photo: chris loh, Easter Vigil, 2011
Pax ST. JAMESâ€™ DAY 2011
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photo: Chris Loh, the Great Easter Vigil, April 23, 2011
The Divine-Human Partnership | Fr. Mark Greenaway-Robbins
ome of my earliest childhood memories include attending a Sunday School at my parents’ local church, a large Methodist Church in rural Cornwall. It is an experience I remember with affection and gratitude. I recall the corporate worship filled with song, prayer, and sacred Scripture. Children were an integral part of the Church. That is the feeling I remember most: I belonged. We belonged and we believed. I attended the same Sunday School from my toddler years into my mid-teens. I remember the Church members who taught us. It was their humble faithfulness and graciousness which made a lasting impression on me. They believed the Faith of the Church with quiet conviction. I found the stories they told about Jesus Christ, and who my teachers were as disciples, to be compelling. Rebellion, I imagine, is essential in our journey towards maturation. I never rebelled against my Christian upbringing that my parents, and my mother especially, had instilled in my brother and me. However, I did jump-ship from the Methodist Church, as it were. At sixteen I began attending a new school which required daily attendance in chapel for all its students. This was my first encounter with Anglican worship, and intuitively it felt like a homecoming. I grew to love the Anglican Way of discipleship and found a local Anglican parish in our town, which I joined. It was an Anglo-Catholic parish church filled with incense and liturgy. Such rural parishes are rare in England, though I didn’t know it at the time. To that community of the faith, it was as natural and inconspicuous as breathing that God should be worshipped with all our senses, and the sacraments of the Church celebrated for the seeking of Christ’s kingdom. I remember another account of formation in Christ wholly different to my own. Megan (not her real name), an octogenarian, had been a parishioner at a different parish. During her teenage years, she chose to walk away from her nominal Christian upbringing and “enjoy life,” as she put it. When I first met her, she was in her twilight years. She had no regrets about the choices she had made, but some-
thing was stirring within her. She experienced a desire to reconnect with a Christian community. Her neighbours were parishioners, and knowing of her new-found hunger for faith, they arranged for me to meet with Megan. We did so, and through the care and prayers of the parish she began worshipping with us and found Christ. In the course of time, she asked for the sacrament of confirmation. I shall never forget the joy on her face as the bishop laid hands upon her. Her countenance was full of the light of Christ. Unlike my journey, the time of her formation came very late in her life’s course. But the dynamics of formation were the same. Formation begins with desire and delight. The Holy Spirit instills within us a desire and delight for God. The mystery of Providence unfolds as a partnership is formed between God’s grace and our will. The sacraments of the Church, Scripture, and prayer all inform and sustain this partnership between our wills and God’s grace. At St. James’ one of our mission objectives, which describes our baptismal vocation as a community of faith, calls us “to deepen our life of prayer and formation in Christ.” As disciples, we have a mutual responsibility to support and uphold one another in prayer and the journey of formation. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” says Jesus in the words of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). Formation is the work of making disciples. This work is a life-long journey. It is a partnership between the divine and human will. With all our brothers and sisters in Christ at St. James’, we share a responsibility to deepen our life of prayer and formation in Christ within the membership of the church and towards those who are searching, even those who describe themselves as “spiritual, but not religious.” We are heirs of a rich and vibrant living tradition of discipleship. May God grant us the grace to rejoice in our baptismal dignity and live our lives in a divine-human partnership, which is formation in Christ.
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Prayer and Formation | Paul Stanwood With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
any of the features in this St. James’ Day issue of PAX encourage us “to deepen our life of prayer and formation in Christ,” one of our five mission objectives. Each of the Trustees and Wardens has a liaison responsibility for an objective, and this is the one assigned to me. Its concerns are significant, for they touch so much of what we see and experience in the Church. They include the Flower Guild, the Readers’ and Intercessors’ Guild, the Sanctuary Guild, the Servers’ Guild (and the Sacristan), as well as the Holy Faith Library, the Ministry of Music, and Christian Formation – the last being one of the most recent of our ministries. This ministry, known better as “Formation on Sundays at 9:30,” has just ended its second year and is planning a third season. During this past year, through the inspired planning of Maggi Creese, a splendid variety of programs was offered, usually by members of the Parish but also by several visitors. In lecture-discussion format, we visited the Book of Job and of Deuteronomy; discussed the The photos on the right were taken by Joyce Locht while on pastoral visits to home communicants of St. James’ in June of 2011.
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work of Karl Rahner; explored the life and work of notable church figures, such as Thomas Cranmer, John Donne, George Herbert, Julian of Norwich, and John Keble; and we were instructed in the use of lectio divina. In Advent, we addressed The Four Last Things, with a dramatic reading on one Sunday of the play, Everyman; and in Lent, we considered translations of the Bible in response to the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. Moreover, we addressed issues of social justice and of First Nations’ concerns, and learned more about the Melanesian brotherhood. And there is more. The intention of Formation on Sundays is to offer a rich and varied program that helps us see the many manifestations of our faith. The hope is that we may be drawn more closely together as we learn about our great heritage, and find some further encouragement toward discovering our life in Christ. A rhythm and pattern exists in all things, as indeed we seek life in prayer and formation. From The Rule of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (in the first chapter on “The Call of the Society”), is their firm statement of purpose, which could also define St. James’: “Our mission is inseparable from our call to live in union with God in prayer, worship, and mutual love.” We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding,” V.
