annunciation (Wikipedia): Caravagio (Michaelangelo merisi), 1571-1610
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baptismal shell - january 11 baptismal service
Anglican Experience and Its Many Manifestations
Fr. Douglas Fenton nglicans, by and large, are a vast and Some bishops refused to place priests in parishes diverse collection of people numbering that were associated with the Oxford Movement and about 80 million people globally, making so many of the clerics ended up working in the slums. us the third largest Christian body after From their new ministries, they developed both a the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. theology of sacramental engagement with the poor as As one might guess, with so many cultures and lanwell as a critique of British social policy, both local guages and customs across the globe, there are many and national. One of the results was the establishment ways of worshipping and experiencing the Holy of the Christian Social Union where issues such as Trinity within the Anglican Tradition. the just wage, the system of property renting, infant One particular piece of history that has a telemortality, and industrial conditions were debated. scopic relationship to St. James’ is what became Anglo-Catholicism—as this complex of ideas, styles known as the Oxford Movement (1833). It held as one and organizations became known—had a significant of its chief desires, and laid out by its three central influence on global Anglicanism (and on the Parish of leaders of Keble, Pusey, Anglo-Catholicism—as this complex St. James’, notably through and Newman, the call for the influence of Fr. Cooper, of ideas, styles and organizations Rector from 1925–1952). a re-establishment of the universal church, a return One of the many became known—had a significant to the catholic church, prior expressions was the estabinfluence on global Anglicanism both to the Great Schism lishment of Anglican of the Orthodox (Eastern) and Roman (Western) religious orders, both of men and of women, and the churches, and to the Reformation in England. They Canadian church benefited as a result. In the Diocese held that the Anglican Church was one of the three of New Westminster, the first Diocesan Bishop, Acton branches of the church catholic and argued for the Sillitoe, recruited sisters from the Community of All return of the ecclesia anglicana to the true church. A Hallows, Ditchingham, England (founded 1855) to series of Tracts were published, 90 in all, calling the establish a school for girls at Yale in 1884. church to return to its origins. The adherents of the There are currently four Anglican Religious Oxford Movement became known as Tractarians. Communities in Canada: Concerned with liberalism in theology, and which The Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE), colloquithe Tractarians saw reflected in the plain liturgical ally known as the Cowley Fathers after the village of style being offered throughout the Church of England, Cowley, England where they originated, was founded they called not for reform but for return to the use of in 1860 in England by Father Richard Meux Benson. medieval liturgical practice. They incorporated ideas It is the oldest religious order for men in the Anglican and practices related to liturgy and ceremony in a Communion. The Society began work in Boston in move to return more powerful symbolism and energy 1870 and the North American Congregation’s monasto the church. Its effects were so widespread that the tery remains in Cambridge, Massachusetts, adjacent Eucharist gradually became more central to worship, to Harvard University. vestments became common, and numerous liturgical With the encouragement of Bishop Rocksborough practices were re-introduced into worship. This led to R. Smith, fourth Bishop of Algoma, (grandfather controversies regarding appropriate ritual that even to Brian Rocksborough-Smith), the SSJE founded found their way into the courts. a community in Bracebridge, Ontario in 1927 based
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in the Collegiate Church of St. John the Evangelist. The community ceased operations in Bracebridge in 1983 and the property was sold. The remaining members moved to the Monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Community of Sisters of the Church (CSC) was founded by Emily Ayckbown in 1870 in England. The Sisters came to Canada in 1890 and formed the Canadian Province. A small community remains at Oakville, Ontario. The Order of the Holy Cross (OHC) was founded in 1884 by Father James Huntington in New York City. One of its current houses is Holy Cross Priory in Toronto.
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The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine (SSJD) was founded by Hanna Grier Coome in Toronto in 1884. This is the only Canadian Anglican religious community for women founded in Canada. At St. James’ there have been countless connections with religious communities from around the Anglican Communion and most notably the Melanesian Brotherhood (Br. John Blyth), the Third Order of Saint Francis (TSSF), and associates and oblates of various others in addition to some “homegrown” communities following the way of St. Benedict and of Julian of Norwich.
