Rector's Message

One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church by Rev’d Val (Summer)
Do you recognize this line that we say when we recite the Nicene Creed? The term holy we understand as something ‘set apart’, dedicated or consecrated to God, sacred. Catholic can cause some confusion at first as the term is sometimes used to refer to the Roman Catholic Church, but in this instance the term Catholic Church, is speaking of the Christian Church, universal in nature. But, Apostolic Church, what comes to mind when we speak of being an Apostolic Church. For most of us the term makes us think of Jesus band of apostles, to whom he entrusted so much early in the church’s life and from whose example we have build on so much of what the church is today? In truth the meaning of apostolic is quite simple and straightforward. To be apostolic is to be ‘sent’. The Greek word for apostolic when translated into Latin was missio, from which our word missionary is derived. So, if we are one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that means that together we are set aside, in all expressions of what it is to be Church, to be messagers of the Gospel, wherever we find ourselves. This familiar line in the Creed might just as easily have read, “One holy, Catholic and Missional Church”.
While it was not always so, there was a time in the history of the church, when those who did mission were professionals, that is, specially trained and prepared in language studies and culture, to go to distant lands, to share the Gospel. With the radical secularization of society, all of that has changed and in our day the mission field is all around us, and we, each and every one of us, are called to be messengers to it. Sadly due to many misunderstanding we carry in our heads pictures of sharing one’s faith as mechanistic, disrespectful, intrusive, even threatening. Add to this the impression that somehow to be missional we have to be gifted speakers, amazing Bible scholars, philosophers and most of us quickly become overwhelmed, throw our hands in the air, and call it a day. However, what if we began to see mission as something else. What if we began to see mission as something that we engage in in cooperating with the Holy Spirit to share the good news in ways that were part of our everyday living? What if mission was living out the truth of God working in our lives, sharing and encouraging others to take steps towards becoming an apprentice of Jesus?
How do we do this?
In our baptism, as we recall each week in our saying of the Creed, we have been ‘sealed by the Holy Spirit’ and ‘marked as Christ’s own forever”. By God’s grace we share in the Divine Life, a gift of our baptism but how does this Divine Life express itself in and through us? In the Anglican Communion we express this life in and through the Five Marks of Mission:
1) Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom 2) Teach, baptize and nurture new believers 3) Respond to human need by loving service 4) Transform unjust structures, challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation 5) Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
In point of fact our Bishop has asked us in our Mission and Ministry plans that we create each year, to organize ourselves in all that we are and do
around these Five Marks to be living expressions of God in all of our parishes.
While Mission has been lived out in many different ways at St Anne’s over the years, an Outreach Committee has recently began meeting again to consider afresh how in light of our developing Vision and Mission Statement, we live this out in community. In the Fall we will be speaking more specifically about each of the Five Marks and how at their core they are a proclamation of God’s mission to us, and it is from this that all of our mission does and will flow. In the meantime, over those lazy, hazy days of summer why not visit: https://www.ssje.org/5marksoflove/ to learn about the Five Marks of Love, a resource created by the Society of St John the Evangelist, an Anglican order of monks with roots in Canada.
Spirituality on the Go
Sometimes we feel that to be truly spiritual we need long spans of time. I’m here to tell you that that simply is not the case. I hope over the next few newsletters to offer some suggestions about resources that are available to us, and especially when time can be limited. Why not incorporate one or both of these into your daily routine.
To begin let’s start with: a Three Minute Retreat
https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer
Yes, you read that correctly a three-minute retreat, whenever you need it. I think most of us can manage that. Why not click on the link and be pleasantly surprised?
For another choice why not visit Pray As You Go, https://www.pray-as-you-go.org/home/ This is a 10minutes daily devotion that give some beautiful music, a reading of Scriptures, and some short pointed questions to support reflection.
For those who prefer, both of these website are also available as Apps. Let me know what you think after using them for a while. Better yet, why not submit a reflection on your reflecting for the next newsletter!

