Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Going Home: An Article by Laura Marie Piotrowicz

Here is an article by Laura Marie Piotrowicz in which she talks about the joy of going home. Piotrowicz is a priest serving a 5-point parish in the Diocese of Brandon. As she expains in her bio, she considers church to be a verb, and she is passionate about PWRDF, eco-theology, and youth ministry. She loves traveling, reading, canoeing, camping, food, and playing with her dog. 
One of Leonard Cohen’s songs highlights the joy of going home – that when we do that, we can be just who we are, how we are, without any preconceived notions – and that the act of going home will help us to move past whatever might have happened so far. He sings: “Going home without my sorrow / Going home sometime tomorrow / Going home to where it’s better than before; Going home without my burden / Going home behind the curtain / Going home without this costume that I wore.”

I think it’s important for us to all have a spiritual ‘home’ where we can go to, where we can feel that complete acceptance and welcome. A place where the location and people and setting all bring us into closer communion with God. A place where we can simply be who God made us to be, where we can feel God’s love no matter what. A place where we can accept wholeheartedly that we are beloved children of God, where we are inspired to take action in the world because of that love and acceptance.

This past weekend, I went home.

My spiritual home is in a particular church. It’s a sacred space for me not just because it is consecrated ground, but because those walls hold a lot of memories for me. Significant events in my ministry took place there; important discerning conversations took place there; profound revelations of God’s love for me took place there; inspiring prayer took place there; invitations to journey alongside amazing people took place there. It’s a community where I really put down roots; I served there for a few years early in my ordained ministry.

And then I left. I left to serve in other parishes, in different ministry opportunities, in wonderful and exciting parishes. And wherever I am, that place is important – I am constantly being influenced and WOWed by where and with whom I am serving. And where I am becomes a type of home, where I love and serve and delight in God’s abundant blessings.

But there’s always the home home. The taproot. The ‘where I came from’ home. For me, it’s the Cathedral parish of St. John in Winnipeg. I love that place. The people, the history, the memories. The connection – I joke with a friend that when I step into the Cathedral to pray, it’s a local call. It’s home.

So this weekend I stopped in – unexpected, unannounced, a little unkempt after a day out and about with friends. And I was greeted – some of my delightful friends happened to be in the office, and we chatted. We shared laughter and anecdotes and prayer and hugs. It was a treat. It was home. Admittedly it’s not a perfect congregation, because no such thing exists. But I love them, and they love me, and I’m still welcomed as part of the family no matter how often I stop by. It’s always a joy to return, and there’s a hint of sadness to leave. But leaving is never ‘goodbye’, it’s ‘until next time’ – because it’s home.

And so I came back to the fabulously blessed parish I’m now serving, carrying a little bit of home with me in my heart. Knowing that the people I am serving have shared with me their feeling of ‘home’ for the churches we worship in, the fields they work in, the places where they feel closest to God. Knowing that we are gathering together to celebrate the community that we are today, giving thanks for the ‘home’s that have brought us to this place.

Where is your spiritual home? How does it continue to influence your spiritual growth and development? How often do you get to go home?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The New Prince and the Church of England

The new prince, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was born into the House of Windsor on Monday July 22nd, he is third in line to the throne of Great Britain and Canada. When he assumes his role as Sovereign he will hold the title of  'Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England'.

As explained in the official website of the British Monarchy, there is a strong connection between Church and State in Britain. This is symbolised by the fact that the 'Lords Spiritual' (consisting of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and 24 diocesan bishops) sit in the House of Lords. Parish priests also take an oath of allegiance to The Sovereign.

When the new prince becomes king, his responsibilities will include being the head of the Anglican church. In Britain archbishops and bishops are appointed by The Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, who considers the names selected by a Church Commission. They all take an oath of allegiance to The Sovereign on appointment and may not resign without Royal authority.

The General Synod (including the bishops, elected representatives from the clergy and the laity) is the supreme authority of the Church of England. The Sovereign opens the Synod after the elections in the dioceses every five years.