To The Glory of God | Christine Hatfull
od writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” — Martin Luther
Throughout the global Anglican communion, women “carry on the tradition of arranging and caring for flowers week by week in the tranquil setting of their Parish Churches.” — The Church of England Flower Arrangers’ Association Flowers have always graced the sacred rites and altars of human beings. All manner of plants and greenery were recognized as symbols of renewal, and were used to enhance the sacred spaces of religious communities. The floral arts in Christian Europe developed by way of the medieval monastic garden, with its ever-growing profusion of herbs and flowers and where all plants had meanings and uses attached to them from the past. Flowers, in particular, have long been associated with feminine devotion and tenderness. Anglican tradition includes fresh flowers in church all year. The first written evidence for this practice comes from Post-Reformation records, indicating that flowers were purchased in place of the candles that were disappearing from altars due to doctrinal changes. The flowers remained even after the return of wax. And so at St. James’, the liturgical colours of the Ordo Calendar are reflected in the clergy vestments, altar dressings, and choice of flowers throughout the seasons, including festivals and dedication days. Green is the colour of Ordinary time from Pentecost until Advent, which corresponds to the months of verdant growth and eventual harvest. Flowers are in abundance at the altar but their colours are muted: pastel and delicate alongside spears of scented myrtle and eucalyptus. Laurel, boxwood, and any other greenery the flower arranger has at her disposal by way of backyard garden or thoughtful parishioner can be incorporated with the traditional roses, peonies,
daisies, snapdragons, hydrangea, chrysanthemums, asters (Michaelmas daisy), and Queen Anne’s Lace, of summer and autumn. Purple is for Advent, the penitential season leading up to Christmas. Specific to Anglo-Catholic tradition there are no fresh flowers; instead an Advent wreath is made from a circle of evergreen plants, which symbolizes God with no beginning or end and a reminder that God does not change. Wound through it is a purple ribbon into which are set five candles. Holly and ivy are used liberally during the Christmas season along with a profusion of deep red gladioli, carnations, and poinsettia decorating the Church for Christmas Eve Mass. Holly is a particular symbol of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified, while the red berries are likened to his blood. Lent is another time of penitence and, though the altar is again dressed in purple and void of fresh flowers, there is an exception made for Mothering Sunday (the fourth Sunday in Lent). The notable colour is rose pink, both for the clergy vestments and in the carnations given to the mothers of the parish. According to Christian legend, while Christ carried the Cross, fragrant pinks were said to have sprung up from where the Virgin Mary’s tears fell to the ground. At St. James’ the pink carnation continues to represent a mother’s undying love. Throughout Easter the colour is white and the flower is the lily. This symbol of the Trinity (and of charity, hope, and faith) also has deep historical associations with the Virgin Mary. It appears in paintings of the Annunciation and in the work of the Venerable Bede, who claimed that “the whiteness of the petals represented her [Mary’s] physical purity and the golden anthers the radiant light of her soul.” The golden yellow colour is also evident in the daffodil, which appears in legend on the night of the Last Supper in the Garden of Gethsemane to comfort Jesus in his hour of sorrow. After Trinity Sunday there is once again green—the colour of “eternal life.”
