photo: Judi Paterson, Pictured from left: Finlay Craggs McLean, Pippa (Philippa) Crerar, Suhana Laudan
Pax CHRISTMAS 2011
photo by Wendy Delamont Lees of Ciao Bella Photography
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The Mystery of the Incarnation | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
his edition of PAX has a twin theme. It seeks to speak to the mystery of the Incarnation and also to one of the St. James’ mission objectives: “To develop relationships and fellowship in open, honest and spiritual ways among parishioners, with our neighbours, and those in need.” The drawing together of these themes, at this season, might lead us to wonder at the impact of Christian faith in the Incarnation on all our relationships. In other words, what happens to our relationships when we believe in the Incarnation? As we profess every Sunday at Mass, “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ… For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.” As we seek to live into this mystery by the grace of God, what happens to us? There seem to be many Christian understandings of the Incarnation, even in the life of the Church. On the one hand, I have heard parishioners talk about “incarnational theology” as the belief that Christ is in everyone and everything (this is also used as a principal rationale for “inclusivity” in terms of moral theology and ecclesial practices), to the extent that the position seems essentially panentheistic. On the other hand, I have heard parishioners refer to incarnational theology in terms of the hypostatic union (that is to say, how Christ is one person who subsisted in two natures, the human and the divine). What does the Church teach about the doctrine of the Incarnation? “At a particular moment in history, God, the second person of the Trinity, the eternally beloved Son, known sometimes as the Logos or Word, took flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth and, growing from infancy to adulthood, walked on earth in human form. Yet throughout his birth, life, death, resurrection and final exaltation, this human being, Jesus, at no time ceased to be divine, the second person of the Trinity; nor did he at any time cease to be human; nor did he at any time cease to be one person, albeit a person with both a divine and human nature; nor did at any time the divine and the human, the Creator and the creature, cease to be distinct orders
of being. In revealing himself in this way, God displayed God’s character, demonstrated the depth and irrevocable extent of God’s love for the world, showed the significance of humanity in God’s eternal purpose, and focused the relationship between the Trinity and creation in a single life, defining the mediation of God to humanity and the representation of humanity to God. Incarnation is thus the foundational Christian doctrine from which all other doctrines flow.” (Encyclopedia of Christianity, Ed. J. Bowen. Oxford University Press: New York, 2005.) For me, this is a sophisticated and nuanced elaboration of the clauses in the Nicene Creed. The impact upon our lives of this belief about Jesus Christ is revealed in the questions from the Baptismal Covenant (BAS p. 159), most especially, “Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?” (See Matthew 25:31-46.) What does living the mystery of the Incarnation look like? Well, because of the mystery of the Incarnation, into which we are called to live, we are empowered to seek and serve Christ in the other. It is precisely and only because of the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ that we are enabled and expected to seek and serve Christ in all persons. It is this seeking and service which is the work of striving for the Kingdom of God. During this season of Christmas and Epiphany, embrace the opportunity of allowing the Liturgy to renew your faith in the Incarnation; and allow the mystery of the Incarnation to be fulfilled in you by practicing incarnational living – seek and serve Christ in all persons. In the words of an Anglo-Catholic hero, Bishop Frank Weston: “Go out into the highways and hedges... Go out and look for Jesus in the ragged, in the naked, in the oppressed and sweated, in those who have lost hope, in those who are struggling to make good. Look for Jesus. And when you see him, gird yourselves with his towel and try to wash their feet.” (From “Our Present Duty,” the Concluding Address, Anglo-Catholic Congress, 1923.) PAX: CHRISTMAS 2011 | 2
Relationships and Fellowship | Jen Amundgaard
very Advent and Christmas, the songs from my youth fill my thoughts. No matter how many new, “better,” songs I learn, the ones from childhood and university seem to play louder. These lyrics have been repeating themselves since the first Sunday of Advent: Humbly you came to the earth you created, All for love’s sake, became poor. As I write this article, I am still pregnant, several days past my due date, waiting for the fulfilment of the promise of new life. I’m waiting to meet my child, to know and be known by him or her. I’m waiting to become the mother of two. I’m waiting for late-night feedings, 10+ diaper-changes per day, feeling incompetent and insane, trials I can’t now predict, and I’m even eagerly anticipating the pain of labour and deliverance. All for love’s sake. It may be that motherhood demands a special kind of love, but I believe that all relationship requires both love and humility. Relationships of all kinds are both the hardest and the most rewarding things to which we can commit ourselves.
