Photo by Christine Hatfull. Labyrinth at Rivendell Retreat Centre, Bowen Island.
ST. JAMESâ€™ DAY 2016
Photo by Christine Hatfull. Stairway on the Riverview Lands, Coquitlam.
Looking Back – Looking Forward | Fr. Kevin Hunt
his year sees the 135th anniversary of the It is over a year since the Truth and Reconciliation founding of our Parish of St. James’, which, Commission completed its work. As we give thanks for coinciding with this interim time of transiall that has been achieved and honour the ongoing contion, affords us the opportunity both to give tribution First Nations peoples make to our national thanks for and reflect upon what has inspired St. James’ life, it is important that we continue to pray and work thus far, and to look forward in faith and hope to the together for the implementation of the Commission’s future. We give thanks for daily prayer and worship recommendations, especially those directed to the offered faithfully in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, for churches. In this regard, several members of St. James’ the preaching of God’s love for all people and for all have attended two Indigenous Justice Circles convened creation, and for the living out of this Gospel, this good by Brander Raven McDonald, the Diocese’s Indigenous news, in holy lives, in practical service and in work for Justice Co-ordinator, and three First Nations “Hopes social justice. for the Future” sessions hosted by the Coming Home The regular round of daily Office and daily Mass has Society and the Urban Native Youth Association, all always been at the heart of St. James’, thanks to a small held at the Synod Office. These have been informative, team of people, both clergy positive and encouraging and lay. New members of meetings. Plans are being It is in the light of our tradition and its this team would be much made for St. James’ to host contemporary expression that St. James’ appreciated to sustain this a great feast next year to vital ministry, and anyone honour survivors of resilooks to the arrival of a new Rector to who can make a commitdential schools. walk with the Parish in the next stage ment to this work (of an It is in the light of our of its journey hour a week) should please tradition and its conteminform the office or one of porary expression that St. the clergy. James’ looks to the arrival of a new Rector to walk with Throughout its history St. James’ has sought to minthe Parish in the next stage of its journey, proclaiming ister to the needs of its neighbourhood, which almost afresh that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Let from its beginning has been beset by challenges of us continue to pray for the Canonical Committee as social deprivation and poverty, amongst an everit prepares the Parish Profile in the search for a new changing demographic. More recently, there has been Incumbent, who will become the 12th Rector in our the heroic work of May Gutteridge and the inception long history. of St. James’ Social Services, now the Bloom Group. In earlier times there was ministry to returning loggers, outreach and witness to the tenements and slums, and protest and civil disobedience in the face of the internment of Japanese during the war. Now St. James’ hosts and supports the Street Outreach Initiative with Fr. Matthew’s outstanding ministry. And he Parish is also home to the Saint James Music Academy.
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Time for Pause…Time for Joy | Christine Hatfull
n late April of this year I was invited to photograph a joyous event at St. John’s Shaughnessy – the induction of the Reverend John Stephens as Rector. The pews were filled to capacity: the entire Diocese of New Westminster seemed to be present, with approximately sixty fellow clergy and many guests. Mindful as I was of our own upcoming search for a new Rector, I could not help but look forward to such an event in the near future at St. James’. When the Bishop presided over the Ascension Mass at the beginning of May, she encouraged the Parish to participate in the process of searching for a new Incumbent. To this end, the Canonical Committee – consisting of the Wardens, Trustees, and Delegates and Alternate Delegates to Synod – asked for and compiled responses to a questionnaire for a new Parish profile. The results were discussed and re-developed during the Parish Council meeting of May 28th. This occasion provided an opportunity to re-group and consolidate our opinions of ourselves, while we could also reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit in our Parish. The questions included: 1. Who are we? 2. What do we cherish? 3. How do we express our mission? 4. How do we transform our weaknesses into opportunities and safeguard our strengths from loss and risk? The responses listed opportunities such as aboriginal worship, arts exhibits, music concerts and fulfillment of a spiritual and cultural thirst, while risks noted an aging membership, burn-out, and lack of new volunteers. From another perspective our strengths were listed as celebration and revitalization, conservation of liturgy and music, preaching, Saint James Music Academy, street outreach. Weaknesses included the Church’s aging structure, the lack of stipendiary priests, and falling membership. At the end of the day, the Parish reiterated many firmly held beliefs. In particular, main themes found throughout the fifty-one completed questionnaires
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emphasized tradition, music, and community. It was especially noted that the Saint James Music Academy teaches over 250 students from grades 1 through 12, from September to June, making St. James’ a church of cultural destination. To better understand the Church’s journey of transformation, it is helpful to know that one hundred years ago, St. James’ hosted a destination Sunday School with about 250 children who chose to come into town to practice their faith and have fellowship. We can recognize our strengths by knowing our history, and referring to it as we think about any limitations we currently face. It is obvious that the Parish of St. John’s Shaughnessy has chosen well: John Stephens is a man evidently happy in his new home, and one with whom all look forward to a long and productive partnership. There was also a mood of optimism in our own Rectory as we enjoyed wine and cheese after the Ascension service. I asked our Bishop Melissa what advice she could give us as we enter into our canonical search, and she formalized her response in an email: “Interim periods are times for a kind of pause in a parish. . . . At St. James’ this interim period is especially important given the unique identity of the Parish, its important context, and what I believe is the rich future that God is inviting the Parish into.” We need focus, clarity, honesty, and courage to be awake to ourselves and to welcome those who are willing and happy to join us for a life in our Parish. We are able to do all this – now let us do it well.