Every Good Gift: A History of St. James’ Parish Allan Duncan
n 1981, the parish of St. James’ celebrated its 100th anniversary. It had been a remarkable century and the parish found many ways to celebrate, including a special Mass to mark the opening of the first church on the waterfront, a centennial dinner to commemorate the induction of the first Rector, pilgrimages to the resting places of early parish pioneers, civic recognition of the anniversary and the publication of a book that would tell the 100-year story. Every Good Gift: A History of S. James’, Vancouver 18811981 was the result of a parish-wide project overseen by then-parish archivist, Phyllis Reeve, who also crafted the text of the 150-page history. Illustrations and design work were offered by parishioner/artist Frits Jacobsen and photographs were gathered from archives here at St. James’, the City of Vancouver, the Anglican Theological College and the University of British Columbia. For early Vancouver history buffs, and certainly for parishioners and friends of St. James’, this little book is indispensable – a must read. Reeves sifted through a mountain of material gleaned from church records and minutes, parish and Anglican Church publications, clergy notes and the open press. The result is a rich and colourful journalistic mosaic. Every Good Gift is a very Vancouver story of parish creation, recounting the details of a remarkable faith journey by a unique group of citizens. The book chronicles a journey of community-building in which the emergence and growth of both the church and the city are completely intertwined: founding fathers, the first school, hospital, library, fire hall, port and half a dozen Anglican parishes across the city were all sponsored in some way by this early starter, this ‘mother church’ of the city, as St. James’ has sometimes been described. Every Good Gift is filled with quotations and anecdotes. Reeves has managed both to enlighten and intrigue the reader with her balance of fact and narrative, and also by placing the material into its historical context. The opening ceremonies at all three St. James’ church buildings are described in this book:
1881: The Bishop (Sillitoe, first of the Diocese) accompanied by Rev. G. Ditcham (first Rector) was met at the church doors by the members of the church committee, and the service of dedication then took place...... a week later Fr Ditcham baptised Harriet, infant daughter of the Moodyville milk-rancher Hugh Burr. 1887: At last, on Sunday, June 12, 364 days after the Fire, the second S. James’ Church was opened for a full roster of divine services.....the Archdeacon of Columbia, the Venerable C.T.Woods, officiated. A plea was made “that all donations be as liberal as possible.” 1936: “Built to the glory of the Lord and for the spiritual enrichment of Vancouver, the new S. James’ Anglican Church was opened with prayer and song on Sunday morning. . . . The body of the church filled, then the balconies, until the building could hold no more, and the Crypt Chapel was opened to accommodate the rest” (quote from The Vancouver Province, in Every Good Gift, pp. 103-4). The book also includes appendices listing the Bishops, Rectors, Assistant Priests and Wardens for the first 100 years of the parish. As well, there is a collection of explanatory notes for many of the church’s decorative and ceremonial artworks, a chapter-by-chapter reference guide and an index of proper and place names particular to the parish. The author is well and living on Gabriola Island. She is exploring the possibility of a second printing which may include a new chapter updating the last thirty years of our history. If you’d like your own copy, let us know. The PAX distribution manager, Mary Brown, is coordinating the response so that a realistic print run can be determined. PAX: ST. JAMES’ DAY 2011 | 4
A Sermon for June 19, 2011 | Rev. Canon Fr. Douglas E. Williams
hat is prayer? We often think of it as a kind of conversation between one being, ourselves, and another infinitely bigger and better being, God. And then we get into the absurd discussion about whether God answers prayer. Prayer isn’t first-of-all a conversation. Prayer is our total relationship with God, our creator, our reconciler, and our fulfillment. And you can’t answer a relationship, you can only participate in it.
Prayer isn’t first-of-all a conversation. Prayer is our total relationship with God, our creator, our reconciler, and our fulfillment. Prayer, at its fundamental level, is our whole relationship with God. In this sense, you are always at prayer, whether you think of it that way or not. For you are always in relationship with God, who is creating, reconciling, and fulfilling you, now and at every moment. Plumbing and grocery shopping and playing soccer and scrubbing floors are ways of praying. When we enter into that activity which we usually think of as prayer, what we are really doing is simply allowing our relationship with God, which is there all the time, to come into the forefront of our consciousness. We are paying attention to the relationship. We haven’t suddenly created it. But we are turning to notice it and to act accordingly. We are not providing God with information or with good advice, or trying to change his mind. No. We are opening up consciously to the relationship which is already there, and we are holding up our lives and each other and the world, our hopes and our fears, our friends and our enemies, our successes and our failures, our sanctity and our sin. We hold all these things up in our relationship with God, to see, in the light of God, what they all really are, what we ourselves really are, and to learn from God what we are to be and to do. Prayer does not change God. It changes us. And the change often is in inspiring ways. When, for instance, was the last time you prayed for one of your enemies, one of the people whom you despise? If 5 | PAX: ST. JAMES’ DAY 2011
you are like me, you may have to scratch your head awhile on that one. And yet this is one of the marks of genuinely Christian prayer. Remember our Lord, in the Sermon on the Mount? “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44). And yet, in how many Christian churches was there prayer for the repose of the soul of Osama bin Laden on the Sunday after he was killed? There is, in my ethical world, no justification for the indiscriminate killing of people, no matter what the cause. Terrorists, in my book, are among the more vile creations of human rationalization and delusion. And yet who needs our prayers more than a mass murderer? We often treat the intercessions in church as if they were a reward for being a decent person. But prayer for a terrorist or a mass murderer is not prayer for a “Get out of Jail Free” card; it is prayer that he or she may, by the grace of God, become once again human. To be unwilling to pray that someone be restored to full humanity is to have, ourselves, the soul of a murderer. But there is another dimension to prayer for your enemies. Without it, there could be no repentance. We think of our enemies as all those bad guys out there somewhere. But what is repentance, but prayer for the enemy within? There has been such a long tradition in Christianity of what I call forensic theology—the theology that sees the basic structure of human life as a courtroom, with God as both lawgiver and judge, and the basic activity of human life as keeping or breaking the rules—that we have forgotten that the real horror of sin is not that we have broken a rule, but that we have destroyed part of our humanity. When we are threatened or damaged by someone else, we have an enemy outside. When we sin, we have an enemy inside. If we do not learn to pray for our enemies, then we will never be able to resume our own humanity in repentance. When we engage consciously in prayer, we offer up ourselves, each other, and the world to God. Not because there is something that God is missing, but because there is an awful lot that we are missing. And the only way to see it is to bring the world into our relationship with God,
