walk for truth and reconciliation. photo by amelia birch
Pax MICHAELMAS 2013
photo by sean birch
walsingham abbey remains; photo by david p orman (wikipedia commons)
The Sacrament of Reconciliation | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
ruth and reconciliation. The sharing of truth does not necessarily lead to reconciliation. And there are expressions of reconciliation which are not founded upon truth. Such has been my experience as a parish priest. Yet the Church proclaims the teaching of Christ that “The truth will make you free” (John 8:32). And Christians, since the origins of the Church, have been exhorted through the teaching of Paul the Apostle that Christ has entrusted us with a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11–21). It has been said that truth is the first casualty of war, a remark often attributed to Hiram Johnson (US Senator—in a 1917 speech). In our day this idea has seemed never more evident than with respect to the civil conflict in Syria. For us in the West, it is perilously difficult to know and understand the facts. Atrocities followed by blame and counter-blame have become our daily fare of news from this region. The nation of Chile marked the fortieth anniversary of the coup by General Augusto Pinochet during midSeptember. According to The Economist (September 14th) a recent survey “suggested that three-quarters of Chileans believe the wounds opened in 1973 have yet to be healed.” For the people of Chile it seems that “reconciliation is in short supply.” In British Columbia we have been blessed with the invitation to participate in Reconciliation Week (Sep. 16–22), the BC National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. “Namwayut— We are all one—If you believe it, walk it” has been our theme. Whether Syrian, Chilean, Nisga’a, or new Canadian, how do we walk the talk of Truth and Reconciliation? “These twin themes of truth and reconciliation resonate deeply within Christian theology. Followers of Jesus value truth telling: from practices like confession and spiritual direction, the best of the Christian way encourages honest examination of self. Christian ethics are grounded in speaking and facing the truth about our lives” (The Very Rev. Dr. Peter Elliott, from Dean’s Notes Sep. 22, 2013).
But the followers of Jesus Christ, myself included, have a propensity to feign truth-telling and to pursue a counterfeit reconciliation which shies away from a fulsome self-examination in the Light of Christ. We each have our blind spots. How do we walk the talk? By practicing penance! My experience of hearing confessions and accompanying Christian pilgrims as a “spiritual director/friend/companion” convinces and assures me of the Christ-given wisdom entrusted to the Church, which in our tradition is known as “penance.” Time and time again visitors to St. James’ and parishioners express to me their appreciation of our witness and commitment to the deep—and oftentimes difficult—mysteries of our faith in Jesus Christ. Penance comprises four stages in the tradition, whether one is preparing (examination of conscience) for the general confession and absolution in the Eucharist, or for the sacrament of reconciliation (confession). Penance begins with contrition, which is the insight and desire to turn away from our sins and towards Christ. Confession follows contrition when we express honestly, clearly, and without excuse or blame, our participation in sin. This we may do directly to God alone, or in the hearing of a priest or a fellow Christian who is mature in the faith. The act of penance (or satisfaction) follows confession. This action is an undertaking to amend conduct, repair injury, and restore order. I have often witnessed and experienced the grace that is given to make amends through absolution. (Here I owe a debt of gratitude to those whom I have accompanied on step five of Alcoholics and Narcotic Anonymous—these pilgrims have taught me the power of making amends.) Absolution, the tangible expression of God’s forgiveness in Jesus Christ, is the fourth and climactic stage of penance. To know that we are forgiven through practicing penance is a life-giving gift. It is through practicing penance that the truth sets us free and makes us ministers of reconciliation. Penance enables us to believe in and walk the way of Truth and Reconciliation. PAX: Michaelmas 2013 | 1
People and Permaculture | Mtr. Alexis Saunders
ast year I joined a community garden and have since been immersed into gardening practices founded on permaculture. To learn more about this topic, I took a workshop while on my holidays. All through the course I thought of how the principles of permaculture apply to our faith and parish life. I heard echoes of the wisdom writings of the Bible that call us to discover God by learning from nature. Permaculture began as a desire to discover a sustainable method of agriculture in the 1970s. Traditional agriculture was very labour-intensive and industrial agriculture is energy-intensive; and so a small group of people decided to observe carefully what was happening in nature and then to copy the patterns observed in order to become as abundant as nature. I see the results of this study in gardening books on subjects like square foot gardening, inter-planting, companion planting, no-dig gardening, composting, growing all year round, and much more. Permanent agriculture is a result of learning nature’s lessons and seeing patterns, principles and systems. Over the last forty-five years people all around the world have been observing and experimenting, and have discovered that what applies to the natural world also applies to humans. Out of this has come a core ethic of earth care, people
