St. Francis-in-the-Wood Anglican Church
Spring Newsletter, 2012
Welcome to the Spring 2012 edition of the St. Francis-in-the-Wood Newsletter!
IN THIS EDITION •
Financials at a Glance
A Call to Conversation: Update and Phase 2
Update from the Wardens
Messy Church at St. Monica and St. Francis
Youth Ministry at St. Francis
‘One Foot in the Grave’ report
Reflections on Spring and the Lenten Paradox
Worship through Theatre: Godspell!
Update on Prayer Shawl Ministry
Thank Yous from the 2012 Vestry Meeting
Upcoming Events at St. Francis-in-the-Wood
Inside this issue you’ll find reports and pictures from our recent events; both at St. Francis and further afield including an update on our Call to Conversation vision process. You can also find out about what’s happening this summer. We’re always on the lookout for contributions! Contact the St. Francis Office: 2012 Liturgy of the Palms on the green in Caulfeild Cove 4773 South Piccadilly Road, West Vancouver, V7W 1J8 604 922 3531; firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.stfrancisinthewood.ca
FINANCIALS AT A GLANCE
Member givings are running below budget for the month and year to date. In addition year to date givings have decreased from 2011 by $11,514 or 25.1% which included several major donations. These donations to the operating fund are not anticipated to re-occur this year. On the positive, preauthorized automatic deposits increased by $1,833 or 6.4% and open collections increased by $182 or 28% over 2011. Total church expenses (year to date) have increased over 2011 by 4,989 or 9%. The increase is due to: • Increased ordained ministry costs of $9,946 due to our investment in the Associate Priest and the end of contributions from St. Monica’s; • Increased utilities, taxes & maintenance costs of $1,202 which are paid early in the year. The increase in expenses is offset by: • Decrease in diocesan assessment $192;
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Decrease in worship and education expenses due to deposits received for the Rivendell retreat $2,450 and will be expensed in May; Decrease in spending in church programs of $2,172 due to timing; Decrease in spending church office expenses $1,345 due to timing.
Overall our total expenses are better than budget due to the deposit monies for the retreat and the delayed timing of expenses in the other areas. Overall our YTD operating deficit (before recoveries and interest) is ($11, 752) versus a surplus on $4,751 in 2011. Increased member giving and fundraising activities will be required to ensure our budget deficit of ($40,301) is met for the year. Terry Joyce - Treasurer
A CALL TO CONVERSATION PHASE 1
n early February we held six “Call to Conversation” sessions with between eight and thirty-two people taking part in each session. Overall about ninety people participated in this first round of discussions, some who have joined us in the past year and others who have been part of this community for decades. The purpose of the conversations was to give us, as a parish community, the opportunity to revisit some basic questions about what it means to be the Church – what is our “mission”? What is our purpose? At their most basic these questions can be expressed simply as: • What is the Church? • What is the Church FOR?
It is important to ask these questions lest we become complacent and stuck in established patterns having lost sight of why we do what we do. It is about seeking and retaining a fresh vision of the Church in the world today. A first step (and it is only a first step) is to ask ourselves what the church has meant to us in the past. To answer the questions “What is the Church and what is it for?” we have to ask ourselves what it has meant to us. Why are we part of the Church? Any church and specifically this church. In answer to the questions “Why do I come to St. Francis? How did I start going there, and what has kept me coming back?” participants in the conversations gave a wide range of answers which I have attempted group into categories as follows: INTER-PERSONAL FELLOWSHIP Someone invited me to come Welcoming community that is inclusive and accepting A sense of being rooted in a community Extended multi-generational family
A place/community to find friends and teachers Where I can be with other seekers A place/community where I am accepted Where I am known by others Where I feel loved A place to belong, where I can be myself Comfortable – at home The energy of a loving church brings me home Being with others who are like-minded It’s OK not to fit in (fellowship of misfits?) Being with others who are different – challenging, thought-provoking Safe to be “out of the box” Where I can find my place Singing in the choir Tolerance A gathering of people Not a club SPIRITUAL SUSTENANCE A spiritual experience Ancient roots of Christianity and Judaism A place/community to explore the mystery of life Worshipping God and learning about God A focal point of connection to God Getting to know God Freedom from rigidity Gives a sense of groundedness in life Pushing back the boundaries of understanding Evolving interpretation Grappling with the questions of life (especially in the Wednesday morning group) A spirit of enquiry Honest exploration of doubts and questions The pageantry of Anglican tradition (typified by Christ Church Cathedral) The ritual of Anglican liturgy – a sense of drama/theatre Openness to fresh expressions The Eucharist Music – the beauty of worship “The church my mother should have gone to” Being part of the story A reminder of values in life Provides a moral compass A spiritual framework
Rev. Angus Stuart serves the drinks before one of the Call to Conversation sessions at St. Francis (photo courtesy of Louise Selby)
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It “centres” us A liberal outlook The quality of preaching, teaching and leadership Risk-taking leadership Learning the teachings of Christ A spiritual “filling station” Openness to inter-faith dialogue The dynamic of new and old traditions Continuity between tradition and change Healing ministry Time for meditation A place of introspection and reflection Prayer changes things Need for developing a personal prayer life A place of witness and nurture A place to use my gifts Connection with Francis of Assisi
OUTREACH & MINISTRY Witness to faith Being God’s body in the world Participation in Social Concerns Being part of something bigger than yourself Part of a global people of faith
Rev. Janice Lowell (photo courtesy of Louise Selby)
FAMILY CONNECTIONS & SIGNIFICANT MOMENTS Funeral Marriage Having children Children and Sunday School Support in challenging times Comfort after my spouse’s death Experiencing changes in life Guidance in decisions in life Life memories/cycles of life/rites of passage Giving thanks Finding peace The communion of the saints (living & departed) Easter on the rocks PHYSICAL SPACE A special place A place of escape from the outside world A respite and a refuge Located in the woods by the sea Stained glass and music A beautiful sanctuary A house of prayer Small and intimate Easy to feel close to God in a place of beauty Close to nature Ancient rocks It’s my closest church A neighbourhood church
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Why do YOU come to St. Francis? And what keeps you coming back? No doubt you will be able to identify with many of these statements; for most of us there is a combination of factors in our decision to be part of a church – any church and specifically this church. Some factors are likely to be more important than others.
