Painting by Ann Conway.
Painting by Jan Strehler.
Long Awaited Coming… | Fr. Kevin Hunt
dvent is the season of waiting and longing: we look forward to the coming of Christ in glory, when all things will be brought to completion in him at the end of time, and to Christmas, the celebration of his birth at Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, God humbling himself to become part of his creation, God-with-us, Emmanuel. We look too for his coming among us now, day by day, through his word, in the sacraments, and in one another. We reflect on Israel’s long wait for the promised Messiah, and on Mary and Joseph surrounded by all the trepidation and anticipation of the birth of an
unexpected child. St James’, in its own small way, is caught up in a time of waiting and longing, as the Canonical Process draws to a close soon, we hope, with the appointment of a new Rector. In the midst of our waiting and longing, our looking forward in hope, the God who is always faithful invites us to remain faithful, too. “May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.” (1 Thessalonians 5.23,24).
In the midst of our waiting and longing, our looking forward in hope, the God who is always faithful invites us to remain faithful, too.
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From the Archives | Paul Stanwood
t. James’ Parish Archives has accumulated and sermons, pastoral letters, notes on “ritual practices,” preserved major parts of the various newsparish register, activities of guilds and groups, letters letters that have been produced by rectors and to the editor, and articles on world events. parishioners over the years. Their forms range Throughout its entire run, it was filled with adverfrom manuscript in 1887, to publication from 1897 to tisements from a wide variety of local businesses, 1954, to mimeograph starting in the 1960s, to desktop including the Vancouver Conservatory of Music, a publishing starting in the roller skating rink, a drug 1990s. As is often the case, store, a grocer, a millinery, What role is PAX intended to fulfil? there are frequent and, a farm implements store, Is there a need for such a publication sometimes, large gaps in and a furniture and carpets at St. James’? Should we consider an the historical record. This store. In the midst of the brief summary, and the electronic rather than a printed medium? Klondike Gold Rush in dates given, is based on the 1898, it included an ad from How is it to be financed? Is there the holdings that remain in the the Tiny Dog Store—“The capacity to find an editorial group? These Best and Cheapest House Archives. recently raised questions encouraged Newsletters have always in Town for Klondike been a central medium us to return to the first issue of PAX in Outfits! Loggers’, Miners’ of community and comAdvent 2008. In an article by Jane Turner, and Sailors’ Supplies. munication within the Everything you want!” sometime St. James’ Archivist, we learn parish. The onerous task (Mar. 1898, p. 33). In its last and expense of produof the purpose and review the legacy of years, reflecting a growing cing a regular publication our newsletters. “Reflecting Community culture of consumerism, it has made them periodic included the header, “Our and Culture” is reprinted here. in nature. They have most columns will prove of value often been propelled by the to business men wishing energy and vision of the Rector. There is a common to reach the homes of a splendid class of the buying theme of concern about the lack of money. From the public” (Apr. 1911, p.3). beginning, they reflected the culture of their day. The newsletter gradually came to an end before Fr. Clinton’s final illness and death. CHURCH RECORD, 1897–1911 The Church Record was the first formal newsletter of PARISH QUARTERLY, 1927–1928 the parish, and ran for 14 years, from 1897 to 1911. It After an apparent gap of sixteen years, Fr. Wilberforce was propelled by the energy and vision of Fr. Henry Cooper, rector from 1921–1952, reestablished the Fiennes-Clinton, rector from 1885 to 1912. It began as newsletter as the Parish Quarterly. It was similar to the a publication for the Diocese of New Westminster, but Church Record in scope, content and advertisements, by January of 1900, Fr. Clinton announced that because but seems to have ended in 1928. of lack of submissions, it would henceforth be “simply the Parish Magazine” (Jan. 1900, p.7). It included
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photo by saint james music academy, christmas recital, december 7, 2012
THE OCCASIONAL PAPER, 1931–1953 The Occasional Paper was a newsletter on a humbler scale, with no promises of regularity, and seems to have been published about four to six times a year. It included announcements, lists of services, important parish announcements, and Rector’s letters to the parish. It ran success-fully for twenty-two years, from 1931-1953, until the end of Fr. Cooper’s tenure. ST. JAMES’ APOSTLE, 1953–1954 Fr. David Somerville, rector from 1952–1960, introduced a new newsletter entitled, St. James’ Apostle. The Archives has holdings for two years, from 1953–1954. ST. JAMES’ PARISH FAMILY NEWSLETTER, 1963–1995 After a gap of some years, the St. James’ Parish Family Newsletter was introduced. It was the longest running parish newsletter, but the Archives contain only 17 issues, the first in 1963. It is the smallest surviving remnant of all the remaining parish newsletters, and so it is difficult to determine how often it was produced. It began under the direction of Fr. Edward Hulford, rector from 1960–1965; continued by Fr. J. Gordon Gardiner, rector from 1966–1988; continued by Fr. David Retter, rector from 1988–2004. It was the most informal of the newsletters, with a mimeograph production. It included a rector’s message, sermons, reports of parish committees, and articles from parishioners on a variety of subjects. Like all newsletters, it reflected the historical culture in which it existed in the midst of the mid-twentieth century feminist challenge to conventional thought. From the perspective of today, this challenge contributed to a deeper understanding of the nature of God as beyond the human limitations of gender and sexuality.
