Year of generosity with the Anglican Foundation
St. Mark’s Barriefield sees grant from Anglican Foundation help complete accessibility project 7
New Diocesan Coordinator for PWRDF PWRDF Anglican charity of choice for international and humanitarian response 5
Dialogue SPRING 2021
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Hymn writer as faith inspiration
Brockville Warming Centre: Parish
Bishop Michael Oulton takes solace in the comforting and inspiring hymns of Cecil Frances Alexander. 2
partnerships battle homelessness
Saint Lawrence Church Outreach Committee addresses community needs
Community partnerships in Brockville key to parish operating warming centre through winter months.
Parish support continues in 2021 Diocesan Pandemic Financial Response Team charts path forward for parish financial support to churches impacted by ongoing pandemic.
Dio Ontario Foundation Supporting innovative approaches to the building of God’s Kingdom, Foundation seeks to continue revitalizing ministry in parishes and broader community. 4
Diocese of Ontario Green Group on biodiversity Group urges personal action as individuals and communities against biodiversity and ecosystem loss as relates to humans survival as a species.
God gives strength to his people KINGSTON. Lunch by George recently received yet another generous donation of $1,000 from the Church of the Good Shepherd. Pictured here is Jim Hopkins from the congregation dropping off a cheque, the third donation they have made to Lunch by George in the past 10 months. Previous contributions have supported the lunch program and the winter clothing drive. While not currently meeting for in-person worship, the Good Shepherd congregation remains steadfast in support of local charities like Lunch by George. As they are fond of saying: ‘we are small but mighty.’ The Good Shepherd members are planning on continuing to live out their faith by making further donations to local charities in 2021. Photo-Mark Hauser.
Lenten season offers opportunity to share strength and peace with others in isolation during continuing worldwide pandemic.
Stewardship through the season of Lent, Holy Week, Easter Archdeacon Wayne Varley invites members of the Diocese of Ontario to continue a stewardship journey through the season of Lent, Holy Week and Easter using his reflections as guideposts to holistic stewardship.
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ONTARIO • DIALOGUE
The Bright Easter Beam for Longing Eyes Bishop Michael Oulton
here is an Easter hymn that has continually popped into my mind over these past few months. It isn’t one of the grand hymns that we look forward to singing on Easter Sunday when the organ, choir and congregation break forth in full throated song following the long days of Lent and the journey of Holy Week. It is a hymn which to my mind and heart is much simpler in form and verse but no less joyful than the great hymns such as “Jesus Christ has Risen Today” with its crescendos of Hallelujah! Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) composed this beautiful little hymn that has been floating through my mind and heart over these days: “He is Risen, He is Risen.” Born and raised in Ireland, she was the wife of Archbishop William Alexander who became Primate of the Church of Ireland. Among over four hundred hymns she composed are included the most familiar of Anglican Hymns such as “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “There is a Green Hill Far Away” and “Jesus calls us O’er the Tumult.” Her Irish heritage is born out in her metrical translation of St. Patrick’s Breastplate which is a favourite hymn of mine to sing on Trinity Sunday. Alexander was heavily influenced by the works of John Keble of the Oxford Movement who edited her “Hymns for Little Children.” The Oxford Movement was a 19th century revival in the Church of England which emphasized the beauty of holiness in the richness of pre-reformation liturgical
expression, the use of poetry and music to express the heart and soul of a Christian discipleship focussed heavily on mission activity among the poor and downtrodden, especially those on the margins of society. The powerful simplicity of Alexander’s hymns capture the majesty of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ, as evidenced in the worship of the Church, the study of Holy Scripture and in all aspects of creation. We continue to live through the days of global challenge which have exacerbated the deep divisions that are all too much in evidence around us. The long days of the pandemic continue to stretch into the future. The repercussions of the social and economic ravages thrust upon us by the pandemic sometimes, and most tragically, seem to eclipse the human cost of the disease in lives lost and families torn apart. The simplicity of this little three verse hymn by Alexander proclaims a deep and powerful mystery that sustains and nourishes me through these days as a follower of Jesus Christ. It encourages me to continue living in the joy of his resurrection, the knowledge that we are bound together in the unity of his body the Church in the world and that our eyes are continually fixed in hope for the future. I see beauty in the creation that surrounds me, those with whom I share my life and in the memory of those who have shared it in the past and are part of the great cloud of witnesses who surround us this day. May these hope filled words sustain you as well.
