photo: Reece Wrightman, The St. James’ Bell Tower
Pax MICHAELMAS 2011
photo: Chris Loh, Father Matthew welcoming a neighbour into St. Jamesâ€™
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A Welcome which Leads to Life | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
met Harry for the first time during weekday Evening Prayer. He was visiting Vancouver and had been drawn to explore St. James’. At the end of the liturgy, he looked at some of our literature and he took a quick look at the building. He approached me and initiated conversation: “It is amazing that you are here.” I asked him what he meant. Harry was awestruck. He could not believe that public prayer was offered three times a day, every day by our community of faith and that anyone really was welcome. He was amazed at the presence of holiness in the building. He was delighted that such holy ground, where the life-giving sacraments of the Kingdom are celebrated, are available for an encounter with God, the Holy Trinity. He left the people of St. James’ at prayer, in a house of prayer, with renewed hope and confidence in God. It is amazing that we are here. St. James’ Anglican Church is a spiritual and physical presence in this province, city and neighbourhood. St. James’ is a community of faith which gathers in prayer and is renewed by the life-giving sacraments. Through the mystery of the Mass (Eucharist), we are renewed to serve the world to the glory of God. Through Baptism, people of all ages are welcomed into a new life in Christ which marks the beginning of a life-long journey of conversion. Through anointing with oil, we experience both consolation and strengthening for service. The generous hospitality of God is experienced and known through the offering of sacramental worship. This sacramental way of Christianity is celebrated in a building which is an aid to prayer. It is an icon of holiness. It is a temple where all may tread on holy ground and encounter God, where the Catholic Faith is taught and practiced. We are a sacramental people, who are pilgrims, living a life of cross-shaped discipleship. We seek to live by grace. We desire to be faithful to Christ, to serve Jesus Christ in our daily living. We seek daily conversion to Christ through the Holy Spirit. This is who we are becoming in Christ. In the words of our vision statement, we
are “Discovering the beauty of holiness in our lives and neighbourhood by living a Christ-centred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.” On another occasion (this time after Morning Prayer), Rose, an occasional worshipper at St. James’, took me aside. Her home church was in the process of being closed. She recounted for me her experience and feelings. She concluded by confiding in me, “We stopped inviting people years ago. We stopped inviting people.” Sorrow and disbelief were recognizable in her eyes. She now understood, all too painfully, that a church which ceases to make a genuine, persistent and faithful invitation to others is set upon a course of decline. We are “a beacon for all as a neighbourhood and destination Church where we invite and welcome friends, family and strangers into our midst.” This mission objective reminds and inspires us to be a beacon of sacramental worship and service where we engage and invite others into a way of life which we treasure. We must never cease from making the invitation to meet and know Jesus Christ. Church is where we encounter the One who is holy, the One who is the ground of our desires. As a beacon, the members of St. James’ have a responsibility to encourage those who are lonely or may feel they do not belong into fuller participation in the life of our worshipping and serving community of faith. We are all impoverished when our brothers and sisters withhold themselves. Think not what do I get out of church? Rather, how can I participate more fully? It is indeed amazing that we are here. The sacramental worship. Public prayer three times every day. The building which is a house of prayer. Catholic faith and worship is practiced and taught within the Anglican Communion. We are called to be a beacon for Christ. Join with me in making the invitation to know and love Jesus Christ. Join with me in extending a welcome which leads to life in all its fullness.
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Invite and Welcome | Reece Wrightman Welcome one another ... just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)
ot long after joining St. James’, I went to Victoria for a weekend where I attended the cathedral on a Sunday morning. I was warmly greeted by a man who told me the times of the services and took me to coffee hour after the service ended. It was there, talking with the strangers I had just met, that I learned that the man who had greeted me was the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Legislature. I was frankly astonished that someone with an exalted position in “real life” would do a task I regarded as low in the hierarchy of the church. I felt a need to re-examine my attitude, to say the least. My reflections led me to consider what part “invite and welcome” has in the life of the church. The Coffee Hour; Communications; Front Steps and Narthex; Joyful Noise; and New Members groups all minister directly to the people of St. James’ and often to our neighbours. Most of our work is carried out in public. The St. James’ Day picnic
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is an example of Joyful Noise at work, a yearly opportunity to welcome friends, family and strangers into our midst. The Coffee Hour is a weekly opportunity to practice hospitality and it allows all of the people of St. James’ to develop and nurture relationships following Mass while respecting the beauty of the Mass. Similar descriptions can be used for all of the guilds and ministries that fall under the mission objective of “Invite and welcome.” Some guilds, such as New Members, have struggled for members themselves, although welcoming newcomers into our parish family is as rewarding an activity as can be carried out in the church. All of our actions can truly be said to matter. I cannot imagine considering myself part of the church without taking part in the life of the church. Every opportunity to serve brings with it an opportunity to understand more deeply what it means to live the Christian life. In the Church, there is a place - a need - for every single member. We ourselves, not someone else, can choose to live fuller, deeper, less lonely lives. Consider choosing to join one of the guilds and ministries listed above. I’d be happy to help you connect with them.
