Wednesday, October 29, 2014

St. Mark's Anglican Church Bucks Trend by Growing

While many churches throughout the province are shutting their doors, one church in St. John's is looking to expand.

St. Mark's Anglican Church on Logy Bay Road has been growing steadily since it opened in 1984.

Reverend Robert Cooke says its growth has much to do with how it recruits new members to its congregation..

"We've really tried to focus on social media in recent years, and that's where people are right now," said Cooke.

"We've realized that we can't just sit back and wait for people to come to us, we have to be a church that goes out into the community."

Expansion plans

The church launched a campaign on Saturday to raise money for its proposed renovation, which includes new office space and a larger parish hall.

Reverend Robert Cooke says the two-phase plan to expand will accommodate the influx of new parents and their kids who attend services at the church.

"We have a lot of young families, and we need adequate space for them," said Cooke. "So we're trying to meet our own needs, but consider the needs of the community around us."

In order to meet those needs, the church will need to raise considerable funds, according to Reverend Cooke.

"For the first phase, we're looking at $300,000," said Cooke.

"We're already well on our way, and have received over $50,000 already."

As ambitious as the plan is, Cooke said St. Mark's may have even bigger intentions.

"The bigger project, if we go ahead with everything we've planned, could be as much as $2 million," he said.

Cooke said it could take up to five or six years before the first phase of renovations are finally complete.

Source: CBC

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Call to Prayer Amidst Violence

With all Canadians my heart is very heavy with the news of the killing of a Canadian soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, while on honour guard duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa today.

This follows all too soon on the killing of another member of the Canadian Armed Forces in Quebec, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, just days ago.

I ask your prayers for these men, for their loved ones stricken with grief, and for the Canadian Armed Forces chaplains who are ministering to them.

Pray also for the perpetrators of these awful attacks and for their families as well.

With the whole world our country is on high security alert. Pray for all men and women in uniform whose vocation is to defend Canada and work for peace among all nations. Pray also for all who hold public office. Let us pray especially for the safety of our Prime Minister, all members of Parliament, and all in the public service. And pray for peace and reconciliation among all peoples.

Now is a moment when the refrain of our national anthem, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee” must echo in every heart. Let our guarding be in the diligence of our prayer: “Lord, keep this nation under your care, and guide us in the way of justice and truth. Let your way be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations. Amen.

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Revival of St. Philip's Sunday School: Building Community to Serve

St. Philip's is proud to announce the revival of its Sunday school program after a protracted hiatus. St. Philip's used to have a thriving Sunday school, but like so many other churches it was suspended due to dwindling enrolment. In recent years, St. Philip's has been undergoing its own revival and as attendance grew, so too did the numbers of young families with children. It became apparent that there was a need and so in the Fall of 2014, a rejuvenated program was resurrected. The new program is called "Holy Moly," and it is designed to be exciting, fun and engaging.

Brooke Struck, the Coordinator of St. Philip's Sunday school, has dedicated his energies into crafting a program that integrates children into the community in an atmosphere that peaks their interest and encourages their involvement.

Brooke is well known to parishioners at St. Philip's. His mother, Barbara Baily, started coming to our church in the mid-60s. She was married in the church in 1975, and Brooke was baptized here in 1988. Brooke's two siblings, Alexandrea and Jordie, were also baptized at the church.

As a boy, Brooke attended St. Philip's Sunday school, and later he joined the choir, which left a strong impression on him. He fondly remembers Claude Bernier as a "fantastic" choirmaster, whose spirit left an indelible mark. In 2010 Brooke left Montreal to pursue a PhD in Philosophy, and he returned in 2013 with a desire to "serve the community that he knows."

In addition to rejoining the choir and sitting on the Advisory Board, Brooke volunteered to coordinate the curriculum for the Sunday school. He was inspired by his sister's children and his hope to be able to provide them with a place at the church. "We cater to the older generation through our outreach, but we also need to cater to kids," Brooke said.

While there is also an undeniable sustainability issue involved in bringing children and their families into the church, Brooke chiefly emphasizes passing on our traditions. He is a strong believer in the role that the church can play in the community. "There is a strong tradition of service at St. Philip's" he explained. "Sunday school can introduce you to a tradition, and gives you the tools you need to engage that tradition."

Brooke currently oversees 8 volunteers who animate the program week after week. In addition to formatting the curriculum, Brooke provides the logistical support and orientation sessions for all the volunteers. He also provides support materials for each of the twelve sessions that make up each module.