People often began by talking about the “community” of the church, its people and the feelings of love and acceptance they have found; both in terms of “likemindedness” and “variety” in the types of people, especially across the generations. The word “family” came up often. Family is a good parable for the church because in families there is both family resemblance and often tensions between different outlooks and expectations. Such tensions begin to become apparent when we listen to some of the other reasons why people are part of a church: many expressed appreciation for the opportunity to push the boundaries of spiritual exploration; but others talked about finding rootedness in the traditions and teachings of Christianity. This is not surprising, and is really a sign of health and vitality – as with the Church as a whole, there are those with a more “liberal” outlook, and those who are more “conservative” or “traditional.” Perhaps this is most keenly expressed when it comes to talking about music and worshipO. There are those among us who spoke of the beauty of traditional Anglican worship with its ritual, drama and pageantry, its music and language of the liturgy, especially the Book of Common Prayer; and others who equally strongly expressed a longing for new forms and expressions of worship, including Iona/Celtic liturgy, Gregorian chant and contemporary songs. Such difference in outlook is not of itself a negative thing; though it does present us with a challenge as we moved forward together. How to develop liturgy that is both fresh and contemporary, and yet rooted in ancient tradition and language.
WHAT DOES THE CHURCH DO? Having talked about why we come to Church (any church and specifically this church), we went on to talk about the things we have been involved in over the years. This is another way of exploring the twin questions “What is the Church?” and “What is the Church for?” Not unexpectedly, this produced a very long list of activities that I have attempted to group together: Worship services – regular and special Celebrating the Seasons The Eucharist Sacraments Sermons Leading intercessions Reading in Church Sanctuary Guild – sacristans/flowers Creating “Sacred Space” Church decorating for festivals Servers Chalice administrants Greeters Coffee hour Ecumenical “Crosswalk” services Healing services Silent Prayer
Outreach Social Concerns Francescans (in the past) Legacy Fund Lutheran Urban Mission Covenant House Guatemala Mission Martha North Shore Hospice St. Petersburg Children’s Hospice First Steps Hands On Development Initiatives Medicare for Autism Now Nkhoma Hospital, Malawi Gaza Hospital Visiting the sick and housebound Giving rides to Church Community events Social events / Special events Salmon Barbecue/Parish Picnic Fundraising events Book Sale Pub Quiz Auction of Promises Cabaret Baptisms & Baptism Preparation Weddings & Marriage Preparation Funerals/Memorials Counseling
Music Choir Youth Band Concerts Christmas Pageant Crèche/Nursery Sunday School Vacation Bible Club Cubs/Scouts (in the past) Sparks/Brownies/Guides (in the past) Youth Groups
Call to Conversation at St. Francis
Education Alpha Courses (in the past) Retreats Pilgrimages (e.g. to Assisi) Seminars/forums/workshops/courses Testament of a Naked Man (Gospel of Mark) Wednesday morning discussion group Inter-Faith Dialogue Women on a Journey Men’s Breakfasts Home Groups
Parish Council Maintaining the building Garden & Grounds upkeep Keeping accounts – treasurer; envelope sec. Administration Facilities rental and coordination Stewardship
Membership Welcoming newcomers Parish Newsletter Participation in Deanery and Diocese It’s a long list, and probably not exhaustive, just what we came up with in short brain-storming exercises in the conversations. Some have asked whether we’re trying to do too much, remembering the importance of “doing a few things well.” But bear in mind that not all of these are happening all the time, and some are no longer current. Continued overleaf
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It provides a rough sketch of whatthe-Church-is-for drawn by the outlines of these activities. It is a picture of care: care in and for our community both within the Church and beyond; care extending beyond our community reaching out to all; care for ourselves and our own spiritual nurture, and for one another as we journey together. It’s a record of where we’ve been and where we’re at; and says something about who we are.
are at, inevitably our discussions flowed on to questions of the future and where we go from here.
