Remembrance Day PAGE 5
Messy Church PAGE 4
A Section of the Anglican Journal
By JONN LAVINNDER
APTISING NEW BELIEVERS is one of the “5 Marks of Mission.” In most Anglican churches this means the sprinkling of infants, sometimes known as “christening.” There is a new trend among priests today, however, who are trying to recover First Century practices around baptism. In Nelson, this September, the congregation of St. Saviour’s witnessed a full immersion baptism. There were three candidates: Shawna, Devin and Ryan Penner, a mother and her two boys. It was the Devin who thought it might be “neat” to be dunked under the water as they did in the times of John the Baptizer. He wanted the full treatment; whereas his mother and younger brother desired a more traditional baptism; nonetheless, all stood in the frigid waters of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. Officiants were the Rev. Marcella Mugford and the Rev. Suzanne Basek, accompanied by servers: Carol Greenfield, Jesse Penner and Matthew Bullen. On a beautiful Indian summer day, the service took place at Lakeside Park in Nelson. Music was provided by Tobias Jenny on an assortment of wind instruments. After a Eucharistic service, the congregation enjoyed a picnic. The next photo might look like a typical baptism of an infant, but it records something new in modern family life. At St. Mark’s, Kaslo, on Sunday May 12, in a happy service that looked to the future. The Rev. Dr. Mark Mealing officiated at the Baptism of Estelle Junalene Hunter-Butler, the adopted daughter of fathers Paul Butler and Joshua Hunter. Notice of this event was delayed due to adoption regulations. ❑
Serving the Diocese of Kootenay
Photograph by Jonn Lavinnder
Baptism in Kootenay Lake: Devin Penner (left), The Rev. Marcella Mugford, Jesse Penner, and Matthew Bullen.
Baptism at St. Mark’s, Kaslo: The Rev. Dr. Mark Mealing officiated at the baptism of Estelle Juanalene Hunter-Butler.
Page 2 The HighWay
In My View
By ARCHBISHOP JOHN E. PRIVETT Dear friends,
HE SYNOD OF THE PROVINCIAL Synod of the Ecclesiastical Province in BC and Yukon was held September 28-30 in Vancouver and the theme was “Revitalizing Mission”. Like our own synod, this gathering is held every three years. It brings delegates from throughout our Province and the Yukon together to consider the mission that we share with others in this part of the world. As Archbishop I also chair this Synod and Kathryn Lockhart, the Administrative Assistant in our Diocese, also serves part time as Administrative Assistant to the Province. As a result Kathryn worked very hard this summer and fall to ensure that all the details that go into a synod were looked after. In addition to myself, Kootenay was represented by two clergy and three lay delegates: Trevor Freeman and Rita Harrison, along with Cindy Corrigan,
Randall Fairey and Ben Stuchbery. Rita and Cindy were elected to represent our diocese on the Provincial Council. A Provincial Synod gives us an opportunity to consider the life and mission of our Church beyond our own congregation and diocese. We heard from Alan Roxburgh, an Anglican from North Vancouver, who is an author and consultant to many different denominations in North America. Alan told us of the enormous changes facing the church in North America, and provided helpful conceptual frameworks for thinking about the changes that are occurring. He challenged us to think about how the ways we usually go about our work as churches is no longer working well for us and gave us some new ways of thinking about our mission. His message was a call to move beyond strategic plans and processes, to move beyond maintenance and survival thinking and to look to the places where God is at work in our neighbourhoods and communities. David Jones, the Chancellor of General Synod and chair of the National Governance Working Group, reported how each of the Provinces is considering changes in structure
and ways of operating, so that we can be more effective stewards of our resources and focus our energies on God’s mission in the world. A major report from our Provincial Committee on Restructuring was received and we passed resolutions that directed us to develop ways of working together across diocesan boundaries. We will look at Camping ministries throughout the Province; consider whether we can share more administrative tasks with other dioceses, explore sharing in a Province wide educational event for clergy and laity, seek to develop Provincial wide competencies for Lay Ministries and Local ordination, encourage youth ministry and stay abreast of the work of the National Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples. As Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a changing”. We can be easily be overwhelmed by the changes and disheartened when the tried and true ways of being a church no longer seem to be effective. This Provincial Synod helped me to remember that we do not walk alone. There are many, many committed and faithful people throughout our church who are seeking to
understand the changes and find new ways to engage the mission which has been given to us. When I read accounts of the first clergy and lay people who sought to develop congregations throughout the Province in our early days, I am reminded that each generation has its own challenges and none of us can rest on the achievements of the past. This is our time of mission and as we acknowledge the changing landscape of our time and respond with creativity and generosity, new patterns and new possibilities will emerge. What is most important at this time is that we learn anew that this is God’s work and as we deepen our companionship with others, listen attentively to the Scriptures and give time to the spiritual practises of our faith we will become more able to respond faithfully to God’s work in our time. In my view, revitalizing mission is God’s work and a renewed commitment to mission will indeed revitalize our church.
