photo by sean birch
walsingham abbey remains; photo by david p orman (wikipedia commons)
Renewal and Conversion | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
ur conversion in Christ centers upon a commitment among the Trustees and Collegium, three questions. First, What is the core and so many others, for us to reclaim and recover our vocation elemental to the person we are vocation in Christ. To put it crudely, in the words of becoming in Christ Jesus? Second, What a colleague upon hearing a description of this season is God calling us to surrender in our life? And third, of review: “together we are ‘pushing the re-start What is God calling us to initiate and take up afresh? button.’” A daily examen—examination of conscience—can I am now in my eighth year at St. James’. During embrace these questions for conversion. Since the the spring, after a surprising number of changes in practice of daily conversion to Christ is the basis of circumstance, both personally and in the Parish, it evangelical and catholic Christianity, these are lifeseemed timely for me to embark with you upon this giving and life-transforming questions. venture into the unknown. The challenge before us The entirety of the Parish Review has been strucnow will be to act upon the findings of the Review tured upon these three key concerns for prayer with faithfulness, humility, and confidence in our and reflection. Active listening and reporting has belovedness in Christ. Many of us have taken comfort characterized the substance of the review process. and inspiration from these words of our Archbishop One-on-one interviews between parishioners and of Canterbury: “We need to be a risk-taking church. myself have been the principal mode for listening. There is no safety in Christ—there’s absolute securThe findings have then been ity, but there is no safety—and Renewal commences when we reported to the whole Parish and we have to make a big difference rededicate ourselves to the purposes specifically to the Parish Council, between knowing that we are in and providence of God. The DNA of Trustees, and Collegium. The his arms and knowing that he renewal is surrender. goal from the outset has been to calls us to do risky things. So the identify recommendations for vision is about being a risk-takaction by the Parish as a whole. Not a wish list of good ing Church and finding ways of liberating people to ideas that someone else will take up, but rather, a celebe risk-takers, in the service of Christ.” (Archbishop bration of our communal baptismal vocation. Justin Welby in conversation with Nicky Gumbel, May Renewal does not necessarily entail change. And 17, 2013) change need not be equated with renewal. The inner The last word goes to Fr. Bill Crockett, from his and outer aspects of our life may remain constant, sermon given on Advent Sunday: “The Parish review and yet, we are renewed. Renewal is an attitude of process has identified a number of initiatives which being and an action. Renewal begins with prayer as can enable the Parish to become a more mission-centhe practice of intentionality. That is to say, renewal tered community. In reflecting on these initiatives, it commences when we rededicate ourselves to the puris of fundamental importance to remember that all poses and providence of God. The DNA of renewal is these initiatives need to spring from a community surrender. It is an abandonment to the will of God. that is rooted in the sacramental life of the church The fruits of this are God’s work in God’s time. and growing in the life of discipleship. Being preThere was never a blueprint, at any time, for the cedes doing. It is a mistake to think that we can do Parish Review. I believe that through the openness all things. It is vital to remember that mission is not and generosity of spirit of so many parishioners, this our initiative. It is God’s initiative and each parish season of review has truly been a journey of discovand person is called to discern their own vocation in ery. Perhaps falteringly; but I recognize a desire and responding to God’s call to mission.” PAX: Christmas 2013 | 1
A Musical Renewal | Gerald Harder
it was a piano with tremendous potential, a fact confirmed by more than one technician who examined it. However, like anything 100 years old, it needed some attention, and that is where craftsman Hamen Abnousi of the Piano Clinic in North Vancouver comes into the picture. Mr. Abnousi, an Armenian Orthodox Christian who was born and raised in Iran, learned the craft of the piano builder in the 1970s, spending five years in England and a further five years in continental Europe. Mr. Abnousi had heard of the great work of the Saint James Music Academy in our neighbourhood, and when he visited the Music Academy and saw the Sohmer piano, he immediately knew of its potential. He offered to rebuild it and the Music Academy agreed to underwrite the cost of any necessary parts. In the Fall of 2012 Mr. Abnousi took it into his workshop and
photo by chris loh
