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A section of the Anglican Journal


St. Michael’s Care Centre: New Management

PAGE 12 An Evening in South Asia In Richmond.

Fall Stewardship Event.



St. Matthias & St. Luke Welcomes Bishop Michael Bishop Michael returned to the parish of St. Matthias & St. Luke to preach and preside at the 10:30 am Celebration of the Eucharist for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 29th, 2012. The Bishop began his homily by saying that it had been many years since he had been to this church. He thanked the choir of All Saints, Burnaby for their leadership in worship that morning and he included thanks to The Rev. Randolph Bruce, Interim Priest-in-Charge who is also the Regional Dean of Burnaby and Incumbent of All Saints, Burnaby and to The Rev. Ruth Monette, the Assistant Interim Priest-in-Charge who has been ministering to the congregation since February 15th, 2012. Bishop Michael selected the second reading, 1 John 3: 16 – 24 for his text. He began by reminding the congregation that in our lectionary, we hear the beautiful words of John’s letters only during Easter. In his homily, Bishop Michael stressed that the message John is communicating in this epistle is that the true mark of the spiritual person is engagement not disengagement. “John’s words direct us to stand with the risen Jesus and care for the earth, feed the hungry, care for the sick and work for justice in order to achieve God’s agenda of lifting the world from despair to hope.” At the beginning of The Rev. Ruth’s intercession, she offered a respectful reminder of those who have gone before, the founding of St. Luke’s in 1904, the founding of St. Matthias in 1960 and the joining together of the two parishes in 1997. A highlight of the liturgy was the blessing of the new parish banner by the Bishop. The previous one had gone missing and has now been replaced by a new banner made by parishioners Helen Cheung and her mother Jennifer Cheung. Following the liturgy, the community adjourned to the Parish Hall for a delicious lunch featuring chicken potpies prepared by members of the parish.  TOP Helen Cheung (left), Bishop Michael (centre) and Jennifer Cheung (right) stand below the new banner for St. Matthias & St. Luke. BOTTOM LEFT Bishop Michael administers communion for the first time in many years at St. Matthias & St. Luke. BOTTOM MIDDLE Bishop Michael and The Rev. Ruth greet the congregation after worship. BOTTOM RIGHT The New Banner.

For more Diocesan news and events visit



VST Welcomes Dr. Sallie McFague for Two Day Workshop and Lecture Series Shannon M. Lythgoe Communications, Marketing and Recruitment Associate for the Vancouver School of Theology

Vancouver School of Theology is pleased to announce that it will host a two day lecture and workshop event featuring renowned author and environmental theologian, Dr. Sallie McFague (photo right), on June 15th and 16th, 2012. Dr. McFague is currently VST’s Distinguished Theologian in Residence, and will present her lecture and workshop as part of VST’s Visiting Distinguished Scholar series. Dr. McFague has garnered international attention as one of the world’s leading experts on the intersection between faith and environmentalism. She is the author of eight books and numerous articles, most of them focused on the importance of the models and metaphors with which we interpret the relationship between God, the world, and ourselves. In her latest book, A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (2008), Dr. McFague claims that the twin crises of economic meltdown and global warming are indications of the need for a new paradigm for human living on the planet, one that criticizes the dominant economic market model of excessive riches for privileged individuals and supports a model that acknowledges the radical interdependence of all. She forwards the concept of kenosis (self-emptying); a practice of restraint in the face of over-burgeoning consumerism endemic in first world countries, as a primary tactic for coping with climate change and increasing spiritual awareness. In presenting the workshop and lecture, Dr. McFague will collaborate with the The Rev. Janet Gear, Assistant Professor of Public and Pastoral Leadership and Director of

Denominational Formation (United Church of Canada) at Vancouver School of Theology. Professor Gear has worked closely with Dr. McFague on several projects, and recently accompanied Dr. McFague in the fall of 2011 on a trip to India for a conference entitled Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, sponsored by the Mind and Life Institute. Dr. McFague and Professor Gear will offer a public lecture and one full day workshop. Those registered for the workshop are strongly encouraged to attend the lecture as the workshop will build on the concepts put forth in the lecture. Lecture Blessed are the Consumers: Climate Change and the Practice of Restraint DATE Friday, June 15th TIME 7 pm PLACE St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Anglican Church 2490 West 37th Avenue. Free with offering • open to the general public. Workshop Four Steps toward a Practice of Restraint for Abundant Living DATE Saturday, June 16th TIME 9:30 am – 3:30 pm PLACE Chapel of the Epiphany on the UBC campus, 6030 Chancellor Boulevard. Registration and fees required, please visit for more information and registration.

For more information please contact Shannon M. Lythgoe, Communications, Marketing and Recruitment Associate for VST, at or 604.822.9427. 

Diocese of New Westminster Welcomes Atira Women’s Society It was a happy coincidence on March 8th, International Women’s Day, 2012, that the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster moved into the final stages of a definitive agreement with Atira Women’s Society of Vancouver. Atira will operate a women’s secure residence in the facility formerly operated as an Abbeyfield House (photo top left) on the grounds of St. Margaret of Scotland (photo bottom left) in Burnaby. The lease agreement was completed on April 10th, 2012. Ian Robertson, Treasurer of the Diocese, said the diocese welcomes Atira Women’s Society and their program and was delighted to officially announce the completion of the agreement at the monthly Diocesan Council meeting, the evening of April 10th. Ian also led Council in a sustained ovation, praising the efforts of Diocesan Legal Registrar, Don Paul who had done an incredible amount of detailed work to make this happen. Bishop Michael Ingham welcomed the announcement of the program as it is consistent with diocesan social outreach and compassionate service goals. Atira’s mission is to assist those in society who find themselves vulnerable. Atira Women’s Society (, is a Vancouver based organization. It operates facilities and programs for women, particularly in the east end of Vancouver. Atira provides housing, advocacy and support to any woman who lives full time and identifies as a woman and meets the organizations mandate. They strive to make their services accessible to all women including: lesbian, transgendered, two-spirit, intersexed, as well as women struggling with substance and/or mental health issues. Atira recognizes

Published ten months a year as a section of the Anglican Journal by the Bishop and Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster.

Editor Randy Murray Issue This is the 6th issue in the

43rd year of publication.

Deadline For Submissions • Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 for the September 2012 issue.

the barriers, stigmatization and oppression faced by all women who encounter poverty and discrimination as a result of their experience with violence. Atira provides a range of services not only in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) but also in Surrey and White Rock. Services offered in the DTES include numerous housing and shelter programs, Legal Advocacy, Stopping the Violence counseling, homelessness outreach support, self-employment initiatives (Enterprising Women Making Art, Painter Sisters Painting Company) The facility which they are leasing was, until recently, operated as Abbeyfield House Burnaby, and served the community for 16 years as a residence for seniors. Abbeyfield Houses are to be found elsewhere in the lower mainland, Victoria and in Eastern Canada, as well as in the United Kingdom. The facility is to be re-named Elspeth’s Place for Elspeth Alley, a former priest of the diocese and one of the first women ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada. The home comprises 20 individual rooms, two kitchens and large living and activity rooms. The home is located on the grounds of St. Margaret of Scotland parish (1030 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby BC). The agreement is by way of a lease for 44 years at nominal rent. At the time of this writing in early May, there are plans being made by BC Housing, Atira and the Diocese of New Westminster for an official media event to communicate to a broader constituency the details of this arrangement. Please visit for updates. 


The Anglican Church of Canada


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The Anglican Church The Anglican Communion A global community of 70 million Anglicans in 64,000 congregations in 164 countries.

The Diocese of New Westminster

The Bishop of New Westminster The Rt. Rev. Michael Ingham.

Address Diocese of New Westminster, #580 – 401 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5A1

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Designer Jennifer Ewing

Contributors & helpers for this issue Clifford Aquino, Brenda Berck, Paul Borthistle, Jann Callaghan, Cliff Caprani, Simon Chambers, Wayne Chose, Phil Colvin, Ron Dart, Adele Finney, Paul Galinski, June Gauntley, Monica Gibson-Pugsley, Eric Hanson, Faun Harriman, Ronald Harrison, Shannon Lythgoe, Rod Mackin, Dorothy Mash, Claus Mikosch, Glen Mitchell, Harold Munn, Gail Newell, Dave Price, Ian Robertson, Jim Stewart, Art Turnbull, Pam Venkataya, Brian Walks, Melanie Wallace and Alex Wilson.

Thank you!

Growing communities of faith in Jesus Christ to serve God’s mission in the world.