He is risen, He is risen, Tell it out with a joyful voice, He hath burst his three days’ prison Let the whole wide earth rejoice; Death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory. Come ye sad and fearful hearted, With glad smile and radiant brow; Lent’s long shadows have departed, All his woes are over now, And the passion that he bore; Sin and pain can vex no more. He has risen, he is risen; He hath opened heaven’s gate; We are free from sin’s dark prison, Risen to a holier state; And a brighter Easter beam On our longing eyes shall stream.
Dialogue Published by the Anglican Diocese of Ontario Anglican Church of Canada Editor: Mark Hauser Publisher: The Right Reverend Michael Oulton Bishop of Ontario Office of the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Ontario 165 Ontario Street Kingston, ON, K7L 2Y6 Ph: (613) 544-4774 www.ontario.anglican.ca
Cecil Frances Alexander was credited by many as the greatest hymn writer in the English language. Photocollage-Mark Hauser.
y t i s o r e n e G s s e l r a Fe
DIOCESE OF ONTARIO FOUNDATION
“Fear not, for I am with you” Isa 41:10
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ONTARIO FOUNDATION APPEAL - Spring 2021
An Invitation to all visionary and committed members of the Anglican community and friends, as well as those in partnership with the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area . . . The Foundation supports innovative approaches to the building of community through education, service, support and crisis assistance. As responsible stewards of God’s gifts, the Foundation provides funding to revitalize Anglican parishes, and supports ministry to the wider community through our partnerships with various non-profit groups and business organizations, especially during the time of COVID-19. The Anglican Diocese of Ontario Foundation depends entirely on the support of generous donors to fulfill our mission. We continue to count on your Fearless Generosity to make these dreams become reality.
We invite you to join us. Please support the Spring appeal of the Foundation with a gift . . . as individuals and families, parishes and community members. Please check our websites for up-to-date information and news, including how to make a gift and apply for a programme or ministry grant, either directly through the Foundation or by application to the Fearless Generosity Fund of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area.
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ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ONTARIO • DIALOGUE
Diocese continues support for parishes in 2021 March to December Income Change by Church Net of CEWS
Alex Peirson DEO/DFO
o say that 2020 was an ‘interesting year’ would be an understatement of epic proportions. As a society, individuals and as a church, we have faced more significant changes to our lives than we could have imagined. Together we took major precautions to fight the spread of infection, and protect the most vulnerable members of our communities, truly “Loving our Neighbors.” The pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives, including work, health, ministry and our relationships with friends and family members. The pandemic caused us to close our church buildings and make a very quick shift to online worship and ministry early in 2020. We have seen churches do a wonderful job of adapting to carry on the worship, ministry, mission, and fellowship that form the faith and life of our churches. The pandemic closure created a decrease in financial giving in many churches. We have benefited greatly from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program that the Government of Canada put in place. This program has changed a number of times, but it has brought significant benefit to the churches across our diocese. Since we have a central payroll system for our churches, it was necessary
Median = $-2,213 Avg = $-3,029
Scattershot graph illustrating each church (dots) in our diocese reflecting net income decline after CEWS. Graphic -Alex Pierson. for the diocese to apply for CEWS all together. Each month we collected financial data from each church to submit for the subsidy. From March to December: Total Decline in Church Income from Giving: $714,304 Average Decline in Church Income from Giving: $13,477 (18%) CEWS Received for Churches: $544,229 Net Decline in Income (after CEWS): $170,075 Average Net Decline in Income (After CEWS): $3,209 (7%) Of course, each church has a unique financial
situation and is impacted differently. The accompanying graph has a dot for each church, showing the net income decline (after CEWS). As you can see from the chart, there was a wide range of impacts. Some churches have seen CEWS more than account for lost giving. Others have seen significant decreases. In addition to the CEWS received for churches, the diocese also received the subsidy for the bishop and Synod Office Staff (eight people). From March to December, the amount received was $114,086. This money was placed in a fund under the control of Synod Council—to be held to provide support to churches. Early in the pandemic, we put together a Pan-
