Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Lay ministry ‘a life’s journey’ for Kamloops senior

Posted on: May 23rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Ruby Milanese and Gladys Adams talk to O’Della Grundy following a memorial service at Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops, B.C. Photo: André

Kamloops, B.C.

“I’m one of the older lay ministers – I’ve been doing it since before they even called us lay ministers,” O’Della Grundy chuckles, while going over an order of service she will use for a memorial later in the day. “When I talk about [my] ministry to seniors, my daughter always says, ‘Mom, you are one!’”

Grundy is a parishioner at St. George’s Anglican Church in Kamloops, but she also has an extensive ministry of her own to Kamloops’ seniors – and given that 16.2 per cent of Kamloopsians are over 65 (almost 2 per cent more than the Canadian average), and that this percentage is projected to increase over the next 15 years, it is vital area of ministry in which to be involved.

“In Kamloops, we are like the hub of a big wheel,” she said, explaining that seniors will often move into Kamloops from more remote communities so as to be closer to the hospital.  “We have many senior’s facilities, whether it is for assisted living or full-time care.”

While it is true that, in her mid-70s, Grundy occasionally finds herself performing memorial services for people who are younger than her, she still keeps very busy, offering regular services at three different seniors residences and facilities across the city. Last year alone, she performed 44 memorials – many of which included tributes to several individuals, and many of which had been written, prepared and compiled by Grundy herself.

“When I first started,” she said, “everything was on a single sheet of paper. So if you had three hymns, that was three pieces of paper, and then you’ve got your service [sheet]. Some of the seniors can only use one hand, some of them can’t see; you had all kinds of problems, and it was driving me crazy. So I’ve made up a book. I’ve got about thirty copies, and I take this with me everywhere.”

Being able to adapt to the very different needs of an older group of worshippers has been key, Grundy noted. “It’s one of those things that unless you’re doing it, you have no idea what the needs are.”

An added complexity is that many of the seniors with whom she works are not Anglicans. She stressed that “you have to be aware of everybody, and open to anything happening” to minister effectively to everyone.

At the same time, she is finding that regardless of denomination there is a great thirst for education among those she serves.

“The homilies that go over the best, interestingly enough, are teaching ones,” she said, “I’ve done lots of thinking about this – the people I’m taking services to are from an era where you went to church, and the person was up at the front, and you listened, and believed, and you didn’t ask questions… what I’m finding is these people are asking questions that they’ve had for a long, long time about heaven, about God.”

When asked how she came to be licensed as a lay minister of word and sacrament in the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI), Grundy has a difficult time answering, partially because the licensing process has evolved over the years, and partially because she feels her whole life has been leading up to it.

“How did I get here?” she laughs. “Everything I’ve done along the road, I’m using to do what I’m doing now. I was told when I was in high school that I should be a teacher, [so] I taught figure skating…One of the priests we had here took me to Sorrento, which is a retreat centre about an hour from here, and the weekend was on gifts…before the weekend was over, we had to decide what we were going to use those gifts for, so then I got into Education for Ministry.”

From 1988–1992, Grundy took Education for Ministry (EfM), a program of Christian education intended to grow an “active, theologically literate laity” based out of the University of the South in Tennessee and introduced to Canada in 1977 by the diocese of Cariboo and the diocese of Kootenay. After completing the program, she became a mentor within it, helping other lay people grow in their knowledge and understanding of the faith.

She was licensed as a lay minister of word and sacrament in the late 1990s, and became involved in seniors ministry in 2007.

Looking into the future, however, Grundy is unsure about who will continue the work after her.

“It’s a life’s journey, and I don’t think a person can do it with success if you don’t have a passion for it…I’ve witnessed others who give homilies who do the situation to the best of their ability, but it’s left wanting….It’s not for me to judge, but it can’t be taken lightly – it really can’t be taken lightly.”

For now, however, Grundy is happy to continue doing what she can.

“For me, it has been a life’s ministry without knowing it was going to be.”


Anglican Journal News, May 21, 2015

Roll up your sleeves! Messy Church Canada is growing

Posted on: May 21st, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

The Rev. David Anderson of St. John the Evangelist Church in Hamilton, Ont., leads a crafts table. Photo: Contributed

Jesus was a carpenter—a hands-on teacher with a common touch that brought the news of the kingdom to those on the messy fringes of society. It’s not hard to imagine his presence around a crafts table awash in paint, paste and pots of glue in Messy Church, the church of the unchurched.