Three New Church Plants Quietly, three new parishes have sprung up since last summer in places that the Diocese of New Westminster has not had a presence for a number of years — St. Matthew in Abbotsford, St. Matthias & St. Luke in Oakridge, and St. John’s in Shaughnessy. Over last summer, and after the legal entanglement in which these locations have been engaged for the better part of a decade, the Courts confirmed that the parishes with their land and buildings remain with the Diocese of New Westminster. Planting one new church these days is a challenge, but planting three churches at the same time is a major challenge. Whereas many of our parishes were established many decades ago, some over a century ago, we find we don’t have a lot of recent experience in starting afresh. Thus a special effort is called for, at this time. Initial invitations to the local worshipping community, along with known Anglicans in the area have been sent out and a core group has been formed in each location. Each of the three locations are proceeding along similar paths and each is at a slightly different point. At St. Matthew, a worshipping community was established in fall 2010, and is now a small but growing parish. At St. Matthias & St. Luke, a group

was formed over the last summer. At St. John’s, the core group came together in late fall. Early in the life of these new communities is the discovery of the talents God has given us and where each group is being called. Visioning and moving forward are the marks of this blessing. The new congregations have each convened their respective Annual Vestry Meetings at which Churchwardens, Trustees and Synod Delegates were elected from among their membership. Each mission or parish council is beginning to define for itself its ministry within the surrounding community and articulate a ministry plan. A missioner was appointed for St. Matthew last summer and a priest has been appointed to take up responsibilities at St. John’s this summer. St. Matthias & St. Luke’s journey to explore its mission and style of leadership continues. To assist all of this, Diocesan Council has agreed to establish a special group, a unique deanery if you wish, wherein the three parishes can work with each other, learn from one another, and where concentrated assistance and support can be provided. To lead this, the bishop is appointing a Bishop’s Missioner from amongst our senior clergy to provide dedicated leadership, coaching, counselling and

pontius puddle by Joel Kauffmann

assistance for the three parishes as they journey. The Missioner will be assisted by a small group of volunteers and staff to reinforce the skills offered and to help the growth. As each parish is based in existing buildings that have not been under diocesan control for some time, Colliers International is providing assistance to assess and to repair the physical facilities where needed. Funds for all of this are being found both within parish resources and from the New Development Fund, which was established for this very purpose. This journey will be long — several years to establish vibrant sustainable worshipping communities in these locations. The opportunity to have three new vibrant parishes in our diocese is truly magnificent!  TOP LEFT St. Matthew, Abbotsford. RIGHT St. Matthias & St. Luke, Oakridge. BOTTOM LEFT St. John’s, Shaughnessy. RIGHT TOP Family at St. John’s, Shaughnessy. PHOTO Wayne Chose RIGHT BOTTOM The Chancel Arch at St. John’s, Shaughnessy.


compiled by Anglican Archivist Melanie Wallace 40 years • 1972 The Rev. Ernest Willie of Kingcome Inlet becomes the first Aboriginal person to hold a position at the National Church office — Consultant for Human Rights. 35 years • 1977 Diocese of New Westminster is the first diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada to set up a Diocesan Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) Unit. 20 years • 1992 The Rev. Michael Ingham is named new Dean and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral. 10 years • 2002 For the 3rd consecutive time, Christ Church Cathedral Choir wins the title Best church choir in Canada due to its participation in the bi-annual CBC Radio National Choral Competition.



Anglican Church Women AGM at St. Cuthbert’s, Delta Randy Murray Communications Officer, Diocese of New Westminster and Editor of Topic

TOP The Head Table: (left to right) The Rev. Sue Foley-Currie, Beth Fortin, The Rev. Alan Carson, Sheila Puls, The Ven. Stephen Rowe and Trudy Shymka. LEFT TOP ACW projects display. LEFT BOTTOM The men of St. Cuthbert’s serve a delicious hot chicken lunch.

BOTTOM LEFT The Ven. Stephen Rowe, the preacher at the Eucharist. MIDDLE The Peace. RIGHT The Ven. Stephen Rowe commissions the 2012 ACW Executive.

The Anglican Church Women (ACW) held their Annual General Meeting at St. Cuthbert’s, Delta on Saturday, April 28th, 2012. Sixty ACW members representing two dozen parishes attended the business meeting from 10 am to 12 noon and a large majority of them stayed to enjoy the rest of the day together. The ACW Executive is in year two of a three year term so there were few personnel changes, with the exception of the annual election of Officers-at-Large. As well as the reports of the activities of the various ACW Branches and an update on the Diocesan ACW outreach to the parishes in the Diocese of the Yukon, the members distribute the funds raised through their “United Thank Offering” to their favourite charities. Once the members had adjourned to the hall and found seats, ACW President Sheila Puls thanked the hospitality ministry folks from St. Cuthbert’s in advance for the hot chicken lunch, freshly prepared by excellent cooks and served by the men of the parish. The head table consisted of: The Rev. Sue Foley-Currie (ACW Chaplain, Priest-in-Charge of St. Michael’s, Surrey), Beth Fortin (vice-president of the St. Cuthbert’s ACW branch), The Rev. Alan Carson (Incumbent, St. Cuthbert’s, Delta), Sheila Puls (current ACW president), The Ven. Stephen Rowe (attending on behalf of Bishop Michael, Archdeacon of Fraser), and Trudy Shymka (St. James’ Community Service Society and the Guest Speaker at the luncheon). Following homemade ginger cake with fresh cream, Trudy gave an inspiring talk about her work as a staff member at St. James’ Community Services and their current focus to rebuild the Powell Place facility on the downtown eastside under the project title of The Umbrella — Powell Place Expansion. The Powell Place emergency shelter for women located at 329 Powell Street has been moved to a temporary location at 625 Powell Street until the resources have been gathered to re-build on the original site. The rebuilding of Powell Place will help end women’s homelessness in Vancouver by increasing the number of emergency shelter beds from 26 to 52. With the expansion and improvement of the space, St. James’ Community Services will also work to increase its resources to create and maintain programs where women who have had very difficult lives or have suffered recent catastrophic events will be able to put their lives back together, acquiring new

skills and new confidence within a community, learning from shared experience. At the beginning of her address, Trudy told the ACW group that her inspiration for doing the work she does on the downtown eastside can be summed up in the phrase, “What you do for yourself dies with you, what you do for others live on.” She also stressed that this work is a way for her to live out her faith in Christ. Next on the agenda was a Celebration of the Eucharist. The preacher and presider at the Eucharist was The Ven. Stephen Rowe. During his sermon he shared with the ACW congregation his views about change and how things change in the world and in the church. He gave some advice about how we can prepare for those changes and meet them by asking ourselves where our passions are in ministry. “As Christians we have to figure out as individuals, as groups, as parishes, as a Diocese and beyond, what are we passionate about? In the days we now inhabit, when the Church is slimmer and resources are limited we need to focus on doing less and doing it better. We can’t do all that we used to do… we can’t manage all the tasks we used to cover… so I present this challenge to all of you. Think and pray about your own passions in the work that you’ve undertaken as ACW. Think and pray and discuss with your fellow membership in your parish and your area, as well as across the Diocese and figure out what it is that you are passionate about. And then you need to ask yourself… what are we doing that we need to stop doing… what are we not doing that we ought to be doing.”

(For the complete text of Archdeacon Stephen’s Sermon please go to Following the exchange of the Peace, and prior to the celebration of the Eucharist, Archdeacon Stephen commissioned and blessed the 2012 ACW Executive. If you are interested in the ministry of the ACW, please speak to someone in your parish and ask if there is currently a chapter. If there isn’t, then contact a member of the executive and find out how to start a chapter in your parish. You can contact the Current President of the Diocese of New Westminster ACW by visiting the ACW page on the diocesan website or by sending an email to 



God’s Richest Blessings for All of Life’s Journey Celebrating 61 years of Ministry Brian Walks St. Mark’s, Ocean Park, Member-at-large, Diocesan Communications Committee (CommComm)

On Sunday, May 6th, 2012, 212 people packed the special worship service at St. Mark’s, Ocean Park to celebrate 61 years of Eric Lowe’s ordained ministry. The celebrant was The Rev. John Mash. The sermon delivered by The Rev. Craig Tanksley on the theme of “I am the vine and you are the branches” from the Gospel of John, concluded with Craig mentioning that Eric and his wife Margy’s ministry is an example of this passage in action. The Ven. Ronald Harrison, Executive Archdeacon brought greetings from the Diocese. He said that “retired clergy” (of which a number were in attendance) were still “bearing fruit” as clergy never really retire. In the Archdeacon’s address he quoted the Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Sydney who, in a 1970 letter, wrote, “Eric rendered valuable work and was greatly loved by all… His wise administrative gifts and pastoral oversight have been of the greatest value.” And of Margy in the same letter: “His wife has been a constant source of help and encouragement to him and has carried considerable responsibility herself.” Archdeacon Harrison then went on to say, “I have known Eric for 35 years and can attest that he is honest, humble, courageous, deeply committed in faith and practice, with a cheerful countenance and passion for his vocation in Christ. What is remarkable further to this is his consistency over all the years; it has not been a job or work for him and for Margy; it has been a calling, a vocation. I am personally grateful for their dedication, the wonderful loving relationship between the two of them, and for the example they have set for the next generations.” Following worship there was a sandwich luncheon in the hall, where Eric and Margy’s son, Peter and grandson Blaize, (from Florida), and son David and his wife Ruby (from Vancouver) thanked everyone for coming and paid tribute to Eric and Margy. The Rev. Craig Tanksley read out emails and messages from Helen Paterson Woerhle, Carole Neilsen, David MacKenzie, Michael Chin, Len Dyer, Dudley Ritchie and Archbishop Douglas Hambidge. Michael Weller told the luncheon guests Eric’s life story beginning with his humble beginnings in Ireland. In 1947, Eric sailed from Southampton to Halifax then took the train to Saskatoon to complete his training and his curacy. His first parish was Duck Lake in Northern Saskatchewan in 1951. In 1956, he met Margie and through the University Fellowship, they served together in Lahore and Northern India for 14 years. In 1970, Eric became Deputy Director for Canada for the Bible and Medical Missionary Fellowship. In 1975, he went into parish ministry, first with St. Thomas’ in Vancouver and then in 1985, for the next 7 years at St. Alban’s, Burnaby. Eric and Margy continued their ministry when they came to the St. Mark’s community in 1997. Michael Weller mentioned that prayer has always been at the centre of Eric’s life, especially during his extended stay in a Scottish hospital in 2001. It is because of prayer that Eric survived this ordeal and came back to Canada to continue his ministry. TOP The Lowe Family: Ruby, David, Blaize, Peter, Margy and Eric. MIDDLE The Luncheon for Eric and Margy. BOTTOM LEFT The Cake. BOTTOM RIGHT Eric cuts the cake while Margy looks on. PHOTOS June Gauntley