Already, as we talked about our experience of the parish, there was an awareness that if we are to remain healthy we need to grow and develop, to change and evolve. Change is something that can be both exciting but also threatening; many of us find change difficult. “Why can’t we continue as we are?” “Why change things just for the sake of Most of the conversation groups change?” “If it isn’t broken, why fix produced lists that included items it?” Such questions lead to from the list above. But one group passionate debates. That’s how it gave a totally different kind of response to the question “What St. Francis youth making prayers at Christ is when we care about something deeply; and part of making does the Church DO?” They came Church Cathedral for this year’s discussions constructive rather confirmation preparation retreat up with a list primarily made up of than destructive is to recognize verbs: eat, pray, love, heal, learn, and respect the care that we each have from our decorate, connect, inspire, repose, search, inform, differing perspectives. nurture, reflect, celebrate, console, respect, discover, share, honour, respond, comfort, meditate, challenge, As we journey together, we walk a fine line between contain, refresh, welcome, remember, develop, sing, the tendency to be over-satisfied with how things are laugh, grieve, reach out, create, replenish, drink wine, and the all-too-human tendency to over-compensate question, wonder, cry, deliver flowers, care, the other way and spiral into despondency and participate, sustain, satiate, socialize. despair. Maybe it’s part of our Christian heritage (?) that we are prone to send ourselves, and especially This gives us a different view of the Church, one that one another, on a “guilt-trip” whereby everything is is not so much made up of all the various activities wrong and nothing is right; forgetting all the good we’re engaged in, but one that goes behind this things that have brought us here in the first place and picture to let us see something of why we are doing all have kept us coming back. That’s a kind of health these things. It would perhaps be an interesting warning as we embark on some of the more difficult exercise to go through the list of activities above and questions in discerning how we are to grow and match them with the verbs that express what the change. activities are really all about. This will be the primary focus of the next round of CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITES conversations to take place after Easter. But already certain areas for potential change and development On the whole this first round of conversations have begun to emerge from the first round – the generated a lot of positive energy. It was encouraging challenges and opportunities to: to hear one another’s stories; and it was helpful to • Develop hospitality for newcomers reflect on the vitality of our life together in this parish. • Take our faith into the community St. Francis-in-the-Wood is a lively and healthy parish • Reach out to those in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s community. • Make our worship more engaging & varied • Deepen the sense of “Sacred Space” It is good to be affirmed and encouraged, but it is • Engage the “Spiritual-but-not-Religious” important that we do not indulge ourselves in • Share the Good News stories we have to tell complacent self-satisfaction. That would defeat the • Provide for young families and children object of this whole process which is to counter such • Care for seniors (especially with mobility issues) tendencies. Although the primary purpose of this first • Develop lay leadership round of conversations was to take stock of where we
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That in itself is quite a list. If we can make a dent in that in the next little while we will be doing well. But we still have work to do in terms of identifying how specifically we are going to address these challenges; the specific, practical, achievable, measurable goals we want to set ourselves. We also have work to do in terms of the bigger picture of who and what we wish to become as a Christian community at St. Francis-in-the-Wood. What would we like to be known for? “St. Francis-in-the-Wood is that place whereO.” This is about our “Vision.” That much over-used word that is about how we conceive ourselves – who/what we wish to become and be; and more than this, it is about what place the Church is to have in the world of
tomorrow. Or to put it another way, what does God want us to be and become? What is God’s vision for us? In keeping with what Jesus said about those who wish to save their life will lose it and those who lose their life shall save it, I cannot help feeling that if the Church clings to survival merely for the sake of survival it will not survive; but in as much as it is prepared to let go and become something new it will do so. What that will be, and what it will look like, who can tell? That is where we are invited to dream dreams and see new visions! Angus Stuart Rector
CALL TO CONVERSATION LOOKING AHEAD - PHASE 2 Whether or not you were able to take part in Phase 1 of the “Call to Conversation,” all parishioners are warmly invited and encouraged to take part in Phase 2 when will look in more detail at the future.
What specific goals should we aim for in the next five years?
What strategies do we need to put in place to achieve such goals?
We will talking together about questions such as: •
What will be the place of the Church in the world of tomorrow?
How would we like St. Francis-in-the-Wood to be known by others? Youth group Epiphany prayer and year planning event
Once again, in order to accommodate as many people as possible with their varied schedules and time commitments, we are holding a number of conversations at various times on the following days: Sunday, April 29 after the 10am service. A simple lunch will be provided. Wednesday, May 2 at 12 noon A simple lunch will be provided. Thursday, May 3 at 7pm Evening refreshments will be provided. Saturday, May 5 at 9:30am Muffins and coffee/tea will be provided. Sunday, May 6 after the 10am service. A simple lunch will be provided. The aim will be to have groups of 10-15 people. There will be sign up sheets in the Parish Lounge or you can register at: The Parish Office: 604-922-3531 or email@example.com
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FURTHER THOUGHTS AND CLARITY ON THE ADDITION OF A FOURTH WARDEN
t the Vestry in February, a motion was presented on my behalf, seconded by Mark Ballard and accepted by the Vestry to add another Warden. It became apparent this year that personal factors impact the presence of Wardens: personal and family health, and holidays make it difficult to ensure that at least one warden is available at all times. To ensure the parish is well served, we thought that the addition of a Warden would be helpful.
The Rector’s Warden is an appointed position and Angus has retained the right of the minister to appoint that Warden. The appointment is determined by the Rector but he has indicated that it will be for two years with the possibility of one more by mutual agreement. This keeps it in line with the elected Wardens. The People’s Warden and two Associate Wardens (one we named Emeritus or Past People’s Warden) are elected. These elections are held annually. The term is for three years. This is in compliance with the regulating documents from the Diocese which are attached for your information and interest. Mark, Grant and I all support this clarified structure. It is important that there be one Warden designated with the job of looking out for the interests of the Rector; someone who will tell him/her when he/she needs to take a break; someone who will be a non-judgmental confidante; someone who will advocate for the Rector in salary negotiations (for example) and so on. The Parish Community is represented by three elected Wardens to whom ideas, concerns or recommendations may be directed. We see that this will provide clarity to the roles and responsibilities of a Warden. 2013: • Rector’s Warden: to be appointed • Past People’s Warden (or Emeritus): Kathleen Glynn-Morris • People’s Warden: Grant Stiver • Associate Warden: to be elected
W e are a spiritual community journeying together and focused on our collective best interests.
SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER Page 46 - 47 Act, Constitution, Canons, Rules of Order and Regulations CCR Release 3.30 (June 2008) Text Current as of close of the 107th Session CCR ReleaseDivision 2 - Parish Officers 1421. (a) Unless varied in accordance with this Division 2 of Canon 14, every Parish shall have two Wardens. [New 87th Session] (b) Of the Church Wardens one shall be appointed by the Minister in charge of the Parish and the other(s) shall be elected by the Vestry, or all may be elected by the Vestry, if the Minister so prefers.[Part 7(4); Part 1421] (c) If there be no Minister in charge of the Parish at the time fixed for the appointment or election of Wardens, one shall be appointed by the Bishop and the other be elected by the Vestry. The Church Warden so appointed shall remain in office until the Minister in charge of the Parish has been appointed and has nominated a Church Warden. [7(5); 1422] (d) Church Wardens must be members who have the right to vote at the time of their election or appointment and shall be communicants of at least one year's standing and at least twenty-one years of age. [7(4); Part 1421] (e) If the office of a Warden who must be elected by the Vestry shall become vacant before the Annual Vestry meeting, a meeting of the Vestry shall be called within 30 days to elect a successor. If the office of a Warden who may be appointed by the minister in charge of the parish shall become vacant before the Annual Vestry Meeting, the minister shall appoint a successor or cause a meeting of the Vestry to be called within 30 days to elect a successor. [7(6); 1423] (f) The duties of the Church Wardens are to oversee, care for and administer, buildings, records, and funds of the Parish, to make an annual report and to have made an audited financial statement for the Annual Vestry Meeting. Provided however that the Wardens may delegate these responsibilities to other persons with the consent of the Church Committee. The Church Wardens shall also as s is t in gu id in g the im p l em e n t a t i o n of t h e programs of the Parish and generally share with the Minister in charge the pastoral and spiritual concerns of the Parish. [7(7); 1424]
Mark Ballard, Kathleen Glynn-Morris and Grant Stiver
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(g) Instead of the two Wardens prescribed by Canon 1421 (a) a Vestry may, by a resolution (in this Canon 1421.(g) called an "Alternate Warden Structure Resolution) obtaining a three quarters majority of those present and entitled to vote at a properly constituted meeting of Vestry, permanently choose to have either: (i) Three Wardens; or (ii) Two Wardens and one Associate Warden; or (iii) Two Wardens and two Associate Wardens. An Alternate Warden Structure Resolution made pursuant to this Canon 1421.(g) may be rescinded by a resolution (in this Canon 1421.(g) called a "Warden Structure Rescinding
Resolution") obtaining a three quarters majority of those present and entitled to vote at a properly constituted meeting of Vestry. The Church Committee Secretary shall file with the Registrar of the Diocese a certified copy of each Alternate Warden Structure Resolution and each Warden Structure Rescinding Resolution within 14 days of the passing of such resolution. [New - 87th Session as clause (h); renumbered & amended 102nd Session].
Kathleen Glynn-Morris People’s Warden
How to Boost Energy, Lose Weight, Balance Hormones and Get Connected! Sunday May 6th 12:30pm – 2:30 pm following a light lunch Join Caroline Sutherland, parishioner and bestselling author of The Body Knows How to Stay Young for this informative and enlightening afternoon. If you’re curious about alternative medicine or anti-aging strategies, this presentation is for you. Caroline will be joined by Leslie Keenan R.N., of New Moon Health, an organization which offers natural hormone balancing information for men and women, and Rev. Dr. John Kessel who will discuss the importance of spiritual connection, and lead the closing meditation. The purpose of the afternoon is to introduce you to practical suggestions for weight loss, hormone balancing, energy boosting and connection to spirit – for juice, joy and zest for life!
Fellowship from the cookery workshop in aid of Social Concerns at St. Francis, February 2012
Come and join us! Cost $25 per person or $45 per couple (All proceeds go to Social Concerns) Register with the St. Francis parish office 604 922 3531, firstname.lastname@example.org
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INTRODUCINGA MESSY CHURCH
uring the canonical process and our Call to Conversation sessions in February, one of the recurrent themes was ministry to young families with children. This was also one of the areas of ministry identified at a Visioning Session at St. Monica. Phil Colvin, Elizabeth Ferguson (St. Monica) and I met to brainstorm ways in which we could connect with young families with children. The concept of Messy Church seemed to fit the need. Messy Church started in England (you can google it) and is a program to involve the whole family for about 2 hours, not on a Sunday. The children and parent or parents arrive and all do some sort of craft for about 45 minutes or so. Then there is a short service of about 15 minutes. This would not be a normal service, but would probably have a song, a story and a prayer. After this all would gather together to share a meal. One of the objects of Messy Church is to invite the community in to share, to celebrate, to play together and possibly learn a little. I am sure there are many people in our neighbourhood who do not darken the door because they have preconceived ideas about what goes on. We would not expect the Messy Church participants to engage in our Sunday services, although that would be wonderful! The goal is to create a parallel community of 'seekers' whose hectic schedules do not allow for a Sunday morning experience. There are three Anglican churches that I
am aware of in the lower mainland that operate this program. One church started with about 4 people and now they have had up to 70 people participate. We decided to proceed with a “Messy Church” pilot. We will invite parishioners, of all ages, from both communities to come and experience “Messy Church.” and help us to determine if we want to proceed formally. Hopefully some will be inspired to become part of this ministry. While we know it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a committed team to provide Messy Church. If there is support, the plan is to host this monthly, alternating between the two parishes, possibly on a Friday evening or Saturday late afternoon. St. Monica’s will host “Messy Church,” on Saturday, June 9, 4-6pm. Our theme will be “New Life in the Spirit,” as this falls shortly after Pentecost. I have two reference books, so we will not be starting from scratch - they include multiple crafts, even recipes for the shared meal. Participating in this pilot does not commit you any further, but hopefully some of you will have you a taste of a ministry that appeals to you. I do hope you might be interested in helping with this project. Please let me know if you would be willing to participate in the pilot. We will have an organizational meeting at St. Monica’s on Saturday, April 14 at 10am. "Let's get the party started!"
