Saturday, October 26, 2013

Anglicans on Green Missions in Property Development

Many Anglican parishes across the country face the question of what to do with aging church buildings–churches and parish halls that have structural problems, waste energy, and are just too big for congregational needs.

Three Anglicans will be sharing the stories how their congregations tackled these problems at a conference in Ottawa on Oct. 26 called Mission Building: Regenerating faith property for faith missions with community partners.

Randal Goodfellow, chair of General Synod's Creation Matters Task Group, the Rev. Canon Dr. Cathy Campbell of St. Matthew's in Winnipeg, and Dean Shane Parker of Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa will all speak on the paths their parishes took and the challenges they faced.

Goodfellow's parish in Ottawa, St. Luke's, was looking for a way to update its worship space to make it both green and multipurpose.

"We wanted to create an environmentally friendly and comfortable space which we could worship in and others could use as well, says Goodfellow. "The first step was doing a subsidized green audit . It was the starting point for making the case to do those changes to the worship space."

Pews were removed, and new environmentally friendly flooring was installed. Stackable chairs are now used for most seating. Four pews remain at the back for those who prefer, but now they are on sliders and easily moved to side of the sanctuary. This enables easy use of new labyrinth built into the floor, or–in a recent example–a quick conversion from sanctuary to space for a cafĂ© art show.

That flexibility is part of a philosophy Goodfellow calls ‘mission per square foot.'

"You can green a building, but if you don't use it, that's not a good thing. Flexibility means you make better use of all the energy still being expended. Mission per square foot is about efficiency. Don't just improve your building, use it."

At Joint Assembly this past July, General Synod passed a resolution  to create diocesan level Creation Matters task groups. One purpose of these task groups would be to encourage parishes to do green audits of their own and to "stimulate the creation of funds to implement environmental improvements recommended in green audit reports."

Rev. Canon Dr. Cathy Campbell at St. Matthew's in Winnipeg has been on a journey of building renewal with her congregation since 2003. They did their own energy and environment audits before green audits were available and found they had big challenges to meet. The church building, while grand, was in poor shape, and the congregation couldn't afford to maintain it properly.

"The fact that we had to renew it was clear. How we were going to renew it was unclear," says Campbell. In the end, what resulted is the West End Commons. Targeted to be completed in March of next year, the church renewal will feature 26 units of affordable housing for families, a new dedicated worship space, and a neighbourhood resource centre.

"It's affordable housing, which means that we had to build without a huge budget. However, doing a conversion rather than tearing down and rebuilding is actually a huge environmental statement. It actually costs more than a new build even though you're reusing a huge volume of very expensive stuff."

The Very Rev. Shane Parker, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, will speak at Mission Building on the cathedral's project: building a condominium tower and townhouses on its west side, and a new commercial tower on the east side, both set to exceed the LEED gold environmental building standard.

Parker sees this development is an extension of the church's ministry. "The cathedral's a place for everybody. It's got a great reputation as a safe and peaceful place for people of all faiths to gather for whatever reason. The community as a whole will enjoy the grounds, it's very accessible. We're coming into our own as an urban cathedral as opposed to something on the edge of the downtown core."

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Related Posts
The Greening of Anglican Churches in Canada
New grants Help Churches Go Green
Anglicans Prepare for WCC Assembly in Busan South Korea

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Prince George is Ushered into the Christian Family

The future head of the Church of England was christened on Wednesday October 23. Prince George is the newest member of British royal family and he was baptized into the Christian faith by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

For Anglicans in Britain, the church is sometimes perceived as being synonymous with the state. Just as Queen Elizabeth, holds the official roles of “Defender of the Faith” and “Supreme Governor of the Church of England, so will the future king George.

Based on a tradition that dates back to the reformation in the 16th century, king George will be responsible for a number of largely symbolic religious duties.

In addition to being a confirmed member of the Church of England, Prince George will one day promise to "maintain the church" when he takes his coronation oath. From that time he has the symbolic duty of appointing archbishops and bishops. He will also offer his royal assent for church canons legislated by the General Synod and he will be part of the oath of allegiance sworn by all parish priests.

