Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Frenzy: Allowing Consumerism to Subvert Advent

If the multitude of advertisements are accurate, then this Friday is going to be a day to behold! There will be savings! Happiness! Music and dancing!

Black Friday, of course, is the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday. It’s the ‘kick-off’ day for Christmas shopping in the US. And it’s a tradition that’s growing/morphing every year. Black Friday hours got longer and longer, in some places starting at midnight and going for 24 hours non-stop. In 2005, the tradition of “Cyber Monday” upheld online shopping days after the Black Friday event itself. Now retailers are promoting Black Friday Week and Cyber Week shopping – basically extending the consumer opportunities into a 2-week shop-a-thon, either in stores or online.

This event/tradition/maelstrom seems to me to be highlighting consumerism over all else. ALL else. And it gives me pause for a few reasons. I’ll not go into much depth for any of these, but am curious if other people are thinking this way…

In Canada we don’t celebrate US Thanksgiving (having turkey-ed ourselves out weeks ago), so why would our shopping season depend on what our southern neighbours are doing?

Are we, as a society, losing our entire understanding of what Christmas is about (one Canadian advert has a mother high-fiving her kids’ focus on baubles and toys and shopping as “Christmas Spirit”)?

Are we, as a society, allowing the violence and closed-heartedness that takes place during these sales to become acceptable to us?

Do we consider how the companies making profits spend their money – are they ethical, do they treat employees fairly, do they support local economy?

If we participate in this shopping frenzy, are we being complicit in allowing consumerism to subvert Advent in our own lives?

Has our seasonal spirituality become getting more and better deals than others?

And finally: is this really who we want to be, as Christians? Are we demonstrating faithful witness in how we act in these situations?

I, of course, don’t have the answers, and I am not making judgements. But I do have my own opinions, which will influence my own actions. I hope that others will also give some careful thought and reflection when bombarded with information about what’s up for sale this weekend.

Source: The Community

Saturday, November 15, 2014

St. Philip's Church Supporting the NDG Food Depot's Annual Drive

Once again this year St. Philip's church is supporting the NDG Food Depot's annual food drive. It will take place on Saturday, November 29, 2014 from 09h30 to 13h00. This annual event goes door-to-door collecting food to be distributed to those in need.

We are proud to once again take a leading role by offering the Food Depot our space and a large number of volunteers from our church. All are welcome to help out with this important community event by volunteering in one of the following ways:

1. Pick-up teams. Pick-up non-perishable food items from households in NDG, Westmount and Montreal West. We need drivers with cars accompanied by two able-bodied volunteers to knock on doors and collect food and donations.

2. Traffic teams. Direct people to the correct entrance when they arrive with their bags of food.

3. Sorting teams. Sort food as it is brought to St. Philip’s. Items will then be packed into boxes for storage.

4. Storing teams. The Food Depot will be using part of our lower Hall to store food over the next several months. Volunteers are needed to fill boxes with food and stack them on pallets.

5.Feeding teams. All of this activity requires sustenance! Donations of snacks, refreshments, etc. and people to distribute it to the volunteers willbe gratefully appreciated.

If you wish to help with this important mission in our community, please contact Mark R.or the office or look for the sign-up sheet at the church.

To see a flow chart for the event click here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembering - A Statement on Remembrance Day from Archbishop Fred Hiltz

The following is a statement from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

No matter where we are this Remembrance Day, whether a local cenotaph, a neighbourhood church, our home or workplace, we shall all in some way be drawn to Canada’s National War Memorial. The observances there will be especially poignant given the recent deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Quebec and Corporal Nathan Cirillo while on honour guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa. Within just a day and a half, colleagues in his company resumed their duties at this tomb, – one of Canada’s most sacred sites.

While thousands will gather in person at the National War Memorial, thousands more will gather in spirit. Together we will honour all who have died in the service of our country and the freedom of the world. By way of tribute to their sacrifices there is a lot of pageantry. The Governor General represents our Queen and the Commonwealth and our Prime Minister and numerous other leaders in government pay their respects. Flags and regimental colours are dipped, and wreaths are laid. The Last Post and the Reveille are played and all join in the singing of “O Canada”. My sense is that this year our singing and our praying will be more fulsome than in many years. I say our praying too because our national anthem is as much a prayer as a song. “God keep our land” we sing, “glorious and free”. The rarely-sung fourth verse of the anthem reads:

“Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer, hold our dominion in thy loving care. Help us to find, O God, in thee a lasting rich reward, as waiting for the better day, we ever stand on guard.”