The program is not rigid or literalistic; it leaves room for questioning, allowing children to express their natural curiosity and encouraging them to ask questions about God. As Brooke explains, "our diverse group of volunteers gives the program balance." It allows kids to partake in an environment where, "differences of opinion are not just tolerated but explored."

The reasons why young people should come to Sunday school are the same reasons that bring anyone into church. This involves, "regular rituals [and] coming together to reaffirm values we all espouse."

The curriculum focuses on Biblical stories. "We have a shared bedrock of stories that does not move; but what does move is what we take from these stories," said Brooke by way of explaining the relationship between the Sunday school and scripture.

"The church has a role to play with regard to our attitude toward answering questions." He went on to explain that rather than being didactic, the adopted approach sees learning as more of a process. At Sunday school kids can "learn the stories and give them some experience figuring out what they mean."

The Holy Moly program gives kids a chance to discuss Biblical stories in groups and then do arts and crafts related to the readings. Rather than setting out one interpretation as correct, this approach provides important ways for kids to start engaging with and understanding these stories for themselves, hopefully providing tools to go back to these stories again and again, each time gaining new insights. "Educating children is not like computer programming where you enter the information and just walk away," Brooke said.

The school is ideal for children between the ages of 5 and 10. The wide range of ages gives kids a chance to learn from and to teach one another.

Acknowledging that not all children are exactly alike, it is the educator’s job to figure out how each individual child can be involved. As Brooke explains it, Sunday school is a, "starting point from which to build. It is not a catch-all, but rather a catch-most.”

So far, things have gone extremely well and at the last session there were 14 children, who by all accounts enjoyed their hour.

Sunday school is an important part of teaching children about scripture, worship and a life of community service; however, like so many other churches, the future at St. Philip's is uncertain. As Brooke concluded, "it is precisely because the future is not assured that our efforts matter so much."

For more information click here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thanksgiving Message from the Rector of St. Philip's Church

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Although Thanksgiving comes but once a year, we need to continually give thanks to God for all the blessings of life.

This year has not been without its challenges, with the failure of heating pipes in the church, the leaks in the hall roof, a broken water main, and continued financial difficulties. Yet as a community, we have risen to the challenges. We can be thankful for the faithful stewardship of members who have responded generously to special appeals for the tower and for the heating system, and who have continued to give faithfully for our operating budget. We can be thankful for the ministry of the wardens and Building & Maintenance Group, who have devoted many hours dealing with our aging physical plant.

We can be thankful also for the spiritual growth that is springing forth, among both young and old. Our Tuesday evening forum brings out deep and often passionate discussion on questions of living as Christians in our society. A large and diverse team of volunteers has come forward to re-launch a formal Sunday School for our children. “Holy Moly” is proving fun and educational for both students and teachers. We have a confirmation class for teens starting soon. Our support for the NDG Food Depot and St. Michael’s Mission continues to grow.

The root of all this is our people. Members have generously given of their time, talents and treasure. It may be one hour a week, supporting our worship as a sidesman, greeter, server, chorister or altar guild member. Or it may be 20 hours a week patching leaks in the roof and working with contractors on other repairs. It may be $5 a week in the offering plate, or it may be a $15,000 special gift for the tower. We give thankfully because we find God here, and because we have received blessings, whether in peace and prayer, or in music, or in fellowship and community.

In the prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi, we are reminded that “it is in giving that we receive”. In thankfulness for all that God has done for us, may we continue to give of ourselves, so that we may receive even greater blessings.

Yours in Christ

The Rev. James B. Pratt

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Message from the Wardens of St. Philip's Church

Wardens Letter
Thanksgiving 2014

"Trusting God, Journeying Together, Building Community"

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to God for His gracious gifts. This is a joyful time of year when we show our gratitude for bountiful harvests that are both literal and symbolic. As the leaves change into their Autumnal colours and begin to fall, we give thanks for the crops that have been grown under summer skies. We are also called to be thankful to God the Father, who is also a Gardener and our parish is one of his many gardens.

How have we grown as a parish this year?

First and foremost we have become closer as a community and as a Christian family. Under the guidance of Janet Marshall and the National Church Development initiative, we have managed to greatly improve the morale in our parish. Our progress led Janet to describe us as a model of renewal to be shared with other churches.