Eric was given the final word. He began by saying that his wife of 57 years, his two sons and their families and he had tried to talk everyone out of putting on this event, the blessings which are his grandsons, Blaize and Zack. He but that no one would listen. He mentioned that he has expressed gratitude for the wonderful family at St. Mark’s always been aware of the wonderful support he has received and all the other communities where he has experienced from clergy and laity. He mentioned the generous love of “God’s richest blessings for all of life’s journey.” 



Permaculture Garden at St. David and St. Paul, Powell River Urban gardening and using land holistically in ways that honour and support the existing ecology is fast becoming commonplace around the world. This kind of land use is often referred to as permaculture. In the summer of 2012, St. David and St. Paul, Powell River, a church in the Diocese of New Westminster is going to dedicate a good portion of property for this purpose. Permaculture is not just gardening, it is a philosophy, and it is a radical departure from preconceived notions about what gardens are in terms of how they produce crops or flowers. Bristol’s Mike Feingold, often called the Guru of British Permaculture Design once referred to permaculture as “revolution disguised as gardening.” Permaculture is a design system which sprang up dur-

ing the 1970s oil crisis out of a reaction to the fears that the earth was running out of traditional energy sources combined with a growing desire for self-reliance. Permaculture designers will observe a place, whether it is a piece of land in the middle of a large western city, or land located on the outskirts of a third world slum and they will search for a practical application for that land using whatever techniques are available: recycling, reusing and regenerating. When applied to gardening, it suggests that not only can food be grown almost anywhere, including stacking crops one on top of another, but higher yields are attainable simply by observing how Mother Nature works, and imitating her. Permaculture designers see every nook and cranny as a

potential food-growing area. A natural growing system like this is sustained by a continuous cycle, with dead plants becoming mulch for new growth. Permaculture gardening sets out to emulate this cycle by turning waste into compost to grow more food and by creating a welcoming environment for predators and natural competition to breed and thrive as they were intended, as part of the natural growing function of the earth instead of using weed killers and pesticides. Ron Berezan, of The Urban Farmer in Powell River is the force behind this project. He was instrumental in arranging for a Permaculture Design Course called Creating Community Abundance that began in January 2012, in the Parish Hall of St. David and St. Paul. It is ongoing.

PHOTO Claus Mikosch

Stewardship: Telling Our Story Glen Mitchell Director of Stewardship and Gift Planning, Diocese of New Westminstern

Stories from the Bible and our shared experience carry the history and hopes of our faith communities. A key role of parish leaders and stewardship educators is to learn and tell these stories to help Anglicans understand one another and build harmonious, productive relationships framed in community, mission and ministry. Norma Cameron is a professional storyteller, accomplished keynote speaker, teacher, facilitator and consultant who will help parish leaders to understand and apply the “power of story” to generate passion and motivate action for parish-based mission and ministry. She writes, “In today’s world, there is no lack of information or ways to communicate to millions of people simply with the press of a button. But perhaps there is a lack of those quiet, meaningful conversations where people are truly engaged and listening to one another. Developing the skills to create such memorable conversations will help everyone build authentic, long-term relationships.” The Stewardship: Telling Our Story seminar will feature a challenging mix of theory and practice in three key topic areas: 1. The story as culture and the leader’s role in storytelling. 2. Developing and managing story banks. 3. Practical tips for learning and telling stories.

Stewardship: Telling Our Story Sponsored by The Stewardship & Gift Development Committee DATE TIME PLACE PRICE

Saturday, October 20th, 2012 9:30 am – 2:30 pm St. Helen’s, Surrey 10787 – 128th Street $20 per person. Includes lunch, refreshments and handouts.

Born in Scotland, Norma moved to Canada, to pursue a career as a banker. Three years later, she went back to school and became a journalist, then joined the non-profit world. Norma is an engaging speaker, teacher and facilitator. She works with public, private and non-profit sector clients. As a professional storyteller, she performs at conferences, concerts and festivals in Canada, the US, Scotland, England and Ireland. She is a faculty member for the Canadian Association of Gift Planners and teaches their intensive 5-day retreats at the Banff Centre. Norma now lives in a little corner of paradise, near Sidney, on Vancouver Island.  St. Helen’s, Surrey (left) and storyteller Norma Cameron (right).

This course will culminate with program participants and members of the church community creating and installing a permaculture design for the church grounds. The goal of the course is summed up in the program brochure, “This garden will serve as a community resource providing yields of food, beauty, biodiversity, learning, and community gathering for years to come.” Planting and development of the Creating Community Abundance permaculture design at St. David and St. Paul is scheduled for June and July of 2012. The September issue of Topic will contain a full-length, feature article about this exciting project. In the accompanying photo taken on Easter Sunday, 2012, by photographer Paul Galinski we see the parish community gathered outside the church entrance. If you cast your eyes to the patch of grass in the lower left of the photo you will see an area slated to be the first location to be developed as permaculture garden. 

“This garden will serve as a community resource providing yields of food, beauty, biodiversity, learning, and community gathering for years to come.”



AROUND THE DIOCESE • Flowers Signify the “New Life in Christ” • SUBMISSION Rev. Faun Harriman

Hand in hand with the theme of a new life in the Easter message, St. Alban’s in Burnaby decorated the Cross with flowers. Processing to the sounds of the worship band, guests and parishioners watched as the Cross came alive with the color of hundreds of flowers. It was something to behold and each one of us was moved by the richness of the symbolism of our new life in Christ. Throughout the service, the Cross in full bloom stood as a reminder that we are an Easter people, renewed, refreshed and ready for our mission to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the ends of the earth.  Flower Cross at St. Alban’s, Burnaby. PHOTO Pam Venkataya

• All Saints, Agassiz ‘Goes Green’ • SUBMISSION Monica Gibson-Pugsley

The original lighting in All Saints, Agassiz’ sanctuary dated back to circa 1910. The hall was built in 1952, so it was all in need of modernization. Recently, the parish installed a highly energy-efficient interior and exterior lighting system. With the new lighting, current consumption uses 50% less power to illuminate the church and hall than was needed at the beginning of March, with the brightness being increased by 100%. The new LED bulbs last about twenty years which is ideal for high church ceilings where maintenance and bulb changing is difficult. BC Hydro have a deal in effect; anyone changing from incandescent lighting to LED’s will receive a 10% rebate towards the new conversion.

All Saints employed Buy the Right Light Company of Aldergrove who (among other companies in the Lower Mainland) specialize in updating the lighting systems of older properties making sure that the new equipment used is compatible with older styles of wiring, such as knob and tube which is found at All Saints. All Saints chose classic looking fixtures to complement the 100+ year old church interior. Highly upgraded efficient fluorescent lighting has also been installed in the kitchen and church hall. All Saints is committed to being a green parish and invites other parishes to do the same.  New lighting at All Saints, Agassiz. PHOTO Dave Price

• PWRDF Executive Director Visits 401 West Georgia Street • On Thursday, April 19th, 2012, the Chair Church’s emergency aid organization. of the Diocesan Primate’s World Relief and Following the lunch, Adele had some Development Fund (PWRDF) Unit, Peter other meetings with churches in the diocese Goodwin of St. James’ brought a special that are looking at different ways that they visitor to the Synod Office at #580 – 401 can support the PWRDF initiatives. West Georgia. The special visitor was On Saturday, April 21st at St. Alban’s, Ms. Adele Finney, Executive Director of Richmond, Adele was the Guest Speaker PWRDF. Adele had traveled to Vancouver at a special deanery dinner where she to connect with family but while here she described the experiences of a delegation included an agenda of PWRDF-related of PWRDF reps from across Canada who activities. travelled to India and Sri Lanka to support During her time at the Synod Office, in the spirit of accompaniment the OrgaAdele and Peter met with Diocesan Business nization for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation Administrator, Rob Dickson and Diocesan (OfERR) which, as a partner has received Stewardship and Planned Giving Director PWRDF funding for 29 years, reaching Glen Mitchell. Just after 12 noon, a number out to Tamil refugees who fled Sri Lanka of parish PWRDF representatives arrived and settled in Southern India. PWRDF at the office for lunch and a meeting with representatives from the three Richmond Adele. Amongst the group was Denise parishes of St. Alban, St. Anne and St. Hambidge who has been deeply involved Edwards’ organized this event.  over the years at various levels in the PWRDF organization and continues with her support and leadership for the National Adele Finney (left) and Denise Hambidge (right) at 401.