St. James’ first mission objective: To be a beacon for all as a neighbourhood and destination church where we invite and welcome friends, family and strangers into our midst
photo: Tracy Russell, Welcoming of New Members, July 24, 2011
My Experience of Invitation at St. James’ | Spencer Viehweger One of the most anticipated moments of my week is when I open the car door on Sunday morning and hear the glorious sound of church bells: the open call to all who hear it, that something special is about to commence. That spectacular ring, and echo, and ring, bounces off the surrounding brick and mortar, as though the buildings are brought to life and the whole neighbourhood seems to issue forth the call. The invitation commences, and we are welcomed into its midst. Throughout the Sunday service, I am continually offered the invitation and welcome that begins with the bells. I am welcomed at the door. I am welcomed as I see familiar faces around me. I am invited into prayer, into repentance, into grace, and into that most wonderful event of the Lord’s Supper. The invitation is even further extended at the end of the service, with the invitation to coffee hour, where I am further welcomed into the midst of St. James’. What a privilege to invite, and to be invited; to welcome, and to be welcomed. And yet, I feel that all this invitation, though well and good, is only a fragment of the picture. The multiple invitations we receive on Sunday morning are only the beginning of how friends, family, and strangers are welcomed into the midst of St. James’. For just as the light of a beacon reaches far beyond its own footprint, so does the invitation of St. James’ far exceed its walls. I have had the privilege of experiencing this outward invitation most poignantly, and would briefly like to share my first experiences of the invitation of St. James’. I was hospitalized three years ago for an intense round of chemotherapy. I was confined to a small room, with very limited room for walking in the outer corridor. I was surrounded by death and sickness. I was debilitated, and quite literally unable to help myself. For the first time since my childhood, I felt completely dependent. I was completely dependent. My brother, Grady, with whom I had very occasionally visited St. James’ before, contacted Fr. Mark, informing him of my condition. Without hesitation, Fr. Mark extended what I believe to be the true invitation of the church; as I was unable
to bring myself to St. James’, he offered St. James’ to me. Rather than inviting me in, he invited St. James’ out. And for the next month, every Tuesday, Fr. Mark invited me into the midst of St. James’, though I was not at that time a regular attender of this church, and though I was far beyond its walls. I received the sacraments of communion and anointing and was prayed for. What a treasure amidst so much temptation to despair! What a gift to be invited, though I had nothing to offer but an acceptance of the invitation. For a month, through this extended invitation, I was welcomed into the parish of St. James’, not by bells or greeters, incense or coffee hour, but by the act of one of its own inviting himself out into the world to one who was unable to enter in. As the months and years progressed, and my health improved, my wife and I have been immensely blessed to continue to receive the invitation of St. James’; and I hope and pray that by the Lord’s grace, we might also be able to extend it to others. Let us continue to delight in the invitation of the bells on Sunday; but let us not become reliant on them. Rather, let us, like the beacon, extend the invitation of St. James’, far beyond its brick and mortar. photo: Elaine Jan, Blessing of the Animals, October 1, 2011
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Five years on – the Greenaway-Robbins at St. James’ Allan Duncan Mark Greenaway-Robbins was born 16 April 1972 in Plymouth, Devon. He grew up in rural Cornwall, where many of his family are still living. He attended Launceston Comprehensive College, Cornwall, from 1983-88, where he sat examinations in 1988. He then was a student at Kelly College, Tavistock, Devon, 1988-90, and sat advanced level examinations there in 1990. Later in the same year, he was a volunteer with the Israeli Ambulance Service in Jerusalem, and then continued his education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1991-92, while also volunteering at St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem. He was at Oxford from 1992-95, graduating with a BA in Theology with Honours in 1995; then followed a year as pastoral assistant at St. George’s Anglican Chaplaincy in Paris (1995-96). He pursued doctoral research at The Queen’s College, Birmingham, 1996-99. He was ordained deacon in 1999, priest in 2000. Subsequent to Ordination, he was curate in the Benefice of Redruth with Lanner and Treleigh, Diocese of Truro, for a year before becoming Team Vicar in the Rectorial Benefice of Whitchurch, Cardiff in 2002, a position he left in order to take up the Incumbency of St. James’ in 2006.
mmigration is not for the faint of heart. It is about uprooting and replanting, about letting go and uncertainty. It is also one of the most exciting things a human being ever experiences. So, if you are a young family, full of energy and expectation, and are reviewing an ad for a job half-way round the world in a parish that seemed too good to be true, why not “give it a go,” as Ruth said to Mark one spring morning in 2006. And the rest is a lot more than history! When the 2004-2006 Canonical Committee unanimously chose Mark Greenaway-Robbins as the 11th Rector of St. James’ Church, a tradition dating back to the Parish’s beginnings in the 19th century was overturned. Greenaway-Robbins, now fondly referred to by most as Fr. Mark, was a married man with a wife and young son in tow. Ruth was a trained coloratura soprano, and Simeon would soon be school-age. It was a paradigm shift for the Parish, which had loved and supported in countless ways the lives and spirituality of the ten single priests who had served as Rec5 | PAX: MICHAELMAS 2011
tor for the past 125 years. With the arrival of the family in August of 2006, a new era began for the Parish. The information package sent out to interested candidates included an extensive Parish Profile laying out five clear objectives that the Parish hoped would be addressed during the tenure of the 11th Rector. Looking at these objectives - or parish goals - five years on, presents a picture of the transformation that has occurred during the years that the Greenaway-Robbins family has been at St. James’. The first goal was to build up our membership, which had fallen dramatically over the period 2000-2005. Together with a seasoned team of lay leaders, Fr. Mark set out to build on strengths already in place, such as our compelling liturgy; our professional music program; and a variety of connections to the surrounding community. With a growing family (Ana was born the following spring) now resident in the Clergy House, the GreenawayRobbins family offered a new model of the priesthood that was attractive to other families in the neighbourhood and beyond. Slowly the loss of parishioners was staunched and today we have a stable membership with newcomers appearing almost weekly. The historic demographic has been re-defined and broadened and the face of the parish family has been enriched. The second goal was to increase our outreach to the surrounding community. As a volunteer with the Israeli Ambulance Service living among Palestinians in the West Bank; a member of the British Make Poverty History campaign; and on the managing committee of Cornwall Brook (a voluntary sector provider of free and confidential sexual advice to young people living in an area with one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe), Fr. Mark brought impressive “social gospel” credentials to the role of Rector of St. James’. Today, the Saint James Music Academy, based in the church building and offering music and dance instruction to children in the Strathcona area, is a source of great joy and pride for the Parish, followed closely by the jointly-funded Diocesan/St. James’ Street Outreach Initiative, which ministers to hundreds of struggling men and women in the streets and lanes of the Downtown Eastside.