photo by saint james music academy, christmas recital, december 7, 2012
Reflecting on the Holy Spirit at St. James’ | Allan Duncan
any of us, over a lifetime of personally evolving Christian formation and spirituality, have cherry-picked our ways through the rich complexity of catholic traditions and practices offered by churches such as St. James’. For example, in my own case I observe five particular holy days of obligation, days when I feel obliged if at all possible to attend Mass: Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. And then Harvest Thanksgiving, because gratitude and thankfulness are at the defining centre of being Canadian; and Pentecost, because this is the point in the transformative Christian narrative where God says “over to you.” For practicing Christians and indeed often for others, the presence of the Holy Spirit is palpable in worship, work and fellowship, the ties that bind individual communities together, and even in the structures and ceremonies they offer. As neighbourhood parishes, we go about loving and serving the Lord, empowered by the Holy Spirit within and around us, which, in a direct sense, sanctifies what we say and do. This is certainly the case for the Christian community of St. James’. The social service of the Parish to the surrounding community is legendary and pre-dates the founding of Vancouver. Spirit-driven men and women of St. James’ participated in shaping and nurturing the emerging Vancouver: From the rough and tumble early days of Gastown, through the food lines and soup kitchens of the Depression; to the Second World War deportation of the neighbouring Japanese community; to growing the Community Services Society in the ’60s – now one of the largest in the country – and sponsoring the present-day 250-strong Music Academy. This is to mention just a few of the events and initiatives of the last 135 years.
I love sharing the history of the Parish with visitors during the Heart of the City Festival each fall. The present church building is the Parish’s third and was purpose built to our Anglo-Catholic tradition in the middle of the Depression. Many parishioners will say that moments after they stepped foot inside the Church, they knew this would be their lifelong spiritual home. Likewise, guests on the guided tour still refer to an impressive calm that comes over them. This is a holy place. People need to communicate with their Creator, and because they believe that can happen here, it does. I recall being a warden in the ‘90s, sitting under the choir gallery, seeking some quiet from the bustle of the office. In those days, the church building was open in the morning during the week. Suddenly, unaware of my presence, a woman entered through the large front doors, crossed herself and headed off to the Lady Photo: City of Vancouver Archives Chapel where she knelt down, prayed for a few minutes, lit a candle and left as quickly as she had appeared. Her action had a profound effect on me. I realized that what I had witnessed was pure faith. There was no doubt in this woman’s mind about where she was and what she was doing, and she needed no fancy clothes or a Sunday morning with others to validate it. In preparation for the appointment of St. James’ 12th Rector, we are reviewing our history, taking a look at who we have been and where the Holy Spirit might be leading us. We can do that with great pride and confidence, just as the people we are at this moment. Every Sunday the most beautiful, richest Mass is offered in this city’s poorest neighbourhood. Think about it. The Holy Spirit has called us all together, and together we will shape the future of His love and purpose in this sacred, special place. This is a good time in our 135 years!