n 1872, German immigrant Hugo Sohmer founded Sohmer & Co. piano manufacturers in New York City. Sohmer pianos were known as fine handcrafted instruments; the company had a close informal association with the other major New York piano maker, Steinway; and many of Sohmer’s manufacturing methods were similar to Steinway’s. Sometime between about 1904 and 1905, Sohmer & Co. built a 5’7” which subsequently came into the possession of St. James’ parishioner, the late Dorothy MacDonald. About five years ago Dorothy generously donated this piano to the Parish, where it served primarily as a rehearsal piano in the crypt Choir Room. This was a tremendous gift that filled the need for a Choir Room piano at the perfect time. And, because it was built by Sohmer & Co. at a time when instruments like this were painstakingly and lovingly hand-built,
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sent them to American specialists for reproduction. In every way, the beautiful renewal of this instrument has been a labour of love. In September 2013 the piano was finally returned to St. James’, and on the evening of Thursday, October 14, the Saint James Music Academy held a special evening of celebration in the Parish Hall to thank Mr. Abnousi and to present this beautiful piano back to the Parish. Jane Coop, one of Canada’s most prominent pianists, presented two brief but brilliant interludes on the piano. On behalf of the music ministry of St. James’, I wish to express my profound appreciation to Hamen Abnousi and the Saint James Music Academy for this stunning gift. Having been lovingly renewed, it is sure to serve the Parish beautifully for many decades to come.
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photo by amelia birch
photo by chris loh
began rebuilding it. Countless hours were spent repairing and refinishing the soundboard, re-lacquering the plate, and replacing the hammers. Mr. Abnousi removed the badly degraded finish from the case and discovered a rich burgundy hue. He set about applying coat after coat of shellac by hand in a technique known as French polishing, a method abandoned long ago by manufacturers because of the tremendous amount of labour required. Steel strings in the treble were replaced with new ones from Germany; new hand-made wound copper strings replaced the old dull-sounding strings in the bass. Every screw head was polished. The felts in the action were replaced with new felts from New Zealand. Mr. Abnousi took photos of the degraded 100-year-old decals on the fall board and the plate, and
Noëls Made New Again | Christine Hatfull
lluminating the world through music is a familiar aspect of the Christmas season. As a child I could barely contain the excitement and anticipation that came with carol singing: early morning choir practices at school, preparations for the Sunday School Pageant, and playing favourite Christmas records on the HiFi at home all conspired to impress joyfulness on my young child’s heart. A notable favourite was a recording of French carols, for what I could not understand linguistically was communicated to me through the irrepressible exuberance of the melodies and voices. These dance-like themes are wonderfully displayed in this year’s Christmas Eve Mass setting by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643–1704). As a young man, Charpentier left Paris to study music in Rome and returned three years later, inspired by the relatively new forms of opera and oratorio and able to synthesize the Italian and French styles effortlessly. He was highly competent in all the musical genres of the day, but was destined to struggle for recognition at the court of Louis XIV and in the popular theatre due to the monopoly held by the more famous and powerful Jean-Baptiste Lully. After the death of his patroness, Mlle de Guise, he dedicated his attention to sacred music—for which he is still best remembered—at a time when most serious composers had stopped composing new masses. His method was to approach the Mass in the musical language of the secular and vernacular motet, and this ability to combine popular and liturgical forms was timely and effective.
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The Messe de Minuit pour Noël was composed circa 1690 for the Jesuit Church of St. Louis in Paris where he was mâitre de musique. It is entirely based on a group of traditional French noëls (carols) cleverly arranged together with some newly-composed material and crafted into the text of the Mass. The focus on the Christchild is enhanced by the address to the newborn Jesus throughout the setting; the contrasting of upper and lower voices along with the additional voices of the orchestra (flutes, strings, and organ) also contribute to the liturgical structure. The integration of various carols into a sacred context was common in the day. But then individual carols might be sung separately, or else used as a springboard for ornamentation and parody. In a display of originality, Charpentier based the entire Mass on these beloved melodies while maintaining their integrity and developing the connective harmonizations out of the carols themselves. With their themes of simple country life and child-like trust and joy incorporated into the liturgy of a deeply spiritual feast day, the noëls were made new again. Although very little of his music was published in his lifetime, it has since seen a significant revival in the late twentieth century—a renewal. He remains accessible to modern musicians and audiences alike and is currently the most recorded French composer of the Baroque period. Charpentier’s work is being performed this year at St. James’ Midnight Mass of Christmas.
