Conversation Circles at St. Stephen's

St. Stephen’s vision statement reads: We seek to be a Christ Centred, Holy Spirit led, Caring Community that is Outward Focussed. We try to live this out in our day to day life and ministry, and along with every parish, we are always looking for new ways to share the good news of Jesus with those around us. This past winter, we embarked on a new partnership with Saskatoon Open Door Society and became a host for English Conversation Circles. English Conversation circles provide an opportunity for people who are new to Canada to practice their English in an informal setting. Our church has 15 registered volunteers who sign up to help with this! We have very small groups, (3-5) which is pretty typical throughout the city at this time of year and enables us to be one on one with participants. We have hosted people from Eritrea, Iran, China, and Ethiopia. We simply welcome people here, break out the conversation tools and chat, learning from each other. For us, this is a practical way to reach out to people who need help—English is an invaluable tool for new Canadians, and a gift we have to give. Our motivation as a church is to share God’s love with those around, in whatever way we can. This is one way we are able to do this. The best part is the inevitable laughter that can be heard in these sessions among participants and parishioners. Try explaining crokinole, tobogganing and ice fishing without laughing! We offer this small, mustard seed experience as a way to encourage others as they seek to be caring, outward focussed communities. We would love to hear other experiences from churches.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds -Hebrews 12:24

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National Marriage Canon XXI - Deanery Discussions

To the Clergy and Members of the Diocese of Saskatoon, 

Greetings in Christ our Lord and Saviour, in July 2019 the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada will gather in Vancouver to bring to the vote, changes to the Marriage Canon XXI. Leadership of the church recognizes the divisive nature of change and thus far, we the church have been far from exemplary much less Christian to change. To ensure that all voices are heard and that we the Diocese of Saskatoon and its representatives hear you, and that we who will attend General Synod 2019 vote with the greater voice, other than our own... I ask that we gather at Regional Deanery discussions to address the changes and how we as a family in God and community, will step up and forward as a Diocese in faith. 

As a Diocese, we know that we are diverse in practice and thinking as is every community. We as a church need to recognize and respect each other in the upcoming discussions for the diversity that we are as children of God, in the Family of God, for at the end of the day we will still need to walk with each other in love, respect and faith, and believe that God is leading us to something greater than ourselves. There can be unity in diversity, there can be love and hope in a lost and broken world, and it begins with us and our faith witness, and knowledge that God Almighty has this. 

In the Deanery discussions, we will gather to hear an opening presentation from Rev. Marie-Louise Ternier-Gommers and myself, then we will listen to you and your voice, respecting each other and the values that make us who we are in the family of God and a community of faith. We will set as a foundation for the discussions the following passages which will be the center of our dialogue:

1 Corinthians 12:12-20  

 John 17:11-18  

 Links: 

"This Holy Estate" - Commission and report

https://www.anglican.ca/about/ccc/cogs/cmc/

In closing, I do ask that you do your home work and read the passages of scripture, search out the reports in the Link provided and attend the meetings with an open heart, speaking and listening with respect and faith. 

In Christ’s service,

+Chris

Eastern Deanery                         Saturday, March 16, St. Mary’s, Wadena, 10 AM-3PM

City of Saskatoon Deanery        Saturday, March 23, St. Stephen’s, 10 AM-3 PM

Western Deanery                       Thursday, April 4, St. Paul’s, North Battleford, (5:30 potluck) 6:30-9 PM

Bishop Chris' Reconciliation Stole crafted by Cindy Hoppe

The following article was written by Cindy Hoppe, a textile artist, who made the Reconciliation stole for Bishop Chris. Thank you Cindy for sharing this with all of us.

I connected with an old friend from Co-op store days, Brad Wudrich, now an ordained United Church minister, at the Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada, Saskatchewan Synod, Convention last June. He had told me years ago of his plan to go into ministry after retiring from the Co-op retail system. We reconnected at the Lutheran convention as he is now in a shared ministry, ‘Partners in Worship,’ serving Lutherans and United Church folk in Shell Lake. I had promised him a stole and he told me that Reconciliation was really resonating with him.