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care and fair share. The first principle of permaculture is: Observe. It starts with looking at ourselves, then what is immediately around us, and gradually looking farther and farther outward. Observation of the world around
St. Ninian’s Catechism* Question: What is best in the world? Answer: To do the will of our Maker. Question: What is his will? Answer: That we should live according to the laws of his creation. Question: How do we know those laws? Answer: By study—studying the Scriptures with devotion. us increases our awareness of ourselves, others, and our surroundings. It stimulates our natural curiosity. It allows us to identify patterns of behaviour, preferences, and contradictions—within ourselves, our families and communities, and the world. With all this
Question: What tool has our Maker provided for this study? Answer: The intellect, which can probe everything. Question: And what is the fruit of study? Answer: To perceive the eternal Word of God reflected in every plant and insect, every bird and animal, and every man and woman. ive relationships. The mighty moose loves the edges of lakes where underwater weeds and nearby willows grow, and the moose will eat and play there through the evening until dark. At St. James’ we are an “edge” community with a great diversity of people from many
different backgrounds and circumstances. At times this diversity is awkward and uncomfortable, but it also holds the possibility of creativity and abundant growth. As anyone who has ever grown zucchini knows, there can be an overabundance of such goodness. Yet abundance is part of the ethic of permaculture. The industrial growth culture promotes scarcity to maximize profits and promotes fear, greed, hoarding, and competition. Abundance is an understanding that there is enough. It promotes trust that our needs will be provided for, especially through sharing and cooperation. It encourages appreciation in order to see what is abundant in our lives. These reflections are only a glimpse into the depth of our knowledge of permaculture, which is giving me a new perspective on what it means to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and my neighbour as myself. *St. Ninian of Whithorn was born around 360 CE in the area of Scotland that is known today as Dumfries, where he built a centre of Christian prayer and learning and brought the Gospel to new cultures and peoples as a priest.
photo by amelia birch
observation we can see both what is going well and what might need changing. In nature the edge between a pond and land is a place of great diversity of plant and animal life, all connected in a beneficial way to create encouraging and support-
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Reconciliation in Israel and Palestine | Justin Cheng “Pray for the peace, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Ten measures of beauty God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem and one to the rest. Ten measures of sorrow God gave to the world, nine to Jerusalem and one to the rest.”
sang these words regularly during Evening Prayer at St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem. As part of my theological education, I had the opportunity to work as an intern in the Holy Land with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem from May to July of this year. Since coming back, most conversations I have had with people centred not on the Biblical aspects of the experience but on the contemporary political concerns. Every day, it seems we hear news about conflict in the Middle East. Right now, as I am writing, Egypt is inflamed by political violence and unrest. Right now, the Israelis and Palestinians are restarting another round of peace talks that are met by skepticism and lowered expectations by many, including myself. As Christians, our faith is grounded in reconciliation: God has reconciled Himself with us and with all creation through the person of his Son. From this supreme act of grace, we are then called, equipped and sustained to be agents of reconciliation in the world. But this is easier said than done. During my time in Jerusalem, I learned a couple of things:
Learn the Story This does not just mean keeping up with the current news. It means learning the histories of both peoples: Jews and Palestinians. One thing I discovered is that few Canadians and Americans understand and know about what 1948 means to Palestinians. For Palestinians, the events of 1948 constitute the Nakba: the “Catastrophe”—when they and their families were driven and uprooted from their homes to make way for the establishment of Israel. Reconciliation entails disregarding spin and the political justifications in order genuinely to hear the stories of the people involved. It means, as Jesus taught, to be as “wise as serpents and gentle as doves,” being alert to how truths can easily be 4 | PAX: Michaelmas 2013
(Garth Hewitt’s Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem) twisted and distorted by political players. As Christians, this means that we cannot be “nice,” if by “nice” we mean that all perspectives on the conflict have equal moral validity. Injustice is not as morally valid as justice. Careful discernment means being able to judge perspectives by the light of Christ’s call to love God and neighbour. At the same time, we also must not lose sight of the common humanity shared by all people—people of both sides who have the same hopes, dreams, fears, and aspirations.
