annunciazione di cestello by botticelli; photo from wikipedia commons
Pax ANNUNCIATION 2014
photo by sean birch
Humanity Fully Alive | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
he glory of God is humanity (man) fully alive” (A Treatise Against the Heresies 4.20.7). This is one of the best known quotes from the early church and certainly from its author, Irenaeus (a secondcentury bishop). I can remember the first time I heard it. After Evening Prayer in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, not long after my arrival at St. James’, a parishioner referred to this passage. I was deeply moved. How wonderful, I thought, that we glorify God simply by becoming who we are. For me there were resonances with Jesus’ words: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b). You might imagine my delight when our newly consecrated Bishop, at the conclusion of her Installation, explained to the assembly that these very words had been stitched to the inside of her new cope—instead of the customary ascription, “To the greater glory of God.” I look forward to understanding further the significance of Irenaeus’ words for her. You might also imagine my dismay upon reading an article in Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity (www.touchstonemag.com), in which the author— Patrick Henry Reardon—argues that it is a misreading of Irenaeus in the context of the whole work, if we think he is talking about “human fulfillment.” The Latin translation of the original Greek—which is unfortunately lost—reads, “Gloria Dei est vivens homo.” Literally, “The glory of God is a living man.” Reardon explains that in context, the “living man,” or “man fully alive,” refers to Christ. Irenaeus goes on to say that “the life of a man is the vision of God.” That is, in the life of Jesus we can see the glory of God. This understanding resonates with the occurrence of Irenaeus’ passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “God made us ‘to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace’ [Eph. 1:5–6], for ‘the glory of God is man fully alive; moreover, man’s life is the vision of God: if God’s revelation through creation
has already obtained life for all the beings that dwell on earth, how much more will the Word’s manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God’” (no. 294). I am shocked at my own uncritical interpretation of those beloved words of Irenaeus: “The glory of God is humanity fully alive.” I have been wooed by the interpretation that God is glorified by our own search for self-fulfillment. Reardon has tough words for me and for anyone else who has been charmed by this misreading of Irenaeus: “The suggestion that God is glorified by a widespread human quest for selffulfillment—the notion that God is actually pleased by cultural and societal expressions of radical selfishness—flies in the face of everything Irenaeus held dear … According to Irenaeus and the other authentic fathers, the only true self-fulfillment—if we must use such a term—is to be sought in obedience to the lordship of, and communion with, the living Christ. Genuine fulfillment of self is expressed in forgetfulness of self and in the love of others exemplified by the Savior of the world.” (http://www.touchstonemag. com/archives/article.php?id=25-05-003-e) Lent may be understood by some as a season for our self-improvement. Our practices of giving-up and taking-up may become a version of New Year’s resolutions, which had been near-forgotten. Not so. The aim of Lent is to prepare us for the celebration of the Passion, death and resurrection of Christ— the paschal mystery. Lent is a time of repentance (metanoia)—a change of heart and mind, which is conversion. Jesus Christ is the glory of God, the “living man” and the “vision of God.” We can give glory to God though our incorporation (theosis) in the living Christ. Participation in the paschal mystery is the means of glorification. Sunday by Sunday, Easter by Easter, this mystery is the source of all life and it is the means of redemption. St. Irenaeus, pray for us.
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photo by christine hatfull
photo by christine hatfull
photo by christine hatfull
photo by christine hatfull
collage by lynn a. wilson
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he Ordination and Installation of Melissa Skelton as the IX Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster took place on March 1st. Nearly 2,000 people filled the Vancouver Convention Centre for this occasion. A number of St. James’ parishioners were formal participants in the beautiful, colourful, and very moving liturgy. The large choir, with brass accompaniment, included Gerald Harder and Doug Edwards; Reece Wrightman and
photo by peggy smyth
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Robert Leith were among the official ‘welcomers’; Jim Cheatley served as an assistant to the Cathedral staff; and Leslie Arnovick, who was on the Nominations Committee that interviewed Melissa, served as one of the ‘presenters’ of the Bishop-elect. Members of the Servers’ Guild (and Order of St. Vincent) had prominent roles in the processions: Corey Kussey, Kimberly McMillan and Barry Thieman participated as torchbearers and crucifer, while Paul Stanwood as thurifer
and Jenny Scott (boat bearer) led the procession from the Convention Centre to Christ Church Cathedral, where the new Bishop was installed in her ‘throne.’ Many of our clergy were present, elegantly attired, some wearing mozettas and birettas. Editor’s note: We apologize to anyone not named above who was formally involved in this great celebration photo by peggy smyth
photo by jerry adams