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Singing from the Heart | PJ Janson
he people of God sing,” says Eugene Peterson. “Moses sings. Miriam sings. Deborah sings. David sings. Mary sings. Angels sing. Jesus and his disciples sing. When people of faith become aware of who God is and what He does, they sing.” Indeed, God’s mighty acts are always accompanied by music. At creation the morning stars sang together; at Christ’s Incarnation suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God; and in heaven the unceasing song is “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” It makes sense, then, that when we experience the Incarnate Christ at Mass, we are led to a point where time and timelessness meet as we join with all the company of heaven to proclaim God’s glory. There is something about singing that sets it apart. When practising on a musical instrument it is possible for the mind to wander; but it is impossible to have a wandering mind when one sings. This explains what many experience as the healing, un-stressing, therapeutic quality of a choir rehearsal. Theo Goedhart writes, “When singing, one is involved as an integrated, whole being, with heart and soul. And I suspect that the Eternal would like to have us approach Him in this fashion.” While the choir has its place in the service, congregational singing is something in which everyone is encouraged to participate. True, some people are more musically gifted than others, but Scripture stresses musical praise is to come from the heart, not merely the lips (Ephesians 5:19).
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You may remember a popular song from the 1970s: “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” The reality is: we’re not perfect, and everyone singing in harmony is not likely to happen in this world. Our collective song of worship, however, is not about some fizzy drink that leaves us thirsting for more. We sing about He who gives us to drink so we will never thirst again. It’s the real thing. And it’s something to sing about. Kat Liu observes, “When a person sings there are usually fluctuations in the pitch. But with a whole group of people singing together, all our fluctuations happen more or less randomly and thus cancel out, whereas the good, on-pitch parts strengthen each other. The overall effect is that weaknesses are minimised and strengths are amplified.” In other words, we can come as we are, with the voice that God has given us. It is completely possible for the tone-deaf, the raspy-voiced, and the self-conscious to worship God in congregational singing. For the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Sam 16:7). The Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen expressed it rather well in his song ‘Anthem’:
Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in.
Ecstasies of the Soul Before the Glory of Christ Fr. Matthew Johnson
n the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ), we explore something very much at the heart of Anglo-Catholic experience, yet seldom discussed openly: the tangible and mystical dimensions of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as He is present to us in the Holy Eucharist. More particularly, we explore the Presence of the Lord in the elements of Bread and Wine. In the year 155 CE, the Christian philosopher Justin wrote, [After the Eucharist] the deacons take…a portion of the Eucharistic bread and wine and water, and take the same to those who are absent. We call this food the Eucharist…We do not receive these as if they were ordinary bread and ordinary drink…the food over which the thanksgiving has been said, becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus who was made flesh, doing so to nourish and transform our own flesh and blood. Justin Martyr, Apology 1 This is one of the earliest accounts of the Holy Eucharist. It is also the first detailing of the practice of “reserving” or holding over some of the bread and wine, that it might later be received by those who were, for whatever reason, absent at Mass. This “Reserved Sacrament” has another, more familiar name: the Blessed Sacrament. At St. James’ we perpetually have this Sacrament available to bring to our members and others, be they at home, at the hospital, or simply seeking the Eucharist apart from the Liturgy. Early on in the life of the Church, Christians discerned that while the Lord Jesus is present to us during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, He is no less present in the Bread that is kept for distribution after
palm sunday procession, march 24, 2013; photo by tracy russell
Mass. Christians we call “mystics” were the first to focus on the Lord’s Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. It is a very dark, very cold January night in Vancouver. I step out of my car and into a steady downpour of frigid, heavy raindrops. I run down the sidewalk in the dark, getting soaked through in a matter of seconds, up concrete steps, toward the yellow light of a large open door at the top. Through the door, and into the warmth and strangeness of an unfamiliar place. Rivulets of rain, still icy, stream down my forehead and cheeks. The place into which I have stepped is massive. There is an “atmosphere” here, in this strange and quiet building. It feels different — physically — from any place I have entered before. A strong, pleasing, compelling fragrance hangs in the air, marking my entrance into what might as well be an alternate reality. Or perhaps this is reality itself. I don’t know. A bit disoriented, I sit down. In an unusual, almost disquieting silence, other people are also sitting. There is a sense of uncanny focus here; some common state of mind at play. The persons surrounding me are detached, as if from some other time, or some other world. Music begins – slow, meditative, pulsing, eerie. At times melodic, at times dissonant and irregular, it mediates something sacred while echoing gently from every corner of this vast place. Sitting here, I try to take it all in, this mysterious world into which I have stepped. Up ahead, at the centre of absolutely everything, stands a stone altar. No matter where you are in this place, surely you cannot miss this massive feature. The stone itself seems to exert a gravitational pull on the senses. It draws everything to it, forcefully, as if it were the very centre of the Universe.
