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Pax ( P s 2 : 7 ) T H O U A RT M Y S O N , T H I S D AY

H AV E I B E G O T T E N T H E E .

trinity by andrej rublev; photo from wikipedia commons

NVENIT GERMINASSE VIRGAM AARON IN DOMO LEVI . . . Num 17:

Lk 2: 14

GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO

CHRISTMAS 2014


photo by sean birch

walsingham abbey remains; photo by david p orman (wikipedia commons) photo: sean birch


Giving Thanks | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins

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ive thanks.” During the worst few its close. I am mindful of each and every parishioner days of my life a friend took me with whom I have journeyed. I return to the UK a out for coffee. I was at great risk changed person. of losing one of the most precious I give thanks for the vast range of people I have people in my life—her life was balanced between this met and have been invited to accompany in so many life and the next. It took great courage for my friend life circumstances. I want to give thanks for the to give this counsel. I was on the threshold of losing mistakes and failures I have unintentionally, and almost everything next to life itself. Unimaginable sometimes intentionally, meted on others. I want to uncertainty overwhelmed me. There was so much give thanks for the mistakes and failures I have sufwhich I could (legitimately, I felt) lament, regret, and fered and endured at the hands of others—often my resent. “Don’t focus on what you are losing,” said fellow Christians. How is this possible? We believe my friend. “Focus on all that you have now and give in redemption and restoration. May all that we have thanks!” suffered and endured at one another’s hands be I give thanks for the neighbourhood of the redeemed. So I give thanks for the signs of redempDowntown Eastside: for the generosity, gracioustion I have glimpsed in the lives of others and in my ness, and resilience of so many own life. of my neighbours. Around the I give thanks for the mystery “Don’t focus on what you are losing, Rectory and Church so many of the gift of faith: for those focus on all that you have now and give of us know one another by who have nurtured that gift thanks!” name. We look out for each in me, and for those who have other. People care for each modelled the life of faith. I give other. Yes, the poverty and homelessness is a scandal. thanks for the many struggles and uncertainties we Yet the “underside” of Vancouver is a place of humanhave shared at St. James’. These have presented us ity and often humour. It is a privilege to have lived with the choice to rely upon the mercy of God. I give here. And it is a terrible burden to live in the midst of thanks for disappointments shared and disappointoverwhelming need. ments privately borne, in the hope that in God’s time I give thanks for the opportunity of journeying with these too shall be transformed. the pilgrim people of St. James’ for eight years. I have I give thanks for the gift of life, for the privilege of learned more than I could ever have anticipated about living at this moment in time. I give thanks for our being a priest, about pastoral care, parish organizaLord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I give thanks for the tion, and the challenges of proclaiming the Gospel Holy Spirit who guides and protects us. I give thanks in this part of God’s world. Surely, a priest is always for the Holy Trinity whose life is our life and whose shaped and transformed by the faith community eternity is our beginning and our end. served. So my time as the Eleventh Rector draws to

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With Angels and Archangels, and With All the Company of Heaven | P. J. Janson

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with the unfailing tick of the metronome just to master the composition. I am not sure whether it was my naïveté or undeveloped nascent Catholicism, but I could not get the piece to sing. Either way, I failed to grasp the significance of the composer’s inscription ‘he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him,’ and the title ‘the heavenly banquet’ were merely words to me. If played well, the deliberate slow tempo of Le banquet céleste together with its sustained sounds convey a sense of timelessness, a distinct other-worldly sensation of time standing still. In a mystical way, its music exists both in time and outside of time, and it seems as if for a short while eternity intersects with our world—not unlike when the shepherds who were abiding in the field found the veil between heaven and earth to be very thin indeed. ‘In the incarnation, in Jesus, God enters the earthly dimensions of matter and spirit, and in time and space,’ and in the Blessed Sacrament we similarly experience with our senses and know with our mind that Christ, the Word of God incarnate, is really and actually present. Also here, God gathers into one both things earthly and heavenly. It is a great and mighty wonder that we are privileged to experience frequently—and where God performs his mighty acts, music is never far away. Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify His glorious name…

