47,000 Beads

July 30, 2019


Harlan Pruden, a First Nation Cree Two-Spirit community leader, PhD student at UBC, and educator, joined us for the 2019 Affirm United Conference this weekend and preached on the children's book, "47,000 beads." Thank you for your time with us Harlan!


I am humbled by the leadership, courage, and deep commitment to respect and love in the Hillhurst community and would like to take some time to witness, honour, and acknowledge your community’s over-all amazingness.


This past weekend at the Affirm United 2019 Conference, your community and church opened its doors and hearts to those wanting to have conversations about how to be affirming and welcoming spaces for their 2SLGBTQI+ relatives. I, as always, am in awe of how your community is not one to rest on its laurels but to be a beacon of hope and love by taking up the conversation(s) of Reconcilia(c)tion and ‘affirming’ work.


I will be sure to share with everyone that you included a reading of "47,000 Beads," the only Two-Spirit children's book written by Two-Spirit authors, at your Sunday service! This is walking the walk of Reconcilia(c)tion.


When we first met back in October 2018, I shared with you my hesitantly and somewhat distrust for churches as a result of the history of how churches, and thereby christianity, served as a tool of colonization of Indigenous/Two-Spirit peoples and lands. By leaning in and cultivating our relationship(s), we are co-writing a new history as we establish and work to be in right relations.


And those relations are based on some of the teachings in 47,000 Beads – reciprocity, a blending of ways or a "two-eyed" seeing approach to view the world from many vantage points (disability lenses, people of colour, trans, and many other lenses) and finally, that giving means something because we give of ourselves. Our material and monetary ‘stuff’ don’t define us – it is our actions and how we carry ourselves in the world that is what truly matters!


Today, my heart sings!


Kinana'skomitina'wa'w, Exsi Maka


Harlan Pruden



Watch Sunday's Facebook Live video.

Listen to the sermon audio.

Harlan's Twitter

47,000 Beads


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Hillhurst United Church

1227 Kensington Close NW | Calgary, AB | T2N 3J6

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