This story, and the photographs, by Archdeacon Gerald Westcott, will appear in the November print issue of Anglican Life.
In the period from 1999 to 2006, the then four point parish of Brigus-South River was recreated into the one congregation to become the Parish of the Resurrection. In that same time period, the new congregation was housed in the building that we now call our home. In 2004, the sod was turned to begin the new project. The Oratory of the Resurrection was dedicated on the 24th of September 2006.
In February of 2020 (just before the COVID-19 lockdown began), the facility was paid off, and, free of debt, was ready to be consecrated. On Sunday, the 26th of September, Bishop Cy (who turned the sod in 2004, and who dedicated the Oratory in 2006) was here, and consecrated the house for the Church of the Resurrection to the Glory of God.
Many people in many ways have made this possible, and we are grateful for their love and commitment to Christ. There continues to be much good and important ministry that happens under the roof of this house for the Church. We are grateful for this house where the Church, in all its different forms, gathers. And we are grateful for the love that we call Christ, that continues to emerge as our shared life.
This story, by the Rev’d Jolene Peters (who also took the photographs) will appear in the November print issue of Anglican Life.
When you walk inside the doors of St. Thomas’ church in St. John’s, you can’t help but pause and admire the beautiful architecture. Each time I sit in the pews I find myself reflecting and thinking about the many people who have sat there before me over the years. I think about those who built this church and began ministry here 185 years ago. Their passion, dedication, and hard work built these walls that have housed so many ministries over the years. My own grandparents were married here 78 years ago, and I am in awe of the many others who stood in the front of this church and made a commitment to each other, or the many families who brought their new born babies here to receive the sacrament of Baptism and be welcomed into this church family. So many families have come here in their grief as they’ve said farewell to those whom they loved, with the promise of being together one day again in that place that Jesus has promised is prepared for each of us. Countless people of all ages have come to these altar rails and joined together in the Eucharist to be fed and nourished by God’s word and sacrament.
Over the decades, there have been laughter and tears, ups and downs. Many changes have taken place; we have seen people leave for one reason or another; we have welcomed new people into the fold. We have had many people give leadership here, and have been blessed by the various gifts of the clergy and lay leadership in this place over the years.
What I wholeheartedly know has remained true for all of those years is the faithfulness, generosity, and love for God’s people. The parish could never celebrate such a milestone as this without all of those who have made it possible to get here. St. Thomas’ congregation has remained blessed throughout the many years that people have come here and called St. Thomas’ home. Whether you have been here your whole life or have just joined us, we are so glad that you are part of our parish family and give thanks for the many gifts we have received from your dedication, love, and support of this parish and its ministries.
It may not have been the anniversary service that would have been planned had it not been for the current COVID-19 restrictions, but nonetheless, on Sunday September 19th, this parish family came together in celebration with a beautiful worship service. We welcomed Archdeacon Charlene Taylor, our Diocesan Administrator, as the guest preacher, and we had the MHA for St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi, the Honourable John Abbott, in attendance to present the Rev’d Gail MacDonald, our rector, with a certificate of congratulations.
As this parish family always does, parishioners came through on the request to fill bags with groceries for the Emmaus House Food Bank, a special project to celebrate 185 years and give back to our community. A total of 95 bags were collected!
As we continue on the journey may we do so giving thanks for our history and all that has shaped us and let us look forward with faith for all we will experience together in this part of God’s kingdom in the years to come.
This full article, by Archdeacon Terry Caines, with photographs by Hannah Dicks, will appear in the November print issue of Anglican Life.
On September 24th-25th, the 28 Parishes of The Anglican Diocese of Central Newfoundland gathered at the Parish of Gander for the 47th session of the diocesan synod. In Friday afternoon’s opening service at St. Martin’s Cathedral in Gander, Bishop Watton started his Charge to Synod with these words: “My COVID weary brothers and sisters, my relatives in Christ, welcome to the 320th year of the Anglican Church in Newfoundland, our 47th Diocesan Synod, and to the 45th year that we have been our own diocese.
