Monday, December 21, 2015

Bishop Mary's Advent Message

Advent marks the beginning of a new Church Year. The lectionary readings and collects tune our hearts to the future, to possibilities, to expectation and to the unknown. We are challenged to be ready, to be paying attention, to be alert, to be watching for the signs that the kingdom of God is near. Even while we listen to the unfolding of the familiar story of the birth of Jesus, we hear the strains of the story that Christ will come again and that we are to be watching and ready for that day.

Many of us don’t actually think all that much about it, of course. In Luke 21, we are warned not to get weighed down with the worries of life and so to be ready for the day we have been waiting for.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Christmas Greeting from the Primate and National Bishop

In their annual joint Christmas message, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, reflect on the innkeeper in the Christmas story who provided a safe place to Joseph and Mary for the birth of the infant Jesus.

Drawing parallels to the migrant refugee crisis today, they urge us to open our hearts and country to those seeking refuge as we celebrate the season.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Rector's 2015 Christmas Letter - Joy to the World!

Christmas is a celebration of God who is constantly surprising us. The Messiah comes, not as an earthly ruler, not as a mighty warrior, but as a child in a manger. The witnesses are not the priests and leaders of the Jewish nation, but poor shepherds and a few wandering foreigners. Jesus' whole earthly life was a series of acts which defied expectations and caught people - both his followers and his enemies - off guard.

God continues to surprise us. Sometimes those surprises are positive, even miraculous, and we rejoice in them. Other times those surprises upset carefully crafted plans.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Warden's 2015 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends, Christmas is coming and for many of us this is a hectic time, but the season of Advent reminds us what we are really waiting and preparing for. Throughout the Advent season we anticipate the arrival of Christ. During this period, our Scripture readings focus us on God's promise of salvation and the fulfillment of this promise in Jesus Christ.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Give Local Give Canadian this Christmas: Make a Donation to the Anglican Foundation

The spirit of giving is alive and well at the Anglican Foundation of Canada this holiday season. We invite impact donating, which means we put your dollars to work directly right here in Canada. This Christmas, when you’re thinking about what to give, AFC invites you to consider a gift that will make a real difference for Canadians: ensuring that children eat a nutritious breakfast before school and receive quality homework coaching after school, providing care for seniors, and allowing you to participate in immediate aid and relief in times of disaster or calamity in Canada.

Show love to your country this Christmas through the Anglican Foundation of Canada.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Advent Resources for 2015

The Anglican Church of Canada has put together a page that serves as the hub of information and resources to help you celebrate the season of Advent through to Christmas.

AdventWord 2015 – A Global Advent Calendar. Participate in the Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar. Live into the season of Advent as we anticipate the coming of Christ, the fulfillment of our deepest desires and longings. Respond to a daily meditation with images and prayers that speak to your heart and be part of a global Advent Calendar that brings us together in communion.

Video Explaining Advent

Not quite sure about the relationship between Advent and Christmas? Check out this two-minute video that describes why we celebrate Advent and wait to celebrate Christmas.

And beginning November 27th (the First Sunday of Advent,) visit for the Busted Halo Advent Surprise Calendar for daily jolts of wisdom and microChallenges that will give your Advent more meaning, as well as give you a chance to win prizes, including an iPad2!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

New Evangelical Church Plant for Downtown Montreal

“It is with great joy that the Anglican Diocese of Montreal hopes to ‘plant’ a new church congregation into the historic Montreal-centre parish building of St James the Apostle in 2016. Our aim is to reach young, urban professional and multicultural individuals and families through a modern Anglican form of worship and evangelism. This pilot project is part of our exploration into what 21st Century church will look like in Montreal”, says Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson, Anglican Diocese of Montreal.

In his Bishop’s Charge of 2014 entitled Called to Grow former Bishop of Montreal Barry Clarke underlined the need to prayerfully hold together the tensions of joining in the Mission of God, managing over $300 million of challenging real estate and doing so within a radically changing environment of leadership and discipleship. In its 2010-2015 Mission Action Plan, the Diocese of Montreal repeated a need to work towards the planting of vital churches.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

2015 Fair Trade Christmas Boutique to Benefit Refugees

A Fair Trade Christmas Boutique will be held on Sunday 29th November, 11am - 3pm in the Atrium, 1444 Union Ave (behind Christ Church Cathedral, 635 St Catherine W, metro McGill.).