NOTICES FROM THE ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE Attention University of Victoria students! Coming to Victoria in September and looking for a welcoming Christian community? Come to our young adults group at St. George’s Church, just minutes away from UVIC! For more information, contact Meghan Duarte at

Family Camp at Sorrento Centre August 5th to 11th, 2012 We are pleased to announce a new diocesan family camp at Sorrento Centre in August.

pontius puddle by Joel Kauffmann

THEME Live, Pray & Play: Creativity and Practical Spirituality SPONSORS The dioceses of British Columbia, New Westminster, Kootenay, APCI, Calgary and Edmonton. DATE August 5th to 11th, 2012 COST $100 for adults and $50 per child to a maximum of $200 per household. Accommodations and food for the week are extra but can be as low as $162 for a camp site. More information on accommodations and meals can be found on the Sorrento Centre website at



AROUND THE DIOCESE • A More Flexible Worship Space at SMK • SUBMISSION Paul Borthistle

As reported in Topic earlier this year the community of St. Mary’s, Kerrisdale followed their 2011 Centennial Celebrations of last summer with some major renovations to the century-old church. During the renovation the community worshipped in the gymnasium. A major component of the renovation was the removal of the original fir floor, replaced with a new floor made of hearty oak. The replacement of the floor prompted discussions around changing the sanctuary so that it could be a more flexible space. That would mean that some of the pews

would not be returned but replaced with chairs. There were a number of meetings but the result was that the community voted to create flexible space. The chairs have been ordered but will take 3 months to manufacture. Even though seating for services would be temporary, the community returned to worship in the sanctuary on Palm Sunday. The three photos to the right are from Holy Week and they show how the flexible space at St. Mary’s is benefiting new worship models. 

• Clergy News • As was announced in the May issue of capable service as they step down. The Bishop has accepted the completion Topic, the Bishop has appointed The Rev. Michael G. Fuller as Incumbent of St. date of June 30th, 2012, for the interim John’s, Shaughnessy beginning July 15th. ministry at St. Michael’s, Surrey of The Rev. He comes to us after a career as an engineer Sue Foley-Currie. Sue is not disappearing and senior executive until ordination 19 from the horizon but plans to have “sabyears ago. Michael is Rector of the United batical and lie fallow.” She is an invaluable Benefice of St. George the Martyr, Camp- member of Administration and Finance den Hill and St. John the Baptist, Holland Committee. The Rev. Wendy Eyre-Gray, Rector of St. Road, Diocese of London. His Induction and celebration of new ministry will be 7:30 John the Divine, Squamish, has announced her retirement to the Parish. Her contempm on Wednesday, September 12th. In light of the clericus vote, Bishop plated final Sunday is July 29th. Wendy Michael has appointed The Rev. Dr. Rich- returned to parish ministry early in 2009 ard Leggett as acting Regional Dean of after a long stretch running a retreat centre Granville-Point Grey, effective last April 1st on the Sunshine Coast, exercising her gifts until the Regional Dean, The Rev. Dr. John in spirituality. It seems like yesterday that Oakes, returns from sabbatical at year-end. she was the newly ordained curate for St. Also, on the recommendation of their Mary’s, Kerrisdale! Also, we will soon say “farewell’ to respective clericus votes, the Bishop has appointed The Rev. Paul Guiton another priest of the Diocese on retire(Incumbent of St. Dunstan, Aldergrove) ment. The Rev. Eugene Mbuya Kibundji as Regional Dean of Yale (replacing The intends to move to Sturgeon Falls, Ontario Rev. Sharon Salomons) and The Rev. Brian in Algoma Diocese. Eugene hopes to head Vickers (Incumbent of St. Anne, Steveston) east by July 1st. He is licensed currently as Regional Dean of Richmond-Delta as the Honorary Assistant for St. George, (replacing The Rev. Paul Woehrle) effective Maple Ridge, and will be well known to as of last May’s Synod. Congratulations and many in that region as a supply priest from our thanks to Sharon and Paul W. for their time to time.  • Farewell Sharon • SUBMISSION Gail Newell

Her resignation as rector of All Saints, Mission is effective as of July 31st, 2012. In all probability Sharon’s absence from the pulpit will be temporary. Sharon says she is not leaving the church, just changing venues to take up a personal journey into marriage. Sharon was married in May. Best wishes to Sharon and Peter and every happiness in the coming years. 


Cemetery Plot for Sale


LOCATION Valley View Memorial Gardens 14644 – 72 Avenue, Surrey BC Resurrection 89 • Lot 910 • Space A1 For 1 casket and 1 urn or 3 urns

Gail Newell created the dove wall hanging for Sharon Salomons. The dove is a symbol of the hope and peace Sharon’s new ministry will offer her clients.




The Rev. Sharon Salomons arrived in Mission some 7 years ago on a mission to help the parish of All Saints build its mission and ministry. This was her first appointment after her curacy. She helped the parish discern its course and they went from a community in distress to a self-supporting parish, active in the neighbourhoods around them. Their projects have been many and varied, from being part of an emergency shelter program to environmental sustainability projects (they piloted solar panels). We know All Saints will miss her but they are in a good position as a community and will find their way on a new journey. Sharon became regional dean of Yale Deaner y in 2007 and helped her colleagues and parishioners from other churches form closer bonds with each other across a widespread deanery that stretches from Aldergrove to Hope. At the April Clericus (Deanery Clergy) meeting, Sharon was thanked for all her leadership. Among the gifts given to send her on her way into her new journey in Family Systems Counselling was a dove wall hanging. The dove is a symbol of the hope and peace her new ministry will offer her clients.




• Confirmations 2012 • April 22nd and April 29th, Bishop Michael confirmed over 50 candidates at Christ Church Cathedral. In the photograph above (photo by Clifford Aquino), we see Bishop Michael surrounded by representatives of the Parish of St. Michael’s, Broadway who had attended the worship in support of their confirmation candidates. 

• Education for Ministry • 2012 Graduation Eucharist On Wednesday, June 13th, 2012, 7:30 pm, Bishop Michael will confer on the class of 2012 certificates of completion marking the end of a four year period of journey into the depths of our shared identity as Christians. The Graduation Eucharist will be celebrated at the Parish of St. Timothy, Burnaby (4550 Kitchener Street, Burnaby BC). 

• New Evangelism Unit Chair • In January 2012, The Rev. Dr. John Oakes interest in the Evangelism Unit Chair minresigned as Chair of the Diocesan Evange- istry so John communicated his interest to lism Unit after 13 years. He was about to Bishop Michael. Bishop Michael invited embark on a year of unpaid leave from his Paul to accept the appointment and conposition as Rector of Holy Trinity, Vancou- firmation of Paul’s acceptance was received ver to take a Visiting Fellowship position May 3rd, 2012. at the Yale Divinity School. It was a good The Unit’s members-at-large are very time to close a chapter in his ministerial excited about Paul’s appointment and are life and relinquish the leadership of the looking forward to their first official meetEvangelism Unit. ing together. In 1998, during his curacy at St. CuthStay tuned to future issues of Topic and bert’s, Delta, then St. Cuthbert’s Incumbent, postings on the Evangelism Unit pages of The Rev. Dan Anonby suggested to John the diocesan website for further developthat he extend his ministry to include the ments.  diocese and John chose the Evangelism John Oakes (left) and Paul Woehrle (right). Unit, succeeding The Rev. Trevor Fisher as Chair. The Evangelism Unit began as part of the diocesan initiative Stewards in Action (SIA) in 1988, during a time when the worldwide Anglican Communion was promoting the Anglican Decade of Evangelism. For the first 15 years, there was strong representation from around the diocese but as with many of the Unit groups founded in the wake of SIA, membership decreased as new types of ministry evolved in the church. The Evangelism Unit remained intact and made it a priority to plan and produce at least one diocesan event per year to draw people together in community as well as offering them exciting ways of communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their neighbourhoods and beyond. The most recent event was held November 13th, 2010 and featured The Rev. Judy Paulsen, a member of the Speaker’s Bureau of the Wycliffe College, Institute of Evangelism. The Rev. Paul Woehrle, rector of St. David’s, Delta had expressed to John an

• Holy Trinity Strawberry Tea • Raffle! Bake Sale! Books! Crafts! Re-Gift Table! All this and more at the Holy Trinity Strawberry Tea. Come join in the fun!

