“We make a difference,” primate encouragesBY LEIGH ANNE WILLIAMS
Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, made a happy return to Christ Church Cathedral to keep up a tradition of delivering a sermon on New Year’s Day. Due to the pandemic, she was not able to come to Ottawa for the new year in 2021 and 2022 and delivered her sermons online.
She began this year’s homily by acknowledging that it is difficult for people remain hopeful when there is so much pain and suffering in the world.
She mentioned the war in Ukraine and described the situation she witnessed on a recent trip to the Holy Land: “where the Christian community clings precariously to sustain a presence—where settlements continue to be built on internationally agreed Palestinian territory; where the movement of Palestinians for work or even healthcare is limited or inconsistent; where the new government includes a coalition with extreme rightwing leaders whose policies are frightening in their effects and the situation is deteriorating rapidly.”
Archbishop Linda Nicholls was once again able to travel to the Diocese of Ottawa to deliver her New Year’s Day homily and to enjoy some inperson fellowship with those who attended at a reception in the Cathedral’s Great Hall afterwards. Mary and Boardman Nnagbo from the Christ Church Cathedral parish began their new year at the Choral Eucharist service. More photos from the reception are on page 5.
St Luke’s Table has a new temporary homeBY DAVID HUMPHREYS
The fire that severely damaged St Luke’s Church in October was a major blow to the diocese’s three Ottawa day programs. St. Luke’s Table was most directly affected. It was displaced from its place in the church basement but is now operating from a new temporary location.
“It felt like another blow on top of everything else,” says Rachel Robinson, executive director of the day programs. Everything else was the three years of innovation, increased need and stress to staff
and clients during the pandemic.
It didn’t help that the fire came at a time when the staff were coping with another challenge — illness from COVID, the flu and various respiratory ailments that swept through front-line workers who are routinely exposed to viruses.
“It makes we want to cry when I think about what we’ve been through in the last three years,” Robinson says. She set about to maintain continuity as much as possible for the community that had come to rely on the Table for food, laundry, hygiene and counsel.
“We absolutely were not going to close down the program.” Staff and resources were deployed on the day of the fire to locations at The Well and Centre 454. The food delivery van that played such an important outreach role during the pandemic was pressed into service to supply breakfasts prepared at The Well. By late November space had been rented in the basement of Bronson Centre, four blocks from St Luke’s at 211 Bronson Ave., that will be a temporary home for at least a year.
Living faithfully doesn’t just happen
God had made me to be. (It is so important to help children, young people, and adults to know that bad things do not need to define who you are and who God made you to be.)
Skiing the marathon, in particular, contained a key spiritual lesson. You can’t just say you are a marathoner: to ski 100 miles over oftenchallenging terrain, in highly variable weather and trail conditions— knowing the clock won’t stop and wait for you, so you must keep moving no matter what—requires discipline, focus, and practice.BY THE RIGHT REVEREND SHANE PARKER
In early January I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Ottawa East to donate a number of items left over from a renovation project. I had not been to the Belfast Road location before and was surprised to see it was in an industrial building which used to house the automotive machine shop I worked in for the better part of two years in the late 1970s. My mind flooded with memories as I looked at the various doorways and loading bays, recalling the bustle of the shop and the colourful characters I worked with.
I left high school after a dismal grade 12. After exploring the possibility of studying forestry and then commercial art at the Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology, I went through a difficult period of finding my way. I had been much affected by traumas related to the death of my father years before and the instabilities that ensued. These conspired to persuade me that I would not amount to much. (It is so important to notice changes in the appearance
Memorabilia from shop and trail.
and behaviour of children and young people, and to take the risk of asking if everything is okay.)
After dropping out of college and making my way back to Ottawa, I experienced what I now recognize as a post-traumatic mental health crisis. By the grace of God and the kindness of others, I held together and eventually found myself a job at Asbestonos on Belfast Road.
The structure and routine provided by that job, the camaraderie of the people I worked with, and learning how to operate various machines and specialized tools—first restoring brake drums, disks, and pads, and then rebuilding clutches—calmed my troubled mind and created space for a sense of purpose to take root.
That sense of purpose led me to develop my interest in crosscountry skiing. I became extremely fit, running and skiing for hours at a time and weight training in the gym at Carleton University for $2 a session. I would often run home from work with soot in my hair and blackened hands. My first big life accomplishment was to qualify as a Nordic Ski Instructor and teach adult classes at Mooney’s Bay. The next big accomplishment was to complete the 100-mile Canadian Ski Marathon in February of 1978. The photo accompanying this column is a montage of memorabilia from the machine shop and the ski trails. Those years taught me a lot and enabled me to heal from things which had compromised who
The First Great Commandment, to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength,” speaks directly to this spiritual lesson: while the grace of God will see each of us through our journey on earth, Christ-like faithfulness requires discipline, focus, and practice.
Living faithfully doesn’t just happen. You can’t be a person of prayer if you don’t pray; you can’t say you love your neighbour if you aren’t showing love in meaningful ways. You can’t trust God with your life if your sense of security depends on material things. You can’t heal unless you get into a place where you can heal.
The season of Lent begins in this month. Try to attend an Ash Wednesday service and listen well to the exhortation to observe a Holy Lent by “self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and by reading and meditating on the word of God.” Take these words to heart and let them affect you; and then, with discipline, focus, and practice, do your best to live faithfully as your journey continues.
New director of communications and development appointed
Sandra Hamway has been hired as the Diocese’s new director of communications and development.
Hamway has extensive experience in marketing and communications across both nonprofit and business organizations. She was the founder and chief marketing officer of her Ottawabased integrated marketing and communications firm Infuse Five and has also directed communications for national associations.