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Into my consciousness, out of nowhere, or perhaps from the altar itself, comes a single word: ‘S-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e’ And in some non-rational, primitive part of my being — as if it had always been there — I sense a deep, vague knowledge of the terrible and mysterious reality sacrifice must always entail. Everyone is standing now. People in robes of black and white enter the vast chamber. And as they begin the Rite, I recognize, for the first time, some pattern of reading and speaking. Time passes in a way that is hard for me to gauge. Suddenly, all kneel. I stumble down too, sounding a crash in the silence as I drop the kneeler on the floor. As if it is all not strange enough already, now something else I have never seen before. The air around me holds a collective anticipation. Clouds of smoke rise at the altar. A ringing bell draws my attention to something placed at its centre: a small silver stand, partly covered in white. In this moment, in the presence of this object and this altar, I sense something altogether unusual. I feel I am in the unsettling presence of what can only be the Living God Himself. My heart will never forget that altogether unparalleled experience: the first time I entered St. James’ Church, and my encounter with God in the liturgy of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In those moments a new window on reality had opened to me. At the centre of all of it was the Body of Jesus Christ, the One who offered himself for me and for the whole world. The experience drew me deeper into both the Holy Mystery of my salvation, and the private side of my relationship with the Lord. Since that night, I have never been the same. Speaking “technically” for a minute – as if that were possible when it comes to Sacred Mystery – the Holy Eucharist is not a cognitive operation that is then accompanied by symbolic actions with bread and wine. It is not a mental remembering or enacting of the distant past. Instead, the Eucharistic action is a non-rational,
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inexplicable Reality. It provides a needed corrective to the intellectual, rational experience of God we gain through words and formulas (as valuable as these also are). The Lord’s Sacrifice, which happened once in human history, is made real each time we celebrate the Eucharist. Christ offers himself, in an atonement for the human condition and for the mystical transformation of our very selves, not just 2000 years ago, but here and now. When the priest raises that small, round, white wafer of the Host during the Prayer, or when it is given into your hands at Communion, you are seeing nothing less than the Substance of Christ, who offered his life for you and for the world. It is not a question of “what” that bread or wafer is; it is rather a question of “who” it is. The medium makes tangible for us a living person, whose life we receive physically within ourselves, and who – when present in the Tabernacle of the Altar – opens our being to the immediate presence of the living God. Throughout the centuries many Christians have drawn life, strength and peace from Christ’s presence in that Sacrament. The French composer Olivier Messiaen was a modern-day mystic who had such a relationship. In compositions like Le banquet celeste, Le livre de Saint Sacrament and Offrande au Saint Sacrament, Messiaen’s music articulates the Mysteries of which we speak, yet does so entirely without words. The “language” of Messiaen’s music describes the Blessed Sacrament with an articulateness that words – including my own – simply cannot. Words, while valuable in and of themselves, tend to engage our rationality disproportionately, drawing us away from an integrated experience of body, mind, and spirit. On the occasion that Messiaen did use words to describe the Blessed Sacrament, he called it “The ecstasies of the soul before the glory of Christ, which is the soul’s own.” (Transports de joie d’une âme devant la gloire du Christ qui est la sienna.) Fifteen words that capture everything, and more, of what I am attempting to describe here. Whenever you enter St. James’, know that you are coming before the presence of God in the Sacrament, reserved quietly and perpetually in our church. If you feel
moved, enter the doors of the small Blessed Sacrament Chapel. It is both a sanctuary and a place of encounter. The Lord awaits you there, through the Sacrament of the Altar. Enter into his presence, and quiet your heart. We all need a few moments of welcome silence and genuine peace in these overwrought lives we lead. Here, you can bring to the Lord your unguarded self. He is here, to receive you without words, just as you are, at any given moment. Feel free to sit or kneel or stand in that place. You may choose to focus your eyes on the white curtain of the tabernacle. Behind it is the Blessed Sacrament through which Christ is made present within the Chapel. This time, however brief, is your time with your Lord. Allow Him to speak to your heart, and He will. Bring your questions, and your struggles, and sit with