Come find socially responsible Christmas gifts and stock your kitchen  cupboards the fair trade way this Advent and Christmas season!

The 2015 Fair Trade Christmas Boutique of Christ Church Cathedral is being held in collaboration with Dix Milles Villages St-Denis, Equifruit and Aysana.

Enjoy fair trade handicrafts and decorations from all reaches of the globe together with an exciting selection of fair trade fruits and fair trade baked goods.

All profits will go towards the Refugee Sponsorship Ministry of Christ

Click here to go to the Facebook events page.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pain, Hope and Healing: Everywhere, Everywhere, Everywhere

“Later that night I held an atlas in my lap ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered, where does it hurt? It answered everwhere everywhere everywhere.” ~ Warsan Shire

When I read the poem above, it captured how I was feeling in light of the world events of this week. That sense that hurt is happening around the globe.

It is enormous. It is overwhelming. It is the activities in Beirut, Baghdad and Paris, and so many other countries. It is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Help St. Philip's Support the NDG Food Depot’s Annual Door-to-Door Food Drive

The NDG Food Depot’s Annual Door-to-Door Food Drive will take place on Saturday, December 5, 2015, 09h30 to 14h00 at St. Philip’s in the Memorial Hall. Once again St. Philip's is playing a central role in this year’s food drive! You can help with this important outreach event in our community 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.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reflections on the ISIS Terrorist Attacks: An eternal perspective

Across the internet, people are wondering how exactly to respond to the latest events of terror and horror. Of course, it’s not just Paris is it? Days earlier, 41 people were killed in Beirut, victims of a suicide bomber’s deranged quest for ‘justice.’ These events are too common to us. We have been here before. Is it cynical to say we will be here again in the (near) future?

“What is our response?”, that is what so many are asking. And, in the days to come, I am sure there will be many, many suggestions as to how the global community should ‘respond’ to these acts of terror. This question, however, takes a different twist when we ask it from a Christian perspective. How do we address these things from the perspective of faith? As members of the church, who believe there is a living and active God in this world, to what do we cling? Is there any hope? Where should our reflections take us?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Churches Address the Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic

“The Arctic is the epicentre of climate injustice,” said Bishop Mark MacDonald of the Anglican Church of Canada and the World Council of Churches (WCC) president for North America during a conference organized by the Church of Sweden and the Canadian Council of Churches held in Storforsen, Sweden, from 5 to 8 October.

“Future of life in the Arctic – The impact of climate change: Indigenous and Religious perspectives” was the theme of the event attended by more than thirty participants.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau from Archbishop Hiltz and Bishop Johnson

Bishop Susan Johnson, Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada, and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate, The Anglican Church of Canada, Mississauga, ON, Canada.

Dear Prime Minister:

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), we extend our heartfelt congratulations to you as our new Prime Minister.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Statement from the Canadian Anglican House of Bishops on the TRC

A Statement from the House of Bishops of The Anglican Church of Canada Concerning the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)

As bishops of The Anglican Church of Canada we are very grateful for the work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Peace with justice: Making the Israeli-Palestinian conflict an election issue

While teaching at St. George’s College in Jerusalem during the 1990s, the Rev. Canon Dr. Richard LeSueur took up residence with his family on the top floor of a school run for Palestinian children. The school was run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, overlooking the no-man’s land that separated East and West Jerusalem until 1967.

Currently an advisory board member of the Canadian Companions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, LeSueur initially moved to Israel during the First Intifada. He was present in September 1993 when news broke of the Oslo Accords, a historic peace agreement between Israeli and Palestinian officials. LeSueur recalled the “staggering” experience of euphoria on the streets of Jerusalem, with Palestinian flags—until then illegal—flying everywhere.

Election resource identifies political priorities for Anglicans

Just in time for the 2015 federal election, a new non-partisan resource offers support for Canadian Anglicans to engage with parties and candidates on a range of vital issues rooted in shared prosperity and protecting the most vulnerable members of society.

Entitled Compassion, Justice and Reason: An Anglican Approach for Election 2015, the free downloadable resource consists of double-sided sheets on 10 different justice issues highlighted by the Anglican Church of Canada and rooted in the Marks of Mission.