Saturday June 23rd, 2012 11:00 am to 2:00 pm Holy Trinity 15115 Roper Avenue in beautiful White Rock

• VST Summer School • SUBMISSION Harold Munn

Connecting Job and Vocation; Building Communities of Care, Leadership and Context; and Living Faithfully in a Fragmented World. There will also be an Iona Pacific course on the topic of Religion, Science Fiction and the Problem of Evil. Instructors include Paul Scott Wilson, Darrell Guder, Teresa Latini, Peter Short, Beth Theunissen, Nancy Clavert-Koyzis, Tamsen Glover, Jonathan Wilson and Francisco Pena, Hussein Keshani and Robert Daum. A round table discussion on the topic of leadership will be held on Thursday evenings during each week of summer classes. All visiting faculty and students and members of the larger community are welcome to attend. In the photo we see Darrell Guder, a Darrell Guder. teacher and author of many books on Vancouver School of Theology holds its Christian mission in a post-Christendom Summer School the first two weeks of July context. Darrell proposes that “…the (July 2nd – 6th and 9th – 13th) in beautiful unique incarnation of Jesus…[has]…conBritish Columbia on the campus of the crete significance for the way in which the University of British Columbia. Our theme church communicates that message and this year is Leadership for a time like this carries out the mission.” Two of our courses will be held in a and the courses, taught for credit or audit, weekend retreat format: Benedictine with are for everyone. Visiting Faculty will teach a variety Martin Brokenleg (July 6th – 8th), and of courses relating to the pressing topic Practicing Paradise with Douglas Burtonof leadership in the church and by the Christie (July 20th – 22nd). For more information on courses and church. Some of the course titles are: The Poetics of Preaching; Leading Congregational registration please visit the VST website at Change; Turning Toward the World — Mis- We look forward to welcomsional Church; Women Breaking Boundaries; ing you. 



An Evening in South Asia in Richmond, BC Eric Hanson St. Alban’s, Richmond, Warden and Parish PWRDF Representative

The smell of samosas, the sounds of Bollywood, and the sights of saris and Bhangra dancers leaping into the air greeted a hundred guests at St. Alban’s in Richmond on April 21st. The occasion was An Evening in South Asia, a Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) fundraiser and a joint venture between the parishes of St. Anne and St. Alban. On hand to raise awareness of the projects being sponsored in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka was guest speaker and PWRDF executive director, Adele Finney. Having just returned from the Indian Subcontinent, Ms. Finney spoke to the guests about the people and the projects that are helped by the PWRDF. The Organization for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR) is one of these projects which, as a partner, has received PWRDF funding for 29 years reaching out to Tamil refugees who fled Sri Lanka and settled in Southern India. Now that peace has come to Sri Lanka, the refugees are being assisted in resettling back in their former homeland. Guests from throughout the diocese learned more about this important Canadian Anglican outreach, thanks to the posters and brochures that PWRDF Unit Chair Peter Goodwin provided. Also at the head table with Adele and Peter were The Rev. Margaret Cornish of St. Alban and The Rev. Brian Vickers of St. Anne. The evening raised almost $3000 thanks to a full house, ticket sales and the multitude of prizes generously donated by parishioners and Richmond businesses. As the St. Alban’s PWRDF representative, I and Chris Waddell worked with our organizing committee for months and teamed up with a small army of volunteers decorating, cooking a 12-dish curry buffet, and doing all the other tasks that are needed to undertake such an ambitious venture. This is just one of the first joint ventures between the two parishes, a result of the Ministry Assessment Process (MAP), which may eventually lead to a new amalgamated and sustainable Anglican parish in Richmond. We were really thrilled that it was a full house and everyone seemed to enjoy the food and fellowship, as well as the evening’s entertaining and informative agenda. Not only are we enjoying working with our fellow Richmond Anglicans, we are helping our neighbours in South Asia, and as a result, we are helping ourselves to be better Christians. The PWRDF Committee is already planning next year’s dinner, An Enchanting Evening in Latin America. Consider yourself, invited! 

TOP Big smiles from Asha Kochukalikkal (mother) and Aditya (son). MIDDLE A full house enjoying An Evening in South Asia. BOTTOM LEFT Executive Director Adele Finney (left) greets Christ Church Cathedral PWRDF reps, Graham and Shirley Rawlings. BOTTOM RIGHT St. Alban’s parishioner Roy Kurian with a winning ticket. Roy was also one of the chefs. PHOTOS Larry Scherban (Camera One Photography)


An Evening in South Asia in Richmond, BC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

The Bhangra dancers from the South Asian Arts Group co-founded by Gurprett Sian and Raakhi Sinhai. South Asian Arts Group offered the first University accredited Bhangra dance class in North America at Simon Fraser University. The course

received an overwhelmingly positive response with nearly 50 students registered for each semester. Beginning in February 2012, they offered an accredited High School level courses in South Asian dance and music, another first!

PWRDF and CIDA Begin 5 year $10.8 million Health Care Program The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is pleased to announce a joint program with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). PWRDF will contribute $2.7 million dollars over five years towards the $10.8 million dollar project that will focus on maternal and child health in 59 villages in Burundi, Mozambique and Tanzania. “Through this 5-year joint program PWRDF and African partners will deepen and extend the impact of work already accomplished with CIDA funding in 2009 – 2011,” said Adele Finney, Executive Director of PWRDF. “With the help of Anglicans across Canada, PWRDF has committed itself to putting half a million dollars a year into this program, knowing that governments in the three countries have acknowledged the value of our partners’ work and want it expanded. We also expect PWRDF/CIDA partners will have much to share within the Anglican Communion through the capacity-building work of the Anglican Alliance: Relief, Development,

and Advocacy. The churches’ grassroots presence in communities strengthens development effectiveness and sustainability. This is an exciting opportunity.” The program will reach about 1.5 million people through awareness-raising about health issues and nutrition, working with local governments to address cultural practices that negatively impact women’s health and participation, and ensuring better access to health care for pregnant women, mothers, and children. 1690 community health workers, HIV and AIDS educators and caregivers will be trained in the villages. 100 bicycle ambulances will help remote villagers to reach clinics and hospitals, and new clinics will be built where they are most needed. 70% of the people in the 59 villages do not have easy access to clean water or regular access to enough food. Farmers will improve their skills and wells will be dug or rehabilitated to increase access to nutritious food and clean water throughout the targeted areas. Model farms will be created to assist in improving agricultural techniques. PWRDF is proud of its 40-year working relationship with CIDA, and looks forward to continuing to work together with partners including the Anglican Diocese of Bujumbura in Burundi, the Anglican Diocese of Masasi in Tanzania, and the Association of Community Health (EHALE) in Mozambique to improve the lives of mothers and children throughout the region. For more information please contact Adele Finney (photo left), Executive Director at PWRDF, at or 416.924.9199 ex. 264. For more information on the PWRDF please visit their website at 




St. Michael’s Care Centre’s New Management Partnership Randy Murray Communications Officer, Diocese of New Westminster and Editor of Topic

The hallways and wards of St. Michael’s Care Centre in Burnaby are beginning to show signs of age, the floors are somewhat worn and the colours would probably not be the choice of today’s designers. That being said, the place has a very good “feel.” The atmosphere is positive, friendly and full of life, counterintuitive when one considers that the building in question is a senior’s full care facility. The facility is spacious and welcoming and one is immediately aware of the sensation that this place is “home,” not only for the residents but also for the staff and volunteers. St. Michael’s is unique; it is the only ecumenical project participated in by the Diocese of New Westminster and continues its function of offering excellent seniors and hospice care largely unheralded by the participating faith organizations. The primary reason is because operations are funded by the Fraser Health Authority and not by the three denominations involved: Roman Catholic, United and Anglican. There is very little reporting to any church governance bodies and St. Michael’s does not show up on balance sheets or financial statements. The operation is extremely well-run by a volunteer board consisting of: a board chair, three representatives from each of the participating denominations and five members-atlarge from the greater community. St. Michael’s was founded 30 years ago by the three Christian denominations. The facility was built on land owned by the United Church of Canada. The land at 7451 Sussex Avenue in Burnaby is located between Fairhaven, formerly and currently a United Church of Canada housing facility and a United Church Home for Un-Wed Mothers, which is now L’Arche Vancouver. There are 128 beds in the senior’s care facility, most of them located four to a room in hospital-style ward rooms and 16 hospice care beds, located on the buildings lower level in the hospice facility established ten years ago. The St. Michael’s Hospice is the first hospice facility established outside an acute care facility and it remains the largest hospice in the region. There are a number of reasons to do a feature article about St. Michael’s as it is a project to be proud of and a true success story. However current activity involving the management and operation of the facility has created some fresh excitement and optimism. In 2011, St. Michael’s board chair Gary Begin, a United Church lay minister, with others from St. Michael’s, attended a workshop/information session looking at different models of healthcare facility administration. Inspired by what they learned in October 2011, they contacted and subsequently entered into negotiations with Dianne Doyle, President and CEO of Providence Health Care. A CEO position at St. Michael’s had been under development by the St. Michael’s board, however this opportunity to work