Pray The Dean of St. George’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Hosam Naoum, gives talks to visiting groups on Israel-Palestine from a Palestinian Christian perspective. When visitors to the Land ask how they can help with peace and reconciliation, his first answer is always, “Pray.” Before we are tempted to impose our own solutions to the problems of the Middle East, before we fall into despair or throw our hands up and conclude that it’s all for nought, we pray. We pray for an end to injustice and to violence. We pray for children to be raised not to hate or to strike back. We pray for leaders to have sound minds and hearts of compassion and we pray for God to comfort the suffering, to cleanse our own hearts of prejudice, and to urge more and more people to the cause of peace, justice, and reconciliation. So, “Learn and Pray.” Those actions seem simple, but they may be more powerful than we think. Justin Cheng, former parishioner of St. James’ Vancouver, is currently a postulant of the Diocese of British Columbia (Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands) and a Master of Divinity student at Trinity College, Toronto.
250 Powell Street | Christine Hatfull
econciliation is a weighty word. It implies and couples with low to moderate incomes. An addiaction and outcome, and requires courage, tional 37 units will be run by ACCESS BladeRunners vision, rectification, commitment, and cowho assist mostly aboriginal, homeless youth aged operation. The act of making things work 15-30 with life-skills and work-ready training for the better and establishing friendly relations is its foundaconstruction industry. Their participation in this comtion, achieved principally through listening. munity project deepens the level of social commitment In the spirit of the times, Vancouver City Council and increases the likelihood of success for those at is involved in the reconciling of its architectural and greatest risk in the Downtown Eastside. planning past, with a $2 million grant awarded to a The ongoing competition for available rental space project on St. James’ very doorstep in which a former and real estate is heating up, as the downtown core jail will be transformed into real homes. continues to redefine and revitalize itself while at the Anyone who has looked out the windows of the Bishops’ Room on Gore Avenue may have noted the brick and concrete edifice across the way. Richard Henriquez designed this striking and unique building in 1972 for use as the Remand Centre. The former jail has been empty for over a decade; and for just as long, it has been the vision and goal of his son (and lead designer of the Woodward’s redevelopment), Gregory Henriquez, to repurpose this building into quality mixed-income housing. After years of discussion and negotiation with collaborators, a plan was formed so that a provincial asset could be recycled into a community asset, and new social housing built at a fraction of the cost of a new building. The project is slated to begin early in 2014, with BC Housing photo by christine hatfull providing the major funding. They have selected the Bloom Group (formerly the St. James’ Community Service Society) to oversee the redevelopsame time putting pressure on issues of accessibility, ment, operations and management of this innovative inclusivity and affordability. Although the area is in project. Part of their mandate is Housing that makes a the grip of a transformation, it remains to be seen if caring home. Those who have never had a home or the those in power are motivated to embrace the disparexperience of maintaining one will continue to be lost ate and incompatible elements and reconcile a balance to the system without the progressive social services that benefits all. and outstanding support of an organization with the This creative rapprochement of city, province, designskills and integrity of the Bloom Group. ers and social service societies is poised to benefit the 250 Powell Street will have seven floors of housing community at large, and provides a timely contribuwith 81 studio units and 14 one-bedroom units, for a mix tion to the momentum of this Year of Reconciliation. of people on income-assistance, working individuals, PAX: Michaelmas 2013 | 5
Reflecting on Moral Blindness: Toeing the Line or Crossing the Line? | Jane Turner and Tim Firth
ifty years ago, Hannah Arendt’s coverage of the trial of Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker appeared in book form as Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963). Her experience and reflections were recently made into the film Hannah Arendt (2012) by German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. The SS member Eichmann organized the deporta-