photo: Tracy Russell
Both Fr. Mark and Ruth were well-schooled in the richness and diversity of the Anglo-Catholic tradition, the maintenance of which was the Parish’s third goal. Through teaching, preaching and the Sunday morning Formation Sessions, Fr. Mark has guided the Parish into a greater understanding of the specific practices and the theological roots that have formed and sustained this Parish from generation to generation. Increasing our financial initiatives to ensure fiscal stability was the fourth goal of the Parish in 2006, as it set about implementing the recommendations of the so-called Rolfe Benson Report. Fr. Mark arrived with a keen sense of the importance to a church of all matters administrative and managerial. The organizational re-structuring of the Parish which has taken place in recent years has hugely reformed and empowered our ministry by streamlining and rationalizing how the Parish operates – how the various parts relate and report to each other, how we do things and the outcomes that result. The creation of the St. James’ Parish Foundation was arguably the most complex and contentious undertaking in recent memory and as a result, we now have a separate, independent financial arm that manages a collection of charitable endowment funds created by individuals and groups over the years to support the needs and projects of our Parish and its commun-
ity in perpetuity. The fifth goal of the Parish five years ago was to remain a welcoming, inclusive and diverse place. This desire was perhaps the most compelling aspect to the GreenawayRobbins family. Ruth’s mother is an Anglo-Catholic priest and Fr. Mark had worked for two years in the inner city area of Handsworth, a poor part of Birmingham with a large mixture of people from various faiths and cultures. Later on, Fr. Mark served as the Diocese of Truro’s consultant on other faiths. With Fr. Mark as Rector, Mother Jessica Schaap was hired as Curate, ordained to the priesthood at St. James’, and is now an important part of the clergy team. Today, the family of St. James’ embraces an impressive mosaic of age, race, nationality, social and economic status, sexual orientation and political affiliation. All really are welcome in this place and will find a supportive spiritual home here just as Mark, Ruth, Simeon and Ana have. Our parish is a more stable, inclusive family and has a clearer, more specific picture of itself, its ministry and its future. The Greenaway-Robbins family has found a new life at St. James’ and in Vancouver. Together, aware more than ever of the Holy Spirit in our midst, we are looking forward with confidence and joyful expectation to the next chapter in the life of this remarkable parish. PAX: MICHAELMAS 2011 | 6
Welcoming the Stranger: Mission as Transformation Tim Firth
e depend, as many have said, on the kindness of strangers. Hospitality, most of us will agree, is a virtue, a pleasure to receive. We sometimes might wish, however, to be more hospitable ourselves. Among the things that may hold us back are fear, insecurity, and maybe even selfishness. A little encouragement or inspiration may be what we need in order to soften up and be more welcoming.
Mission as Transformation: Welcoming the Stranger Foreword by Eleanor Johnson Anglican Book Centre, 2007
Here is a helpful volume of profoundly moving firstperson accounts of reaching out to other Canadians and to those in foreign lands. What they all have in common is,
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as one of the authors puts it, “being called into new places by God and through other people.” (8) “Mission,” as contributor French Chang-Him explains, “is a form of witness within the world where we live, not as a judgement made from outside it. So the missionary is transformed by encounters every bit as much as the people to whom the mission is directed.” (31) “There are no strangers” is the title chosen for the piece from foster parents Margaret and Klaus Gruber. In it we see how a chance encounter of a welcoming kind can be what turns around or opens up a life of possibilities. They came, they say, “to understand a fundamental concept: that sharing our home and ourselves is the best kind of justice.” (88) Betty Jordan, in relating her experience of bringing the gospel to India, found herself “invited to share the gospel by people who saw the stranger that I was yet recognized me as a sister.” (103) When later working in an inner-city neighbourhood in Toronto, she similarly acknowledges: “I used to think that missionaries took the Bible and church to those who had never heard the word of God. I now know that we share and mirror within each other the same strengths, hurts, loves, and pains and that to do a mission is to learn about oneself as a child of God while seeing God in other children of God.” (106) In welcoming others, the challenge is to get past what French Chang-Him calls “self-preservation” and our “culturally formed ideas and view of life.” (31) Then we truly see “that there really are no strangers, just the recognition and welcoming of others.” (90)
George Herbert (1593-1633) Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back, Guiltie of dust and sinne. But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning, If I lack’d any thing. A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here: Love said, you shall be he. I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah, my deare, I cannot look on thee. Love took my hand, and smiling did reply, Who made the eyes but I? Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame Go where it doth deserve. And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame? My deare, then I will serve. You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat: So I did sit and eat. FINIS. Glorie be to God on high, and on earth Peace, good will towards men.