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The Faith We Sing | P.J. Janson
t was quite a number of years ago that I visited a parish for a weekday conference, and during one of the breaks I looked for some quiet time in the church. Whenever I’m visiting other churches I enjoy looking up the hymns that are sung, as they are a window into the living faith of the congregation. I searched for a service booklet, but couldn’t find one. I looked for the hymn board; it was empty. Then I noticed an overhead projector. Success! There it was—a transparency of the closing hymn from last Sunday’s service. The words expressed the Easter message in a simple, but effective way: Christ is risen, alleluia Christ is risen, alleluia Christ is risen, alleluia Early in the morning I was rather surprised, however, to discover the suggested tune for these words: “What shall we do with a drunken sailor.” But my surprise turned to astonishment when I read the refrain: “Hey, ho, and up he january 11 baptismal service
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rises.” Perhaps not the best marriage of text and tune. In a way we should be thankful; there are many who cast doubt on the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet more is needed to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom when we sing hymns to God (Col 3:16). In the words of Erik Routley, the truth about the resurrection of Christ “enshrines a mystery into which we constantly want, and need, to enquire further. I believe that Christ rose, but does that help me now? Does that belief affect my life? Well, this hymn has something to say in restating the fact and commenting on it. It helps.” George Woodward, a nineteenth-century priest of the Church of England, did well at capturing the essence of 1 Corinthians 15 with the hymn [on the following page], setting it to a marvellous seventeenth-century melody that with its ascending lines wonderfully supports the text—including the ever-rising line of “arisen” in the refrain. What a brilliant way to sing our faith!
This joyful Eastertide Away with sin and sorrow! My Love, the Crucified, Hath sprung to life this morrow
He who was buried was raised on the third day
My flesh in hope shall rest, And for a season slumber: Till trump from east to west Shall wake the dead in number
The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed
Death’s flood has lost its chill, Since Jesus crossed the river: Lover of souls, from ill My passing soul deliver Had Christ, who once was slain, Ne’er burst His three-day prison, Our faith had been in vain: But now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, Arisen!
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain… But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept
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Lessons from the Monastery | Mother Alexis Saunders
ast year while recovering from a broken wrist I travelled to Julian House Monastery near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and plunged into the remarkable rhythm of life in the monastery—and all it has to teach us about living, and what it means to be a human being. After many delays due to stormy, snowy weather, I arrived just at the end of Compline, before the door to the monastery closed for the night, and the Great Silence settled like a comforting blanket upon the community. I was shown to my “cell” and everyone else went to bed. But I was on Pacific Standard Time and it was supper time on the west coast; how was I to sleep? Thus I stepped into another world. Why all this silence? In the practice of exterior silence we can slowly be restored to ourselves. The exterior silence slowly penetrates to interior silence that quiets what is still divided and unconverted within us. When I arose in the dark of the very early morning and gathered in the silence for Morning Prayer, suddenly the prayers became this very intimate conversation with God. Everyone speaks in a hushed voice, so the prayers
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become an aspect of the silence. Then into this silence the Word of God is spoken and the impact is profound; for there is nothing to distract a person from truly hearing. Thus the daily routine of the monastery began with a balance between liturgical prayer, sacred reading, and work, which are the three fundamentals of monastic life for personal stability. I discovered that fidelity to the daily schedule will mould and shape me, by calming, freeing, and stabilizing my responses and creating a sense of order and security. The daily schedule is part of the process of transformation; it forms an invitation to surrender to the process and trust it, to grow into it and be nourished by it. This ordered style of living fosters contemplative deepening and serenity so that I can feel at home within myself, in the world, and in life. The foundational understanding is that God is my heart’s desire, and I reach my full human potential when I seek God. It is understood that my identity is in God’s love for me and not in what I think, want, or desire. So the daily rhythm of monastic life began to surround me gently and comfortably from morning until night, bringing a capacity to be more aware of the
spiritual goal and purpose of life. I wondered about the purpose of the “cell”? The Dessert Fathers and Mothers advised seekers to stay in their cells. It seems that steadfastness in the cell means I am to choose to take a stand until I learn to live with myself, with all my faults and failings and emptiness, as I wait in patience for the mercy of God to heal me and fill my heart and my cell in peace. So why was Morning Prayer at 4:30 am? The night watches reminded me of the story of the ten virgins awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom, and of the disciples praying in the garden with Jesus and falling asleep. Night watches aim at spiritually awakening the heart—to awaken me from the somnolent, heedless, and embedded life. There were many more life lessons in the Monastery which are simply too many to write about here in this space. I returned home to dream of life there and all it has to offer me—and everyone else—about living and being human.