I am honoured to serve St. James’ by facilitating open, honest, and spiritual relationships. I am in awe of the relationships that St. James’ has engaged in over the years and I want to make sure that you’re aware of the ministries and guilds that have been organized under this, the “Relationships and Fellowship” mission objective: · · · · · · · · · ·
Anglican Church Women Families and Children Education for Ministry Latino Lunches Literacy One-on-One Pastoral Care Ministry Women’s Guild Mothers’ Union Benedictine Community of St. Michael Melanesian Brotherhood
I pray that you will both give to and receive from these groups in the coming year. In many ways, there is little difference between the giver and the recipient – both are humbled, both are loved, and both grow in relationship. That is to say, as we relate, we become more human. We “incarnate,” just as our Creator did. In this season of Advent, as we await the final coming of our Lord, the judgement of all that ought not to be, and the fulfilment of the promise of true and full life, I challenge you to commit to new relationships in the Church, perhaps by joining one of the above groups. And, if you are lonely or in need, please let me – or people from these groups – love you.
St. James’ third mission objective: To develop relationships and fellowship in open, honest and spiritual ways among parishioners, with our neighbours, and those in need
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Gloria | Leah Postman
ou are thinking about babies. Specifically, you are thinking about the baby Jesus placed there, in the centre-stage of the Nativity set on your sideboard. He is a sweet ceramic baby, blonde curls and pudgy arms reaching out, nestled in a soft bed of ceramic hay. To the left, three adoring sheep look on. The idea of a baby is a good one. You think cuddly, soft, gentle, warm. You think sweet, and cute. The television commercials encourage this. Your parents attest to this. Then you give birth to one and you wonder what on earth you were thinking. There you are, alone, after the mid-wife leaves or you leave the hospital, holding what might as well be a squishy, squeaky and leaking Ziplock bag. For whom you, alone, are responsible. Then it gets complicated. This tiny bag of fleshy stuff is in fact a real human being. And there’s nothing generic here. This small human being is unique, has its own personality, is a person. Suddenly, nothing you have read or been told in preparation to become a parent seems to apply. There’s no manual for this particular model. You are dealing, you realize, with something completely NEW. And you are, you realize, completely terrified. There is no terror to be found in most renditions of the Christmas story. It is a child’s tale, a fairy tale, filled with angelic visitations and glittering gifts and a perilous escape to a far-off land. It is wondrous and exciting, but it is not real. Real is a solitary girl on the cold ground of a dirty barn, her body urgent with contractions. Her only help is her husband, presumably inexperienced and equally scared. Maybe there is an innkeeper’s wife or some helpful lady from the local synagogue, but who knows? Or more likely, other, less savoury characters are keeping a sharp eye from dark corners. There is noise and pain and blood and injury to flesh. And yet, while it is all utterly harrowing, it is also harrowingly ordinary. The terror that is the delivery room happens every day. So Mary is faced with the new, and the not-new;
with a divine son and a human son. What mother does not search her newborn child’s face for traces of both parents: Is that my nose? Are those his father’s ears? What did Mary see? What was in that baby’s face? Here is God, come to earth in the most common manner possible--which is to say, the most human way. Does Mary believe it? Do you believe it? You go and study the sleeping face of your older daughter and consider this. You barely know how to raise your own child. How would you raise the Son of God? How to understand the Reality that lies behind the story? Better sometimes, maybe, to set out the pretty figurines and just pretend. However. A picture, no matter how pretty, is not a living thing. You cannot love an image the way you can love another person, and the image certainly can’t love you back. Here lies the wonder of Jesus, the mystery of a God who desired to embrace us, and to have us embrace him, literally. For a baby, human touch is as necessary as food in order to live and thrive. Jesus needed Mary—needed us—to embody fully the Love whose presence in the world would change everything. St. Irenaeus once said that the glory of God is a human being fully alive. In the morning you will hug your two daughters and know this to be true. Put the clay baby back among the clay sheep. Let it remind you of your life.
photo by Tracy Russell, Advent Lessons & Carols 2011
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O Sing Unto Yahweh | Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
n a Thursday evening at around 7:25 pm at the Gore Street entrance of St. James’, a peculiar mixture of people hurry through the doorway. They have travelled from Maple Ridge, Delta, North Vancouver, UBC, and East Van, while others come from just around the neighbouring blocks. They are all ominously carrying black binders and bottles of water. They scuttle on down to the crypt, going from the dark night outside into a room full of warmth, light and familiar faces. For a particular group of people, Mass is about to begin; for as the baton rises, the Saint James’ High Mass Choir begin their preparations for the Holy Mysteries. For some members of the choir this has been a familiar routine for forty years; for others it has been just a year or more. Each week the choir prepares the music for the coming Sunday High Mass, Feast Day Masses, or at this time of year, a host of music for the Advent and Christmas Liturgies. Visit us in March and you’ll find us frantically packing two hours of rehearsals with music for the Triduum and Easter (which really is an odd experience, singing Good Friday Reproaches and Easter Alleluias in one rehearsal!). Many people have come straight from work, others from putting the children to bed, and some squeeze in time between shifts at work: all come from busy lives to give and to receive something unique.