CORNERSTONE, 1995–2008 In 1995, St. James’ entered the age of professional newsletters with the production of Cornerstone. It lasted for 13 years, consistently publishing from 12 to 14 issues each year. Unlike previous newsletters, it was entirely driven by parishioners, filled with stories, research articles, sermons, and news of parish events. It lasted through the tenures of Fr. David Retter and Fr. William Derby (interim), and into the first two years of Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins’ incumbency. PAX, 2008– With the introduction of this newest publication, the parish newsletter will once again return to a quarterly. Since the first parish newsletter in 1897, it will continue to tell our story and celebrate who we are. Inevitably, in ways that we do not know, our newsletter will also reflect the challenges of our culture. Advent 2016: PAX reaches issue 31, with the hope that it may continue to be “a central medium of community and communication within the parish.” — PGS
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Spiritual Classics – The Art of Ann Conway and Jan Strehler | Doug Ibbott
t St. James’, we are blessed with a rich tradition of sacred choral music. Sung by our gifted choir, these spiritual compositions take us to a higher plane of worship, inspiration, and reflection, opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit in a unique way. In visual art, we are similarly drawn to the spiritual as we contemplate images created by artists who aim to convey a truth or perception, whether literal or abstract, in order to provoke an emotion or an intellectual consideration. Musical composition and notation can be compared to brush strokes of paint on a canvas – measured, intentional, guided by technical skill and an inspired vision, combined to achieve potent images with pattern, colour and shades of human experience through the artist’s “voice.” Classical sacred art has been largely superseded by modern forms so that now it is rare to find traditional art unaffected by contemporary abstraction. But “classic” paintings are found in St. James’s Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and over the Lady Altar, works by Botticelli and Perugino, respectively. And two former parishioners of St. James’, Ann Conway and Jan Strehler, have created classic works in the form of icons. ANN CONWAY worshipped at St. James’ from 1983-2000 and served the people of the Downtown East Side for many years as Co-ordinator of Agape Family Services alongside May Gutteridge. Of this time, Ann has said how especially blessed she felt by her relationships with First Nations individuals and families. Ann also worked as a volunteer case worker with Crown Council
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Victim Witness Services in the community. Ann’s interest in icon painting began with a trip in 1961 to St. Petersburg with her husband John where she met an iconographer who invited Ann into her home. There she showed Ann her collection of icons. On the following day, this woman sent to Ann a gift of an icon that she particularly loved. Thirty years later in Vancouver, the icon’s border began to peel and so Ann sought an iconographer who might be able to restore this valuable painting. She found a Russian iconographer who agreed to undertake the repairs, and also he invited her to enrol in some of his icon painting workshops. Ann learned the ancient “petit lac” method of applying egg tempura and pigments and laying gold leaf. Ann says, “This enabled me to write my own icons in a disciplined, prayerful and reflective manner.” Ann also remarked that “icons evoke the past, inspire the present, and point to a future hope. They have been described as ‘theology in line and colour’ and have drawn me to seek the mystery of God through Christ.”