She kindly answered a few questions from Crosstalk to help us introduce her to readers:
Q What drew you to this opportunity at the Diocese?
I believe that effective communication is key to the success of any organization, and I am passionate about bringing my skills and experience to help our diocese achieve its goals.
One of the main reasons I was drawn to this role is that the values of this organization align closely with my own personal values.
Robinson describes it as semipermanent and semi-perfect. On the positive side, it provides a convenient, welcoming space for much-needed social connections. Participants can get food, support, games and friendship to break out of isolation.
It’s not perfect because participants must travel to The Well or Centre 454 for laundry or shower services. “It’s hard on people,” Robinson says. “We’re giving them bus tickets to get back and forth.” And not least, between 60 and 70 people are being served daily at Bronson, compared with more than 100 at St Luke’s. There is an extra demand on staff by the requirement to set up chairs and
My successful track record of over 20 years in communications, marketing, and development, both in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, has equipped me with both insight and a fresh perspective. Organizations have valued my depth and breadth of experience along with my professional and business focused approach. My curiosities fuel my interests in building meaningful relationships and finding better ways to reach goals.
QWhat are you excited about or looking forward to?
is now overseeing diocesan communications, including its website (currently being rebuilt), social media, Crosstalk, as well as stewardship campaigns and projects.
Spirituality and community can be powerful influences in bringing people together.
QWhat experience do you feel best prepared you for your new role?
I am particularly excited about the opportunity to reshape the communications and development department and to create a strategy that aligns with the diocese’s new strategic plan. I believe with the right plan in place we can greatly increase the reach and impact of this organization and make a real difference in people’s lives and across our diocese.
outbreaks of illness.
Robinson is confident that the program will move back to the St Luke’s location at 760 Somerset St West. “It’s our home. It’s where the participants have access to all their basic needs. It’s the place where we belong and once the rebuild is complete we will move back.
The Rev. Canon Dr. PJ Hobbs, director general of Community Ministries, says reopening at 760 Somerset is a top priority. The church building has been cleaned
Primate’s sermon, from p. 1
And turning her view back to Canada, she acknowledged, “Even as I descry the occupation of Palestinian lands, I hear the echo of hypocrisy as we in Canada are asked about our occupation of Indigenous areas where treaties have not been honoured—or the land ever ceded at all. The work of reconciliation is a long, continuing, painful journey.”
She spoke of the increasing numbers of people who are turning to food banks as economic pressures force them to choose between paying for rent or food and the complex global problem of mitigating climate change.
“In the midst of it all, our church is feeling fragile,” she said, noting that not all parishioners have returned to attending church since the COVID lockdowns. “Financial resources are reduced, and we struggle to express the gospel with joyful hope to new generations.”
In the face of all of that, the archbishop said, “it is easy to sink into despair—and wonder about the power of the gospel to make a difference…. What word of God will sustain us in 2023?
Nicholls began to answer that question acknowledging that “we are not given a map or timeline for the fullness of God’s reign to be known—only the stories of how it has begun. The seeds of God’s reign are in the stories we have of Jesus and how God chooses to be with us. God comes into the world now—not with a flood to wipe us out and start again—not in power but in vulnerability; not to royalty but in poverty. God comes quietly— to ordinary people—in their daily lives—and is revealed to those willing to see and respond….
“If I wanted to transform the world—would I start so small?” she asked. “Edward Lorenz, a mathematician and meteorologist, proposed a theory that even the flap of a butterfly’s wings at a great distance could change weather patterns in unpredictable ways! The
“Our church is feeling fragile,” Archbishop Nicholls said.
‘Butterfly effect’, as it is known, has become a metaphor for the truth that a small action can lead to much bigger and unexpected changes than anticipated.”
The primate said that metaphor is one that can help us understand God’s activity in the world. “What began with a vulnerable baby entrusted to two ordinary parents— would grow and ripple out one disciple at a time. Every action of love, forgiveness, grace, a part of the whole vision of God’s reign. The question is not—Why is the world still so broken? But rather ‘what would it look like if God were not here?’”
She noted that although she began her sermon with “a litany of the disasters, pain and brokenness of our world in 2022… threaded through the year are also stories of acts of compassion, kindness, generosity, love and mercy.”
Reading through issues of the diocesan newspapers from across Canada, the archbishop said she was “struck by all the ways in which Anglicans are changing their communities and making God’s presence known through their generosity—food banks; community meals; anti-racism work; youth camps and activities; pastoral care; refugee sponsorship and so much more…
“We do make a difference—local, small, and real. We will never know the full impact of our response to God—only that it matters.”In closing, she added: “May we find encouragement, hope and joy as we face 2023 having met ‘God with us’ in Jesus Christ and making him known in this hurting world.”
A publication of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa
The Rt. Rev. Shane Parker Bishop of Ottawa
Leigh Anne Williams
Editor Jane Waterston Production
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January 25, 2023 for the March 2023 edition
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God comes quietly— to ordinary people— in their daily lives— and is revealed to those willing to see and respond….
Ringing in the new year
Following the Choral Eucharist service at noon on Jan.1, Christ Church Cathedral hosted a festive reception in the Great Hall for all to celebrate the start of 2023.
Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, was warmly welcomed back to the Cathedral celebration after COVID concerns interrupted her traditional visit and address on Jan. 1 during the previous two years.
Bishop John and Catherine Chapman met up with the recently-retired Rev. David Clunie.
St. Margaret’s Inuit congregation offers unique opportunity for sharing and reconciliationBY LEIGH ANNE WILLIAMS
When St. Margaret’s was built in 1887 as a church for the village of Janeville outside Ottawa, it was surrounded by fields and forest. But a hint of its future destiny as an urban church that is now home to the only Inuit congregation in the “South” of Canada may be glimpsed in the shape of its walls.