Vacation Bible Club at St. Francis
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Janice Lowell Associate Priest
The Format 4.00pm - 5.00pm Messy Craft - An hour of craft and other activities in the church hall 5.00pm – 5.15pm Messy Worship - A short time of celebration in the church as we draw together everything we've been looking at today 5.15pm – 6.00pm Messy Meal - No need to rush home to feed the family - relax and have a meal with us
at St Monica’s Church, Horseshoe Bay on Saturday, June 9, 4 pm - 6pm Have you thought about going to church but Sundays just seem to be too busy? Would you like to spend some quality time as a family while learning more about God? Would you like to meet other families in your area? Then Messy Church is just for you....
There is no charge for Messy Church, although donations are always gratefully received. For more information, contact Rev. Janice Lowell at email@example.com or the St. Monica’s Church Office at 604-921-9112.
A relaxed and informal church with a warm welcome for the whole family with crafts, songs, drama, food - and plenty of opportunity to have fun and make a mess! Children - a place to meet new friends, learn new things Mums, dads, grandads, grandmas - a place to spend quality time with your children and grandchildren and make links with other families Young people – fabulous activities and a chance to help younger brothers and sisters *Please note that all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
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FINDING OUR ROLES YOUTH MINISTRY AT ST. FRANCIS
t the end of March, several members of the youth group gathered with young people from around the Lower Mainland for our annual diocesan retreat at Camp Artaban. This year’s weekend, The Saints Rise, featured a combination of sessions, games, worship services and meals all themed around stories of saints and sainthood. During the opening worship, Rev. Chris Dierkes from Christ Church Cathedral offered a reflection that, rather than seeing saints as unattainable images of perfection, we should see them akin to actors in the drama of our lives who had found the role they were meant to play. Inspired by this, and an improvisation workshop later in the same weekend, the junior youth group spent their first Monday afternoon back at St. Francis after the weekend making their own video recreations of saints’ lives. And, for a reflection on Holy Week, the senior youth made their own version of the Last Supper.
connections across our world, to creating life-size tracings of youth group members to reflect on inner and outer beauty. We’ve also had plenty of exciting sessions as well, using glow sticks to create some amazing photography, baking cookies on behalf of the Lutheran Urban Mission Society and joining our friends from St. Mary’s, Kerrisdale for an evening of go-karting in Richmond. Since Christmas we’ve also had our confirmation group meeting. This year, we have combined sessions at St. Francis with myself, Angus and Janice with visits and retreats around the Lower Mainland. After introductory sessions in February where we explored baptism and our knowledge and experience of God, we spent March taking part in “Holy Spirit Month” where we actively participated in various ministries to demonstrate what a Christian lifestyle looks like.
This is just one of the ways that youth ministry can help us to share the stories and mysteries of our faith with other generations in fresh and exciting ways. We’ve been exploring other types of reflection and prayer in youth groups this year. From using maps and thread to mark the important
(Above) Worship at Camp Artaban during The Saints Rise (Left) Glow stick angel at Photography Night (Right) Using a map as an aid to prayer
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(Above) Stephanie, Olivia and Vincent taking part in a reflection on inner and outer beauty (Right) A still from the senior youth group’s interpretation of the Last Supper! (Left) Making prayers from playdoh at this year’s Confirmation Preparation Retreat
We served alongside the Lutheran Urban Mission Society, joined other confirmands and Bishop Michael for a day retreat at Christ Church Cathedral and, finally, we experienced worship in a different style by attending the Palm Sunday Crosswalk service at West Vancouver Baptist Church. We will return to St. Francis for one more session, to talk about our experiences and to envision what our own Christian lives might look like after the confirmation service at the end of April. Since October, we have also had our Young Adults group meeting biweekly around West Vancouver. Typically including dinner and then a reflection (whether it be a Bible study or a movie and discussion) we’ve built up fellowship between a dozen 18 – 30 year olds who meet in different combinations depending on their work and school schedules. We will continue to meet until the summer, and hopefully be able to welcome some of our youth group graduates as they return from their time away at universities and colleges. We have also continued with many regular parts of youth group life at St. Francis. We have regularly joined the Lutheran Urban Mission Society to serve
meals at their monthly outreach at The Door is Open on East Cordova Street. And we’ve been putting our baking skills to good use by making cookies on behalf of the LUMS outreach center on Jackson Street. At Christmas, we also participated in the Covenant House Backpack Appeal. Members of the youth group helped to deliver over sixty backpacks to Covenant House in mid December, which were gratefully received! There’s plenty more planned for the summer months, including a visit to the North Vancouver Laser Dome, attending the Sorrento Centre’s Young Sojourners retreat and our end of year BBQ in June! Phil Colvin Confirmations - April 22nd Christ Church Cathedral, 4pm Join us for this year’s service of Confirmation at the Cathedral where five of our youth: Julia Gray, Sam Gray, Olivia Klaver, Sarah Thomas and Stephanie Thomas will be confirmed alongside others from around the diocese!