Love is personified in this poem, which occurs last in Herbert’s ‘The Church’ (the principal part of The Temple), both as God, who welcomes the sinner (just as the father greets the prodigal son, Luke 15:11-32), and as the crucified Christ who ‘bore the blame’ for human sin. Observe the Trinitarian structure of the poem, and its Eucharistic motif of welcome and thanksgiving. Paul G. Stanwood, after Wilcox’s edition, p. 661.
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, What advice do you have for us to be “a beacon for all as a neighbourhood and destination Church where we invite and welcome friends, family and strangers into our midst”? — Reece Wrightman (Warden and trustee with oversight responsibility for the “invite and welcome” mission objective) Dear Reece, - Often the most effective invitation is by word-ofmouth. Talk to friends, family and strangers about your faith in Jesus Christ and about St. James’. Share why you go to church and why worshipping at St. James’ is important to you. Pray for guidance and the courage to share with others. - Look out for newcomers at Mass. Introduce yourself and help newcomers to be at ease. - Prayerfully consider how you might participate in our common calling to “invite and welcome.” Explore joining the welcome ministry (Narthex Guild) or Coffee Hour servers. These are great ways to get to know people and to be known. - Forward St. James’ email broadcasts, share the church facebook page, encourage others to visit our website. Share copies of PAX and the Mass Booklets. - Encourage the leadership of our Church in making our building more accessible by supporting the development of a church office with street access. - Support the Open Church initiative so that the building can be open as a Parish initiative more often each week. - Remember that at the core of every invitation and welcome is an encounter with Jesus Christ. — 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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Evangelism Then and Now: A Look at Paul in Athens in Acts 17:16-32 | Mother Jessica Schaap Acts 17:16-32 gives an account of Paul’s attempt to share the gospel in Athens. Let us go through the text to examine Paul’s evangelical method. What can we learn from Paul? First, what does Paul say; second, how does he say it; and third, what is the response to him and his message? Does this case study provide a template for us nascent evangelists to follow or reject? First, what does Paul say? In response to the sight of idols and temples scattered all over Athens, including one devoted “to an unknown god,” Paul makes a case for the one God. Paul emphasizes God as Creator and as beyond human manipulation and projection. His speech to the Athenians is primarily against idolatry. God is not an idol made by us, who can be judged acceptable (or not) by us, and God cannot be contained by our imaginations or materials.
God is not an idol made by us, who can be judged acceptable (or not) by us It is not difficult to come up with a list of things our culture idolizes; the trickiest ones are those that are widely acknowledged as real goods, the ones that can slide almost imperceptibly into the place of God in our hearts and minds: things such as relationships, work, scholarship, art, financial security, and community. Perhaps, then, the core of Paul’s evangelical message is still a helpful and necessary word for all who are on the path of conversion, including ourselves. The next thing to look at is how Paul shares his message, how he makes his proclamation. Paul is far away from the Jerusalem of Jesus and he is speaking to a very different crowd in Athens. Athens is a centre of culture and learning. So Paul finds something that bridges to the listeners and affirms key elements of Greek tradition and thought. First, he recognizes their piety in his opening words in 17:22: “I see how extremely religious you are in every way.” Then he draws not only on the Old Testament, but also on 9 | PAX: MICHAELMAS 2011
Greek philosophy, to make his case for the one God. For example, in 17:24 when Paul says that God is Creator and does not live in shrines, he was echoing an opinion in Stoic thought, one of the main schools of Greek philosophy. Further, in 16:28, Paul also quotes one of the Greek poets who says of God, “in him we live, and move, and have our being.” Paul’s method recalls to his listeners the revelation of God in Greek philosophy and poetry. Even the natural theology that Paul emphasizes here is still helpful. Many in our culture, here on the West Coast particularly, claim that they experience God through being in nature. How might we open and engage in respectful conversation with those who primarily understand and experience God in this way? Paul’s approach seems to have much to recommend it: he engages seriously with the culture he is in, he affirms and finds those things which resonate with his hearers, and he invites them to consider a shared revelation of God. Deep down, it seems, this crowd knew the idols were not deserving of worship. So what was the response to this sensitive, thoughtful, and relevant proclamation? Well, it was not too great. It was certainly not wildly successful in terms of response or number of converts. At the end of his sermon, some people are dismissive, others say they want to hear more, but their intent is unclear and Paul leaves them. Only a couple of people decide to join in Paul’s mission.
