For the full article by The Rev’d Fred Marshall, see the November print issue of Anglican Life:
As a newly ordained priest in my first parish consisting of congregations in Arnold’s Cove, Come By Chance, North Harbour, and Sunnyside, I spent most of the first year listening and observing. One morning while facing the congregation at Saint Michael and All Angels in Arnold’s Cove, I wondered “where are the men?” The community of Arnold’s Cove had a population of approximately 1,000 people and it was estimated that at least sixty percent had an Anglican background. Average Sunday attendance would be less than 35 people, the great majority of whom were female. While some were widows and there were a few men, there is an obvious disconnect in the number of men attending worship. Where were the men and why did they not come to church?
One of the things that I discovered is that a common interest and a place for men, especially in rural areas, is “the shed.” Entering the shed is informal and less intimidating than entering the Lions’ Den or the Church. In the shed everyone is equal. In the shed you can engage in conversation or just sit and listen. In the shed seemed to be a good place for men’s ministry. When the decision was made to have a place for men to gather, men showed up to help prepare a shed behind the rectory and next to the church. Installing a wood stove was a must.
Each year approximately 60 men took part in the project with 20 to 30 attending on Thursday evenings. It was so wonderful to see three generations participate in the project. While they were welcome to attend on Thursday evening, women often dropped by on other days “to see what the men were up to.” An official launching and christening of the boat became part of the Arnold’s Cove Heritage Committee’s opening ceremony
If you wish to check out the amazing fellowship “In the Shed with Rev. Fred—Building a Boat—Building Community” visit our parish Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/parishofthelivingwater/ I pray you will “Like” us and spread the Word.
From the upcoming November issue of Anglican Life:
On September 8th, a total of 40 dresses were taken to Holy Trinity Church in Codroy, and were blessed by our visiting member of the clergy, the Rev’d Jim Reid. The dresses were made by members of the church, and will be sent to Haiti. Many thanks to everyone who made them, and also to those who donated pillow cases for them. May they be enjoyed by all who receive them.
On Thursday September 26th and Friday September 27th, the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador held a special Mission Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s. The conference was organized by Archdeacon Greg Mercer with the assistance of the Mission Deans of the diocese. Two guest speakers, Dr. Alan Roxburgh and the Rev’d Dr. Jay Koyle, addressed the assembled group of mission representatives from across the diocese, and also held interactive sessions to answer specific questions relating to mission within parishes.
Dr. Roxurgh spoke of how mission is discerning what God is doing ahead of us. He spoke on the importance of moving beyond the walls and boundaries of our parish buildings, of taking ourselves out into the local communities, and just being with the people who we find there. Mission is not about coming up with new programs in an attempt to fill the needs of the rest of the population, but is rather to concern itself with going out into the community to be with those who are not a part of the parish, and to look for no return on that investment. Engage in this mission, and see where God will take us.
Dr. Koyle spoke of how the way that we look at things determines what we will see and how we need to let the future lead us just as much as we do the past. As Christians, we are shaped by what we will become—by where the Holy Spirit is leading, and by God’s promised tomorrow. He asked if we felt that we are living in a time of crisis for the church, which it is clear that we are. However, it was suugested that this is not a crisis of membership, but rather one of realising who needs to be relevant to whom. As the church, we no longer have a monopoly on religion, and so we must find our market niche. The problem that we have is not that the gospel has become irrelavant to society, but that the kingdom of God has become irrelevant to the church. Again, it is not about trying to attract people to us—not about creating programs and adapting to their needs—but about making ourselves more attractive people by how we live our lives. There are plenty of people of love in the world, and our job is to find them. Congregation is not a problem to be solved, but is a blessing to be released.
Between sessions, Dr. Rick Singleton and Dr. Carmel Doyle (both of Queen’s College) led a time of silence and reflection so that those present could listen to where the Holy Spirit is leading the church.
Long-time Anglican Life columnist Ronald Clarke was seriously ill last summer. In this excerpt from the upcoming October print issue, he talks about Thanksgiving, and his own thankfulness now that he is on the mend. The full column will be in paper.
Thanksgiving comes every year. It’s a holiday for everyone and most see it as a long weekend, time off from work and not much more. As Christians, giving thanks to God, our Father, and to Jesus Christ, his Son, is a practise we should have every day and not just at a particular time of year.
This past summer has been a difficult one for me. Near the end of July, I took sick and ended up in the hospital. According to my family, I very nearly died! I was anemic, I had pneumonia and I was bleeding internally. I only have vague memories of some of what happened to me over those two weeks in hospital, but what I have clear memories of are the number of people who prayed tirelessly to have my good health restored. Friends, neighbours, clergy, family members, and friends of family members all told me they were praying for my recovery. It felt like half of Newfoundland was on their knees asking our Saviour to heal me. As a matter of fact, most are still telling me they are continuing to pray for my recovery.
Today, I am grateful for so many things. I’m grateful for a loving family, for kind considerate friends and for the love of our Lord and Saviour. This year my health scare reminded me of all that I have, here on earth and in the heavens with our Lord! Be grateful this year for all the blessings that been bestowed upon you and share all your blessings with those you love and those you meet! Happy Thanksgiving! May God bless you all!
The Feast of the Holy Cross, which we celebrate today, September 14th, is traditionally kept to acknowledge three events: Saint Helena finding the true cross in 326 AD (she found it while on pilgrimage to Jerusalem); the dedication of churches built by Constantine on the site of the Holy Sepulchre and Mount Calvary; and the restoration of true cross to Jerusalem in 629 AD by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius—it had been taken away after Jerusalem fell to the Persian Emperor in 614 AD. While the authenticity of relics of the cross may be questionable for some, Holy Cross Day provides an opportunity for a celebration of Christ’s redeeming death on a cross for the sins of the whole world.
In this painting by Agnolo Gaddi, we see the artist’s depiction of Saint Helena (who was the mother of the Emperor Constantine) discovering the true cross of Christ. It was painted in 1380. (photo from commons.wikimedia.org)
From the Book of Common Prayer:
O BLESSED Saviour, who by thy cross and passion hast given life unto the world: Grant that we thy servants may be given grace to take up the cross and follow thee through life and death; whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit we worship and glorify, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Corner Brook EFM 2019 graduation took place at All Saints’ Church, Corner Brook, during the 11am Holy Eucharist service on June 8th.
In the front row (left to right) are: Archbishop Percy Coffin (preacher), Walter Wicks (graduate), Thomas Goulding (graduate), Archbishop Stewart Payne (EFM mentor),Wayne Sawyer (brother of the Rev’d Deacon Phyllis Joy), and Ann Marie Turpin (third year EFM student). Phyllis died rather suddenly during the EFM year. Archbishop Payne and Wayne are holding Phyllis’s graduation certificate, which was beautifully framed for her family.
In the back row (left to right) are: the Rev’d Tanya White (rector of the Parish of All Saints’, Corner Brook), and Judy Parsons (third year EFM student).
At the Special Synod of the Diocese of Western Newfoundland, clergy and lay delegates voted 93.4% in favour of allowing same-sex marriage.
Bishop John Organ said he was deeply grateful and overjoyed by the courage, generosity, and hospitality of the diocese. “This overwhelmingly affirming vote makes it clear that gay and lesbian people are fully included in the life of the Anglican Church in Western Newfoundland (and Southern Labrador). Now, all the sacraments of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Western Newfoundland are available to the LGBT community, including marriage. It is a great day for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a great day for our diocese.”