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Church of the Messiah
Phone: (204) 623 5750

Church of the Redeemer
Phone: (204) 623-2999

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Weekly Spiritual Thought

Scripture Reading: Psalm 136


1. Praise the Lord! He is good. God's love never fails.

2. Praise the God of all gods. God's love never fails.

3. Praise the Lord of lords! God's love never fails.

4. Only God works great miracles. God's love never fails.

5. With wisdom he made the sky. God's love never fails.

6. The Lord stretched the earth over the ocean. God's love never fails.

Love Never Fails

We notice that three words repeat throughout

this Psalm - “Love Never Fails”. There may be times

in our lives when it seems that things don't go exactly

as we would like. We may even feel that God has

failed us. Often, when we have some time and

distance from those situations, we see that God knew

what we did not see and that his love didn't fail us

after all. God's word is true and we can be certain that

he does not fail. Praise God because his love never fails.

Submitted by Reverend Gloria Lavallee



History of the Churches

The community of Opaskwayak was concerned about our Spiritual well-being. The only church on the reserve was located at Fisher Island in Big Eddy. It was a stone church made by our people but not run by our people. The community reacted by gathering together deciding on building our own church, and run by our own people. When all the planning stages were completely discussed, it was now time to choose a designer. In the spring of 1919, Sarah McGillvary was handed the honor of planning and designing the communities first holy church. The church was to be located in Big Eddy! more specifically in Cow Head. The population at this time wasn't as large as it is today, it was estimated at about 500 people or less. When Sarah's task was completed it was now time for the people to choose the best, hard working carpenters in the community. The job was asking for at least 16 men to start and finish what was to become an important and precious part of our community. The 16 men consisted of two foremen and 14 carpenters. The two foreman were Chief Patrick Constant and Joseph McGillvary, the foremen decided on two crews. Pat would instruct, while Joe would do the same for the other 7. Joseph's crew members were, Charlie Lathlin, Tom Henderson, Lazarus Harris, Donald Lathlin, William Lathlin and Lawrence Lathlin, these 7 men were in charge of the Church of Redeemer.

Church Of Redeemer and
Church Of Messiah

The Church of Redeemer, located in the Big Eddy Settlement, served this Predominantly Anglican community for 73 years. It was the first Anglican Church to be built in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in 1923. The Church of Redeemer has had an interesting history which included a visit from Queen Elizabeth II during Canada's Centennial Celebrations. The Churches (Church of Messiah and Church of Redeemer) were built by the late Joe McGillivary and the late Pat Constant, "along with two crews of band members in 1919. Joe and Pat headed up the projects. In 1994, the aged church of Redeemer, was declared structurally unsafe and it was Subsequently closed due to the foundation being rotted away beyond repair and the roof was capitulating dangerously. Both Churches Messiah and Redeemer were Consecrated in 1923.

In 1994, after they had closed down the Church of Redeemer, construction of the new 100 ft by 36 ft Church began, just a few yards away from where the old church stood. The new building would seat about 200 parishioners -twice the seating capacity of the old church. The only place for congregation worship was the Parish Hall, which has been attached to the new building.

Member's of the congregation tried to have the old church declared a historical landmark, however the effort was abandoned, and demolition of the church began. Officials stated that it would be too dangerous, since children often wander around the premises. Since then, they have been able to save and remove the stained glass windows, altar and pews, which are now being used in the new Church of Redeemer.

On Wednesday, September 10, 1996, the new Church of Redeemer was officially opened. Funds for the church came from specific land claim settlements which amounted to $260,000 and tax revenues. The construction of Church of Messiah took place in 1919. The building took 5 years to build because the construction crew, the late Joe McGillivary and the late Pat Constant, along with two crews of band members, were building the Church of Redeemer at the same time. At the finishing stage of the building, the Church of Messiah was consecrated in 1923. The Church of Messiah was of Anglican religion and served the community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation for 63 years, before being desolated in 1986, due to the building being condemned.

Another Church of Messiah was in process of being constructed in 1989,just a couple of yards away from the old Church of the Messiah. Plans for the Church of the Messiah included, a kitchen, basement, landscaping, better lighting system, and a garage for a van the church plans on purchasing. The van would be used to pick up people who need a ride to attend church services.

Later in 1997, it was announced that the Church of Messiah was in need of major repairs, so the band went on to give the church a new look, and the church is now in quality shape.

Today, both the Church of Messiah and the Church of Redeemer continue to serve all members of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and for many years to come.

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Opaskwayak Cree Nation   The Pas, Manitoba, Canada    tel 1-888-763-1566    email