Deep down, it seems, this crowd knew the idols were not deserving of worship. Perhaps we picked the wrong template to follow? Perhaps this account of Paul’s evangelism is not so helpful? Yet how might Paul’s failure shed light on our own experiences of being disappointed with the results of evangelism? We can speculate, but there is an important piece of background information that may help our understanding. What Paul was doing on the Areopagus was something
photo: Tracy Russell, Blessing of Mother Jessica Schapp as Assistant Priest, October 2, 2011.
that many had seemed to do before him: to act as a herald and make a formal proclamation to the council in Athens about a foreign god. This is how the system worked. The herald would come and would make a case to introduce into Athens a new god. A council judged whether a foreign god might be received or not, and might be added to the pantheon and to the calendar of feasts and sacrifices. The god could not be too disruptive or change things too much, particularly the overarching system of gods, temples, and sacrifices which was an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the society. Most significantly, the Emperors of Rome deified themselves and used this religious system to maintain the logic of their own rule. The logic of their rule required many to be slaves in order to maintain worldly stability and security through military and economic domination. In the visual culture of the Roman Empire, the temples and statues of the deified emperors bore inscriptions such as “Prince of Peace” and “Saviour”, titles that early Christians gave to Jesus in the New Testament. The one God, creator of all, threatened to disrupt the logic of the empire’s rule. The God that Paul proclaimed became a slave
to all; offered forgiveness rather than revenge; poured out healing and power on slaves, women, and children; and sparked a community to give up its possessions and build the common good in a radical way. This God was far too disruptive to be allowed into the marketplace of gods. And this same God may be far too disruptive to many now. The God we proclaim disrupts the smoothness and tolerance of our empire of market logic; demands we respect the dignity of every human being and love our neighbour; refuses to be the sum of our projections and fantasies; and breaks into life with a love and a justice that disrupts all our ideologies. So the next time we share the gospel of Jesus and his claim on us, let’s be honest with ourselves and with others. Let’s not be surprised by uncertain results despite our best efforts. For the demands are high from this God we proclaim – the One God, Creator and Sustainer of All. This God will disrupt our regularities and securities based in this world and confront us with, to adapt the words of a favourite hymn, a love so amazing, so divine, it demands our soul, our life, our all.
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An Incensing Situation| Anonymous
The city of glass cowers; Its nakedness exposed; Argos-eyed offices, Panoptic, perceive “Shame” uncovered, Compassion too raw to sell; Envying life, they scorn it. I lift my eyes to the mountains, To the pristine air So few can afford to breathe; Whence comes my help? My help is the smog of incense, Swirl of prayer, slinking down recess and crevice, Sidling sun-tawny cat-footed through highway and hedge; No need for tents When Home is transfiguring cloud.
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They say that home is where the heart is; Never was a truer word more sentimentally fuzzy. I want what is palpable, To impale my Self on: Home must be thick air we suck, Our quenching drink, Our fleshy food – We cannot inhabit Unless we are inhabited: “Home is my body, broken for you.” Home is broken, I come from a broken Home, A ruined temple Patched with living stones, His exiles, Us How blesséd odd!
photo: Tracy Russell, July 24, 2011.
They live in streets and alleys, Forgotten corners; paved beds; Others sleep on feather mattresses In million dollar fortresses Built to resist Lazarus and God. Rich or poor, we are homeless; Our hearts are homeless Until they find Home in You.
Increase in Us True Religion | Father Michael Forshaw The following is an extract from a sermon I preached on Sunday, the 11th of September 2011, at both Low and High Mass. It is a response to the phrase in the Collect for Sunday 4th September 2011: Increase in us true religion. What in our daily living – in our daily thoughts and practices – gives us the sense that our religion is true, and is not just a matter of piously using the same words and rituals, but of humbly seeking to do the will of God? These unhealthy and healthy thoughts and practices are taken from a book written by Erik Erickson. Religion is unhealthy if: 1. it builds barriers between people. 2. it hampers growth of inner freedom and personal responsibility; if it encourages unhealthy dependency relationships; if it fosters immature consciences. 3. it restricts movement from a sense of guilt to forgiveness, or if its primary concern is for surface behaviour. 4. it lessens the enjoyment of life; if it deprecates the feeling dimension of life. 5. it encourages repressive handling of sexuality and aggression. 6. it emphasizes fear. 7. it accommodates itself to neurotic patterns of society. 8. it weakens self-esteem.
Religion is healthy if: 1. it builds bridges between people. 2. it stimulates the growth of inner freedom and personal responsibility; if it encourages mature relationships with authority; if it encourages growth of mature consciences. 3. it provides effective means of helping persons move from a sense of guilt to forgiveness; if its primary concern if for underlying health of personality. 4. it increases the enjoyment of life; if it encourages a person to appreciate the feeling dimension of life. 5. it handles vital energies of sexuality and aggression in constructive ways. 6. it emphasizes love and growth. 7. it challenges and endeavours to change neurotic patterns in society. 8. it strengthens self-esteem.
The Front Steps (aka “Step Duty”) | Mary Brown
t is my privilege to take my turn being on the front steps, welcoming people to St. James’. It is a chance to meet and welcome parishioners, visitors, and people passing by who are curious about our church. This is also a support for Father Matthew’s Street Ministry, and helps to secure the safety of those in the church. We have the opportunity to engage with people passing by on the street, at times inviting them to enter the church, or to share some of their stories. Sometimes we accompany a person into the sanctuary, and, if they seem at all disturbed, follow them discretely until they settle in or leave. If the person does interrupt the service, we may speak to them and ask them to come outside, where we can discuss whatever is on their mind. We have found that if someone is noisy, after discussion, we
can find ways to help them know when and how to quiet themselves, which can be reinforced by sides-people if necessary. On rare occasions, someone who persistently uses obnoxious behaviour has been “banned” by the Rector for a period of time. Most of the time, we have the opportunity to watch the world go by, wave to the sightseers (hiding behind their blackened windows in the tourist coaches), and catch up with our street friends. I think that this is very good for our credibility in this neighbourhood, where there are people whose experience with religious groups has not been positive. I really enjoy this time and have found that it has helped me to engage with some of God’s people who I might not know otherwise. PAX: MICHAELMAS 2011 | 12
Mary, Our Blessed Mother, Pray for Us | Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
entered the Holy House of Our Lady of Walsingham, a shrine of infinite beauty and deep peace. On my knees, I prayed in the divine presence of our Lord. My eyes pricked with tears as I pondered a beautiful yet challenging day. The village of Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage since the eleventh century, but it was desecrated during Henry VIII’s reformation of the Church.