Since 1919, the Synod (formerly called the Church Assembly) has had the power to pass Measures on any matter concerning the Church of England.

Following acceptance of the Measures by both Houses of Parliament (which cannot amend them), they are submitted for Royal Assent and become law.

In addition to legislating for the Church by Measure, the General Synod has the power to legislate by Canon in its own domestic affairs such as worship and doctrine, but The Sovereign's assent is required for the promulgation of such Canons. Such assent is given on the Home Secretary's advice.

In his coronation oath, the Sovereign will promise to maintain the Church.

Image Credit: AFP

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Primate Offers his Congratulations on the Royal Birth

July 22, 2013 - The following is a congratulatory note in celebration of the Royal Birth from the Primate.

I join millions of people across Britain and throughout the Commonwealth in rejoicing with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the birth of their baby boy.

The announcement of the birth has created such jubilation in the streets of London. The flash of flags, the ringing of church bells, the chants of the crowds gathering in The Mall and in front of the Palace speak of a people's deep joy.

I pray that William and Kate will find true delight in their child and that God will give them quiet strength and patient wisdom as they seek to nurture their child in all that's good and true and just and pure

May God bless them with much happiness this day and for many many years to come.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Statement by the Primate on Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday

July 18, 2013 - With South Africans and millions of others around the world we rejoice that Nelson Mandela has lived to see his 95th birthday.

We give thanks for what manner of man he has been for his people, and what stature of man he has been for all of humanity.

Though he remains frail in body, he continues strong in spirit.  As we give continual thanks for his life and labours for justice and peace, these verses of Psalm 85 come to mind.

"Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth have met together;
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring up from the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven."

Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate

Statement from the Delegates at the 2013 Joint Assembly of the ACC and the ELCIC

Here is a statement from the Delegates at the 2013 Joint Assembly that wrapped up earlier in July. 

Delegates read the Joint Declaration presented to both Anglicans and Lutherans for their approval at the morning's joint session.
Delegates to the 2013 Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have approved a statement calling both churches to greater accountability in addressing homelessness, affordable housing, and responsible resource extraction.

The delegates, meeting together, overwhelmingly endorsed the Joint Declaration on Homelessness and Affordable Housing and Resource Extraction and directed that it be distributed widely throughout [Anglican and Lutheran] churches. They also directed that the declaration be forwarded, to the Prime Minister and other political leaders.
Rev. Doug Reble and Cynthia Haines-Turner, who moved and seconded the motion, both spoke passionately of the need for the Joint Declaration.

At the core of the declaration is the call to care for all of God's creation. "We live in a world where poor countries that are rich in natural resources have all too often seen the well-being of their people and ecosystems deteriorate as a result of destructive, irresponsible resource extraction," said Reble.
"Indigenous communities around the world and including those in Canada are often the people particularly affected by mining and oil and gas exploration, as well as logging operations. Aboriginal rights are often violated the process."

Reble referenced the Anglican's Marks of Mission and it's call to "seek to transform the unjust structures of society and to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth," as well as the ELCIC's Five Pillars which engages the church in the work of compassionate justice as spirited disciples.

Haines-Turner spoke to how the motion connects with Joint Assembly theme — Together for the love of the world. "We have been hearing so much about what it means to be turning outward and not inward — this is an important act of joint witness."

Several delegates spoke in favour of the resolution, encouraging colleagues to affirm the Joint Declaration, and also urging delegates to consider what steps could be taken to further the churches' work in these areas.
"I think the motion will have to be more beyond what we think. I urge you if you want to really see what is happening in the North — go and see it," said one speaker.

