St Anne, Ghana and our Anglican family
Today, in the calender of most churches in the Anglican Communion, we remember Anne and Joachim – the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and therefore Grandparents of Jesus.Saint Anne is important in many Canadian Aboriginal societies as she embodies the honoured grandmother figure. At the end of July many First Nations people make a pilgrimage to Lac Ste. Anne in Alberta for spiritual, cultural and social rejuvenation, central aspects of traditional summer gatherings for indigenous peoples in Canada.
Reflecting on St Anne and grandmothers and the wisdom we hold in our civerse communities across the Anglican communion reminded me of one of the papers written during the Ghanaian hub. In her article on The Abrewa / Old Lady model in conflict resolution in Ghana, Mrs Stella Ansah explores the abrewa concept which “views the old lady as a custodian of wisdom which is crucial to settling disputes much like the wisdom of Solomon in the Bible.” She describes how the Anglican Communion is similar to a Ghanaian extended family. Using the analogies of marriage contracts, dispute resolution and conflict prevention, she reflects on how, in our Anglican family, we might use our collective wisdom in our relationships together.