By RANDALL FAIREY Randall Fairey is a Delegate to the Council of General Synod and Executive Officer of the Diocese of Kootenay
OVEMBER IS THE MONTH when budgets for 2013 are nearing final drafts. Later this month Diocesan Council will finalize the budget for 2013. Essential to this is an understanding of the expected apportionments from congregations that for the past many years have been referred to as the Diocesan Family Budget or DFB. This name has an intended meaning; it is not simply a euphemism for a Diocesan “tax” or “levy” but connotes the idea that as stewards of God’s gifts we are intentional about supporting one another in a
+ John ❑
The HighWay is published under the authority of the Bishop of Kootenay and the Synod of the Diocese of Kootenay. Opinions expressed in The HighWay are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Publisher.
Editorial Assistant Micahel Lavinnder
Advertising Policy: The acceptance of advertisement does not imply endorsement by the diocese or any of its principals. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content, including text, representations and illustrations, and also assume responsibility for any claims and costs arising there from. Display advertising for commercial parties is available in accordance with our ethics and advertising policy. Advertising is to be pre-paid to: The Diocese of Kootenay #201 - 380 Leathead Road Kelowna, BC V1X 2H8 Phone 778-478-8310 Fax 778-478-8314 Advertising material and inquiries should be addressed to the Editor. Payment is to be made in advance to the Diocese of Kootenay. Submissions & Deadlines: All articles, advertising and correspondence submitted to The HighWay is subject to editing for length, clarity, timeliness, appropriateness and style in accordance with the Canadian Press. Letters should be limited to 250 words, columns and articles no more than 600 words. Please include with all submissions your name, e-mail address and parish, as well as the name of the photographer, if applicable. Deadline for submissions is the first of the month prior to publication unless otherwise indicated.
Privacy Protection: Photographs and articles submitted to The HighWay for publication requires that authors and photographers have received permission from parents or guardians of all minors (under 18) that have their names or whereabouts published in The HighWay.
Printed and mailed by Webnews Printing Inc. North York ON. A section of the Anglican Journal.
By JONN LAVINNDER
was thinking about The HighWay and what it means. The first thing that came to mind was “The High Way” refers to the middle way or via Media. It was this that attracted me back to Anglicanism. Anglicans are generally tolerant of many different viewpoints, and try not to exclude anyone who wants to share their spiritual journey with them, especially through liturgy. However, I do like challenging people about their faith, without being confrontational. For example, I included a photograph last month of Anglicans marching in the Gay Pride Parade in Nelson. It’s interesting that on that subject I had more positive responses on the St. Saviour’s Facebook page
to continue or not. A re-examination of what only General Synod can do is imperative. One obvious consideration is the Council of the North grants, which go from General Synod to ten Canadian Dioceses, many of whom could not sustain operations without these grants. Since one of the original priorities behind the Council of the North gifts was to support struggling Indigenous ministries, should there be a serious re-examination of which ministries or programs might continue to be supported? This is especially germane given there are desperately needy Indigenous ministries in urban areas of dioceses that do not receive Council grants. And contrariwise, the present grants are often used to support general diocesan operations rather than targeted, and accountable, ministries. All of these issues must now be placed on the table and the fundamental roles and programs of the General Synod be called into question. This can no longer escape us and following a very challenging CoGS meeting later this month, there will be a critical consultation of key church leaders in January 2013. By the time of the General Synod meeting in 2013 in Ottawa we may face an entirely different church, then, and into the next triennium, long before the time expectations of Vision 2019. Your prayers are needed now ❑ more than ever.