JAN STREHLER worshipped at St. James’ with her husband Brian for the years from 1998-2015. Jan served as Trustee, Associate Warden, member of the Anglican Mothers’ Union, coffee hour facilitator (with Brian), reader, Christmas gift box Co-ordinator for Fr. Matthew Johnson’s Street Outreach, and assisted with the annual Bargain Sale. Jan is also an accomplished painter and an active member of the South Delta Artist’s Guild, and she has won many awards in juried exhibitions. Shortly after joining St. James’, Jan spent five years teaching water colour painting to residents of Victory House and Cecilia House on Powell Street. Jan says that the residents found this creative work very calming. They also displayed their work, gallery style, for the Vancouver East Side Culture Crawl, which helped to generate pride in their achievements. Jan has integrated her faith in prayer into her “writing” of icons. She explained, “I included Archangel Rafael in a series of icon paintings I did some years ago. I pictured him as a very gentle soul, always listening to intercessory prayers for healing. I have always believed in the power of prayer, most specifically healing prayer.” During one particular painting session, Jan was reminded of a time when an instructor on intercessory prayer played music on his clarinet while participants meditated; she transferred this image of music and reflection into her painting.
palm sunday procession, march 24, 2013; photo by tracy russell
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People Look East | Christine Hatfull People Look East and sing today, Love the Lord is on the way.
ith its dear sentiments and lovely folk melody, People Look East is the kind of carol that repeats in my brain in a pleasant way, and yet it has also become associated with the reality of our times. It is the price of living once again in the world. I went on a news diet twelve years ago. First I cut the cable and then the newspaper subscriptions, and while my motivations were primarily economic I also reaped the benefits of not having to “fix the world” while in such great need of fixing my own life. In the meantime, I joined the parish and choir of St. James’, resettled my home, began new projects and gradually restored my health and wellbeing. Last year, while researching a history of the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1838, a subject surprisingly full of contemporaneous political parallels, I was drawn back into the currency of 2015, involving myself with open-source media on the Internet and working for Elections Canada as a Deputy Returning Officer. The experience was invigorating and I was once again hooked, but not in the same way. Amongst the many top news events to be caught up with were the on-going invasions, terrorism, and refugee crises of the Middle East. Most of this remains beyond my comprehension, but one aspect caught my attention – the especial plight of Christians in all the zones of conflict from Lebanon to Sudan. The greatest concern appears to be the reticence of the West to act upon the fact that Christians, of all faith groups, are now considered to be the most persecuted and discriminated against worldwide. While all civilians are in grave danger of reprisals and indiscriminate attacks between warring parties, used as pawns and prevented from leaving targeted attack areas, the escalating persecution of Christians in the Middle East remains the mostly untold story. The birthplace of Christianity and home to some of the oldest communities in history is being decimated with
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the result that the entire region is less safe by its loss of diversity. The Press is meanwhile reluctant to give attention. The difficulty in obtaining refugee status puts Christians in Syria and Iraq in as much danger as the Jews of Europe before World War II. Although Christians and Muslims have lived together for fourteen hundred years, the time may already be too late for Christianity to survive in Iraq, even on the Plain of Nineveh where the monastery of St. Matthew once held 7000 worshipping monks and now only six remain or in the formerly “beautiful mosaic of communities” that was Syria. “There is no safe place left in Syria. The future of Christians in Syria is threatened not by Muslims but by … chaos …and the infiltration of uncontrollable fanatical, fundamentalist groups.” Patriarch Gregorios “Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa?” “The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent.” Ronald S. Lauder, President, World Jewish Congress “The biggest challenge I think we are going to face is trying to get the American church to understand the scale and magnitude of persecution around the world their brothers and sisters are facing today.” David Curry, President, Open Doors USA People look east because the information is there, even if it is not popular or entertaining and leads to veritable rabbit holes. Just knowing feels like an onerous responsibility, but when I avert my eyes, with fear or cynical indifference and retreat back to my safe zone, whom then am I serving? Why is it so difficult to stay awake, and now that I am, what can I do? I am open to suggestions.
Christian church door in Damascus, Syria Photo: Dario Bajurin
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Joseph, the Silent Stepfather | Lucy Price, Deacon
ave you ever been to Montreal? I have been only once and found myself making the slow climb up the steps of St. Joseph’s Oratory, a place where people flocked for healing in the time of Brother André. The building itself is impressive, and pilgrims still climb the 99 wooden steps reserved for them, out of the 283 that take visitors to the top. The Oratory is a place of pilgrimage, prayer – and curiosity. Non-Christian people travel there to see the beauty of the space, and also the multitude of crutches and canes left behind by those who received healing, but also to sit in the stillness of the main sanctuary in order to take in the beauty of the mosaics and colourful windows. And then, on the 5th level, one finds the museum that contains an impressive display of nativity creches from around the world. Walking around and admiring the craftsmanship of the many interpretations of the Nativity in cultures from around the world, I wandered from the Mary and Jesus (at the centre) to Joseph, the quiet stepfather, gazing at his family, sometimes arranged with shepherds, Magi and various animals. What must he have been thinking as people arrived to visit his new son? Surely this was a man who understood what surrender to God’s will really means. The Gospel accounts all depict Joseph as a silent character, while Mary has much to say. But what can we know about Jesus’ silent stepfather? We know he was “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4), and that he was a carpenter. In Matthew’s Gospel the Angel of the Annunciation appears to Joseph rather than Mary. He is told to take Mary as his wife, even after learning that she is already pregnant. Mary would have invited judgement and gossip, and Joseph regarded as shameful. He could have had her stoned to death according to Torah Law, but we learn that “he decided to divorce her quietly” (Matt. 1:19), prior to the Angel’s announcement. The quiet Joseph standing in the background of those Nativity scenes seems to me to have been a good parent.