Our frank dialogues at Parish Forums, Vestry and Advisory Board meetings are an indication of the new reality that is moving us forward. We have launched a dynamic new Sunday school program that is helping to keep our traditions alive for future generations.

Working together, we have shown that we can meet our challenges. We have completed repairs to our church tower. More recently, when a major problem was discovered in our heating system, we came together at a Special Vestry and made the difficult decision to proceed with costly repairs.

We are also working on the long term picture by dealing with very difficult issues that have been ignored for far too long. We are working on plans to redevelop church property and get our financial house in order.

We offer heartfelt thanks to those who have stepped forward and contributed. However, there is still a lot of work ahead, including repairs within the church. We all need to increase our giving if we are to preserve our parish. The road ahead will be anything but easy and it may be a while before we harvest the fruit of our labours

Winter is coming, a time of preparation for the birth of our Lord. As the temperature plummets we must work even harder to keep our church warm and welcoming. Let us pray that our efforts allow us to continue to serve and worship here.

Your Wardens
Richard and Shan

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thanksgiving Message From the Primate: A Call to Prayer

Once again we are at a moment in history when the world God loves is on high alert. The terrorist movement known as ISIS continues its aggressive campaigns to conquer Iraq, Syria and other nations. The world has witnessed horrific crimes against humanity and in the considered opinion of global leaders ISIS poses a very real threat to international security.

The governments of many nations have wrestled with engagement in a mission to bring this terrorist movement to a halt. Through a vote this week in the House of Commons, Canada is now among numerous allied nations engaged in this mission.

While I am deeply aware of the significant debates among people of faith with respect to “just war,” it is not my intent at this moment to draw us into that discussion but rather to call us to prayer.

I ask your prayers for all people who have been victims in this conflict, all those who have been displaced and seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and all those who are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

I ask your prayers for the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who will be deployed for this mission, for their families for whom times like this are very unsettling, and for all the CAF chaplains and their ministries.

It is Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada. As we gather “to raise the song of harvest home” and give thanks for this good land in which we live, let us be mindful of all the blessings we enjoy, including religious freedom Let us remember those who are denied this freedom and persecuted for their faith.

Let us turn to God and pray,

"Lead us, Father, into freedom;
from despair your world release,
that redeemed from war and hatred,
all may come and go in peace."
(Hymn 576, Common Praise)

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate,
The Anglican Church of Canada 10/10/2014

Source: Anglican Church of Canada

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Anglican Church of Canada 2013 Annual Report

Here is the 2013 Annual Report from the Anglican Church of Canada. It comprises a statement from Fred Hiltz, Primate and Archbishop and Michael Thompson, General Secretary. It also includes the Mission, a thank you message and the Consolidated Financial Statements.

"The Generous Gift"

In Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, he commends the churches of Macedonia as an example of eagerness of desire and generosity in giving to support the work of the wider church. He confidently calls for gifts according to their means, and for joy in their giving. Indeed it is from this Second Letter to the Corinthians that we know that oft quoted text “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

The gratitude with which Paul receives such gifts is reflected in his efforts and those of his colleagues to administer the gifts with care and diligence and to render account for the same. In a similar spirit, the annual report of the Anglican Church of Canada for 2013 is presented here. Inside the figures are many inspiring stories of wonderful people doing incredible ministries, each and every one enabled by your gifts.

As I say a sincere thank you, I pray with Paul that “you will be enriched in every way for your great generosity…for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:12)

Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate

Dear Friends,

A “national church” and even a “global communion” are always intensely local—always grounded in a place where people are making the difference God asks us to make. You do that in your own community, in your church, your workplace, your home, your neighbourhood. This annual report identifies and celebrates the “network of sharing” that allows us to share our gifts and resources with one another.

Here you will read about important work to strengthen ministry in remote and northern communities, among aboriginal Anglicans, and in the Diocese of Jerusalem. Here you can rediscover the church’s potential to give leadership in the movement towards reconciliation among aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians, a long-standing commitment of our church that we celebrated in the twentieth anniversary of Archbishop Michael Peers’ apology for the church’s role in residential schools. Here you can enter into some of the excitement of a “Joint Assembly” with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada as our churches rise above denominational difference to celebrate a common mission from coast to coast to coast.

As you read, I invite you to savour how God is at work both in the intensely local ministries of the church and in the networks of sharing that strengthen us all. This annual report tells that story. I hope you find yourself—your faith and compassion—reflected in its words and images.