St. Margaret’s English-speaking congregation may see the semicircular apse surrounding the altar only as a beautifully painted dome, but members of the Inuit congregation worshipping in Inuktitut at the 11:30 am Sunday services may see a comforting echo of the shape of the interior of an igloo.
But a church really is made up of the people who gather and worship there and not the walls of its building. St. Margaret’s brings people together from its original congregation, those who came from All Saints Sandy Hill when it was dis-established, and the Inuit congregation. Serving them all with incumbent priest the Rev. Colin McFarland is a remarkable Inuit priest. When she came to Ottawa from the North, the Rev. Canon Aigah Attagutsiak never imagined entering the ministry, but now
with Crosstalk, she said her mother, who is now nearly 103, loved going to church, and her 14 children
St. Aidan’s and St. Thomas team up to giveBY LOIS WYNN
In the St. Aidan’s neighbourhood, the Dempsey Community Centre was transformed just over a year ago into a city-run shelter for about 60 homeless women. They each have a bed in the gymnasium, meals, and a warm place to stay until they find, with the help of on-site staff, other accommodations.
Last year, St. Aidan’s and St. Thomas Anglican churches joined together to give each woman a gift bag filled with necessities and treats for Christmas. The first bags were delivered that year just before Christmas and were very well received by the residents.
We decided to prepare and deliver gift bags, once again, this year. Parishioners from both churches, as well as other members of the community, stepped up to answer the call and donate gift bags filled with items the women would use and enjoy. Others donated many knitted items or money to the
effort. The items included practical things such as full-sized shampoo, hand cream, body lotion, lip balm, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, socks, gloves, hats, scarves as well as fun stuff such as activity or adult colouring books, colouring pencils, pens, notebooks, daily agendas, and chocolate.
The bags were delivered this year on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Sarah Johnston, team lead at the Dempsey Physical Distancing Centre and operations lead for the City of Ottawa’s housing services was there to accept the donations. The Rev. Rosemary Parker, Peter Martin, and Lois Wynn from St. Aidan’s as well as the Rev. Tim Kehoe and Karen Scott from St. Thomas all brought the bags to the Dempsey Centre.
Residents of the centre were excited to see all the gift bags come in. There were more than enough for everybody. The women were delighted with their gifts and to know that people in the community care about them.
When she began attending services at St. Margaret’s and then became a lay reader, the priests, including the Very Rev. Roger Briggs, who had served in the Diocese of the Arctic and presided at St. Margaret’s Inuktitut-language service at the time, and later the Rev. Jason Pollick, both asked her if she was interested in ministry. She said no repeatedly, but when the question kept coming up, she eventually discerned that it was not the priests but God calling her.
After studying with Briggs, attending annual courses at Wycliffe College in Toronto, and growing as a priest as she served the community, she was ordained as a deacon in 2014 and as a priest in 2015. Bishop Shane Parker appointed her to the Cathedral Canonry of Saint Mary Magdalene in 2022.
Once she made the leap to the ministry, was she glad she did it? Yes! Sharing is central to Inuit culture and Attagutsiak says she loves sharing the life of the community.
She shares in their good times— singing, telling stories, sewing and sharing community meals
after Sunday services and in big celebrations like the Christmas feast when they bring “country food” directly from the Arctic.
But she also shares the weight of the hard times in the community. She often answers calls from the hospitals to offer pastoral care to Inuit patients and families.
She gets calls from treatment centres. She does memorial services at the Shepherds of Good Hope.
McFarland says Attagutsiak is involved in many Indigenous organizations as well, and her presence in the community is huge: “There’s the congregation and the parish, and then literally thousands of Inuit in Ottawa for whom [she is] visibly an important leader, spiritual connection, support.”
Attagutsiak who says she was “born to be busy,” credits the best support in both congregations for keeping her going. ”I would have given up long ago if I didn’t have that much support,”she said.
Sharing food is a big part of Inuit culture. Attagutsiak offered an example from her home community: when hunters bring home an animal like a caribou, an announcement goes out to the whole community on the radio or on Facebook, so everyone can come to share the meat.
So, it is not surprising that she introduced the idea of potluck community meals after Sunday church services about seven or eight years ago.
Attagutsiak says she still misses the North “big time,” and knows how much her fellow Inuit miss home when they come to Ottawa for work, education, health care, or other reasons. St. Margaret’s is a place not only to receive spiritual comfort and education but also to connect with other Inuit, and their language and culture. She says hearing their own language spoken in the church services and at the community meal afterwards, and to sometimes enjoy Arctic foods is a comfort and remedy for homesickness.
The pandemic interrupted the Sunday community meals (which are no longer potluck}, but St. Margaret’s was able to start them again in the fall of 2022 with help from a $5,000 grant from the Anglican Foundation of Canada and a $10,000 grant from the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa’s Healing and Reconciliation Fund, which is administered by the All My Relations Circle.
The grants allowed St. Margaret’s to build on the previous success of the community meals.
Attagutsiak explained that there are a lot of challenges for many people in the Vanier area. There are higher levels of poverty, addiction, and violence than in other parts of Ottawa, and that makes it difficult to welcome everyone to the community meals and still ensure that everyone feels safe.
The grant money was used to hire Jeni Plouffe as a community host. “It’s a front-line position,” McFarland said, explaining that Plouffe is trained to de-escalate situations, use Naloxone to help in case someone has overdosed, and to know when to call for the right kind of assistance. “Having Jeni allows Aigah and I to stay focused on what we’re best at, enables the kitchen people to stay focused on kitchen work,” McFarland says. “If someone’s behaviour is making other people feel unsafe …[she] is the first person to respond.”