Promises of Hope | Jenny Scott
s winter arrives at our doors, we are surrounded by nature’s revelations of death and all things coming to an end. While we may grieve the loss of beautiful autumn leaves and warm sunny days, we also know that spring will come again. In the midst of dark winter nights, we have the hope that the brightness of summer days will return. But in the midst of hope, we often see that the world around us is a complete mess, and seems to be getting worse. And so we struggle to hold on to hope. Currently, we are witnessing the effects on the environment of the destruction of the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Last month we observed the devastation of the huge storm in the Philippines—something many contribute to the human impact on the environment. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by climate change. We may understandably feel hopeless. Yet we have promises of a renewed creation given to us. Revelation 21–22 reveals to us a future in which the earth is not eternally lost but is instead made new (not “new things made”). The image of the New Jerusalem is vivid and offers hope for the future. Further, Colossians 1:13–20 speaks of creation made through Christ, held together by Him, and reconciled through His blood. Thus, indeed, new life may be experienced through the Resurrection, for us and for all of creation. We are given a gift of hope in the knowledge of a
renewed earth. While some people talk about climate change as if this were part of an Armageddon, we can, on the contrary, act out of a place of hope. But I believe that action requires much more than just sitting back and waiting. Instead, as part of Christ’s new creation, we are called to be active participants in the actualization of the Kingdom, and to care for His creation. We were designed to be caretakers because God put us, like Adam and Eve, into a garden. Jeremiah 29 speaks to us today, as we live in the midst of the “now and not yet,” by calling exiles to “plant gardens and eat what they produce.” We must not wait; we are to live faithfully in the present. By being faithful, living into the hope of what God promises, we are active witnesses, pointing towards Christ’s power of reconciliation. Let us be witnesses to the renewal of all creation, proclaiming the hope that we have in Christ to make all things new. This season of death and darkness may surround us now, but the first signs of spring and a new day are already breaking forth. “May we each be so moved by love and gratitude that we bear witness to the great good news of the gospel. In so doing we will with our lives proclaim the hope that lies within us—the hope of God’s great, good future.” (Steven Bouma-Prediger, For the Beauty of the Earth).
photo by tracy russell
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Book Review by Tim Firth
The Creativity of Diminishment | Sister Anke
o be diminished is to be ideal state where we are in full flower made less, to become and at the height of our powers. Yet, less. While aging is the this is often not what awaits us. What great diminisher, illness, are we to make of our aging, illness, bereavement, and a variety of changes loss of purpose, displacement by the in circumstances may also affect us. newer and the younger, and ultimAnd they may do so at any point in ately, death? life. Sr. Anke offers some passages of None of us wants to be diminished, Scripture as guides as we try to puzzle but nonetheless this is the reality. through the paradox. She first quotes While “creativity,” Sr. Anke astutely John 3:30: “He must increase, but I notes, is viewed as positive, a “growing must decrease.” From the context we upwards,” diminishment is a negamay take the meaning that we need tive, a “downward trend.” This, simply to give way to one who is greater. In The Creativity of stated, is the paradox at the heart of effect, Christ grows in us, actively Diminishment this brief, easily read, and stimulating increasing, and in reality, diminishSister Anke pamphlet. How might we reconcile ing us. “Our part,” she instructs, “is Oxford: Sisters of the Love of these seeming opposites? Many intrito let it happen to us, really to become God Press, 1990 cate and interrelated questions and less.” (2) “It is no longer I who live, but observations are placed before the Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) reader in just ten pages. These questions could well It is perhaps helpful to think of diminishment as we form the basis for a broader discussion on the spiritumight of weakness. We may then also draw inspiration ality of aging, or even generate some useful ideas for from 2 Cor. 12:9, where the theme is strength in weakassisting aging parish populations. ness. Paul has just spoken of having a thorn in the flesh As a society, we are much taken with the idea of con(the precise meaning of which seems unclear) and then stant growth, both personally and at a societal level. we read: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is We imagine ourselves edging closer and closer to some made perfect in weakness.”