Messy Church is a missional initiative of the UK’s Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) and the Fresh Expressions movement founded in 2004 by Lucy Moore at St. Wilfrid’s Anglican Church in Cowplain, near Portsmouth This fast-growing ministry brings the gospel to families that are not churched or cannot attend formal services on Sunday mornings. And for that it has not lacked traditionalist criticism.

Typically, its all-age sessions take place monthly in a church or hall, on a Saturday or a weekday—and centre on Bible story themes. After refreshments, people do theme-related activities and crafts, then take part in a short worship celebration with prayer, music and story-telling. The sessions close with the sharing of a hot meal, and significantly, kids and adults work together in every aspect.

“Over a third are adults at our monthly Sunday afternoon meeting, and it’s exciting because most don’t go to any other church,” says Bishop Larry Robertson of the diocese of Yukon. He started hosting sessions at Christ Church Cathedral in Whitehorse in 2013, and recently helped start a Messy Church group in Belize.

“A couple of people have said that Messy Church is their church. They’ve found a home here.” Occasionally a family will start attending regular weekly services, although that is not the intended goal of Messy Church, he stresses. “It’s designed and shaped to meet the needs of families in the community.”

Robertson’s forté in Messy Church is puppetry: he’s a dab hand with a talking lamb or a wolf.

Bishop Larry Robertson of the diocese of the Yukon preps for his puppet session at Messy Church in Christ Church Cathedral, Whitehorse. Photo: Contributed

His group at Christ Church is one of 2,860 Messy Churches registered worldwide across a range of denominations from Iceland to New Zealand. Launched in this country in 2007 by the Rev. Nancy Rowe of St. George’s Anglican Church, Georgetown, in Ontario’s diocese of Niagara, it has grown to at least 150. Of these, 65 are Anglican, 60 United Church of Canada and the rest are Lutheran, Presbyterian and Salvation Army Messy Churches, says Hamilton, Ont.–based Sue Kalbfleisch, Canada team leader for Messy Church Canada. It operates under the auspices of Wycliffe College theological school in Toronto, and has 14 regional coordinators, including Bishop Robertson. “It’s grown like crazy over the last couple of years,” says Kalbfleisch.

The BRF has trademarked a highly recognizable splashed-paint logo to be used with certain conditions. In fact, the Messy Church model is now an established brand whose proponents work together to follow the organization’s religious values and play/worship/hospitality format.  “If a group is just doing straight crafts, we discourage it from using the official logo,” Kalbfleisch says.

At its national meeting this past April at Wycliffe, Messy Church Canada explored new ways to expand its national network. “We need to find more regional co-ordinators,” says Kalbfleisch. “At the moment we have no one on the east coast, though there are Messy Churches in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.”

Canadian Messy Church is also connecting with people in Quebec to establish a francophone version. Workshops to be held this October in Montreal will look at using the logo with a French name that would retain the playful and positive aspects of messiness signalled by the English. The group may produce some basic materials in French.

As well, the Canadian franchise is looking at ways to raise funds for supporting its national network and fully developing its website so people will not have to consult the UK website for resources.

In May 2016, eight or nine regional co-ordinators will head to the UK for an international conference outside London.

Meanwhile, everyone’s wondering how Messy Church will translate into French without losing its creative, mess-is-good connotation. L’Église qui se salit les mains perhaps?


Anglican Journal News, May 21, 2015

Kerry A. Robinson: The spirituality of fundraising and philanthropy

Posted on: May 19th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

The word "donate" above an outstretched hand, surrounded by other words such as hope, give, blessings, faith

Bigstock/Nikki Zalewski

Kerry A. Robinson: The spirituality of fundraising and philanthropy

Instead of being uncomfortable with the task of raising money, Christian institutional leaders should embrace it as an essential part of their work and ministry, the author of a new book on fundraising, philanthropy and spirituality says in this interview.


Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, Faith & Leadership, May 19, 2015

Frank Griswold: Maybe this is the desert time

Posted on: May 16th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Frank Griswold: Maybe this is the desert time 

For the Episcopal Church and mainline Protestantism, this may be a wilderness period, a time of being shaped, formed and made ready to enter the promised land, says a former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Faith and Leadership at Duke Divinity, News & Ideas, May 05, 2015

A Lutheran, an Anglican, and a United walk into a church…

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


Laura-Ann Farquharson, Glenn Andrews, Betty Uppenborn, Leslie Stirling, the Rev. Brian Krushel, Thelma Schmidt and Mel Schmidt are all members of the A Lutheran, an Anglican, and a United walk into a church…in Barriere, BC.

Barriere, B.C.

At first glance, there seems to be an error on the sign outside the small white church in this community, located 66 km north of Kamloops. “ST PAUL,” it reads, without the usual period following the “ST.” But it is no error—the sign, though it refers to the saint, is actually a clever acronym: “Serving Together, Parish of Anglicans, United and Lutherans.”

The Church of St Paul, a parish with a Lutheran pastor and a mixed Anglican and United Church congregation, is an ecumenical shared ministry, an arrangement that has become increasingly common across the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI), where small communities are spread out across hundreds of kilometres of rugged, mountainous terrain.

“We were getting smaller and smaller, and it got to the point where we didn’t have a regular minister,” said parishioner Laura-Ann Farquharson, speaking of the old Anglican Church of the Redeemer. “Our core group was 10 or less, and most of them were elderly people, and the upkeep of the building was getting to be a challenge.”

It is a story that many Anglican churches across Canada can relate to, but instead of just turning out the lights and quietly mourning the end of their ministry, Redeemer’s parishioners decided to try something else.

“It was 2009, at Pentecost in May—we decided we would join services [at Barriere United Church] for the summer and see how it went,” Farquharson said. “One Sunday a month we had Anglican services, and the other three were United. We got to the end of the summer and it was such a seamless transition—we were a part of this family—that we just didn’t go back.”

Leslie Stirling, who was a member of Barriere United Church before the creation of St Paul, said that it took about a year more for the memorandum of understanding to be signed by territorial and presbytery leaders and the union formalized in a service. “It was Pentecost of 2010 when we became married,” she joked. “By that time, we were just well established. It just felt so right.”

There were hardly any challenges in bringing the two congregations together, parishioners said, in part because they were already familiar with each other’s traditions.

“Over the years prior, the Anglican and the United churches did worship together,” explained Stirling. “Quite often, one would have a Good Friday service and one would have an Ash Wednesday service, so we would often worship together.”

Like any marriage, the joining together has led to some changes in how the congregations live together.

“Our worship is blended,” the Rev. Brian Krushel, St Paul’s Lutheran pastor, explained. “We don’t do an Anglican Sunday, a Lutheran Sunday and a United Sunday. Sometimes it’s stuff drawn from the Evangelical Lutheran Worship Book, sometimes it’s the Book of Alternative Services, sometimes it’s [United Church’s] Celebrate God’s Presence, sometimes it’s Iona, and we blend it all together.”

Mel Schmidt, another St Paul’s parishioner, said that this ability to bring together different traditions speaks to the extent to which all three denominations have changed in the last few decades.

“Back in the late ’60s and ’70s, there was a lot of talk of the Anglican [and] United churches joining, and that was one of the stumbling blocks: ‘Our service is so different from yours—no way we’re going to meet,’ ” he chuckled. “It takes years, but it’s like osmosis—it takes years to finally meld.”

Glenn Andrews, who had been a long-time member of Barriere United Church, agreed. “Oftentimes when people talk about these differences in services—I’ve gone to services in different parts of Canada—there are, in all of them, similarities,” he said, “but nothing is done exactly the same in church to church to church. I think people get hung up on little things.”

While the Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran churches of Canada have been full communion partners since 2001, the dream of bringing Anglican and United churches together is a long-standing one in the B.C. interior.

As early as the 1960s, there were many active shared ministries in the neighbouring diocese of Kelowna, and Anglican and United leadership on the diocesan and presbytery level is used to and supportive of such ventures; for this reason, Krushel had no difficulty becoming licenced to perform baptisms and eucharistic ministry in each of the traditions he serves.

As Stirling put it, “We get along well with the in-laws.”

