photo by mother jessica schaap, hood of the gold cope vestment of st. jamesâ€™, december 2012
Pax Christmas 2012
photo by christine hatfull
The Poetic Imagination | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
y first introduction to the life of poetry began at the age of sixteen. I moved to a boarding school for the last two years of my education before university. The wife of my ‘house-master,’ Liz Carter, took me under her wing and guided me into a whole new world—that of poetic imagination. It was like a conversion experience. I give thanks to God for her ability to recognize in me a desire which, at the time, was hidden from my understanding. Bishop Kenneth Cragg—recently departed, may he rest in peace—secured my conversion to an appreciation of poetry as a means of truth-bearing. Cragg, once an assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and a respected scholar of Islam, gave lectures in the Faculty of Theology at Oxford on Christian ministry. As an undergraduate, I sat at his feet—awestruck. With ease and winsome integrity, he drew upon poets, as well as theologians and his own experience, to invite us into a mature articulation of ordained ministry. Intuitively, I knew that Cragg had discovered a truth about life, our faith, and Christian ordained ministry, which he had integrated into his own life. (He would send the most touching Christmas cards, of his own making, with a poem in place of the customary image: how I shall think of him and those cards this Christmas.) Twenty years have unfolded since my days at the feet of Cragg which have comprised training and practicing as a parish priest. The company of poets—usually upon my shelf— have been my constant companions to whom I turn for solace, reassurance, and most frequently, so that I might live in the world with renewed vision. Among this company of witnesses, I treasure the poetic imagination—which cleanses and trains my own imagination
and perception—of Elizabeth Jennings, R. S. Thomas and Vassar Miller, to name but a few. This year, scales have fallen from my eyes and I feel a confidence in poetry as truth-bearing, in its sacramental quality, hitherto unseen. It began with a dawning realization that nearly all my priest colleagues at St. James’ have a high regard for the poetic imagination. Perhaps I should not have been surprised when I reflect upon the second part of our Parish vision statement, the theme for this edition of PAX: …by living a Christcentred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. The practicing of the poetic imagination, as a means of apprehending and embodying truth, as a complement to reason, is essential to sacramental living. I recently read a study on this very theme by an Anglican priest and poet Malcolm Guite (Faith, Hope and Poetry: Theology and the Poetic Imagination. Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2010). He argues that we can trust the poetic imagination as truth-bearing and that it can both cleanse and train our faculties of perception. Also, I have discovered a number of excellent recent anthologies of contemporary Christian poetry—more on this in the column Ask Bear—which give the lie to the conventional wisdom that there is no contemporary Christian poetry of merit and substance. At this liturgical season we stand on the threshold of the mystery of the Incarnation. So I stand at this time with renewed confidence in poetry as “the native tongue of Christian revelation”—the words of an anthologist of contemporary Christian poetry, David Impastato. Our poetic imagination is a complement to reason as we seek to live into the mystery of Christian revelation. I would go further. There can be a sacramental quality to poetic imagination. With clearer vision I can now see what Bishop Cragg sought to teach: practicing faithfulness as the poetry of the Word.