where we may begin to see it in the divine light. Then we may see it as it really is, often with a glory and beauty to which we are blind, but often also with an ugliness and nastiness about which we do nothing, because we delude ourselves about the awfulness, especially about that awfulness which lies within. Without prayer, we remain trapped in our narrow little view of the world. In prayer, God begins, little by little, to give us a vision of the world as God sees it. Without the divine illumination, which shines out in prayer, we cannot see ourselves or anything else as they really are. And with-
out seeing things as they really are, we cannot survive, we cannot grow, we cannot become the fully human beings we are meant to be. But we must bring everything into that light, including our enemies. That which we do not bring into the light of God will eventually destroy us. But God did not create us, only for us to be destroyed. God created us in order that we might become fully and gloriously human, children of God. “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
Intercessory Prayer | Mother Alexis Saunders “Then I saw that His constant working in all manner of things is done so well, so wisely, and so powerfully that it surpasses all our imagining, and all that we can suppose and comprehend.” Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 43
hen others ask us to pray for them, what exactly are we being asked to do? What is being promised? What are the consequences of these prayers? What is the
best way to pray? Intercessory prayer is bringing before God the needs of others. Our praying does not alter God. In her vision, Julian understood that God is always working, has always been working, and will always be working in others’ lives in ways that we cannot begin to comprehend. When we are asked to pray, we step into this ongoing work by simply holding the person in loving contemplation before God. This is not telling God what outcome we want to see, but holding the loving wisdom of God before the consciousness of us and the one for whom we pray. Our praying does not alter God, but alters us and the one for whom we pray. When we pray for others, there is a mystical and invisible bond that is strengthened because we are one in Christ. This kind of prayer reminds us that the burdens others carry are also carried by us. Intercessory prayer is about opening ourselves to God’s will and wisdom. It is
about acknowledging that God is the Ruler of this world. What we see as tragedy or misfortune may be the way of many blessings. This is about having full trust and confidence in God. How, then, do we pray for others? 1. Be aware that God has been working long before we were asked to pray. Be aware that in our baptism, we have promised to respect the dignity of every human being. In very practical terms, this means that we respect the needs and wishes of the one for whom we pray. We do not need to know the person; a first name is enough. We do not need to know why the person has asked for prayers because we do not need to pray for specific outcomes. 2. Quietly, with a heart of love, say the person’s name. Just hold that other person in your awareness before God, knowing you are before God on behalf of the other. We are there simply to let God’s love flow freely in the other and in ourselves. 3. To pray for others, we do not need grand words or earnest petitions, nor must we be perceptive of their needs. We are to be just ourselves, at times confused and unsure but wanting God’s will for ourselves and others. God will do everything else. Intercessory prayer done this way is not a burden or a striving but a joining of our own humanity with others and God in love. PAX: ST. JAMES’ DAY 2011 | 6
A Path to Adoration | Mother Jessica Schaap
everal years ago, I began practicing yoga at my aunt’s studio in Vancouver. I had recently moved from Montreal to Vancouver, was jobless, had little or no prayer life except of the petitionary kind in times of need, and had no connection to a church or much of any kind of community. As I learned yoga’s various postures and methods of breathing, a curious thing happened. I began to experience a strong desire to worship and to adore God – body and soul. It was as if I knew again an ancient and hidden need that I had forgotten or neglected. It was both a surprising and intriguing phenomenon. The yoga practice was not offered with explicit religious instruction from the tradition in which it was rooted, but the postures included raising arms and bowing, including profound bows with one’s forehead on the floor, and very frequently folding one’s hands over the heart in the same prayer posture that we practice here at St. James’. The repetition and attentiveness of these movements soon caused a realization that adoration was filling an unknown void. This time of adoration then fuelled a desire to know more of and come into deeper relationship with the One I adored. This discovery in yoga proved an important factor in my return to the life of the church, a commitment to grow in Christian faith, and a renewed relationship with the Triune God. This experience also caused me to wonder how adoration might be a basic human need. St. Ambrose, in reflection upon Psalm 145, suggests that all creatures turn to God by nature: All things by a wonderful kind of longing and unspeakable love look on the author of their life and the giver of their abilities and functions according to that which is written: ”The eyes of all look to you,” and ”You open your hand and fill every living creature with your good pleasure.” However, the need to adore is a need very poorly served in the culture I come from: middle class, North American, white, individualistic, and yet very driven and seeking. Adoration seems to be off the cultural radar and perhaps
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even unproductive and unnecessary. What are some of the qualities of adoration? Simplicity, commitment, and directness. Discovering the need to adore is a helpful way to discover that there is little that satisfies that need in our lives. That lack of satisfaction, or restlessness, can lead us to what is worthy of adoration. Adoration is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God to worship and enjoy God’s presence. Adoration, by definition, may only be directed to God. As St. Ambrose suggests, it is simply aligning with all creatures’ desire to join in praise of the Creator.