The village of Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage since the eleventh century, but it was desecrated during Henry VIII’s reformation of the Church. The shrine lay ruined for 400 years; however, it was later to be revived and made new by Fr. Hope Pattern, the Anglican Priest of the Parish of St. Mary’s, Little Walsingham. He created once again the opportunity for pilgrimage to the site of the place where Richeldis de Faverches, a woman of great faith, received the vision and instruction from Our Mother Mary to recreate the house in Nazareth in which Mary received the Annunciation. It is a place of pilgrimage to strengthen the faithful, a place of wonderful, divine mystery as well as conflict and pain. Mark and I had taken a walk that day through the ruined grounds of the original priory, where the first shrine had been; we had laid our hands upon the only remaining fragment of the original Holy House. I was moved by the realization that the simple wood of the Holy House was much like the simple wood of the cross. This place of pilgrimage was destroyed and pillaged during the dark days of the reforming of the Church. As I remembered all of this, my mind turned to an earlier conversation at breakfast with our fellow pilgrims, some of whom may join the ordinariate breaking away from the Anglican Church. Their reason is that they feel left-in-the-cold as a result of recent changes in the Church of England and Wales (like the consecration of women as Bishops). An eminent Bishop described to us over 13 | PAX: MICHAELMAS 2011
our bacon and eggs that he believes the Anglo-Catholic Church is in “hospice” care. But then, there are others across the land relieved that equality will finally be realized in the church, with women equal to men in serving God in the priesthood. These two sides are about to enter into decisions that will fracture the Church. Two groups of people who are in, or have been in, extreme pain. I draw no sides; I merely consider two opposing views as they were expressed to me. My mind drifted to our diocese, gripped by schism over the blessing of homosexual relationships. A group of Anglicans has left the diocese and both sides have fought over property in the provincial courts. Both sides are passionate in their beliefs. Some are finally free to express their sexuality and have it blessed by the church, yet many are left damaged and desolate. And I wept. I am a sinner, utterly and completely complicit in all of this. May the Lord have Mercy. I have taken and continue to take sides. I get angry when I hear some say “my point of view is right, and yours is wrong.” Have I failed to listen to the hurts on all sides? Have I not allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me? Have I listened only to what really suited my long-held convictions (to which I gripped, unwilling to truly question them)?
I am a sinner, utterly and completely complicit in all of this. As I knelt in the Holy House, I was horrified at myself and my fellow Christians. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Who is willing to compromise? Who is willing to share their vulnerabilities? Who is willing to share their views gently and humbly? Who is willing to find a path to healing and wholeness, and to follow the commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you”? I have no answer… I have only hope. Our mission objective “To invite and welcome friends, family and strangers into our midst” is a wonderful objective. It should cause us to consider what we would think of
the churchâ€™s fighting if we were a friend, family, or stranger to the church. Is the church trustworthy? Is it truly a place of love? Or are we known for our hypocracy? Do we show that God unconditionally loves each one of us and delights in our relationship with him and our relationship with our fellow brothers and sisters? I pray for the intercession of the Saints, to Mary most holy; I pray to Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Unity of the Holy Spirit.
photo: Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
Lord forgive us and renew a right spirit within us. Amen.
photo: Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, Your grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
photo: Ruth Greenaway-Robbins
May the Lord have Mercy Upon us and Forgive us.
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photo: Elaine Jan
Sister Mary Christian Cross
On October 16, 2011, Sister Mary Christian Cross will be formally welcomed into the St. James’ clergy team as an Honorary Deacon. Below is a brief summary of her story, to help you begin to get to know her.
ister Mary Christian Cross was born in South Yorkshire, England in 1934. Her older and only sister married a Canadian Airman and came to Canada in 1946 as a War Bride. Sister Mary immigrated to Canada in 1948 with her family and became a citizen in 1953. From 1954 to 1957, Sister Mary was a parishioner at St. James’. It was during those years that she felt called to Religious Life. She entered the Sisters of the Love of God, Fairacres, Oxford, England (an enclosed Anglican contemplative community) in 1957. She professed in simple vows in 1961 but did not make final vows, rather she returned to Canada in 1964 to begin living as an Oblate Sister of
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the same community (returning to Fairacres on a regular basis). Sister Mary graduated from the UBC Faculty of Agriculture with a Baccalaureate in Soil Chemistry and Soil Microbiology in 1954. She was a Research Assistant in Biogeochemistry at UBC from 1954 to 1957 and concurrently a part-time student at Anglican Theological College. Upon returning from Fairacres in 1964, she worked in research at UBC in the Department of Geology (geochemistry) and eventually became a graduate student in the same institution. She earned her Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry in 1975 and held a Post Doctoral Fellowship from 1975 to 1977. In 1977, Sister Mary joined Trinity Western Junior College, Langley to teach Chemistry. When TWJC became a university, she remained and eventually became an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Chemistry. She retired from TWU in 2000. During the 1980’s, Archbishop Hambidge struck a Task Force to consider the Vocational Diaconate as an ordained ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster (the Provincial Synod had passed the legislation which would allow Vocational Deacons to be ordained in the Province by this time). Sister Mary served on the Task Force and after the provision for the institution of the Vocational Diaconate passed two readings at Synod, she was the first person to be ordained to this Order in the Diocese of New Westminster. She served on the Unit of Deacons for a number of years, occupying the position of Examining Chaplain for Deacons. She headed the Retreat Unit of the Diocese when this existed under Stewards in Action and conducted a number of retreats and workshops in the Diocese over the years. She was first licensed as a Deacon at St. Andrew’s Parish in Langley City in 1989. In 1993 she began serving at St. George’s Parish in Fort Langley, retiring formally from St. George’s in 2009. She did not leave the parish until 2011, at which time she accepted an invitation to come to the Parish of St. James’. She returns to the Convent of the Incarnation, the Sisters of the Love of God, in Oxford at regular intervals, usually annually, and is presently overdue for a visit.