Him a while. He may have a few words for you; perhaps guidance in the midst of turmoil, or strength through uncertainty. However, He may have no words at all. Sometimes words are not what we need. In the Body of Christ at Communion and in the Blessed Sacrament, we are given – until the end of time – the real presence of the Lord, who promised: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So let us enter the Mystery of Christ’s Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, that we ourselves might experience “the ecstasies of the soul, before the glory of Christ, which is the soul’s own.” Fr. Matthew is Street Outreach Priest, St.James’ Church
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Helen Tataren | 1923 – 2016
Photo by Elaine Jan
or 62 years Helen Tataren was a muchloved member of St. James’. She was born on the family farm in Thorhild, Alberta. During World War II she was a riveter, working on airplane wings. In 1945 she moved to Vancouver, married Gus, and had two sons, Nick and Roger. Helen served as housekeeper in the Clergy House for 22 years. She was a member of the Women’s Guild and the Sanctuary Guild, using her needlework skills to keep the church’s vestments in good repair. Helen’s deep faith, and long and humble life of worship and service was recognized in 2014 when she was awarded membership in the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster. She will be greatly missed by her loving family, and by her Parish family of St. James’.
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On the Path | Leah Postman
while ago, I went on silent retreat in Arizona, just outside of Tucson. The desert landscape there is beautiful and rugged, and at sunset I remember feeling as if I were on the soundstage of some spectacular Technicolor Western. Behind the retreat centre was a vast public conservation area, trails latticed through the scrub. I know there were other people at the retreat centre, and the public parking lot was always full, but every time I ventured into the desert I never encountered another soul. It was a place to disappear into. I was alone on this retreat but not particularly bothered. Initially planned as a group trip, one by one the others had dropped out. But it was winter and I figured I could use the vacation. I had no spiritual crisis to be attended to, no big questions in need of resolution. However, a retreat is not a vacation (although the food may be excellent and you can sleep whenever and however long as you like). God takes invitations seriously, no matter how self-centred or half-hearted one’s motivation may be. So each day I would sleep late, have two helpings and a second coffee at whatever meal I had wakened in time for, and then grab a walking stick from the Centre’s stash and head out for a walk. At first I was wonderfully aware of my surroundings: the red hills! Saguaro cacti! petroglyphs! But silence and solitude have a way of forcing things to the surface. By the third day my mind – my heart, my spirit – was a seething cauldron. I headed out into the desert engaged in a vicious argument with myself. I can’t tell you what it was about because I can’t remember. What I do remember is suddenly coming to, miles out, seized with the realization that I had no idea where I was, what trail I was on (if on a trail at all), and that the light was getting low. (Did I mention there were burrowing spiders?) . . . .
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We are waiting for a new priest at St. James’. We are busy with our waiting. People are talking and taking notes. We pray. I have my own ideas, I suppose— my wish-list. What we are doing, really, is crafting an invitation. And the invitation, I think, is not just to an individual person but to us, as a community. How do we welcome ourselves to our own community, our church? How do we listen to God, and, perhaps more importantly, how do we allow God to listen to us? What are we willing to let surface, and let go? Desert places are necessary places because once the noise and things inconsequential fall away that’s when God materializes. As I’ve said, God takes invitations seriously. The priest is already here. Am I? Are we? I read the start of this piece to my husband and in response he said, “I hope you find your way back.” I found my way back, as I always seem to do. There was no dramatic rescue, no burning bush. Once I got my bearings, it was clear that the paths were provided with signs, pointing me in the right direction. What I had taken to be the vast emptiness of a desert was really the vast heart of the Spirit surrounding me and leading me out of all my lost places.
Standing in the Wash | Leah Postman A wash is a channel created when flooding occurs on a desert plain. The ground does not easily absorb water so there is a large amount of runoff. The runoff collects in the area called the wash. A stick, some stones: I walk in the wide place where the water runs. I stop and squat, picking stones, and piling them: this one, a child; another an old ballpoint pen. (Here is a broken heart, but not my heart.) Are these my sins? Or only wishes little weapons in wait against things unbearable? (I would hurl them at myself.)