demic Financial Response Team(PFRT) to analyze the financial impacts, consider ways to support and make recommendations to Synod Council. The team is comprised of Canon Peter Case, Canon Michael Read, Venerable Charles Morris, Venerable Wayne Varley, Robin Jones and myself. This group set two goals for its work: 1)Make some assistance and support available to all churches. 2)Use available funds to support churches that: A. Have seen income most impacted (net of CEWS) AND B.Have limited financial resources to sustain the reduction and carry for-
ward AND C.Have an outward focus on mission and ministry. The PFRT did analysis of the March to December financial data, developed a set of recommendations that achieved the first two goals and then brought them to the January meeting of Synod Council. There were ten churches that met both the first two criteria (income loss and limited financial resources). These ten churches accounted for 80% of the net income reduction across the diocese—a total of over $134,000. After hearing the summary of the analysis recommendation of the PRFT, Council approved these churches moving to the third and final step of the
process—the Ministry and Mission survey. This survey is founded on the Marks of Mission of the Anglican Church and uses resources from “Healthy Churches Handbook” by Robert Warren. The ten churches will work through this material with the Venerable Wayne Varley and Canon Michael Read, along with support from the territorial archdeacon. It will then be reviewed with the PFRT and the bishop before final recommendations are presented to Synod Council. These support funds will be provided from the CEWS fund generated by Synod Office staff. These funds have also been used to support interest forgiveness on 2020 insurance, the technology grants to support online worship and the cleaning/disinfecting starter kits provided to parishes when buildings re-opened in September 2020. Let me say a word of thanks to the leadership, both clerical and lay in our churches for their hard work and care throughout this challenging time. We have hosted regular online video calls, with 80-100 leaders faithfully attending. As we continue through this pandemic in 2021, we will face continuing and evolving challenges. The diocese and each church will work through how to best support each other (in many ways) as we journey towards the future of ministry and mission in our communities.
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Parish opens Warming Centre in Brockville Saint Lawrence Parish partners with local agencies for outreach Mark Hauser Diocesan Communications The rising cost of rent, addictions, mental health struggles and now COVID-19 are all contributing factors in the homelessness crisis in Eastern Ontario. Brockville is no exception. Enter the Outreach Committee of Saint Lawrence Anglican Church in Brockville who wanted to do their part to address the lack of affordable housing in their community. “The first thing we did was to invite other interested people from St. Paul’s and people in the community that we knew were interested in issues around emergency housing and began to have a conversation around how we address that in a meaningful way” says Rev. Canon Michael Read, parish priest for Saint Lawrence. In the early part of 2020, the parish’s Outreach Committee began pulling together a group of local stakeholders who were involved in areas of health, poverty, food security and housing to work together and move the project forward. “We have people from the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville on the group, we have a doctor from an addictions clinic on the group, we have nurses, representation from St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Wall Street United Church, two
members of town council, a representative from ‘Brockville Street Friends,’ members from a group called ‘Connect Youth’ who work with at risk youth in the community and the YMCA” says Canon Read. The plan was to develop a long-term affordable housing project. Unfortunately, progress was delayed last March when COVID-19 forced a provincewide shut-down. By September, the group knew the onset of winter meant they needed to plan for more immediate needs. The idea of a warming centre to support those living on the streets was born. The Brockville Warming Centre, operating out of Wall Street United Church, opened its doors on December 18—running seven days a week with ten hired staff working in teams, supported by additional volunteers. The Centre offers a safe environment for up to 18 people each night to escape the cold. Operational funding has come from multiple sources, says Canon Read, “United Counties, with support from provincial funding, provided us with a substantial grant that really is the financial foundation of the work that we are doing.” Additional support has come from the federal government through the United Way, private donations from individuals and corpora-
The Rev. A.J. Cottreau, associate curate for St. Lawrence Parish, serves as the director for the Warming Centre. PhotoA.J. Cottreau