Adoration, by definition, may only be directed to God. One of the ways that we offer an opportunity for worthy adoration at St. James’ is during the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The body of Christ is something we eat, yes; but the prayer of adoration reminds us of the greater truth that the body of Christ is “forever eaten yet is never consumed” (from a prayer following the fraction in the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox church.). Adoration opens us to the inexhaustibility of God. When we kneel before the sacrament in adoration, we learn that it is we who are beheld by God. And, we come to know that we are beheld, not in an abstract way, but in a physical and concrete way: breath by breath. Adoration is ultimately and profoundly restful; something most of us feel our lives are not. In its simplicity and directness, it calls into question all things that are not worthy of adoration and yet consume us, our time and our energy. The prayer of adoration restores us, strengthens our communion with the divine, and reorders our relationships within creation. O Praise the Lord, all ye nations; laud him all ye peoples For his merciful kindness is ever towards us; and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise the Lord. (from Psalm 117 and sung at the conclusion of the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament)
George Herbert, 1593-1633 Teach me, my God and King, In all things Thee to see, And what I do in anything To do it as for Thee. Not rudely, as a beast, To run into an action; But still to make Thee prepossest, And give it his perfection. A man that looks on glass, On it may stay his eye; Or it he pleaseth, through it pass, And then the heav’n espy. All may of Thee partake: Nothing can be so mean, Which with this tincture—”for Thy sake”— Will not grow bright and clean. A servant with this clause Makes drudgery divine: Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws, Makes that and th’ action fine. This is the famous stone That turneth all to gold; For that which God doth touch and own Cannot for less be told.
ASK ! BEAR
Dear Bear, Are there religious orders in the Anglican Communion? What are they? — Wanting More Anglican religious orders are organizations of laity and/or clergy in the Anglican Communion who live under a common rule. What distinguishes members of religious orders from the rest of the laity and the clergy is that they try to imitate Jesus Christ by taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. There are currently about 2,400 monks and nuns in the Anglican Communion, about 55% of whom are women and 45% of whom are men. The Melanesian Brotherhood, founded at Tabalia, Guadalcanal, in 1925 by Ini Kopuria, is now the largest Anglican Community in the world with over 450 brothers in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Our very own Br. John Blyth is a member of the Melanesian Brotherhood. At St. James’ Church, there are parishioners who are affiliated with the Order of St. Benedict, the Order of Julian of Norwich, Sisters of St. John the Divine, and the Society of St. John the Evangelist. But living according to a rule of life is not only for those in a religious order. At St. James’, every parishioner is encouraged to review and renew their rule of life regularly “to deepen our life of prayer and formation in Christ.” Every committed disciple of Christ has a rule of life. Such a rule of life may be highly personalized, or it may conform closely to a communal rule like those mentioned above. While not all disciples commit their rule of life to paper, or discuss it regularly with another disciple more mature in the faith, such practices are encouraged at St. James’. — 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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Review of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years Tim Firth From the editors: In place of Tim’s regular short article “Book Notes from the Holy Faith Library,” Tim will now be submitting extended book reviews of books that are available from the Holy Faith Library.
ach of us has a sense of identity – both individually and collectively – as a Christian and as part of the Church. Identities, past and present, may be seen to demonstrate and to some degree explain how things fit together and have come to be put together. Our faith story, then, is among other things the sum total of our Christian identities (sometimes at great variance with one another) over time. Diarmaid MacCulloch has written an informative, witty, and exceptionally readable book that chronicles and analyzes the immense multiplicity of Christian identities that have arisen and developed, reminding us, vitally, of the “sheer variety of Christianity from its earliest days” (176). This variety, he stresses, is a “vital lesson for modern Christians who wish to impose a uniformity on Christian belief and practice which has never in fact existed” (177). Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University and, in his own words, a “candid friend of Christianity,” MacCulloch begins his narrative some three thousand years ago. He argues persuasively that the beliefs that together make up the Christian faith owe much to the ancient Greeks and Jews over the thousand years before the time of Jesus. As twenty-first century Christians, it is interesting to see that the beliefs of the early Christian communities, from the time of those in the tradition of Paul, were the cause of mistrust and suspicion among their neighbours. “Christian secretiveness and obstinate separation into their own world” (a manifestation of one expression of Christian identity that still persists to varying degrees in various places) meant that they “often did not endear themselves to people.” This “separation” was inevitable, “given their sense of the falsity of all other religions: ancient life was saturated with observances of trad
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itional religion, and to play any part in ordinary life was to risk pollution, particularly in public office” (157-8).
the beliefs of the early Christian communities ... were the cause of mistrust and suspicion among their neighbours. Furthermore, Christians sought to protect their ceremonies of Baptism and Eucharist from outsiders. This resulted in them being “thoroughly misunderstood.” Reports circulated “of incest from their talk of love feasts, of cannibalism from the language of eating and drinking body and blood.” And, of course, it was entirely predictable that out of “suspicion and righteous indignation” violence and riots grew. Yet, as MacCulloch observes, “the separateness and dogmatism of the early Christians were as much strengths as weaknesses; they produced a continuing stream of converts” (159). The relationship of the Church to the society around it, and especially to secular power, is another of the significant themes that has had a persistent impact on the Church and is taken up over and over again throughout the book. Under the emperor Constantine I (The Great, c. 274-337 CE), Christianity would be transformed from “being the Church of the outsiders and the despised” and move into the “heart of politics and towards the domination of all society” (154). Also dating from Constantine’s time is the use of councils to resolve the tangle of Church disputes that continually arose. In chronicling the origin, evolution, and (on some happy occasions) the resolution of these controversies, the author makes the point that many of these will seem perplexing to modern readers, as will the considerable passions aroused “when mobs took up theology
Diarmaid MacCulloch, Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years Penguin Books, 2009 Approx. $31.00 Canadian
photo: Tracy Russell, Trinity Sunday, June 19, 2011
and armies marched in the name of the Christian God” (222). He helpfully provides vital background information which situates beliefs and practices in their historical context, enabling us better to understand how such beliefs and practices came to be problematic or controversial. While the primary focus of this book is on events and developments in Europe and North America, it must be said that the remainder of the world is not neglected or poorly served. To the degree that it is possible for one person adequately to treat all subjects on all continents in one volume, the author has done very well—as most readers will, I think, agree. MacCulloch’s detailed bibliography, notes, and index will serve to direct the interested reader to many entries on various countries, individuals, and even gender roles, plus a great deal more. There is a natural ease and an almost conversational manner in which these mounds of detail and a litany of disputes – the seemingly “perpetual argument about meaning and reality” (95) – are processed across the pages. The tone and manner are those of a cherished, fabulously knowledgeable, witty and gentle friend. Given that there is a hefty thousand pages of text with nearly 200 pages of notes, bibliography, and index to follow, we are blessed with such a friend, for otherwise such a massive work might be overwhelming. It is a book that one can also dip into or return to as time permits or the need arises. In any way that you choose to encounter this massively interesting and entertaining volume, you will be rewarded. It cannot fail to deepen the life of prayer and formation in each of us.