photo by Tracy Russell; St. James Choir; December 4, 2011
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“The Angels in the Gallery” is a phrase often used to describe the motley crew that is the choir, who reside up in the loft on a Sunday. From this “lofty” place, between four and twenty musicians sing the liturgy. It would be understandable to imagine that one might feel set apart or a little removed from the liturgy, being in the loft; but for most it would seem not: it is a place of “being at home.” Singing the liturgy has become a practice through which one chorister “could not imagine worshiping God in any other way or in any other place.” One thing is for sure: you have to be involved or you could miss an entrance. In fact, you become hyper-sensitive to each movement within the liturgy, needing to hang upon every word of the celebrant. One newer member describes the need to be so “vigilant” as a part of her ongoing formation: “We participate in every aspect of the service; we attend to the liturgy at the front, as we wait for the next entrance. The whole thing grows more and more familiar. We attend every major service, gaining an appreciation for all the feasts we celebrate each year.” The physical separation, or hidden nature, of the choir has many positive aspects. It tempers any possible “choir idol” that does occur in many churches; it keeps the focus on God, not on the tenor section! It also provides the opportunity for some to feel safe to use their gift of singing with anonymity, allowing musicians once paralyzed by stage fright to lose the stage and finally sing to God’s glory: “I used to have the most terrible stage fright, but two things have contributed to my overcoming that. The first is that nobody can see me up in the choir loft; the second is that if I truly ‘bomb,’ I just carry on, realizing that I sing for the love of God.” Hopefully you are beginning to get a glimpse into the quirky group that is the choir. The main characteristic that you need to be part of this group is a serious sense of humour! Music sometimes has a tendency to go into places unplanned--that’s when the many miracles happen, or just plain hilarity. There are times when it goes amiss; but we either pull it back together,
photo by Tracy Russell; St. James Choir; December 4, 2011
which is when you’ll see a few high fives going around the choir (who said St. James’ wasn’t charismatic!), or we “train wreck” and then--well, we just keep going, with many a wry smile. Then there is the matter of family: “As we got to know the choir, they became family for us in a city where we have no family of our own. We have our respective lives at school, but choir is a community that we share, and a community that is much more diverse than our mono-demographic school friends!” Yes, it is a family, and like all families we go from bliss to the blues. Some days it can be hard work being in that family, but the majority of the time this social group of all ages supports one another through the highs and lows of life. It could be easy to imagine that everyone who sings in the choir at St. James’ is a long-time Anglican or at least a long-time Christian, and surely an overt Christian. Yet the reality is complex. To be a member of the choir, one is not required to be either a member of the Parish or a baptized Christian. So we come in all shapes and sizes; our ranks include Mennonites, Baptists, former conservative evangelicals, and nonChristians. As true West Coasters, no one is excluded; we come together as we are, for singing is our unity. For some, however, it has been the beginning of their journey into a relationship with Jesus: “I started singing at St. James’ as a ringer for the Christmas service of 2008, as a favour to a friend. I felt entirely out of
my element because I was so vehemently NOT a Christian. I used to bring Sudoku to play, while I was absolutely NOT paying attention during the services. The odd time, something would catch my ear, and I would inadvertently (and very begrudgingly) listen. I might actually listen to an entire sermon. It’s been three years now and I find myself purposely and even eagerly listening to every sermon.” In preparing this article I asked the choir, “Is singing in the choir a part of your spiritual/prayer life?” There was a very clear YES, while a quiet, shy voice answered: “It is my prayer life.” Often musicians have been brought up in choirs both secular and sacred, and it has a profound impact upon them spiritually: “For me it is a spiritual exercise. It is difficult to describe the transcendence of blending my voice with others around me, except to say this: As a child, the idea of eternity terrified me, until I imagined heaven as the most perfect song, sung by a vast choir, never tiring or dying away but only becoming stronger and sweeter and more beautiful.” St. James’ is greatly gifted with this band of musicians who give many hours and make many sacrifices to be available to sing the liturgy with such beauty. Equally, in return St. James’ offers family, home, spiritual formation and sustenance to those who serve God as musicians. “Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.” -Psalm 98:1 PAX: CHRISTMAS 2011 | 6
Nativities and Passions: Words for Transformation | Tim Firth
e await and celebrate at this time of every year the Incarnation, or “the entry of the divinity into human form and life” (The Oxford Companion to the Bible, 301). Into our lives comes a love that disarms and conquers our myriad fears, a love that changes everything. This gift to all persons may – and often does – much alter our relationships with others. We await, long for, and can be profoundly affected by the presence of God in Jesus or through someone who brings him to us. Martin L. Smith, formerly of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) in Cambridge, Massachusetts has, in this collection of sermons, shared several such contacts for him. When working as a bricklayer for the Taizé community in France, he encountered a “fiercely interrogatory and volatile” shepherd from the Pyrenees, a scarred and tattooed former criminal, and veteran of the French Foreign Legion. Instead of following a natural instinct to flee, he makes a split second decision and tries to make friends. How, he wondered, is it possible to engage with this “other” with whom he would seem to have so little in common? How is it possible to experience the strange and actually enjoy it? (56) Elsewhere Smith speaks of “the power eucharistic hospitality has in our lives.” (49) Whether among friends or strangers at the altar, he reminds us that we receive the same welcome, to partake of the same gifts, to belong to the same family. And it is a welcome and necessary thing in our society, this “well-being of belonging, this free assurance of identity with others,” as he terms it. (49)
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Nativities and Passions: Words for Transformation Martin L. Smith, SSJE Cowley Publications, 1995
Throughout these sermons, Smith makes clear that Jesus is the “stranger, the other, the one who comes not at our bidding as a genie from a lamp...but as the different one who challenges us to engage with him and risk being changed.” (56) The title of this insightful and meditative little book is also instructive. The words “nativities” and “passions” both express concerns foremost in the author’s mind as well as serve to link the suffering of the Passion with birth, growth, and spiritual development of those who encounter Christ Incarnate.