Canadian Council of Churches Federal Election Resource

The Canadian Council of Churches—in collaboration with KAIROS, Citizens for Public Justice, Project Ploughshares, Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada, and the Church Council on Justice and Corrections—has compiled a resource for Canadian voters in preparation for the 2015 Canadian federal election.

The resource identifies a range of priority issues, offers sample questions you can ask of candidates, and provides links to resources where you can learn more about these particular issues.

We invite you to use this resource to:

• think through your own election priorities;
• call a group together to prepare for meetings with candidates;
• go deeper into issues you care about and work on them with others;
• organize and participate in all-candidates meetings in your riding.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Primate Hiltz: The Right and Responsibility to Vote

“Most gracious God, we give thee hearty thanks for this good land of Canada in which we live, and for the freedom we enjoy. Keep us mindful of our duties and faithful to our trust; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

(Service for Young People, Book of Common Prayer, p. 626)

As a youngster, I memorized this prayer, and it is still dear to my heart. In its call to gratitude, it takes me from a pondering of the beauty and bounty of this land, all of which we celebrate especially at this time of year, to a pondering of all the freedoms we enjoy—social, religious and political.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Walking with Indigenous peoples: Making reconciliation an election issue

Reconciliation has been on the hearts and in the minds of our church for decades. In 2015, the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report, the  #22Days project, and eighth national Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle among others further highlighted the issue of reconciliation with Indigenous people, putting it front and centre for and within the Anglican Church of Canada.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Woohoo! Long weekend! Celebration!

So here we have our one day of the year that we designate as a time to be thankful for the harvest of the past year.

That seems problematic to me; for a number of reasons.

Firstly: we’re called, as Christians, to be a joyful, thankful people. So we really ought to be thankful every day. 1 Thess 5.16-18 reminds us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

CBC Radio Interview with Bishop Mary Irwin Gibson (June 2015)

This interview is part of a series to help people to get to know our new Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. This interview is from the CBC and it was taped in June, 2015.

Here is a radio interview with Bishop Mary Irwin Gibson before she was installed in September. Bishop Gibson is the first female Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. This interview was aired on Daybreak on June 16, 2015 at 10:09 AM.

Click here to hear the interview.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Gazette Article Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson (September 2015)

This article is part of a series to help people to get to know our new Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. This one is from the Gazette and it was published in September 2015.

Mary Irwin-Gibson is not only the first woman to become bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal but also the first fluently bilingual MBA.

She will be consecrated as spiritual leader of the 165-year-old diocese in a ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral Tuesday evening.

Her communication skills and business training could come in handy as the church navigates plummeting membership, agonizing decisions over aging heritage buildings and the diverse needs of a diocese that stretches from the Outaouais to the Eastern Townships.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

CBC Interview with Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson (September 2015)

This article is part of a series to help people to get to know our new Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. This one is from the CBC and it was published in September 2015.

The Anglican Diocese of Montreal has the first female bishop in its 165-year history.

The Very Reverend Mary Irwin-Gibson was installed as the twelfth bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal at a consecration ceremony at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral on Tuesday evening.

Meet Montreal's first female bishop

Prior to taking up her role as bishop-elect earlier in September, Irwin-Gibson was rector and dean of St.George's Cathedral in Kingston, Ont.

Before that, she served in parishes in and around Montreal for 28 years.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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 this annual pre-Christmas event!

When: Saturday, November 14th 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!

For more information call the church office at (514) 481-4871 or email us at

Anglican Article: Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson (June 2015)

This article is part of a series to help people to get to know our new Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. This one is from the Anglican Church of Canada and it was published in June 2015.

The Anglican Diocese of Montreal has elected the Very Rev. Mary Irwin-Gibson as its new bishop.

Currently the dean of St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston, Ont., Irwin-Gibson will be the first female bishop in the 165-year history of the diocese. She was elected in the fourth ballot at the June 6 diocesan synod, beating out three other candidates—the Ven. Bill Gray, the Rev. Karen Egan, and the Rt. Rev. Dennis Drainville.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Letter About Residential Schools

It’s a letter written in the mid-1960s on a common Underwood typewriter. The words typed on the paper, however, are not common at all. They depict a childhood of pain, torment, deprivation and starvation.