The theme for Synod 47 was “Welcome to the Future.” Bishop Watton stated that over the past few years, we have certainly been talking about change and what we thought the future would look like. We have been talking about buildings, money, aging congregations, young people who don’t care, and what’s wrong with the world.
It’s time to get focused as one diocesan family, and he can quickly outlined three types of responses that are unfolding in the diocese: 1. We have had to respond in relation to buildings and ministry, because some congregations just can’t carry on. 2. Leaders in our synod office, and throughout the diocese through our committees, have been faithfully looking at diocesan life through practical eyes. We have moved mountains to give our parishes time to keep moving forward and talk about the future. 3. We have responded out of an honest desire to be faithful to the call and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bishop Watton offered thanksgiving to the diocese for all that they have done, in heart, body, and soul. Also, for the grace in following our protocols within the church, and out in the public. But above all, for not giving up.
At the heart of the Bishop’s Charge was his statement that it’s time to listen to the Holy Spirit calling us back into right relationship with Jesus, so that we can, as the Church, be part of “a Jesus shaped response” to what is happening around us. Wherever Jesus went, his purpose was not to form institutions or to put up buildings, but to meet people right where they were, and draw people together in community. Wherever Jesus went, he brought people together.
As we move forward, there are going to be all sorts of new and unique questions, and we are going to have some difficult discussions. To those of you who have made some heartbreaking choices, the bishop said that it was, and is, an honour to stand with you and weep with you through them.
Bishop Watton shared that, as diocesan bishop, he must remind the synod that in their parish and diocesan discussions, some of people tend to be protective about their buildings and boundaries. That is understandable. It comes from the years of devotion, proven by what people have given to support the Church and community over the years.
It is also as response, against what communities have lost as our federal and provincial governments have had to adjust finances, health care, administration, and community services. Bishop Watton said that he understands people wanting to preserve their identity and heritage. He was very clear in stating, “We must never place our parish boundaries and buildings, as important as they are, above the needs of proclaiming the Gospel and doing active pastoral ministry.”
“I know that in the midst of change, people who ‘fight for their communities’ seem almost heroic. But they also seem stubborn, unyielding, and narrow in relation to a bigger picture. That is not the witness we need anywhere in the Diocese. We need to be building a Christ shaped Church.”
The Bishop’s Charge was a preamble into a workshop on Saturday which was based around the concept and reality of a “Lean Canvas.”
The idea of the Lean Canvas workshop was to focus on Mission, Resources and Process. The workshop discussion topics related to who is your target group; what are your current problems; who are our people; do we offer a healthy environment; what measurements do we use to gauge success; just to mention a few. Synod concluded with a final question to the parishes: “What are your next steps going to be? The Diocese of Central Newfoundland eager to work with you!
Looking back through files of old Anglican Life issues, I’ve come up with a few photos that you may enjoy seeing again. Happy Thanksgiving! -Emily Rowe, Editor, Anglican Life
2013–Thanksgiving supper in Port Saunders
Monday October 14, 2013, was a beautiful sunny day in Port Saunders for Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving always means an Annual Fall Fair with sale of baked goods and vegetables or bottled goods, along with something hot to eat like chilli with fresh bread rolls, sandwiches of every kind, and a nice lemon dessert with tea/coffee in the Anglican Church in Port Saunders. It was hosted by the St. John Divine Vestry. The most exciting part of the day was the cake walk that got the young and old in on the act, but it looked like the young won more cakes than the older people!
2016-Thanksgiving at The Ascension, Mount Pearl
Each October, our church is filled with the bounty of the season. This past fall, parishioners and friends gathered for fun, food and fellowship, enjoying a Jigs Dinner on October 11th and a card game on October 18th. The Youth of our Parish visited Ruby Manor to serve tea and share treats which they had made especially for the occasion, and they shared in a time of song and fellowship with the residents.