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We will return to weakness, but first more must be said about creativity. Sr. Anke makes it clear that what she is really speaking of here is God’s creativity in our diminishment. If we are lessened, “… it is to let us come nearer to Him, to make us more open for his grace to work in us.” (3) Now we often experience this lessening as loss. But if we are able to surrender the loss willingly, we may then come to realize that “paradoxically, the loss becomes a gain.” (3) What else might be said about gain? What of the gifts of time and aging (as they have been called)? And, yes, we know that our bodies age, but what about our spirits? It is well known that there is much growth as we age and this includes spiritual growth, too. Regardless of the degree of diminishment we experience, we still engage with life and have much to offer. In our Parish—and likely in many others as well— there is much happy evidence of the important and vital gift of collective wisdom; the experience and support of sisters and brothers who assist us when we may be personally diminished in some capacity. This indeed is a blessing: to be able to fall back on others and not have to pretend that we individually know everything, and can do whatever we like. In matters of creativity, there is fundamentally a question of doing what we are able with what we have. God measures our worth as we are, not as we wish or imagine ourselves to be. Our reality is weakness. We are not always what we want to be and may be on familiar terms with failure. What, then, is the source of real strength, real success? Sr. Anke, as well as many other spiritual writers, both ancient and modern (many contemporary Christians may think immediately of Henri Nouwen and his concept of the “wounded healer”), point to the same source: in God alone. The Creativity of Diminishment is available from the Sisters of the Love of God Press: www.slgpress.co.uk.
lizabeth and her husband George came to Canada from England in 1965. A geologist, George’s field work had taken him to a variety of countries. By 1978 they were resident in Vancouver. Elizabeth’s father was a parish priest in Cornwall, and her paternal grandfather was a priest in the south of Wales. The eldest of four children, Elizabeth grew up in a happy, stimulating atmosphere. On leaving school, she went to a London-based secretarial college. After a brief evacuation to Lincolnshire in wartime, she returned to London to work for SOE (Special Operations Executive). A particular memory from that time was spending the evening of her 21st birthday in a Morrison shelter, a large metal “cage” the size of a dining table, in the house in which she was living; but she preferred it to going to the Underground shelters. In London Elizabeth attended All Saints, Margaret Street, a parish noted for its Anglo-Catholic tradition. The church, off Oxford Circus, is one of the foremost examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in the U.K., designed by the eminent William Butterfield. The women’s wartime choir, of which Elizabeth was a member, sang behind a curtain, while the men’s choir in the choir stalls sang in full view! What is more, women and men in the congregation sat separately, divided by the centre aisle. After the war, Elizabeth was appointed Assistant Secretary to the London Diocesan Reorganization Committee, the body charged with the restoration and rebuilding of war-damaged and destroyed churches, and the consequent parochial reorganization. Arriving in Vancouver, Elizabeth and George found St. James’ Church services listed in a newspaper. St. James’ seemed a good fit, so they began attending regularly. Later, Father Gardiner asked Elizabeth to join the Sanctuary Guild, and she has remained an active participant ever since. George, who died in 2011, served on the Building Committee for many years, and also on the Board of the Saint James’ Community Service Society. PAX: Christmas 2013 | 7
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photo by tracy russell
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CD Reviews | Tim Firth
etween Charlie Haden and Hank Jones there exists more than one hundred years of musical experience and service to American popular music in its Come Sunday broadest sweep. For more than Charlie Haden and fifty years Haden has moved Hank Jones between various musical Universal Music forms. Among them are free jazz, Portuguese fado, vintage country and western, and more. Hank Jones has been the pianist of choice for a wide range of jazz and pop singers since the mid 1940s. (The story goes that he was the accompanist for Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” serenade to JFK.) On this 2010 recording, shortly before Jones’s death, the two appear as a duo without other support or vocals. Are upright bass and piano sufficient to convey the beauty and appeal of these unadorned hymns and spirituals? I believe they are. This is especially so given the appropriateness of two words often associated with Jones’s playing: “elegant” and “melodic.” “Down by the Riverside,” “Deep River,” and “Nearer My God to Thee” nestle together comfortably with Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and Dvorak’s “Going Home.” A couple of Christmas carols are also in the mix. The dominant theme epitomized by the selections seems to be fixed on hope, goodwill, and peace. These tunes are long on atmosphere although the versions are fairly short. The melodies and performances unfold and open wonderfully like blossoms, and they become, in the hands of these masters, almost meditations. Together they are a quiet joy and offer a unifying focus. As the liner notes remind us, segregationists sang “The Old Rugged Cross” as they justified the brutal treatment of southern blacks. Their victims sang the same song, praising Jesus as a symbol of liberation as they fought that oppression. Yet several of these songs also brought many of the nation’s peoples together.