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, I attended Tenebrae on Holy Wednesday evening for the first time last year. I loved it. But what on earth was going on? Please explain. — Name Withheld Dear Anonymous, I’m glad you asked, since I’ve heard a number of parishioners express similar sentiments. Tenebrae (Latin for “shadows,” suggesting darkness) is so named because during the Middle Ages it was celebrated in complete darkness. The name was given to the combined Offices of Matins and Lauds provided for the last three days of Holy Week, and sung by anticipation on the three preceding evenings. The visual focus is a large triangular candlestick (hearse) placed before the altar. During the Office the candles are gradually extinguished—a representation of the Apostles’ desertion of Christ. At the end of the Benedictus, the one remaining candle at the apex is taken away and hidden behind the altar—a depiction of Christ’s burial. Then there is a very loud noise or clatter, and the one light is returned, its reappearance representing the Resurrection. This clatter originally had no significance. It occurred on account of the closing of chant books on the signal to leave by the superior of a monastic community. Now a wooden clapper (crotalus) sounds, signifying the Resurrection; other interpretations identify the sound with the shaking of the earth at Christ’s death. — 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: Annunciation 2014 | 5
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Book Review by Tim Firth
Listen to the Desert | Gregory Mayers
ost of us will know lose the self: “He who saves his life, the story from Gospel loses it, while he who loses his life for accounts: Jesus is led my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). (41) by the Spirit into the From their writings we see that desert or wilderness where he fasts these monastics viewed attachment and is tempted by the devil. In the two to power and control as placing them thousand years that have passed since in a dangerous predicament that this event, many have sought—as amounts to a form of personal and Lenten observance or otherwise—to collective madness. As Abba Anthony identify in some fashion with our the Great said: “The time is coming Lord’s suffering or follow in His when people will be insane, and when footsteps. they see someone who is not insane, By the third century, large numbers they will attack that person saying: of men and women had been drawn ‘You are insane because you are not Listen to the Desert: to the desert and had become the like us’” (63-4). Clearly, some effort, a Secrets of Spiritual first monastics. While the origins breakthrough, is required if we are not Maturity from the and driving forces for this movement to succumb to this madness. In this Desert Fathers and are various and fascinating, it is the process, love is critical. Mothers accounts of their lives and the fruit of Love, they assert, is to be found Gregory Mayers their spiritual strivings that interest us and made manifest not in particular Ligouri, Missouri: Ligouri/ Triumph, 1996 here. thoughts, words, or even actions, but The writings presented are a diverse rather, in the process of letting go of collection of short sayings, passages the self. Until we are able to do this, running from a few sentences to a couple of pages. we will be unable to resolve our deep-seated dilemmas They receive comment from Redemptorist priest and our profound crises of identity (121). In attempting Gregory Mayers, with the intention that the mindto live the Gospel in their daily lives, one of the monassets and insights of these early Christian Fathers and tics is supposed to have said: “An old man said, ‘I never Mothers might be made accessible and relevant to wanted work which was useful to me but loss to my modern readers. brother. For I have this expectation, that what helps my The world of social comfort and wealth was left brother is fruitful for me’” (Ibid.). behind. With and from the leaving came a realizaLove doesn’t make any economic sense. As with tion “that the space we staked out for ourselves is too the reception of the life and example of our Lord, so narrow, too small, too tiny,” and what is more, the too with the wisdom of our spiritual ancestors of the awareness that “the security of our well defined self” is desert. It is easy to say that all of this advice is unwork(and must also be) abandoned. (14) able; impractical; unaffordable. Yet therein is to be The contemplative lives these religious developed in found the real sense and transformative meaning of the desert were, it is made clear, not an early form of selfour own lives. Our Lenten observance and our faith improvement, personality enhancement, or a means of tells us this truth. To fail to grasp and act on this essenwinning over others. The goal of contemplation is to tial concern is surely to fail to follow Him.
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Upon the Annunciation and Passion Falling Upon One Day* | John Donne (1572-1631) *Lady Day, March 25, and Good Friday fell on the same day in 1608 Tamely frail body, abstain today; today My soul eats twice, Christ hither and away. She sees him man, so like God made in this, That of them both a circle emblem is, Whose first and last concur: This doubtful day Of feast or fast, Christ came, and went away. She sees him nothing, twice at once, who’s all; She sees a cedar plant itself, and fall, Her maker put to making , and the head Of life, at once, not yet alive, and dead; She sees at once the Virgin Mother stay Reclus’d at home, public at Golgotha. Sad and rejoic’d she’s seen at once, and seen At almost fifty, and at scarce fifteen. At once a son is promised her, and gone; Gabriell gives Christ to her, he her to John; Not fully a mother, she’s in orbity; At once receiver and the legacy. All this, and all between, this day hath shown, Th’abridgement of Christ’s story, which makes one, (As in plain maps, the farthest west is east) Of th’angels Ave and Consummatum est. How well the Church, God’s Court of Faculties,
Deals, in sometimes, and seldom joining these. As by the self-fix’d pole we never do Direct our course, but the next star thereto, Which shows where th’other is, and which, we say (Because it strays not far) doth never stray: So God by his Church, nearest to him, we know, And stand firm, if we by her motion go. His spirit, as his fiery pillar, doth Lead, and his Church, as cloud; to one end both: This Church, by letting these days join, hath shown Death and conception in mankind is one. Or ‘twas in him the same humility, That he would be a man, and leave to be: Or as creation he had made, as God, With the last judgment, but one period, His imitating spouse would join in one Manhood’s extremes: He shall come, he is gone. Or as though one blood drop, which thence did fall, Accepted, would have serv’d, he yet shed all, So though the least of his pains, deeds, or words, Would busy’a life, she all this day affords. This treasure then, in gross, my soul, uplay, And in my life retail it every day.