2018-Port Aux Basques Thanksgiving
The ACW Altar Guild of St. James’ Church in Port aux Basques decorated their church for Thanksgiving Sunday Service. Some of the ladies went to the country to cut boughs, dog wood berries, and other foliage to add to our beautiful arrangements.
St. Matthew’s Church, Rocky Harbour, held it’s annual Harvest Festival supper on Monday October 8th, 2018 with a Jiggs Dinner. There was also a bake sale, and sale of knitted goods, crafts, preserves, vegetables, and other items.
This article, by Claire Donnan, will appear in the October print issue of Anglican Life.
As the saying goes, “Give a man a carrot, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach him how to grow a carrot, and he’ll eat for life. Teach a man how to be well, and he’ll help everyone eat.” Okay, maybe that’s not quite it, but that’s what the Anglican Cathedral’s Wellness program and community garden seek to accomplish—the education and feeding of the greater community through outreach programs and a public garden. Today I sat down with two organizers of the group, Brenda Halley (a social worker) and Patricia Waddleton (a dietician), as well as two other members, Steven Butler and Chris Kelsey. We discussed the purpose and activities of the Wellness group and community garden, and I got to see how people can get involved.
“We came together about seven or eight years ago…I sort of came up with an idea that, on Fridays, we would get a group of people together and we would start hiking,” says Halley of the group’s origins almost a decade ago. “As we started chatting, and Patricia came on board, we sort of came with, ‘you know, let’s start talking about wellness…how we [can] get more well every day.’” The program’s focus began to shift, thanks to a survey of members that expressed interest in gardening and healthy cooking. It was from there that Waddleton, a dietician with Eastern Health, came in. “We started out with six garden beds; it went on to another 8…and this year we have this beautiful greenhouse, so it has evolved over the past three years,” says Waddleton, gesturing at the beautiful open greenhouse on the cathedral green space, surrounded by seven-foot sunflowers. This shift in the group’s focus couldn’t have come at a better time, says Waddleton. “We noticed over the past couple years, especially between Snowmaggedon and now COVID, how it’s important to have our own food source,” she says. Demonstrating how it’s possible to grow your own produce here in Newfoundland is a first essential step in sharing this information.
Participant input has also added a new element to the group: cooking! Chris Kelsey has encouraged and shown the group how to make salads with the home grown produce. “We had mixed greens mostly, some cucumber and yellow tomato, and some zucchini,” explains Kelsey. All fresh produce, grown mere feet from the cathedral. One thing that’s particularly interesting about this garden? It’s neither locked, nor exclusive to the program! “Food security is important, but everybody should have access to fresh, tasty vegetables, and oftentimes people do not, and that’s just unacceptable, I think,” says Halley. Thus, anyone can follow the greenhouse sign’s instructions: Take what you need and leave the rest.
Wellness program responsibilities can often be fairly regular, with weekly or even daily tasks. “The group gets together usually on Friday afternoons; daily [responsibilities are] taking care of the plants, a bit of weeding, and watering everyday,” says Kelsey. He and Butler are at the community garden every day taking care of these tasks. Besides this, the group provides activities like yoga, mindfulness, walking the labyrinth, snowshoeing, and more!
Finally, I’m sure you’re curious about the community garden’s fare. Well, it varies! Lettuce, eggplant, broccoli, carrot, potato, corn, squash, green onion, kale, garlic, spinach, cucumbers, zucchini, strawberries, snow peas, tomatoes, nasturtiums (edible flowers), and more! I was lucky enough to get to try a nasturtium, green pepper, and tomato, and they were all absolutely delicious! Rest assured that if you visit the community garden, you’ll leave well fed!
As you can see, this is an incredible program and initiative that the cathedral has supported. I’m sure it will continue to grow as it has in recent years, and will continue to do an incredible job of educating and offering opportunities to the people of Newfoundland. These outreach services are an incredible way of helping the community, and are so much fun!