Another speaker reminded delegates of the law passed by Parliament in 2000 to abolish children poverty. "A decade after we end up with more than 1 million children living in poverty," he said. "A poor child doesn't live alone. A poor child also means a poor father, or a mother living in poverty. The motion we have on the floor is a step in the right way, but we need to do more. We need to vote in favour but we need to do more."
Anglicans and Lutherans have made the areas focused on in the Joint Declaration as priorities. ELCIC National Bishop Susan Johnson and Archbishop Fred Hiltz have recently co-signed several letters calling on the federal government to deal with issues such as poverty and a comprehensive national housing strategy in co-operation with the provinces and territories.

The Joint Declaration calls the two churches to greater public awareness and to discern where they can learn more, advocate, seek equitable and innovative approaches, and pray for all affected by the issues and those who bear responsibility in addressing them.

Delegates approved the motion by a vote of 98 per cent. As a sign of their commitment to the Joint Declaration, they then stood and read it aloud in its entirety.

On Saturday morning, as a further way of living out the call in this area, youth (some who are delegates of the Joint Assembly and others from the wider community) led delegates in an act of public witness on Parliament Hill.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Image Credit: Brian Bukowski/Joint Assembly Communications.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cabin & Camper – Ministry to the Newfoundland Nomad

Like so many churches across the country, St. Philip's experiences a major decline in attendance over the summer months. This article addresses that phenomenon and reminds us to "be mindful that God will be with us, following us, no matter where we go."

Life in the urban and suburban parishes in Newfoundland and Labrador experiences fluctuation over the summer months. Most of the families within our parish do not come from the city; they have moved here from outports and islands in Trinity, Placentia, and Notre Dame Bays. Many are faithful throughout the year up until mid-May or early June: thereafter these individuals and families hold to a somewhat nomadic, transient life. People head ‘home’ for the summer, or they head to the cabin and camper, to get closer to their roots, to get away from the hectic pattern of life on this part of the Avalon Peninsula.

The worship life in the parish adjusts, and some may think that the worship life and spirituality of the ‘transients’ might be non-existent. That is not so. I am frequently reminded through interaction with colleagues in ministry, through bulletins deposited on my desk, and through reminiscences from parishioners, the importance of prayer and worship in the leisure times.

It is wonderful to hear of excursions during the food fisheries, or at cabins or a camping site, that persons turn to prayer, and not only to address concerns in weather! These persons and families connect with the homes and parishes of their birth. These small communities have opportunity for an insurgence during the summer months in their congregations. I hear of Eucharist being celebrated and many engaging in the life of the parish in meaningful ways. Children have opportunity to attend Vacation Bible Schools; people have the opportunity to explore their faith in the context of childhood memories, with different leadership and spiritual support.

There are many ways that people engage, and for those of us that are tied to the urban and suburban life for parts of the summer due to commitments, we are called to engage in the life of faith as well. We are called to explore our spirituality through the regular pattern of reading, reflection, prayer, and engagement in worship. As we celebrate the gift and growth that summer brings, let us continue to move deeper and more profoundly into God’s love and service.

How will this be for you? Will you abandon the encounter with the sacred once outside of the regular pattern of life and ministry? Will you strive to reconnect more deeply with the God who created you, as you revel in the change of routine that summer brings?

No doubt the patterns of life and ministry are somewhat similar across this great country. We are called to engage more deeply each and every day, whether it is summer or not. We are called to this ever deepening relationship as we respond to the God who loves us and brings us transformation.

As we perhaps transform to the nomadic life this summer, let us be mindful that God will be with us, following us, no matter where we go.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada, The Community

Friday, July 12, 2013

Prominent Anglican Named to the Order of Canada

Monica Patten, chair of the Resources for Mission Committee of General Synod during the past triennium, was named a member of the Order of Canada in the Governor General’s Canada Day list.

Ms. Patten, also a former chair of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Financial Management Committee, was honored “for her leadership in the voluntary sector and for her stewardship of charitable giving, notably as head of Community Foundations of Canada.”

Ms. Patten assumed leadership of Community Foundations of Canada in 1993 and in the almost 20 years during which she was at the helm, the organization grew from a membership of 28 with assets of $500-million to one comprising 170 foundations with assets of $3-billion.