PAX: Christmas 2012 | 1
Worldwide Parenting Program, Canada Celia Dodds
he Mothers’ Union Worldwide Parenting program began in 2000 in the UK, the West Indies and Kenya, and is now offered in twenty countries, including Canada. It has a very high success rate in the countries where it first began. It is led by facilitators who have been trained by Mothers’ Union trainers at an intensive workshop and who have passed the course. Facilitators are not experts on child rearing but are adept at leading and monitoring a group. It is beneficial to all carers of children, male or female, married or unmarried. It is not just for parents who are experiencing difficulties, but for all involved with children—grandparents, teachers, nurses, baby sitters, youth leaders, and others. It is free of charge and it is run by volunteers. The Mothers’ Union has developed its own resource manual which has been adapted to suit the cultural and societal requirements of the individual countries. It is strictly non-religious in content. Following the Canadian Mothers’ Union National Conference in 2012 in Ottawa, eleven facilitators from seven provinces were trained by Sheran Harper, the chief parenting trainer from Guyana, at a four-day workshop. It was assumed that the trained facilitators would conduct a course within three to six months in their own church and supported by members of their own Mothers’ Union branch. The Canadian facilitators have named their course Parents Supporting Parents. The first course planned for St. James’ begins Wednesday, January 9, 2013, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, in the Bishops’ Room. The minimum number for a course to take place is eight and the maximum
2 | PAX: Christmas 2012
is twelve. Registration forms are available now in the Narthex. Parents may bring new babies to the classes. If they have toddlers or young children, we will try to arrange for childcare in another area to avoid distraction. A lunch of soup and buns will be provided by Mothers’ Union supporters after each session. The course is arranged into eight sessions: one session per week lasting approximately two hours. They cover a wide range of topics and issues relating to parenting, grand-parenting or child-minding. Sessions use a variety of techniques and activities to highlight the material covered. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and strategies. Pertinent handouts are available and a homework focus is suggested to practice new skills or ideas acquired from the session during the ensuing week. Most of the facilitators work in pairs. My co-facilitator is Grace Mee from St. Anselm’s Church. Seven parents have already expressed interest in attending this course at St. James’, but there is still room for a few more participants. If you are interested and would like a brochure and registration form, please contact Celia Dodds. Come and join us for an enriching parenting course to enhance your own parenting skills, explore your individual giftedness as parents, share your experiences and personal journeys and enrich your family life. Explore your communication skills, learn how to build trust and make new and lasting friendships. For additional information, please contact: Celia Dodds 604-988-0803 firstname.lastname@example.org Grace Mee 604-827-4136 email@example.com
photo by saint james music academy, christmas recital, december 7, 2012
The First | Mother Jessica Schaap She knew he had a will first in slow fishy rolls, then in the stillness as she walked heel up to her ribs. When the time was too close their nest was disturbed by an empireâ€™s foraging. Into the ruts returning to Bethlehem they went. She pondered the words of the midwives: When the time comes, bear down, surrender with all your might Thereâ€™s always danger but you were made to do this. The hours of her groans rose and fell from her marrow. Flushed, suffused, and subsiding she would remember bidden or unbidden the eking thought: I am one with sorrow now and with my sisters. In precise rhythm of push and rest strength pooled She drew deep and knew His will to be born needing hers to fulfill Every contraction asked still for her Yes Tough sinews of mercy knit her back together But not before the crowning of her day appeared, The crowning head that tears all other crowns apart.
PAX: Christmas 2012 | 3
Sacramental Life | Kevin Greenlee
or me, “living a Christ-centred sacramental life” means nothing less than really learning how to live. In the Christian life I lived before becoming an Anglican, I learned important truths about the world. The importance of Christ as the centre of all of life was rooted deeply into my being. I also learned well the reality of sin. The evils of “this age” were not for me some mere abstract—I saw them destroy the lives of people I loved. I’m sure we all have. Yet, there was for me a serious gap in integration. If these two things were true, if Christ was the thing of value, and this world was the dominion of sin, then it seemed I could do nothing more valuable than “spiritual” things such as praying and reading the Bible. It began to feel as if the “non-spiritual” acts of life were a waste of time. When such an infinite chasm stretched between the value of worldly things and the worship of God, how could I possibly justify the latter? Yet, for anyone but a monk, a life lived solely for “spiritual” things is hardly possible. Somehow, I realized, I must apply to this problem the wisdom of Paul: “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). For a time, I tried to deal with this problem using the
4 | PAX: Christmas 2012
framework my background had furnished me with. I could, I figured, turn my everyday tasks into “spiritual” ones if I worshipfully appreciated them. There was truth in this, too, of course, but there still seemed to be a gap. How could I both worshipfully appreciate the world, and yet at the same time acknowledge the other truth I knew—the reality of the pervasive and destructive nature of death and sin in the world?
The reality that a sacramental life provided was not at first apparent to me, but was something that I had to live. It was at this time in my life that God answered my questions by leading me into the world of sacrament. The reality that a sacramental life provided was not at first intellectually apparent to me, but was something that I had to live. The priest would raise the Host, and declare that “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”; and then we, the congregation, would go forward and receive the bread and the wine—now become the body and blood of our Lord. Even before I consciously believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, I experienced it. Matter became for me the means of
my redemption, and all the truth of the Incarnation was opened up for me. As I began to live out this Anglo-Catholic sacramental life, I discovered a world in which all the truths I had learned previously were integrated. I saw now how the world had become filled with sin and death because it was cut off from its Source. Our world was meant to be suffused with the presence of God, like an icon ever urging us to praise Him; but—in the words of the Orthodox writer Fr. Alexander Schmemann—it now “seems natural for man to experience the world as opaque, and not shot through with the presence of God. It seems natural not to live a life of thanksgiving for God’s gift of a world.” [Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2005), 16.]