ver the course of Elvis Presley’s career, RCA issued three LPs and one EP of exclusively gospel recordings. While he was nominated for fourteen Grammy awards, Known Only his three wins were all for his To Him: Elvis gospel material. Gospel 1957-1971 This album is a compilation Elvis Presley of sessions from 1957–1971. It RCA is a gospel record; there is no “Hound Dog” or “Viva Las Vegas” here. For those unfamiliar with the term, “gospel” refers to Christian themes and lyrics, often hymns and spirituals, set to music that contains elements of folk, blues, soul, and country. Gospel music was deeply rooted in Presley’s childhood and youth. These are songs he loved and sang all his life, including “Take My Hand,” “Precious Lord,” “I Believe in the Man in the Sky,” “Swing Down Sweet Chariot,” “Stand By Me,” and other favourites. Presley possessed a wonderful and expressive voice. The mood here is comforting and uplifting on what are, for the most part, slow- to mid-tempo treatments. In 1956, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover received warnings that Presley posed a “definitive danger to the security of the United States” and exercised a corrupting influence on American youth with his gyrations and stage persona. There was a climate of hysteria in the 1950s and a profound fear of a developing youth culture. Yet here, in this gospel music, “Elvis the Pelvis” shows he was a performer with depth and diversity and a lot more than the sum total of his manufactured image, with the prejudice and paranoia that often fuelled postwar America.
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Transformation and Renewal | Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
enewal can sound so easy. If we are to believe to continue to be self-destructive both physically and the consumerist approach, we can always emotionally and to withdraw deeper into my own “renew the cell phone contract” or “renew internal world; this would most likely have meant a subscription” or whatever the tempting ending up buried six feet under. The alternative path offer is that day; it is as simple as picking up where one was to embrace a new life—one that focused on the very has left off, perhaps to start again. But renewing one’s present moment, that was centred in my acceptance life—that’s quite another thing. One must work at it, of life as it is right now—a life that had to be actively own it, and commit to a whole new self-loving (which allowed me to In reality, a renewal is hard-fought way of being; and that is somelove others) and one that meant and cannot be done alone. thing which is hard-fought and not leaving all the dangerous and lifefor the faint of heart. threatening behaviors behind. Within the last year, I personally came to a place Clearly, the second option was more appealing, but not where I had to make a choice to renew my life. After so easy, because a renewal of self means letting go of the I took a near fatal overdose, I was given some time to past—acknowledging its influence but not allowing it contemplate my fragile life. One available path was to shape or define the present and future. This has been
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a year of hard-won battles, learning that I have exceptional capabilities to live well, and allowing myself to know that my present life could be better, and really is better. I learned that if I cared about my faith, then I had to take action against the battle within me and allow God alone to guide me. I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12: 1–2 I think renewing my life in Christ has been the hardest thing I have ever done, utterly exhausting and employing strengths deep within each fibre of my being. But the glories that it has given to me, to my family, and to those around me are so deep and profound that I can barely express them. Not every person has a dramatic moment in life that elicits change; however, I notice every year that many people make New Year’s resolutions. These can be as simple as “exercise more,” “eat less,” or “take more time out”—or more profound, such as reconsidering career options or asking where your vocation takes you next. Yet sadly, so often these things get left behind by the end of Epiphany, and we continue on in old habits and patterns—because even if they don’t feel right, there is some comfort in their familiarity. But in reality, a renewal is hard-fought and cannot be done alone. That is not to say that just trusting in God and praying will change everything. A renewal is within all of us, and attainable when it is sought out with God. Discipline, prayer, and oftenpainful questioning within our relationship with God can win renewal. In my experience, every renewal has moments of setback; we get our actions wrong, but we must persevere to go back on the road, not be disheartened, and remember that with God all things are possible.