of ROBIN GRAVES
By FRANK WARBURTON
Photograph by Frank Warburton
Editor Jonn Lavinnder St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral 701 Ward Street, Nelson, B.C. V1L 1T3 Phone: (250) 352-5711 firstname.lastname@example.org
any one congregation. It includes representatives of Congregations, including small rural congregations who often face unique stresses around the DFB. It was hoped that in 2012 the Working Group would have been ready to present a new formula to the Diocesan Council; however, that has simply not been achieved, and it will hopefully occur in 2013. Meanwhile in October, Council approved a small across-the-Board increase to meet the 2013 draft budget requirements. Beyond the question of how much any one congregation should be asked to provide is the question whether it should be compulsory by canon, and further, what would be the consequences of not meeting the assessment under such circumstances? Additionally, how does the DFB relate to the wider church? How do we frame our giving spiritually recognizing that
our gifts are given back to God, from whom all our gifts first come. What seems fair and equitable? Just as the Diocese of Kootenay is wrestling with financial issues, the Council of General Synod later this month faces a crisis that has come upon it rather more rapidly than one would have predicted. In September, I described how the May CoGS meeting had, to paraphrase our Primate, come to the edge of making some bold decisions about financially supporting the mission of the Church, and then pulled back from making some hard decisions. This month CoGS is no longer able to defer those choices with a looming deficit in General Synod operations and programs of some $1 million dollars. We have enough reserves to just cover the deficits; however, the work of General Synod is no longer sustainable unless revenues substantially improve. And all Canadian dioceses, such as Kootenay, in one way or another have to provide funds to the General Synod through their version of the DFB. Similarly, there are also questions about the expected levels of support, the transparency and fairness involved and a question of sustainability. Since General Synod is the upper echelon of support, it is obvious that the programs and offices of General Synod face significant decisions as to being able
larger church family. We acknowledge that for a number of complex reasons some congregations find it more difficult to gift a portion of their overall income to the Diocese for its life and mission. And of course, the Diocese gifts a portion of the total DFB for the work of the larger church to the Ecclesiastical Province of BC & Yukon, and to the National Church (ACC) and the work of the General Synod. At all levels there are difficulties in understanding the use of our gifts and the fairness involved in assigning targets for giving. Following our Diocesan Synod, and prompted by the significant changes in the Clergy Compensation scheme, a Working Group was established to make recommendations to Diocesan Council about the amount of the DFB, and the transparency and fairness of how it is determined for
The HighWay Page 3
than anything else I have ever posted. Nevertheless, I did expect some “flack” from some quarters, but only received a few mild inquiries about what I thought about it. Of course, I took the High Way and mentioned that the Anglican Church is inclusive of everyone, especially disenfranchised minorities. The front page story on baptism this month has some implications that were not spelled out in the article. The fact that what appears to be a typical baptism of a child is not typical at all, and reflects the changes that are taking place in our society; that of the adoption of a child by two fathers. I’m personally glad that the congregation of St. Mark’s took the High Way and welcomed
them into their worshipping community. Interestingly enough, some of the people who support Gay Pride do not support Remembrance Day. The reason given is that they do not want to be involved in anything having to do with war. And to them I say: We are not remembering war, but rather, the people who fought and died as a result of war. It is my opinion they should also take the High Way and accept that it is meaningful for a generation of people to remember those who gave their lives for their country. This month, Nissa Basbaum has written an eloquent column about her relationship with those who “remember” the Second World ❑ War.
rchbishop John Privett was the officiant and presiding celebrant at the induction of the Rev. Robin Graves, Incumbent. Preacher was Dean Nissa Basbaum, and Keith Thom played the guitar during communion. A celebratory cake was baked especially for the event and a wooden key carved and presented as a symbol of entry into St. Margaret’s Church. ❑
Archbishop John Privett, The Rev. Robin Graves and Dean Nissa Basbaum at St. Margaret’s, Peachland for the induction.