While Will and Kate’s baptism of their son is an extraordinary affair, it is actually the same baptism right that is celebrated by children across England.

Video - Archbishop Welby on the Christening of Prince George: The Religious and Political Significance
Canadian Primate Offers his Congratulations on the Royal Birth
The New Prince and the Church of England

Video - Archbishop Welby on the Christening of Prince George: The Religious and Political Significance

In this short film the Archbishop of Canterbury talks about the baptism of HRH Prince George of Cambridge, as well as the broader significance of baptism.

Archbishop Justin Welby baptized Prince George on Wednesday October 23 at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace, London.

The film features footage from an interview with Archbishop Justin Welby conducted at Lambeth Palace, along with shots illustrating what happens during a baptism, and scenes from a community Eucharist in the Crypt Chapel at Lambeth Palace.

Related Articles
Prince George is Ushered into the Christian Family
Canadian Primate Offers his Congratulations on the Royal Birth
The New Prince and the Church of England

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ministry Action Plan for the Anglican Diocese of Montreal

Our Ministry Action Plan (MAP) - Because we care

Through MAP we recommit ourselves to inspired, able leadership; healthy, sustainable parishes and community ministries; effective communications; and transparent governance and management.

We reaffirm our value for diversity and we continue to develop ministry that speaks to the realities of Quebec society and its peoples: its cultures, languages, ages, ethnicities.

Motivated by ministry rather than maintenance, we embrace the courage we need to reach out, to take risks and to make difficult decisions for the sake of God’s mission.

Jesus answered them, ‘… Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour. [John 12.23-26]

Rooting our MAP in Mission

In partnership with other Anglicans around the world, our MAP is guided by the Marks of Mission. Rooted in our Anglican identity and heritage, these are core activities of the church yesterday, today and tomorrow.

To proclaim the Good News of the kingdom
To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform the unjust structures of society
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

In 2007, the Anglican Church of Canada proposed a sixth Mark of Mission, one relating to peace, conflict transformation, and reconciliation. The recommendation was accepted by the Anglican Consultative Council at its meeting in 2009, though the exact wording has yet to be proposed.

Our Guiding Values

In following our MAP, we will be guided by values borne of our commitments to the Gospel and to our experience of ministry in the Diocese of Montreal and its unique mission fields. We will be open-minded and open-hearted to the promises and risks these values invite.

Spirit: The Holy Spirit is at work within and among us. Led by the Spirit and deeply rooted in prayer and scripture, we yearn to participate in the unfolding of God’s loving promise for the world.

Diversity: We appreciate and celebrate diversity beyond the familiar and comfortable. We embrace the opportunities and accept the challenges that diversity brings.

Relationship: Relationships are at the heart of community. As embodied in the person and life of Jesus, we will encourage and protect healthy, life-giving relationships within and among the people of our churches, communities of faith, the diocesan office and committees, and with our neighbours.

Anglicanism: We celebrate the richness and diversity of our Anglican heritage, theology, liturgies and traditions. We look to these as our source of inspiration for new, missional expressions of faith.

Courage: We risk change courageously and show respect for those among us who advocate for caution.

Focus and Mutual Accountability

The hope is that the directions and initiatives identified in MAP become the template for planning and mutual accountability throughout the diocese: for the Diocesan office and its activities; for Synod, Diocesan Council, the standing committees and working groups; for parishes and community ministries.

MAP 2015 Prayer

Lord, teach us what we should care about in our area and the wider world. Inspire us with new ideas. Turn our ideas into decisions and our decisions into actions.

Lord, teach us to learn from others and to work with others. Inspire us with a new openness and humility. Turn our learning into action.

Lord, teach us what really matters. Inspire us to think more of others than ourselves. Turn our selfishness into compassion and care.

Lord, teach us to value the things we take for granted in the provision of services. Inspire us to find new ways of improving them. Turn us away from blame into actions that make a difference.