Indeed, the arrangement is working so well that it is being expanded to become a two-point shared ministry with Clearwater United Church, about 60 km farther north, which will be renamed Trinity Shared Ministry.

“We’ll be the first, probably, in North America—and maybe even the world—where we’ll be two points, three denominations, one minister, one God,” said Krushel, laughing.


Anglican Journal News, May 14, 2015

Indigenous Anglicans in Canada: A New Agape and the Path to Self-Determination

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk has recently completed her Master’s thesis, which looks at self-determination among Indigenous Anglicans in Canada.

Indigenous Anglicans in Canada: A New Agape and the Path to Self-Determination.

The encounter between Indigenous peoples and settlers in North America isAIN_logo_web 2 rife with challenges, missed opportunities, and marred by colonial domination. The Anglican Church of Canada is part of this history and is working to find ways forward in healing and reconciliation for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Anglicans. The journey toward self-determination of Indigenous Anglicans within the present structure of the Anglican Church of Canada has not been without struggles and decades of work to reach new goals. What are the internal and external barriers that are impeding self-determination of Indigenous Anglicans in the Anglican Church of Canada? The path to self-determination is reviewed in chronological order, with reference to a variety of church documents including A New Agape, outcomes from Sacred Circle gatherings, interviews with ACIP members, and exploration of new pathways in Anglican Indigenous leadership.

The thesis can be read online here.







Rupert’s Land News, RLN Weekly, May 07, 2015

A remarkable journey through the years

Posted on: May 12th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


Peak moments in the life of the church as captured on the covers of the March 1971, March 1974 and January 1977 issues of Canadian Churchman

 As part of the Anglican Journal’s 140th anniversary milestone, I was tasked with sifting through the newspaper’s substantial archives in search of stories significant to the history of the Anglican Church of Canada, and to the history of the Journal itself. As I read and leafed through old issues of the Journal that are kept in the General Synod Archives—many frayed and yellowed with age—I couldn’t help but reflect on my own history with the church and how I found it related to working at the newspaper.

As the son of not one, but two Anglican priests, my upbringing afforded me a somewhat unique perspective on both the church and the church’s place within the context of the wider world. I was quick to discover that my status as a clergy brat afforded others a rather unique perspective on me, as well.

From the second grade public school teacher who was delighted that she finally had a student who could help her lead the class in morning prayers—she was soon to be sorely disappointed—to the consternation writ large across a high school peer’s face when he questioned, with great sincerity, how a woman could be a priest, my connection to the church has never failed to garner a response of some kind.

But the reaction that I have most commonly encountered is something I can best describe as confused apprehension. Many people, upon discovering my parents’ shared profession, become amusingly unsure of how to behave around me.

This period of bizarre behavioural amnesia is thankfully brief, but it has made a lasting impression on me. It speaks, I think, to the way the church is often perceived by modern secular society as a largely anachronistic institution. It is thought of as being in the world, but perhaps no longer particularly relevant to the here and now.

My internship at the Journal has garnered very similar reactions, with friends and acquaintances alike questioning what exactly fills the pages of a church newspaper—the unspoken implication, of course, being that stories published by a church-funded paper couldn’t possibly have relevance in the real world.

My time in the archives, particularly with those issues spanning the late 1950s and beyond, has refuted that assumption.

Granted, the very early editions of the paper—then called Canadian Churchman—at the tail end of the 19th century were not exactly what I would term an auspicious start. Cover pages were entirely devoid of actual news, and instead were peppered with ads for dentists and surgeons and miraculous shoes that claimed to prevent the formation of corns. Inside, stories skewed toward warning good Anglicans against the nefarious papist presence in Canada, or detailing the duties and role of the good and proper churchwoman.

Gradually, major world events found coverage in the paper. The outbreak of the First World War was the subject of a markedly restrained editorial, in which the writer lamented that “the original cause [of the conflict] is long lost sight of,” in the rush to arms, and praised “the spirit and method of our King and his statesmen in pressing for peace.” There is no mistaking the fact that he believes God to be on the side of England, but a call for peace in the midst of the notoriously pro-war rhetoric of the time is notable. On the whole, however, Canadian Churchman remained, by and large, an insular organ, written for the church and the church alone.