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ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE FOUR WORKSHOPS FROM LENT 2012
hat?! Why are you going to a talk about dying? This is my daughter speaking, and she’s looking at me in alarm. The expressions that flash across her face sayO “Are you sick? “Do you have cancer?” “Why would anyone want to talk about death?” What she says is, “Yes, but you’re not going to die for a long time.” HmmmO We spend a few minutes discussing what I hope to learn over the sessions, and why -- in the midst of good health, living in relative safety, and with most of my little grey cells still functioning -- I want to consider end-of-life issues and being prepared for that inevitable moment. This is the first of several very interesting conversations I will have with family and friends over the four weeks of “One Foot in the Grave.” And talking about death and dying, our feelings and wishes, is exactly what each of the presenters encourages. It is also, I learn, what many of those who attended the four sessions have been doing often since then.
We met in four North Shore Anglican churches and each session focused on a specific topic related to death. There was lots of time for questions and discussion and laughter! We began with some of the legal issues around wills and estates, the possibilities for planning legacies, bequests, and charitable donations. Glen Mitchell, Director of Gift Planning for the Diocese, walked us through this, using The Anglican Church as a focus of our estate stewardship. The same morning, our Associate Priest, Janice Lowell, helped us grapple with wills and how important they are for our partners and children. We also discussed, among many things, the Enduring Power of Attorney, Living Wills and No C a r d i o p u l m o n a r y Resuscitation. These need discussion with family members, often, and with our doctors. Our wishes are important, and what we plan for, makes our care in life and in death much easier for family.
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The Reverend Trevor Fischer addressed “Planning Your Funeral,” described as “your last act of public service.” In this, we are helping people face their own mortality. The service or rituals we and our survivors plan will help those living to face grief, the grief that is part of our loving. With laughter and by sharing experiences, we covered off Anglican liturgy and customs, readings, eulogies, hymns and music, and the reception that follows. Again, communicate with everyone who might need to know what you want, and know that your wishes won’t necessarily be followed! On the third Saturday, discussion focused on the assistance and services provided by Funeral Homes & Directors, Memorial societies, and decisions to be made about burial and cremation. The Reverends Angus Stuart and John Kessel delivered the final session. A beautiful old mantle clock John had repaired sat on a table, ticking and striking on the hour and half-hour. It became the metaphor for our lives, a reminder of the moments passing. John spoke of Jesus’ bequest: “my peace I give to you” and how that peace can be part of all our living. Our lives are better when we deal with regrets or guilt, take the time to talk and to create deep relationships. Angus brought us the “Top five regrets of the dying” which included: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings, and I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. He asked us to consider: What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die? Before our closing prayers, Angus read from the poet, Kahlil Gibran, “On Death”: “For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered.” Deb Rollins
REFLECTIONS ON SPRING AND THE LENTEN PARADOX
t is a call to live in balance, the season of Lent which we are now ending. During these days we ponder what we know is comingO a triumphal entry, a sacred meal, a betrayal, a kangaroo court, a gruesome execution, waiting, waiting and then rebirth. And yet during this time, we are surrounded by sign of rebirth. It’s as if creation can’t wait, or perhaps this is nature’s way of carrying us in hope.
Snowdrops with your petals bed in prayer simple, pure, reflective, humble, bestowing blessing on the earth.
Pussy Willows baby down hair birthed every spring and yet eternal. you remind us throughout the year that you will come again. simple, sweet, miraculous, soft, Infant.
Forsythia Brilliant of sun flashing into the brightness of spring. your persistence through the darkness, coldness of winter, rebirth embodied, bush of fire. God speaks.
Crocus purple and white lent and easter petals reaching skyward in prayer. new life once more, dormant for months, but the ground cannot contain you. your will to live pushes upward towards the light through the darkness of the soul. We never die, but spirit cycling from one realm to another. flower of hope flower of promise flower of grace. Janice Lowell
Daffodils colour of light facing up, out & down; beacon to all; shouting trumpet! I am here. I have risen! No chains of death on me; if only I could sing, you do hear me, don’t you?