Rhodri and Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe
uzanne and Rhodri met thanks to the Rector of St. Helen’s in Vancouver, the Reverend Alan Kerr, proving that Anglicanism nurtures romance too! Suzanne had been organist at Reverend Kerr’s previous church, St. Alban’s in Burnaby, where her family had long worshipped. Suzanne taught music but then moved into teaching English as a Second Language—in part due to hearing loss, which caused her to relinquish singing with the Phoenix Choir and latterly piano playing. She is currently Head Teacher at Confederation Park School. In 2014 she completed a doctoral degree at UBC, her research investigating schools of choice with particular respect to arts-based curriculum. Rhodri was educated in Britain—a failed chorister at Llandaff Cathedral—then at Clifton College and at the Courtauld Institute, completing his doctorate at London University. He taught at London and for the Open University before accepting posts first at McGill and then UBC. He has published widely on design—architectural, urban and technological. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his architectural historical work, and has received UBC Killam prizes for teaching and research. After heading the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at UBC, he then served as Associate Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Suzanne and Rhodri’s daughter Emma and son Owen also attend St. James’, Owen having recently and Emma about to graduate from UBC. Rhodri was Rector’s Warden and server at St. Helen’s when the family lived near UBC, but he visited St. James’ occasionally because he values the liturgy, the music, and the architectural sophistication and great beauty of the place.
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8 | PAX: Annunciation 2015 photo: chris loh
photo: chris loh
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photo: chris loh photo: chris loh
Community of the Sisters of the Love of God
Sister Mary Christian Cross y 1900 the Anglican Church in England supported many Religious Communities. Indeed they were flourishing, often with large numbers of sisters, priests, and brothers throughout what was then the British Empire. These communities were engaged in missionary work, in teaching, in social work, and in nursing. In keeping with the Pelagian bent of British tradition they were doing “useful work,” and although their contribution to the life of the Church was bathed in prayer, prayer was not their primary involvement. As the twentieth century began, at what was to be the intersection of Gore and Cordova in Vancouver, BC, the newly built Anglo-Catholic Church of St. James’ was well attended as the first Anglican Church in Vancouver. No doubt the clergy and parishioners knew of the re-establishment of the Religious Life in the Church of England, but as yet there were no communities “in the West.” (More than a century later, the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine now has a house in Victoria, BC.) By the turn of the twentieth century, the Cowley Fathers in Oxford, England (that is, the Society of St. John the Evangelist) were nurturing a different kind of Religious Life—among women who felt called to a more strictly enclosed tradition. At that time models for the enclosed life had to be searched out among the Roman Catholic Communities, mostly on the Continent. These included Poor Clares, Trappestines, Visitandines, Carmelites, and Benedictines, all members of which lived lives where their work was not only supported by prayer, but was prayer for its own sake of offering adoration and glory to God as well as intercession for the needs of the world. Introducing this type of life in England was not an easy task and the early stages of development were done very quietly. The first community set up for this purpose established itself in 1906 in a small townhouse in East Oxford, not far from the Mission House of the Cowley Fathers. As the number of sisters grew, they moved to Fairacres House, on about five acres of property in East Oxford 10 | PAX: Annunciation 2015
that had earlier been a pig farm. Some of the first sisters were highly educated, some in Oxford where, in the 1890s, they had to be chaperoned to their tutor’s rooms for instruction. At least one was educated in Cambridge. (At that time, women were prevented from receiving degrees because of their gender.) Most of them came from middle- to upper-class families so that as their daily traditions developed, they reflected Victorian values as well as values developed over the centuries of monastic life. Enclosure was strict, as was the life. The Rule of the Sisters of the Love of God, though based on earlier traditions, was drawn up as a “modern” rule. It became adapted over the years, remaining to the present time as a modern rule drawing from certain traditions, especially those of the Carmelites and Benedictines. In time the Enclosed Life became accepted in the Church of England, especially because much of the intercessory prayer of the sisters was dedicated for the needs of the world as well as for the priesthood, and for the unity of the Church. At the present time the nuns continue to live in Oxford, on a property now known as “Fairacres.” In the early days of the community, necessary contact outside the walls of the enclosure was done by Oblate Sisters. Later, as more “contemplatives living in the world” were drawn to engage with the cloistered sisters in their life of prayer, a Rule was drawn up which reflected the same commitment to prayer but lived away from the community. Oblate Sisters have access to the Enclosure, but normally live in their own homes. Sr. Mary spent more than seven years in the cloister as an enclosed sister, returning to Canada in 1964. Since that time she has lived in the Lower Mainland as an Oblate Sister of the Community, returning regularly to Fairacres in Oxford, England. In the Community she is known as Oblate Sister Mary Christian.