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Why I Like EfM | Brian Rocksborough-Smith
like Education for Ministry (EfM) at St. James’ because I believe it is helping me in my prayer life and my formation as an Anglican Christian. Before joining our EfM group three years ago, I had (as a lifelong Anglican and St. James’ parishioner) attended Sunday services, many parish events and quiet days, and had also served as a trustee. Having never really read the Bible or thought or talked much about if and how I applied my faith to my life’s activities and decisions, I just assumed attending church, like my parents had always done, was a good thing to do; and besides, it felt good. Being involved in EfM has encouraged and enabled me to read the Bible, learn about the traditions of our church, think about how these affect my daily thought and actions, and prepare myself for our EfM Group’s weekly discussions. What I like most about EfM is our weekly group meetings. The tone is set for these meetings in the Spiritual Autobiography that each of us offers to the group at the beginning of the year. Here, we share with each other the story of the significant events, people and places that have influenced our relationship with God. This sharing builds trust and understanding within the group. It also enables each of us to discover themes within our own personal story, and thus gain a new perspective. The experience of hearing other life stories within the group lets us know we are not alone in God’s world and helps us build the community of learning that will support and challenge us throughout the year. We begin the weekly meeting with worship, wherein a group member leads us in one or two prayers that s(he) has found helpful. We then proceed with “on-board” time in which we each share with the rest of the group how our previous week (since we last met) has gone, in response to the week’s common question or theme. Each person takes a turn (with a ‘pass’ being quite OK) sharing an activity, thought, or feeling, while the rest of us listen, occasionally offering a response, comment or question for clarity, but not for discussion. I find that hearing others’ thinking and feeling responses to something in their past week’s activ-
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ity encourages empathetic reflection, deep listening and personal growth in all group members, including myself. Once on board, we each share highlights of our weekly lesson’s reading for the year that we are in. Our group of eight has one or more members in each of Year 1 (Old Testament), Year 2 (New Testament), Year 3 (History of the Church up to the American Revolution) and Year 4 (Recent Church history and issues). The focus of reporting to the group on our reading is to relate how we respond personally to what we’ve read, rather than just reviewing content. Individuals might mention specific points or ideas that they relate to particular aspects of their life, something in the week’s reading that keeps swirling around in their mind, and/or an idea that puzzles them or doesn’t quite square with their understanding. Responses to different readings, each being shared by individuals coming from different personal perspectives, and reflective, thoughtful feelings generated by the four different years of EfM study and experience, make for lively discussion and a rich exchange of ideas, which I greatly enjoy. Running throughout our spiritual autobiographies, our regular Thursday morning prayers, on-board time reading responses and periodic common consideration of specific life issues, is the central core of EfM activity, “theological reflection.” In the light of worship, reading and study of scripture and the EfM materials, we read and prepare to discuss each week, and we examine our own beliefs and actions and their relationship to our culture and the tradition of our Christian faith. It is this theological reflection, encouraged within a trusting supportive group, that I enjoy most about EfM. I believe it is so important in helping each of us towards fulfilling our baptismal promises and becoming more effective ministers in our church and the world. I believe EfM is helping me in my prayer life and my formation as an Anglican Christian. If you are interested in enrolling in our St. James’ EfM group, continuing on Thursdays next September, contact Jane Turner.
Dollars and $ense | Angela Van Luven
To deepen our life of prayer and formation in Christ
“It’s not easy being green,” sang Kermit the Frog. And it certainly isn’t easy being a treasurer of a church where people are so passionate about what they believe in, where they feel we should be going, and how we are to spend the Church’s money in getting there! I have to be mindful of the wishes of present parishioners, as well as attempt to reflect what past benefactors of the church would wish me to do. A day in the life of the St. James’ treasurer could involve receiving a myriad of forms from the auditors, if it is at ‘that time of the year,’ to be pored over and carefully completed and returned right away so the audit can begin. I then have to be available for the next six weeks or so to answer any questions anyone may have on the previous year’s accounting, providing backup documentation and anything else they may need, all in a very short turnaround time. It could mean liaising with the Diocese with questions about, for example, payroll issues for the clergy
and staff at St. James’. It means liaising regularly with the Parish Foundation that holds our investments. I attend meetings, lots of meetings, to which I must bring not only my thoughts on various subjects, but also accounting records and statements for discussion. It also means authorizing every cheque that is requisitioned and assuring that the correct line item on the budget is charged to each particular cheque. And I answer calls and e-mails from parishioners on many issues – all important, no matter the size or complexity of the questions. So you can imagine that with this 24/7 treasurer position, I need a lot of help from my Maker! And so on a personal level, I find I am calling on this Mission Objective often as I am deepening my life of prayer. . O Holy Ghost, grant me the gift of wisdom … The gift of understanding … The gift of counsel … The gift of fortitude … The gift of knowledge … The gift of godliness … photo: Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, Parish Confirmation, May 15, 2011
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Resources for Prayer: Some Recommendations
elow is an annotated bibliography offered by various members of the St. James’ clergy team and the wardens.