Page 4 The HighWay
Around the diocese
Photograph by Deb Wilson
By DEB WILSON
WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU GLUE SEEDS, dry beans and pasta on thank-you cards? A: The opportunity to talk about how thankful we are to God for harvest Q: What do you get when you ask your entire congregation to bring in an assortment of empty cardboard boxes and have them piled in a big messy heap in the church hall? A: The raw materials for a junkyard stable and the opportunity to talk about the nativity Q: What do you get when you mix baking soda with vinegar in a water bottle and use the gas produced to blow up red balloons…besides the potential for a very messy explosion? A: The opportunity to talk to kids about how the Holy Spirit fills us at a celebration of Pentecost
Messy Church at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Kelowna. It is 5 pm on a Friday and some children are stamping with vegetables and talking about harvest, a grandma reads a Veggie Tale to her two grandsons in the book corner, some boys; big and small, work cooperatively to stuff a scarecrow; someone is carefully drawing a picture of their family on a leaf to hang on the prayer tree; some mothers and daughters are busy gluing seeds and grains on greeting cards, and some youth are helping younger children to wind yarn for apples and glue tissue paper for candleholders.
Dinner is being prepared in the kitchen and the church is set up for children and families to hear a story and to participate in a celebration of the Eucharist. Does all above sound messy to you? Well it should, because these are just a few of the activities we have shared as a growing community of children, youth, parents, grandparents and clergy who participate in Messy Church at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Kelowna. Families are busy. Both parents work. Children go to school, participate in sports and
belong to various clubs. Sunday mornings are either busy with activities or they are set-aside for a well deserved quiet morning. Messy Church is a fresh expression of church that invites busy families to experience church in an innovative and creative way. Messy Church is an opportunity for families to spend time together, to learn about God together, to worship together and to eat a meal together. Messy Church is about engaging the royal priesthood of all believers in the work of meeting families where they
PET BLESSING at St. Francis in the woods
The HighWay Page 5
are in their lives and sharing the gospel in our own communities. Messy Church Facts • Messy Church was started by Lucy Moore in the UK in 2004 • Reverend Nancy Rowe started the first Messy Church in Canada in 2007. • Messy Church is not a program • Messy Church is a Christ centred, intergenerational worship opportunity and yes, it is church! • More information on Messy Church can be found on this website: www.messychurch.org. uk If you would like more information about our Messy Church experience please email us at messychurchkelowna@live. com Our next Messy Church is scheduled for December and we will be celebrating a very messy ❑ Christmas.
By NISSA BASBAUM
N A PREVIOUS PARISH, there was a delightful man whose wife died about two years after I arrived in that congregation. He and she were pretty much inseparable but, unlike so many other situations of this nature, Bill was able to make a life for himself following her death, even though there were many moments when he missed her terribly. It was through his wife’s death that Bill and I got to know each other. As different as the two of us were, our personalities still seemed to mesh in many ways. Bill had been a soldier in the Second World War, fighting for a regiment known as Canloan, a group of junior officers loaned to the British Army on a voluntary basis. Each year since the war, the members of this regiment had organized a reunion in a different location in Canada, a reunion that always included participation in a local church service. One year, Bill asked if the Canloan church celebrations could take place as part of our congregation’s main liturgy. I
said yes, even as I had reservations about this; reservations related to what has always been a rather complicated relationship between church and state. It was my relationship with Bill and that Canloan service, in particular, that enabled me to work through some of my uneasiness with how we, as a church, make connections between who we are as a faith community and who we are as a nation; particularly as this relates to the issues of war and peace. There is no question that my age is a factor; not only was I born well after the end of World War II, I also grew up in an extremely anti-war culture, a culture deeply wounded by the Viet Nam War and the growth of the arms race. Where was the connection to be made between me and many others like me, and Bill and many others like him? How could his memories be preserved and respected in the context of the liturgy, alongside the reality of the more recent and different memories of a younger generation? Bill left all the planning of
that service to me, including the homily. I thought long and hard about what I was going to say. I was standing up in front of a group of men and women who were, in many cases, almost double my age. I had no experience of what they had gone through and no personal memories of World War II. What I did have, however, was a relationship with Bill, a relationship that I would not have had if it hadn’t been for the church. As different as the two of us were, the church had somehow thrown us together to survive one another. It was while preparing to preach that homily that I realized the profound connection between what the Canloan regiment was celebrating on that day and what we as a faith community were also celebrating. War, like the church, throws people together – “all sorts and conditions of men (sic)” – and, in each instance, it requires on the part of those people openness to working out what are sometimes quite strange and perhaps difficult relationships. Clearly, the reason for being thrown together is different
and, in the instance of war, the horrors of the experience set this on a completely different plane. Yet, I began to understand that the motivation for doing that service in church had less to do with anyone’s memories than it had to do with the huge connecting force the church has the power to be in people’s lives. It was the church that enabled me to link with all those people who were so much older than I was and whose experience had been completely different from mine. Certainly, it had been my relationship with Bill that connected me to these other members of the Canloan regiment but it was the church, in the first place, that had birthed that relationship. Since being at the Cathedral in Kelowna, I have participated in a number of services commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic and the Battle of Britain; again, two events with which I have no direct connection. Yet, at the latest one that took place this past September, I realized how familiar several of the people who attend these services have become to me.