Once the current funding runs out in September, there is uncertainty about how to continue that aspect of the program.
“St. Margaret’s as a parish community already contributes to this with some hard cash and obviously the facility,” McFarland said. “There will always be a St. Margaret’s contribution. I would love to see two or three other parishes in the diocese with outreach funds …be willing to commit some, and I’m sure there are some individuals who would be keen to support this feature of the ministry,” he added.
”There is a distinct calling here,” he said. “What are we as the parish of St. Margaret’s and we as the Diocese of Ottawa doing to create space for Inuit parishioners, Inuit people to pray, plan, organize and implement ministry in a way that makes sense for them in this place. It is led by them. They have what they need in terms of skills and experience and creativity. I think the distinct aspect of the vocation of this parish is to create that space for empowerment.”
Rev. Canon Aigah and helpers, including Deborah Tagornak (above) were up all night to prep the Inuit Christmas feast held Dec. 26, 2022.
Today 4 Tomorrow, the Diocese of Ottawa's annual appeal, partners with the Community Ministries (CMs), social service agencies with a strong track record of providing practical support and a sense of belonging for the most vul nerable people in our communities.
We are calling on you to help the Anglican Day Programs (Centre 454, St. Luke's Table, The Well), Centre 105 in Cornwall, Cornerstone Housing for Women, the Ottawa Pastoral Counselling Centre (OPC) and the Refugee Ministry to serve people living precariously, struggling with poverty, and challenged by mental health issues.
Through your special gift, you can support our Community Ministries participants and give a meaningful gift to a family member, friend or colleague. With each gift that you make, you can send a personalized gift card letting your loved ones know you made a gift in their honour.
To make a gift online please visit todayfortomorrow .ca
you can send to your loved ones to let them know you made a gift in their honour.
To place an order by phone, call
613-232-7124 ext. 221
Breakfast is served at St. James Carleton PlaceBY HOLLY CAROL PARKINSON
It is 9:15 a.m. Scrambled eggs are cooking in the frying pan. Clad in her new apron, Lynn keeps her watchful eye on the eggs, so they don’t stick to the pan.
Nancy cracks fresh eggs into a mixing bowl, preparing the next batch.
“We’re running out of sausages,” Ronette calls out, as she quickly checks the supply of sizzling bacon, ready to be served.
Muffins are being warmed in the oven.
Hot steam rises from the dishwasher when Paul removes a heavy tray of clean dishes while Tim rinses a pot or dish.
Gloria calls a breakfast patron in the line by name and asks if they prefer brown or white toast, scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, or other preferences for the food being served that morning and notes it on an order slip.
Janice or Kelly take the order slip to Lynn who portions out the eggs and meat from Ronette onto a warmed plate. They visit Shirley who toasts the bread to add to the meal. Then the full breakfast plate is then given to a ‘runner’ who delivers it to the patron.
This is the bustling breakfast scene in the kitchen of St. James’ Carleton Place on Wednesday mornings.
St. James Breakfast Table (SJBT)
had its beginnings a few years ago with three buddies (Peter Hicks, Joe Million and Tim McKibbin) who met for breakfast on occasion at a restaurant. Wanting fellowship themselves, they thought, “wouldn’t it be nice” to share their skills and build community by offering good food and fellowship to others. They learned about Centre 105’s breakfast program in Cornwall, Ontario. The three friends visited Centre 105 to see if a similar program could operate from the kitchen and parish hall of St. James,
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They figured if they could use the knowledge, skills, and abilities of volunteers, they could make their breakfast program happen.
A diverse group of people come to the breakfasts. The patrons include: people who live alone and are isolated; people who live near St. James; people who reside in community homes and want an outing; seniors who want to socialize; people who are coping with food insecurity; St. James parishioners; and single parents
and families with their young children. Even Carleton Place town councillors attend. (A big thank you to Councillor Linda Seccaspina, for supporting, and promoting SJBT on social media.)
Peter and his team have been fortunate to have an arrangement with local businesses who donate some breakfast foods. Some St. James parishioners bake muffins and bread, donate cans of coffee and kitchen items, and help out with tasks like washing the tea towels.
The SJBT team is exceedingly grateful for the ongoing support from St. James church, especially from Cathy Pretty and Father Brian Kauk. In addition, SJBT relies partially on financial donations from patrons and parishioners to keep the program manageable. Funds are often donated back to the community to help the Lanark County Food Bank and the Christmas Basket program.
It’s rare to see someone sitting alone at a table. People invite others to sit with them. Friendships are formed. Birthdays are celebrated. Problems are shared, help and support offered, world issues discussed and solved. A person may enter the room alone and lonely, but they leave nourished not only with food for their body but with friendship and love for their soul and heart too.
Feathers remind parishes of commitments to reconciliation
In collaboration with the diocesan All My Relations Circle, Crosstalk is publishing a series of photos to highlight how parishes in the diocese have chosen to place, display or use the ceramic feathers each received at the 2019 Synod.
The feather, which carries special significance in most First Nations’ traditions, represents a commitment to building relationships in a new way with all Indigenous peoples through a journey based on truth, justice, and reconciliation.
The feathers were originally crafted in 2017 for an outdoor public art installation at the Canadian Museum of Nature named “Populace” marking Canada’s 150th anniversary. The symbol was chosen with the local Algonquin community as a representation of their presence on this land at the time of confederation. The feather has special significance in most Indigenous traditions. In the installation a rose represented the English people and a fleur de lys represented the French people.