Christ had not merely died to save us; He had become Incarnate to save us. This truth remained, but another truth also entered into the story, a truth fuller than the narrative of mere forgiveness of sins which had been given to me before.
photo by sean birch, lessons and carols, december 2, 2012
Christ had not merely died to save us; He had become Incarnate to save us. Moreover, He presents that saving work to us again and again in the central sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. Through these means, matter is once again made to be for the praise of God.
My interaction with all life is changed, not just emotionally and intellectually, but in a truly real sense, into the praise of God. By these central sacraments, I am restored to union with God, and become once again a Eucharistic creature, able to offer all things up to the praise of God. In Baptism and Eucharist, all life becomes sacramental. Going forth from the altar into the world, my interaction with all life is changed, not just emotionally and intellectually, but in a truly real sense, into the praise of God. I still encounter the sinful state of the world as it is today, but in anticipation of Christ’s return, I turn that world toward his praise. Sometimes this is done by helping the poor, sometimes by studying theology, sometimes by conversation with friends, but it is always done to the glory of God.
PAX: Christmas 2012 | 5
Rooted in the Anglo-Catholic Tradition Benjamin Amundgaard
he second half of the St. James’ vision statement declares that, as a Parish, we are “living a Christ-centred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.” However, what does it mean to be “Anglo-Catholic”? What is the Anglo-Catholic tradition in which we are rooted? If you asked ten people those questions, you would receive at least ten different answers. An example of a typical answer comes from one of my history students who, in writing a post in an online discussion about the Anglican reformation, said that Anglo-Catholics put “little emphasis on the Bible—big on liturgy (and making smoke).” The student was not trying to be rude (though perhaps a bit cheeky). He was more or less stating an opinion that many people have of Anglo-Catholics. This characterization, while overly simplistic, is not without truth. Incense and liturgy are integral to the Anglo-Catholic ethos. We want to worship with our hearts and bodies as well as our heads. The visual aspects of our spirituality feed our imagination. Consequently, the look and feel of our worship contribute to our identity as a Parish to the same extent as the sermons that we hear.
We want to worship with our hearts and bodies as well as our heads. The visual aspects of our spirituality feed our imagination. Yet incense and liturgical richness are not at the very heart of our identity. If they were, we would cease to be Anglo-Catholics the minute we leave Mass on Sunday morning. We might say we were Christians, or even “regular” Anglicans, but we could be AngloCatholics only when we were burning incense and ringing bells. Moreover, St. James’ would only be an
6 | PAX: Christmas 2012
Anglo-Catholic Parish on Sunday mornings and a few select times during the week.
At the heart of the Anglo-Catholic identity is ... the centrality of the Incarnation. At the heart of the Anglo-Catholic identity is not the centrality of a full liturgy and rich ceremonial but the centrality of the Incarnation. The AngloCatholic tradition, from Richard Hooker to Michael Ramsay and Rowan Williams, has held that the “taking of the Manhood into God,” as Athanasius describes the Incarnation, is the central event of the Christian story. In other words, for Anglo-Catholics, the Incarnation is not simply a means to understand and get to the Cross. The Word made Flesh is the very end in itself. The doctrine of the Atonement, while absolutely crucial to the faith, rests on the fact of the Incarnation. Moreover, the visible Church, for Anglo-Catholics, is an extension of the Incarnation, the continuing presence of Christ in the world. Bishop Charles Gore summarized this emphasis on the Incarnation in his 1891 Bampton Lectures. “The Church,” he said, “embodies the same principle as the ‘Word made flesh,’ that is, the expression and communication of the spiritual and the divine through what is material and human. It is a human and material society; . . . this visible, material, human society exists to receive, to embody and to communicate a spiritual life. And this life is none other than the life of the Incarnate. The Church exists to perpetuate in every age the life of Jesus, the union of manhood with Godhead.” At the very heart of the Church’s identity, says Gore, is the Incarnation. It is its raison d’être. The emphasis on the Incarnation fuels the
Anglo-Catholic imagination and directs AngloCatholic devotion. We believe that God’s central act in history was taking on physical, visible form. Consequently, we believe that God values the physical world and uses it as a means of communication and grace. For this reason, what we communicate through the arrangement of the physical elements of our worship and devotional life is as important as what we communicate through the words of a sermon. Making sure that the liturgy is celebrated in the “right” ways by the “right” people at the “right” times is therefore quite as important as preaching “right” doctrine from the pulpit.