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WORSHIP THROUGH THEATRE
ince November, I’ve been spending my Sunday afternoons singing and dancing with a group of other young adults at Christ Church Cathedral. We’re the cast of a new production of Godspell; the classic 70s musical which is currently enjoying a successful revival on Broadway. We’re getting ready for two public performances at the end of May. However, although the (Above and below) Godspell cast in rehearsal at Christ Church Cathedral singing and dancing is a lot of show (which is being ably assisted by Michael fun, the most exciting thing about this production is Hutchinson) You can also see some of the work we’re that it marks a new ministry in the Diocese of New doing by visiting the website of our fictional youth Westminster. More to the point; it’s worship. group at: www.stjudesyouth.wordpress.com The initiative for bringing together a theatre community came from the Cathedral’s Youth and Children’s Minister, Kate Newman. She got in contact with David Taylor and Andrew Halladay, both priests of the diocese who have had experience staging musicals before (they directed a production of Godspell at Vancouver School of Theology, which featured our very own Janice Lowell!) They put an audition call out to churches across the Lower Mainland; but made it clear the emphasis of this project wasn’t simply to find great singers and actors; but young adults who’d like to be part of an experiment in worship ministry. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of singing and dancing when you come see the show on May 26th! But hopefully you’ll also experience some of the work that’s been going on in the background. This production of Godspell takes place in a youth group, and for several months we’ve been developing the characters and thinking about the issues we will be portraying by doing improvisation together, and by writing websites and publicity in character. You’ll see examples of what we’ve come up with in the staging of the
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As we’ve been exploring issues in the lives of teenagers, we’ve been putting those stories into the show. Godspell follows a modern day character of Jesus as he forms a new community of disciples before he’s betrayed by Judas. In our production; Judas is the priest who leads the youth group and Jesus is a new and strange kid who helps bring the group together into a loving community, but who then suffers the isolation and bullying that many young people face. Oh, and our Jesus is a girl! All the classic songs are there, and there is a lot of fun in the show (after all, it’s a musical!) but our hope is that we’ll also show you another perspective on the life of Jesus, the role of the Church and struggles our young people can face even when we believe we’ve created safe, loving spaces for them. I can’t wait to see you all there! Phil Colvin There are two performances of Godspell at 1pm and 7pm on May 26th. You can buy tickets online at www.tinyurl.com/godspell2012 Or you can buy your tickets directly from Phil Colvin!
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
n the Winter Newsletter, I included an article about a Prayer Shawl Ministry. This is an opportunity for people to provide a prayerful gift of a knitted or crocheted shawl to someone who is in need. It might be someone in the hospital, a care home, a shut-in, someone grieving the loss of a loved one or a person simply experiencing a rough time in their life. It can also be a gift of celebration, such as at a wedding, baptism, confirmation or graduation. A small cross is tied to the shawl, along with a prayer. Recipients of these shawls share that they feel the love and arms of the whole congregation around them, supporting them and being with them. It is a very tangible way of being the loving arms of God.
Anyone interested in participating in this ministry, we will be meeting following the Wednesday Morning Bible Study, the 3rd Wednesday of the month, beginning April 18, at 12 noon. If you have never knit or it’s been a while, please join us. Lots of assistance will be available. Any donations of yarn or money are appreciated and may be left in the office with Liz. Janice Lowell
A few of us have been busy knitting prayer shawls, and they were blessed at the Wednesday Morning Eucharist on Mar 21. These shawls are available for any parishioner to give to someone in need. They will be kept in the storage room next to the office, and a registry book is available in the church office, to indicate to whom the prayer shawl is being given.
A FEW THANK YOUS! FROM THE 2012 ANNUAL VESTRY MEETING It is my privilege as People’s Warden to say a few thank yous. I would like to thank all of those who served on the Canonical Committee leading us to the Reverend Janice Mount Lowell. It was a wonderful group who brought to the process diverse backgrounds and experiences and served the Parish well. It was also an incredible opportunity for the two parishes of St. Francis and St. Monica’s to bond.
grace. It is exciting that Mark has gone on to further his education yet is still nearby. I would like to thank Liz Young for being the new, friendly and enthusiastic face in the office. She has not only brought her expertise in office and accounting systems, streamlined the whole production but she has even found us cost savings. Liz, as with Lynn and Mark, has her own style and is a joy to be around. I would like to thank Brent Morgan for his years of service to this church. It is beautifully and lovingly cared for. I have never been here when it was anything but shining. And if you look at the floor, you can see your face reflected back.
I would like to thank Mark Galvani for doing yeoman’s service by stepping in to manage a church office. It was a trial by fire, and he survived, and in fact excelled in spades. Everyone entering the office was greeted with a smile and his unflappable Lunch during the Call to Conversation series
I would like to thank Caitlin Beaupré for her gift of music that she shares with so many. In my 33 years at St. Francis, I have never seen such a large and dedicated choir.