Little Gidding T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) I If you came at night like a broken king, If you came by day not knowing what you came for, It would be the same, when you leave the rough road And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull façade And the tombstone. . . . If you came this way, Taking any route, starting from anywhere, At any time or at any season, It would always be the same: you would have to put off Sense and notion. You are not here to verify, Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity Or carry report. You are here to kneel Where prayer has been valid. . . . (26-30; 39-46) V A people without history Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel History is now and England. With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. (233-42) from T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets (London: Faber & Faber, 1944)
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, Many different titles are used for the clergy in the life of the Church. Please can you offer an explanation? — Clarke Jackson Dear Clarke, A good place to start is by clarifying the distinction between the Order to which a cleric belongs and an Office held. There are three Holy Orders of ordained Christian ministry: deacon, priest and bishop (see BAS pp. 631-666 for more details). In the Western Church the normative practice is sequential ordination. For example, a person is ordained as a deacon before becoming a priest. So a cleric belongs to one, or more, of the Holy Orders and is known by the highest order, and ministers accordingly. There are many Offices to which a cleric in one of the three Holy Orders may be appointed. Since there is variety around the Anglican Communion and beyond, I will describe the practices in this Diocese and I will identify some of the clerical Offices we might hear about at St. James’. Bishop: one who looks after a whole region (usually called a diocese) that includes parishes; a kind of chief pastor to all the priests. Rector: usually a priest who is the chief pastor and shepherd in a parish. Curate: a priest, or deacon, who serves an “apprenticeship” in a parish and has recently completed theological training. Regional Dean: a priest who has pastoral care of the clergy and parishes within his/her deanery (a loose association of parishes). Archdeacon: a priest who has pastoral care of the clergy and parishes in a number of deaneries which constitute an archdeaconry. Also, a deacon who has oversight of all the deacons in a diocese. Canon: a priest who has privileges and responsibilities at a cathedral. The title has ceased to be used in this Diocese since the 1970s (Fr. [Canon] Douglas Williams was made a canon in another diocese). — Bear Bear is the first resident canine at St. James’ Rectory. As a member of the Greenaway-Robbins and parish family, he is privy to many and varied meetings, conversations, and gatherings. Though usually silent, in this column he offers his perspective on parish life.
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Impact of the Saint James Music Academy on the Neighbourhood | Tracy Russell
ne of our parishioners at St. James’, Academy will associate the building of St. James’ with Elizabeth Brandson, has been volunfond memories, as a place that is warm, fun, and welteering at Lord Strathcona Elementary coming to them. School in the Downtown East Side for “For the longest time after moving into the neigha number of years. For the past four years, she has bourhood, I didn’t know what was in this building,” joined the same Grade Two classroom once a week to says SJMA director Kathy Walker, of the fortress-lookassist children one-on-one with their reading skills. ing structure of St. James’. “The more we can welcome A table and chairs are set up at the back of the classmembers of this community into the sacred space room, and children come individually during class we share and enjoy as a Parish, the more lasting our time to practice reading with Elizabeth and with impact will be.” other volunteers. Kathy notes that the Music Academy, which has One day last spring, a student was reading a book been running for five years, nurtures the creativity and to Elizabeth, and upon turning a page in the book, self-esteem of children; it encourages them to chalthey saw that the next page lenge themselves in new ways; was filled with a drawing of and it allows friendships to “The more we can welcome the music notes. Not necessarily develop in group settings like expecting the child to know community into the sacred space we choir and orchestra – relahow to read music, Elizabeth share and enjoy, the more lasting our tionships within the Music asked, “Do you know what Academy that wouldn’t exist impact will be.” these black symbols are?” in other contexts. The child immediately A further positive impact answered, “Of course! It’s music!” Elizabeth asked her of the Music Academy on the neighbourhood is the if she took music lessons. Her answer? “Yes, I go to the opportunity parents are given to see their children Saint James Music Academy every week!” The girl was thrive. The kids are excited about music and about positively ecstatic when telling Elizabeth about her their accomplishments in performing, and this exciteinvolvement in the Music Academy, and pointed to her ment and confidence transfer