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From the Archives
he St. James’ archives are kept in a large locked room, hidden in the crypt, and mostly unknown to parishioners. They contain many documents and records that recall the history of St. James’ from its first years to the present; but sometimes special items have been overlooked or forgotten. Such is the exquisite baptismal shell, lately ‘discovered.’ This shell is polished mother of pearl, with a design carefully etched, probably by Christian artisans in Jerusalem, early in the 20th century. The design on the obverse side in low relief shows the Resurrection, with Christ rising from the tomb; an angel figure to His left is pointing to a scroll at its feet, possibly the prophecies of the Resurrection. The two demonic figures at Christ’s feet are trying to drive him back down; and a woman, either the Blessed Virgin or Mary Magdalene, is at His right. The delicate lace-like carving below this scene pierces the shell itself. The shell was acquired by Fr. H.R. Whitehead, at some time before he came to St. James’ in 1924, as an assistant during Fr. Cooper’s incumbency. When Fr. Whitehead retired in 1951, he gave the shell to parishioner Audrey (nee Sutherland) Davison. After Audrey’s death, her husband Mac gave the shell to St. James’— about 15 years ago—where it has remained in a sealed box in the archives until this day. Mac Davison, in his letter describing the gift, notes that he and Audrey saw
photo by chris loh
a shell of the same type, but of less elegant design and craftsmanship, in the treasury of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. Paul Stanwood, Archivist
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The Feast of the
Annunciation | Celia Dodds
he Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a festival of great significance to the worldwide Mothers’ Union and is lovingly referred to as “Lady Day.” On this day we join together with our members across the world who are celebrating this day with us and give thanks for the work of the Mothers’ Union worldwide. Lady Day always occurs on March 25, which means that the day always falls in Lent and very often conflicts with Lenten devotions (which take precedence). Hence it is frequently transferred to a date after Easter Sunday. When celebrated in Lent, it is a sombre occasion under the purple dorsal curtain, and the liturgical colour of blue—for festivals associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary—is usually substituted for white. The St. James’ Mothers’ Union (MU) customarily hosts the potluck supper for this Feast Day, but the members celebrate it again on their first meeting night after Easter, using a special service produced every two or three years by the Mothers’ Union worldwide and published on its website. The service is often based on the words of Mary in the Magnificat—Mary’s song upon her visit to Elizabeth—and roses, candles, water, and other symbols of new life are introduced during periods of quiet reflection and soft music. If there are new members joining, this is the day when they are enrolled into the society. A special collection is taken up for the work of the global MU programs, Literacy and Development, Family Life, and the Parenting Program.
etty’s experience of St. James’ began when she first went to UBC as an undergraduate in 1950 majoring in German and Latin. After graduating with her BA, she was offered a scholarship to Germany which took her to Mainz, and to the Johannes Gutenberg University there. Her courses and lectures included theology and art history. The residence for women at that time was in a former Luftwaffe barracks; and the University, in fact one of the oldest in Rheinland-Pfalz, was still recovering from the War—90% of Mainz had been destroyed through allied bombing. Back in B.C., at the insistence of her father, who said that “the best thing a woman could do in life is to become a teacher,” she “stupidly enrolled” in the Faculty of Education. That was not the course for her, and so she applied to Library School at the University of California in Berkeley, where she received free tuition. Yet even before she went to Berkeley she was offered a librarian position at UBC. Betty’s many memories of the Parish of St. James at this time include being impressed by the holiness of Fr. Cooper, who, every Sunday evening, would go with some others to Columbia and East Cordova Streets where gospel songs would be sung to the accordion and Fr. Cooper would preach. An MA in German literature was followed by further library stints at the University of Toronto Library and Seattle Public Library, where she worked in the Art Department. For someone so involved with books and knowledge, it should come as no surprise that she began to organize a St. James’ Parish library in 1956; and she was the Parish librarian for 35 years and archivist for 10 years. Nor should it be a surprise that she is the author of three books. The most recent is Paws: The Spiritual Journey of a Downtown Eastside Cat, a humourous and satirical look at Parish life. For details visit: bettyvogelbooks.com.