photo by sean birch
We believe that God values the physical world and uses it as a means of communication and grace. The centrality of the Incarnation is the reason behind many of our practices at St. James’. When the servers and sacred ministers offer a profound bow (from the waist) during the statement “and the Word was made Flesh” in the Angelus, it is in honour of the Incarnation. When the congregation genuflects during the Nicene Creed, it is in recognition of the Incarnation. Finally, the practice of genuflecting when crossing in front of the Sacrament exists because we believe, in a real way, that the Incarnate Christ is present in the Sacrament. The centrality of the Eucharist in Anglo-Catholic life and worship expresses our emphasis on the Incarnation. The celebration of the Eucharist is the central event of our worship. Everything that happens during the Mass enables us to realize this Eucharistic celebration. Consequently, with very few exceptions,
we celebrate the Eucharist every time we gather as a Parish. The Incarnation informs our use of incense. Incense is a symbol of God’s presence. Even as we believe that the Church is an extension of the Word made Flesh, we believe also that the Church is filled with the presence of God, symbolized with clouds of smoke. This is why, at every Mass, the thurifer leads the procession that reads the Gospel. The physical Book of the Gospels is moved into the midst of the people, where they are encompassed by the presence of God—Christ comes to us as a visible message. Incense is also a symbol of prayer. When we see the smoke rising, we are to remember the prayers of the saints. As we consider these prayers, we are directed to the One who hears our prayers and intercedes on our behalf. We are to remember that we have an Advocate with the Father, the Incarnate Jesus Christ.
We are who we are and we do what we do because we believe that, in Christ, Manhood was taken into the Godhead. While there are many other aspects of AngloCatholic identity, they all return to this high view of the Incarnation. We are who we are and we do what we do because we believe that, in Christ, Manhood was taken into the Godhead. We believe that we, as part of the Church, exist to continue the work of Christ by embodying and communicating the life of God Incarnate. Editor’s note: Our Parish website contains a number of helpful articles for those wishing to learn more about Anglo-Catholicism. These can be found at www. stjames.bc.ca, under “Christian Education.”
PAX: Christmas 2012 | 7
8 | PAX: Christmas 2012 photo by elaine jan, baptism of kathleen mcclure, november 4, 2012
photo by sean birch drawing of St. Jamesâ€™; by Anastasia Greenaway-Robbins; November 2012
photo by elaine jan
photo by sean birch, a pastoral mass, november 16, 2012
PAX: Christmas 2012 | 9
photo by sean birch, advent lessons and carols, december 2, 2012
photo by tracy russell, gaudete sunday, december 16, 2012
photo by tracy russell, gaudete sunday, december 16, 2012
Play and Liturgy | Mother Alexis Saunders
s with most events with children, I end up learning and thinking about certain aspects of life in new ways. The Liturgy Academy, held in September and October for our Parish children, was no different. The first Sunday morning we gathered in the Parish Hall, where I asked, “What do you do when you come to church?” The youngest child leapt up and sang out, “Play!” The more I thought about this, the more I realized that play as the work of children was intricately connected to the Liturgy, which is the work of the people. For children, play is as natural and as necessary as breathing. In play children learn about themselves, the people around them, and the world. Play lies at the very root of our human nature. Sometimes, adults think that play is unessential, but so much is happening when children play. Play can be totally absorbing, joyous or serious. It is often repetitive and can be a time when children practice roles in life, sort out life events, develop social skills, and learn values. Play encourages laughter and a sense of humour. It forges human relationships, bodily well-being and a healthy mind. It is a place of discovery and creativity. As an expression of the human spirit it can also be a place to transcend the 10 | PAX: Christmas 2012
self and find new dimensions of existence. Play is how children learn about reality. In play children encounter ambiguity and mystery. The Webster dictionary defines the source of the word play as “the taking up of one’s promise and responsibility.” I think that in the Liturgies of the Church, we are seeking our promise and responsibilities as humans in this life. In the liturgies we learn about ourselves. We seek the Transcendent One so as to be transformed by the mystery and ambiguity of life. We seek to have healthy human relationships and yearn for healthy bodies and minds. In the liturgies we seek meaning and purpose in this life. We come week after week to encounter the beauty and wonder of the Mass that engages all the senses of our bodies. By deeply living into the moment, we open ourselves to growth and transformation. As play is an expression of the human spirit, so liturgy is also an expression of the human spirit in which we take up our promise and responsibilities to become fully human, created in the image of God. And so the inner work of Advent and Christmas begins as we wait for new life to be born in us.
Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence | Tim Firth Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence; Father JeanPierre de Caussade, S.J.; Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books and Publishers, 1987
urrender, obedience, abandonment. It is not only the modern secular mind that is averse to these ideas. Current believers, too, find great obstacles to surmount. Yet, for Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. (1675-1751), these are the precise virtues which we must learn and practice if we are to develop and deepen Jesus Christ in our hearts. Self-abandonment, he stresses, is the key to holiness: submission with faith and love to the will of God. Trust and confidence in our creator are prerequisites; without them we are unable to abandon ourselves to Divine Providence, understood as God’s care, help, and guidance. It was once easier, Caussade explains in this wonderfully compelling and practical work, for those seeking to follow a spiritual path. In an earlier time religious observance was the norm. From moment to moment, faith and life supplied duties in the form of the natural activities and requirements of one’s state of life. As the day unfolded, God presented opportunities, attractions, trials, or burdens. Faithful fulfillment of the simple duties of the faith and the requirements of one’s social situation require and produce an acceptance of and submission to God’s will. The circumstances, the imperative need of each moment “conceal,” says Caussade, “under their outward appearances the true reality of the divine will which alone is worthy of our attention.” (4) In the simple and the everyday God reveals himself “to the humble in the humblest things.” (5) All that we are required to do is to fear God and keep his commandments. The rest is up to God and his grace will transform us. What is presented by the designs of Providence (the cooperation of the soul with the work of God) acts without our awareness. The analogy used by this great spiritual teacher is with medicine, which, when taken obediently by the sick, produces beneficial effects (in this case, holiness) even though the person
may know nothing about medicine. One need not do or search for anything else on one’s own. What the divine will holds at any moment is what is best. While the mind may strive to hold “first place among the means of divine action... it must be reduced to last place like a dangerous slave.” (11) When completely devoted to God, the mind may be used to great advantage but otherwise may do great harm, he warns. “Perfection does not consist in understanding God’s designs but in submitting to them.” (8) This classic work includes, in this printing, letters written by Caussade in his capacity as spiritual director to a group of nuns. Many difficulties they faced in the course of their faith journeys will sound very familiar to the contemporary reader. Moderating desires and fears, illness, an active nature, darkness, aversions, loss of human support, vexations caused by good people, interior rebelliousness and a great many other concerns are addressed in a helpful and practical manner—all the more so as the work is divided into a number of compact sections, which makes it easy to read and digest in small portions. The reader may dip in and out according to the requirements of the moment or mood. Each section is a variation or amplification of the main theme. Many of the letters are a page or less. It is noteworthy that historically Caussade seems to have been read with benefit by those for whom, as the introduction says, theory means little and who simply seek to be led closer to God, regardless of the stage of their pilgrimage. This book continues to be widely read and loved, having passed through over twenty-five editions since its first appearance—clear testimony to its enduring value. This book, as all other titles reviewed in PAX, may be borrowed from the Parish library. Editor’s note: This book is also available under the title “Abandonment to Divine Providence” and from a variety of publishers, including Image Doubleday (1975, etc.), and most recently the Ignatius Press (2011). PAX: Christmas 2012 | 11
photo by christine hatfull, St. Jean de Brébeuf Church, Cayer, Manitoba, 2012
The Huron Carol | Christine Hatfull