to their parents, who are violin which she had at school that very day, as she was so proud of their children. going to St. James’ for lessons right after class. The rest “Music is one way kids cope with the hard stuff of of the reading session was spent talking about the girl’s life – the challenges of growing up,” says Kathy. “These love for music, and how her involvement in the Music kids learn how to deal with stress and with sadness by Academy was enabling her to develop her skills and playing and singing their hearts out.” appreciation for the violin. “Music is universal. It doesn’t matter where you This story illustrates the importance of the Saint come from, what you look like, or what language you James Music Academy (SJMA) in the lives of so many speak – kids of all backgrounds come together and neighbourhood children. St. James’ Parish contribmake music together, and learn and grow together.” utes to its positive impact by providing generous space And the Parish of St. James’ plays a key role in this to the Academy every week, while many parishioncommunity transformation, by offering the space and ers financially support its work. Children who grow support necessary to help make the Saint James Music up in this community and participate in the Music Academy possible. 9 | PAX: CHRISTMAS 2011
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photos by Chris Loh, SJMA Christmas recital, 2011
Nicholas Ferrar and Little Gidding | Paul Stanwood
his is a story of a pilgrim and of pilgrimage festivals provided in the Book of Common Prayer. whose hero is Nicholas Ferrar (1593–1637). The Eucharist was celebrated by the vicar of Great He came from a wealthy and distinguished Gidding, the neighbouring parish. family; he went up to Cambridge University, The community prospered, remaining always simple showed great intellectual promise and ability, and in its desires and faithful to its purpose. A school enjoyed many secular rewards. Member of Parliament was established for the children in the family and for (1624) and active in the affairs of the Virginia Company, those of the adjoining parishes. The men worked the he nevertheless determined to enter upon a life of relifields, while the women did exquisite needlework, and gious retirement and seclusion. On Trinity Sunday in developed extraordinary skill at bookbinding – some 1626, William Laud (then bishop of examples may still be seen, especially St. David’s) ordained him deacon, the the great concordance or ‘harmony’ of position in which he remained to the the gospels, now in the British Library. end of his life; for by his own wish he Such a life, so calm, so unadorned, was never priested. and yet so full, encouraged many to Ferrar had in the previous year visit the secluded house and chapel (1625) purchased a small manor house at Little Gidding, especially George and farm at Little Gidding, in the Herbert and other friends from remote countryside near Huntingdon Cambridge. King Charles I himself (and some 20 miles from Cambridge), visited on three occasions, in 1633, in where he moved with his extended 1642, and finally in 1646, as a fugitive family, numbering in all as many as 30 seeking refuge. But the unrest of the persons of all ages. Little Gidding has Civil Wars, Ferrar’s death in 1637 and always been a very small village, and the dispersion of family members led in Ferrar’s time the place he bought St John’s Church, Little Gidding, Cambridgeto the eventual dissolution of the comcontained only a few derelict build- shire, UK. Wikipedia. JPG, http://upload. munity. After about 1657, everything wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/ ings and a chapel. Ferrar set to work St_John%27s_Church%2C_Little_Gidding.jpg that Nicholas Ferrar had developed at at once to restore the house and the (accessed 13 December 2011). Little Gidding disappeared, and the chapel, and with his family he organchapel and the adjacent buildings fell ized and directed a rule of devotion and practical into decay. works of charity. Nicholas Ferrar died at Little Gidding in the evening Although the community’s life resembled in many of December 3, 1637. As he lay dying, and surrounded respects the daily rule of most religious orders, it was by his family, he is reported to have cried out, “Oh, not a monastic settlement. Nicholas Ferrar patterned what a blessed change is here! What do I see? O, let his life and that of his large family around the essenus come and sing unto the Lord, sing praises to the tial Christian themes of love and constant prayer. Lord and magnify his holy name together. I have been Three times a day the family would go to the chapel at a great feast . . . the great King’s feast.” His death for Matins, the Great Litany, and Evensong. Ferrar reflected the faithfulness of his devotion, and showed himself customarily kept a night watch from 9 pm forth his sense of Christ’s own serenity. to 1 am when he recited in order the whole Psalter. Nicholas Ferrar’s devotion and his commitment Holy Communion was celebrated in the chapel on to the principles of Christian life and communthe first Sunday of each month, and on all of the ity were not forgotten, but swept aside for many 11 | PAX: CHRISTMAS 2011
Little Gidding Church. The Friends of Little Gidding. JPG, http://www.littlegidding.org.uk/files/photos/lg-exterior-06.JPG (accessed 13 December 2011).
