Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bless this Talking Stick

I thought this was interesting. From the program for today's consecration of Fr. Gregory Rickel as the new Bishop of Olympia (in Western Washington, my old stomping ground):

Blessing of the New Diocesan Pastoral Staff
This new pastoral staff (crosier) was created for this consecration by First Nation’s Coastal Salish artist Curtis Johnson from Vancouver, British Columbia for the continuing use of every bishop diocesan of Olympia, and is a gift to the diocese from the members of the Joint Board, the Search and Transition Committees, and the Rt. Rev. Nedi Rivera. This crosier is a Talking Stick, signifying the authority and responsibility entrusted in its bearer to listen to the needs and vision of the people, toward empowering a collaborative and mutually responsive community effort in the health, growth and wellbeing of the whole.

Representative of the First Nations
O Great Creator, we offer the burning of sweet grass, tobacco, sage and cedar as a prayer for blessing as we dedicate this Talking Stick to be our Diocesan Crosier. May it be that whoever bears this Crosier on our behalf do so with wisdom, strength, spirit and courage.


Anonymous said...

What nonsense.

Jon said...

Um, maybe we should be careful about calling the cultural traditions of our brothers and sisters nonsense. Granted it doesn't fit all that well with non-Native American standards of propriety, and may even be more grounded in consumerized Native American culture, but as long as it doesn't amount to actively worshiping some sort of new god, it should probably be tolerated out of respect for our brothers and sisters.