Yours faithfully,
Michael Thompson General Secretary

Mission Statement

As a partner in the worldwide Anglican Communion and in the universal Church, we proclaim and celebrate the gospel of Jesus Christ in worship and action.

We value our heritage of biblical faith, reason, liturgy, tradition, bishops and synods, and the rich variety of our life in community.

We acknowledge that God is calling us to greater diversity of membership, wider participation in ministry and leadership, better stewardship in God’s creation and a stronger resolve in challenging attitudes and structures that cause injustice.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to respond to this call in love and service and so more fully live the life of Christ.

Your support is a blessing

Thank you for your generous support of the Anglican Church of Canada in 2013!

Gifts received from individuals, parishes, dioceses, and sponsors make it possible for the church to respond to God’s call at home and abroad. Your generosity has touched the lives of women, men, and children everywhere. They are deeply grateful that you have reached them through the ministries of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Consolidated Financial Statements

The Anglican Church of Canada adheres to the standards set out in the Imagine Canada Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability Code. For more information, visit

To read the Consolidated Financial Statements, General Synod of Anglican Church of Canada click here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bishop’s Communiqué - Bishop’s Purple Prose September 2014

The Right Reverend Barry B. Clarke, Bishop of Montreal, The Anglican Church of Canada
Bishop’s Communiqué - Bishop’s Purple Prose September 2014

Greetings in the name of our Lord!
Let us give thanks for God’s gifts as we move forward in Ministry. ___________________________________________________

Executive Archdeacon Janet Griffith

With my support, The Right Reverend Bol Bennett has appointed Archdeacon Janet Griffith as Rector of the new Brantford Regional Ministries.

Brantford Regional Ministries is four congregations , including an evolving church plant with buildings at St. James, St. Jude’s and Grace Church locations. While there are 751 persons on the parish registers, Sunday attendance averages 235. The clergy team of this new ministry initiative includes two Associate clergy, four Honorary clergy and one deacon, plus a host of energetic laity. As you may be aware, Janet is from the Brantford area and her adult children and grandchildren are also located there. Janet last day is October 18th.

Join me in prayerful thanks to Janet for 7 years of dedicated service, pastoral guidance and to continually remember before our God and Father, her work produced by faith, her labor prompted by love, and her endurance inspired by hop e in our Lord Jesus Christ. May God continue to richly bless her ministry.


Archbishop Percy Coffin and Bishop-elect David Edwards

Archbishop Percy Coffin was elected as the new Metropolitan for the Ecclesiastical province of Canada this past May. I will be attending the Installation of the Metropolitan Percy Coffin at Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, on September 18th.

I will also be attending and participating in the Consecration of Bishop-elect David Edwards of Fredericton on September 20th. Join me in prayers of support for our new Metropolitan and the new Bishop of Fredericton.


Diocese of Masasi

The Anglican Church of Tanzania in Masasi, will hol d the consecration on September 21,2014 for the newly elected bishop, Father James Armasi. Regretfully, I will not be able to attend, therefore have asked Archdeacon Michael Johnson and Archdeacon Bill Gray to act as my emissaries. They are both honoured and ex cited to be present for the consecration. Please keep them in your prayers.


Clergy Conference 2014

REMINDER : The 2014 Clergy Conference, “In and For the World” will be taking place at Manoir d’Youville from September 21 st to 23rd . This year’s speaker is The Venerable Dr. Michael Thompson , General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada.


The 155th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal The 2014 Diocesan Synod will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 , 8am - 6pm in Fulford Hall. This year’s theme is Called to Grow . Please be on the lookout for the registration information coming soon.


Bishop’s Annual Dinner

We are again excited to host the Bishop’s Annual Di nner to support the mission work of the diocese, a cause that is so very important to o ur brothers and sisters in need. This year’s guest speaker is George Greene from St Michael’s Mission The dinner will be held at a new venue: Club Atwater 3505 ave. Atwater Thursday, November 27th Start time is 5:30 (cocktails) Ticket price: $200 a person (tax receipt available)


St. Matthias will soon be seeking a full time Incumbent

St. John the Baptist Pointe Claire and St. Matthias The Church of St. John the Baptist, Pointe Claire is seeking a full time Incumbent. The job description and Parish profile is available on both the diocesan and national websites.

In Christ,

† Barry