photo by chris loh

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t creation the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 3); when God parted the Red Sea to deliver the children of Israel out of slavery, Moses and his people sang a song unto the Lord (Ex 15); when Jesus was born, the shepherds were joined by a multitude of the heavenly host praising God (Luke 2). Where God performs his mighty acts, music is never far away. Many believe that ‘music exists in time because it has duration,’ yet some suggest a different view. A couple of years ago a question was posed on a Catholic forum, ‘can music exist outside of time?’ It is a great question, and after some discussion a perspicacious person observed, ‘while music is material in the sense that sound waves and frequencies are flying through the air, it is mostly a mental experience. You can hear great music in your head even without the physical aspects present.’ Musician and philosopher Leonard Meyer agrees: ‘music is directed not to the senses, but through the senses and to the mind.’ If music were directed merely to the senses, then it would exist in time only; but music that is directed to the mind focusses on the notion of eternity. In my early years as an organ student, my teacher asked me to learn Olivier Messiaen’s Le banquet céleste. With six sharps as the key signature, I was thankful that the tempo indication was très lent. Yet, despite its brevity and slow tempo it took me nearly two months


The {Response} Project | Amelia Birch

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ast month, the Stewardship Committee revamped the method for evaluating regular financial giving to the Church: one’s “tithes and offerings.” Instead of focusing on finances, the {Response} project encouraged everyone to “Pray, Reflect and Respond.” Each week we interviewed a different member of the Parish, and we also asked parishioners to reflect on those same interview questions. Answers were placed into the offering plate, in a manner similar to weekly tithes and offerings. Each week we asked each person to pray and reflect on a different aspect of the Church:

one another, that the ministries of the Church might be strong and that discipleship might grow within them. These reflections and responses were so moving to me, that they reminded me of the obvious fact that my own regular tithes and offerings ought to be at the front of my mind and part of my monthly financial planning. I urge everyone once again to Pray, Reflect and {Respond}—not in a manner of obligation or guilt, but in a manner that allows us to dream of how the

1. Identify what you love about our Church. 2. Identify who you love from our Church that has made a difference in your life. 3. Identify your greatest dream for our Church. 4. Regular giving can be made in four different ways. In light of the responses that you have identified, what is your financial commitment to the Church? What do you find to be the most convenient way to give? What I found most compelling about the {Response} project is how much we came to know so many parishioners. Every week, answers to these questions were returned in the offering plate. The difference that St. James’ Anglican and its community has made in people’s lives is remarkable: “I love that the service and sermons are biblical, theological, and engage us to reflect and to act: to show our Christian faith here, but especially outside the edifice of the church.” Even more compelling are the dreams that people have for St. James’: for the Church to grow in numbers and vitality, to grow in prayer and in relationship with

mustard seed of St. James’ can grow. Our Parish and the work of this incredible place do not happen without financial contributions. Today you may not be in the same financial situation that you were in yesterday, or will be in tomorrow; but that is precisely why we ask you to re-evaluate and renew your giving every year. We must all respond in an active manner, which is an ongoing act of worship.

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A Hymn (for the shepherds) | Sidney Godolphin (1610-1643) Lord, when the wise men came from far, Led to Thy cradle by a star, Then did the shepherds too rejoice, Instructed by thy Angel’s voice: Blest were the wise men in their skill And shepherds in their harmless will. Wise men in tracing Nature’s laws Ascend unto the highest Cause; Shepherds with humble fearfulness Walk safely, though their Light be Life: Though wise men better know the way It seems no honest heart can stray. There is no merit in the wise But Love, (the shepherds’ sacrifice) Wise men, all ways of knowledge past, To the shepherds’ wonder come at last: To know can only wonder breed, And not to know is wonder’s seed. A wise man at the altar bows And offers up his studied vows, And is received, — may not the tears, Which spring too from a shepherd’s fears, And sighs upon his frailty spent, Though not distinct, be eloquent? ‘Tis true, the object sanctifies All passions which within us rise, But since no creature comprehends The Cause of causes, End of ends, He who himself vouchsafes to know Best pleases his Creator so. When, then, our sorrows we apply To our own wants and poverty, When we look up in all distress And our own misery confess, Sending both thanks and prayers above – Then, though we do not know, we love. 4 | PAX: Christmas 2014