with Providence resulted in a contract that would establish a direct connection between the two organizations with PHC supplying the St. Michael’s Centre with a CEO. According to Gary, this arrangement provides St. Michael’s with the ability to tap into PHC’s considerable resources, resulting in a “huge win for the patients but also a huge benefit for the staff.” PHC is on the cutting edge of current developments in healthcare for seniors, from innovations in nursing to advances in nutrition and everything in-between. This will result in excellent training and professional development opportunities for St. Michael’s staff, including a wide array of on-line programs facilitated by Providence in order to offer staff opportunities to acquire new skill in senior’s care. As well as intensive seminars like Spirituality: The Invisible Ingredient in Health and Healing presented by PHC this past May at the Coast Hotel in Vancouver. From a hierarchical perspective, PHC’s CEO Dianne Doyle is the CEO, with St. Michael’s becoming one of 16 Vancouver area sites operating under PHC. The collaborative contract and working arrangement between the two is modeled on similar healthcare operations involving PHC. The uniqueness of this situation is that the St. Michael’s board negotiated the creation of a staff position that would address the need for on-site executive leadership but also enable immediate contact with Dianne Doyle through direct reporting to David Thompson, vice president Seniors Care and Clinical Support Services at PHC. This position is titled Senior Operations Leader and in March 2012, Blake Armstrong was hired to fill that role. He began working at St. Michael’s in April 2012. Officially, Blake is employed by PHC but he also reports directly to the St. Michael’s board. January 15th, 2012, St. Michael’s began their official relationship with PHC and now with the hiring of Blake, Gary Begin is delighted to report “we have embarked on a very exciting journey that will provide the best healthcare possible and that care is faith based. Providence is a faith based healthcare provider.” The Rev. Randolph Bruce is one of 200 full and parttime employees at St. Michael’s Centre. He is the Spiritual, Pastoral and Religious Care Manager. In addition to this job, Randolph, who turned 65 on April 24th, is the Incumbent at All Saint’s, Burnaby, the Interim Priest-in-Charge of St. Matthias & St. Luke and the Regional Dean of Burnaby. Although he has reached retirement age, Randolph’s incumbency at All Saints has been extended a year, in part so he can complete plans for, and participate in, All Saints centennial celebrations scheduled for November 4th, 2012. Randolph divides his time between his two paying positions, spending Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at St. Michael’s Centre and is present at least three other days a week at All Saints. He began as a pastoral care volunteer at

St. Michael’s Senior Operations Leader, Blake Armstrong (left); St. Michael’s board chair, Gary Begin (middle); and St. Michael’s Spiritual, Pastoral and Religious Care Manager, The Rev. Randolph Bruce (right).

St. Michael’s in 1990 and over the years, his involvement increased, including a six-year term on the board and a term as board chair. When the paid pastoral care position at St. Michael’s became available, Randolph approached Bishop Michael with a proposal to reduce his incumbency at All Saints to half-time in order to apply for the half-time position at St. Michael’s. Bishop Michael agreed and the arrangement has been working well since October 2010. As mentioned previously, St. Michael’s Care Centre was founded by Christian denominations but every patient who would like pastoral care is served in the faith tradition of their choice. A primary focus of Randolph’s ministry is to ensure that kind of spiritual care is available. Because a patient does not have any connections to any faith traditions and identifies as “not religious” doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to participate in the planning of a “Celebration of Life” to help bring closure to those they leave behind and closure for themselves. Walking alongside those who are in the final stages of life, building trust and understanding with them at this significant time is a large part of Randolph’s ministry. He is also part of the Hospice Care Team, is a leader in training pastoral volunteers for both the hospice and the senior’s care centre and chairs the Ethics Committee. At present, the three Anglicans from the Diocese of New Westminster on the St. Michael’s Board are: Janet Coghlan (St. George, Maple Ridge) and Brenda Bailey (Holy Trinity Cathedral, New Westminster) both Registered Nurses and long-time active health care professionals and Brother James Bennett (St. Cuthbert, Delta) who, for many years, has been involved at various levels of governance with the South Fraser Community Services Society. Janet and Brenda will be leaving the board in June. In order to fill denominational board positions, Gary Begin as board chair generates a letter to the leaders of the denominations represented, (in the case of the Diocese of New Westminster that would be Bishop Michael), requesting new board members. In the request letter, he may ask for specific skill requirements (administration, accounting, health care, etc…) to ensure there is a variety of expertise around the table. For more information about this wonderful work being done in our diocese, please visit Providence Health Care’s website at and St. Michael’s Care Centre website at 


Compassion for Creation Cliff Caprani St. Thomas, Vancouver

Saturday, April 28th, saw an eclectic group of concerned churchgoers gather in the Parish Hall at Christ Church Cathedral for a workshop entitled Compassion for Creation. The day started promptly at 10 am, with Dean Peter Elliott’s welcome. The 80 people in attendance represented a number of different faith traditions. Anglicans for Eco-Justice Unit co-chair, Bob Worcester announced that one of the morning speakers — Rueben George — had cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. He then introduced Ben West, from the Wilderness Committee. Ben, an energetic speaker, presented a series of slides that allowed him to illustrate the magnitude of the two proposals for the Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain pipelines. The Wilderness Committee believes that these two proposals will put the entire coast, from Vancouver to Kitimat, at risk. The increased amounts of crude oil being brought to the coast will require significantly increased tanker traffic out of both Kitimat and Vancouver. All this new capacity is for export. In terms of a spill, they believe that it is not a question of if, but when. Ben also pointed out that the two pipelines cross the lands of many First Nations, and that any ruptures to the pipelines would have devastating effects on the land itself and the food supply. In a recent declaration, all First Nations have said that they will not export tar sands oil. Janette McIntosh, who is with KAIROS, Vancouver, followed Ben. She brought the group up-to-date, focusing on some of the initiatives being undertaken by groups opposed to the pipelines. She recommended a documentary called On The Line ( The makers of this film travelled the 1170 km trip along the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline. The journey was made on foot, by bike, kayak and raft from Bruderheim to Hartley Bay. Janette also gave details of a freedom train that departed from Jasper on April 30th. After various stops and rallies along the way, the protesters should have arrived in Toronto, in time for the Enbridge AGM on May 9th. (As of this writing in early May we do not have any additional information about the protest. Stay tuned.) According to Janette, it is the view of KAIROS that this is the defining issue of this generation. Anyone interested in finding out more should check the website of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. A local writer, Robyn Allan, has written a pithy eleven-page critique of the proposal. See her website at After a short lunch break, it was time to hear from Sallie McFague. She spoke with great clarity and honesty, leavening her presentation with humour. She made a direct connection between environmentalism and consumerism: seeing the tar sands as both an ecological and economic issue. She was blunt about calling consumerism the new religion, saying that we are more attentive to it than to most other things. In her view we more than tithe to it. She went on to say that consumerism should be considered heresy, and that it be treated accordingly. She pointed out that the rewards of the consumer society are overrated, and that individualism is a false worldview. She reminded her audience that the story of God is that all creation is fully alive: All Creation. Sally concluded her talk by offering a four-fold process from belief to action. These steps are: 1. An embracing of “voluntary poverty.” 2. Focusing one’s attentions on the needs of others. 3. Gradual development of a “universal self.” 4. The idea that the inclusive self should operate at both the personal and public levels.

The afternoon ended with the attendees breaking into three groups, to brainstorm strategies and solutions. 

TOP The plenary meet in the Parish Hall of Christ Church Cathedral. MIDDLE Eco-Justice Unit co-chair The Rev. Margaret Marquardt (seated) confers with Eco-Justice Unit member, The Rev. Gail Newell. BOTTOM Ben West speaks to The Rev. Canon Dr. Harold Munn. PHOTOS Cliff Caprani




OPINION Book Review Ron Dart Diocese of New Westminster, Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Politics at The University of the Fraser Valley

Christianity After Religion The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening Written by Diana Butler Bass Published by Harperone, 2012

It is quite trendy these days to pit spirituality (which is definitely good) against religion (which is definitely not so good). Such a tribe rarely questions, at a probing level, the problems of spirituality and the good of religion. The black-white dualism is not, in many ways, worthy of either a more meaningful spirituality or religion. Christianity After Religion seems, initially, to pander to such a simplistic dualism. Religion tends to take a solid and sus-

