June 2008 Issue No. 15
Let This be a Sign unto You
Such was the slogan for the Diocesan Communications Committee. The Boken Report stressed, among other things, that "most Churches were difficult to find because there was no directional street signage... The location signage was often not visible to oncoming traffic because of being positioned parallel to the road.,; The exterior of the Church needs to portray a healthy image to the community. One deteriorating location with poorly kept signage puts the perception of the Anglican Church for the people of that community in jeopardy."
In addition to possessing a sign that is not consistent with the recommendations of the Boken Report, St Mark's is almost completely obscured by trees from both north- and south-bound traffic. A new sign is imperative to make ourselves known and visible.
The St Mark's Sign Working Group (Fr. Brian Kauk, Brian Harrison, Coralie Sheehan and Sheila Vaudrey) presented a proposal for parish consideration and invited feedback. The design (image below) was on display for the first two Sundays in May, and many people stopped to look. Thirty-five people provided their views; 95% thought it was very good or excellent. A couple of modifications to the sign were made in response to comments received from parishioners, such as adding the words "All are Welcome."
The overall estimate for the sign is $3,185.00.
St Mark's has received an $800.00 grant from the Diocese to contribute towards the cost. We budgeted $1,575.00, and the rest has already been covered by parish donations.
Archetype Signs has been contracted for this project. They have constructed signs for several other Churches around Ottawa. The structure of the sign includes: a principal double-sided panel of a new material more durable than wood, which is hand-carved; magnetic panels for the service times, which can be switched to display special services such as Christmas and Easter; pressure-
treated pine for the posts; and gold leaf for the words "St. Mark," which will reflect any glint of approaching headlights. The amount of lighting already on Fisher A venue may eliminate our need for extra lamps to make the sign visible at night.
The design of the sign complies with the regulation of the Diocese that every parish now include the words "Anglican Church of Canada" Also, we are providing our phone number and website to facilitate anyone's efforts to contact us, and our Rector's name for the benefit of those who are already acquainted with him and will be glad to know where he can be found.
The location of the sign will be as close to the comer of Fisher and Normandy as possible without encroaching upon city property. In addition, at least two trees believed to be on city land are not healthy at all and may be removed in the near future.
According to the sign experts, St Mark's is quite undersigned for its property size; therefore, we will retain our old sign as additional insurance that visitors will be able to find us. The new sign is scheduled to be in place by the end of June.
From the Rector ...
As the summer comes upon us, I'm approaching my six-month anniversary as the new priest at St Mark's. Wow, time flies!
At my induction, the Reverend Bill Byers used this illustration in his sermon. He was talking about the difference between managers and leaders. Loosely, this is what he said:
Envision a group of people hacking their way through the jungle with machetes. They're the producers, the problem-solvers. They're cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out.
The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for machete wielders.
The leader - that will be Brian - is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation and yells, "Wrong jungle!"
I encourage you not to respond the way busy, efficient producers and managers often respond: "Shut up! We're making progress!"
I was encouraged to step up to the challenge of leadership at St Mark's. Daunting? Just a bit! Despite some fear (gulp!), I also feel anticipation and excitement. Bill is a good friend, so I assume he thinks I'm up to the task. I don't think I can do it without your help, though. I've been doing some homework so that I can serve to the best of my ability.
Gilbert R. Rendle, author and Senior Consultant with the Alban Institute, says there are several assumptions or guidelines that need to be honoured if we are to successfully face change as a congregation in this time of wonderful opportunities.
1. We are seeking new learnings, not following old rules. How we go about making changes is as important as what changes we make. We can't simply decide and do. When every Anglican Church was pretty much the same as any other, this may have been possible. In an era where change is the only constant, where each community reacts differently, adult learning is the key to finding the right adaptation. We need to reflect on actions, connect them with previous experience and insights. With this new learning in place, we can make a decision about next steps and then implement (do) those steps. This cycle then repeats as we reflect again on our actions.
2. Change will produce conflict, which is good and not to be avoided. Rendle defines conflict as "two or more ideas in the same place at the same time." Conflict isn't necessarily a fight, but does require us to engage with each other, working out differences without focusing all our efforts on persuasion and winning.
3. We need to appreciate experimentation and failure. You can't succeed if you don't try. Has anyone ever learned to ride a bicycle without earning a skinned knee? People who try new things know that failure needs to be seen as an opportunity to learn what went wrong and why.
4. Leadership is essentially a spiritual issue. A very good friend of mine recently completed his MBA. We had a chance to spend some time together last spring. I was engaged in the work of the Strategic Planning Task Force at the time, and we swapped ideas and talked about what we were learning. I think the Church has much to learn from the business world, as well as from other institutions such as government, hospitals and universities. But at the end of the day, it will be our Bible study that informs us as a faith community, as much as our budget reports. It is strength of spirit that gives us confidence about the future, as much as charts of attendance or financial giving.
- Brian Kauk +
Friends of Ashley Persaud - Ottawa
in association with KGM Enterprises presents
Contemporary Gospel Concert
& Silent Auction
Kathy Grant & FriendsJune 27 - 7:30PM
Trinity Anglican Church
1230 Bank St. at Cameron
Some of you are into music; Some of you are into causes; Some of you just enjoy a night out; All of you are people who help others. This is a four-in-one!
Many of you know Sheila Pitt, a fellow parishioner at St Mark's. She has initiated a major fundraising effort: "Friends of Ashley Persaud - Ottawa."