What is it like to live in the midst of a culture that often condones and even promotes social evil, where spin doctors harmonize ends and means? tion of Jews to concentration camps. During his trial he claimed he was simply following orders; he personally did not exterminate anyone. Arendt’s portrayal of this Nazi officer as a bureaucrat and a mediocre man without conviction or intentions was controversial. He was, she said, a nobody. One’s personal conscience was to be abandoned in such times, Eichmann suggested during questioning. But he refused to think; he was incapable of thinking, she claimed. Arendt concluded there were so many like him. He was, she said, terrifyingly normal. Attempting to reconcile the horrible deeds with the mediocre man, she came up with the expression “the banality of evil,” referring to a type of evil that is trite, feeble and commonplace, rather than overtly intentional. An inability to think, to question, to reflect, creates the possibility for the emergence of evil on a massive scale, she warned. What is it like to live in the midst of a culture that often condones and even promotes social evil, where spin doctors harmonize ends and means? Leaders of all categories, both political and ecclesiastical, most often devise and present their platforms of action with certainty and self-justification and with little thought 6 | PAX: Michaelmas 2013
toward right and wrong. Solutions to well-recognized problems are clearly established, and steps are taken to begin decisive action. All bureaucratic power is brought to bear to ensure compliance and success. If one is psychologically geared to being a follower, rather than a leader, is it even possible to see beyond the limitations of these cultural norms that deeply form us, especially when our sense of ourselves is often tied to a deep personal need to belong, to fit in? We are often brought up to be silent, to acquiesce, to cooperate, to defer to external authority. More often than not we live in a moral quagmire in which it seems pointless to resist or even question. What might haul us up short in such a milieu? Most often it happens when our moral centre is compromised. A line has been crossed. We are tossed into a crisis of conscience. We enter a place of moral confusion and cultural dislocation where we, too, might cross an invisible moral line prompted by our own strong reactions. Above all, it is a place that demands a strong moral centre, abiding courage and a discerning heart. Thankfully, our tradition calls us to deep and reflective living, and offers us a way to see through the moral quagmires of our personal lives, and prepares us for
Our tradition provides us with spiritual practices that can guard and keep us from evil. seeing the emergence of evil on a larger scale, if we are willing. Our tradition provides us with spiritual practices that can guard and keep us from evil. We are held by our baptismal vows, which we repeat every time a new person enters our faith: we renounce Satan and all spiritual forces of wickedness; we renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God; we renounce all sinful desires that draw us from the love of God. We pray the General
Celia and Eric Dodds Confession each Mass to remind ourselves of our own capacity to cross the line into wrongdoing, to examine ourselves for arrogance, to remind us that at any point in our living we can come to our senses, we can turn to God, and return again and again for forgiveness. We have the ability to develop our own personal Rule of Life to steep us in our faith day-by-day, momentby-moment. All of these practices develop our moral centre and our spiritual strength. They sensitize our conscience and ground us in our spiritual traditions. They call us to personal responsibility to love God with all our heart and mind and soul, and our neighbour as ourselves. In all of our dealings with ourselves and others, our tradition reminds us: mercy triumphs over judgment. Grounded in the prayers and practices of our spiritual tradition, how then shall we live? What is our hope? We believe God can bring goodness out of evil, and can lead us through any evil quagmire. We believe that we can be transformed and reconciled by God in ways that we cannot predict or imagine. O God, who reconciles all things, Grant us the grace to open our hearts to your truth and wisdom, So that we may live according to your will. Amen. Based on a theological reflection done by the Julian Community at St. James’: Mother Alexis Saunders, Judy Fawdry, Tim Firth, Kimberly McMillan, and Jane Turner.