Dollars and $ense | Angela Van Luven
To be a beacon for all as a neighbourhood and destination church…
Sometimes, particularly when driving along Cordova Street at night, I think St. James’ shines out very much like a beacon in the neighbourhood. The church is a striking building that has been standing majestically on the corner of Gore and Cordova Streets now for over seventy years! It is an ageing building, costing more and more each year for upkeep so it can continue to be a beacon to all. The liturgy can also be viewed as a beacon, drawing people from near and far to join in our corporate worship
so ably led by Fr. Mark and our team of priests. Under liturgy can be found the music ministry and the guilds that beautify and enhance our worship and services – which also bring people in to St. James’. The expense for these ministries is large as well – from the priestly salaries and music costs, to the vestments, altar supplies and more. The people of St. James’ also act as a beacon, from the office administrators and maintenance staff, to all the volunteers and congregation who welcome everyone into our beloved space. Yes, we are all part of this Mission Objective and should be prepared to be good stewards of this “beacon”.
Finding Your Place at St. James’ | Eleanor Beckett
hink of the last time you worshipped at St. James’. Did you dip your ﬁngers in the Holy Water stoup on entering? That stoup was cleaned and ﬁlled by a Sanctuary Guild member. Did you light a candle? A Sanctuary Guild member cleaned that votive stand and made sure there were candles and spills available for your use. Did you admire the gleaming candlesticks, the crisp white linen on the altar, the fresh white albs worn by the servers, the beauty of the clergy’s vestments? All maintained by Sanctuary Guild. We spend our Saturday mornings laundering, ironing, polishing and cleaning to make St. James’ a beautiful space to worship God. But it’s not all work! We also enjoy a warm and supportive companionship with much laughter over our well-earned tea and cookies. We need new members to maintain this tradition of loving and joyful service. Contact Eleanor Beckett if you would like to ﬁnd out more about the Guild.
The following guilds and ministries are eager for new members and would be grateful for the opportunity to welcome you in and get to know you better (find contact information by calling or emailing the church office): • Sanctuary Guild: contact Eleanor Beckett • Coffee Hour: contact Pat McSherry • Joyful Noise: contact John Cumberbirch • Narthex: contact Philip Feeley • PAX: contact Jen Amundgaard • Lady Garden: contact Janet Hamilton • Flower Guild: contact Margaret Vickers • Anglican Church Women: contact Mary Brown • Families & Children: contact Mother Jessica • Latino Lunches: contact Barry Vickers • Literacy One-on-One: contact Elizabeth Brandson • Women’s Guild: contact Janice Waller • Mothers’ Union: contact Celia Dodds • Outreach Committee: contact John Conway
PAX: MICHAELMAS 2011 | 16 photo: Chris Loh
Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ FAREWELL TO THE SISTERS OF THE ATONEMENT In August the Sisters of the Atonement, who have had a food ministry at the end of the block for many years, wound down their operations. On the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, August 15, the Sisters were thanked and honored at the St. James’ High Mass and community potluck supper. Fr. Michael Forshaw recently received from them a lovely letter of thanks in appreciation of all we have shared and wishing continued blessings on our ministry here at St. James’. AUDIO SERMONS AVAILABLE TO ALL In August, St. James’ developed the capacity to put an audio broadcast of each Sunday High Mass sermon on the website. If you are unable to attend a Sunday Mass, visit the website during the following week to hear the sermon you missed. You can access the sermons by going to www.stjames.bc.ca. First click Worship, then click Audio Sermons, then scroll down to find the sermon you are looking for and click on it. Tell all your friends and loved ones - it’s easy! RECTORY RENOVATIONS During the summer, the flooring on the ground level of the Rectory (with the exception of the sitting room) was replaced with good quality laminate and linoleum. The Women’s Guild and numerous volunteers assisted with the preparation and clean-up for this project as well as with expenses. The Greenaway-Robbins family and the four-footed residents of the rectory are very pleased to have such attractive (and durable!) flooring underfoot. SCREENING IN FAITH Since August, the people of St. James’ have been at work implementing the 17 | PAX: MICHAELMAS 2011
Screening in Faith policy put forward by the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster. This policy assesses risk and security for those who deal with finances, confidential information, and vulnerable individuals. The coordinating task group has identified all positions within the Parish designated by the Diocese as high risk, and appreciates the personal time the people in these positions are taking to have their Police Record Checks done. Special thanks to those on the Screening in Faith Committee who are overseeing this process: Eleanor Beckett, Peggy Smyth, Paul Stanwood, Jane Turner, and Reece Wrightman. FALL PROGRAM OF CORPORATE DISCERNMENT The perspectives and participation of parishioners are very important in shaping our ministries here at St. James’. This fall the Parish has been engaged in a program of corporate discernment beginning with a September 7 Retreat Day for clergy, staff, wardens, trustees and parish council officers. This event was followed by a Servant Leadership Day on October 1. The program will continue with the Parish Council Meeting on October 22 and conclude with a Special Vestry Meeting on November 20 to pass the budget for 2012. Our prayer is: “The God of all grace, who called us to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, establish, strengthen and settle us in the faith.” Thanks to everyone who is engaging in this process to plan the coming year. WELCOMING A NEW ASSISTANT PRIEST AND NEW DEACON Mother Jessica Schaap’s curacy ended on September 30th and on the Feast of Dedication (October 2nd) we welcomed and blessed her in her new position as