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Penny, you have been a fabulous Rector’s Warden, and are the best role model for Warden that I could have had. Your generosity of time, experience and leadership have been so nurturing to both Mark and I. You kept us on a steady course through the challenges of the Canonical Committee, through the Parish Council meetings always with I would like to thank Phil Colvin a smile – and an inquiring, for his remarkable insight and perceptive question. Your leadership dedication to the youth of this carried St. Francis forward another Parish. The difference that he year and we are in better shape makes in so many lives has a because of you. It was devastating ripple effect that we can only for us all when you had to step imagine. Your respectful down, and we knew it was not a honouring of diversity is an decision taken lightly. Thank you for inspiration, and the outreach continuing to provide advice and Making personalized baptismal robes actions, in particular the Lutheran during this year’s confirmation classes wisdom when it is sought. And, thank Urban Mission (LUMS) downtown you Penny for being an amazing is noteworthy. Most remarkable is your access to the person, an old and wonderful soul, and a very valued youth here. They value and trust your leadership and friend. I shall miss you. are secure in the knowledge that you are only a text away. Plus, thank you for your thoughtful sermons Now Mark! Look at that face! I cannot tell you what that having us thinking about what has been said for that smile does to me. Mark is so full of joy. It is quite a time. infectious, and he is fun to be with. However, Mark also brings a wealth of experience and practical Janice you are a new gift to us. You are a wonderful advice to the church. Mark, with his business and complement to Angus and between the two of you a marketing background is able to provide valuable great team is developing. Thank you for your wisdom, insight in directions we may wish to explore. I am insightful kindness and the inspirational way you looking forward to the next year with you at the helm. express your spirituality. It is exciting for us all to anticipate some the new directions that you challenge Terry, as Treasurer, has had a challenging time us to take. advising us with a range of possibilities. I know that he has had sleepless nights, worries and frustrations, but Angus, you are a wonderful leader. You have taken at the end of the day his advice is highly valued and us down paths that we may not have otherwise respected by the whole parish. I have very much explored. You have challenged us with your sermons appreciated the move to a powerpoint of graphs and and inspired us with The Testament of a Naked Man charts making access to us all much greater. Thank which has become part of St. Francis’ outreach. You you for your experience, your wisdom and your sense have made Thomas Merton part of all of our lives. of humour! It is wonderful to work with you. Your enthusiasm for the Blues and Jazz and film and Bob Dylan and obscure 78s, 45s and Leonard One of the privileges of being a Warden is that I have Cohen ... excite us all. Thank you. And thank you for been given a small lens into some of the workings of holding on to St. Monica’s until they were able to fill this church. the Priest-in-Charge position with Janice. It required you being pulled in more directions than you were I am astounded by the countless time and talent that likely to want to handle, but you did it with grace and people donate. We are very much a giving ability. community, and it starts right here. That speaks volumes of the Music Director. Caitlin, you have brought wonderful musicians, anthems and creativity to the musical offerings. You have brought joy to us all in the ‘Youth Services’ with the energy and talent of the younger members of the congregation.
Thank you Penny Collett and Mark Ballard:
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I started to write a list and realized that not only was it long, but what if I missed someone or something?
Thank you for the folded Orders of Service with the different coloured inserts. Thank you for the clean and shiny silver and the lovingly cared for linens. And thank you for the readings and prayers and countings of our offerings. Thank you for administering the chalice.
be more than â€˜just a pretty churchâ€™ by being relevant and active with our neighbours and far beyond. We are a caring community with much more than words, and our actions, initiated and inspired often by other members, speak loudly. Thank you to those who help to keep us financially viable, who pour over spreadsheets, years of financial statements and strategize new approaches, who spearhead stewardship, keep track of donations and ensure that we receive tax receipts.
Thank you for tiding up our worship space. Thank you for contributing to the newsletter. Thank you for the enticing smell of fresh coffee and for the treats that so often accompany our coffee and tea after the service. Thank you for teaching our most precious resource, our children. They are our future. Thank you for spotting the lonely, sad or new person in our midst and including them. Thank you for noticing and repairing a dripping faucet, a leaking window and treating our building as if it were your own home. Thank you for knowing what we need before we do, and doing things such as building a box to house our defibrillator that we hope to never need or repairing our hymn books. Thank you for coming down to the church in the hot and dry summer to water, week after week, the parched soil. Thank you for keeping our grounds a place of sanctuary for all. Thank you for all the baking and cooking that you have provided for Sundays, and Wednesdays and special occasions such as today. Thank you for hosting and participating in study groups.
Thank you for your healing prayers. Thank you for delivering altar flowers to those who need a lift and give the unexpected gift of being remembered with a visit and flowers. Thank you for making and delivering hot soup to those who need it, or just a conversation and a newsletter to those home bound. This can mean the world. Thank you for driving someone who no longer has easy access to worship with us. It means they do not have to be on the fringes of the community where they were once so vibrant . Thank you for sharing your stories and thoughts at the recent Call to Conversation. The last, and most important thank you is to us all. We make this Parish what it is: a remarkable, caring and generous community living lives faithful to a glorious God and Jesus Christ. We help out. We participate. We initiate. We create. We are compassionate. We go above and beyond to make St. Francis the vibrant community full of the Holy Spirit that it is. God calls us to love, and we do. Thank you! Kathleen Glynn-Morris
Thank you for helping us
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UPCOMING EVENTS AT ST. FRANCIS-IN-THE-WOOD Sunday 22nd April, 12 - 2pm “The Man and his Music” with Angus Stuart Join us after the 10am service on April 22nd as Angus is interviewed about his spiritual journey from the UK to St. Francis; including selections of music which have been important to him along the way. What inspires him? And what music evokes strong memories for him? Lunch will be served, please contact the Parish Office to let us know that you will be joining us!
Parish Picnic May 27th, after 10am service
Auction of Promises and Silent Auction
Bring a picnic lunch and come join us for our annual picnic on the green outside of St. Francis!
May 12th, from 6.30pm BID YOUR WAY TO SOME FUN
Strawberry Tea June 10th at the Rectory Come for afternoon tea with the vicar! Enjoy delicious treats and good company. Tickets will soon be available from St. Francis.
On Saturday May 12th at 7.00pm (doors open at 6.30pm) we will be holding our 2nd Auction evening and Dinner Can you make a Promise for this event? Have you a worthwhile item for the Silent Auction? This will be a fun evening whether you bid or not. Come along and bring your friends. If you have an item or a Promise – please tell Ian McBeath (firstname.lastname@example.org) If you are coming to the Dinner please book a ticket with the office