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Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ IN MEMORIAM Diana Brown, our oldest and longest-serving parishioner died on New Year’s Day at the age of 105 years. She attended St. James’ for a remarkable 92 years, and was present in 2008 when we marked her 100th birthday with a magnificent celebration in the Parish Hall. Her Christian devotion and unwavering dedication to the life of St. James’ was a shining example to us all. May Diana rest in peace and rise in glory. CEREMONY, FEAST AND TALKING CIRCLE In early January, as a follow-up to the events held in Vancouver by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Social Justice Group sponsored a gathering to talk about ways that St. James’ can be even more welcoming to, and inclusive of, Aboriginal Peoples. Elder Kelvin Bee, assisted by volunteers Marty Adams, Lynn Wilson, Chris Summers, and members of the Social Justice Group, cooked a delicious lunch of traditional fish soup and bannock for the gathering. More events are planned to build on this great beginning. STUDY AND PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES St. James’ is very fortunate to have many dedicated parishioners who give of their time to enrich our Christian learning and prayer life. Sean and Amelia Birch continue to host a bi-weekly Bible study in their home. It is open to everyone, but those in their mid-20s to early 40s form the core of the group. Corey Kussey and Raquel Calanza continue to lead the praying of 12 | PAX: Annunciation 2014
the Rosary on Sundays at 9:45 am, before High Mass. And of course our Rector, Fr. Mark, is offering classes for those who want to be confirmed, renew their confirmation vows, or be received into the Anglican Church from other communions. FORMATION SESSIONS In January and February, Leslie Arnovick and Paul Stanwood organized a Sunday Formation series entitled “Music and Art in the Christian Imagination.” Presenters included parishioner Ruth Greenaway-Robbins; Ben Ewert, Director of the Oculus Chamber Choir; UBC professor Carol Knicely; and Israeli musicologist Dr. Alexander Rosenblatt. In Lent the Formation sessions are focusing on the classic devotional works and authors, including St. Theresa of Avila, Jean Pierre de Caussade, and Christopher Smart. The schedule is listed in “The Thurible” at the back of our Sunday bulletins. HONOURING CANON DOUGLAS WILLIAMS Canon Douglas, who is an Honorary Assistant Priest at Christ Church Cathedral (but who provides much assistance to us here at St. James’), celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood on March 11th. Our congratulations go out to him, as well as our thanks for all he contributes to our life at St. James’. FELLOWSHIP SUNDAYS Beginning on February 2nd, the Parish launched a series of Fellowship Sundays, which will continue throughout the year. Dates for the remaining Fellowship Sundays are: May 4, June 15, July 27, September 28, October
26, and November 23. These “Fellowship and Fun” Sundays are an opportunity for parishioners to sit down and have a meal together (food provided by the Parish), and so have the chance to get to know and enjoy one another’s company. We also hope to add some fun activities to our time together, so if anyone would like to help organize these events, please let Fr. Mark or the Wardens know. All great ideas and willing volunteers are welcome! PREACHING DURING HOLY WEEK On Palm Sunday we have a very special homilist, the Right Reverend Melissa Skelton, newly consecrated Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster. Word has it that Mother Melissa attended one of our weekday Masses in the time between her election and consecration, and we are very pleased that she will be visiting again on Palm Sunday, where she will be preaching at both Low and High Mass. During the remainder of Holy Week the preacher will be our Rector, Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins. He will be offering meditations on the Cross through the lens of the poetry and prose of Thomas Traherne, who wrote: “The Cross is the abyss of wonders, the centre of desires, the school of virtues, the house of wisdom, the throne of love, the theatre of joys, and the place of sorrows; it is the root of happiness, and the gate of Heaven.” Fr. Mark will be preaching at each weekday Mass during Holy Week, and also at the Triduum, and at High Mass on Easter Sunday.
photo by christine hatfull
procession for bishop melissaâ€™s consecration photo by peggy smyth
feb. 2 fellowship lunch photo by sean birch
candlemas photo by sean birch
feb. 2 fellowship lunch photo by sean birch
primate fred hiltz presenting the order of the diocese of new westminster to paul stanwood photo by wayne chose
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. 22 © 2014 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, Paul Stanwood, Celia Dodds Photography: Chris Loh, Christine Hatfull, Lynn A. Wilson, Peggy Smyth, Jerry Adams, Wayne Chose, Sean Birch Distribution: Mary Brown Archivist: Paul Stanwood 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.