Meeting God in Mark | Rowan Williams
Book Review by Paul Stanwood
his is a small but eloquent, wants to challenge people to recogsensitive, and profound nize the uniqueness of his mission. book, easily accessible but “The secret that Mark’s Jesus wants to the product of deep learndisclose” is that of “a God who does ing and scholarship. It began as a series not coerce belief or clinch arguments, of three Holy Week talks in 2010 in but who repeatedly demands relation Canterbury Cathedral. Because of its and trust”: “Lord, I believe. Help thou brevity and intensity, Mark’s Gospel mine unbelief.” has often been considered naive and Almost one-third of Mark’s Gospel somewhat disorganized. But Rowan is given to a description of the last Williams, former Archbishop of events of Jesus’ life and to the Passion Canterbury, seeks to demonstrate the itself, in striking contrast to the other uniqueness and skill of Mark’s narGospel narratives which are much rative technique, and to display the briefer. Yet in this final section of transformative power of his narrative. Williams’s book, “A lifelong passion,” The first talk, or chapter, on “The we are led to understand that St. Mark Meeting God in Mark: beginning of the Gospel,” situates is drawing us back to the centrality of Reflections for the Mark in his historical context and the theme of relationship. The whole Season of Lent tradition, as one who is writing out of his highly compressed narrative, Rowan Williams of a compelling relationship which he from its beginning to the end, has London: SPCK, and Louisville, wishes to make very real, and which been leading us to “the re-creating of a KY: Westminster John Knox he wants to share. He writes as if he relationship of trust and love on the far Press, 2014 were making an official announceside of the most extreme human realment or proclamation about how the ities, suffering, abandonment, death.” world is changed through Jesus—a Jesus “arguably The sudden and unexpected original conclusion of the stranger, more ‘transcendent,’ more simply worrying Gospel, that ends seemingly with no conclusion, is in than the Jesus of any of the other Gospels.” fact deliberate. The first witnesses to the Resurrection “Telling Secrets” is the next talk, which asks why “said nothing to any one, for they were afraid” (16:8). Jesus regularly admonishes “silence,” “go and tell no Mark, says Williams, “wanted us to finish in midone.” Jesus works miracles, yet he draws attention air.” Like the women who are at first too frightened to away from the miracles—he discourages his audience spread the word of the Resurrection, so too are we all— from treating him as a miracle worker, for there are all of us new readers and disciples. Jesus has left work already many such ‘healers’ in the world. Jesus really for us, and this is the ‘end’ of the Gospel.