Br. John Blyth My main resource is the Ignatian Exercises. I have all these books which I would happily lend to anyone interested. I also have a large bibliography on this subject. Gallagher, Timothy. An Ignatian Introduction to Prayer: Scriptural Reflections According to the Spiritual Exercises. New York: Crossroad, 2008. Gallagher, Timothy. The Examen Prayer: Ignatian Wisdom in our Lives Today. New York: Crossroad, 2006.
Tetlow, John. Making Choices in Christ: The Foundations of Ignatian Spirituality. Chicago: Loyola, 2008. Ignatius of Loyola. Spiritual Exercises and Selected Works. Edited by George E. Ganss, SJ. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 1991 An online version of the Spiritual Exercises is also available from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library: www.ccel.org/ccel/ignatius/exercises.html To see more of Br. John’s picks, visit the St. James’ website: www.stjames.bc.ca and click on Formation on Sundays. Fr. Michael Forshaw Skinner, John E. The Christian Disciple. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984. Messenger of Saint Anthony International Edition One can get a monthly subscription at: St Anthony of Padua 1320 Leslie Street Suite 100 Toronto, Ontario M3C 2K9 This magazine has articles on the Bible, spirituality, lit urgy, living today and church life. Fr. Matthew Johnson Book of Common Prayer (Canada, 1962). Morning Prayer (Mattins) and Evening Prayer (Evensong) are both essential reading, especially if one uses other forms of daily prayers and if one is to comprehend the historical roots of Anglicanism. 13 | PAX: ST. JAMES’ DAY 2011
Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal Church of the United States, 1979). • The Daily Office, pp. 37-147. • Morning Prayer, Rite One pp. 37-60, or Rite Two (Contemporary English), pp. 75-102. • Evening Prayer, Rite One ,pp. 61-74; or Rite Two (Contemporary English) 115-126. • Compline, pp, 127-136. • Daily Devotions (Daily Prayer), pp.137-ff. The Catholic Prayer Book. Compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley and edited by Tony Castle. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1986. There are hundreds of books entitled The Catholic Prayer Book. This is the only one I recommend. Catechism of the Catholic Church – Compendium. Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1997. Note that “Common Prayers” (at the end of the Compendium edition) includes all the key prayers of the Christian life. Also note that “Common Prayers” is only available in the shorter Compendium edition (not in the Standard edition). To see more of Fr. Matthew’s picks, visit the St. James’ website: www.stjames.bc.ca and click on Formation on Sundays. Mother Alexis Saunders Sheldrake, Philip. Befriending our Desires. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2001. Sheldrake declares that desire lies at the very heart of what it means to be human. He explores the aspects of this inner longing and shows how to bring that into our prayer life and deepen our desire for God. He explores the Ignatian Exercises and desire, and reflects on this longing as it is written about in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. Nesser, Joann. Contemplative Prayer: Praying When the Well Runs Dry. Minneapolis: Augsburg Books, 2007. Joann Nesser writes about the spiritual journey, keeping a journal, spiritual growth, praying with scripture, silence, retreats, the examen of consciousness, spiritual
Chryssavgis, John. In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Bloomington, IN: World Wisdom, Inc., 2008. In the face of a society that expects its citizens to be active and productive, the Desert Fathers and Mothers proclaimed a different set of values. Through their lives of deep, continuous prayer, they show us the way to be truly human and truly alive. We all go through times of the desert and their sayings give us a road map through suffering and pain to the treasury of the heart. MacBeth, Sybil. Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God. Paraclete Press, 2007. This is a book for anyone stuck in their life of prayer or in need of a more active way to pray. If you can write and doodle, Sybil MacBeth instructs you in a way to pray and hold others before God in love. Through this process, you discover your heart and mind opening to God. Mother Jessica Schaap Celebrating Common Prayer. London: Mowbray, 1992. Produced by the Society of Saint Francis, this prayer book has been adapted for St. James’ use during the Daily Offices. The book is rich with canticles, has a good sense of contemporary English, and has opportunities for variation throughout the church year. It is also available online at: www.oremus.org/liturgy/ccp/. Foster, Richard. Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. New York: HarperCollins, 1992. An accessible, comprehensive introduction to prayer from an ecumenical perspective. Foster is a Quaker minister who reveals the riches of the Church’s tradition and addresses contemporary experiences and questions concerning prayer. Fr. Douglas Williams Thornton, Martin. Christian Proficiency. New York:
Morehouse, 1959. This is a basic introduction to the life of Christian prayer as suggested by the Book of Common Prayer: the Daily Office, the Eucharist, and private prayer. A fine introduction for those who wish not so much to be perfect as simply to be proficient at the Christian vocation. This book would be included in my reply to the question, “If you were cast away on a desert island, what ten books would you want to have with you?” Thornton, Martin. Prayer: A New Encounter. Cambridge, MA: Cowley, 1988. By the time of writing of this book, Fr. Thornton had moved into a more existentialist stance. This led to a rather different approach from that of Christian Proficiency; in fact, he was somewhat critical of Christian Proficiency in his later years, a criticism with which I heartily disagree, even if it is the author’s own. But this later work is also well worth reading. Bloom, Anthony. Living Prayer. Springfield, IL: Templegate, 1966. Bloom, Anthony. Beginning to Pray. New York: Paulist, 1970. Bloom, Anthony. God and Man. New York: Paulist, 1971. Paul Stanwood, People’s Warden Andrewes, Lancelot. The Private Prayers (or Preces Privatae). Probably the most beautiful and helpful of all collections of prayers in the Anglican-tradition. Borrowing deeply from Orthodox and ancient sources, this little book first appeared in 1648, and since has always been available, in various editions and frequent reprints (see Nabu Press). Jane Turner, Rector’s Warden The People’s Companion to the Breviary. Indianapolis: Psalter Carmelite Monastery, 1997. This is an inspiring two-volume set, containing morning and evening prayer. It has special texts for the liturgical seasons and for celebrating saints’ days, and is suitable for praying the Liturgy of the Hours. PAX: ST. JAMES’ DAY 2011 | 14
photo: Elaine Jan, Trinity Sunday, June 19, 2011
direction and other topics in short, easy-to-read chapters, with ideas for reflection at the end of each chapter. She is clear, concise and encouraging, taking the mystery out of each style of prayer.