Claire Donnan is a parishioner at the Cathedral, and has just started univeristy in the fall of 2021, working towards a Bachelor of Digital Journalism degree.
This will appear in print in the September issue of Anglican Life
In the late 1980s, my wife was a patient at the Health Science Center in St John’s. A day or two after her surgery, the door to her room opened, and an old priest sauntered in. He asked, “Hutchings, Hutchings, Cow Head, Northern Peninsula?” I said, “Close. St. Paul’s Inlet, just next door.” “I was hoping it might be,” he smiled. “I am Reverend Taylor. My first parish was Cow Head.”
“Yes,” I said, “ I remember you being mentioned many times over the years.”
“I had a wonderful ministry there,” he said. “Wonderful people. They treated me well. It was a challenging parish, as we had to walk in those days, or hitch a ride on a horse during winter, or a boat during summer.
“For sure,” I said. “I remember as a boy when the first vehicle came to St. Paul’s. The road was constructed to Western Brook about three miles from St. Paul’s and they managed to get the truck across the brook and the man managed to drive it down around the sea shore. Once he got the truck to St. Paul’s, he had it made. An oil drilling
company had built a road through the community in as far as Gully Cove where they drilled an oil well.”
He nodded his head and smiled. “You remember uncle Norm Blake?”
“I sure do, and his wife, Aunt Mary.”
“I always stayed with them on my rounds to St. Paul’s. I remember a funny incident once:
I was on my way to Sally’s Cove, and walked into St Paul’s in the morning. I got there just before noon. I went to Uncle Norm’s and knocked on the door. Uncle Norm opened the door.”
“ Good morning, Father Taylor. Where you goin’ this cold mornin’?”
“I am on my way to Sally’s Cove.”
“Well, come on in and have dinner (lunch) with us, and I’ll harness the horse and take you up after dinner.”
“That would be great,” I said. So we had dinner, and afterwards Uncle Norm went out and harnessed the horse and hooked him up to the sleigh. When he was ready, he sat on the sleigh up front to drive the horse, and I jumped on the back, and we set off up across St. Paul’s Marsh. On the trail to Sally’s Cove, there were mostly marshes with a small droke of woods separating them. When we entered the woods where it was lund from the wind, so Uncle Norm slowed the horse to a walk. I would jump off and run behind the hose to warm up. Everything went well until we got to Duck Pond woods. Before I got back on the sleigh, the horse took off and left me behind. Uncle Norm did not look behind so he had no idea I wasn’t on the sleigh. On the other side of Gull Marsh, just before Sally’s Cove, Uncle Norm met Joe Jill walking from Sally’s Cove down to Broom Point. Uncle Norm stopped to have a chat, as was custom in those days.
“Good Morn, Joe,” said Uncle Norm. “Where are you going this cold day?”
“I am going down to Broom Point, Uncle Norm, to do a little work on my fishing shack, Where are you on your way to?”
“I am taking Father Taylor to Sally’s Cove.”
“Where is Father Taylor?” asked Joe.
Uncle Norm glanced around and said, “Oh my Lord, I have lost Father Taylor!” “He wheeled the horse around and came galloping back looking for me. I was walking casually along, following the trail. I knew he would be back once he discovered I wasn’t on the sleigh.
Maureen and I had a hearty laugh at the story, and admired a wonderful old priest I had heard mentioned admiringly during my years growing up in St. Paul’s Inlet.
This story by Audrey Park will appear in the September issue of Anglican Life.
The 2021 confirmation class of St. James’, Gillams, (of the Parish of Meadows) made a presentation of $637 to the Make a Wish Foundation during the evening prayer service on July 11th. The donation was the result of their stewardship project, using their time, talent, and treasures to help others. The nine candidates chose the charity, and they raised the funds by making and selling a variety of items. Two representatives of the Foundation were on hand to accept the donation and were very appreciative. We are all very proud of our candidates.