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The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine: Past and Present | Elizabeth Murray
annah Grier, Mother-Foundress of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, was born on October 28, 1837, at the ‘Carrying Place’ in southern Ontario. In 1859, she married Charles Horace Coome, a young English engineer engaged in laying out the Grand Trunk Railway. When he was obliged to return to England their home was there and in Wales for nineteen years. Hannah was on her way back to the British Isles from Chicago in 1881 when she stopped in Toronto to visit family. Widowed three years earlier, Hannah’s thoughts first turned to her dear Sisters of St. Mary the Virgin, Wantage, one of the oldest (1848) traditional religious communities in the Church of England (and in 2015 one of England’s oldest surviving Sisterhoods). Hannah had enjoyed a happy married life in Britain and become acquainted with the Wantage Sisters. Her way seemed clear to enter a Sisterhood, and Hannah had actually sought Admission to the Community and been accepted. “By the late 19th century, the Oxford Movement had reached Canada, where the idea of reviving some of the ancient church practices and traditions began to
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percolate in the minds of Canadian Anglicans. Many saw the spiritual and practical benefits that religious communities could provide in a growing country such as Canada” (A Journey Just Begun, 2015). Hannah could not have imagined that in a relatively short time she would be the Mother-Foundress of Canada’s first Sisterhood. Instead of entering an established religious community in England, the 44-year-old widow was being asked by a little band of church people in Toronto to establish a Sisterhood. Hannah consulted friends and spiritual advisors and the following June was in Peerskill, New York—a postulant in a different community of St. Mary. Following two years of training in the life of a religious, Hannah Grier Coome made her Profession, September 8, 1884, and the same day the MotherFoundress of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine returned to Toronto. The first house of the Sisterhood was opened and blessed by the Bishop of Toronto on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist 1885—perhaps the smallest convent ever known. As early as June, 1885, a group of five dedicated Toronto women, guided by Georgina Broughall, became the first Associates, and Mrs Broughall the first
convener. Their purpose was to support and uphold the fledgling SSJD. By the 1890s the number of Associates had grown to 75; by 1930 to 500; and today there are more than 800. St. John’s Convent, now on the site of St. John’s Rehab Hospital in Toronto’s Cummer Avenue, and St. John’s House in Victoria, BC, are the two remaining Houses of the Sisterhood.
ancouver Associates of The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine have a personal connection with the Order’s next Reverend Mother. Many will remember Sister Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas when she was active with SSJD’s local Ward of the Holy Spirit (1967 to 1976) and attended the monthly Eucharist and meetings of Associates. Sister Elizabeth will be installed as Reverend Mother of the Sisterhood, on St. John’s Day, May 6, in Toronto. She will be the seventh Reverend Mother in the 130year history of the oldest Religious Order in Canada and the only one of entirely Canadian origin.
Prioress of the Sisterhood from 2008, Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas taught at Crofton House School for 26 years before entering the Convent in Willowdale as a postulant in 1997. She is a sibling of David Rolfe, Returning Officer of the Diocese of New Westminster. In earlier days, Associates from within St. James’ formed the majority of members in the Ward of the Holy Spirit—all mentored for many years by the remarkable and much loved Sister Rosemary Anne (Benwell), Sister-in-charge at St. John’s Priory in Edmonton and Warden of Western and Overseas Associates. Inspired by fellow-parishioner-Associates, I began my probation on Ascension Day 1973, while visiting the Convent with Associate Muriel Walton. Twelve months later, I rejoiced in full fellowship with The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine and my own silver cross of the Order. It was a Red Letter Day, quite literally, being the Feast of Pentecost. The date was forty years ago last June 1. My Admission as an Associate in 1974 was the beginning of a spiritual journey with men and women, lay and ordained, who depend on one another for support in the life of Christian commitment—a group pledged also to uphold the Sisters in their vocation.