tions, as well as a grant from the Heritage Board of Saint Lawrence Church. While the Rev. A.J. Cottreau, associate curate for the parish, serves as the director of the Warming Centre, the outreach committee knew that staffing the Centre would require specific training in social work and mental health. “We needed to make sure that those who were dealing day-to-day with the folks that might come into the Centre knew how to handle the multitude of issues and concerns that they would bring with them,” says Canon Read. In addition to offering a safe place to escape the cold, clients are given, “meals, and blankets and items to support them in their circumstances,” says Read. “We also provide them with connections to agencies in the community where they can receive other supports.” The centre offers an intake period between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. After 11 p.m. the doors are closed until the next morning. Read says, “We have a doctor on our board who makes himself available in the mornings when people are leaving if they need any further supports in the community and will connect them or make appointments to see them as his background is in addiction support.” With available funding, the Warming Centre will operate until the end of
March, 2021, with plans to open up again in the fall if the supports are available. The committee still hopes to advance their original plan of a more long-term community solution, but for now the Warming Centre is a way to meet vital needs in the short-term. When asked how he would advise other parishes interested in undertaking an initiative like this, Canon Read admits the key to an outreach program of this scope requires building a network of partnerships. “We immediately realized that this is nothing we could ever accomplish on our own and then began to look for the people in the community who could help us accomplish it” he says. And what about the local clients themselves, do they value the presence and safety offered by the Warming Centre? A.J. sums it up the best when she says, “The best moment so far was when I found out that one of the guests who utilized the Warming Centre several times was able to secure an apartment. I mean that’s the long-term goal, right? To be able to help someone move from being homeless to having a place to call home. That’s why we’re here; that’s why we started this initiative. In my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Anglican Diocese of Ontario Foundation: Supporting God’s Kingdom John Robertson
n Anglican Diocese of Ontario Foundation (ADOF) supporter, familiar with the Gospel of Luke which he has been studying recently, suggested our mission statement was likely based on Luke 4.1621. He is right! When Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release
to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Our formal Mission Statement reflects these words, “The Foundation supports innovative approaches to the building of God’s Kingdom through Christian education, service, and a bold celebration of the Anglican tradition. As responsible stewards of God’s gifts, the Foundation provides funding to revitalize Anglican parishes, and supports ministry to the broader community.”
Like any Foundation, we also have a vision statement: “Our vision is to build a community in which the faith-filled generosity is an important vehicle through which the love of Jesus Christ becomes known.” We also have important
values: We are unapologetically Christian, according to the Anglican tradition; we believe in fearless generosity; we are innovative and responsive; we are community-minded; we are resourceful, accountable, and responsible stewards of God’s gifts. Reflecting changing times and circumstances, particularly the challenges of COVID-19, the Board of Directors proposed a revised list of priorities for 2021: emerging ministries, community partnerships, children and youth ministries, campus ministries, ministries to prisoners and ex-offenders, and reconciliation initiatives. Infrastructure projects of up to 50% of the total project cost may also be considered for
funding, assuming parishes and community groups can provide additional sources of support. The Foundation has been very fortunate in having generous support directly through our Fearless Generosity Fund, and, beginning last summer, through our partnership with the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area. Recently, our focus has been centred on serving the most vulnerable people of Kingston and nearby communities, including strong support for the sharing of meals through Lionhearts and Outreach St. George’s Lunch by George, as well as special support for crisis intervention staff, and rural teachers. In addition, the Foundation has supported several accessibility grants for par-
ish church ramps including the lift at St. George’s Cathedral to improve access to the Lunch by George programme and better serve community events held at the Cathedral Funds have been allocated to the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area for additional urgent needs in 2021. For more information, please refer to our advertisement in this edition of Dialogue. Hopefully the mission statement of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in Luke 4, will be reflected and honoured in our outreach to parishes and the communities we serve. With much appreciation for your interest and ongoing support. “When we can share, that is poetry in the prose of life”-Dr. Sigmund Freud.