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, During the Commendation at a funeral, the Contakion—which begins, “Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints….”—has the line: “yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia” (BAS p.595; BCP p.600). Why is this? — Paul Stanwood Dear Paul, I have to remind my master that strictly speaking, your question refers to what is known as the “Ikos.” This text, the Kontakion and Ikos, is derived from the Eastern Byzantine rite and is attributed to Theophanes (d. c.842). The first Alleluia we may understand as a cry of victory. Death has been conquered by death. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, as it were, befriends death. Here is the mystery and source of all our hope. There is life everlasting through the victory of the Cross and the empty tomb. The second Alleluia is an affirmation of the faith of the departed. With this alleluia we give praise to God for the faith of the departed as we commend his or her soul to God. Although imperfect in this life, we give praise for the hope of perfected faith in the life to come. The third Alleluia proclaims the mystery of healing. Here we tread on the threshold of a great mystery. Because of the victory of Christ and the triumph of our faithfulness in this life, through death we are healed and thereby transfigured into becoming the fullness of who we are in Christ. — 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 2013 | 13
Alone in Wildness | Linda Adams
n his book, Jacob’s Wound: A Search for the Spirit of Wildness, Trevor Herriot, a Catholic and a self-taught naturalist, explores humankind’s perpetual struggle against “the wild, the pagan, and the indigenous at every advance of our civilization.” He takes as his imaginative departure point the Biblical struggle between Jacob and Esau, with Jacob representing humankind at the dawn of the age of agriculture, and Esau representing the hunter-gatherer. Jacob wins, but is wounded in the struggle. Herriot proposes that ever since, as farmers and now as citydwellers, humans have suffered “Jacob’s wound”—the pain of being estranged from the wild world in which we evolved. Three years ago Jerry and I renewed our relationship with wilderness on an eight-day canoe trip. From Nimpo Lake in the Chilcotin we set off in a four-seat float plane, soaring over scrub forest and marshy wetland, circling over a rocky escarpment and Hunlen Falls, and landing sixty miles from civilization, on Turner Lake. The pilot helped us to unload our gear, showed us to our waiting canoe, and casually mentioned that if we got into trouble, we should tie our canoe to a long rope and float it out into the middle of the lake. Any plane that happened to fly over would stop at this universally-recognized signal of distress. Then, with a cheery wave and a roar of engines, he was gone. Absolute silence descended. We turned slowly to each other in trepidation—“What have we done?” We felt suddenly vulnerable, aware of our complete isolation—and in an area with one of BC’s densest grizzly bear populations. We had a niggling feeling that our accustomed position at the top of the food chain could easily shift. For eight days we were the only humans on the eighteen-kilometre chain of lakes, save for one couple we met briefly. At first we felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz—dropped from the sky into a different world. But as the days went by, we felt more and more that we were “home.” Gone were all the noise and hurry, 14 | PAX: Christmas 2013
all the endless conflicting concerns and demands that shape our lives, all the possessions we must take care of. Stripped of everything except the basic necessities for food and shelter, we felt no greater and no lesser
than the plants and animals around us. Like them, we were free—free simply to “be.” In our time of renewal through reconnection with wilderness, we experienced for ourselves that as
humans, at our most basic level, we are not “special”— set apart from, and above, the rest of the natural world. We are instead a part of the “whole,” in which each element has its own God-created integrity, and with which our lives are inextricably bound. When life speaks to you in rushing water do you hear in it your source and your destiny and the song of your journey? When life leaps for you in flame do you know your life’s consummation in warmth and light; your dying and rising in the spirit-smoke that hangs in the trees, and in the ashes that will remain? When life touches you in the wind do you know it as a caress from the heart of life itself, for love unseen whose soft words and gentle hands make the aspen shimmer and tremble? When the forest floor yields gladly beneath your feet and sun-dappled life bursts forth for you in growing things, do you know yourself newer than the newest bud and older than the tallest tree? Do you know yourself—earth and air and fire and water, whose being is its own meaning, and whose existence is the only truth. PAX: Christmas 2013 | 15
Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’
On Sunday, November 10th, Paul Stanwood, Celia Dodds, and Judy Graves received the insignia of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster from the hand of Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. The service was “standing room only,” and the Primate gave the sermon. Congratulations to each St. James’ recipient of the Order, and thanks for many years of service to our Parish and Diocese.