Missions Before St. James’ | James McKenzie

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obert McDonald (1829–1913) was a native minister (ordained to the diaconate in 1851, priested in 1852) for the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in the latter half of the nineteenth century and until his retirement in 1904. He is commemorated in For All the Saints (p. 262); the entry is brief and simply lauds his ministry and activities. It touches on his maternal mixed blood heritage, his family, the racism he experienced by the CMS, his intelligence, and his abilities for providing teaching and mentorship to the First Nations peoples amongst the Ojibwa at White Dog Mission, where he learned Ojibwa, and along the Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers where he learned Gwich’in. But McDonald deserves closer attention, for one scholar of the Anglican Church, Frank A. Peake, wrote an article in 1975 calling him “The Greatest Unknown Missionary of the Northwest”; and further reading about McDonald supports this claim. Project Canterbury (anglicanhistory.org/canada/bheeney/2/5. html) contains a 1920 article from “Leaders of the Canadian Church” on McDonald that conveys a sense of his prodigious travels to reach out to the people of the First Nations. He was proficient in learning languages, and with the assistance of native lay people and his indigenous wife, Julia Kutug, he prepared an impressive body of translations from English and Ojibwa to Gwich’in. Gwich’in (sometimes called Tukudh) is an

Athapascan language used in a portion of what is now Alaska and in the Yukon, where he served. McDonald suffered from several bouts of severe illness, but recovered. During his first illness he recovered in time to aid many First Nations people during a widespread scarlet fever epidemic. Illness, starvation, and deaths by freezing or drowning were just a few ways of perishing in his territory. Indeed, Bishop Bompus, the first Bishop of the new northern diocese, almost succumbed to scurvy, when he travelled to aid McDonald after word had reached the outside world about McDonald’s ill health. It was Bompus who, in 1875, made him Archdeacon, but he also declared that there were insufficient funds available to raise his pay. Travel in often extraordinarily difficult circumstances as well as illness took their toll, and for the last fifteen years of his missionary work McDonald remained close to Fort MacPherson in the Yukon territory. He taught and mentored Native men so that when he retired he left eighteen of them to catechize amongst their own bands, one of whom, William Loola, had been a guide, companion, and translator for him. Loola took an active role in keeping Anglicanism alive when the CMS retreated from the Yukon. McDonald and his wife Julia retired to Winnipeg where she gave him great care until his death in 1913.

photo by tracy russell

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Welcoming the Holy Spirit | Amelia Birch

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ver the past two years, my husband Sean and I have felt inspired to host a small group of St. James’ parishioners at our home for a Bible study. Call our motivation for the study what you will: being led by the Spirit; a desire for community building and service; a thirst for communal drinks on a patio … All I know is that we knew we had to do something. The regularity of indepth (yet casual) discussion of Scripture was missing in our lives. Since the study has begun, the group has waxed and waned in attendance, and in our attempts to run the study every two weeks, we have often “failed” with scheduling. This is not the type of small group you would want to attend if you demand consistency and solid planning. It is the type of small group that you would want to attend if you are flexible, busy, enjoy dog participation, and are able to communicate by text message for schedule changes. Besides our regular agenda of working through the Gospel of Luke, we have occasionally welcomed guest speakers. Members of the clergy—including Fr. Mark, Mtr. Alexis, and Fr. Matthew—have joined us on particular nights to discuss the Gospel through a focus on topics such as poetry and spiritual warfare. On the Sunday prior to Fr. Matthew’s visit to our study last spring, Sean and I observed the pews in front of us at High

Mass, as a dozen earnest young students knelt on the concrete floor during the liturgy. Sure enough, these students were visiting. During coffee hour, we found out that these dozen students from Trinity Western University (TWU) were spending a week in the DTES, partnering with Union Gospel Mission to serve our neighbours. These students had hearts of service and a spirit of openness. They were also very happy that there was a fellowship lunch that day, as they were spending the week on a “welfare budget.” In the welcoming spirit of St. James’, we invited the group to our Bible study that week.