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ONTARIO • DIALOGUE
Biodiversity and us Dr. Josef Cihlar
Diocesan Green Group
hen did you first notice fewer insects on your car windshield and in your surroundings? It is convenient at times but also indicative of something sinister and threatening. In December 2020, the United Nations General Secretary Guterres said: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes. Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it.” What was he talking about, and should Christians pay attention? First, biodiversity (biological diversity): the variety of life that can be found on Earth (plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms), as well as the communities and the habitats/ ecosystems in which they live. As a species, humans are intimately linked with other organisms. Our cells inherited their functioning from bacteria (with
little change), the part of brain running our bodies (hypocampus) is also called reptilian brain for a good reason, etc. Our very lives depend on ‘ecosystem services’ that provide food, shelter, water, medicine, fibre and other materials for the production of goods, vast capacity for storing carbon, and others. Importantly, biodiversity strengthens ecosystems ‘resilience’, their ability to recover from overuse or other damages. So even if we consider the environment from a self-interest/ selfish point of view, maintaining biodiversity is critical to our survival as a species. This is the motivation behind the efforts of international organizations and an increasing number of countries related to biodiversity. Such efforts are necessary because the living ecosystems are under increasing threats. Some of these make media reports (“Top scientists warn of ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’ and climate disruption”). Insect populations are dwindling (“Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists—40% worldwide, primarily due to habitat loss by conversion to intensive industrial agriculture, pollution, and climate
“Our very lives depend on ‘ecosystem services’ that provide food, shelter, water, medicine, fibre and other materials for the production of goods, vast capacity for storing carbon, and others” says Dr. Josef Cihlar. Photo-Shutterstock. change). Tropical forests, rich in carbon and biodiversity, are cleared at a feverish pace for crops and urbanization (“A Football Pitch of Primary Rainforest Every 6 Seconds in 2019”). Species such as bees and caribou have been declining dramatically, both critical to human food production. With the country’s vast area and much of it sparsely inhabited, some might conclude biodiversity loss and impact on ecosystems are not a problem Canadians need to worry about. The reality is different. Of the known species, over 500 are at-risk in Canada,
even as only about a half of the total estimated 140,000 has been identified. In addition to sounding an alarm at the continuing biodiversity loss and slow progress in reversing the trend, a recent UN report (https://www.cbd. int/gbo5) identified three major tasks regarding biodiversity: increasing conservation and protection efforts, addressing global temperature rise, and transforming the production and consumption of trade goods and services, most particularly food. How can we be most effective as individuals and communities? We are
all consumers and so can choose products that are not linked to the destruction of natural ecosystems, can choose organic when available, can avoid using pesticides or harmful household products, and in various other ways (https://www.naturetrust. bc.ca/conserving-land/ what-can-we-do ). We need to elect and support governments that make actions on climate change and environmental protection a high priority. And we must be on guard against government actions that degrade the environment, such as the recent loosening of protection measures
by the Ontario government. As individuals, families and communities we should work toward adopting the Seventh Generation Principle originating in Iroquois culture: ‘the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future’. For us Christians, there is an even stronger and persuasive reason (Genesis 2:15, NIV): “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it”. Humans were not given the license to trash the Earth.