Day High Mass on Friday evening and a community potluck supper. On Saturday, St. James’ offered an All Souls’ Day Mass, followed by an Open House. Participants enjoyed an entertaining tour of the church led by Allan Duncan, which featured information about the architecture and the personalities that shaped the construction of St. James’ in the 1930s. A very well-received reading of the medieval morality play Everyman was organized by Paul Stanwood and Leslie Arnovick; it included a cast of archetypal personalities played by members of our Parish. The Sanctuary Guild organized a fascinating display of “The Treasures of St. James’,” at which visitors could see our wonderful collection of chalices and patens, our embroidered linens, and our magnificent vestments. “Heart of the City” was a wonderful event and a great chance to share our Parish life with the community.
ORDINATION TO THE DIACONATE
INTRODUCING “THE THURIBLE”
Parishioner Joyce Locht was ordained to the vocational diaconate on December 8th at Christ Church Cathedral. We are proud to support her in her new role of deacon, and in her continued service as Pastoral Care Coordinator at St. James’.
The back “announcements” section of our Sunday Mass bulletin has been reinvented as a Parish weekly newsletter called “The Thurible.” It is designed to “invite, inform and inspire!” You are invited to email or call the Church Office to subscribe to our weekly email broadcast of this excellent publication.
IN MEMORIAM In October funeral services were held for two of our long-time parishioners, Betty Hartman and Sybil Ainsworth. Each of these remarkable women served St. James’ faithfully in a variety of ways for over fifty years. We will miss them and their devotion to our Parish family. ORDER OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER
HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL On Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd, St. James’ took part in the Heart of the City Festival. The weekend began with a very successful Fall Bargain Sale held by the Women’s Guild. This was followed by our All Saints’ 16 | PAX: Christmas 2013
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE OCULUS CHAMBER CHOIR This fall we have been very fortunate to be able to offer an enhanced monthly Solemn Evensong and Devotions service
because of the contribution of the Oculus Chamber Choir. The choir also offered a Christmas Lessons and Carols service in December. Our thanks to choir director Ben Ewert and his choir members for enriching our worship. PARISH REVIEW PROCESS In this, his seventh year as Rector of St. James’, Fr. Mark began a Parish Review Process which culminated at the beginning of Advent. In an Advent Pastoral Letter to the Parish, he introduced the recommendations for action resulting from the process. The Advent Quiet Day was dedicated as a day of vigil for commending our endeavours to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. A Ministry and Mission Plan for St. James’ 2014 will be forthcoming as a guide for implementing the recommendations. EPISCOPAL ELECTION The Reverend Canon Melissa Skelton, Incumbent of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, was elected by a huge majority at the Electoral Synod on November 10th to succeed retiring Bishop, The Right Reverend Michael Ingham. Our thanks to our clergy and our Synod Delegates, Leslie Arnovick, Graham Murchie, Paul Stanwood, and Elisha Walker for the time and deliberation they put into the voting process; and a special thanks to Leslie Arnovick, who served on the Diocesan Nominations Committee. Consecration of the Bishop Elect will occur on March 1st, 2014.
missal and aspergillum on display during the Heart of the City festival
monstrance, sanctus bells, and ewer on display during the Heart of the City festival
photo by elaine jan
photo by elaine jan
requiem mass for Betty Hartman
liturgical vestments on display during the Heart of the City festival
photo by elaine jan
photo by elaine jan
ordination to the diaconate of Joyce Locht at Christ Church Cathedral. L-R: Fr. Mark, Sr. Monica Kaufer, Jane Turner, Randy Locht, and Abp. Douglas Hambidge photo by tracy russell
thrift sale in the parish hall during the Heart of the City festival photo by elaine jan
303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 21 © 2013 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Tim Firth, Joyce Locht Designer & Art Director: Sean Birch Writers: Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, Bear, Tim Firth, Christine Hatfull, Jenny Scott, Linda Adams, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, Gerald Harder Photography: Sean Birch, Elaine Jan, Tracy Russell, Chris Loh Distribution: Mary Brown 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 the editorial panel. 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.