The 400th Anniversary of the KJV | Tim Firth
he year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the translation of the King James Bible.
The entry in The Oxford English Reference Dictionary, 2nd ed., under “Authorized Version,” defines it as “The 1611 English translation of the Bible, ordered by James I, which was produced by about fifty scholars. It became widely popular following its publication, and although in fact never officially ‘authorized’ it remained for centuries the Bible of every English- speaking country.” What kind of world was it into which this translation of the Bible emerged? What else was happening in England and the world at that time? • Between 1600 and the middle of the century, the population of England grew by over one million inhabitants, thanks largely to new crops and advancements in agricultural methods. •
In the early part of the century, there were also in-
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creases in manufactured goods and luxury items. These included watches, clocks, pictures, prints, scientific instruments, textiles, and exotic plants and products such as tobacco, coffee, tea, and chocolate. •
In Shakespeare’s time, it is estimated that 2% of the population controlled the vast majority of the land and wealth. While some incomes were in the range of 50,000 pounds per year, a schoolmaster’s wage might be about 16 pounds per year. A labourer would earn approximately a shilling per day (about one-twentieth of a pound). Many received less than that. With poverty widespread, misery was increased by a variety of afflictions, among them: rickets, scurvy, influenza, tuberculosis, typhus, and smallpox.
The Poor Law was passed in 1601. Earlier legislation put responsibility for assistance to the unemployed, infirm, and disabled upon the parish. The law was harsh. Children, the sick and the feeble were also required to do work of various kinds. Whipping, imprisonment, and – in some cases – death awaited those who did not work.
In the year 1603, approximately 30,000 Londoners (perhaps a quarter of the city’s population) perished in the latest outbreak of the bubonic plague. The monarch ruled by “divine right,” authority believed to be derived directly from God, independent of the will of his subjects: “For kings are not only God’s lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself are called gods,” declared King James in 1610.
1608- Dutch scientist Johann Lippershey invents the telescope 1608- Royal Blackheath Golf Club, London, England founded 1608- Champlain founds settlement at Quebec 1609- Tea from China shipped to Europe for first time by Dutch East India Company
A brief timeline gives a little more flavour of the period:
1609- World’s first regular newspapers published in Strasbourg, Germany
1603- The first beaver pelts arrive in France from Canada
1610- Henry Hudson sails through Hudson’s Straits and discovers Hudson’s Bay
1605- Completion of the Golden Temple, a Sikh shrine at Amritsar in the Punjab
1611- Shakespeare’s plays The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale first performed in London
1606- Birth of Dutch painter Rembrandt
1612- Basilica of St. Peter at Rome completed
1607- Italian scientist Galileo Galilei invents the thermometer
1615-William Harvey discovers circulation of the blood
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Did You Know? Parish Life at St. James’ A DAY IN MAY FOR MRS. G. On May 14th, the Parish held a special celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the year that former parishioner May Gutteridge commenced her work with the needy of this community. Her work culminated in the creation of Saint James Community Service Society, whose long history of good work continues today. Attending the event were family members, parishioners, and a large crosssection of the community, including former Mayor and Premier Mike Harcourt, city of Vancouver housing worker Judy Graves, and Archbishop Douglas Hambidge. Also in attendance was Douglas Welbanks, who recently published ”From Lost to Found,” a chronicle of May Gutteridge’s work. Copies of this book are still available by emailing John Conway. At a later date, May’s family presented St. James’ Church with a beautiful framed portrait of May, which was blessed and hung in the room bearing her name.
NEW MEMBERS OF THE PARISH FAMILY On the Feast of Pentecost, June 12th, we welcomed several new members. Receiving the Sacrament of Holy Baptism at High Mass were Henry Craggs McLean, Tamara Green, Philip Narcisse and his son, Philip LewisNarcisse. A celebration followed with a baptismal cake provided by the Mothers’ Union and refreshments provided by the family of baby Philip.
MAY THEY REST IN PEACE In May, we said our final good-byes to longtime parishioner George Davies. George served the Parish for many years as a Warden and as a member of the Building Committee. We remember this gentle man fondly and thank God for his life and witness among us. We also celebrated the lives of Winifred Gladman and Abigail Scott. May these, and all the saints, rest in peace.
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STAFF CHANGES In June, Janet Hamilton joined Linda Adams in the Church Office job-share position. Janet is very close to being a certified Master Gardener and has volunteered to assist us in maintaining Our Lady Garden and the garden next door at St. Luke’s Court. She is looking for donations of hostas, ferns, hardy geranium, astilbe, heuchera, campanula, Lady’s Mantle, etc. to enhance our green spaces. She can be contacted from Thursday to Saturday at the Church Office. Gerald Harder, our Organist and Choir Master, began a sabbatical on July 1st, after ten years at St. James’. As well as taking time for rest and relaxation, he will be starting a Master of Sacred Music degree through the Graduate Theological Foundation. During his absence, Fr. Mark has appointed Nubia Martens as Choirmaster and Bruce McKenzie as Organist. In August, former St. James’ Organist Gordon Atkinson, whom some of you will remember, will be with us on Sundays while Bruce McKenzie takes holidays.