is a gala year for Eric and Celia Dodds as it marks the 50th anniversary of their wedding and membership in St. James’, and Eric’s 80th birthday. Eric was raised in Manchester and attended his local C of E church, while Celia grew up in Nottingham and attended a Methodist chapel. They survived the deprivations of the war years, and both emigrated to Canada in their early 20’s. Eric found a home at St. James’ in 1960 when Fr. Somerville was Rector (assisted by Fathers Potter and Hulford). Their wonderful voices, together with the choir under the direction of acclaimed church musician, Leonard Wilson, contributed to the beauty of the Mass and inspired Eric to develop his involvement at St. James’. They met through the Canadian Youth Hostel sporting activities in Vancouver and were married at St. James’ on photo by celia and eric dodds July 6, 1963. They completed their university degrees and taught in elementary schools in the city until retirement. They attended Family Mass with their two children: Patrick, a server, and Rachel. Both are married; Patrick lives in Richmond with his family, and Rachel lives in Italy. Eric has served as Trustee, People’s Warden, Sidesman, Canterbury Fayre Convenor and Lay Reader. Celia has served as Vestry Clerk, Trustee, Coffee Hour host, Family Mass Intercessors’ Guild coordinator, SJCSS Board Director for six years, and Flower Guild member. She has been a member of Mothers’ Union since 1976 and held the offices of Branch Leader, Diocesan Representative and Canadian President. PAX: Michaelmas 2013 | 7
The Ministry of Reconciliation | Pat McSherry
n July 2013, I spent two weeks attending classes offered by the Native Ministries Consortium at the Vancouver School of Theology. The classes on Reconciliation were presented by counsellors from the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. We spent a long time discerning the message of Paulâ€™s words on the Ministry of Reconciliation: All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) A classmate of mine, a Chief and Minister from a reserve north of Prince Rupert, shared with us that he had returned to study this summer in Vancouver full of anger but he said that his anger dissipated when he understood that God had already reconciled the world. I was humbled by his faith and forgiveness. The old ways of burnt and blood offerings to God to make atonement for past transgressions and to bring back righteousness and right relations have been replaced by our Christian Ministry of Reconciliation: we can be so embraced by Godâ€™s reconciliation
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that we might become the righteousness of God. This year, we and all members of our Diocese have had a great opportunity for immersing ourselves in reconciliation and transformation by participating in the events of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on Indian Residential Schools. As members of a church that ran residential schools and as a “named party” in the settlement agreement, Anglicans had agreed to participate in these events on September 18–21, 2013. The personal stories I have had the privilege of hearing from Residential Schools survivors and their descendants are the most painful stories that I have ever heard from people who were born and raised in Canada. The stories are full of torture, starvation, murder, violence, oppression, and racism; and I have been forever changed because I continue to be open to hearing them. These stories cannot be ignored or dismissed. They just need to be heard with an open heart so that healing may begin. For more information about the Truth and Reconciliation events, see the following websites: www.vancouver.anglican.ca www.irsss.ca http://www.contextwithlornadueck. com/episodes/reconciliation photo by amelia birch
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Simplicity: A Book Review | Tim Firth
hat comes to mind when we hear lust for power and control prevents us from hearing the word “simplicity”? We all have the authentic Gospel message with its “clear directive our filters through which everything to stand on the side of those who are the victims”—to must pass, including cultural filters. adopt what he has called “the bias toward the bottom.” Disentangling the personal from the cultural is often (40) difficult. Turning to a dictionary, we find various Part of our difficulty, our reluctance, our inability to meanings for “simple.” let go, occurs because we have always longed for cerWe may think that if something is easy (or made tainty. Jesus, as Rohr stipulates, doesn’t offer us any easier) to understand or do, there is something not certainties, nor any easy answers. Rather, he “tells us quite right, not complete. Something important may what the right questions are, what questions the human well be missing. Furthermore, if simple means that soul has to wrestle with to stumble onto Christ and the no difficulty is presented, then our experience tells truth.” (162) We are not to worship idols; but we have us that without difficulty, the made an idol of being right. thing may lack worth. This is And, as the author reminds especially true if we are talking us—perhaps unnecessarily— about simplicity in relation to over the course of history many seemingly complex matters of horrendous crimes have been faith and spiritual practice. committed by people who were A helpful directing princonvinced that they were right. ciple in achieving simplicity (81) is found in the subtitle of the Clearly linked to certainty, book: The Freedom of Letting power, and judgement are Go. Rohr, a Franciscan priest, notions about perfection, author, and ecumenical teacher, wrapped in a great many unrealsays there are basically three istic and unhealthy expectations. things of which we must let Our world is an often bewildergo: the drive to be successful, ing muddle of joy and sorrow, the need to be right, and the good and evil. Rohr calls to desire to be powerful—to be in mind Jesus’ teaching about the control of everything. If we are field of wheat and weeds. Until to follow Jesus, the path is one the harvest, they grow alongside of humility, vulnerability, and each other (Matt. 13:24–30). “We powerlessness. Certainty, judgeneed,” he says, “a lot of patience ment, and blame—among other and humility to live with a field Richard Rohr issues—become heavy burdens of both weeds and wheat.” (70) Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go on the road. Of course, letting go is easier There is much personal and said than done. Yet we may Revised and Updated Edition, New social anxiety and insecurity in move forward with simple acts. York: Crossroad, 2003 our current images of ourselves If we are able, Rohr suggests, to and of God, Rohr believes. Our come alongside even one person
