded staff of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for Indigenous People. The theologian, who recently returned to her country after living most of her adult life in the United States said that in her community in North West India, the feet of any person entering a home are washed as a sign of hospitality.

Explaining the washing of feet she noted it is characteristic of all the people in the North West India who call themselves "tribal people". The welcome procedure is for all whether they are Christians, or not. She cited John's Gospel in this regard as carrying a special relevance for those people.

The second gift she spoke of is "an exceptional ability for community living". "It's actually the only way the Indian tribes dwell - being in community, not using the word 'I' but 'we'. We are never called to go out on our own, but to take others along with us. During that journey through life we go together and we share everything. Also the truth of Jesus Christ the savior."

A participant from Indonesia asked "Are you never competitive?" She said, "these are our ethics - we live together and lend each other a helping hand."

The third thing indigenous people contribute to the wider community, Rev. Minz noted, is the ability to express emotions. Typical for every village is a place where all can come together to celebrate life. And this happens, not only for special occasions, but each day. It helps to forget pain encountered in daily life and thereby to concentrate on music and dance.

Une indienne parle des dons de sa communauté pour l'ensemble des humains

Nijhar Minz, pasteure d'une communauté indigène en Inde, a vraiment surpris le bolivien Eugenio Poma lorsqu'elle a proposé de lui lavé les pieds. "Nous ne pouvons pas séparer la spiritualité de la théologie. Et aucun de ces deux de notre éthique. C'est ainsi que nous vivons nos vies." C'est ainsi qu'elle explique ce geste traditionnel d'hospitalité en chaque maison de sa communauté.

De la même façon, elle souligne la capacité de son peuple à vivre en communauté, "nous ne parlons jamais de 'je', seulement de 'nous'." La troisième chose que les communautés indigènes peuvent apporter à la communauté humaine, c'est aussi leur capacité à célébrer la vie ensemble.

Morning Prayers After First Snow Leave a Tingle at Indigenous Meeting

'God gives trust to indigenous people, who find gifts in gospel culture'

Karasjok has perhaps never received such a diversity of indigenous nations' representatives.

Some of them try to warm up in the hall of the cultural house of this Arctic Circle town, on a frisky morning after the first snow has fallen. An Australian Aboriginal woman steps behind the microphone and starts to pray. It's the first Morning Prayer of the multicultural conference.

"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, be content with what you have; for He Himself has said." Hebrews 13:5, reads Rachelle McIvor introducing the interactive morning devotion and bible study. Interactive, because she explains, she is thinking with the help of the prayers written on the spot by the other participants.

She also emphasizes the importance of self-determination, which should not be controlled by money. "God trusts in us," she underlines, "otherwise we wouldn't have been given free will". Therefore indigenous people can find their own gifts through challenges and gospel culture. White, black, indigenous or aboriginal: there is a constant struggle in how we use these words, because humanity tends to say these with innuendo.

McIvor appeals to the indigenous communion, which has carried on independent of governmental policies, to believe in each other as God does, and to have more faith, because these are the pledges of surviving. She encourages the indigenous youth to hope and feel responsibility towards their community, as its future depends on them.

La prière du matin frisonne après la première neige

Rachelle McIvor, jeune femme aborigène, a ouvert la première journée de la conférence par un temps de prière et d'étude biblique. S'appuyant sur l'Épître aux Hébreux ("Ne vous livrez pas à l'amour de l'argent; contentez- vous de ce que vous avez.", Héb. 13,5) elle a insisté sur la liberté que Dieu a donné à l'Homme. "Dieu nous fait confiance, trouvons nos propres dons."

Elle a aussi appeler à une communion indigène qui, en-dehors des politiques gouvernementales, pousse à croire les uns dans les autres, comme Dieu le fait. Rappelant que le futur dépend d'eux, elle a conclu en encourageant les jeunes indigènes à espérer et à se sentir responsables vis-à-vis de leur communauté.