Led by the chaplains of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Legion these solemn ceremonies call us to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy and the costs in human life to protect and preserve that freedom. The processions of veterans those of the First and Second World Wars and, the Korean Conflict are now swelled in rank by another wave of veterans from more recent conflicts in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Some can still parade. Others must be wheeled. It’s when I see them wiping tears from their eyes that I often cry too. As I see a Silver Cross mother representing all mothers and fathers who have lost their sons and daughters in war I find it hard to fight back tears for so much lost love.

I am always moved by that moment at the end of the ceremonies when everyone present is invited to remove their poppy and lay it down at the monument. By this simple gesture each of us is given an opportunity to remember someone by name – a family member, a friend, a comrade and to pray that they may rest in peace. We remember too all of the innocent victims of war, who are all too often forgotten and whose names are sometimes never known.

The Scriptures summon us to this holy work of remembering and to the sacred ministry of pursuing peace and reconciliation. They call us to labour for that day when “swords will be turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But they shall sit everyone under their vine and fig tree and none shall make them afraid.” (Micah 4:3-4)

This Remembrance Day I invite you to pray a “Common Prayer for All Faith Groups”, composed in 2000 under the authority of the Chaplain General of the Canadian Forces on the occasion of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“Almighty God, Today our minds and hearts are with those who gather to witness Canada’s Unknown Soldier being laid to rest at our National War Memorial. Hear our prayer as we gratefully and enthusiastically join in the wave of remembrance sweeping across our nation.

In unity with all Canadians, of every race, gender, and creed we offer up prayers of thanksgiving for all those who made selfless sacrifices for God and country so that we and future generations might live in peace.

Bring your comfort and relief to those who mourn. Enable those who were wounded in body, mind, or spirit to live more peaceful and satisfying lives. Endow us all with a new resolve to hasten that day when war shall be no more and Your will alone is done on all the earth.

In Your Holy Name we pray.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Launch of St. Philip's Church Website

After more than a year of consultations and refinements St. Philip's Church is pleased to announce the launch of our new Website. In addition to pictures and a welcome page you can find tabs that open to provide detailed information about our mission, worship, history, buildings, Anglicanism, ceremonies, sermons, education and events.


A cursory history of our parish and our services, a little bit about our parishioners and a map of our location.


Our mission, ministries and outreach activities. This tab includes some of the things we have accomplished in recent years as well as a brief review of our history.


A review of our worship style and our music program.

History & Buildings

A short history of the church as well as a review of our buildings and grounds. You can also find out about our beautiful stained glass windows.


What it means to be an Anglican as well as well as a short review of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. You will also find a breakdown of the church year, an explanation of the Anglican Communion as well as additional resources to explore these subjects further.


General information, regulations, and fees related to ceremonies associated with marriage, baptism and funerals.


A summary of select videotaped sermons given by Rev. Pratt at St. Philip's Church in recent years.


Information about our Sunday school, confirmation, adult education and education for ministry.


A summary of upcoming events.

Click here to visit our Website.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

St. Philip's Christmas Bazaar

Each year the people at St. Philip's put together a special fund raising event that has garnered a reputation as one of the best Christmas Bazaars in the city. Please join us on this wonderful day for our annual pre-Christmas event!

When: Saturday, November 8th from 10 am to 2 pm.

Where: The Memorial Hall (7505 Sherbrooke St. West).

Parishioners will be welcoming the wider NDG/Montreal West community as well as people from across the island of Montreal. There will be fabulous raffles as well as St. Philip's famous homemade baking, scrumptious candy & fudge, and sweet jellies & jams. You can also find fine hand-knitted sweaters & scarves, linens, one-of-a-kind antiques, furniture, books, elegant jewellery, videos/CD's/puzzles, and many other items suitable for a variety of tastes and budgets. And speaking of taste, be sure to stay for a hearty soup & sandwich lunch prepared and served by the men of the parish.

Come with your Christmas list and leave with the warmth and fellowship of St. Philip's!