Kirstin Davidson of the Parish of March, one of the artists behind the 2017 installation, generously made the feathers available through the All My Relations Circle. “Placing a feather with each congregation could be a part of the journey that includes an inward promise and an outward, demonstrable commitment to embracing the uncomfortable
truth of our history with Indigenous peoples and to taking a personal step towards change,” she said.
AMR is inviting all parishes to share how they have displayed their feathers along with any written text that accompanies it. Photos of the installed feathers and their explanation will be included in an upcoming Crosstalk. Please send your submission to AMR at firstname.lastname@example.org
I designed this plaque to represent the feather (a gesture of reconciliation) resting on a pebble beach on the North shore of Lake Ontario. I gathered the pebbles from a favourite beach in Southeastern Prince Edward County. The small, white spiral shell is a symbol of eternity and a sign of hope that now and into the future we can live in harmony as humble guests on the unceded land of the Algonquin people. — Steven Heiter
The feather is mounted on a photograph of the land acknowledgement that is found mounted on a rock outside of Ottawa City Hall. At our Cathedral, it hangs on the wall in the foyer at the entrance, serving as a powerful reminder of the land upon which we stand and the importance of relationship, reconciliation and healing, in all we do. — DeanBeth —
a symbol of reconciliation.
When the reconciliation feather was given to St. Mary’s Russell we wanted not to just display the feather. We wanted be able to display it in different settings. It can hang on a wall, stand on a table or flat surface and the feather can be easily be removed for teaching. It is made with a variety of wood types representing inclusion and diversity. The majority of the wood is pine native to this area. We added the dove of peace which also symbolizes reconciliation. Can you find the canoe? —Sheldon Box
Refugee ministry meets with Australian High Commission
Staff from the diocesan Refugee Ministry, the Rev. Canon Peter John Hobbs, director of Community Ministries, along with sponsors and people who have come to Canada through the Diocese’s partnership with private sponsors were invited for meetings and a reception at the Australian High Commission in Ottawa in December.
Australia has launched its Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP), which is modelled on Canada’s community sponsorship program and aims to support 1,500 refugees over four years.
As a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with the Canadian government, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa has worked in partnership with parishes and other groups to sponsor and help resettle hundreds of refugees in Canada for more than 40 years. Australian officials wanted to learn more about the Canadian experience. They were also joined by staff from Refugee Hub in Ottawa.
Kelly Funeral Home renews its support
Hesam Farzan, who recently arrived in Canada from Afghanistan, and Ann Hustis, whose group has sponsored many people since 2015.
Staff from Kelly Funeral Homes made a special visit to Ascension House in December to bring a gift to the Diocese. John Laframboise, Kelly’s director of community relations, said that Kelly has been a regular supporter of the Diocese at the Breakfast of Hope and Bishop’s Gala fundraising events but had not yet had the opportunity to donate in 2022.
Sights of the season
A Christmas gift for patients
ALL MY RELATIONS CIRCLE
Indigenous engagement co-ordinator commissioned at St. John the EvangelistBY LEIGH ANNE WILLIAMS
St. John the Evangelist in Ottawa commissioned Kimberly Johnson-Breen as its first Indigenous engagement coordinator on Jan. 8.
At the closing of the Sunday Eucharist service, the Rev. Canon Gary van der Meer said that the parish had recognized that they value and seek the gifts that an Indigenous engagement coordinator could bring as “someone who will lead and teach, guide, focus and encourage us in our experience, in our knowledge and in our actions.”
In the time since Breen-Johnson joined the parish, she “has been offering gifts of leadership already, helping our community to move in concrete ways, including the care and reserving of medicines kept here in this church, smudging prior to worship services and conversations with respect and warmth with the people on the street In front of our building and within our community,” van der Meer said.
This led the parish to discern that she had the “gifts, compassion and calling to be St. John’s Indigenous engagement coordinator.”
He presented Breen-Johnson with a basket to keep and carry traditional medicines, and she gave van der Meer a pair of moccasins for their journey walking along side one another.
Breen-Johnson then told the congregation a bit about her own journey growing up in the United States as the daughter of a Cherokee (Tsalagi) father and English-Irish mother.
“I am fortunate to have known my Tsalagi family and my aunts that are my ancestors now. I knew my great grandfather. He was a medicine man, and my grandfather would take me to his house and tell me to sit down and watch him as people came to him,” she said. “I am blessed to have heard from my great grandmother the stories of our
ancestors who walked the Trail of Tears. I was with her when she would hunt and when she would tell me what was in her raisin pies,” she said.
Breen-Johnson said that she heard her Tsalagi language spoken, but she was not encouraged to speak it herself except in private, just as her family only observed ceremonies privately “to keep them sacred and to keep them from being disrupted,” she explained. “So now, I’m trying to capture that Tsalagi language again and learn about my own nation.”
With hundreds of Indigenous groups in the U.S. and hundreds more in Canada, Breen-Johnson said she was keenly aware that there will always be more to learn.
She mentioned exploring what terms such as “connection to the land” mean to different Indigenous groups, as well as learning more about cultural teachings, such as smudging and sacred medicines and the seven grandfather teachings. She also mentioned the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, noting that it is the responsibility of individuals and communities to educate themselves with the resources that are available.
“I want us to become strong allies and strong helpers,” she said, but reminded her listeners that they must respect Indigenous people and ask how to help or be an ally. “We don’t make the choices,’ she said.
“We have a lot of learning to do, for a lifetime, and I am looking forward to what Creator is going to do for us.” She noted that there will be a Kairos Blanket exercise at St. John’s on April 22.