Beyond this, I was acutely aware that in some way, shape or form, the church had linked me to their experience. Finally, I was also aware that even after only three years of doing these services, the numbers are becoming fewer and fewer, as more and more war survivors have now died. Ultimately, it will only be people like me – those with no personal experience whatsoever of these wars – who will be called upon to carry on other people’s memories. One way for this to happen will be by virtue of the church’s capacity to create an atmosphere in which complete strangers are given an opportunity to build relationships with one another. While I still ponder the connection between church and state and what place state events have in the context of the liturgy, I now have a much keener sense that it is really all about relationship and that the church, as a conduit for this relationship, has the potential to be a powerful force in making our acts of remembrance a proclamation about the future ❑ rather than just the past.
By JONN LAVINNDER
Photograph by Jonn Lavinnder
T WAS FITTING that the first service of the proposed new Kokanee Parish be held in celebration of the Feast of St. Francis at St. Francis in the woods, Queen’s Bay. (The church has been deconsecrated and is now used by Queen’s Bay township as a community hall.) Yet, it still contains beautiful old pews and a bell that tolled before the Pet Blessing service. Last year a Christian movie was filmed there. The congregation comprised of members of St. Mark’s, Kaslo; St. Michael & All Angels, Bafour; St. Matthew’s, South Slocan; St. Saviour’s, Nelson and some local residents from Queen’s Bay, along with their pets. ❑
The Rev. Dr. Mark Mealing blessing animals at St. Francis in the woods, Queens Bay. Also present was Canon Jim Hearne, who has the distinguished title “Vicar of Kokanee.” Jim and Colleen Hearne live opposite the old church.
REMEMBRANCE DAY Memorial
They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:4
United Nations Building, New York Sculptor: Evgeniy Vuchetich Poppies: Artist, Georgia O’Keeffe Composite photograph: Jonn Lavinnder
Page 6 The HighWay
RETREATS By Brooke Mitchell Diocesan Spiritual Development Committee
EADING THROUGH THE GOSPELS we find numerous accounts of Jesus retreating to a quiet or isolated place. Jesus spent time in the desert prior to beginning his public ministry. He spent time alone in prayer prior to calling his first disciples. Often during his busy ministry Jesus went into the mountains to pray. He also prayed in a garden prior to his arrest and crucifixion. These were times spent with God — times of listening, reflecting, and gathering strength for what lay ahead. Sometimes Jesus took his disciples away with him. In retreat, Jesus often used the time for special teaching, but sometimes he simply took the disciples away from the crowds for a time of rest.
As followers of Jesus, we too, are encouraged to take time away from our familiar routines, to pray, rest, and learn. We may wish to go on retreat prior to special events in our lives or on a more regular and scheduled basis. Some spiritual teachers suggest that beyond
our daily time of prayer that we take time for a monthly quiet day and then go on an extended retreat each year for a weekend — or longer — as our schedules permit. This schedule of retreats may not be practical for all of us, but at the very least we can make more use of the short
moments of quiet in our lives to turn our minds and hearts to God in Christ. For those who are able to go on a retreat, there are a few options. The most common type of retreat is known as a “preached retreat.” These are group retreats where participants gather at set times to hear talks on a spiritual theme. The rest of the time, including meals, is often in silence so that there is a greater opportunity to hear God speaking in the depths of our hearts. The other major type of retreat is known as an “individually directed” retreat. These retreats are held exclusively in silence, except when the retreatant meets daily with a spiritual director to discuss what is happening in their time of prayer and to receive some instruction. The director may also offer suggestions for future prayer periods. Some retreats will offer times for group discussion. Others encourage spiritual discussion during meals. Each will have its own unique characteristics. In November the Diocese will be offering a few retreat options. First, in partnership with the
In My Good Books
OBLIVION Sorrento Centre, the Diocese is welcoming Margaret Silf to lead a retreat November 23 – 25 at the Centre. Margaret is a spiritual teacher and noted author from England. The theme of this retreat is “Simple Faith.” During this weekend Margaret will be inviting us to reflect on the question: “What does it mean to be a person of faith today?” It should prove to be a very interesting and thought provoking retreat. Join us if you are able. Further information may be found on the Sorrento Centre’s website. Also, members of the Spiritual Development Committee will be conducting days of prayer in their regional areas prior to the First Sunday in Advent, our church’s new year. These will be advertised in the Kootenay Contact, so please watch for them and plan to attend if at all possible. Retreats are a wonderful opportunity to grow in the Spirit. I hope you will make time to attend a retreat soon in order to find and be found by God in a deeper and more profound way.