Lord, we give thanks for the dedicated work of all who serve in the synod office and on diocesan committees, task forces and working groups, our clergy and those who serve in our parishes and community ministries. Give us a new energy and integrity. Help us to nourish new confidence and trust in our decision making, our policies and our actions. AMEN

(Adapted from the Diocese of Llandaff Spirituality Group)

Source: Anglican Diocese of Montreal

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Letter: Anglican bishops call upon Quebec to withdraw ‘medical aid in dying’ bill

This is a letter to the editor that was sent by both Bishop Barry Clarke and Bishop Dennis Drainville regarding the ‘medical aid in dying’ bill. It was published in the Montreal Gazette on October 15, 2013.

Christian thought through the ages has been guided by the principle that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and our life is to be seen as a gift entrusted to us by God. Life is thus seen as something larger than any individual person’s ownership of it, and is not simply ours to discard.

While we recognize there is a diversity of opinion about euthanasia, both within our church and in society at large, the Christian vision of human dignity and community gives rise to some profound misgivings about the Quebec government’s Act Respecting End-of-Life Care, which will allow physicians to administer “terminal palliative sedation” or “medial aid in dying” to patients who request it.

We acknowledge the emotional and challenging circumstances that have led the government to consider the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. We share, with other members of society, concern for the protection of human persons from chronic pain and respect for human dignity.

Nevertheless, there are reasons to believe that the legalization of euthanasia in Quebec could present special risks for those in our society who are already vulnerable, especially the elderly, those suffering from clinical depression, and those with disabilities.

While we appreciate the legislation’s implication that palliative care should be available to all people. Indeed, good medical practice sustains the commitment to care even when it is no longer possible to cure. Such care may involve the removal of therapies or treatments that are ineffective and/or intolerably burdensome to the patient.

However, we cannot support the idea that care can include an act or omission whose primary intention is to end a person’s life. Such a notion asks our physicians to transform from ministers of healing to agents of death. Both the request for assistance in committing suicide, and the provision of such assistance, must be taken seriously as a failure of human community.

The Christian response is always one of hope. From this hope there arises the commitment to give all members of society, especially the most vulnerable, the assurance that they will be supported in all circumstances of their lives. This means they will neither have dehumanizing medical interventions forced upon them nor that they will be abandoned in their suffering.

We therefore call upon the government to withdraw Bill 52 and focus energy and resources on making authentic palliative care universally accessible throughout Quebec.

The Right Reverend Dennis Drainville, Bishop of Quebec

The Right Reverend Barry B. Clarke, Bishop of Montreal

Anglican Church of Canada

Source: Montreal Gazette

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Faith and Science Meet in Free Curriculum

Many Christians reflect on questions of human dignity, personal identity, and social justice. What happens when you introduce a scientific angle, such as the bioethical questions raised by genetic research and technology?

This is the question posed by When Christian Faith and Genetics Meet, a Christian adult education program produced by the Canadian Council of Churches and co-written by the Rev. Canon Dr. Isaac Kawuki Mukasa, General Synod's coordinator for dialogue.

"When we put this curriculum together we basically Canadianised an American resource," says Kawuki Mukasa. "As we read it through we found we needed to rewrite the whole thing—contextualizing it to Canadian culture and sensibilities."

"The resource is about trying to interface genetics with theology and the Gospel. There are people who have ethical questions about technology and what new scientific discoveries mean for their faith. What this resource does is give bioethical scenarios which could easily happen in real life and then guide discussion on the ethical and theological questions they raise."

Each session is self-contained-not depending on any previous sessions—and is designed for use by congregations or small groups. The curriculum runs five weeks, but can be adjusted for the needs of the group.

"The way a session runs is that you have a scenario... a story," says Kawuki Mukasa. "Questions emerge out of that story and are listed in the session material, and people are then encouraged to talk how they feel about the scenario, what they would do in that given situation as Christians. Background information on the science itself is included, and is carefully written so that it's not very technical, but still thorough."

Before the curriculum was officially released, two of the sessions received a trial run as part of a pilot program in congregations across several denominations, including the Anglican Church of Canada.

St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church in Toronto tested the resource with a group of 10 congregants, led by then-incumbent Fr. John Wilton.

"I was interested immediately because I think it's a topic that church people—or just people in general—need to grapple with," says Wilton. "And it interested me because it wasn't something I'd known much about. Clearly people had put tons of hours of work into this thing, and I was willing to give it a try."