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Profile:

Our resident introverted evangelist, Fr. Matthew, came to teach that week. He brought along a dozen scholarly books to help in the study, and we moved through the parable of the Good Samaritan. Little did he know that instead of teaching our three to four regular attenders, he would be teaching the dozen TWU students as well. Fifteen people crammed into our little condo while we explored the different levels of reading Scripture, spoke about working in the DTES, and reflected on the welcoming nature of St. James’. We laughed when Biblical Studies at Regent College was referred to as “Sick!” (which is, apparently, a good thing); and Fr. Matthew was affirmed by one of the students for his service to the neighbourhood. A few weeks later, we were happy to receive a thank-you card in the mail, which included a picture of all the smiling students and several little notes of appreciation. I had no idea that Sean and I were a “power couple” in their eyes, and was unaware of the depth of influence that two encounters—one High Mass and one weekday Bible study— could have on young minds. Perhaps it was the incense at Mass. Perhaps it was the cookies at coffee hour. Perhaps it was the teaching at our home. Perhaps it was exposure to a different manner of worship. Perhaps it was all of these things. However, there is no doubt: the Spirit moved in the experience that this group of students had. They left Vancouver that week with a sense of the depth and breadth of the way that the Spirit works in the St. James’ community.

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Philip Green

n the forty-four years that Philip Green has been in the Parish, he notes that much has changed. It was in 1970 that he came to Vancouver and went looking for an Anglican church. His mother had earlier heard of St. James’, but only from unemployed men who rode the trains across the prairies during the Great Depression. She was in charge of the bakery at the Indian residential school in Elkhorn, Manitoba. Fr. Cooper apparently told any of these men whom he had met in Gastown to hop off the train at the water stop in Elkhorn and run to the residential school for food. Philip’s mother would give the men a hot meal and sandwiches to take back on the train. She herself had never been to Vancouver, having come from England to Winnipeg. Philip’s parents met and married in Elkhorn, where his father was a teacher in the same school. The couple moved west, to Hazelton, BC, where Philip was born. The trip was long and difficult for his mother, as she awaited his arrival, and with many false alarms. And with April Fool’s day approaching, the doctor said the baby would be a joke whenever he was born! Over the course of many years, the Anglo-Catholic liturgical tradition continues to be a major attraction for Philip. He has been and continues to be a server, a Lay Subdeacon, and a Master of Ceremonies. He has acted as a consultant on future liturgical services because of his experience in this last capacity. Employment as an administrative clerk in a bank, a tax preparer, hotel night auditor, and accountant have prepared him well for his many other roles in the parish. At St. James’ he has served as a bookkeeper, treasurer for about five years, and currently as Envelope Secretary. He is also known as the one who sets off the church alarm when he is working late. Philip Green is also a recipient of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster.

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Heart of the City Festival

gerald harder waiting to begin the organ demonstration. a visual example of the two kinds of pipes in the organ.

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gerald playing a piece on the organ.


gerald playing a captivating piece of music. members of our community listening to gerald’s organ demo.

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Heart of the City Festival

allan duncan leading the architectural tour paul stanwood reads his part in “the second shepherds’ play” through the baptistry. rhodri windsor-liscombe, christine hatfull, doug ibbott and paul stanwood performing “the second shepherds’ play” during the heart of the city festival.

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Hodie, Christus Natus Est | Christine Hatfull