Bethesda Games By NEIL ELLIOT
bout 50 years ago when I came to this diocese Neil Robinson was my Rural (not regional, I beseech thee) Dean. There’s an old story about a rural dean who thought he should have a title, as some of his fellow clerics did. He went to the bishop with the request. His bishop suggested, “What about The Rather Reverend.” Neil was the Rector of Fruitvale and, at that time, with six other points. Neil was married to an English girl, Margaret. Early one morning Bishop Coleman came calling at the Fruitvale rectory. Margaret was not quite ready to begin her
of the choices you make. At every turn you are making choices that will affect your character, and ultimately, through the game it is exactly your character that you are developing. Having chosen the starting point for your character, you choose which story or stories you want to get involved in. Sometimes
this happens out of thin air — something happens and there is a plot for you to engage with. More often it happens when you meet another character and have a conversation. And you find the option of looking for treasure, or rescuing someone, or saving the world from evil. One of the amazing things about this game is how many sto-
rylines there are to be found. They range from the innocuous (searching for herbs) to the profound (saving the world from evil) to the disturbing (becoming a vampire). And you can engage with more than one story at a time — in this it is like real life, and you sometimes have to remind yourself which quest you are on. But the star of this game is the landscape. This style of game is called a “sandbox” game, which means you can go anywhere within the map. There are mountains and deserts, oceans and marshes. Often there are hillsides where deer roam free, with trees and grasses, and a range of plants. Time passes in this world, and you will see sunrise and sunset, each beautiful. It can be worthwhile just stopping to enjoy the view. Some tasks need to be done at particular times of day or night. The game has a number of towns and a large city, in addition to the open space, each of which is populated with a large number of characters. And any (possibly all) of the characters are significant to one or other of the storylines. Furthermore there is another layer below the surface, in what are generically called the dungeons.
These are the mines, caves, tombs, temples, and underground castles in which you will frequently (much too frequently) be looking for assorted treasures, and in which you will find the evil creatures defending those treasures. In the end, you job is to defeat evil, unless you choose to align yourself with evil. You will be bringing back order and beauty to a world in which that order and beauty is under threat. Now I do not imagine that most of you will be about to jump onto your computers and download this game to while away the winter nights (although this game is capable of whiling away hundreds of hours). But I guess that you know someone who plays games — it may be your grandkids, or kids, or partner — or even your minister (!) And I want to invite you to engage with them in discovering more about this new way of telling stories. The games industry is bigger than Hollywood. It has been driving computer technology for over a decade. And in modern computer games we see a new and addictively satisfying way of doing the old task of telling stories. ❑
“NEIL” By JIM HEARNE
HAT’S RIGHT — this month I am reviewing a computer game, not a book. But it is certainly a story — much more than most traditional games are a story. In fact this is not just one story; this a multitude of stories in one game — a range of plots or quests and characters. So many plots and characters that it is best to think of this not so much as a story but as a place, a map, inhabited by characters and events which are just waiting for you to walk in. Oh, you. Yes that’s a key starting point, for the nature of the game is structured around you creating and then developing a character from the range of options. The game starts with you choosing a race from the 10 races available, each with their own strengths. Then you choose a type of character warrior, thief, merchant, assassin, and wizard. These are the start
A Vicar Remembers
day. She opened the door to the bishop in her night dress, and blurted out, “O my Lord,” and shut the door in his face. Margaret presented Neil with twins during their marriage. An earlier child was named Gavin, after the Rev. Gavin Rumsey. We thought we would suggest names for the twin girls. The biblical sisters Rachel and Leah came to mind and we almost sold them on the idea. The test for the naming of a child is as follows: go to your back door and shout out the child’s name. Margaret told us she could not see herself shouting out RACH!! from her back door. Those were the days when the clergy wore their cassocks at the meetings of synod and for retreats. Those retreats were silent with no “mosh pits” for the loquacious. “Now, these kittens, they do not get trained,
The HighWay Page 7
