Trip to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

Trip to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park


Today my wife, daughter and I made a trip down to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, also known as Áísínaí pi National Historic Site. It is around a two hour automobile ride southwest of Medicine Hat. The Park-Historic Site is considered a sacred place by the Blackfoot People. Our guide described it as an outdoor cathedral for her people. It is believed that First Nations have used this area along the Milk River for at least 3000 years. Indeed, one is filled with awe and wonder as one beholds the hoodoos-rock formations, the beautiful array of shapes and sizes, some resembling human faces, birds and animals.

Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park and Milk River






The Park-Historic Site contains the largest collection of First Nations’ rock art in Canada. Here is and example of what you will see as you hike through the Park. In this particular petroglyph, the person was successful in obtaining horses. The horses are facing west, which according to our guide, was regarded as a sign from the spirit world of life and success. If you visit the Park-Historic Site, please do not touch the petroglyphs, as some are quite old and can be easily damaged. By not touching or damaging the petroglyphs, you shall be doing your part in preserving the natural and spiritual treasures of the sacred place for future generations.

Petroglyph horses




One of the stories our guide told us was about the origins of the Blackfoot name. She said they came to be called the Blackfoot People because of the many prairie fires that left the earth black and therefore blackened the feet of the people who walk on the burnt prairie. She also told us that the Blackfoot consisted of four tribes which, in their past history, spanned the region from the Rocky Mountains to as far east as the Saskatchewan Cypress Hills, and as far north as Edmonton.


A few words of advice about your visit to Writing-on-Stone. If you visit here in the summer, make certain that you have enough water to drink, wear comfortable and sturdy shoes, a hat, bring along sunscreen and mosquito repellent, and stay on the walking paths. You have the option of taking the guided tour for eight dollars per person or following the trail on your own out from the visitor’s centre. Speaking of the latter, you can also enjoy the displays and information provided there as well as chat with the friendly park staff.




ABT 2008 Synod Convention

Alberta & the Territories Synod Convention: June 5-8, 2008

Our church – synod convention is now history. I’d encourage readers to check out the synod blog created by a pastor and an intern reflecting on each day of the convention over here. You can also check out their blogs here and by clicking on Kevin Powell on my blog roll. I appreciate their commentary and add a few observations as well:

  • Many (most) of us lament the reality that we are a divided church. We have not been able to reach a consensus on same-sex blessings, nor are we likely to do so in the foreseeable future. At its roots, this is a very complex issue (For example, are people born homosexuals or are they socialized to become homosexuals or do they turn to homosexuality because they have been sexually abused?) some are tired of it and wished it would go away; while others are still trying to learn more and respond appropriately to it.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops by Pastor Kevin Powell on blogging and Social Ministry Coordinator Joyce Zutter on Creation Stewardship. Kevin’s blog is well worth the visit not only for his content, but also for ideas on how to improve the quality of one’s blog re. layout and presentation. Joyce’s presentation certainly challenged most of us as to our daily habits and how we either contribute to the ongoing pollution of our planet or become more responsible as caring stewards of creation.
  • I was inspired by the music during the worship services, as our congregation is musically challenged. I love to learn new hymns and liturgies.
  • There was also the fun, stress-relieving event of packing safely as many people into a Smart Car as possible in two minutes to support campus ministry. There was a three way tie, each of the three winning teams packed in nine persons. I was on one of the winning teams! The Good Samaritan Society Team. Thanks to the folks in campus ministry for sponsoring and organising this event. I’m sure it will be a popular one at future conventions.
  • The times of table fellowship, including the banquet, and celebrating the ordination anniversaries of our pastors were also opportunities to affirm “the communion of saints,” (and, of course, the shortcomings of sinners)!
  • Our convention demographics indicate we are an aging synod. Looking at all of the grey heads during our convention sittings confirmed this truth. Where are our younger folks? Next convention I do hope there is a more diverse demographic representation.



This new header is from a lithograph by artist Amram Ebgi, titled: “Jerusalem for Peace.” You can view it in more detail under Jerusalem over at The Text This Week, and click on art index.