To me, Reconciliation and Lent walk the same path, and as a maker of stoles, I like to do a 2 in one, and pair Advent with Lent. I used a Reconciliation symbol from the City of Saskatoon with accompanying explanation for Brad’s stole but also wanted to follow my own idea in another stole. I used the 4 directions, the cross, and a sweet grass braid as my starting point. The threads are tangled and stressed at the outer edges, coming into a braid as they form the cross. I adjusted the traditional colours of the 4 directions a bit by including blue, but some First Nations recognize blue, and because black has been included in all the braids, it is certainly present and has a larger significance for the Lenten season. To me, the braid is a Trinity symbol, and blue brings us back to baptism.

I have been part of a shared ministry, in Biggar, between St. Paul’s Anglican and Redeemer Lutheran, for 20 years. I also had the privilege of serving as a school trustee for a First Nations public school for 5 years. I don’t pretend to know what I am doing on this Reconciliation Road, but Roger and Mary Ann Assailly’s experiences of the Truth and Reconciliation gatherings were related to me and Brad’s wish ignited this response in me. When I heard of Bishop Chris Harper’s election, I knew where I wanted this stole to go.

Bishop Chris was coming to visit Pastor Sarah Mowat in Biggar before Christmas as he was going to preside over a confirmation service on December 23. I had visited Mary Ann with the stole and she guided me in gifting protocol. It turned out that freezing rain messed with my plans to present it personally to Bishop Chris, but I left it with Sarah and she delivered it. It was a joy to see that the Holy Spirit might have been channelling this project from the beginning, as Bishop Chris donned the stole during Communion and it fits him beautifully.

It was a blessing to see Bishop Chris’s Crozier, made for him by his son, with the 4 directions incorporated into it and the beautiful purple heartwood laminated through the centre. The service was a celebration for many of us in different ways and a homecoming for a piece of creative work that I can trace back to friendships, life experience and a new awareness of walking together going forward.

All photographs courtesy of the Reverend Sarah Mowat.  Top two photos show the Advent side and the bottom photos show the Reconciliation side.

All photographs courtesy of the Reverend Sarah Mowat.

Top two photos show the Advent side and the bottom photos show the Reconciliation side.

Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck

Greetings!

 As the church is a living member in the body of Christ, so is our Diocese. Change and movement is inevitable and today we recognize our membership in the clergy is one less, as Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck has by his own will has stepped out of the Diocese and the Anglican Church, to follow his calling to serve in the United Church of Canada. I ask that we, who know him so well, support him in his decision and bless him with our prayers for all his future endeavors. 

Yours in faith and ministry,

+ Chris

Anglican Journal

If you are like a lot of people nowadays you have to spend time waiting at doctor’s appointments, waiting in line, just waiting. Instead of trying to find something interesting to read in the stack of old magazines, how about subscribing to the Anglican Journal digital edition. You will get an email update when the latest copy is available and all you have to do is click on the picture. Try it below - just click on the picture.

I signed up and even with my eyesight I am able to read the paper on my phone when turned sideways.

Click here to sign up for the news alerts.

Going to Italy?

The Church of the Ascension Cadenabbia Lake Como Italy

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Should you be considering a trip to Italy and to the region of Lake Como you might like to consider calling in on the Church of the Ascension at Cadenabbia (Immediately opposite Bellagio) on Lake Como.

The Church is open daily and our regular Sunday Morning Service in English is at 10.30am to which you would be most welcome at this very inspiring and beautiful part of the world.

The Church is also available for Weddings, Renewal of Wedding Vows, Baptisms, Retreats and all the normal services of the Church.

The Church was built by residents and holiday makers back in the 1890's, it is one of the important land marks of Cadenabbia and should you be walking the Greenways Walk it is mentioned as a place to visit. This prominent church with a number of fine features is immediately opposite the Passenger and Car Ferry in Cadenabbia. 

More information can be found on the website - www.churchonlakecomo.com or Facebook - Church of the Ascension.

Rev'd Roger Williams. Chaplain. Email - revrgwilliams@hotmail.com

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