Soaring Spirits: All Saints, Vancouver’s Traveling Day Society

Soaring Spirits: All Saints, Vancouver’s Traveling Day Society

(drum music) – Greetings, Diocese of Olympia. When the reverend Joseph Scheeler served as Canon for
Native American Ministries in the diocese of Montana, he worked with a First
Nations congregation that had a number of
world-class Native American flute players among its members. They provided beautiful music for their congregation, their cathedral, and as part of an
ongoing hospice ministry. Accepting the call as vicar
of All Saints Episcopal Church in Vancouver, Washington, Reverend Scheeler received permission from First Nations Drum Circles to bring this ministry
into his new congregation. And by this act, the Traveling
Day Society was born. The Traveling Day
Society is an intertribal and multicultural group of musicians who go to hospices to
create a sacred space through their music for
those who are crossing over. I’ve been blessed with their offerings while visiting All Saints,
and they blessed us all at our most recent Convention as well. It is a beautiful thing, and it’s my pleasure to share with you a glimpse into this vibrant ministry. – [Scheeler] Traditional
songs are sacred things. They belong to the Nations
and sometimes the families who created them. – [Hasser] It’s an opportunity to
minister to the community in a different way, and it’s a way to minister to each other. – [Scheeler] All of the First
Nations songs that we sing have been specifically handed down through drum keepers over time. It’s important that they be respected and not just sung by anybody. – [Ash] I love the peace that it brings, the mellow tones of the flute
are really conduce to prayer and to beauty. – [Scheeler] We have thirteen members
now here at All Saints. – [Pryse] Right now we’re a group of grandmothers. – [Scheeler] Many of our circle members are not Native or descendants
of Native Americans, but quite a few are. What it says to us is
we can all understand the richness of that spirituality, that spiritual culture. – [Eddy] I love flute music, and I really wanted to play the Native flute. I had a Native flute, but
I had never played it. – [Scheeler] We are a multicultural group of prayers that are using these
wonderful and powerful tools. – [Covington] I wanted to play drums
when I was a little girl, and so that was just it, I
was just, I’ve just been drawn to drumming. I’ve just really come
to a very peaceful place where I can sit in a drum circle and just whatever the
spirit moves me to do is what comes out of the flute. – [Scheeler] When you get thirteen people like that around a drum, it creates a staggering amount of spiritual energy and people
are drawn into that piece. – Oh nee see wah, another Anishinaabe song, translated, I will always be with you, I will never leave you, a wonderful traveling song for those traveling to the other side. I served as Canon for Native
American Ministries, Diocese in Montana. The beginning of a program developed with First Nations flute
players and drummers, going two by two into rooms of patients who were crossing. When I came to Vancouver,
I wanted to transplant that ministry. The ministry was rapidly embraced by the local healthcare community. All of our travelers went
through hospice training, volunteer training when
we began to minister. – We’ve gone to some
celebration of life situations. – I’m a nurse practitioner, so I’ve had quite a bit of experience with people as they’re crossing. This is a really, really
important ministry to all of us. – It’s a chance to be with people as they cross from this
life to the next life. – Through Traveling Day, I can give that kind of peace to a person as they’re crossing, where they hear something calming and peaceful as they’re having their final moments. – It gives us an opportunity
to explore spirituality in a little bit deeper
and more meaningful way. I think it speaks to that
beautiful blendedness, that beautiful via media that we are as Episcopalians to take
the tools that we have, work with them, use them, understand them, and then use them for good.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

1 thought on “Soaring Spirits: All Saints, Vancouver’s Traveling Day Society

  1. Heart to heart. Spirit to spirit. We understand who we are. We know where we come from. We understand our destiny on Mother Earth. We are Spirits walking a human journey. – Ojibway Traveling Song.

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