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Religious Communities in the Solomons Brother John Blyth THE MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD
he Melanesian Brotherhood was founded in 1925 by Ini Kuporia, a native Solomon Islander from Guadalcanal. Its main purpose was evangelistic, to take and live the Gospel in the most remote islands and villages throughout the Solomons, among people who had not heard the message of Christ. The Brotherhood’s method is to live as brothers to the people, respecting their traditions and customs: helping them in the planting, harvesting of the land, fishing, hunting, house building, eating and sharing with the people in all these things of their everyday life. Kuporia (an excolonial policeman) believed that Solomon Islanders should be converted in a Melanesian way. The Brothers take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, not for life, but for a period of three years which may be renewed for another four years. After that, a Brother may continue until he or his family consider it is time to be released and get married. Today the work of the Brotherhood has broadened to include work among both Christians and non-Christians. Brothers were also involved in the government’s
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Peace Mission during the “Ethnic Tension” of 2001– 2003. They collected over 4,000 guns from militants and dumped them into the sea. Seven Brothers were tortured and killed by one of the renegade leaders. These Brothers have been internationally acknowledged as martyrs. The Brotherhood aims to live out the Gospel in a direct, simple, and radical way, following Christ’s example of prayer, mission, and service. Brothers train for at least three years as novices and make their vows as Brothers on the Feast of SS Simon and Jude (October 28th). This model of service has proven extremely effective, and there are now more than 450 Brothers under vows serving in Households in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, England (and Canada).
THE SISTERS OF MELANESIA The Sisters of Melanesia was founded by a woman from Guadalcanal, Nesta Tiboe, in 1976. In 1967 she received a vision in which she realized that Melanesian women were also called to serve God “without fear, shame or doubt.” Nesta was a brave and determined woman, and though faced with much male opposition at first, she established a community of women on the
same lines as the Melanesian Brotherhood. There are now over sixty Sisters, with no lack of vocations. The Sisters’ community is marked by its joy and simplicity of life. Although it has been more difficult for young women to tour villages, they have had an active outreach program, a disciplined and devout prayer life, and a well-deserved reputation for help and hospitality.
THE COMMUNITY OF THE SISTERS OF THE CHURCH
those involved in the recent “Ethnic Tension” in the Solomons. Their households have become sanctuaries for mothers and children escaping domestic violence, and the Sisters are frequently called on to protect women and children from drunk and violent partners. The Sisters now have a “Safe Refuge” for those who are victims of family violence. They have eight houses throughout the Solomon Islands.
THE SOCIETY OF ST. FRANCIS
This community of women is in full communion with the Anglican Church. The Mother House is at Ham Common, Richmond, in England. Founded in 1870 by Emily Ayckbowm from Chester, the Community’s pioneers worked mainly in Christian Education, child care, social welfare, and mission. By the mid-1890s the Sisters had established work throughout England and in Canada, Burma, India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Franciscan Brothers are growing more quickly in the Solomons than in any other country. It is an ecologically aware community, as one would expect in a country where the rain forests are being devastated. Their Friary at Hautambu in northwestern Guadalcanal is a refreshing alternative with its tree-planting, organic farm, and so on. Many Franciscan households are found in towns throughout the Solomons where the Brothers minister to people in need.
In 1970 three Sisters went to the Solomon Islands and began work there, particularly with women and children. A community of Sisters continues this work. They were also engaged in reconciliation among
The Reverend Fr. John Blyth, long associated with St. James’, is a member of the Melanesian Brotherhood.
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Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ IN MEMORIAM
FAREWELL FR. MARK
In January we celebrated the life of Howard Williams, a member of the Squamish Band, and friend of many. Those of us who come and go daily from St. James’ miss the conversations we had with Howard as he sat at the door of Cooper Place, working on his carvings.
Sunday, January 11th, was also Fr. Mark GreenawayRobbins’ last Sunday with us at St. James’. Fr. Mark left to take up a position in Caerphilly (near Cardiff) in Wales, as Team Rector of the newly created Rectorial Benefice of Eglwysilan and Caerphilly in the Diocese of Llandaff. The joyful baptismal celebration was followed by a luncheon in the Parish Hall (see the photos on the next page), at which Fr. Mark was both “roasted” and “toasted”! He, Ruth, Ana, Simeon and of course the dogs, Bear and Dido, are missed, but we are glad to hear that they are settling in and happy in their new home.