he history of the Huron Carol is a Canadian story that has journeyed over four centuries and three cultures, from oral tradition to a place in the hymnals and songbooks of congregations and schools across this country. In the early seventeenth century, founder Samuel de Champlain envisioned a new people born uniquely of this continent through the intermarrying and sharing of common spiritual and cultural values. It was a long way from the forced conversion and racism introduced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Fr. Jean de Brébeuf, Jesuit missionary to the Huron, penned the original words in Wendat/Huron in 1643 and set them to a popular French song called La Jeune Pucelle. It tapped into Huron traditional values while teaching the Christian story. In spite of Brébeuf’s martyrdom and the final scattering of the Huron people during the Iroquois uprising in 1649, the song lived on in oral tradition until its transcription into Wendat. It came alongside a French translation by Paul Picard, a Franco-Huron notary who worked with Fr. Etienne de Villeneuve, S.J. He was the last Jesuit to serve the Huron, and he left behind many manuscripts and transcriptions of their hymns and chants, including The 12 | PAX: Christmas 2012
Huron Christmas Carol. The song prevailed in postconquest Québec, and it was known orally for another one hundred years until it was published in the Noëls Anciens de La Nouvelle France by Ernest Myrand in 1899. In that same year, while working in Québec City, historian, journalist, and choir director Jesse Edgar Middleton discovered the publication and took it home to Toronto. In 1926 he published a free translation of the song from French into English, called ’Twas In The Moon of Wintertime, and asked his fellow choir director, Healey Willan, to provide an arrangement from the folk song for the pageant Brébeuf. The version in our hymnal is a later Lutheran arrangement. I was very young the first time I remember hearing and singing the Huron Carol at a Christmas Eve service, but it was a transcendent moment. The setting of the Nativity scene was familiar and relevant: cold and sparkling in the moonlight and warmed by furs, this child belonged to me. Last year I received a family book about my maternal grandmother’s ancestry going back over 400 years. Among my many grandparents, a few stand out—including the Algonquin warrior and clan chief, Charles Secham Packarini, who was nursed by Jeanne
Mance in her Hôtel Dieu in the new town of Montréal in 1643. She also sponsored the young man at his baptism that year, and he went on to witness many baptisms and marriages of his clan family, including the marriage of his granddaughter Marie Mitouamegoukoue to Frenchman Pierre Couc dit La Fleur in 1657. This union led to my grandmother’s father, Narcisse Cayer, who moved from Québec to Manitoba in the early 1880’s. In 1910 he led his growing family and a small band of Franco-Manitoban and Métis families north to the western shore of Lake Manitoba, where a ranching community owned and operated by the Métis branch of the family still exists. All that remains of my great grandfather is a stone in the graveyard behind the little Roman Catholic Church he built in 1933. The church stands on the prairie landscape, decommissioned and with a crypt still full of water after last year’s flood. Its name is St. Jean de Brébeuf. Mutual respect for the spiritual and cultural traditions of the three founding peoples of our nation lives in my own family and in this hymn, The Canadian Christmas Carol.
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, Can you recommend any volumes of Christian poetry? — The St. James’ Clergy Team Certainly. Here is what I have recently recommended to my master—and he listened, unusually. Atwan, Robert and Laurence Weider, eds. Chapters into Verse: Poetry in English Inspired by the Bible. New York: Oxford UP, 1993. A collection of poems in English inspired by the Bible; indeed, nearly every biblical book is a source for the poems. This two-volume anthology can be read as a poetic commentary on the Scriptures.
Atwan, Robert, George Dardess and Peggy Rosenthal, eds. Divine Inspiration: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry. New York: Oxford UP, 1998.
photo by christine hatfull, St. Jean de Brébeuf Church, Cayer, Manitoba, 2012
photo: tracy russell
This is an anthology of world poetry inspired by the language of the Gospels. Contained in one volume, poems are assembled across time and geography.
Impastato, David, ed. Upholding Mystery: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Poetry. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. This volume focuses on fifteen poets who are currently writing and publishing. The arrangement of the material is imaginative: the first chapter begins with the Cross and the last focuses on the Holy.
If you want to explore individual poets, my top recommendations are all contemporary: Elizabeth Jennings, R. S. Thomas, Vassar Miller, and Margaret Avison. Collections of their work are readily available new and used. — 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.