NEW HONORARY ASSISTANT In June, the Bishop appointed Mother Alexis Saunders as Honorary Assistant priest at St. James’. Mother Alexis is a retired priest of the Diocese and will work with Mother Jessica on Family and Children’s ministry. She will also contribute to our ministry of prayer at St. James’. ST. JAMES’ HOSTS NEW A.A. MEETING As of May, St. James’ began to offer space on Monday evenings to a new A.A. meeting created to address the needs of the Latino community within our Parish boundaries. Many of the attendees have traumatic backgrounds due to social and political instability in their home countries, and they are glad to participate in this group as part of their healing.
OFF TO NEW PLACES With much regret, but with prayer and good wishes, we recently bid farewell to Frank and Valerie Vaughan, who have moved back to Saskatchewan to be nearer to family members. We also said good-bye to Dallas Bittle, his wife, Eva, and two little sons, Lincoln and Levi, as they left in July to take up residence in New Brunswick. With heavy hearts, we anticipate the departures of Tanya Northcott and Rocky Rocksborough-Smith (moving to the Okanagan in September) and Maggi, David, and Mary Creese (moving to Newcastle where David has taken a new position at the University of Newcastle). We are thankful for all that these faithful parishioners contributed to our Parish life and wish them well in their new homes.
WELCOME BACK! After an absence of 10 years due to health problems, Angela Ross re-joined us on Sunday, July 10th. She has been a faithful member of St. James’ for decades and has been receiving pastoral care and home communion for all the years she couldn’t get to the church. We rejoice with her in her return.
DAVID AGLER One of our faithful emcees, David Agler, is Music Director of the Opera, Banff Festival of the Arts, a prestigious and beautiful festival which will showcase his talents in August. David is also Artistic Director of Wexford Opera, to be opened this year by the President of the Irish Republic. Kudos, David! And thank you for sharing your gifts with us.
FR. GARDINER TURNS 90! On July 21st, Fr. Gordon Gardiner (rector of St. James’ from 1966 to 1988) gathered with a few friends to celebrate 90 years of life.
Bear and Dido on a pastoral visit to Angela Ross, June 2011. Photo by Joyce Locht
A Day in May for Mrs. G., May 14, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Rachel, Finlay, and Rhys, following Henry’s baptism, June 12, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Helen Tataren and Br. John Blyth, July 3, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Elizabeth Davies serving in the Sanctuary Guild, June 11, 2011. Photo by Janet Hamilton
Mary Isobel Creese enjoying Coffee Hour after Mass on Trinity Sunday, June 19, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Commissioning of Mother Alexis Saunders, July 3, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
Blessing of the 40th Wedding Anniversary of Betty and John Clayton, July 10, 2011. Photo by Elaine Jan
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Prayerlink Mary Brown
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola are a time-honoured method of prayer and discernment that invite one into a deeper relationship with God through the following of Christ. The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Living can be experienced as an individual committed to daily prayer and regular meetings with a spiritual director. It is also possible to share this experience with a group of people who gather with a facilitator(s) over a period of 10 weeks. This is usually done in people's homes and invites a commitment to daily prayer and to one another in the weekly sharing of the journey. A home retreat experience of the Spiritual Exercises is not a Bible study. It is a journey of the heart, not the head. The Spiritual Exercises are foundational to the Sisters of the Cenacle. Sister Monica Kaufer, of the Cenacle Sisters in Vancouver, is open to leading such a group. If your heart is calling you to explore this rich possibility, please contact Joyce Locht through the church office.
Prayerlink is a small group of people, approved by the clergy, who have undertaken to pray regularly for those desiring prayer. Members of this group observe the requirements of the Personal Information Protection Act, so that personal information is kept confidential and is only used with permission. We find that this group action helps to enrich our prayer lives, and we often hear that people appreciate knowing they are being remembered in this way. Communication is by email or written letters. Regular meetings are not required. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Father Mark or Mother Alexis.
From A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life An excerpt by William Law Prayer is the nearest approach to God and the highest enjoyment of Him that we are capable of in this life. It is the noblest exercise of the soul, the most exalted use of our best faculties, and the highest imitation of the blessed inhabitants of Heaven. When our hearts are full of God, sending up holy desires to the throne of grace, we are then in our highest state, we are upon the utmost heights of human greatness; we are not before kings and princes, but in the presence and audience of the Lord of all the world, and can be no higher till death is swallowed up in glory. . . . Devotion is nothing else but right apprehensions and right affections toward God. All practices that heighten and improve our true apprehensions of God, all ways of life that tend to nourish, raise, and fix our affections upon him, are to be reckoned so many helps and means to fill us with devotion. As prayer is the proper fuel of this holy flame, so we must use all our care and contrivance to give prayer its full power. William Law. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life (1728), chap. 14, Of daily prayer and the spirit of devotion.
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. 11 © 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, Paul Stanwood, Allan Duncan, Rev. Canon Fr. Douglas Williams, Mother Alexis Saunders, Mother Jessica Schaap, Bear, Tim Firth, Brian Rocksborough-Smith, and Angela Van Luven Photography: Chris Loh, Joyce Locht, Tracy Russell, Ruth Greenaway-Robbins, Janet Hamilton, and Elaine Jan 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: postcard reproduction of “Buste de Saint-Jacques le Majeur” from “La Basilique Saint-Sernin” in Toulouse, France
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola Joyce Locht