Still. I remain where the water flows, when it flows, from wherever it flows. It is the only path. With my stick I scatter my pile, leave two lines crossed in the red dust.
Reality is a hard place. My only prayer’s for a flash flood to come and tumble these stones, sweep them far from me. But the sky’s impassive; the hills, unmoved. No word can break this dry scene.
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Children Remember | Linda Adams
irst Nations culture was centered on spirituality. . . .We were a prayerful people, practiced many sacred ceremonies, and had a strong connection to the land, each other, our families, communities, and our ancestors. Prayer and giving thanks to the Creator and other living beings that had given up their lives so that we could eat or clothe ourselves was a normal part of our everyday lives. We understood that life itself was a gift from the Creator so we must value it.….We were mindful, as we knew that our actions could either positively or negatively affect the next seven generations to come.” (from ‘First Nations 101’ by Lynda Gray) It is hard to believe such a culture merited our country’s attempts at obliteration. It is harder still to accept that racism further condemned a people left broken and suffering. I spent the first eight years of my life in a small town in northwestern Ontario. Many First Nations people lived in town, or on the surrounding reserves, and their poverty and social problems manifested themselves in high rates of substance abuse. Children notice things, and remember. I have no memories of any interactions, friendly or otherwise, between the adults in my life and the First Nations people I saw around me. What I do remember, from my little world, was adults teaching us that if an “Indian” was coming toward you on the street, you crossed over onto the other side. I vividly recall walking home from school one day, at age 6 or 7, on a rural stretch of road, and encountering a family of “Indians.” In the heat of the day, an old grandfather sat resting on a large rock, leaning slightly forward, hands supported by his walking stick. His wife and small grandson stood silently beside him, watching
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me impassively. I did what I thought was proper, and made a wide detour into the scrubby brush, coming back out onto the road once I was safely past them. I remember looking back over my shoulder, thinking that they didn’t look scary or anything, and wondering why I was supposed to stay away from them. In the Fall of 2013, for the first time in many years, I took my elderly mother back to the same small town – her birthplace. On a Saturday afternoon we visited her cousin, who asked me how I had spent the previous evening. I replied that I had gone downtown and walked around to have a look at everything. Shocked, she exclaimed “By yourself? You NEVER go downtown by yourself on a Friday night! All the Indians come into town and get drunk and cause trouble.” I was dismayed to hear that, in well over fifty years, attitudes had not changed. And sadly, I suspect my small town isn’t the only place “Indians” are perceived as “troublemakers” and people to avoid. I suspect this is the resident mindset in too many places in our country. Thankfully, in our city, in our Diocese, and at St. James’, we have been called into relationship with our First Nations neighbours. We have walked together, 75,000 people strong, for Reconciliation. We have learned about Residential Schools and their tragic legacy of trauma; we are opening our hearts and minds to the riches of First Nations culture and spirituality; and we are working in partnership with our First Nations neighbours to effect healing and create opportunities for the future. Children notice things, and remember. With the help of the Holy Spirit and the Creator God, we must give our children and our grandchildren experiences and memories based on compassion, on healing, and on justice.
Photo: Slimane Hallali. Detail of a Songhees totem pole portraying mother and child.