Russell Moses was a member of the Delaware band of the Six Nations of the Grand River. Born in 1932, he was not unaccustomed to poverty and discrimination, like many other aboriginal children of the day. And like 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children, he found himself at the age of 8 removed from all he knew and thrust into the Mohawk Institute, a residential school just outside of Brantford, Ont.

The Gap Between First Nations People and the Rest of Canada (Video)

This video titled Rich country, poor Nations offers 11 disturbing facts about the gap between First Nations and the rest of Canada. The Globe and Mail's Sherrill Sutherland takes a look at the disconcerting differences in education, wealth and health between First Nations people and the rest of Canada.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Primate's Address to the Anglican Sacred Circle

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canon, delivered a sermon during the opening Eucharist service of the eighth national Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle on Aug. 17, 2015.

A judgement against Israel, a psalm of penitence, and an invitation to a gospel way of living, that’s what we have in the Readings for this opening eucharist of Sacred Circle 2015, gathered under the theme “Lifted on Wings of Faith: Heeding the Indigenous Call”.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ACC shares reconciliation experience at international Anglican gathering

The Anglican Church of Canada continues the journey of healing and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. This path away from the legacy of colonialism and racism including the Indian residential school system reflects the unfortunate universal experiences of human conflict and resilience against egregious acts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lighting the Sacred Fire

Gathered outside in the early morning hours, a circle of onlookers watched as volunteers rubbed spindles into fireboards, trying to produce enough friction to create an ember.

For young men in the Diné tradition, building a fire from scratch remains a rite of passage. The hard work of sparking a blaze without the aid of matches, lighters, etc. teaches virtues such as patience, forbearance, and perseverance.

For those attending the eighth national Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle in Port Elgin, Ont. from Aug. 16-22, sparking the Sacred Fire that would burn symbolically throughout the week offered a similar learning experience to those who volunteered their efforts.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tree Planting Ceremony at St. Philip's Church Commemorating Canada's Indigenous People

On International Peace Day, Monday, September 21, 2015, St. Philip's Anglican Church will be hosting a tree planting ceremony commemorating the reconciliation between the Anglican Church and Canada's indigenous people.

The event comes slightly less than four months after the conclusion of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which addressed the sad legacy of the Indian Residential Schools. Here is an excerpt of a statement by the Anglican Church of Canada and other Canadian Christian denominations:

"Beginning in the 19th century and continuing until the late 1960’s, our churches were partners with the Government of Canada in running Indian Residential Schools. Notwithstanding the good intent and care of many who worked in the Schools, it is clear that Indian Residential Schools, in policy and in practice, were an assault on Indigenous families, culture, language and spiritual traditions, and that great harm was done. We continue to acknowledge and regret our part in that legacy."

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pope Francis Urges All Religious Communities to Help with the Refugee Crisis

Pope Francis has called on every religious community across Europe to do their part to stem the refugee crisis and offer sanctuary to migrant families.

In front of a crowd of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square, the Roman Catholic leader said it was not enough to simply encourage the refugees with calls for courage and patience. Instead, he suggested, tangible demonstrations of help were required.

“May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family,” he said.

The comments came as thousands of refugees from Syria arrived in Austria and Germany after an exhausting journey form Hungary, amid an escalating debate within the EU about how to handle the crisis.

The European commission is expected to release a proposal this week calling for EU members to agree to a quota system in which each would agree to host a portion of an estimated 160,000 refugees.

In Germany and other parts of Europe, thousands of migrants have been welcomed by volunteers who have donated food and clothing. But the pope is calling on the faithful to do more.

“Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned,” he said.

For Catholics, offering shelter to a refugee family would be seen as a “concrete act of preparation” for the Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning in December, he added.

Francis said the Vatican would itself be extending help to two families who will be taken in by Vatican parishes.

The Argentinian pontiff rarely makes such specific statements about ways to offer charity and assistance, but he has been an outspoken supporter of refugees and migrants since the beginning of his papacy.

In 2013, long before the current refugee crisis, in which thousands have died attempting the treacherous journey from Libya to the southern shores of Italy, became daily news, Francis made a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa to visit migrants. There he criticised what he called the “globalisation of indifference” to their plight by rich countries.