Assistant Priest to St. James’. St. James’ also has a new Deacon in the person of Sister Mary Christian Cross who has moved into the local community. She will be installed in her position on Sunday, October 16th, in a rite specially designed for vocational deacons by the Reverend John Struthers, who is charged with administration and oversight of the diaconate in the Diocese. PACIFIC BAROQUE ORCHESTRA CONCERTS RETURN After a lengthy absence, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra will be holding two concerts at St. James’ during the coming year. The first will be held on Friday, October 21st, at 7:30 pm. The second concert will be on Friday, March 23rd, 2012. These concerts are free and all are welcome to attend. ST. JAMES MUSIC ACADEMY EXPANSION The SJMA has expanded to offering classes at the church four days each week, from Monday to Thursday. They have a record number of students this year and we wish them every success. Their Christmas recital is scheduled for Friday, December 9th. CONSIDER SUPPORTING PAX For the past year, a couple from St. James’ has generously covered the printing costs of this longer, colour version of PAX. As we reach the end of their commitment, PAX is now seeking new sponsorship. We print about 300 copies, four times a year. These copies are mailed to parishioners who are unable to attend services at St. James’ in person, are distributed to visitors, and are given to those receiving pastoral care in their homes or hospital rooms. Each print run costs close to $800. Please consider sponsoring an issue or a year of issues, by yourself or with a team.
Church Picnic at Crab Park, July 24, 2011. Photo by Tracy Russell
Church Picnic at Crab Park, July 24, 2011. Photo by Tracy Russell
Church Picnic at Crab Park, July 24, 2011. Photo by Kathy Oâ€™Connor
Church Picnic at Crab Park, July 24, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, September 29, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Farewell to the Sisters of the Atonement, August 15, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Farewell to Maggie, Mary, and David Creese, July 31, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Farewell to Tanya and Rocky Rocksborough-Smith, September 11, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
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BARGAIN SALE Friday October 28, 11am – 12:30pm
ALL SAINTS’ DAY MASS Tuesday, November 1, 6:30 pm A glorious celebration, a time to gather in thanksgiving. Followed by a free potluck supper that is open to everyone. ALL SOULS’ DAY MASS Wednesday, November 2, 6:30pm The St. James’ Choir sings, giving thanks for all the departed, no matter who they were or what they believed. Join us in remembering.
303 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC, v6a 1l4 Telephone: 604 685 2532 Fax: 604 685 7605 Email: email@example.com
www.stjames.bc.ca our vision: Discovering the beauty of holiness in our lives and neighbourhood, by living a Christ-centred sacramental life rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. PAX no. 12 © 2011 St. James’ Anglican Church Editorial Panel: Jen Amundgaard, Paul Stanwood, Tracy Russell, Mother Jessica Schaap Designer & Art Director: Jen Amundgaard Writers: Fr. Mark GreenawayRobbins, Reece Wrightman, Spencer Viehweger, Allan Duncan, Tim Firth, Bear, Mother Jessica Schaap, Fr. Michael Forshaw, Mary Brown, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, Angela Van Luven, Eleanor Beckett Photography: Reece Wrightman, Tracy Russell, Elaine Jane, Ruth GreenawayRobbins, Kathy O’Connor 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 sumitted 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.
photo: Tracy Russell, the view from the bell tower at St. James’
OPEN HOUSE Saturday October 29, 12pm - 4pm • 12:00pm – 4:00pm Church Treasures Display A rare opportunity to see the ancient Ethiopian processional cross up close. View the vessels used in celebrations of Holy Communion. Learn what patens and chalices are and how they are cared for. • 12:00pm – 4:00pm Photo Exhibit Chris & Christine - a photographic exhibit featuring the interplay of light and architecture. • 12:30pm – 1:00pm Guided Tour Long-time parishioner Allan Duncan will conduct a guided tour of the Church complete with stories about the parish itself, which dates back to 1881. • 1:30pm – 2:30pm A Sermon by John Donne Hear a stirring sermon by of one of the greatest English speaking preachers. Professor Paul Stanwood will offer a dramatic presentation of John Donne’s Second Prebend Sermon on Psalm 63:7. • 3:00pm Musical Performance Children from The Saint James’ Music Academy, which offers free high-quality classical music training to children living in the Downtown Eastside, will sing and play instruments.