Several weeks ago, I participated in a multi-faith prayer vigil in Nakusp, British Columbia dedicated to the health of the Columbia River. During the service, my friend Shelly Boyd offered a prayer in the Colville Salish Language. I also offered a prayer in the Spokane Language.
The Valley Voice, a local newspaper, reported the vigil and included our photograph (above). I was happy to read that the author also mentioned a dream that I shared during the vigil regarding the return of the salmon. Jan McMurray wrote, "Moses spoke about a dream he had where the salmon came back to the Columbia River. 'I'm hoping to see this in my lifetime,' he said."
To read the whole article, click this link, download the paper, and turn to page 3. On the same page, the Valley Voice also reported a Salish language class in Nakusp held by Shelly and LaRae.
The vigil also included a pastoral letter written by the Catholic bishops of the Columbia River Watershed. The letter read in part:
The Columbia Watershed and all creation are entrusted to our loving care. As persons created in the image of God and as stewards of creation (Genesis 1-2), we are challenged to both use and respect created things. The watershed is ultimately God's; human beings are entrusted with responsibility for it, concern for its species and ecology, and regulation of its competitive and complementary uses. The watershed, seen through eyes alive with faith, can be a revelation of God's presence, an occasion of grace and blessing. There are many signs of the presence of God in this book of nature, signs that complement the understandings of God revealed in the pages of the Bible, both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
The full letter may be read here.
Boats in the Columbia River near Nakusp.
The waterfront in Naksup.
Musicians participated in the prayer vigil.
Members of the community gathered.
The Columbia River...
Concrete steps lead to the water.
The mountains tower above the water.