More recently, Francis made pointed remarks about refugees and the European debate, including a comment in June that those countries and people who shut their doors to migrants ought to ask God for forgiveness. The comment came amid clashes between police and migrants on the border between France and Italy, after France refused to let migrants cross the border.

The pope’s stance has prompted rare criticism of the church by Italy’s rightwing opposition, led by Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, who in a radio interview once sarcastically asked how many migrants were living in Vatican City.

It seems that now Pope Francis will be able to offer a reply.

Article Source: The Guardian

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Refugee Crises: Call to Prayer and Action from the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

The following statement by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Adele Finney, executive director of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), in response to the Syrian refugee crisis was originally posted on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 at the PWRDF website.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Refugee Crisis: We Must Do More Than Cry

I will admit it. I am, literally, in tears as I write this.

The picture. Yes—that picture that started circulating yesterday of the 3 year old boy washed up on the beach in Turkey.

He and his family were trying to come here—to Canada. The heart strings are pulled.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Primate's Letter in Support of the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Dear friends,

People everywhere are becoming more and more urgently aware of the perilous state of much of creation, and our responsibility as stewards of the earth which we inhabit.

Earlier this month Pope Francis called the 1.25-billion members of the Catholic Church to annually observe on September 1 annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Since 1989 many Eastern Orthodox Christians have observed on that same date as a Day of Prayer for the Environment.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Montreal intern reflection: Ben Stuchbery

The three aspects of my internship this summer have been guided by an understanding of mission that seeks primarily to uphold the sanctity of human life. It is the thread that holds them together. The three aspects are as follows: fair trade, French bible study, and pastoral care. Each of these witnesses to care for human dignity in progressively smaller dimensions, namely: global, local/parish, individual. Yet there is always a dialogue to be had in relating each of these back to the church.

Fair trade as a global movement that seeks to establish supportive partnerships between producers and consumers needs, in the context of Christian concern for upholding human life, a theological framework that articulates the reasons our faith moves us to address this particular issue. That has been part of my role in relation to fair trade. In the course of aiding in creating a fair trade support network within the church in Montreal, I have been exploring the theology of relationship as something fundamental to the Christian vision of life and that the call to right relationship with God, the earth and each other is a call to sustainable and dignified ways of relating. I careful study of the creation narrative is, I think, a good place to start!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Newfoundland’s Anglican-Episcopal Pipeline

Rev. James Pratt of St. Philip's Church was interviewed for this article.

The Rev. Steven Maki is part of a long tradition of cross-border religious reciprocity. He’s an American Episcopal priest serving in an Anglican parish in Newfoundland.

In fact, the Massachusetts-raised Maki is now ministering in his second parish in the diocese of Western Newfoundland—his first being Flower’s Cove, where he served from 2005 to 2007. For the past 18 months, he’s been priest to the 600-family, three-point parish of Grand Bay, where he hopes to stay for at least four years. Maki is one of three U.S. Episcopal expatriates making up for the scarcity of Anglican clergy in the diocese.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Anglicans Attend General Council of the United Church of Canada

More than three decades ago, the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada came close to a full structural merger, the result of which would have been known as the Church of Christ in Canada.

The planned organic union never came about. Yet despite some rough patches in the fallout after the talks, the two churches remain close to this day, as illustrated by the official Anglican presence at the 42nd General Council of the United Church of Canada.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The ‘easy fix’

A few weeks ago I went out for supper with my family, a casual meal at a ‘family’ restaurant. Unfortunately, from food quality to customer service to cleanliness, there were problems. Despite asking our wait staff to address the concerns, little was rectified. The experience was so unpleasant, I later (privately, not social media) contacted the manager, who replied in a timely and polite manner, even offering to mail me a voucher to return to the establishment.