Easter 2018 - As We Wait for Spring
We Canadians do love to talk about our weather don’t we? (Do you ever wonder what folks talk about who live in climates with very little variation in the temperature? It is hard to image.) Whole conversations can take place between two complete strangers as they muse over the extremes we endure, with escalating tales of frozen pipes, outrageous heating bills, even debating just how many minutes does it take exactly for skin to freeze? I realize there are more cheerful conversations that can also be had around the weather such as the fact that winter provides us with opportunities to ski, snow shoe or skate outdoors. And there is nothing quite as lovely as the scene of the sun in a bright blue February sky as it glistens down on snowy lawns and housetops. We stand on the verge of Easter 2018, knowing that with spring having just barely officially arrived, there may well be mud and melting, but I don’t hear a lot of complaining as we watch winter disappear in our rear-view mirror.
Spring as it wakes up all around us becomes the season that turns sadness to joy, death into life, gloomy grays into brilliant colour, as trees and plants begin to shake off the hold of winter, pushing their way into a warmer world, each day bringing us a moment more light, with the mercury slowly but resolutely, making its way up the thermometer.
At the same time we as Christians are celebrating the season of Easter, the centre of our Christian year. Emerging from our Lenten observances and special services of Holy Week, Easter is for us a season of hope and of possibilities. As we recall and celebrate the incredible events of the first Easter Sunday, we are reminded that in Christ love triumphed over evil, darkness and death. Humanity was set free from the slavery of the fear of death.
Because of this as we go through grey and gloomy times in our own lives, challenged by health, financial or relationship issues, we know that in the midst of all the gloom, there is God, even when and perhaps especially when it is not immediately apparent.
I love these two verses from 1 Corinthians 13, especially in this new paraphrased translation, The Message. It expresses the perfect sentiment as we move out of gloom into light, and as life pushes us back and forth in and out of the gloom, catch Paul’s advice in the last verse …
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
 
So, blessed Easter one and all! So glad we can be on this ride together!
Rev’d Val

Lent 2018 - Some Thoughts for the Season
by Rev’d Val
We live in an increasingly secular society, which is not news to anyone. For many, participating in organized religion is something that they have not ever done, nor something about which they wish to learn more, as religion is seen as irrelevant to their lives. What is frequently heard however, is people’s acknowledgement that they are ‘spiritual’ and not ‘religious’. While ‘spirituality’ could be defined in a myriad of ways, I recently came across a definition, that I felt very fitting for our consideration over this season of Lent. It is written by the well-known author Joan Chittister, who by any definition would be considered quite religious. Joan is a Benedictine nun and writer, a leading voice for spiritual renewal, a prophetic champion of peace and justice and a champion of the role of women in the church and the world.
Spirituality is the magnet within us that draws us to God. It immerses us in a consciousness of the God who is with us and the God who is beyond us. Spirituality is a composite of those practices, attitudes, and values designed to bring to the height of spiritual development, to the depths of goodness, to authentic conjunction with the will of God in the here and now. Spirituality is theology walking.
It makes theology real.
My prayer for us all during this season of Lent is that we may open ourselves to all that it has to show us, and that the daily reality of our faith might grow truer with ever fresh understanding.

The Lenten Journey and Its Unique Offerings
The image of the Journey is one frequently used for the season of Lent. During this liturgical season, traditionally one of self-examination, there are four particular times of worship designed to support us on this journey.
 
Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
10am and 7pm
Pancakes, syrup and sausages all tidied away for another year, we begin the first day of Lent with Ash Wednesday and its invitation to observe a holy Lent. While somewhat somber in general tone, it is the impositions of ashes that serves as a reminder on the one hand of our mortality and on the other hand of the gracious gift of eternal life freely given by God. This first all-important stop on our Lenten journey gives us the space to pause and to be deliberate in our decisions about how we will pass the next 40 days of this season.

Palm/Passion Sunday
Sunday, March 25, 2018
A small burst of joy in an otherwise pensive season, we remember Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem. At once loved by the people and hated by the authorities, for this moment, he is celebrated. This same service contains as well a reading of the passion story, by way of reminder of just how quickly everything will change for Jesus and his disciples.
 
Maundy Thursday
Thursday, March 29, 2018
7:00pm
This is a worship service that generally has two components to it in addition to the Eucharist. The first traditionally is a remembering of Jesus’ final night with his disciples on which he both washed their feet and instituted the Lord’s Supper. The second focus of the evening is the stripping of the altar. Out of respect for Christ’s work on the cross and the great cost of this redeeming work, all colour and finery is removed from the worship space. We are, in these simple acts, acknowledging what is to come and preparing for it.
Good Friday
Friday, March 30, 2018
10:00am
The Good Friday service at St Anne’s is a Tenebrae service. The word ‘tenebrae’ is Latin for shadows. The general purpose of the Tenebrae service is to recreate and reflect emotional aspects of the passion story as we read of the betrayal, abandonment and agony of the events that occurred during Holy Week. While the emphasis of the liturgy is to create an experience of something of the darkness into which Christ descended as he completed the mission for which he had been sent, it is a piece of our Christian story that should not be missed. As we move into the brilliance of Easter Sunday our faith story becomes complete.
All of these services precede the glory of Easter morning, and are an important part of our Christian story, making the happy ending of Easter all that more glorious. So why not consider taking in the entire story this year…the highs and the lows. You’ll be glad that you did.