By YME WOENSDREGT As they did in the days when Victoria reigned.” The silence was broken only by “spiritual” reading at meals. We were often delighted by the escapades of Don Camillo. We were given leave to ask for certain dishes to be passed to us as we ate. I remember one of our company who thought he was funny and would routinely say, “May I be so kind as to have the potatoes.” Our mentors for those events would be from St. John’s Cathedral in Spokane, or St. James, Vancouver. There was one priest from Spokane, a Father Mason, who loved to come to Nelson for the pipe bands. The retreats would be housed at the Balfour Beach Inn, or at Wedgewood Manor at Crawford Bay. During those days, Neil and I shared a ride to the clergy
retreat. We were at the Balfour Beach Inn that year. The retreat ran from the 21st to the 24th of October, 1963. My fellow clerics would indulge in a kind of initiation rite for this raw deacon. They dressed me up in a long, black cape, and put a biretta on my head— someone snapped a picture. There was a daily Eucharist along with a full complement of Matins, Evensong and Compline. “Seven times (ah well, four times) I will praise Thee.” Worship took place at St. Michael and All Angels, Balfour. I can remember approaching the door of the church along with the Rev. Orville Endicott for the first Eucharist of the retreat. He said to me, “See you in a week.” It was a week without TV, radio, newspapers, or magazines. Our mentor may have
been Fr. Hulford of St. James, Vancouver. At the end of the retreat we went to Neil’s car and turned on the radio. What was happening in the world outside? This had been the week of the Cuban Missile Crisis and it had escaped our notice, as we engaged in prayer, meditation and adoration. As the news came over the radio, Neil and I sat open-mouthed and looked at each other with wild surmise, for we had: “Desired to go Where springs not fail, To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail And a few lilies blow. And (we) asked to be Where no storms come, Where the green swell is in havens dumb, And out of swing of the sea.” Fr. Heaven – Haven, Gerard Manley Hopkins. ❑
illiam Stringfellow is one of those people who has exercised a strong influence in my development. He was a lawyer by profession, and a theologian by vocation. He wrote a number of profound and important books, including “An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land” and “The Politics of Spirituality”. The heart of his writings had to do with living fully and abundantly in this world. Abundant life is not a promise intended for the next world, but is intensely this–worldly. Life is not about preparing for heaven. We are intended to live fully in the here and now. Stringfellow made no division between the sacred and the secular, between the spiritual and the political. Life is a great fusion of the human and the divine. Heaven
and earth are mixed together. God participates in the day to day affairs of life, from the home to the marketplace to the neighbourhood to the political arena. Those who love God are to participate fully in the affairs of the world, and not to shelter themselves from the world. Life’s great tragedy is that people live in a state of estrangement. They are estranged from God, from their own selves, and from other people. In the midst of such estrangement, it is not a Christian’s goal to be good, pious, moral or righteous. Rather, we are invited to live humanely in the midst of that estrangement.
How? Our lives are to be a sacrament. We become signs of life in the midst of death. We live as signs of connection in the midst of estrangement. We live as free people in the midst of a society addicted to pleasure and consumerism. We live as people who have become whole in the midst of a people who are fractured and scattered. We learn again to connect, person to person, living as signs of life and inviting others to participate in full and abundant life. A friend recently told me about a conversation in which she was asked, “Can I go to church
even if I don’t know what I believe or think? Can I just come and explore? Can I just hang out there?” For me, that’s precisely what church is for. We explore together how we might live in this world as a sacrament. If we are signs of life, then we don’t have to have it all together. We don’t have to know all the answers. We don’t have to worry about being unsure. There was a commercial a few years ago with the tag line, “Never let them see you sweat.” That sums up a large part of our society and culture. But it’s not true. It’s ok to let our vulnerabilities show. Living fully includes the knowledge that there will be times we mess up. We can still revel in the abundance and joy of life. We can colour outside the lines. We can dance and sing with abandon, as if no one is watching. Stringfellow was deeply frustrated by church rules which
advocated that people needed to behave in certain ways, dress in certain ways, act in certain ways, and believe certain things. It isn’t true. None of those things matter. We only need to live as humanely as we possibly can, loving others deeply, seeking to feed the deepest hungers both physical and spiritual, of all people. We can fail ... and then get up again to be signs of life in the midst of the death that surrounds us. ❑
This column has been written with the intention that it may be reprinted in local newspapers for the religion page. Yme will be writing a short article each month expressly with this purpose in mind. You are free to reproduce the article without prior approval. Drop us a line anyway...