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who is different from us, to be with them for a while and begin to see things from their perspective, much good will result. As a further means of embracing simplicity, of letting go, he urges the practice of contemplative prayer, about which much has been written. We all are subject to fears, frustrations, and feelings of all sorts. They get in the way when we sit to be still with God. Our minds race. We have lost the art of distancing ourselves, detaching
The Gospel’s call is to “a stance of simplicity, vulnerability, dialogue, powerlessness and humility.” ourselves, from them, he asserts. Don’t fight them or identify with them. God is already present, dwelling within. All we need is to “become quieter, smaller, and less filled” with our own selves and distractions. “Then God will be obvious in the very now of things. It is so simple that it is actually hard to teach.” (45) One of the things this book does is ask and challenge us: How do we want to live our lives? The Gospel calls us to live as disciples of Jesus. The Gospel’s call is to “a stance of simplicity, vulnerability, dialogue, powerlessness and humility.” (58) By placing our hope and trust in God rather than idols of our own creation, we may live a simple and humble life. “We can only ask to be able to live with open hands, to become practiced and prepared in the art of letting go, so that the Gospel can teach us how to be poor in this world, with nothing to prove or protect.” (62) This book may be borrowed from the Parish library.
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, Around the commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4) many Churches offer blessings for animals. What is a blessing and why do Christians bless things? — Tim Firth Dear Tim, At this time of year many of my canine correspondents ask me this question in response to being dragged to church. Felines need every drop of holy water for their sanctification, but I digress. God is the source of all blessings and in particular God has blessed us in Jesus Christ. Blessings are a liturgical expression of God’s generosity and love. Indeed, blessings are sacramental signs used by the Church to make holy various objects and occasions in human life. In the Bible, blessings have two aspects: they call down God’s gifts on the people and in turn express the people’s thanks for the gifts received. These thanks and gifts are supremely expressed in the Eucharist. We can practice blessing God throughout the day, on all occasions, by blessing and praising God for the gifts given to us and the goodness of God. And we can ask God to bless persons or things we use. When doing this we are praising God for the gift of these things and pledging ourselves to use them in a right manner. — 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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photo by amelia birch photo by christine hatfull photo by amelia birch
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photo by christine hatfull
photo by amelia birch
photo by ruth greenaway-robbins
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Responding to Nazi Injustice | John Conway
n November 1938, a most remarkable response to Hitler’s brutal pogrom against the German Jews, commonly known as Kristallnacht, came from a remote Anglican parish in far distant northern British Columbia. Monica Storrs, the parish worker at St. Martin’s Church, Fort St. John, in the newly settled Peace River District, was so outraged by the Nazi violence that she spontaneously contacted George Bell, the Bishop of Chichester and chairman of the Church of England Committee for non-Aryan Christians, and offered to sponsor and act as guardian of two of the young victims, if the bishop could arrange for them to be brought to England, and if they were willing to come out and live in what she described as “the western edge of the British Empire.” Monica, a cultured English gentlewoman, had volunteered in 1931 to come out to western Canada to help build up the Anglican Church amongst the isolated and often impoverished homesteaders of the Peace River district. Luckily, at the end of 1938, Monica was taking a Home Leave, so she was able to meet the two German refugee boys when they arrived in England on one of the Kindertransporte, which rescued several thousand children in the few short months before the outbreak of war. Hugh Schramm and David Lewinski had been selected through the Society of Friends office in Berlin who took care of the transport and the paperwork. They had necessarily to say goodbye to their parents on the Berlin station platform, not knowing when or if they would ever meet again. In Hugh’s case, his father was killed fighting in Russia, but his mother managed to escape to Shanghai. She and her son were later reunited when she migrated to the United States after the war was over. In David’s case, both his parents were deported to Auschwitz, where his mother died but his father survived. In 1953, David was at last able to fly to Germany to meet his father again, after fourteen years of cruel separation.