PAX: Christmas 2012 | 13
A Pastoral Mass | Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
14 | PAX: Christmas 2012
outcome of the investigation. This is a painful part of my journey, but it is still one of thanksgiving and of rededication. In my Intention I was able to recall through the words of Matthew’s Gospel a taking back of my heart, mind and soul. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ and Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 Heart: When a child is abused, her emotional world is damaged to the point of not knowing where love lies. Love for oneself becomes untenable and selfhatred is intense. I ask that my heart be restored to a healthy emotional place. Soul: I was taught to believe I was evil, creating a barrier between God and myself. For most of my childhood, even into my adulthood—although consciously I knew this was impossible—the deepest core of my subconscious believed I was totally evil. Taking back my soul and returning it into the trusting hands of God, I believe in time I will have a deeper peace. photo by sean birch, a pastoral mass, november 16, 2012
e have ceremonies that mark birth, marriage, and death; but what happens when we want to celebrate and give thanks for a step completed on life's complex journey? The Anglo-Catholic tradition has Sacraments that help to enfold our lives in Christ’s and in the Church, and mark a specific intention. After twenty-seven years of silence and five years of battling through the devastation of a breakdown plagued by the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, I am finally able to testify to the truth that I was sexually, physically and emotionally abused as a child. I need to speak the truth by declaring myself as God’s alone, not owned by other persons but only by God. It was suggested that a Pastoral Mass of Thanksgiving and a Renewal of a Life in Christ as a Survivor of Childhood Trauma be celebrated to mark this moment of setting myself free from my abusers. The preparation of the Mass was deeply comforting. Although it was immensely difficult to write and to articulate my intention—my rededication of myself to Christ—it was another step toward my healing and wholeness: speaking the truth and giving myself to God alone. Doing this with my family at St. James’ was also part of my healing. Now I have come to a place in my journey where I have spoken the truth to the police, and await the
Mind: The mind of an abused child is so confused... “You are special”; “You are evil”; “You must keep this secret.” So many secrets and lies. The stress for an adult mind would be appalling, but to a child it damages the mind in ways that change brain patterns for life. However, much can be salvaged with intense care by professionals, much can be relearned, and the scars can be handled in many ways. And so, as I take back my mind and am learning to allow God to thrive in it, I await the opening of so many more possibilities to serve God. Love thy neighbour as thyself: If you hate yourself, blame yourself, are ashamed, or dishonour your body with self-harm and self-abuse, then self-love is not present, and so the commandment to love others is impossible. I am trying to learn compassion in a journey toward love. I want to offer acts of compassion to others and to myself, so that I can offer up my life to God.
A Pastoral Mass can give an opportunity to celebrate, give thanks, mourn, hope, and remember, by offering many opportunities to invite God into the significant episodes in our life's journey, through the act of partaking in the mystical sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ with a specific intention. Pastoral Masses are not private (of course, no Mass is private); however, they can be intimate or published, whatever the need may be. For Anglo-Catholics, celebrating the Sacraments within the context of a pastoral need is the most natural part of one’s living a Christ-Centered sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. For me, as I am enfolded in God’s love by the Sacraments of Anointing and Holy Communion, and enabled to share this love, I hope those words of Christ may be lived out daily in my own life and in the lives of us all.
The White Ribbon Campaign in Canada | Celia Dodds
hite Ribbon Day was November 25 and on this day many men and women all over Canada took this pledge:
I will never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Primate Fred Hiltz took this pledge last year and asked ACW and Mothers’ Union members to promote and encourage their parishioners to observe this campaign and wear a white ribbon on November 25, which this year fell on a Sunday. White ribbons with the pledge attached were available in the narthex at the beginning of Mass. In the Intercessions , prayers were offered for the victims of violence. At the close of worship, the congregation recited the pledge together.