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He protected his family by hiding them in Egypt, and he named Jesus and presented him faithfully at the temple. They were a family of very modest means, something we know because Mary and Joseph Photo: Lucy Price offered pigeons instead of a lamb at the temple presentation. We know also that Jesus learned Joseph’s trade, for he is referred to as “the carpenter’s son,” and “the carpenter.” Joseph accepted his vocation as husband and father and nurtured his family. What can we learn from him about surrendering to God’s will and caring for our families? Joseph, with Jesus and Mary, you knew aches and pains, hunger and uncertainty. You turned your heart to God to lift up your needs and those of your family. As life unfolded, you accepted the Father’s response in faith. Be with me today as I offer my requests to the Father. Joseph, let me recognize God’s will as I open my hands to accept what God bestows in loving kindness. So tenderly God fills creation with life and love. Open my eyes to the wonders that God works without ceasing. Let me learn the true meaning of my request so that I may discover within myself the lowly one that God commends. Amen From the booklet: “Pray with Saint Brother André at Saint Joseph’s Oratory,” Montreal: Pastoral Services and Communications Office, 2011).
What Can I Give Him | PJ Janson
here is a marvellous phrase in the Bidding Prayer that is part of the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas: “Let us remember, in his name, the poor and helpless, the cold, the hungry, and the oppressed.” In the midst of a prayer about hearing again the message of the angels, and going in heart and mind to Bethlehem, we are reminded to pray for those in need. St. James’ is uniquely situated in this regard, in the poorest district of Canada. From time to time, those who lead their lives mostly on the street come into St. James’. They come in for different reasons of course, but some intuitively grasp the truth that the church building is a reflection of heaven and a metaphor of our own spiritual journey from individuals into community, into the presence of God. A medieval English scholar once wrote: This is the gate of Heaven, this is the door of eternal life; it leads its pilgrim to the stars. On entering, one may penetrate the heavenly mountain, if he takes with him faith and hope as his companions. Here forgiveness may be sought if the pilgrim enters with a devout heart and on foot. Here a sinner is cleansed, and purged by tears of repentance and adorned with humility, he is worthy to enter the holy places of God. I believe that Jesus in his mercy forgives their sins, so that whoever enters sad will emerge more joyful. —Alcuin of York
a pew, pulled out a hymnbook, and started reading. It took five, maybe ten minutes, but somehow sitting in the church seemed to calm him down. The Mass at the Lady Altar was drawing to a close, and after the priest concluded with the words “The Mass has ended,” we replied with the customary response. The priest moved toward the front doors, and just then the man got up with his right hand raised high. He made his way to the front door, gradually lowering his hand as he approached the priest. He was holding something. As he came closer to where the priest was standing the young man spoke, “I want to give you this.” Puzzled, the priest enquired, “What is it?” “Not much,” he replied, “but it’s all I have. It’s a quarter, and I want to give it to the church.” I was astounded. Thus far, I had only read about this – but I had never seen it in action. Many of us give out of our wealth; yet here, this young man was giving everything – all he had to live on. Sometimes, in the midst of the bleakness and poverty that is part of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side, there are moments when we can see acts of grace and beauty.