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odie, Christus natus est” (Today, Christ is born) is derived from the monastic tradition of early Christianity and especially the Liber Usualis. Countless composers over hundreds of years used this 1,900-page book of Gregorian chants for the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) as well as for commonly held feast days such as the celebration of the Nativity. At this year’s Christmas Eve Mass, the St. James’ High Mass Choir will sing a version by our own Canadian Healey Willan. Motet No. 10, “Hodie, Christus natus est” (1935) was published in the Eleven Liturgical motets (1928–37), and it provides an opportunity to understand better the unique sound Willan brought to Anglican church music in Canada—and beyond. Healey Willan (1880–1968) was already an established organist, composer, and conductor at the time he left England for Canada in 1913. His orchestral and early organ music is conservative stylistically, and heavily influenced by post-Romanticism and the chromatic harmonics favoured during the nineteenth century. But it is in his liturgical works that he manipulates the earlier compositional influences of Medieval and Renaissance plainchant and polyphony. He joined the London Gregorian Association in 1910 and later cofounded the affiliate Gregorian Association of Toronto (dedicated to performing plainchant in that city), which continued its mandate until the 1980s. Nowhere is this influence more evident than in his compositional work at St. Mary Magdalene Church (SMM) in Toronto during his time there as director of liturgical music (1921–68). Willan came from a staunch Anglo-Catholic family and SMM gave him the unique opportunity to develop plainsong propers, Mass settings, and motets in the

vernacular—to his satisfaction. Theatrical by nature, he referred to the sacramental practice of the Eucharist, the centre of church worship, as a Sacred Drama. In his own words, “Accentuation and rhythm of the words is always paramount”—the music is a framework upon which the words are superimposed, and early music compositional methods with their single melodies were suitable to the vernacular propers of the Anglican Mass. The St. James’ High Mass Choir routinely sings his Introits at the Festival Day High Masses. It was Sir Richard R. Terry, in London, who was at the cutting edge of an Early Music revival and who most inspired Willan in his love of Renaissance choral music. It is again in his liturgical compositions that this passion is realized. His version of “Hodie, Christus natus est” is a fitting homage to his late sixteenthcentury counterpart, Dutch organist, composer, and teacher, Jan Pieterzoon Sweelinck (1562–1621). In fact, the opening phrases are a direct quotation from Sweelinck’s 1619 version, although the piece is overall pruned and reflects the touch of contemporary modulation. It is an example of Willan’s application of historical method and ritual composition infused into contemporary Anglican liturgy. The date of this motet also reflects the building of our own St. James’ (in its third incarnation) in 1935. There would have been few opportunities to hear such music in our city other than at St. James’ Anglican. This period was still only the advent of sound recording, and awareness of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony was no doubt restricted mostly to musicians and students of that day. Today, parishioners’ ears are attuned to the sounds of early music, thanks in great part to the joyful and expert liturgical work of Healey Willan.

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A Theology of the Internet? | Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe

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n a moment of random observation, I watched a colleague engaged in a ritual of our current e-digitality. She was texting, linking her very being here, there, and everywhere. Out of the ether and into my biological computer came the words of that celebrated spiritual: “[S]He has the whole world in his [her] hands.” Secular and scientific in operation, of course; but, I wondered, pace Stephen Hawking, capable of being figured religiously— even theologically? There are several uncanny parallels between the internet and religion, and not exclusively to the Judeo-Christian tradition—since the Islamic faith privileges abstract icons, the very stuff of our computational search for Truth. How appropriate that one keeper of the tree of knowledge should be Apple, and that we take the fateful byte. Or remember that phrase from Isaiah—“Is it I Lord?”—and recall those embarrassing calls during meetings or events when forgetting the “off” command on whichever gadget we carry, like 21st-century prayer beads. My musing perhaps risks sacrilege, but the Information economy itself has become sacrosanct, or, according to non-enthusiasts, a sacred cow. Not that many would so phrase it, but electro-digital technology is a veritable mustard seed of wealth production (plus pollutant too) akin to the parable in the Gospel of Mark; in the spirit of our current topic, the Divinity of numeracy, I will give the co-ordinates, 4:30–32. The outgrowth— infrastructure instead of tree—of the computer geeks is as mightily impressive, attracting flocks of we [not wi] data feeders. And it constructs a virtual Tower of Babel that seems to link each individual across geographic and ethnic divides, as well as to all knowledge. Before starting our electro-digital pilgrimage to the chalice of data, we have to choose a media Denomination: are we Windows [onto the soul] people or do we carry the Sign of the iPod or Blackberry? To attain the apps of the good life, we touch the keys, 12 | PAX: Christmas 2014

material or virtual, of the kingdom. Their usage depends on the book of instructions geared to dogma that demand obedience, some from the prophet Job[s]. Maybe we shall all end up at the Bill, rather than at the Pearly, Gates. But is there a deeper revelation, or even a theology of the electro-digital? In a word, and lifted from the