The commissioning was followed by a beautiful peace prayer sung by Haudenosaunee singer Merlin Homer with the St. John’s choir and followed by a ceremony led by Louella Tobias, a traditional knowledge keeper from the Delaware Nation.
A new year and another great line up of internsBY DONNA ROURKE
A new year of the Youth Internship Program (YIP) began in the fall with another great line up of interns, faith formation team members and leadership facilitators: Sarah Keeshan and the Reverends MaryCate Garden; Michael Garner; and Patrick Stephens join the interns and I monthly to engage in transformative conversations about our faith journeys and how we live out or our faith. Our leadership team includes Breanna Pizzuto, Susan Young and Mylène Côté. I continue to feel privileged to manage this incredible program, which launched in January 2016.
This YIP year we welcome nine new interns and have welcomed back one. Please meet:
Daniel is taking a gap year this year and is interested in psychology, business, leadership and coaching soccer. He is fascinated by the psychology of trauma. He wants to help people improve their psychological state as he believes in equality on more than a materialistic level—that we need to establish equality on a psychological level, so that everybody can have the ability to be happy.
Deborah is a Grade 12 student and a second-year intern with YIP. With a passion for visual expression and a new interest in architecture, Deborah is interested in creating art by manipulating the viewer’s space using forms, colours, and sizes. She is looking for more opportunities to explore art in her community. This year, Deborah chose to continue her placement at Extendicare Starwood so she can interact with more people of diverse backgrounds. … Being a new member of All Saints’ Westboro Anglican Church, she has quickly engaged with volunteering at the food bank and the Newto-You shop. These opportunities are helping to develop a deeper sense of empathy for those living in different circumstances and recognition of her own privilege. Deborah’s goal with YIP this year is to acquire mediation and facilitator skills in conflict management and organizational strategies in time management between hobbies, commitments, and school responsibilities.
Emmet is an active member of his faith community St James Carleton Place. Emmet is currently attending Confederation College and is taking the social service worker program with a bridging program into a bachelor of social work.
James is a second-year student at the University of Ottawa doing a major in political science with a minor in public administration. He applied to YIP to gain practical experience in areas he is passionate about [politics, environmental justice, writing (especially essay writing), and social justice], to strengthen his connection with the Ottawa and Anglican community, and to deepen his connection with his Anglican faith and God. Those aims are difficult to fulfill in environments where learning is often deeply impersonal and very theoretical. His work placement is with Citizen for Public Justice.
Li Xiu is a student at the University of Ottawa and a returning YIP intern. Li looks forward to actively participating in group events as well as the new work placement. Li is the YIP intern for the Anti-Racism Forum organizing team. Li enjoys wandering the city and finding delicious food spots or cooking with friends.
Malachai is a high school student and member of the LGBTQ+ community who enjoys reading and the creative arts.
Nana is the YIP intern for St Columba Anglican Church. In this role, Nana will act as their outreach resource coordinator, researching, analyzing and identifying outreach activities to determine if existing programs should be maintained, expanded or dropped; and if new outreach activities would have a more expansive and positive impact on the surrounding community.
Rebecca is currently in her fourth and final year of a Human Kinetics degree at the University of Ottawa. A member of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, she is honored to serve on their Parish Council and to be the Diocese of Ottawa’s youth delegate to General Synod this summer in Calgary. Originally from Vancouver she was very involved in her childhood parish as the Head of the Server’s Guild, a youth delegate to Diocesan Synod, an Outreach Committee member and a churchschool teacher. She is looking forward to participating in YIP to make connections with other youth throughout the diocese and gain new skills and experiences through her placement.
Thomas is a first-year student at Carleton University and wants to
become a social worker. He applied to YIP to develop leadership and communication skills. Social justice is important to Thomas as he wants to live in a society where everyone is respected, included and safe. He would like to see high quality and affordable therapy to be available to everyone who needs it. Thomas also loves learning about new topics and having in-depth discussions with people. Thomas will be doing his work placement with Centre 454.
Zara (AKA Theodora) is a first-year student at the University of Ottawa studying finance. She is the second daughter in a family of four siblings. Zara is doing her work placement at the Glebe Wellness Centre. Her older sister Alexis was a YIP intern for the last two years.
If you have any questions about the Youth Internship Program, please email me at donna-rourke@ ottawa.anglican.ca
The KAIROS blanket Exercise has been re-scheduled to Saturday Feb. 25 at St Aidan’s Anglican Church. For information and to register please email donna-rourke@ottawa. anglican.ca
My prayer is that the “helpful” sorting out of people will ceaseBY PAUL MUGARURA
I am a direct beneficiary of the extraordinary efforts of Anglican missionaries to spread the gospel around the world. The Anglican Church established itself as the dominant Christian denomination in Uganda in the late 1800s and early 1900s. My father is a retired Anglican priest, and I grew up in the Anglican Church and went to a Christian boarding school, Kings College Budo that was set up by missionaries in 1906 in Kampala.
When I graduated from high school and went to university, I plugged into St. Francis Chapel, the church at which my father was chaplain. I served and attended there until I left to come to Canada. St Francis was a fascinating congregation. We had loud and expressive music, vibrant liturgy, and a culturally diverse and multigenerational congregation.
My identity as a Christian and as an Anglican was deeply entrenched when I came to Canada in 2003, so naturally, the first congregations that I tried to find connections with were Anglican.
My transition to Canada was not easy. I struggled to find work. I was a computer programmer and 2003 was a terrible time for somebody with my qualifications to show up in Ottawa. Adjusting to the culture was very difficult. On the surface, everybody was very polite and, at times, helpful, but it was incredibly difficult to make friends or lasting connections because the only way to penetrate the veneer of politeness and make actual connections is through personal introductions into social circles. If you’re new to Canada, you know how difficult those are to come by. I went to the church hoping it would be different. The assumption that I came to Canada with was that, even though I did not have my biological family with me, I would be able to build family with my spiritual family. What I found was the same polite smiles and occasional helpfulness, but no real connection.