Every so often, when the front doors of St. James’ are open for mid-day Mass, visitors come in to experience something of God’s presence. So it was recently when, just about fifteen minutes into the service, a young man came in. He seemed agitated, though at the same time he was respectful of the Mass in progress. He made his way into the nave of the church, sat down in
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Three Halls Full | Allan Duncan
he Nativity scene is set in a stable. A cattle shelter leaning up against a seemingly more substantial and important structure. As Christians, we understand the notion of supportive roles, of playing second fiddle, as it were, to something or someone far more important. In so doing we ourselves are built up, affirmed as the unique, loving and intentional person we were born to be. The idea of purpose growing out of service gives reason to reflect on the settings where, for practicing Christians, so much of this service takes place. My life has included membership in three Anglican parishes where God is worshipped and His love celebrated in beautiful churches, following age-old traditions. And alongside each of those holy places we have gathered as communities in wonderful, old parish halls which have out-lived all the original churches. Often tucked up against the side of our church building, parish halls are the genesis centres, the engine room of a church parish family. This is where the business of the church is deliberated, its history honoured, its future imagined and where parishioners come together in fellowship and Christian formation to learn and to be heard, and so to become more and more of who we are. As well in these halls we find our own unique place on the wheel of fellowship as the parish family breaks bread, welcomes the wider community
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and practices the social gospel. Looking back, it seems there was always a divisive issue that was playing itself out in the popular culture – divorce, women priests, same-sex marriage – and I recall the debates that took place in those church halls. They were the most reasoned, yet still passionate discussions that people of differing opinions could possibly have. Likewise there was often a financial ‘crisis’ challenging the parish and requiring unified action – which always seemed to be forthcoming as we gathered in those unprepossessing spaces. Parish hall deliberations provide mortar for the structure of the faith community and a clear definition, a face of who we are to the community and the world. The Spirit present among the assembled in those humble rooms is often palpable. Over a lifetime there are countless special events that take place in parish halls. It is not unusual for a hall complex to be used some 500+ times a year. I fondly recall Cubs and Scouts, Sunday school, piano lessons (not so fondly), whist drives, Bingo, craft and bake sales, strawberry teas, recitals, dances, lectures, quiet days, bargain sales, Christmas parties and Easter egg hunts, sit-down dinners, birth, wedding and funeral receptions. Parish halls are like community markets, town halls where single moms meet, and movies are filmed, where the choir rehearses, the AA group meets and the work of the sanctuary and flower guilds takes place, all in the same space used for the Annual Vestry. This is where political debates and the voting itself takes place, where soup kitchens and food banks operate and community support groups such as music academies, exercise gyms, and daycares can find a space. For many of us these halls are the crucibles of our own Christian individuality. For our community, they are gathering places which are fairly full of our life in Christ together. In the early days of the church, Christians were known for how much they loved everyone. Parish halls, because of the rich mosaic of what and who they facilitate, are host to that ethic. They are the supportive structure, the Christmas crèche picture of our faith family.
On Charity | Amelia Birch
uring the Advent season, the opportunity for Christians to reach out in charity is abundant. We hear the ringing of the Salvation Army bells outside of grocery stores, and the call for food donations to the struggling food bank, and Christmas shoeboxes to be given to children abroad. We are actively reminded to provide for others during this time of year, particularly when we live in a culture of great abundance. I always find that these calls for charity do much to “tug our heart strings”; however, they make me wonder if my charity is truly making a difference in addressing the root causes which these symptoms represent. In my own life, I am much reminded of this call to action during this time of year. In my profession of a nurse serving community members of the Downtown Eastside, my clients are increasingly worried about the weather changing, the reminder of the limited family
ties that they maintain, and the disruption of support services over the holidays. In the small non-profit that I help run (Warm Heart Initiatives), the staff in Malawi are gearing up for a large Christmas event for the children in the Village of Thukuta. My excitement and expectation for the season can be bogged down by these great needs.
“Works of justice, on the other hand, follow the road less traveled of Advent’s hope to pursue solutions for difficult problems. Hope comes through works of justice rather than simply performing works of charity.” —Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR How does the call for charity link to Advent? I can’t help but think about the greatest example of Charity: the gift of Christ in coming down from heaven to join us on earth. We are provided, in this single act, the true answer to the root causes of inequity, poverty of resources and spirit, and despair. I believe it is essential in this season to give financially to charities that need our support. However, as we look with anticipation to the arrival of Christ, it is even more important to ask, “How do our actions mimic God’s gift to us?” It is in this time of Advent when we are to examine how our acts, how our thoughts, and how our minds can be aligned to God.
