Saturday, July 13, 2019

Live in Charity...News from General Synod

News from Bishop Andrew Asbil from the 2019 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, being held in Vancouver, B.C.:

Last night at General Synod, the motion to change the Anglican Church of Canada’s marriage canon to include same-sex marriage did not receive the required two-thirds majority. The support for change in the houses of laity and clergy was very strong. And yet the motion was defeated in the House of Bishops by a very narrow margin. I know that this is devastating news to our LGBTQ+ community, families and friends. I share in that sense of devastation, knowing that this decision comes after decades of ongoing discussion, prayer and the courageous sharing of experience from the LGBTQ+ community. I had hoped that our Church was in a different place and would arrive at a different decision. I assure all of our LGBTQ+ siblings – beloved children of God – of my love and support. I know that it is tempting in this hour to lose heart. And yet let us take comfort in the words of Paul: “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9.
I am also aware that many of our fellow Anglicans are greatly relieved by this decision to maintain the existing marriage canon. To them, I ask for charity and graciousness as their fellow Christians grieve. I commend this Church to God’s safe keeping as we continue with important deliberations at General Synod. I will speak to you again in a video message at the conclusion of our gathering.  (emphasis: blog editor)

Ubi caritas et amor,
Ubi caritas Deus ibi est.
Live in charity and steadfast love,
Live in charity; 
God will dwell with you.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Poetry in Ordinary Time: St. Benedict's Day

Icon of St. Benedict of Nursia
Source: Wikipedia commons

Thanks to the Anglican Sisters of St. John the Divine, who reminded your Editor that today is the Feast Day of St. Benedict...and shared this lovely sonnet in his honour, written by that wonderful poet priest, Malcolm Guite...

You sought to start a simple school of prayer,
A modest, gentle, moderate attempt,
With nothing made too harsh or hard to bear,
No treating or retreating with contempt,
A little rule, a small obedience
That sets aside, and tills the chosen ground,
Fruitful humility, chosen innocence,
A binding by which freedom might be found
You call us all to live, and see good days,
Centre in Christ and enter in his peace,
To seek his Way amidst our many ways,
Find blessedness in blessing, peace in praise,
To clear and keep for Love a sacred space
That we might be beginners in God’s grace.
-- Malcolm Guite, from The Singing Bowl, Canterbury Press, 2013

To hear the poet read this aloud, click HERE.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Reflections in Ordinary Time...

In Sandra's reflection yesterday, she shared an article forwarded from parishioner Colleen Woods -- about life in rural parishes in the Diocese of Rupert's Land (not to be confused with the Anglican Province by the same name) -- parishes where Lay ministry is key because a priest is only available on a half-time (or less) basis.
This morning, a FB friend shared this "meme"...which seems to connect well to Sandra's reflection...and so it's shared here for you...

- Rachel Held Evans, author and journalist, 1981 - 2019

Friday, July 5, 2019

Podcasts in Ordinary Time: Steve Bell

Last Sunday's Gospel was from Luke 9: 51 - 62, which includes a passage labelled by the New International Version (1989) as "The Cost of Following Jesus" -- specifically beginning at verse 57.  The upshot of the text is that, as Rev. Robert summarized in his homily, following Jesus doesn't guarantee safety or power.  Quoting from the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, 'discipleship is about growing in relationship with each other and God.'  Discipleship calls for commitment and focus, choosing life in and with God, rather than serving our own interests, and the demands of our culture, our place(s) in the world.

Tough stuff...especially in the twenty-first century.

During this past week I was sent a link to a podcast interview created by The Ferment , a small Christian online production group out of Winnipeg.  The interview was with Canadian singer-song-writer, Steve Bell, who worships in the Anglican tradition as part of the congregation at St. Benedict's Table. It occurred to me that the content of the podcast related well to the text of the Gospel shared last Sunday.

I am drawn to share this with you now, for your pondering, given that the interview includes a discussion of Mr. Bell's ministry, his call as a song-writer and author, and his advocacy for Bill C-62, which is a Bill that would see the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples passed into law in Canada.  Despite its passage in the House, this Bill has been filibustered by some in the Senate...just an example of the challenges that come when folks move to 'comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable'.

There are costs to discipleship...and Mr. Bell shares some of this with his interviewers.

To listen to and reflect on the podcast from The Ferment, click HERE.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Cause for Celebration!!

A century ago -- just after the Great War (the War to End All Wars -- remember?) -- a Canadian fellow and his England-born bride returned to Canada and set to creating a home in these parts.  Mr. and Mrs. Ironside built their "Happy Valley Ranch" a few miles south and west of Lacombe, Alberta, along what is now known as the Aspelund (Aspen Land) road -- so named in honour of the proliferation of aspen throughout the entire area.

There they raised a family.

When Your Faithful Editor moved out this way and began to attend St. Cyprian's Anglican Church, she met Eileen Ironside (then well up in age) and her daughter, Heather Ironside Osborne.

Heather and her family are celebrating the Centenary of the founding of this farm on June 30, 2019.

They have invited the good folks of St. Cyprian's to have an outdoor Eucharist service be followed by a potluck lunch.

Any who are willing and able are also invited to remain for the Open House celebration that begins there at 1 p.m.

Outdoor Worship Service: 10:00 a.m.
Celebrant: Rev. Dr. Robert Sears
Music: Joan Grover on keyboard

Potluck lunch to follow

Centenary Open Celebration: 1:00 p.m.
All welcome!

Almighty God, we thank you for making the fruitful earth produce what is needed for life.  Bless those who work in the fields; give us favourable weather; and grant that all may share the fruits of the earth, rejoicing in your goodness; through your Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord.  AMEN

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Lacombe Rocks!

It all started last summer...when Lacombe resident, Melodie Reid, decided to spread some joy around Lacombe -- and on Facebook -- by leaving painted rocks here and there.  Click HERE to read how it all started.

The idea, taken from something similar started over in the U.K., caught on, and now you might find a rock in the most unusual places.

St. Cyprian's has been honoured with 3 such rocks, the latest one painted like Bob the Tomato, a character from the children's video series, Veggie Tales.

Parishioner Alison Thompson discovered him on Thursday evening (June 6) on her way in to the church for music practice.  As of this morning (Sunday, June 9), he was still grinning from his perch on the window sill outside the front doors.

She's shared his photo via Facebook, and we're sharing it here too -- and on the Parish FB page. 

It doesn't take much to bring a smile -- join in the fun: find some smooth rocks and paint along!

P.S. If you or your kids never watched Veggie Tales, here's just a clip...featuring Larry the Cucumber and -- of course -- his friend Bob, the Tomato.

Poetry for Pentecost: T.S. Eliot

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one dischage from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre-
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.

               -- T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding", IV, from Four Quartets