One Sunday, I decided to take the initiative. I had been sitting behind a couple that had politely shared the peace with me and had smiled or given a polite nod when we made eye contact. I introduced myself and told them a little about my story and how I had ended up in Ottawa and at their congregation. When I was done, the gentleman said something to me which he must have thought was helpful.
“You know what congregation you would really like,” he said, “You’d
Paul Mugarura and his wife Evelyn lead Sunday afternoon worship services with Archdeacon Mark Whittall at Trinity Anglican Church in Ottawa.
really like the Baptist church down the road.”
I found his response to our conversation quite confusing. I did not know what to make of it and so I just shrugged it off. Weeks later, I left that congregation and started attending another when I moved house. I spent a few months at this second congregation, and my experience was the same. I had the same polite smiles and numerous similar suggestions to try out different congregations that they thought I would really like.
Eventually, I took the suggestions of my well-meaning acquaintances and tried out different churches. I attended and worked at a Baptist Church. Following that, I attended and worked at a Pentecostal church. My wife and I planted a church with the Free Methodists. And right before the pandemic hit, I was asked to help out part-time in a transitional role at the first Baptist church that hired me in the early 2000s. During my tour of the other denominations, I found more and more people like myself—people who had come to Canada as Anglicans and had been “helpfully” ushered out the door by seemingly well-meaning people who genuinely thought that they would like another church better.
At Synod in 2022, I shared my story as we discussed the proposal to start new worshiping communities in the diocese. After the session, five people who had immigrated to Canada over the years told me that they had had the same experience. What initially seemed unusual turns out to be
rather commonplace. I think that should trouble us.
The Anglican Church is a global communion, and as an increasing number of people like myself from other parts of the world choose to make Canada their new home, they are likely to try to find a spiritual home in the Anglican Church.
I think there is an intuitive understanding that the Anglican Church—especially in the global south—is of a more charismatic flavor within the communion. I know that I am stating the obvious when I say that there is not much singing, dancing or drumming in our churches in Ottawa. An Anglican from Brazil, or from the Philippines, or from Nigeria is more likely to have been in a more outwardly expressive congregation. It’s natural for people like myself to comment on such differences in conversations about the congregations we left and those we are trying to join. But I think this intuition is the unfortunate driving force behind the advice that is given to people like myself to leave and find spiritual homes elsewhere.
In the process of trying to be genuinely helpful, what has been created is an unofficial sorting of cultures. The impression people like myself are is that “the Anglican Church in Ottawa is not really home for you. Your loud and energetic version of Anglican-ness will have a better home at other denominations or congregations than it will with ours.” I am sorry if this comes off as harsh, but it is an experience that is common to many.
I had the privilege of being on one of the Shape of Parish Ministry committees. In our conversations about new worshipping communities, I started to become more vocal about my opinion that we have not been very good at providing a landing spot for new Canadians. I am sure there are exceptions in your congregations, but I am also sure many of them have been sorted out in the same way I was.
During our meetings, we talked about the fact that while our Anglican tradition gives great comfort for those who understand it, there is a great chasm between the culture outside our congregations and the culture inside. For many people checking out Christianity for the first time in a long while, or for the first time ever, this cultural chasm can be daunting. When new or old worshipping communities seek to reach people outside, work must be done to either bridge or explain the
divide. New Canadians may also be affected by this chasm as they try to put down roots in congregations built by denominations that they were familiar with in their home countries.
It also became apparent that there was a disconnect between the membership of parishes in the city and the changes in ethnic and cultural diversity in the communities around them. Could it be due, in part, to many subtle and inadvertent sorting conversations?
The Anglican Church in Ottawa is a historically caucasian church with an entrenched tradition. It would not be a stretch to see how one could, without having any malicious intent, simply be a vessel in unconsciously sorting people based on what one might think they would better connect with.
As we seek to shape parish ministry for the future, we have to stop creating off ramps out of our congregations for new Canadians and help them find a spiritual home with us. This may require that we change some things, explain things we’ve taken for granted, make room for rhythm, volume, and movement. This change will have to be more than tokenism. I believe this not just because I am a black man asking the church that I love to love me back and integrate me into the family. I believe this because I believe that it is what Jesus would have done. There is no indication anywhere in Scripture that Jesus would have met a stranger in a strange land, and instead of making room for at his table, would have funnelled them off to another table.
In October 2022, Archdeacon Mark Whittall, myself and a group of other people decided to take a chance and try an experiment. A service at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoons at Trinity on Bank Street. We set out to see if we could do the thing we’d been talking about.
Now, before you rush over to see this perfect service where all problems have been sorted out, I have to tell you that we are quite far from perfect. Our attendance fluctuates from week to week, and there is much work still to be done. But whether our experiment works out or fails and teaches us lessons for the future, we have to try.
My prayer for our diocese is that more and more people will try little experiments where they are at. My prayer is that the “helpful” sorting out of people would cease and that we would be congregations that throw our arms open wide and welcome all spiritually seeking people.
An architect up and diesBY GLENN J LOCKWOOD
Anglican worship at Perth formally dates back to 1819 when the Rev. Michael Harris, a War of 1812 veteran, arrived to minister to a huge swath of territory extending from the Rideau Lakes to Bytown. The first Saint James’s Church was built on a site called Mount Meyer at the corner of Drummond and Harvey streets beside the substantial brick courthouse. Harris reported to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel that the frame church’s exterior was calcined. He was trying to say it was covered with stucco.