A sea change came in 1958 in the form of incoming editor and general manager Gordon Baker. Baker came to the paper with a mandate to speak to Anglicans as a whole, rather than to clergy or church interests alone. Canadian Churchman’s format was changed to that of a tabloid newspaper. Professional lay journalists were engaged to write columns on current events, politics, economics, social policy and entertainment. Political cartoons, the tone of which ranged from the comically irreverent—as in a 1977 cartoon published at the height of René Lévesque’s separatist movement that featured a boy praying the government didn’t “blow the national unity” like the Anglicans did with their United counterparts—to the wrenchingly poignant one about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968.

Most importantly, Baker introduced the concept of editorial independence, a move that served to raise the ire of church hierarchy, but paved the way for a newspaper that could engage with and hold to account the institution on which it reported, rather than simply toe the line.

The policy of editorial independence shaped the paper’s course in the years to come. The 1970s and ’80s saw stories on abortion reform—including letters published to and from pro-choice advocate Henry Morgentaler while he served out his prison sentence—and homosexuality in relation to the church, published to huge controversy.

They were controversies that often played out over months and months in the Letters to the Editor section. Editorials themselves often served to fan the flames of controversy, both within Canada and abroad. One particular 1979 column, entitled The mother church no longer, was directed at the Church of England’s refusal to allow women priests visiting the country to officiate openly, and stridently questioned whether a church “which so condones discrimination on the grounds of sex has the right any longer to be regarded as head of the Anglican Communion.”

The paper also began to place more emphasis on international stories, particularly when it came to issues of human rights in Africa and the Middle East.

Funding cuts took their toll in the ’90s and early 2000s, and the pages of the Journal were reduced, but issues of social justice and that ideal of journalistic independence retained priority, including extensive coverage of the Anglican Church of Canada’s role in the legacy of the residential schools.

The common thread from Baker’s arrival in the late 1950s up to the present day is that of a paper that is very much of the church, but unafraid—seemingly duty bound, it sometimes appeared—to challenge it. The church, as I’ve observed throughout my life, can be perceived by outsiders as impenetrable or archaic, an institution that exists quite apart from the concerns and realities of everyday life. An independent paper like the Journal, with its ability to challenge, its ability to provoke and engage, is an essential element, I think, in changing that perception.

About the Author

Ben Graves

Ben Graves

Ben Graves is an intern for the Anglican Journal.
Anglican Journal News, May 12, 2015

Jerusalem ministry transforms Ottawa priest

Posted on: April 24th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments



Three years ago, Major the Rev. Canon John Organ left behind his 20-year career as a military chaplain to serve as chaplain to Archbishop Suheil Dawani in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Now at the end of his term, he and his wife, Irene, are preparing to take leave of people and a place they have come to love deeply in order to return to Canada, where Organ plans to take up parish ministry in the diocese of Ottawa.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, told the Anglican Journal that Organ’s presence has helped to give real substance to the Canadian church’s commitment to strengthen ties with the diocese. “We couldn’t have had better—his expertise, his experience, his diplomacy, his compassion. He’s just been great.”

A condensed version of this interview was printed in the May issue of the Anglican Journal.

Excerpts of Organ’s e-mailed responses to questions from the Anglican Journal:

How did you approach your new role?

That first year was one in which both Irene and I…embraced completely the Palestinian community, which is predominantly the community our church here is made up of. From eating Palestinian food to sleeping in Palestinian homes, from travelling throughout the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel, we gave ourselves fully and completely to the diocese and the wider, especially Palestinian, community. That first year I personally suspended all judgment and bias and attitude of any kind, and simply observed, listened and learned.

What were you most surprised or struck by?

The resilience of the people…the capacity to enjoy family gatherings and fun-filled times despite all the suffering and hardships. There is very much joie de vivre among the Palestinian people, as well as tremendous generosity, hospitality, warmth and welcome. Right beside that would be the seemingly endless patience with suffering and oppression…There is a capacity to put up with such extraordinary disadvantage, cyclical military conflict, loss of life—mostly of young people—and seemingly endless destruction. Palestinians are literally locked down and locked up, especially in Gaza, but also in the West Bank. They are the only people I know without a state, without basic human rights protection, without a strong enough government to fully care for them and without real prospects for any resolution anytime soon.