PWRDF: Anglican charity of choice for international and humanitarian response Sophie Kiwala
n early December of 2020, I was appointed by Bishop Michael as the new diocesan coordinator for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. I bring years of energy and commitment to the types of causes championed through the work of PWRDF and I am looking forward to meeting with the parish representatives throughout the diocese over the coming year and learning about the great work that is happening locally in support of the fund. There is no question that 2020 was a difficult year for all of us, but this new year, 2021, also brings new energy, a renewed sense of hope and tremendous opportunity to see change in action
through our work. While many people will be feeling a similar sense of hope and optimism that comes with a new year, too many others will be experiencing an increasing sense of need and desperation. We know that there will be more illness, death, hunger and homelessness as well as more inequitable access to health care across the globe. There has never been a time when the work of PWRDF has been more critical than it is right now. As followers of Jesus, we are already focused on extending support and outreach to those in need as well as the most vulnerable populations. Humans are at their best and most fulfilled when they feel needed and can be of service to others. This is the true meaning of ‘mission in action’, living the Great Commandment. Many of you have asked
PWRDF is currently supporting The Emergency Food Support program for Zimbabwe from January 25 to the end of March. One example of humanitarian relief projects that PWRDF sponsors worldwide. Photo-PWRDF. me if the World of Gifts The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (pwrdf.org) gift catalogue is still being used outside the Christmas season, and I am pleased to report that it is. There is a
broad range of programs including those supporting Indigenous initiatives in Canada, climate care, food sustainability, and of course, emergency international aid. There is an extension until
June of 2021 for the 6 to 1 government matching for the All Mothers and Children Count program providing critical COVID-19 support. There are other matching programs worthwhile
exploring as well such as Emergency Food Support in Zimbabwe. Please explore PWRDF’s website at pwrdf.org and look out for our brochures which are available free to parishes in printed copy when we are finally able to return to in-person worshipping. It would be wonderful to see the PWRDF become the Anglican charity of choice for international and humanitarian response around the world. Please accept my best wishes for a joy-filled and healthy year ahead. With kindest regards and blessings,
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ONTARIO • DIALOGUE
Based on the Revised Common Lectionary - Liturgical Year B The following reflections are intended to encourage individuals and parishes to think about biblical and holistic stewardship and serve as guideposts along the way of our individual and collective faith journey. Bless you throughout the holy season of Lent by your self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, almsgiving and reading and meditating on the word of God. Bless you with the joy, power and reality of resurrection in your lives and be filled with the Spirit of love so that we may give witness to the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Let us faithfully take care of all that is entrusted to us throughout 2021.
february 21, 2021
A reflection based on Psalm 25:1-9
february 28, 2021
A reflection based on Mark 8:31-38
march 7, 2021
A reflection based on Exodus 20:1-17 and John 2:13-22
march 14, 2021
A reflection based on John 3:14-21
march 21, 2021
A reflection based on John 12: 20-33
march 28, 2021
A reflection based on the readings of the day
april 1, 2021
A reflection based on John 13:1-17, 31b-35
april 2, 2021
A reflection based on the readings of the day
april 3, 2021
A reflection based on the books of Genesis to Revelation
Season of Lent Holy Week
february 17, 2021
A reflection based on Psalm 103:2 and Matthew 6:1-6,16-21
april 4, 2021
april 18, 2021
A reflection based on Luke 24:36b-48
April 25, 2021
A reflection based on John 10:11-18
May 2, 2021
A reflection based on John 15:1-8
May 9, 2021
A reflection based on John 15:9-17
May 13, 2021
A reflection based on Acts 1:1–11
May 16, 2021
A reflection based on Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
me your paths.” In what ways are we being called during the COVID-19 pandemic to study the word of God, worship, practice sacrificial financial giving, and prayer? They are ways that we open ourselves to what God chooses to show us.
second sunday in lent: Jesus critiques Peter that the latter is not thinking about God’s ways. Ouch! How are we spending time to discern God’s ways this year?
third sunday in lent: The Ten Commandments are the basis of our love of God and
neighbour. Jesus is angry about the way people make use of his Father’s house. How are we doing in love of God and neighbour and the ways we respond to injustice in the world of our time?
fourth sunday in lent:
We may reflect on receiving and giving but there is no more blessed gift than the one God has given us, Jesus Christ our Lord. How do we offer our gratitude for this eternal gift and share it with our neighbour?
fifth sunday in lent: Jesus teaches, “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.” This is a clear guideline for faithful stewardship. Love the Lord; follow and serve him; and reflect his immeasurable love as best we can to those we meet.
The Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday:
Faithful stewards strive to conform our lives with that of Jesus Christ. We put ourselves in service of others. Who are we called at this time to humbly and willingly serve as we gratefully take up our cross in self-giving love?
Maundy Thursday: Our humble Lord Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, giving them and us
an example of how we are to serve one another. Faithful stewards strive to follow this example by sharing our gifts with our neighbour, especially those in need.
Jesus did not have to die the way he did. Regardless, faithful stewards know that without his suffering and death we would not experience his resurrection and promise of eternal life. May we be truly grateful of our Lord today!
holy saturday: God is involved in the details of creation and enters the lives of people
in graceful and spiritual ways. God promises to live in and through us and this enables and equips faithful stewards. Alleluia!
The Day of Easter:
april 11, 2021
The First Sunday in Lent: The Psalmist declares, “Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach
The Psalmist proclaims, “On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It is an awesome reminder that the Lord we follow and serve lives. As faithful stewards may we cry out, “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
A reflection based on Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 A reflection based on Acts 4:32-35
The Psalmist and Saint Matthew offer two important reminders to faithful stewards as we begin our Lenten journey. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We are invited anew to discern what our life treasures will be and to whom and what they will be committed. Let us take stock of these things in the coming weeks.
The Second Sunday of Easter:
The early church, in faithful stewardship, did not claim earthly possessions as their own because those things were entrusted to them so that they might share them with others in need. How are we doing as Christ’s church during these unprecedented days?
The Third Sunday of Easter:
Jesus’ disciples came to know him as the risen Lord in the breaking of the bread. It teaches us that, when we share with those in need, we will discover Jesus among us. What are we being called in fulfillment of scripture to do in the work of social justice?
The fourth Sunday of Easter: Our Lord is “the good shepherd” and this a beloved
image of him. However, he says that his sheep hear and recognize his voice. What is Jesus saying to us these days and in what ways are we called to respond?
The Fifth Sunday of Easter:
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus says that God is glorified when disciples produce good fruit in abundance. How are we managing our abundance as faithful stewards?
The sixth Sunday of Easter:
Jesus’ commandment is that his disciples love one another. What gifts of talent, time and treasure reveal our love for the people of God?
The Ascension of the Lord: Faithful stewards gratefully accept the gift of the Holy Spirit as taught by the risen Lord. In what ways are we closer to that gift this year, using our talent, time and treasure in the work of evangelism?
The Seventh Sunday of Easter: Saint Peter and the other Apostles prayerfully choose
Judas’ successor. Matthias begins anew his work of faithful stewardship. In what ways do we too answer the Spirit’s call to use our gifts in promoting God’s ways this year?
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF ONTARIO • DIALOGUE
AFC thanks donors for generosity AFC Communications
he spirit of generosity remains high among Canadian Anglicans as the Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) thanks donors from coast to coast to coast for an overwhelming response to its annual fundraising effort, expected to total more than $165,000, representing a 9% increase over last year. “From the beginning of the pandemic we knew we must continue to do everything in our power to financially support parishes and faith communities across the country,” says Judy Rois, Executive Director, AFC. “We acknowledged the difficulties people might be facing and asked those of our donors who were able to give to continue to do so. We asked those who were in a position to give a little bit more to give as they felt called.” The result was an unprecedented outpouring of support. “I am overwhelmed by how our donor community came together,” says Rois, “and in spite of the challenges we will continue to face in 2021, it gives me courage and hope that with the strength of our supporters, AFC will be able to fund ministry that matters throughout this global health crisis and beyond.”