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The Mission to Seafarers Celebrating 160 Years Peter Goodwin
he Mission to Seafarers in its role of caring for seafarers around the world was established in London, England in 1856. Now operating in over 200 ports in 50 countries, it provides services to seafarers of all ranks, nationalities, and beliefs. With a global network of chaplains, staff, and volunteers it offers, practical, emotional, and spiritual support to seafarers through ship visits, drop-in seafarer centres, and a range of welfare and emergency support services. Until 2010 the organization was known as the Mission to Seamen but the name was changed to reflect its role as a society which cares for all seafarers regardless of gender. The Vancouver mission, known as the “Seamen’s Institute”, was established in 1897 by Father Clinton, 2nd Rector of St. James’ Church, for the purpose of offering support to sailors. It was located beside the second St. James’ Church on Gore Avenue. In 1903 it was joined to the worldwide Mission to Seamen and became a diocesan ministry. For many years a Mission to Seafarers Sea Sunday service was held at St. James’ Church. The present mission, also known as the Flying Angel Club, is located at the foot of Dunlevy Street with a second location at the Roberts Bank terminals in Delta. On average the Vancouver location welcomes approximately 3,700 seafarers annually, with Roberts Bank about 14,000. While being from many countries, the largest number of the seafarers are Filipino, but with increasing numbers from Indonesia, who are of the Muslim faith. The Mission to Seafarers provides a “home away from home” for seafarers who may be away from home and
family for months at a time. In addition to the services already mentioned, internet, computers, and telephones are available. Seafarers may purchase food and clothing, personal care items and toiletries. Taxis are provided as needed and seafarers are advised on such things as shopping and sightseeing options. Money transfers are arranged in order to forward funds to seafarers’ families. A comfortable and friendly environment allows for relaxation and conversation along with activities such as watching TV and playing pool. At Christmas, gift packages are distributed to the seafarers by the chaplains who visit their ships. The mission is an interfaith ministry with chaplains from the Roman Catholic and Christian Reformed churches working alongside the Reverend Peter Smyth, Senior Port Chaplain of the Anglican diocese, to meet the needs of seafarers. St. James’ Church maintains its close ties with the Vancouver mission as pictured here on December 2nd with members of the St. James’ Women’s Guild preparing “Hot Socks” for seafarers’ Christmas gift packages – part of the diocesan outreach initiative to seafarers. While visiting our diocese on October 27, Primate Fred Hiltz (pictured) came to the mission along with Bishop Barbara Andrews of the Parishes of the Central Interior, now referred to as the Territory of the People, and members of the Anglican Church Women’s diocesan executive to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the founding of the Mission to Seafarers. Also pictured with the flag are Peter Smyth, Senior Port Chaplain, Deacon Dileep Athaid, Roman Catholic chaplain, and Father John Eason, retired Roman Catholic chaplain. An anniversary cake was enjoyed by all, following a blessing by the Primate. Kathryn Murray, manager of both centres, and her pet Sailor, the official mascot of the mission, provide a warm welcome to the visiting seafarers and all who come by. Peter Goodwin, a member of St. James’, does weekly volunteer banking for the mission
Photo: Peter Goodwin
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The Intrigue of The Music | Iris Brummitt
s a child I attended Sunday School and church at “the little brown church in the vale,” as the old song goes. It was about three miles away, and most of the time we walked both ways. I had two good friends who were Roman Catholic and sometimes I used to go to church with them. Then I heard one day of an Anglican Church where they had Masses, and sometimes sang in Latin. This intrigued me. So one Sunday I went into St. James’ to see for myself. I liked what I saw and heard. When we moved to West Vancouver I began going to church by ferry. The West Van ferries were running at that time, so I used to travel on them. One time, while I was sitting in the congregation and singing the hymns, a man who was sitting on one side of me spoke to me at the end of the service. He had something to do with choirs and told me I had a good “choir” voice (whatever that is). So this gave me the incentive and the nerve to find out about joining the choir. Anyway, they let me in. As I remember there was a big choir of twenty-five or thirty people at that time. Boy sopranos used to join the choir for Evensong. We sang at Evensong every Sunday and they didn’t have 6:15 pm masses on special days. We had to go down to High Mass at 7:00 am – yes, 7:00 o’clock in the morning! It was challenging at first to sing in the choir, as all the music was new to me. But I found it exciting to have a part in the worship of the church. One thing that impressed me when I first started going to St. James’
was the clergy. Father Cooper was there then, and as a young person, I really looked up to him. Until three years or so ago there had only been three choir masters at St. James’ for a period of over fifty years, so each of them had been there for a long time. I sometimes wonder how they stood us for so long! I had to take some time off from the choir to have five children. I was still singing until a few days before my first baby was born. When the youngest child was old enough, I rejoined the choir. Our children of course are now all grown up and have children of their own and we have thirteen grandchildren to worry about. No, I should say, to enjoy. When I was young and energetic I used to teach a class of little children in the Sunday school and they used to have summer vacation schools at other churches. I was also involved in the Girl Guides at St. James’ and we had an active Young Peoples’ group. We even put on some plays at our church and at other churches. There were several marriages of the young people who were at the church at that time, including ours. Our choir is going strong these days. We are fortunate in having an excellent organist and choirmaster. We sing some more difficult music and have some newer and younger, competent singers who add a lot to the choir. A longtime parishioner, Iris Brummitt, who died this fall aged 93, wrote about her experience as a choir member in Cornerstone, the predecessor of PAX. Her reflections first appeared in 2002, and they are reprinted here, without change.