years. Renewed interest in Little Gidding began late in the nineteenth century, as one manifestation of the Catholic movement within the English Church. Joseph Shorthouse, in his novel John Inglesant (1881), in a softly romanticised view of the earlier seventeenth century describes his hero’s visit to Little Gidding in 1637. Rose Macaulay writes of the same period with similar sympathy in They Were Defeated (1932). But T.S. Eliot is the most famous of writers who evoke this time. Recalling his own visit to Little Gidding in May 1936, he drew inspiration for his great poem, the last of the Four Quartets, called “Little Gidding” (1942). In this poem, Eliot sees Little Gidding as a symbol of achieved spirituality, where he finds “the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling.” With increasing public interest, the Friends of Little
Gidding was founded in 1947 to look after the maintenance of the church, with annual pilgrimages led by the Bishop of Ely. A new community, known as “Christ the Sower,” was formed in the 1970s and continued until 1998. Presently the church is in the care of a trust and of the local Parochial Church Council. Through all these changes, Little Gidding remains as always a place for pilgrims “to kneel / Where prayer has been valid.” There are excellent websites that describe the history and significance of Little Gidding and of the church: www.littlegidding.org.uk or www.littlegiddingchurch.org.uk. See also the articles in the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: on Ferrar, by Nicholas W.S. Cranfield; and on the Little Gidding community, by Philip West. PAX: CHRISTMAS 2011 | 12
Mary’s House | Jan Strehler
t is believed that the evangelist St. John spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and is buried on the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after his death, in the fourth century, a small chapel was constructed over his grave. The church of St. John was changed into a marvellous basilica during the reign of Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD). St. John, or the Apostle John, was the writer of the fourth Gospel and alleged to be the author of the book of Revelation. The accounts of the Gospels agree that he is the son of Zebedee and that together with his brother James, began to follow Jesus while fishing in the Sea of Galilee. He became one of Christ’s closest disciples and was with him during various significant events, such as the Transfiguration and the Crucifixion. John writes that when Jesus was on the cross, he said to Mary, “Mother, this is your Son”; and to his beloved disciple, “This is your Mother.” In October of this year my husband Brian and I took a cruise, and at one point we docked at the ancient port of Kusadasi, about seven kilometres from Ephesus. We visited the grave of St. John, which lies--and is carefully tended--amidst the ruins of the basilica mentioned above. A short distance from where St. John lies buried stands “Mary’s House,” located on the top of a mountain. The house enjoys beautiful surroundings, hidden amongst the green trees. According to popular Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after Christ’s resurrection, and she lived out her days there. Archaeologists who have examined the building, identified as the House of the Virgin, believe most of the building dates from the sixth or seventh century, while its foundations are much older and may well date from the first century AD, the time of Mary. The site had long been a place of pilgrimage for local Orthodox Christians.
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photo by Jan Strehler
The modern history of the Virgin Mary’s House is unusual. It was “discovered” in 1812 by a German nun, Sister Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824), who never travelled away from her home. Sister Emmerick, an invalid confined to bed, awoke in a trance with a vision that included the Virgin Mary and Apostle John travelling from Jerusalem to Ephesus. She described her vision of Mary’s house in detail, which was recorded at her bedside by a writer named Klemens Brentano. The German nun went on to say that the Virgin Mary died at the age of 64 and was buried in a cave near her house. When her coffin was opened, however, the coffin and burial shroud were empty. The house was then turned into a chapel. Years after Emmerick’s visions, French clergyman Julien Gouyet read Brentano’s account and travelled to Ephesus to find the House of the Virgin in 1881. He found a house matching the nun’s description and sent word to the bishops of Paris and Rome. The House of the Virgin was later visited by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, who confirmed its appropriateness as a place of pilgrimage. On November 29th, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass here. It was very special for us to visit the home of Our Lady before going on to see the sights of Ephesus, including the forum where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians.