Bible via the Messiah, “Surely” (or “Verily”). Several articles of faith can be asserted, beyond the electrodigital rituals I invoked, and besides the surrogate Liturgy of surfing the net or dedication to seeing and being seen in the digital Afterlife of the daily update. First, the whole process of being wired depends upon unquestioning belief in the operation of unseen originating and sustaining systems and forces. The state of existing online comes surprisingly close to articulations of Credo: the deeper reality of the witnessed but detached spirit of the divine. Second, these media of personal connectivity enact


the most difficult tenet of the monotheist beliefs— omnipresence. The extraordinary claim that God by whatever name could and can know us all, count the very hairs on our head across time and space. Sit on a bus or train almost anywhere and you will have absolute, if bathetic proof. The scripture runs thus, “Hello Love/Honey or Blank; we’ve just left the station”; shortly thereafter, “Lovey [or less exalted phraseology] did you remember to get the bread…”; not long after that, “We are delayed but should be home soon”; eventually ending as their destination is reached, “Just coming into the station Love, I need a drink, where r u?” Some will note that the script—actually overheard, since the cell-phone, like Worship and the Confessional, lets the most intimate human activity be voiced forth— engages with some of the more profound themes of Judeo-Christian theology: the journey of faith, the food and drink of post-pagan sacrificial worship, and the final Homecoming. Third, the electro-digital universe resurrects one of the great controversies of Christian history. That is the Gnostic heresy, the idea that knowledge rather than faith is the key to salvation. Fourth, substitute secular words such as positive or negative, and the chaotic intermixture of material and operations on the Net take on more ancient guise. It begins with our dividing Darkness from Light as we power up, in unintentional replication of Michelangelo’s depiction—in the Sistine Chapel—of the biblical narrative of God’s digital (as in finger) creation of Adam. And once online, at any site, the battle between “constructive” and “destructive,” the Biblical forces of good and evil, rages. Beyond our portal, there co-exist significant information or ideas, trivial or malicious gossip, exploitative or creative knowledgemaking: pandemonium, yet also Longfellow’s “great world of light that lies behind all human destinies.” Now Judgment is at hand, literally.

ASK ! BEAR

Dear Bear, Would you tell us of your background and your life at St. James’? — Paul Stanwood Dear Paul, Since this is the last time I shall write for PAX, I can speak freely about myself. I began life in the north of British Columbia. By my second year of life, I had been twice abandoned by human families and found myself in a shelter for the homeless and dispossessed. Such was my lot. I was a mess in every sense. The wife of him whom some of you call “Father” found my profile on a website for animal adoptions. Enquiries were made, I was given the opportunity of a new start, and the rest, as is sometimes said, is history. At St. James’ I found a home. Although none of my kind had previously lived in the Clergy House, or not for a long time, I was welcomed and enfolded into the life of the Parish. Mine might be described as a ministry of presence—that is to say, simply being myself and being present to others. It is strange that the presence of my kind can help to bring out your humanity. My way has been to listen thoughtfully, and never to give judgment or to intervene in your conversations and meetings. I give thanks for the opportunity to have lived at home among you. — Bear Bear is the first resident canine at St. James’ Rectory. As a member of the Greenaway-Robbins and Parish family he is privy to many and varied meetings, conversations and gatherings. Though usually silent, in this column he offers his perspective on Parish life.