How has your understanding of the place and the people changed during your time there?

I have come to love the people, and by people, I really mean Palestinians, because it is with Palestinians that I have worked and lived these past three years. I have totally come to love the desert and the Bedouin people. I wish I could actually live with them for a time. The land is holy for me. [For me,] it is still the Holy Land, though often referred to as the Land of the Holy One.

What has changed is my understanding of the people’s leaders. I have been given a front-row seat here to experience up close religious and political leaders. I am moulded by the biblical prophets’ cry for justice on behalf of the poor and the oppressed, often pointing the finger and blaming their leaders. I am somewhat there. Servant leadership could do so very much for the people here.

What are some of the highlights of your time in the diocese?

The people and congregational life…Confirmations can still have up to 30 young people. When they take on their baptismal vows for themselves, it is more than a religious ceremony—it is identity, purpose and meaning. A young person takes a stand for Christ in a society where doing so literally places him or her in a very small and sometimes very vulnerable minority status. In Gaza, for example, there are 1.6 million people and just 1,500 Christians. Their faith and witness are real and genuine and not taken lightly.

In addition, there are the diocesan institutions. Though struggling to afford such costly services as health care and education, the diocese has two hospitals, several clinics and rehabilitation centres, as well as 17 schools, caring for thousands of patients and teaching thousands of students, most of whom are Muslim.

I have been able to have access to all the holy sites of Jerusalem, basically on a daily basis. I have run or walked past the Mount of Olives almost every day, gone to the Holy Sepulchre often, and sometimes early in the morning when hardly a soul was awake, recalling Mary’s journey to the empty tomb. I have been to the Sea of Galilee many times and the desert almost weekly. I have walked from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and back. I have celebrated three Christmases at Shepherd’s Field and in Bethlehem. I have had amazing encounters with people of faith—Jewish, Muslim and Christian.

All of it has been a precious gift, and I am grateful to Primate Fred and Archbishop Suheil for giving me this unique and wonderful opportunity.

What were the challenging aspects of your ministry?

Religions…[all] have some real weaknesses. The Christian church is not exempt. It can be as removed from the real needs of suffering humanity as can any other organization, especially in challenging circumstances. There can be less than ideal stewardship. The church can lack courage. Churches can be competitive, and within churches there can be real personal ambition and self-interest. I think Pope Francis is making that not only obvious but trying hard to sort it out. I think the Anglican Communion also desires a church [that’s] more servant-oriented. I recall Primate Fred’s sermon on New Year’s Day 2014, at the cathedral in Ottawa, calling on Canadian Anglicans to become the church of the poor. More of that focus and practice will not only bless the needy but the church as well.

I have also witnessed here two major wars and many smaller conflicts. Shocking for me around that is the silence of the world and the seeming ease of states to inflict tremendous harm, suffering and death, largely upon innocent and helpless people. Having terrorism to blame covers a multitude of sins. So, too, violence carried out in God’s name can be alarming and shocking.

Moreover, any fair historical record of the Middle East reveals the West squarely in the middle of it, and often making things worse not better…The story of Iraq in recent decades has not been fully written yet. It is talked about a lot here, though. The West will have much to answer for there.

Is there a moment that you will always remember?

Some months ago, there was a fatal attack on Jewish worshippers in a synagogue in Jerusalem. The heads of churches in Jerusalem, including Archbishop Suheil as well as Muslim leaders, went to this synagogue to bring condolences, to stand against violence—especially religious motivated violence—and to pray for peace. The religious leaders were all seated in a…square, and standing behind them were many Orthodox youth, who were religious students at this synagogue. One young boy, maybe 12 years old or so, was standing immediately behind Archbishop Suheil, and he would often lean into the archbishop’s shoulders. Here was a Jewish kid, leaning on the shoulders of a Palestinian Christian leader, with great interest and seeming comfort. I took a picture of that moment in time. It will always be [an example] for me of what is possible between Israelis and Palestinians—it was a truly human and also holy moment when all barriers were gone.

How has the ministry changed you?

As Heraclitus said,“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

I have been given a powerful example of resiliency. I have seen people carry on with life when perhaps others would have given up. I have witnessed Gazans rebuild their homes after having had them destroyed, and not angrily, but with true happiness that there was something left to rebuild.