The White Ribbon campaign is linked with 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which is an international campaign in which over 3,700 organizations in approximately 164 countries have participated since 1991. This 16-day period highlights the following dates: November 25: International Day Against Violence Against Women November 29: International Women Human Rights Defenders Day December 1: World AIDS Day December 6: Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre December 10: International Human Rights Day PAX: Christmas 2012 | 15
Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ welcoming alexander james Congratulations to AJ and Andrew on the birth of their son, Alexander James. Alexander was born on October 18th, and celebrated his one-month birthday by attending a Special Vestry Meeting at St. James’! In preparation for his birth, the women of St. James’ hosted a very enjoyable baby shower for his mom. congratulations Congratulations to Philip Green and Brian Strehler who received the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster on October 28th. The ODNW was created to honour “those members of the laity in the Diocese who have given outstanding service over a significant period of time in their volunteer ministry.” We are very appreciative for all Philip and Brian do for St. James’ and the Diocese, and feel blessed to have them as members of our Parish. HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL As part of this annual event St. James’ made a special invitation to the community to attend the Masses held on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. St. James’ also welcomed the community to the much-anticipated fall Bargain Sale, sponsored by the Womens’ Guild, which is an annual highlight of the Heart of the City Festival. TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION The final national event of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation process will be held in Vancouver in the fall of 2013, and the people of St. James’ are
16 | PAX: Christmas 2012
busy getting ready. The Social Justice group sponsored a fall book study on Unsettling the Settler Within by Paulette Regan. Eighteen people from St. James’ attended the subsequent diocesan education day with National Anglican Indigenous Bishop Mark McDonald on November 24th, to explore developing relationships based on trust. We are proud that our Parish sent such a large delegation to the event. THE BELLS OF ST. JAMES’ St. James’ has a unique bell-ringing system consisting of a pianola, with its complex wiring and motor system. It was installed in the 1930s when the current church was built, and this fall it needed restoration and repairs. Donations from our parishioners made this possible, and this once-in-a-century project has at last been accomplished. This Christmas will mark the 75th anniversary of the date the bells were first rung on Christmas Eve, 1937. FALL EDUCATION AND FORMATION SESSIONS Jewish, Christian and Muslim people are sometimes known as “The People of the Book” because of their adherence to scripture and to monotheism, belief in the “God of Abraham.” On Sundays in October we explored the understanding of prayer in each tradition, with special guests from each faith to assist us. In November the focus of the Education and Formation sessions was the rich English tradition of
mystical writings. Our thanks to all who offered sessions on Medieval Mystics, Julian of Norwich, and William Law. In Advent the theme of the sessions was “The Music of Advent.” The musical tradition of this season helps build the anticipation of the faithful and expresses their deepest longing for the second advent of Jesus. This series informed us more fully about the sources and the texts of our Advent music. LESSONS AND CAROLS, AND ADVENT BOUTIQUE On Advent Sunday St. James’ offered a candle-light service of Advent Lessons and Carols, to a crowd of over 150 people. All the services on Advent Sunday were followed by the Advent Boutique which gave everyone the chance to stock up on preserves, baking, knitting and craft items. O COME, O COME EMMANUEL This year’s Advent Quiet Day was held on December 8th, and gave participants a time of readings, prayers, reflections and silence to renew their hope in God. Mother Jessica Schaap explored with us the ways the hymns of the Advent season prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ. UPDATE ON THE FEELEYS The Feeleys, who moved to the Middle East last summer, have been in touch with parishioners about their life and work. They are doing well in all respects.
photo: fr. mark greenaway-robbins
The Wardens of St. Jamesâ€™, December 6, 2012. Reece Wrightman, Paul Stanwood, Brian Rocksborough-Smith
photo: elaine jan photo: elaine jan
photo: a.j. bustin
All Soulsâ€™ Day Mass, November 2, 2012.
October 28, 2012. Philip Green and Brian Strehler
Baptism of Kathleen McClure, November 4, 2012. photo: sean birch
photo: elaine jan
Advent Boutique, December 2, 2012. Pamela Jeacock, Margaret Vickers, and others
Order of the Diocese of New Westminster,
Pacific Baroque Orchestra concert, November 16, 2012. Coffee Hour with the Bishop, December 9, 2012. Dr. Teasdale, Brother John Blythe, Bishop Michael Ingham
photo: elaine jan
photo: elaine jan
Alexander James Bustin, October 22, 2012.
303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PAX no. 17 © 2012 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Jen Amundgaard, Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Mother Jessica Schaap Designer & Art Director: Jen Amundgaard Writers: Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, Celia Dodds, Mother Jessica Schaap, Kevin Greenlee, Benjamin Amundgaard, Mother Alexis Saunders, Tim Firth, Christine Hatfull, Bear, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins Photography: Sean Birch, Christine Hatfull, Tracy Russell, Elaine Jan, A.J. Bustin, Father Mark Greenaway-Robbins Illustration: Anastasia Greenaway-Robbins 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 sean birch, lessons and carols, december 2, 2012
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.
The Christmas edition of PAX, the quarterly magazine of St. James' Anglican Church, Vancouver BC. The theme of this edition: living a Christ...
Published on Jan 7, 2013
The Christmas edition of PAX, the quarterly magazine of St. James' Anglican Church, Vancouver BC. The theme of this edition: living a Christ...