We also bade farewell to Fr. Donald Dodman, an assistant priest at St. James’ from 1987 to 1997. His Requiem Mass was celebrated on January 26th by Fr. Douglas Fenton. The homily by Fr. Neil Gray of Holy Trinity, White Rock, captured Fr. Dodman’s personality perfectly, and brought back many joyful memories. Peter Leong, who died on February 28th, was a longtime parishioner of St. James’, who, for health reasons, had been unable to attend Church for some time; but he had been receiving regular pastoral visits and Home Communion. Many in the Parish remember Frits Jacobsen, who died at the end of February after some months in hospice care. Frits was a talented artist, and his drawings were widely used in promotional materials for the St. James’ Canterbury Fayre in the 1970s. To this day, the church uses the notecards Frits created, with a sketch of St. James’ on the front. He will always be remembered for his wonderful contributions to our Parish life. May Howard, Donald, Peter, Frits, and all the faithful departed rest in peace and rise in glory. NEW MEMBERS OF GOD’S FAMILY On the Feast Day of the Baptism of the Lord, January 11th, there were a record number of baptisms! The sacrament was celebrated on the chancel steps so that all could see and enjoy the rite. We were happy to welcome babies Kyle Coan, Benjamin Duffy, Luke Lewis, Kassandra Tait, and Kellan Tataren. A warm welcome was also given to the adult candidate, Wen Tsai. At the conclusion of the service, a banner made by the Mothers’ Union was blessed. On it were inscribed the names of all the children baptized at St. James’ in 2014. Following the service the Mothers’ Union provided its customary reception with a celebratory cake for the families of the baptismal candidates.
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INTERIM MINISTRY AT ST. JAMES’ Upon Fr. Mark’s departure, the Executive Archdeacon of the Diocese, the Venerable Douglas Fenton, was appointed Priest-in-Charge of St. James’. He will serve until June 1, 2015, when the newly appointed Interim Priest-in-Charge will arrive to take up his duties. Reverend Canon Kevin Hunt, currently serving as Precentor of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle, England, will then lead the Parish in an intentional eighteen-month period of Interim Ministry. During this time we will engage in a process of reflection and analysis which will help us prepare a Parish Profile—a description of what we do, and where we want to go as a Parish. We look forward to “owning” the Parish Profile and being active participants in its creation, so that our common hopes and dreams for St. James’ will be expressed in our advertisement for a new Rector. JANUARY PARISH COUNCIL MEETING & FEBRUARY FELLOWSHIP LUNCH On January 24th a large number of parishioners attended the first of the 2015 Parish Council Meetings. Fr. Douglas Fenton gave a presentation on Interim Ministry, and led the group through a preliminary discussion based on the questions: “For who and what in our past do you give thanks? What in the Parish currently provides you with hope, joy, excitement? What do you want St. James’ to look like in 5–7–10 years?” It was a very stimulating beginning to this new chapter in the life of our Parish. It was followed up in February at the Fellowship Lunch, when Tasha Carruthers from the Diocesan Office joined us to facilitate more of the beginning work of the Interim Ministry process.
GOODBYE TO… We will miss Brian and Jan Strehler, parishioners and dedicated volunteers who have served St. James’ in so many ways for so many years. They are leaving to attend St. David’s, Tsawwassen, which is much nearer their home. We will also miss Tim Firth, our long-standing Parish Librarian, who is moving across the water to Victoria. We thank them for all they have done for us, and all they have meant to us. We do anticipate that they will stay in touch, as St. James’ tends to leave its mark on all who have spent time in this unique and wonderful Parish. all photos from Fr. Mark GreenawayRobbins’ farewell luncheon, january 11
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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. 25 © 2015 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Joyce Locht Designer & Art Director: Sean Birch Writers: Fr. Douglas Fenton, Mtr. Alexis Saunders, Br. John Blyth, Sr. Mary Christian Cross, Elizabeth Murray, Christine Hatfull, Paul Stanwood, P. J. Janson Photography: Sean Birch, 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.