What Would Jesus Do? | Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
photo: Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
photo: Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
ne of the slogans on the posters and What matters about Jesus isn’t that he always tells banners in front of St Paul’s Cathedral us simply what to do. What matters is that he is there has been ‘What would Jesus do?’ This – claiming the right to probe our motives and stretch started life in the US some years ago, our minds. Faith isn’t about just his teaching or his with people wearing wristbands with WWJD on good example but his whole life, his whole being. That them. It’s one of those things that looks wonderfully whole life expresses a committed love that won’t go obvious, a quick way to the right answer. away whatever we do, and so has the right to ask the Well, an archbishop is hardly going to suggest that awkward questions: the questions posed to us by his it isn’t a good question to ask! All the same – the idea birth in poverty and his childhood as a refugee – and that it somehow provides a nice short cut to the truth the still bigger challenge of his apparent failure and needs a bit of challenging. his death. For a start, Christians don’t believe that Jesus is And that challenge is: what if all your standards there just to give us a good example in every possible of success and failure are upside down? Christmas human situation. The Jesus we meet in the Bible is doesn’t commemorate the birth of a super-good somebody who constantly asks awkward questions person who shows us how to get it right every time, (especially questions but the arrival in the addressed to religious world of someone who What changes things isn’t a formula for people, moral people and tells us that everything getting the right answer but a willingness could be different. rich people – all the sorts to stop and let yourself be challenged of people involved at St WWJD? He’d first of Paul’s…) rather than all be there: sharing the right to the roots of your being. just giving us a model of risks, not just taking sides perfect behaviour. Faced but steadily changing the with what looks like a simple challenge about whether entire atmosphere by the questions he asks of everyyou pay taxes to the Roman Emperor or not, he fambody involved, rich and poor, capitalist and protester ously shrugs it off, saying, ‘Give Caesar what belongs and cleric. to Caesar and give God what belongs to God.’ Christmas tells us two big things. First, what changes In other words: don’t just imitate me: think. What’s things isn’t a formula for getting the right answer but the exact point at which paying taxes to the Empire a willingness to stop and let yourself be challenged gets in the way of serving God? What’s the exact right to the roots of your being. And second, we can point at which involvement in the ‘empire’ of capitalfind the courage to let this happen because we are let ist economy compromises you fatally? into the secret that we are in the hands of love, comIt may not be easy to answer this straight away, so mitted, unshakeable love. don’t expect to become a hero of conscience overI hope that something of that great secret will night. And, just to rub it in, there are other places in find its way into your celebrations this year. Happy the Bible where Jesus prods us to ask ourselves about Christmas! our motives before we embark on grand gestures. Are © Rowan Williams 2011. This article originally appeared in the we doing this for the sake of the real issue – or for an Christmas edition of Radio Times magazine in the UK. audience?
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Our St. James’ Family Abroad
avid, Maggi and Mary Creese moved to Newcastleupon-Tyne, UK in August. David is teaching ancient philosophy and Greek at Newcastle University and is happy to have found a church choir to sing with in time for Christmas. Mary, who turned one in September, learned to walk this month, is rapidly expanding her vocabulary, and takes Maggi along to her swimming and music groups. Maggi enjoys hanging out with Mary and does contract research for an international academic society while Mary naps. They’re all having fun getting to know Newcastle and like it very much so far. They send their greetings to everyone at St. James’.
allas Southcott and family send their greetings from the east coast. It has been a busy few months since they made the rural shift, and they’re soaking up lots of fresh air, tranquillity and locally-sourced natural foods, enjoying country living to its fullest. They’ve joined the Cathedral in Fredericton, and Dallas is back to singing every Sunday in the choir. Lincoln recently celebrated his third birthday and has become quite a spelling and counting champ. Levi is six months old (already!), and was baptized earlier this month. They keep St. James’ in their prayers and thoughts and miss everyone dearly.
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photo: Elaine Jan
anya Northcott and Rocky Rocksborough-Smith are happy to report that they LOVE life in their little cottage in Peachland, while they build their permanent home and Bed & Breakfast (for which the foundation has just been poured) – hopefully in time for next summer! Rocky gets up every morning to chop the wood and get the airtight stove going. From then on, it’s toasty warm. They very much miss St. James’, their family and friends. To that end, they have engaged with Mother Jessica, Nancy Zimmerman and Betty Carlson in starting a St. James’ “Distant Friends” ministry, which they hope to initiate in early 2012. Tanya and Rocky will be in Maui this Christmas and New Year with their family, renewing their vows and celebrating their 20th anniversary.
Dollars and $ense | Angela Van Luven
ere is some light relief after the “heavy duty” budget discussions of late. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:
≈ Announcement in a church bulletin for a national PRAYER & FASTING Conference: “The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals.” ≈ The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.” ≈ “Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.” ≈ The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict. ≈ Remember in prayer the many that are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say “hell” to someone who doesn’t care much about you. ≈ Don’t let worry kill you off – let the Church help. ≈ For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs. ≈ During the absence of our Pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit. ≈ The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing “Break Forth into Joy.” ≈ Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
≈ At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice. ≈ Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. ≈ Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. ≈ Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered. ≈ The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment, and gracious hostility. ≈ Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 pm – prayer and medication to follow. ≈ The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon. ≈ This evening at 7 pm there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. ≈ Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 pm. Please use back door. ≈ Weight Watchers will meet at 7 pm at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. ≈ The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: “I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.” ≈ Our next song is “Angels We Have Heard Get High.” PAX: CHRISTMAS 2011 | 16