Stuccoed or not, the local climate took a major toll of frame buildings. By the late 1850s, Saint James’s new rector, the Rev. Alexander Pyne, prepared to build a larger and more enduring stone house of worship. The choice of William Thomas as architect for the new church suggests that some low church members of Saint James’s Church initially did not go along with the High Victorian Ecclesiastical Gothic Revival notions being considered for a new church at Almonte.
No sooner had the walls of the huge new Saint James’s Church been built to half the height designed by Thomas in 1861 when it became apparent that the parish could not afford the building Pyne envisioned. To further complicate matters, the architect then up and died. That was when the architectural partnership of Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones, then at work on the original Centre Block of Ottawa’s parliament buildings, was called in to cut down the design.
We see the result in this engraving published in the Toronto Mail on 14 May 1877. This is the earliest
Saint James, Perth Lanark Deanery
despite its new look, it conformed to the old siting, together with Saint Andrew’s Church of Scotland flanking the courthouse—the supreme symbol of the Crown, certainly power, where justice was meted out and where the county council met.
By the time this engraving was made, the Church of Ireland was dis-established and the Church of Scotland in Canada had been rolled into the larger union of all Presbyterian churches. Even the traditional visual symbol of being an “established church”—a church tower—which in the British Isles only the three established churches had been allowed to build, was missing from the fabric of Saint
Feeding the multitudesBY BOB WEAGANT
The Gospel of John reports that Jesus fed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish. We have all been told of that miracle, but is it relevant in our current time?
The congregation of St Clare’s Anglican Church thinks that it may be. Our church in Winchester, Ontario, south of Ottawa, has a three-acre parcel of land next to the building that has been planted in crops each year in support of the Canada Food Grains Bank (CFGB). The bank reports that 828 million
people experience hunger on a daily basis.
Our three-acre parcel was planted
muddied here, but placing the main entrance at the centre of the west wall was a holdover from the Regency Gothic Revival and was retained from Thomas’s original design, apparently because it already had been built and paid for.
In Fuller & Jones’s pared down design, the front façade was barely twice the height of the doorway arch. The simple pointed archway of the main doors and the great west window above it with its leaded diamond panes were left as the main features of the Drummond Street front.
The large base for the tower was a declaration that, if built, it might become a visual signpost not only
for the church but for Perth itself from miles away. The temporary roof on the tower base shown here has a Château or even French Second Empire feel to it; in being mixed with the Gothic Revival details, a mix that proclaims it was authored by two men combining English Gothic and French Second Empire in their design for the Canadian parliament.
The Diocesan Archives collects parish registers vestry reports, service registers, minutes of groups and committees, financial documents, property records (including cemeteries and architectural plans), insurance policies, letters, pew bulletins, photographs and paintings, scrapbooks, parish newsletters, and unusual records.
in corn in the spring by volunteer farmers, seed, fertilizer and other inputs were donated by local industry and the harvest was done at the end of November by another local farmer.
The yield was recorded as 14 tonnes and by my calculations, which are mere guestimates, that would provide upwards of 628,000 meals.
Fourteen tonnes equals 31,240 pounds of corn. If corn is ground to flour, then each pound will produce approximately four corn tortillas
for a total of 125,680 meals. The wonder of the Food Grains bank is that they have industry and government agencies that match the production by four times. So according to my math, that means our 3 acres provided food for 628,400 meals.
We can feed the multitudes! Are you doing your part? You can help by donating to the Canadian Food Grains Bank at www.foodgrainsbank.ca
— Bob Weagant is a member of St Clare’s Church, Winchester, Ontario.
Coldest Night of the Year
The Coldest Night of the Year charity walk returns to Ottawa’s Westboro Village for an in-person event for 2023!
All net proceeds from the event will directly help Cornerstone Housing for Women! Sign up to help women in Ottawa experiencing the crisis of homelessness find hope, healing, and housing.
For more information or to register: https://cnoy.org/location/ ottawawestboro
Online Bible Study — Do Good: Seek Justice (Isa. 1:17)
Jan. 13, Feb. 7, Feb. 14
The ecumenical five-week online Bible study based on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023 resources on the theme of racial justice continues: Jan. 31, Feb. 7 and 14 (Tuesdays at 7 p.m.)
Register at https://bit.ly/3Z1i9jE
For more information: info@ChristianCouncilCA.ca
Winter Book Club
Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 8
The Cathedral Labyrinth Guild will navigate the twists and turns of the dark days of winter through a series of online conversations focused on the mysteries of the labyrinth and Lauren Artress’s book The Path of the Holy Fool: How the Labyrinth Ignites
Our Visionary Powers. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, we will have the opportunity to meet the author on ZOOM. Copies may be ordered through Singing Pebble Books (206 Main St.)
Please register by emailing the Cathedral at email@example.com to receive the meeting link.
Journeying as Allies
January 29, 2023
September 25, 2022
21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act by Bob Joseph
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March 26, 2023
November 27, 2022
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January 5 2023 - New Year Coffee & Conversation gathering
January 12 Cards & Games morning
January 19 Coffee & Conversation
February 2 Coffee & Conversation
February 9 Cards & Games morning
February 16 Valentine’s Hearts – Celebrating Love across the Ages
February 23 “Folklore”: musicians Chris White & Mary Gick with Songs and Stories to celebrate Black History Month
March 2 Coffee & Conversation
March 9 Cards & Games morning
March 16 St Patrick’s Shenanigans
March 23 “Searching for the Stars”: a morning with Dave Chisholm, President of the Ottawa Royal Astro no
March 30 Coffee & Conversation