I have learned something else as well. Passion, no matter how well founded, must always be tempered. You may have right and might on your side, even in human relations, but at the end of the day, only love matters. One Corinthians 13 came alive for me here. There is lots of religion, personal and collective. But all of it is noise if there is no love.


Anglican Journal News, April 24, 2015

Remembering Paul Almond: Anglican author, film/TV producer and lay minister

Posted on: April 24th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

By Barbara Burgess

Canadian writer, producer and director and Anglican Paul Almond often dealt with Christian characters and themes in his productions and novels. Photo: Jay Iversen

(Editor’s note: The author shared this article with the Anglican Journal.) 

Paul Almond, OC, beloved by so many in the North American Anglican community, died on April 9. He was a lay eucharistic minister at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church in Malibu, and also preached at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City, Trinity Memorial Anglican Church in Montreal, St. Andrews in New Carlisle, Que., St. Martin’s-in-the-Woods Church in Shediac Cape, N.B., as well as at St. Paul’s in his native Shigawake, Que.

Paul was also known internationally for his work as a writer-producer-director in television and motion pictures, and later in life as the author of the eight-volume Alford Saga, covering 200 years of his family’s history. Some 140 newspapers around the world published articles about him after his death. Most of them highlighted his work in film and television, notably the creation of the legendary Granada TV documentary Seven Up! (1964). What was less talked about was his active role in the Anglican community and his creation of televised religious plays for the CBC.

In the 1950s, when Paul started his career at the newly created CBC, he collaborated with the Rev. Brian Freeland, head of religious programming at the corporation. In his autobiographical novel, The Inheritor, he recalls discussing his next project with Brian: “Probably another religious play at Christmas, Our Lady’s Tum­bler, by Ronald Duncan…From a story by Anatole France, based on a 13th-century medieval legend.” Paul also wrote, produced and directed The Hill, a portrayal of Christ’s ascent of Golgotha. It was telecast in Canada in 1956, coast to coast on CBC television; its impact was such that in 1959, Paul was asked to produce and direct it live on Good Friday for the BBC.

In the early 1960s, Freeland asked Paul to produce a documentary about the Holy Land, also described in The Inheritor: “The idea was to capture on film images that Our Lord might have seen two thousand years ago as He walked His land, preaching and healing…Here at last, Paul could walk the land where God had been made flesh. Now, he could know Jesus better by feeling how hot or cold He’d been, where He walked each day, what clouds He’d seen, what rain cooled Him, what clothes He’d worn. Imagine!”

Paul went on to produce a second religious documentary, Journey to the Centre, described as “a meditational film, [which] used extra footage of churches and monasteries that marked key moments in the ministry of Jesus.”

No fewer than four of the novels in Paul’s Alford Saga feature Anglican ministers: his father, World War I veteran, the Rev. Eric Almond (The Gunner and The Hero), and his uncle, the Rev. John Almond (The Pilgrim and The Chaplain). The Gunner and The Hero recount how Eric suffered terrible “shell shock”—what we would call PTSD today—and eventually became a minister. In The Pilgrim, we learn about John’s adventures as a young clergyman on the Lower North Shore of Quebec, while The Chaplain details his exploits as one of the first Anglican chaplains in Canada’s military.

Following his numerous launches of these books in churches and cathedrals across Canada, Paul arranged that, on most of these occasions, 50 per cent of the proceeds from book sales at the event would go directly to that particular church. In 2011, the Anglican Journal reported that more than $4,000 had been raised in this way.

I was privileged to have known Paul as a friend and colleague, handling much of his correspondence and working with him for the past two-and-a-half years. Paul’s last words to me, in his letter sent April 4, from Cedars-Sinai Hospital, L.A., were about prayer and the Lord.

Barbara Burgess worked as a publicist for Paul Almond and handled some of his literature-related correspondence for the past three years.


Anglican Journal News, April 24, 2015

Turning churches into housing a unique challenge for developers

Posted on: April 23rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Turning churches into housing a unique challenge for developers (link is external)

Boston Globe: Abandoned churches are increasingly attractive as condominium developments but tinkering with the old and the holy, it turns out, comes with a particular set of challenges.


Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, News & Ideas, April 21, 2015