Shortly after her retirement, Ms. Patten assumed leadership as campaign co-chair of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa’s “Growing in Faith Together” campaign, which raised about $12-million.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lutherans and Anglicans March in Ottawa to Raise Awareness about Water

July 6, 2013 - On a sunny Saturday morning, hundreds of Lutherans and Anglicans gathered under the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill to worship and raise awareness about protecting Canada's water supply.

This morning's service, which included traditional aboriginal drums, prayers and small group discussions, was organized and almost entirely run by youth. It was meant to raise awareness about water pollution and the lack of clean drinking water in First Nations communities.

"It's a strong sign to our church and our country that we are being led by the strong voice of the youth who are crying out for justice," said National Lutheran Bishop Susan Johnston, who helped lead the service with Anglican Primate Fred Hiltz.

She pointed to the link between the "Right to Water" campaign, and the joint recommendation for responsible resource extraction at the assembly. "I hope that people will take seriously the commitment that we made, that we are going to learn and advocate, to do the best we can to work for change."
Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, from Kingfisher First Nation north of Sioux Lookout, who also joined the service, knows firsthand the need for Canadians to protect their water. "In my tribe, we have many fresh water lakes and we used to be able to drink out of them all the time but now it is polluted," she said, following the service.

Also attending the service, was Archdeacon Larry Beardy, from the Tataskweyak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, located on the Nelson River, which flows into the Hudson Bay. Although surrounded by lakes of fresh water, Archdeacon Beardy said the water quality had been impacted by hydro development. "A lot of people don't understand the water situation, especially in First Nations communities," he said. In Canada, "we have an abundance of water. Sometime we have to take it for granted. We have to respect water like the land."

This includes, as Primate Hiltz said, being careful about how much water we use in cities where it feels like there is an unlimited source. "Today, when I woke up, I was very mindful of water as I was able to take a shower, and drink many cups of water. All that clean water was there for me."

Primate Hiltz also said it was a gift that the two churches could come together and talk about this issue. "There's an old saying, one voice alone is kind of ragged, but together we're a much stronger sound."
The service included prayers in the four directions. With the crowd facing north, a prayer was recited for rivers. To the east, the crowd paused for a silent prayer for the ocean and fisheries, and "for people who still cross oceans to find a safe home." With the crowd looking at the Ottawa skyline, a prayer was said, "to be mindful of using water responsibly" in cities where we have water at our fingertips. And finally, the crowd looked to the west, and prayed for farmers who use water to grow crops, and rural communities, especially places "who do not yet have access to safe, reliable drinking water."

Sophie Ruprecht, a 17-year-old member of St. John Lutheran Church in Ottawa, participated in the service and hoped the morning was an effective way to raise awareness. "It's right in front of Parliament. It's catching people's attention."

As the leaders closed with the benediction, long strips of blue material representing water were passed down through the crowd. People began to spontaneously sing "O Canada," clearly moved by the worship service.

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Joint Assembly General Synod - Follow Along from Home

By Jesse Hair

If you wish to watch or follow news and events of this year's General Synod and the first-ever Joint Assembly with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, be sure to keep an eye on Joint Assembly's official web portal at You will find:
  • Video live streaming of Joint Assembly events and live chat
  • Joint Assembly on Demand: Hosted by Evelyn Hornbeck-journalist, editor, and life-long Anglican- Joint Assembly on Demand videos will appear each morning. Each edition will feature interviews and analysis with major figures, chats with delegates, and much more
  • Pictures of the major events and from behind the scenes
  • News releases
  • General info updates on resolutions, daily summaries, the Daily Report and orders of the day
Social Media

If you're a social media user be sure to follow our Twitter account @generalsynod (hashtag #jointassembly), and watch for updates on our Facebook page.

Anglican Journal

The Anglican Journal will be posting a list of the day's stories on Direct access to those stories, as well as photos and daily updates will be available at

Source: Anglican Church of Canada