photo: Chris Loh
Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ NEW MEMBERS OF OUR CHRISTIAN FAMILY Lynn Wilson was baptized on All Saints’ Sunday, November 6th. Lynn faithfully attends High Mass and is very happy to be a baptized member of our family. IT’S A BOY! Dylan James Amundgaard was born on December 8th, weighing 11 lbs 5 oz and measuring 23 inches. Congratulations to parents Jen and Ben and to older sister Sophia! HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL St. James’ Church offered many activities as part of the annual Heart of the City celebrations. Many people from the neighbourhood and wider city dropped by for the Women’s Guild Bargain Sale, as well as the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day High Masses. Also well attended was Allan Duncan’s lively and entertaining church tour. People were fascinated by the display of our “Church Treasures” and by Chris Loh and Christine Hatfull’s photo exhibit featuring the interplay of light and architecture. And of course there was Dr. Paul Stanwood’s rousing re-creation of a sermon preached by John Donne in seventeenth-century England! A performance by the Saint James Music Academy was a treat for everyone. All in all, it was a wonderful showcasing of St. James’ to the city. FUNDING OUR MISSION This fall our dedicated Stewardship team encouraged each of us to consider how we can prayerfully give 17 | PAX: CHRISTMAS 2011
of our resources to support the mission and ministry of St. James’. To date we have received 57 pledge cards with a total commitment of $107,425 for the coming year. It’s certainly not too late to return your pledge card! Pooling our resources helps ensure that we will be able to minister to each other, to the community and to the world in 2012. ORDER OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER On November 6th, Mary Brown and Jennifer Dezell of St. James’ received the insignia of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster from The Right Reverend Michael Ingham in a joyous celebration at Christ Church Cathedral. Congratulations and thank you to Mary and Jennifer from all of us at St. James’ for your valuable service to the church and to the Diocese. GRATIFY YOUR SENSES If you like arranging flowers, handling beautiful objects of silver and brass, or arranging snowy white linens, this is your opportunity. Both the Flower Guild and the Sanctuary Guild are looking for new members to help create and maintain the beauty of St. James’, our Parish family home. Please contact the Church Office if you are interested (604-685-2532). THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA This fall, parishioner Joyce Locht and Sr. Monica Kaufer of the Order of the Sisters of the Cenacle introduced a group of eight parishioners to the
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The experience has helped participants encounter God and Jesus in new ways, has encouraged the discipline of regular prayer, and has been rich in sharing and mutual support. Thanks to Joyce and Sr. Monica for offering this wonderful experience. CAN’T WAIT FOR THE PREMIERE! Did you know that Sylvia Murphy and her daughter, Sylvie MacCormac, have been selected to be part of a film on living hopefully with disabilities? St. James’ is Sylvia’s spiritual home and features in parts of the film. We can’t wait to see the premiere! A LOOK BACK AT ADVENT As we now celebrate Christmas, let’s look over our shoulders for a moment to appreciate the Advent experiences that have helped lead us to today. We recall the richness of the Lessons and Carols service, the peaceful and reflective Advent Quiet Day, the Formation Sessions on the Second Coming of Christ, and the inspiring Advent sermons, available on our website. During this season we welcomed special guests Fr. Bill Crockett, Dr. Lee Johnson, and Dr. Harry Maier (a Lutheran pastor and a professor of New Testament at Vancouver School of Theology). We also recall the fun of the Advent Boutique as well as the Saint James Music Academy Christmas concert, which had about 400 people in attendance! We give thanks for the Advent season of preparation and celebrate with joyful hearts the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Baby shower for Jen Amundgaard, October 15, 2011. Photo by Tracy Russell
Welcoming Sr. Mary Christian Cross as Deacon, October 16, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Lynn Wilsonâ€™s baptism, November 6, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Order of the Diocese of New Westminster, November 6, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Order of the Diocese of New Westminster, November 6, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Advent boutique, November 27, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Coffee hour, December 4, 2011. Photo by Tracy Russell
Dylan James Amundgaard, December 17, 2011. Photo by Tracy Russell
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303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PAX no. 13 © 2011 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Jen Amundgaard (on leave), Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Mother Jessica Schaap Designer & Art Director: Miles Linklater Writers: Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, Jen Amundgaard, Leah Postman, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, Tim Firth, Bear, Tracy Russell, Paul Stanwood, Jan Strehler, Abp. Rowan Williams, Angela Van Luven Photography: Judi Paterson, Wendy Delamont Lees of Ciao Bella Photography, Tracy Russell, Chris Loh, Jan Strehler, Elaine Jan Distribution: Mary Brown Archivist: Jane Turner PAX is free, but voluntary subscriptions of $10/year are welcome. PAX aims to be financially self-sustaining and therefore donations to support this ministry are greatly appreciated, and may be offered through your envelope (clearly marked PAX), mailed to the church office, or submitted on the church website with a credit card. The material printed in PAX is produced by members and friends of St. James’ Church in Vancouver, Canada. A theme-based call for submissions is issued two to six weeks prior to each edition in the Sunday church bulletins. All submissions to PAX will receive acknowledgement of reception and be reviewed and edited by an editorial panel made up of the managing editor of PAX, a Warden, a member of the clergy, and one additional parishioner. Submissions are reviewed to the extent that they fit the mandate of PAX. All submissions may be edited for length, the maximum being 500 words unless otherwise specified.
photo by Tracy Russell, Advent Lessons & Carols, 2011
our vision: Discovering the beauty of holiness in our lives and neighbourhood, by living a Christ-centred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.
Quaretlery lmagazine of St. James' Anglican church.