Book Review Ron dart Diocese of New Westminster

tained beating In Part I of the tome. Bass makes a convincing argument in The End of Religion (Part 1) that many of the forms of Christianity (primarily) and other religions (in a secondary sense) have ceased to hold those with the deepest spiritual longings. The shakeup, so Bass thinks, began a few decades ago, and the beginning of such a reawakening has now reached an end. We are, according to Bass, at the end of such a beginning and about to enter a deeper and more mature season of awakening. We can only go to such places When Religion Fails (Chapter 3) and Questioning the Old Gods (Chapter 2). Part 1 of Christianity After Religion, therefore, raises all the tried and predictable objections to Christianity as religion and why Christianity as a religion cannot hold or contain the dynamic and living water of an awakened and hungry spirituality. A thoughtful reader, at this point in the book, might raise their curious hand and ask why Christianity has only been described and portrayed in a failed, faltering and inadequate way. Is this the only truth about Christianity as religion? Is it possible to see Christianity as a religion as the very means by which spirituality is deepened and matures? Who are the women and men who have wed, in a delicate and evocative manner, Christianity as spirituality and religion? Such questioning, though, would undermine and undercut the driving thesis of Part 1 of the book — it was needful to pillory Christianity in Act I of the drama to set the stage of Act 2 of the literary play. Part II of Christianity After Religion, after almost 100 pages of articulating the problem, through a series of selected stories, statistics and polling groups that depict Christianity as sick and ailing, offers an antidote to the illness. A New Vision (Part II) is what is needed that will redefine and rearticulate how Christianity can be renewed and restored as both religion and

spirituality. Bass suggests The Great Reversal (Chapter 7) that is needed to reinvigorate Christianity is a renewed vision of Believing (Chapter 4), Behaving (Chapter 5) and Belonging (Chapter 6). Such a trinity has a certain appeal, but the more the meaning of believing, behaving and belonging is unpacked and unravelled, the more the questions. Why is Wilfred Cantwell Smith’s (good Canadian that he was) approach to belief-faith not questioned and analyzed at a more significant level? Smith taught occasionally at McMaster University when I was doing my doctoral studies there (often invited by George Grant). Many were the thoughtful disagreements about Smith’s approach. Why is Harvey Cox such a guru in this section, and what are the limitations of his approach? Bass tends to echo Cox and both are on the same page in their read of Christian history and the spiritualityreligion dualism. What are some of the problems of such an approach, hence the legitimate doubts about Bass’ “New Vision?” Is there anything really new about it, or is it just a recycled version of anarchist and reactionary protesting Protestantism? I’m not convinced that Bass’ “New Vision” of believing, behaving and belonging is new or visionary, and I’m not so sure such a perspective will lead to a “Great Reversal.” This does not mean that there are not timely nuggets of insight and wisdom that do need to be heeded and heard in visionary Part II of Christianity After Religion. Awakening (Part III), is the shortest section in the book, and it walks the reader into a meaning of awakening that is definitely at odds with some of the American traditions of religious and spiritual awakening. Bass does, consciously so, use terms that are part of the American spiritual genetic code, but redefines their meaning to accommodate our postmodern, pluralistic and eclectic spiritual tendencies and ethos.

It would not do to question the spirit of the ago, hence the embrace of much of Bass’ writing and the eager embrace of this book. Great Awakening (Chapter 8) and Performing Awakening (Chapter 9) have a certain appeal and charm, but there is also a certain thinness and trendiness to such undeveloped chapters. In sum, there are, obviously, valuable and compelling truths in Christianity After Religion, and, to Bass’s credit, she has, at her best, avoided the religion is bad, spirituality is good dualism. The burden of the book and new vision is to renew religion by going to the core and centre of religion and deepening the meaning of spirituality by grounding such longings in belief, behaviour and belonging. Such a renewed synthesis will, Bass hopes, lead to an awakening much deeper than the awakenings within American historic and religious culture. The fact that I am Canadian, and Christianity After Religion is written for an American audience means that the fast moving journalistic type tome does not really speak to the Canadian context. Some of the themes, of course, cross the 49th, but the actual actors and actresses in the drama are American and they embody the American dilemma. The Canadian religious and spiritual context certainly shares many of the tendencies that Bass mentioned, but I think it can be argued that there is much more to both the Canadian and American religious and spiritual reality than Bass has revealed or is even aware of. It is this “much more” that interests me, and Christianity After Religion would have been a much stronger and more convincing book if this “much more” had been included and embraced in this popular, informed yet questionable approach to both the problem faced and solution to the problem. 

Who was this poet who offended the trendy left by taking a definite stand on the Pro-Life issue yet offended the political right by opposing capitalism, militarism and American imperialism?

Who was this unique Canadian nationalist who flirted with the ideological left but when the day was done was a conscious Red Tory?

Who was this High Church Anglican that was convinced that the purpose and end of the grandeur of the liturgy was justice and peace in the streets and for the working class people?

poets awarded Acorn the Peoples Poet Award in 1970 and the Governor General’s Award in 1975 speaks its own convincing language. Who was this poet who offended the trendy left by taking a definite stand on the Pro-Life issue yet offended the political right by opposing capitalism, militarism and American imperialism? Who was this unique Canadian nationalist who flirted with the ideological left but when the day was done was a conscious Red Tory? Who Milton Acorn was this High Church Anglican that was in a Springtime Instant convinced that the purpose and end of Selected Poems the grandeur of the liturgy was justice and Edited by James Deahl peace in the streets and for the working class Published by Mosaic Press, 2011 people? Who was this herald and pioneer Milton Acorn (1923 – 1986) was the most in the 1950s of the ecological movement? The time has finally come, and it is dynamic, controversial and prophetic Canadian Anglican political poet in the latter quite appropriate that the time has come, half of the 20th century. Acorn was a poet for a return and retrieval of the poetry of who spoke to the people of Canada and did Milton Acorn. The publication of Milton so in an accessible and not to be forgotten Acorn in a Springtime Instant: Selected Poems manner. The fact that significant Canadian has appeared on the literary and publishing

scene at just the right time, and the editorial work and Introduction by James Deahl (who lived with Acorn for a few years and published some of his poetry), makes this updated approach to Acorn a real keeper. The incisive Introduction by Deahl is a fine primer to the selected poems. The Introduction lights but does not land long on The Great Generation, Poetry of the Natural World, The Art of Love, Ideology, What I Know of God, Fellow Writers and an informed Conclusion. I might add that Terry Barker wrote a timely Foreword that briefly explained the origin of In A Springtime Instant. Deahl has, wisely so, in his editorial role, guided the poetic ship of the book across the full waters of Acorn’s life and writing. Poems are judiciously chosen from Acorn’s earliest book of poetry, In Love and

Who was this herald and pioneer in the 1950s of the ecological movement?

Anger (1956) to Acorn’s mid-stride classic I’ve Tasted My Blood: Poems 1956 to 1968 (1969), the later books of poetry that were published in his lifetime and the books of poetry that were published after his death. The collection, rightly so, is arranged chronologically and separates wheat from chaff, gold from dross in Acorn’s poetic journey. Deahl has dug deep into the mother lode of Acorn’s poetic output, and has brought back the finest of Acorn from his diligent spadework. Milton Acorn in a Springtime Instant is Acorn the poetic and probing genius at his challenging best. The Northern Oak of Acorn stands tall and stately, high above the lesser trees of much Canadian poetry, and the meticulous work of James Deahl, Terry Barker and Howard Aster (Mosaic Press) amply illustrates why this is the irrefutable case. We await, with much anticipation, the publication in 2013, from Mosaic Press, the book of critical essays on Acorn. 




Beginning Another Summer in a Post-Christian Culture A Pentecost Reflection aRt tURnBULL

Honorary Assistant, St. Matthew, Abbotsford

Sampling hors d’oeuvres while engaged in idle conversation is quite delightful. High tea at the proper time is just right. Conversing on the latest tidbit of gossip about famous people’s scandals is thought by many to be a pleasant way to pass the time. Comparing notes on the last episode of a favourite reality show reveals the depth of contemporary awareness. Or, perhaps it is Lord Stanley’s cup that is still getting all the attention. There are many activities to capture the mind of today’s man or woman. The television industry is fully equipped to provide endless fodder for the pursuit of mindlessness. If not satisfied with TV, then the contemporary pursuit of fun at the casino or local bingo hall may suffice. There are so many ways to fulfill one’s desires for diversion. Endless discussion on the price of gasoline can occupy the mind for days. In this land blessed with a surplus supply of crude and tarred oil, you may ask, “Should there be a cap on how much the driver pays at the

pump?” Another passing fad is to follow the discourses and contortions of politicians, a pursuit that can while away the hours. After all, perhaps Canada does need to have thirty five billion dollars worth of jet fighters. The problem is to see if any one is listening or really cares. People are so busy with watching the minute of trivia that they miss the magnitude of the vital. It is my opinion that society is in danger of reducing citizenship to the lowest common denominator. This mundane existence creates a breeding ground for apathy. When conditioned in this way, it is but a short distance to move society into anarchy. Politically, it is easier to govern as a dictator if the population is looking the other way. The Anglican Church does not make it easy or acceptable to live in this laissez-faire world. Episcopalians keep bumping into God. This God confronts us as sinners, a not-so-popular concept. The Book of Common Prayer tells us, “we have left undone those things that we ought to have done,

The Marks of Mission in Plain English RanDy MURRay Communications Officer, Diocese of New Westminster and Editor of Topic

The following is the first paragraph of the Marks of Mission webpage on the General Synod website: the five Marks of Mission are a framework used to describe and encourage ministry throughout the worldwide anglican Communion. 1. 2. 3. 4.