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In Memory of Fr. Gardiner | Fr. Kevin Hunt
ollowing is the sermon preached at the Requiem Mass for James Gordon Gardiner, longtime Rector of St. James’, on September 1st.
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photo by christine hatfull
many ways still runs on systems either established or strengthened by Fr. Gardiner. Drawn by the beauty and mystery of Anglo-Catholic worship at St. Thomas’, Toronto, he became a Catholic Anglican in his teens. This led him to a disciplined +In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Rule of Life, centered on the Daily Office and Mass, Holy Spirit. Amen. which sustained him in his ministry and well into his (Job 19.23-27; Rev. 21.1-7; John 6.47-58) retirement…Amongst the papers in his file there are two documents which give an insight into his character and spirituality – the The three readings chosen transcript of an interview of for this Requiem express Fr. Gardiner by Betty Vogel what lies at the heart of the – here today – at the time of Christian faith, and what lay his retirement in 1988, and a at the heart of Fr. Gardiner’s personal testament. life and ministry: confidence When asked which part in the living Redeemer, the of the priesthood he found vision of the glory of heaven, most fulfilling, Fr. Gardiner and Jesus, the Bread of Life, replied: “I think the pastoral given to and for us day by day work is what I’ve always in the Eucharist. found most fulfilling. . . . I met Fr. Gardiner briefly Generally, my view of the on his 94th birthday a year priesthood is that of a parish ago, and it was my privilege priesthood, and that the to be amongst those who priest is a general practiministered to him in his tioner. He is supposed to do last days, but I did not know all things. There are experts James Gordon Gardiner him. Those who did, tell me in giving retreats, there are July 21, 1921 – August 21, 2016 that he was a faithful parish experts in giving quiet days, priest but a very private there are experts in preachperson, not often disclosing of himself. ing, there are experts in clinical pastoral work, there During his long reign – and I use that word advisare experts in hospital visiting and in prison work, and edly – of twenty-two years at St. James’, which he so on, and I respect them very much and have often describes in his papers as “the most beautiful church referred people to them. But I think the parish priest in Canada,” and which he helped to beautify, I underis expected to be a general practitioner, and that’s stand that he was definitely “in charge”: St. James’ in what I’ve always tried to do, even though I do some
things better than others. The thing that I find most difficult is preaching, and I sometimes wonder why I ever went into the priesthood because of preaching.” His personal testament I find humbling and moving. He begins, “First, I record my gratitude to Almighty God, for my Creation, Preservation, and all the Blessings of this life,” which he then lists: his parents and family, his Christian faith and vocation, a small number of particular friendships from different stages of his life, and the parishes he served. Here are the closing paragraphs: From 1966–1988 I was Rector of St. James’ Church, Vancouver – the most beautiful church in Canada. I visited St. James’ for the first time in 1948, and met Fr. Cooper. (While I was Rector of St. James’, I once found an intercession paper with his personal prayers in an old Office Book of his. In his intercessions I found my name included during my ministry at Edson.) While Rector of St. James’, I found nothing but support, love, faith, and generosity among the people and priests of St. James’ who have served with me. I thank God that he has called me to serve in all these places. I have been happy to serve wherever Providence has called me to serve, and have never sought my own will, to change my estate. I have no doubts of my salvation and resurrection to which it shall please God to call me. I have always believed these truths, firmly and literally. I know that I have much to surrender yet, and am in no way worthy of these mercies. I want to record here formally my repentance for any injuries inflicted on anyone during my lifetime, which caused pain or injury to anyone’s body, or distress or confusion to their mind, or
detriment or destruction of their souls. I ask forgiveness, divine and human, for any souls which have been lost, discouraged, or dismayed by any act or word of mine. Lord have mercy. As we give thanks for Fr. Gardiner, for his life and faithful ministry, we commend him to the loving mercy of the Lord in whom he trusted, praying that he may rest in peace and rise in glory. We pray for ourselves, and for this parish of St. James’, for confidence to know “that our Redeemer lives” and for grace to live in the hope of heaven. Nourished at the altar by Jesus, the Bread of Life, may we be the Body of Christ here today, in worship, mission and service, praying and working together for the coming of God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.