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Life as a Clergy Child | Ruth Greenaway-Robbins

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write this while surrounded by boxes and contemplating one way flights, with animals in luggage holds and living life from suitcases for some months, because Family G-R is embarking on our next move, to the UK. I have experienced this moving process numerous times, but for our children it is a fairly new phenomenon. But this is not just a house move, or a city move, or even a continental move; it is something far bigger, and for our kids it is the process of leaving their parish home. As we prepare for our last Canadian Christmas, we also prepare our children to say goodbye to St. James’ and to ask them to open their hearts to a new church family—a tall order. Moving is, however, the life of a PK (Priest Kid), a Clergy Child, a Rectory Rat. I was once also a clergy child, and later—at age nineteen—I became a clergy wife; and still, after all these years, I find that saying goodbye doesn’t get easier. Yet I wouldn’t change my life for the world because it’s the most privileged existence, and it has taught me so much. And as I watch my precious children also grow into this life, I give thanks. Quite often a bleak picture is painted of life as a clergy family. Indeed, sometimes it is unglamorous, exhausting, and inconvenient, but the treasures we receive far outweigh the difficult times. I can recall nearly all the churches that have been a part of my life. There have been twelve altogether, in the majority of which I was either a clergy child or clergy spouse. I think of twelve groups of Christians who have witnessed to me their faith in Jesus Christ. And every time I pack up another rectory, I contemplate what I 14 | PAX: Christmas 2014

have learned from a parish and what I have received in my Christian journey. As we prepare to give ourselves to the people of Caerphilly and Eglwysilan, I know that Anastasia and Simeon will never forget St. James’. You have been a huge witness to them and their life with Jesus Christ. And they have experienced so much here: they boast the title, “First PK’s in the clergy house.” Ana will tell you that she was the first baby. Ana was also baptized at St. James’ on her name day in 2009; she took her first steps in the Rectory; and she has subsequently come to love her life in the Servers’ Guild. Simeon entered the clergy house eight years ago with the words, “What a clever house—it has its own church.” He overcame his shyness by joining the Narthex Guild. Our kids have grown up here, and all of you have deeply influenced their journey. Every act of kindness, devotion, teaching, and fellowship they have experienced here at St. James’ has shown them a little more of who Christ is, whether through your direct influence or your quiet support. We know it’s not easy to see a priest go. We know having a clergy family in your church was new, and yet you embraced us. But I hope you will always know that you helped to bring our children to faith, nurtured them and loved them. You will go with us always, and be ever a part of Simeon and Anastasia’s life with Christ.


Surprised by Hope | N. T. Wright Book Review by Tim Firth

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ormer Bishop of Durham because it will die. God will raise it to and current professor of new life … and has a great future in New Testament and Early store for it.” So, whatever we are doing Christianity at the University in the present: “painting, preaching, of St. Andrews and the man Newsweek singing, sewing, praying … building calls “the world’s leading New hospitals … campaigning for justice Testament scholar” has, as with his … caring for the needy, loving your numerous previous publications, set neighbour as yourself—will last into out to challenge us to revise what God’s future … It is all part of what we we think and know about our faith. may call building for God’s kingdom” This book manages to be provocative, (193). encouraging, and exciting all at the Hope, as is painfully obvious to same time. most, seems to be in short supply What we believe about life beyond almost everywhere. This is often the the grave gives “shape and colour” result of an overwhelming sense of to many larger issues. Central to this injustice. In the present, the church Surprised by Hope: book is the foundational Christian must take up this sense of injustice, Rethinking Heaven, belief in hope: “the ultimate future give voice to it and work in a whole the Resurrection, and the Mission of the hope held out in the Christian gospel variety of creative ways, drawing upon Church … for salvation, resurrection, eternal its long and sustaining traditions of N. T. Wright life, and a cluster of other things that “beauty and aesthetic meaning” (231) NEW YORK.: HARPER COLLINS, 2008 go with them” (xi); and the “surprise” to help bring hope to people brought of hope within the present world. In low by the crushing forces, especially embracing the ultimate future hope of of economic injustice. the gospel we realize and grow in hope in the present In working for justice, it is not a matter of the church (xi). seeking to turn the world upside down. That, Wright Wright asserts that what happens to us after we declares, has already happened: “That’s what Easter is die is not the “major, central, framing question.” all about … God has brought his future, his puttingRather, as the New Testament, he says, makes clear, the-world-to-rights future into the present in Jesus of it is “God’s purpose of rescue and re-creation for the Nazareth” (215). This should be in our minds, reminds whole world” (184). Belief in resurrection is pivotal, he Wright, every time we say the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy repeatedly insists. “Robustly” maintained among the kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven” early Christians, resurrection has “always gone with a (215). strong view of God’s justice and of a God as the good creator” (267). This book may be borrowed from the Parish What we do in the here-and-now is of vital signifilibrary. cance: “The present bodily life is not valueless just