to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers To respond to human need by loving service to seek to transform unjust structures of society 5. to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

There are those among us that often have an adverse reaction to slogans, particularly if they sound laboured and/or overly wordy. Slogans can quickly be overused and lose their meaning, no matter how sincere the message. In our own diocese, half a dozen churches are now using the permutation of Open Hearts, Open Doors, Open Minds, which is the United Methodist’s trademarked phrase expression for its mission for evangelism. It began with Christ Church Cathedral adopting Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds and when parish leaders were challenged by the United Methodist’s they responded that by moving the phrases around there was no trademark infringement. Also the use of “Open Door” is an homage to the first sermon preached in the current Church building, February 17th, 1894, when the rector took the text from Revelation 3 for his homily, “I hold before you an open door.” It’s a compelling argument indeed and apparently enough to begrudgingly satisfy the United Methodists. And now numerous churches in the Diocese of New Westminster use a version of this phrase as their slogan, some use the exact wording of the United Methodist’s trademark phrase and some use the Cathedral’s adaptation, regardless, it’s pretty darn popular in these parts. In the April 14th, 2012, issue of his

blog, Mission Minded, Episcopal deacon and author Jesse Zink published a piece entitled Episcopal/Anglican Slogans. In it, he relates an experience he had in a seminary class with classmates listing slogans, phrases, related to the Episcopal Church, Anglicanism or both. His main premise here is that there is an entirely separate and almost equally large list that relates to Anglicans and Mission and for the most part they are ineffective in terms of marketing, and they are theologically incorrect. Among those he lists are the Five Marks of Mission. He says “I can never remember the Five Marks of Mission, mainly because they don’t really grab me.” This is not the main thesis of his blog entry but that line certainly rang a bell with me. Why did the bell ring? Because three or four months ago when the National Church (ACoC not TEC) began circulating bookmarks and posters with The Marks of Mission pleasantly printed in a nice design, creative director/brand strategist/message architect Rod Mackin who happens to be a member of the Diocesan Communications Committee (CommComm) had quietly circulated a word document entitled, The Marks of Mission in Plain English. here they are: 1. Share the good news 2. Welcome new believers 3. help people in need 4. Work to make things fairer 5. Look after the planet.

He later modified the heading to Tweeting the Marks of Mission and changed number two from “Welcome new believers” to “Welcome Everyone.” I think that if The Rev. Zink had heard these first he might have felt a little differently about them. Who knows? I like this reductionist trend and I am going to follow it in my own personal faith journey. Because I kind of like these two slogans: Jesus loves me and God is Love. I wonder if they’ll catch on? 

“By sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of eternal life, keep us in the unity of your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory.”

we have done those things that we ought not to have done. And there is no health in us.”¹ Then the Book of Alternative Services at our Baptism lays on us that we have to “seek and serve Christ in all persons.” We are “to strive for justice and peace among all people.” We are to “respect the dignity of every human being.”² This does not leave much room for trivia. In a world that has forgotten God there is every possibility that the mundane and apathetic way of life can be seen as the accepted way of life. It is then the respon-

sibility of those who are religious, especially the ones who are also spiritual, to hold forth a greater vision. There is purpose for life that is to be continuously proclaimed before all humanity. For Christians entering into this Season of Pentecost there has to be a reality check. If that which we call the Holy Spirit is to have meaning, then we need to take to heart the prayer of Pentecost. “By sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of eternal life, keep us in the unity of your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory.” That is what we ask of God, and of ourselves.³ It appears that there is a great deal more for all of us to do than what we have been doing. We may still enjoy hors d’oeuvres, but should also engage in the real existence journey, joining the conversation for all ages. We need to participate in the care and nurture of life at a deep level. We too, must ask our Higher Power. “Send forth your spirit, o Lord, and renew the face of the earth.”     Psalm 104: 30

Oh dear! The summer months are coming. Perhaps we can put off the above until fall.  ¹ Book of Common Prayer (BCP), page 19 ² Book of Alternate Service (BAS), page 159 ³ BAS, page 345

THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT SUMMER! Topic thanks you for your support over the past ten issues. The Anglican Journal and Topic do not publish during the months of July and August. We will be back in early September. The deadline for the September issue of Topic is Tuesday, August 7th, 2012. We look forward to your submissions. REMEMBER! The diocesan website at is updated regularly with news and information of interest to Topic readers. Also, check out Anglican Conversation on Facebook at

“Have a wonderful summer!” Randy Murray, Topic Editor and Jennifer Ewing, Topic Designer


The Gospel According to Bully Phil Colvin Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator, Youth Ministry Coordinator St. Francis-in-the-Wood, West Vancouver

YOUTH CONNECTIONS News & Events for Youth in the Diocese of New Westminster youth groups For Parish Youth Groups go to contact Diocesan Youth Coordinator Phil Colvin 604.684.6306 ext. 225 (Wednesdays and Fridays)

• Save the Date •

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Mental Health First Aid Training Day This fall, the Diocesan Youth Movement will be offering a one day training opportunity for youth workers, camp staff and anyone else who ministers with young people and children. Staff from the Canadian Mental Health Association will join us to provide basic information on mental health problems such as substance related disorders, mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Participants will gain knowledge on how to identify and support young people displaying the signs or symptoms of these disorders using the framework of Responding with Respect.

Mark the day in your agendas: DATE Saturday, September 22nd TIME 10 am – 2 pm PLACE Parish of St. Matthias & St. Luke in Vancouver

More information, including how to register, will be sent out over the summer.

“…when we allow ourselves to engage in behavior which uses the gospel as a defense for bullying, ridicule or establishing a position of power over others inside and out of the church, those little words become very dangerous things indeed.” One of the more interesting discussions in cinema over the past few months has been the very public disagreement between Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and The Weinstein Company on the documentary, Bully. The film seeks to bring to light the hidden lives of bullied children, and tells the stories of two children who committed suicide after being victims of bullying for many years. The controversy arose when the MPAA decided to award the movie a Restricted certificate on the basis of several instances of strong language which occur within it. That would have required any young person who wanted to view the movie to do so with a parent or guardian. The Weinstein Company expressed their determination to have the movie viewed by school and church groups, and argued that a lighter PG-13 rating was more appropriate given the context of the expletives and the importance of the authenticity in conveying the movie’s message. After many press statements and threats from both sides, a compromise was reached which allowed the film to obtain a PG-13 with three strong expletives remaining (MPAA rules typically allow a PG-13 film to contain one such usage). The debate itself says much about our approach to censorship and what is appropriate or inappropriate for young viewers. It was interesting to note that, at the same time the Bully debate was raging, the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games was passed uncut as PG-13 despite featuring many scenes of teenagers attacking and killing one another, on the basis that little blood was shown onscreen and there were no expletives. However, a perhaps more important observation is the question of why the movie contains such language in the first place. The scenes in question all follow young people in their daily lives, witnessing the instances of physical and verbal abuse which they suffer at school, on school buses and when they encounter peers elsewhere. It’s clear that the cameras are not hidden, and the fact that most of the faces of bullies and bullied children alike attest to the fact that footage was not obtained covertly. Yet there is no attempt to hide aggressive behavior from the cameras. It might be argued that, in some instances, the bullies are ‘performing’ for the camera. The shocking fact of Bully isn’t the discovery that bullying behavior happens, but that it appears to be normal, accepted behavior. This is born out both in the attitude of those in the documentary footage, and the stories told in the interviews with parents, teachers and young people

which document open acknowledgement of bullying behavior by schools, neighbors and churches. One particularly affecting moment comes when the church-going parent of a lesbian daughter admits that his tolerance and empathy has been built solely through his experiences of treatment received by his daughter by fellow Christians. If it were anybody else’s child, he would have joined them in shunning the girl and her family, or worse. One of the considerations as we rehearsed Godspell! at the Cathedral in May was the question of why our teenage Shesus would be persecuted by her youth leader and her peers. The words she speaks are almost entirely taken from the Gospel of Matthew; what could any church find objectionable about them? What became obvious very quickly was that it really had nothing to do with theology; it was about power. Each cast member with any involvement in the Church had a story of bullying; overt or otherwise, from figures of authority, whether it be the youth leader who singles out an absent young person for ridicule at the next youth group meeting, or the parish council member who chides a fellow member of the church and is not countered by anyone else in the room. In all cases, it was clear to us that churches which modeled bullying behavior as a means to build or maintain power, or did not seek to counter it when it was displayed, would just as quickly normalize that behavior into the attitude of the whole church as in any schoolyard. We in the mainline church often take some comfort from the saying attributed to St. Francis of Assisi that we should “always remember to preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.” The challenge of Bully, and of our Godspell!, is that when we allow ourselves to engage in behavior which uses the gospel as a defense for bullying, ridicule or establishing a position of power over others inside and out of the church, those little words become very dangerous things indeed. 

“The shocking fact of Bully isn’t the discovery that bullying behavior happens, but that it appears to be normal, accepted behavior.”

Topic, June 2012  

The Summer Issue of the Diocese of New Westminster's print publication published 10 times a year