We began a new venture this Fall with our first ever English Conversation Circle. It took courage and hope for each of us--Ukrainian newcomers and Canadian mentors--to come to that first session eight weeks ago. We were all a little unsure of ourselves not knowing what to expect from each other and ourselves as we tried making polite conversation over a cup of tea as we mingled for the first time. But after we took the time to listen to each others stories while sitting in a circle in that first session, the ice was broken. We had taken the risk of vulnerability and found ourselves held in community. In the space of a few weeks a remarkable transformation took place: we were no longer strangers but friends.
Last Saturday, we had a lovely celebration to mark all that we had accomplished together. The words of gratitude and tears flowed easily. Thank-you to our teacher, Nataliya for sharing the history of her beaded vyshyvanka and family coral heirloom necklace. And thank-you to all of our Ukrainian friends for the wonderful feast of Ukrainian dishes traditionally served at the Christmas Eve meal. We capped off our time together with making ribbon angel Christmas tree ornaments.
With thanks to the BC Synod and CCEF Fund for making this community building initiative possible.