It’s an easy fix. However, it just didn’t work for me. While thankful for the offer, I declined the voucher, and instead suggested that if the manager was truly wanting to make a goodwill gesture, a donation (in cash, not comp voucher) could be made to a local food bank.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Introduction to Reflections from Montreal Interns

Over the next few weeks I would like to welcome some wonderful guest writers to The Community. Some of the interns of the Montreal Mission Internship will be sharing their reflections as they wrap up their time in this innovative program in the Diocese of Montreal. Rev. Rhonda Waters is part of the leadership team that works with this program and will introduce you to an experiment in mission. Watch for more reflections over the next few weeks to get a better idea of this program.—Laura Walton.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sharing Brutal Bible Stories with Children

Should we share some of the Bible's brutal stories with children?  This is a question I wrestle with each night when I read Bible stories to my daughter before bed. Although the stories I read are written for children, they are still full of violence and brutality.  I admit that I will skip over some of the more horrific scenes or replace words like "kill" with hurt. However, as suggested in this article from Kate Newman, there are times when it may be appropriate to share these traumatic stories. After all Christ's suffering and death are central to the Christian story. Each child is different, so our approaches may vary depending on the age and the individual temperament of the child.  Far too often we insulate our children from the reality of life, and the certainty of death. If we provide our children with a safe, secure and peaceful life, their exposure to moderate amounts of Biblical trauma may be difficult to process, however, at the right time and place, such stories may actually enrich their lives in ways that we commonly do not appreciate.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Love, Faith and Family

In this post from the Community, Laura Marie Piotrowicz focuses on an act that demonstrated love and faith and family. As she says, "It is not something that will make the headlines, but it certainly made the heartlines."

Friday, July 3, 2015

Tired of the Bickering Over Same Sexed Marriage

Over the weekend I spent some time reading about the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the legalization of same-sex marriage. I combed through the many responses that can be found on the web regarding this. There were those, both Christian and non, that praised this decision as an expression of God’s divine will. There were also those, both Christian and non, whose vitriol against same-sex couples was horrific and disturbing. In the midst of all of this, I have come to a conclusion.

Friday, June 26, 2015

#22 Days Highlights of the Final Weekl

As bells rang out across the country during the final week of the #22Days campaign, Anglicans looked to the future with an understanding that the journey towards healing and reconciliation has just begun.

Throughout the week, the ringing of church bells continued to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women, drawing attention from politicians, the media and all Canadians while serving as a call to action.

On June 17, Regina-Wascana MP Ralph Goodale tweeted a photo highlighting bell ringing at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Regina. “Sadly,” he wrote, “govt today voted down a Motion for Inquiry.”

Sunday, June 21, 2015

#22 Days: For Whom the Bells Toll

On June 21, National Aboriginal Day of Prayer, St. Philip's Church rang its bells 22 times along with thousands of cathedrals and churches across Canada that are acknowledging the cry for justice and remembering the 1181 indigenous women and girls that have been murdered or are missing.

Over the last 3 weeks, as part of the #22days initiative, bells have been ringing in churches from coast to coast, tolling for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Based on the posted responses on, there have been nearly 100 churches taking part in various ways, with an estimated 350,000 combined bell tolls taking place. It received a mention on the floor of Canada’s Parliament as a push toward a formal inquiry. It has received good media coverage. It has been a set of moments for the Church to step into the prophet’s role, standing in solidarity with the grieving, and by giving voice to all lives being important.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Primate of Canada's Statement on the #22days Campaign

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which has addressed the sad legacy of the Indian Residential Schools will hold its final event, the closing ceremonies of its six-year tenure, in Ottawa for four days commencing on Sunday, May 31st.

The daily themes are as follows:

Day 1 is “We are all in this together”;
Day 2, “We still have lots to learn”;
Day 3, “Reconciliation means respect and change”;
and Day 4, “This ending is only the beginning”.

In the spirit of the 4th-day theme, we are calling our Church into “22 Days” of prayer and renewal in our commitments to healing and reconciliation among all people – the Indigenous Peoples of this land and all others who have come and settled and also call it home. These 22 Days will take us to the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer, on Sunday, June 21st.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mary Irwin-Gibson Elected as the First Female Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal

Mary Irwin-Gibson, dean and rector of St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston since 2009, has been elected the first female bishop of the Anglican diocese of Montreal in its 165-year history.

Irwin-Gibson, 59, who served parishes in the diocese of Montreal between 1981 and 2009, was elected bishop on a fourth ballot on Sat., June 6, over another woman candidate, the Rev. Karen L. Egan, 57, director of pastoral studies at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Update on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The release of the summary report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on Tuesday, June 2 marked a turning point for survivors of Indian residential schools, the Anglican Church of Canada, other churches and the country as a whole.

A residential school survivor and the first bishop of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa’s reaction upon hearing the TRC chair present the findings reflected the cautious optimism felt by many survivors.