Page 8 The HighWay
Camps & Retreats
WHY IS CAMP OWAISSI SO COOL? By RICHARD HARRISON
HY IS CAMP OWAISSI SO MUCH FUN?
What’s so cool about camp? The Owaissi Olympics! My team, The Supersonic Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Super Ultra Fluffy Martian Dinosaurs from the Underrealm, won. And I was our mascot! To dress up as our mascot I wore a really weird dinosaur suit, that was, in fact, very very fluffy. Everybody loved it. Why is camp so cool? The dance! We danced until 11:00 (I think. I could be wrong.) I break-danced so much I nearly broke! At the end
OWAISSI COOL AWESOME WONDERFUL FUN
we danced to American Pie, and on the last “This’ll be the day that I die!” everybody pretended to die. It was so much fun that I wanted to dance the whole night through. Why is camp awesome? Swimming! Every day we swam for more than an hour and a half. It was so much fun! We jumped off the dock, swam to the bottom of the lake, and
we found rocks from old scavenger hunts. Swimming was always the highlight of my day. Why is camp so wonderful? The turkey dinner on the last night! No matter who is cooking it, it always turns out really well. The stuffing is consistently wonderful, but the turkey is a miracle! I feel like I could eat it all day, except I
can’t, because it’s too filling. Why is camp too cool for school? Chapel! We played games and had snacks all the while learning about parables and their meanings. Mike Stuchbery may be the best Owaissi chaplain I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Come back next year please, Mike!
What’s the best part of camp? Meeting the staff, counsellors, and all the other kids! We all have a great time meeting each other, hanging out, and just plain having fun. Many of the best moments of my life have been at Camp Owaissi! Why is camp so much fun? All the people who come! Next year, be one of us! ❑
Retreat & Conference Centre • A gathering place for all ! Friday-Sunday, November 23-25, 2012
A retreat with Margaret Silf We are living through times of great upheaval when many of our imagined ‘certainties’ are crumbling. The question of faith is not immune to this disintegration, and for many people who would describe themselves as people of faith, there are more questions than answers. The traditional approach of regarding faith as assent to a set of intellectual propositions or doctrines and an undertaking to comply with the strictures of a particular faith system is no longer working for many people who are nevertheless genuinely seeking to discover and nourish the spiritual bedrock of their lives. So what does it mean to be a person of faith in today’s world? Is it, in the words of Alice on Wonderland, about ‘believing six impossible things before breakfast’? Or is it perhaps rather more about trusting that the mystery in whom we live and move and have our being means well with us and is striving to empower us to become the very best we can be, both individually and collectively?
Can ‘faith’ take us beyond ‘religion’, to a radical following of one who shows us what it means to be ‘a human being fully alive’? What does that following mean for us in our world today, both personally and globally? What questions does the challenge of faith bring up for us, and should we really be looking for answers? During this retreat we will look at some of the big questions: who is ‘God’ for us, and who is Jesus? Where is our life centred, and does our life really have any meaning? How does faith reveal itself in action, and become transformative energy? How can we be in relationship with this mystery? MARGARET SILF travels widely in her work as a retreat director and speaker on Ignatian spirituality. Her latest book, Just Call Me Lopez: Getting to the Heart of Ignatius Loyola, will be available in July 2012. Her other books include The Other Side of Chaos, Simple Faith, Compass Points, Inner Compass, Close to the Heart and Going on Retreat (Loyola Press) and The Gift of Prayer: Embracing the Sacred in the Everyday (Bluebridge). She lives in Scotland.
The retreat begins with supper on Friday, Nov 23 and ends with lunch on Sunday, Nov 25. Cost of $300 inclusive is based on shared occupancy.
www.sorrento-centre.bc.ca • 1-866-694-2409
Sorrento Centre is a holy place of transformation for learning, healing and belonging