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Salal + Cedar | The Reverend Laurel Dykstra
their capacity for environmental justice. This ministry is part of a broader movement called Watershed Discipleship which is focused on applying global environmental understandings, specifically and locally. Ecological justice and climate change are not only about “the environment,” but also profoundly connected to human communities, the colonial past and present, and relationship to land, water, and species. For this kind of active discipleship, three spiritual disciplines are required: Knowing our place—learning the geography and the species of the lower Fraser watershed; knowing our history—learning the story of how our families, our church and our communities and extraction industries have come here; and knowing our tradition—learning how creatures and creation, and just relationships with them, are integral to Scripture and Christian faith. The Reverend Laurel Dykstra and members of the Salal + Cedar community will visit St. James’ for worship on Sunday, September 11th, and an ecological and historical walking tour of the neighbourhood is planned for Saturday, September 17th. www.salalandcedar.com
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photo by christine hatfull
Photo: Diocese of New Westminster Archives
Photo: Diocese of New Westminster Archives
o the parish bounds of St. James’ encompass a stigmatized urban-core neighbourhood threatened by gentrification? Canada’s largest Chinatown? An open-air drug market? A Japanese neighbourhood? A Jewish neighbourhood? An Afro-Canadian neighbourhood? A racially mixed neighbourhood where the city turned a blind eye to “vice crimes”? The largest industrial port on the west coast of North America? The original skid road where Douglas fir and Western red cedar were dragged by oxen on a “corduroy road” of greased timbers? Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil Waututh summer villages and camps where people harvested abundant shellfish, duck, elk, and berries for thousands of years? Salal + Cedar is a new environmental justice ministry of the Diocese of New Westminster dedicated to the Anglican Communion’s 5th Mark of Mission “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation”; and the 4th Mark, “to seek to transform unjust structures of society.” Community members worship outdoors and host programs that range from making rain barrels to non-violent, direct action training, all with the goal of helping Christians to grow their love for creation and
In Her Own Words | Lucy Price, Deacon decade. I am also an artist. I paint under the name L.J. Throstle, producing stencilled spray paint art, mixed media pieces and most recently a mural on the Burrard side of the Cathedral hoarding. At St. James’ I know I am in good company when it comes to art, and I hope to continue to learn how we might incorporate art into the life of the church. I think my favourite class at VST was on the prophets, in which I was allowed to produce an art piece alongside my interpretation paper on Isaiah 5. The noisy, art-loving child from Sunday school came through then, and is still a big part of me: and I am happy jour-neying on the wiggly road of my faith. I am very glad that the next part of that journey will be here at St. James’ with you.
Photo: Bayne Stanley
irst, let me say I am delighted to be a deacon at St. James’. As many of you know, I came to Canada from England in 2008, arriving in Vancouver in 2010. I was raised in the Church of England and have also spent time in other traditions, including Methodist and the Dutch Christian Reformed Church. My faith journey so far has been a wiggly line of questions and surprises, joys and sorrows, with many straight talking, caring mentors and spiritual directors to help me find my way and discern my vocation. It started out in Sunday school, where I was a noisy upbeat child, with no interest in being quiet or learning verses by rote. I loved when Bible stories were illustrated or acted out, and over time this developed into a love of art and music, all of which was encouraged by my Momma. My call to the priesthood came first as a child and later as a teen. For both personal and practical reasons it took me until I was thirty to answer. I thought I couldn’t be a priest because I was a girl, because I have epilepsy, because I am gay. As time went on, I realized these were human barriers that I was supporting by accepting them. I don’t believe God had anything to do with these barriers. Instead, God kept showing up in people who encouraged me to pursue the priesthood, and in a pulling sensation I couldn’t shake off. In 2012 I jumped into the Master of Divinity program at the Vancouver School of Theology (VST). Through this diocese I have had the opportunity to spend time at the Cathedral, at St. Anselm’s and here at St. James’. I have worshipped and learned alongside everyone else, and under the supervision of some great, wellhumoured mentors. Prior to VST, I studied business and hospitality at university, followed by a Master’s in adventure tourism management. I worked in recruitment in what most would consider a “corporate” environment for over a
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Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ WARM WELCOME FOR GUEST PREACHERS On the Feast of the Ascension, celebrated Thursday, May 5th, the people of St. James’ gave a warm welcome to Bishop Melissa, who celebrated and preached at High Mass, and then joined the congregation for a wine and cheese reception. On May 22nd, Trinity Sunday, we welcomed guest preacher Canon Dagmar Winter, Rector of Hexham, Northumberland, UK. Canon Dagmar is a former colleague of our Interim Rector, Fr. Kevin Hunt, and she was delighted to be in Vancouver and at St. James’ for a visit. SPRING BARGAIN SALE On the last Friday in April the Women’s Guild had its annual spring Bargain Sale. The Guild provides this wonderful opportunity twice a year for the people of our neighbourhood in the Downtown Eastside to purchase clothes, household goods, and other items at rock-bottom prices. The spring and fall sales are always eagerly anticipated, and are a great service to the people who live around us. PARISH COUNCIL MEETING AND SPECIAL VESTRY MEETING ON MAY 28TH The spring Parish Council meeting was a good opportunity for the Canonical Committee to seek input from parishioners to guide them as they work toward the compilation of our Parish Profile in preparation for appointing a new Rector.