The group at St. Augustine's covered a wide spectrum of educational levels, from those who hadn't completed much education, to the very highly educated—including a professor and researcher of genetics.

"The people who took part thought it was very much worthwhile, even though we didn't reach any conclusions," says Wilton.

"It taught them how important it is for Christians to be involved in the conversation around what at first seems like strictly medical and scientific issues... that there is a Christian voice that needs to be heard when people are talking about these things. Especially an informed Christian voice and not a knee-jerk reaction."

Click here to see a practical group resource on Christian Faith and Genetics from the Council of Churches.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Anglicans Prepare for WCC Assembly in Busan South Korea

Every six to eight years, delegates representing 590 million people from 150 countries meet to discuss cooperation, mutual support, and unity. They meet again this month at the 10th assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Busan, South Korea.

The WCC was established in 1948—with the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) as one of its founders—as a continuation of the then nascent ecumenical movement. Now the WCC is the largest ecumenical organization in the world with almost 350 member churches.

"The WCC isn't the entire ecumenical movement—the movement is much broader, but it's the broadest forum that brings churches from practically every tradition of Christianity and every part of the world together," says the Ven. Bruce Myers, General Synod's coordinator for ecumenical relations.

"We're together for 10 days to worship, to take a reading of where the quest for Christian unity is, and to see how we can continue to work together—sometimes in new ways—to heal some of the divisions of the church."

Myers will accompany a delegation from the ACC to Busan, South Korea for the WCC's 10th assembly from Oct 30 through Nov 8. Also part of that delegation are Melissa Green of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, the Rev. Nicholas Pang of the Diocese of Montreal, and the Rev. Canon John Alfred Steele of the Diocese of British Columbia.

Green, who will be attending her first WCC assembly and serving as both a youth delegate and a member of the assembly's public issues committee, is excited about the opportunities she will have to connect with other delegates.

"I expect I will be doing a lot of listening and learning-a lot of networking, of hearing peoples' stories and sharing the story of what's happening in Canada. I'm really interested in seeing what's happening around the world, in terms of how delegates are working with other local churches at home."

Pang is also attending his first WCC assembly, and also as a youth (under 30) delegate. In Busan he will help moderate a pre-assembly event for youth, expecting roughly 400 people to attend.

Pang, who is also on the assembly's business committee, is impressed by the WCC's commitment to involving youth. "I think they've done a really good job of incorporating youth into the leadership aspects of the assembly. They've made sure that there's a spot for youth in each of the committees. And everyone who's working on the pre-assembly meeting—except for the staff liaison—is under 30."

Balancing out the delegation is Steele, the ecumenical veteran. Steele attended the ninth WCC assembly in 2006 in Porto Allegre, Brazil. Since then he has been serving on the WCC's central committee, which helps govern the organization between assemblies.

Like Pang and Green, Steele is taking direct part in the business of the assembly as well, sitting on the program committee that oversees the activities of the WCC between assemblies.

"There are lots of very important areas in which the WCC is engaged, but there are a lot of other Christians that work in those areas as well. When we get to Busan, the committee is going to talk about what the main program foci will be until the next assembly, and how we're going to accomplish what the WCC has set for us to do with money and human resources we have."

While Steele may be thinking of the business at hand, he's also looking forward to a first for the WCC.

"The fact that the assembly is being held in Asia is really exciting," says Steele. "We've never had one in Asia before. And to have that engagement with the Korean churches... they're on the cutting edge of a lot of the issues which face the WCC in terms of living in a multi-faith society."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Annual Pet Blessing

On Saturday, October 5 we will celebrate the Feast of St Francis of Assisi with our annual Blessing of Pets at 3:00 pm on the church lawn.

St. Francis was known, among other things, for preaching not only to people but to the animals as well, as a part of God's creation.  Our worship will allow us to give thanks to God for the blessings of creation, for the multitude of animals around us, and especially for those animals who are our companions in life.
We welcome pets of all shapes and sizes (in the past we even had an ant farm!) to come for the short worship service and an individual prayer of blessing.  Pets should be on leash or in a suitable carrier. 
As St. Francis also cared for the poor, giving away his own wealth and living in poverty, please bring a item of food for the NDG Food Depot.