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Monica had hoped to bring the boys back with her to Canada when she returned in 1939, but bureaucracy intervened. The Canadian government was still reluctant to admit Jewish refugees, even Christian ones. On her way home, she stopped in Ottawa to intervene personally with the immigration officials, and even
photo courtesy of hugh schramm. reprinted from Companions of the Peace: Diaries and Letters of Monica Storrs, 1931-1939
secured an interview with the Governor-General, Lord Tweedsmuir, to ask for his help. But it took a year before permission was granted for the boys to accompany a group of English children being evacuated to Canada. Eventually they arrived in British Columbia, to be greeted most warmly by Monica and her colleagues in the community she had established as the Companions of the Peace. This generous response to an urgent human need undoubtedly saved the lives of these two refugee boys. It also gives us an inspiring example of one woman’s resolute outreach and service in the early years of British Columbia’s Anglican Church.
Faire is the Heaven | Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) Faire is the heaven, where happy soules have place In full enjoyment of felicitie, Whence they do still behold the glorious face Of the divine eternall Majestie. . . . Yet farre more faire be those bright Cherubins, Which all with golden wings are overdight, And those eternall burning Seraphins Which from their faces dart out fiery light; Yet fairer than they both, and much more bright Be th’Angels and Archangels, which attend On God’s owne person, without rest or end. These thus in faire each other farre excelling, As to the Highest they approach more neare, Yet is that Highest farre beyond all telling, Fairer than all the rest which there appeare, Though all their beauties joynd together were: How then can mortal tongue hope to expresse, The image of such endlesse perfectnesse?
from “An Hymne of Heavenly Beautie,” ll. 78-81, 92-105
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Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ IN MEMORIAM Since St. James’ Day we have held memorial services for several members of our Parish and neighbourhood. We have honoured the lives of Robert Michael Bartlett, William Jordan (“Jerry”) McKechnie, Ben Skulsh, and Michael Jay Matonovich. We give thanks for all the goodness, love and friendship that was part of their lives, and we pray that they, and all the faithful departed, may rest in peace and rise in glory.
WEDDING BELLS On August 8th Eva Braunstein and Ryan Kelly were joined in Holy Matrimony. We congratulate them on this joyous occasion and wish them much happiness in their new home in California. On September 7th Jason Wood and Anna Cooper became husband and wife. We wish them many blessings in their life together. We also rejoiced with three parish couples who recently reached significant milestones in their marriages. Celia and Eric Dodds and Alex and Mary-Ann Currie celebrated their 50th Anniversaries— both couples on the very same day! Former long-time members and enduring friends of this parish, Neill and Joan Brown, celebrated their 40th Anniversary on August 25th, having been married, as Celia and Eric, here at St. James’. They have given us wonderful examples of loving Christian partnerships.
A WARM WELCOME TO OUR NEW OFFICE MANAGER In July Deanna Ferguson became the ‘Thursday to Saturday’ half of the Office Manager job-share position
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at St. James’. She is quickly making a place for herself and becoming a valued member of our staff.
ORDER OF THE DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER Congratulations to three of our parishioners who will receive this special award later this year. This award is given annually to recipients who have served the Parish or the Diocese in an outstanding manner, without remuneration, for at least 10 years. This year’s Parish nomination for the many years he has served in various capacities is Paul Stanwood. The Bishop has nominated two of our parishioners, Celia Dodds and Judy Graves, for their outstanding service in the Parish and in the Diocese. Congratulations, Paul, Celia and Judy! The insignia of the Order will be presented to the recipients by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, on Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm at Christ Church Cathedral.