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Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ IN MEMORIAM This fall Requiem Masses were held for Fr. James Gordon Gardiner, Rector of St. James’ from 1966–1988, and for Iris Brummitt, a stalwart member of St. James’ and the Choir for many years. We give thanks for their lives and their ministry amongst us. SALAL + CEDAR EVENTS The Reverend Laurel Dykstra and members of Salal + Cedar, the environmental justice ministry of the Diocese of New Westminster, joined us in October for a Mass and Coffee Hour to share information about their work. Salal + Cedar also led Parish members on an ecological and historical walking tour of the neighbourhood. HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL St. James’ hosted several events this year. The Women’s Guild Fall Bargain Sale provided the opportunity to purchase clothing, household items, and much more at rock-bottom prices. An art show themed “Living on Shared Territory” attracted an enthusiastic crowd. The moving Solemn High Mass on All Souls’ Day included prayer, by name, for our departed loved ones. FALL EDUCATION & FORMATION SESSIONS Two thought-provoking study groups were offered this fall. Fr. Matthew Johnson led a four-part series on “Contemplative Bible Study,” and Sister Mary Christian Cross and Deacon Joyce Locht led discussions on “The Spirituality of Aging.”
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CHORAL EVENSONG & BENEDICTION Evensong is a much-loved part of the Anglican tradition and is the sung evening counterpart to the Office of Morning Prayer. Benediction is a brief service of adoration of God in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Parish members felt blessed to participate in this offering of worship on October 16. ORDER OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER On Saturday, November 5, parish member and former Warden, Betty Carlson, was invested in the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster. Congratulations Betty, and thank you for the many ways you have served the people of St. James’. FESTIVITIES Two celebrations took place here in November. On November 5th, our curate and deacon Lucy Price and her partner Tara diZazzo, had their wedding blessing ceremony. It was a beautiful service with 180 in attendance to witness, celebrate and support. This was the first same-sex blessing held at St. James’ and as a community we look forward to celebrating with others down the road. Thanks to everyone who worked to make this day possible. On November 20 a special lunch of Chinese food was held to mark the end of our annual Stewardship Campaign, and celebrate the generosity of all who donate to further the mission and ministry of St. James’.
SPECIAL FINANCIAL VESTRY MEETING Parish members gathered in November to approve the budget for 2017 and adopt the master financial plan that will enable our Rectory (the “Clergy House”) to be transformed into a parish centre with a street-front presence, offices, and meeting space. ADVENT LESSONS & CAROLS SERVICE AND ADVENT BOUTIQUE A beautiful Lessons and Carols service was held on Advent Sunday. After all the church services that day, the congregation was invited to visit the Advent Boutique in the Upper Hall to stock up on knits, baking, preserves, fair trade coffee, and more. 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked the beginning of 16 Days of Activism – the Global Mothers’ Union campaign against Gender Based Violence. Parishioners were given white ribbons to wear in support of the campaign. ADVENT FOOD COLLECTION FOR FIRST NATIONS YOUTH During Advent the Mothers’ Union sponsored a food collection drive, in aid of First Nations youth and their children who are served by the Coming Home Society and the Urban Native Youth Association programs. Over 100 young folks and their children will receive grocery hampers to help them through the very lean month of January. Thanks to the people of St. James’ for their wonderful generosity.
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303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: email@example.com
www.stjames.bc.ca 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. PAX no. 31 © 2016 St. James’ Anglican Church Managing Editor: Paul Stanwood Editorial Panel: Christine Hatfull, Fr. Kevin Hunt, PJ Janson Contributors: Amelia Birch, Iris Brummitt, Allan Duncan, Peter Goodwin, Christine Hatfull, Fr. Kevin Hunt, Doug Ibbott, PJ Janson, Reverand Lucy Price, Paul Stanwood, Jane Turner Photography: Christine Hatfull, Brummitt family Design: Miles Linklater Circulation: Mary Brown A ministry of St. James’ Church, PAX is published quarterly and freely distributed, but voluntary annual subscriptions of $15.00 are welcome. Since PAX aims to be financially self-sustaining, donations to this publication are greatly appreciated. They may be made through the offering 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. A theme-based call for submissions is issued two to six weeks before each edition in the Sunday church bulletin. All submissions to PAX are acknowledged, reviewed, and edited by the editorial panel. All submissions may be edited for length, the maximum normally being 500 words.
Photo: Christine Hatfull