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A Special Vestry Meeting was also held that day. A request from a parishioner for a same-sex blessing, prompted the Church to seek the will of the Vestry with regard to offering such blessings at St. James’. The Vestry voted, with a comfortable majority, to offer the blessing of same-sex unions at St. James’, following the Diocesan guidelines. FIRST NATIONS’ VOICES SPEAKERS SERIES On three Thursday evenings in April the Coming Home Society, in partnership with Urban Native Youth Association, and with the sponsorship of the Diocesan Aboriginal Justice Ministry, presented this wonderfully received series. About fifty people throughout the Diocese were regular attendees at these sessions. The speakers and the audience were thoroughly engaged, remaining in dialogue long after the usual end-time. The three sessions were titled: “The Spirit Has No Colour”; “First Nations 101- tons of stuff you need to know about First Nations people”; and “We are the Future.” One can find complete coverage of all three sessions in the summer edition of Topic, and in the “Events” archives on the Diocesan website. This was also a fundraiser for the Coming Home Society, and $1,000 was raised to support the new “Wisdom of Elders” program.
DIOCESAN MISSION CONFERENCE Several people from St. James’ attended the May 16th Diocesan Mission Conference, held in the beautiful Cultural Center on the Musqueam Reserve, and came away enriched by the day. A number of interesting and practical workshops were offered, and the gathering had the opportunity to hear a speech from Brent Alawas, Bishop of our new partner Diocese of Northern Philippines. The day concluded with a delicious salmon dinner. CELEBRATING NATIONAL ABORIGINAL MONTH On Sunday, June 12th, the Parish honored our relationships with our First Nations brothers and sisters with a special liturgy, followed by a pot-luck lunch and program. The special guest preacher was Fr. Garry LaBoucane, OMI, priest at our neighbouring Parish of St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church. Fr. LaBoucane is Cree/Metis. The lunch was organized by our Social Justice/Indigenous Justice Group. Parishioners were treated to bannock, and smoked and baked salmon. Following lunch, Fr. Matthew Johnson spoke about his relationship with Aboriginal Peoples as part of his Street Outreach Ministry. Linda Adams spoke about the Coming Home Society, whose work is the visible face of St. James’ and the Diocese’s support for at-risk, vulnerable Aboriginal young people. Elizabeth Adams, Executive Assistant at Urban Native Youth Association,
spoke about the organization’s partnership with the Coming Home Society, and about the unfolding of their new shared program – “The Wisdom of Elders.” The day concluded with a performance by the Kwhlii Gibaygum Traditional Dancers, who were happy to share their songs and their culture with our Parish and help make this a wonderful day for all.
EASTVAN TAIZE A series of Taize services is being offered in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on the first Wednesday of every month, from June through December. Please come and experience this centering, contemplative way of worship in the Taize style. wonderful day for all.
BIRTHDAY Fr. J. Gordon Gardiner, Rector of St. James’ for twenty-three years, from 1966 to 1989, celebrated his 95th birthday on July 21st. Fr. Gardiner is currently resident at Central City Lodge.
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303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.stjames.bc.ca our vision: Discovering the beauty of holiness in our lives and neighbourhood, by living a Christ-centred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. PAX no. 29 © 2016 St. James’ Anglican Church Managing Editor: Paul Stanwood Editorial Panel: Christine Hatfull, Fr. Kevin Hunt, PJ Janson, Leah Collins Lipsett Contributors: Linda Adams, Allan Duncan, Reverend Laurel Dykstra, Christine Hatfull, Fr. Kevin Hunt, PJ Janson, Fr. Mathew Johnson, Leah Postman, Reverend Lucy Price Photography: Christine Hatfull Design: Miles Linklater, 24pt-helvetica.com Circulation: Mary Brown A ministry of St. James’ Church, PAX is published quarterly and freely distributed, but voluntary annual subscriptions of $15.00 are welcome. Since PAX aims to be financially self-sustaining, donations to this publication are greatly appreciated. They may be made through the offering 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. A theme-based call for submissions is issued two to six weeks before each edition in the Sunday church bulletin. All submissions to PAX are acknowledged, reviewed, and edited by the editorial panel. All submissions may be edited for length, the maximum normally being 500 words.