PARISH REVIEW PROCESS On Holy Cross Day our rector, Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, celebrated the 7th anniversary of his induction as the 11th rector of St. James’. Earlier in this, his seventh year, he began a Parish review process to evaluate what has been accomplished over the past seven years in the life of our Parish, and to ascertain emerging directions to further God’s work in our midst. Interviews with Parish leaders and other parishioners have now resulted in a ‘draft document for discussion,’ which is a summary of his findings so far. Copies are available from the Church Office. You are invited to contact Fr. Mark if you would like to
comment upon or contribute to the Parish review recommendations.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION Throughout this year the St. James’ Social Justice Group took the lead in helping the Parish to prepare for participation in the national Truth and Reconciliation events held in Vancouver from September 17th to 22nd. The group sponsored book studies and a film viewing; facilitated the telling of a Residential School survivor’s story; and created a display table to inform us and provide resource materials about the Residential School issue. They also kept us current with the latest information about the event itself as it approached, and encouraged us all to join in the Walk for Reconciliation on September 22nd. We thank them for all their work, and we thank all the members of our Parish who prayed for and participated in the activities that were part of the national Truth and Reconciliation event. May we move forward together with Aboriginal Peoples in the spirit of the Anishinabe word “Namwayut”—We are all one.
ORDER OF ST. VINCENT A new chapter of the International Order of St. Vincent has been established at St. James’. Founded in 1915 at the Church of the Advent in Boston, this Order joins together acolytes (or servers) throughout the Anglican Communion into fellowship and prayer for one another; and our Chapter brings the Servers’ Guild into that committed fellowship. The Rector is Chaplain; Paul Stanwood is Chapter Warden.
induction of mtr. jessica schaap at st. paul’s anglican church photo by amelia birch
booth at outreach luncheon photo by sean birch
sack races at st. james’ picnic photo by elaine jan
serena and claire and dido at the outreach luncheon photo by sean birch
wedding of ryan and eva kelly photo by duncan ris
musicians from the latino lunch group at st. james’ picnic photo by elaine jan
Heart of the City Festival: St. James’ Schedule ALL SAINTS’ DAY MASS Friday, November 1, 6:30 pm
ALL SOULS’ DAY REQUIEM HIGH MASS Saturday, November 2, 10:30 am
A glorious celebration of the gifts and love of God present in those now living among us and in all those who have gone before us. Everyone is welcome to the Mass and to the community pot-luck supper which will follow immediately afterward.
The St. James’ Choir sings a special Requiem Mass at this gathering to give thanks for all the departed, no matter who they were, or what they believed. Pray for all, especially for those who may not have had anyone to pray for them. If you have names of the departed you would like read aloud during the prayers, please contact the Church Office by Monday, October 28th (604-685-2532). OPEN HOUSE Saturday, November 2, 12:00–4:00 pm
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. 20 © 2013 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Tim Firth, Joyce Locht Designer & Art Director: Sean Birch Writers: Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins, Mtr. Alexis Saunders, Bear, Tim Firth, Pat McSherry, Jane Turner, Justin Cheng, Christine Hatfull, John S. Conway Photography: Sean Birch, Christine Hatfull, Elaine Jan, Amelia Birch, Duncan Ris, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins Distribution: Mary Brown Archivist: Jane Turner 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 an editorial panel made up of the managing editor of PAX, a Warden, a member of the clergy, and one additional parishioner. 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.
At 1:15 pm join long-term parishioner Allan Duncan for a guided tour of this unique church during which he will describe its architecture and the personalities who were involved in its construction in the 1930s. During the afternoon, view a display by the St. James’ Sanctuary Guild—‘The Treasures of St. James’.’ It features elaborate embroidered vestments, altar linens of hand-made lace, chalices, patens, burses, and thuribles. At 3:00 pm listen to a dramatic reading of the medieval morality play, Everyman. Notables in the cast are UBC English professors Dr. Paul Stanwood and Dr. Leslie Arnovick, and actress Sheila Paterson. The fifteenth-century morality play, Everyman, presents an allegory of the moral struggle all Christians face as their own qualities, good and bad, push and pull them toward Heaven or Hell. Come and hear what happens when Everyman finally encounters ‘Death’!
photo by sean birch
303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: email@example.com
At 12:30 pm students from the Saint James Music Academy together with the City Opera Vancouver will give an entertaining half-hour performance.
Published on Nov 2, 2013