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Reverend Gradye Parsons, Presbyterian Church (USA) Formal apology

Reverend Gradye Parsons, Presbyterian Church (USA) Formal apology

“I will be visible during this time for those who open their eyes.” View the video below to view Rev. Gradye Parsons discuss and reprise the apology made by the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the Indigenous peoples of Alaska.

by Susan Aggarwal on October 20, 2021

Written by Susan Aggarwal, long time Wayne Presbyterian Church member and current board member of the Presbyterian Historical Society.

God is unseen, but visible if we only open our eyes.

During the reading of OBOC’s selection, This Tender Land, Janice sent out several blogs one of which contained a link to an article from Presbyterian Outlook. It highlighted the formal apology from the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the Native American population regarding schools set up by white Europeans to educate Indian children.  Not only was this topical for us, but also news stories were coming to the fore about the abuse suffered at some of these schools, particularly one in Canada.

In the article, the Stated Clerk, Reverend Gradye Parsons, went to Barrow, Alaska to apologize in person in 2017. I know Gradye, as we serve together on the board of the Presbyterian Historical Society.  At board meetings we have a segment called Land Acknowledgement.  This is a time to honor and acknowledge the fact that the land we are on was taken from Indigenous Peoples of America.  After reading the article I suggested Gradye talk about his trip to Alaska during this time.  He read to us the apology that he wrote for the occasion, and we were moved to tears.  I sent the apology to Janice and she asked me to do a zoom recording of Gradye giving us some background and reading it.  He readily accepted. 

 You may view Gradye’s recording here.

When I explained to him about OBOC’s book selection which was made over a year ago, I said it was a “God thing.”  He commented that he has a friend who calls them “God winks”.  I think God winked and said something like.  “I will be visible during this time for those who open their eyes.”

Email Janice Mack, if you would like a hard copy of what Pastor Gradye said.

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