Read the transcript
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As the interim president, I find myself learning new things about The Alliance all the time. There’s so much going on in so many places in ways that God is working I thought I’d take a few minutes to highlight an Alliance worker in ministry. Howard Jolly is the executive director of the First Nations Alliance Churches of Canada (FNACC). He recently started an online ministry empowering Indigenous leaders through sharing stories, music and testimonies.
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Starting a ministry from scratch can be overwhelming, not knowing how things are going to look or how it’s going to be received. But Howard’s trust in God is confident, unshaken, and he knows what God can do.
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I started with The Alliance in 2005. I was an intern pastor. I didn’t realize that when we started going there that their pastor had moved on to a different ministry there with The Alliance. They approached me first, actually, and so I was able to do that for about a year and a half, I think. And then I was approached to take on the directorship.
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I’ve been executive director now since July of this past year. So almost a year now, full time executive director.
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You attended Providence, entered into ministry served for 14 years, and then began to move toward this role of part time director for our First Nations Ministry. And then now this last year becoming the full time executive director. What is the this new role as a full time executive director? What are the functions and what are the aspirations you have asexecutive director?
00:01:36:20 – 00:02:04:17
Just working with the First Nations churches that already exist with the pastors and just encouraging the fellowships too and the pastors in their ministry. Also to connect it to cross-cultural relations with the greater part of The Alliance with a lot of Caucasian churches and also doing you know, as the Chinese churches too and you know, talking about issues of reconciliation with our people.
00:02:05:02 – 00:02:23:21
And also I’m hoping to help with the start up of First Nations churches too. We only have four right now and that’s a pretty low number when you think of all of Canada. So we really need a lot of a lot of work to–
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Are there are any headwinds or challenges that you kind of go right now, you go, man, this is a challenge for us.
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Yeah. There’s I think that one of the huge things is culture and face You know, within within the First Nations Church, you know, some people are very anti culture expression within church and some are very for–and maybe more extreme than I would be. But I’m I feel like I’m somewhere in the middle in all that and just knowing how to walk with people that are different, different, I would say maybe have different beliefs or different foundations regarding culture and faith.
00:03:08:11 – 00:03:38:03
I feel like one of the things that’s happening within the First Nations or indigenous life is there’s a strong awareness of the impact of colonialism, the impact of assimilation to on our people, and and how that’s really created a strong identity crisis and also really connected to a lot of the dysfunction that exists, but also to I think it’s an awakening that is happening.
00:03:38:18 – 00:04:05:19
And so people are really seeing the importance of identity and importance of grieving over the past. And sometimes I think there’s a lot of anger that’s connected to that. And just knowing how the process that and how to encourage people and in the processing of that, I feel like is very Jesus is a very relevant to the whole processing of in to the healing.
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So in that way, I think it’s a real opportune time to really share Jesus. You know, and the good news.
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Really appreciate your sharing that because in a sense, all that’s taking place is given a greater degree of awareness and people are processing their story and what’s happened in past, how it’s affected who we are today. And, you know, I can see that this is a profound and cathartic time. And you’re saying, how does Jesus intersects that story?
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Right? Like Jesus says, the answer as people are processing that and, and, and this is the privilege you have to come into that narrative of culture and and the complexity of of of some of the of the challenges that it’s brought because of, as you said, you know, the colonial effect of of taking away culture and that how does Jesus can can you to summarize it, if you’re talking to a friend or to a to a you know, someone is talking to you and can just share in their pain about it, they’re processing it.
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And you say to them, you know, I share about Jesus. How does Jesus make a difference in that? Like, can you kind of just if you’re kind a role playing it, you know? And I was saying to you, hey, how does Jesus help this? What would you say?
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A lot of it is connected to to inner hurts, inner, you know, inner struggles and and even also to even the impact of colonialism. You know, I thought white people were better than me. You know, I thought I needed to be a white person. To be a good person, you know. And I think some of the people are struggling with that.
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But then I kind of really emphasize that that, you know, that Jesus sees the pain. And also Jesus speaks into that, too, like speaks truth, you know, that he made you made you who you are. And he didn’t make a mistake. Like when he made you the way you are. And so just just having them have a real strong sense of dignity in their being, you know, and also to even with with our sins, to, you know, we are overwhelmed by by our sins.
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You know, I just kind of as I said that Jesus loves them even within their state and he died for them, you know, even in that state. And that he makes a way for them to be clean and for us to really see the the power of that. You know, it is liberating. You know.
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You have such a heart for your for your people, for the indigenous needs across our country. The desire to see churches planted, to see pastors that can thrive. But also God is giving I think it’s such a neat thing that you have this ability to to speak into the rest of Canadian culture, helping believers understand what it is to move toward reconciliation and to have greater understanding of the challenges that our indigenous people have had.
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So I just I love your heart. I love what you’re doing. And so I just want to say thanks for for taking the time to do this this morning.
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You know, I really wanted to say to my heart is for reconciliation. You know, like I really feel like there’s things that need to happen within my community, you know, within the indigenous community in connection to reconciliation, but also to there’s things that need to happen within the Caucasian community and Western in regards to reconciliation. And I think that’s something where we could have a real sense of being equals.
00:07:39:08 – 00:08:13:09
You know, in regards to our relationship with each other and our relationship with God, when we, I guess, really strive for reconciliation there’s something about it where we come to understand it, we can enter into the heart of God what God is like. And I think within this, like for me, I feel a real desire to get to know God and somehow, you know, I guess maybe dealing and tackling the issue of reconciliation is connected to that.
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And also to connect it to us being united, you know, as humanity.
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Yeah. We stand shoulder to shoulder with for Jesus right? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. No, that’s, that’s our prayer. God is doing amazing things abroad and at home in Canada through leaders like Howard Jolly. Would you join me in praying for Howard in the ministry is doing God is on the move in The Alliance and we’re joining him in his redemptive mission to make Jesus known around the world.
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