PAX: Christmas 2014 | 15


Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ IN MEMORIAM On October 29th a Requiem Mass was held for long-time parishioner Angela Ross. Angela had a long association with St. James’ and served with the Women’s Guild. While housebound in recent years, she was very grateful for the care of our Pastoral Care team. May Angela and all the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory. HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL St. James’ was an eager participant in this year’s Vancouver “Heart of the City Festival.” The Women’s Guild Bargain sale attracted many members of our local community, who were able to find necessary household goods at rock-bottom prices. People participating in the festival were treated to a talk and demonstration of our renowned Casavant pipe organ; a performance of the Second Shepherds’ Play—a medieval morality play; a guided tour of the Church to view its many wonderful features and learn about the personalities behind its construction; and a photo exhibit of the ongoing repurposing of the former remand centre across the street. Volunteers provided a light lunch to sustain everyone through these activities. The All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day High Masses were a glorious part of the Festival. On All Souls’ Day one hundred and twenty people came to hear the St. James’ and Oculus Choirs, with organist David Poon, sing Duruflé’s Requiem Op 9. Many of the congregation were concert-goers, who had never experienced this music sung during an actual Mass, and they found it a very moving and enlightening experience. 16 | PAX: Christmas 2014

Our thanks to all the volunteers who took part in this wonderful opportunity to showcase our church to the city! ORDER OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER In early November, in a ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral, our own Helen Tataren was presented with the insignia of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster. This Order recognizes those who have been of exceptional service to their churches and the Diocese over a period of at least ten years. Helen has been at St. James’ for over fifty years, and has served with the Sanctuary Guild and the Women’s Guild. Although she is in her nineties, she can still be found in the Sacristy every Saturday morning using her fine needlework skills to keep our magnificent vestments in good repair. Congratulations Helen! NEW STUDENT PLACEMENT AT ST. JAMES’ Lucy Price, a VST student and postulant in the Diocese of New Westminster, began a placement at St. James’ in October. Lucy came to Canada from England in 2008, and she hopes to be ordained into the priesthood when she graduates. She is becoming immersed in the life and liturgy of St. James’, and she will probably be with us until May. Welcome Lucy! ADVENT LESSONS AND CAROLS SERVICE On November 30th, a service of lessons and carols marked the beginning of the Advent season. The carol service, and the Low and High Sunday Masses, were followed by the Advent Boutique, which

featured sales of preserves, baking, Christmas cards, calendars, knitting, and Fair Trade items. This was a great chance to start our Christmas shopping! PERSONAL NEWS FROM OUR RECTOR As the year draws to a close we are celebrating our final Christmas with our Rector, Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, and his family. After eight years with us, Fr. Mark and his family are moving to Wales, where he has been offered a position as ‘Team Rector of the newly created Rectorial Benefice of Eglwysilan and Caerphilly in the Diocese of Llandaff in the Church in Wales.’ Moving back to the UK will allow them to be closer to family, and will enable Ruth to pursue new educational opportunities. Fr. Mark’s last Sunday will be January 11th. We will miss Fr. Mark, Ruth and their children Simeon and Ana. And we will miss Bear and Dido, whose theological reflections have appeared regularly in PAX and in The Thurible! We wish the whole family a safe journey, and every blessing as they enter the next chapter of their lives.


amelia birch showing her boundless energy in the East Side 10k. jenny scott gives the East Side 10k two thumbs up.

amelia birch and ruth greenaway-robbins at the conclusion of the East Side 10k.

ruth greenaway-robbins powering through.


303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: office@stjames.bc.ca

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. 24 © 2014 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Tim Firth, Joyce Locht Designer & Art Director: Sean Birch Writers: Fr. Mark GreenawayRobbins, Bear, Tim Firth, Christine Hatfull, Amelia Birch, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe, P. J. Janson, James McKenzie Photography: Sean Birch 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.

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