St. Mark’s Parish in the Diocese of Ontario received $10,000 from the Anglican Foundation of Canada towards an accessibility ramp for the parish. Photos-St. Mark’s Parish. While AFC’s 2020 grant disbursements were lower than in previous years, due to a conservative approach taken during a volatile and uncertain financial environment, Rois says AFC’s ability to fund for impact notwithstanding the economic disruption is owing to “more than six decades of generosity: past and present.” “In 2020, more than any other year, I have seen the power of legacy in action,”
says Rois, “In addition to those who gave generously this year, people who are no longer with us were still with us in spirit, helping AFC to carry out its mission, investing over $550,000 across the Canadian church through grants to more than 130 applicants.” Canon Rois, who served in parish ministry before being appointed as Executive Director of AFC in 2010, has a message of hope for
churches who find themselves struggling financially in the wake of COVID-19. “Many churches will be tempted to turn to survival mode in the months ahead,” she says. “Some may even put community-focused ministry and mission on hold.” Rois says AFC wants to continue to do its part to prevent this from happening. “Every gift we have received this year has remind-
ed me of the richness of God’s economy,” says Rois, “and every gift, of every size, has reminded me that with a spirit of generosity and continued creativity, Canadian Anglicans, working through this Foundation, can still mobilize to meet many of the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of people in our communities.” In the Diocese of Ontario St. Mark’s Barriefield was a 2020 grant recipient. “AFC
was pleased to be able to provide $10,000 to support the construction of a ramp to make such an iconic church accessible to future generations,” says Rois. “I am grateful to all of AFC’s supporters in the Diocese of Ontario for their willingness to pay it forward to similar projects, across the country. Whether we are six feet apart, or six thousand miles apart, we will always stand together.”
May the Lord give strength to His people Diana Duncan-Fletcher “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!” -Psalm 29:11 n the Anglican tradition we sing the psalms. I challenge you to take these words above, and sing them out loud several times, using whatever tune works for you. All of us have been affected by the anxieties brought on by COVID-19. Peace is hard to find when one is angry or frustrated. It is hard to adapt to living in isolation. We all have stories of finding it difficult to cope without family or good friends surrounding us—especially during festive occasions or holidays. Two of my three grown children live overseas. I missed seeing them this past year, and probably won’t for another
year. My grandchildren are growing rapidly during this time. Living in the electronic age does help us be in touch with them, but unfortunately no warm hugs or kisses arrive via the internet. My husband and I live in the country and isolating is less of a problem. We see people walking their dogs often in all the seasons. During the winter, when it snows, people wave as they shovel out their driveways and call greetings. We get our mail at the Post Office, and everyone is civilized and helpful to keep the required distance there. But the forced wall of isolation has a down side for those who are shut-ins. One good friend in her 90’s told me she doubts she will ever see me again. That saddens me. She used to beat the socks off me in Scrabble games. Queuing up for grocery stores provides an oppor-
tunity for people watching. Some are very diligent to keep apart; others find this time one for socializing. It is difficult to complain. COVID-19 has brought a different set of values into play. The front-line workers need to be commended for their work. I have noticed that I thank people for doing what I believe I previously took for granted. Our pharmacist, Ali, is a good example. He is not a Christian, but respects the fact that we are. His faith is strong, and he knows a lot about our beliefs. The discussions we have had are most interesting. His prayers for us are also most appreciated. During this pandemic, I often think back to happier times. Today I was remembering one of the most beautiful sights I saw years ago when I was twenty-one. A friend and I were given the privilege of seeing the
“COVID-19 has brought a different set of values into play” says Diana Duncan-Fletcher. Graphic-Shutterstock. Northern Lights. That Summer evening we rowed out into the middle of Draper Lake and looked up at the breathtakingly beautiful sight of the Aurora Borealis. I knew it was a gift from God. The pleasure I took from that event has never left me.
I challenge you to think back to something equally awesome in your life and give thanks. Then share that image with someone you love. Either telephone or write of it to a person who is needing encouragement. This Lenten season is a perfect time to
make the effort to contact people with whom you normally would spend time. I challenge you to show you care by reaching out and sharing your love and giving them some of your strength and peace. Thanks be to God!
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Children’s Prayers with Hope Bear
Children’s Prayers with Hope Bear
Text by Judy
Illustrations by Michele
Hope Bear Prayer Book_COVER.indd 3
The Perfect Easter Gift
Nidenoff 2017-03-23 3:19 PM
Prayers for liturgical seasons and special moments in a child’s life. Suitable for pre-school up to age 12. $15.00/book
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