Ashley Persaud is a l2-year-old girl who lives with her family and grandparents in Guyana. She is severely handicapped. Ashley was born with deformed legs, various internal problems, and has recently been diagnosed as having only one partially functioning kidney. Yet through all these infirmities, she has not lost one bit of her humour or cheekiness.
Ashley desperately needs medical help, so that she can live as normal a life as possible. "Friends of Ashley Persaud - Ottawa" want to help Ashley so that she can receive the best medical care possible. Towards this aim, we are holding fundraising events to help with her medical bills.
Sheila asked for my help and support; I am now asking you for yours. I hope you can come and enjoy an evening of gospel music. Or, if you are not able to attend, maybe you can make a donation towards the Ashley fund.
Cheques are to be made out to:
Ashley Persaud - in trust
Please mail to:
Friends of Ashley Persaud - Ottawa
c/o Sheila Pitt
20 Chesterton Drive, #1008 Nepean, ON, K2E 6Z7
Donations of $10 or more will be given tax receipts.
Or, if you can donate an item for the auction, please let me know and I can pass on the information to Sheila.
Please pass this invitation on to your own friends. Thank you for your help and support.
- Margaret Lodge
The Four Cs
I've always thought of the four Cs as being compassion, care, courtesy and common sense. The last C is often more talked about than seen. Common sense is often not too common. These Cs most people don't object to having; it's not the same thing as when students view their marks and are not pleased to see Cs amongst them. Most students look for As when reviewing their marks, and will accept Bs, although they're not usually as pleased about the situation.
given to the Glory of God by the Whitham family
I started working at Carleton University Ecumenical Chaplaincy in January of this year, and I quickly learned about some different Cs and what they mean. These Cs include cookies, coffee, clean floors and conversation.
We have about 50 students each day who come by the Chaplaincy office. We can be found in the tunnels in the central part of the campus. It reminds me of the catacombs in which the early Christians met. The students enjoy a cup of coffee, a few cookies, a chance to sit and relax from the hustle and bustle of university life, and they chat with me and whoever else may be in the lounge at the time. Some would stay longer, but pressing engagements take them away. The conversations that take place cover almost anything: their classes, their courses, their life outside of class, where their life is going, and occasionally where God is in all of it. It's my job to listen without prejudice and, when appropriate, to guide them to look for God's direction within their lives. Some already realize that God is present and has a plan for their lives. Some are still searching. As a Chaplaincy administrator, I frequently pose that question to them and help them in their personal search of where they are truly meant to be.
Tom, our Chaplain, is always available for the students. This past year was a particularly difficult year. Just after I started in January, there was a fatal traffic accident in town involving five students. Two survived; three didn't. And then, just before the final exams, one of the students went missing, and was found six weeks later caught under the ice behind St. Paul University.
In all of these events, the Chaplaincy staff was there to aid in whatever way we could. Tom led some of the trauma teams that debriefed the students who came to us, to help these students talk through the events that had happened. After the traffic accident, Tom led grief sessions in the Resident Lounge with about three hundred students present. At that time I was the presence in the Chaplaincy lounge for those who were troubled.
Not all of our events have a traumatic effect in that way. Students seek help in many other ways. Does their financial situation dictate that they need to return to their parents' home, just at the time in their life when they're striving so hard to be independent? Do their low marks mean that they need to cease university studies, or should they instead shift streams to another course of study? Some of the questions I ask them are: "What is your passion?" "Where is your true interest?" This will often help them to realize if they are living their own life, or the life that some other human has planned for them. I try to help them seek what God's plan is for them.
Before starting to work at Carleton University Ecumenical Chaplaincy, I had always thought that this work was funded by the University. However, such is not the case. We are supported by four Christian denominations through their mission budget, and through various parishes that are proximate to the University, as well as individual donations. All cheques over $10.00 are issued tax receipts.
It is my hope that the parish and people of St. Mark's would consider making a donation to help support the Chaplaincy of Carleton University.
Your donation, made payable to Carleton University Ecumenical Chaplaincy, can be sent to: Tom Sherwood, Carleton University Ecumenical Chaplaincy, Room T20, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, KIS 5B6.
- Marion Stalter
Encounter in the Desert
I am writing this not from a desert but from my room in a heavily guarded compound in Kabul. This is my second time in Afghanistan and in all likelihood will not be my last. Unlike the last time, I am not so overwhelmed by the strangeness of the environment. I was going to write about my first trip, but the heat and the desolation, the rhythm of military life and the ever-present threat of violence have a tendency to focus your mind on a variety of other subjects, and so I never got around to it.
My first trip had me leaving Ottawa in the midst of getting ready for Advent. I was looking forward to that time of gathering, of preparation, the waiting for and the ultimate encounter with God. I thought: what better place to wait and encounter God than in a desert? Khandahar is a desert both literally and philosophically, yet the encounter I was looking for did not occur the first time. I was encouraged by the camaraderie, the shared experiences both good and bad, and was inspired by the brief glimpses I did get into the spirituality of the camp. My first worship was with an Australian Episcopalian priest, in a small group of 4, but the music was Cursillo favourites and it brought to mind that the Ladies' Weekend would be just beginning their third day. When it came time for the prayers, I added them. As soon I mentioned them, the priest leading the prayers added a prayer for a group in Australia. It was instant connectivity, and no matter where we saw each other on camp it was like meeting an old friend. The other thing that impressed me was the fact that there are two churches on camp. One is the Rose Chapel, which was built with extra plywood and is used by all denominations starting at 5:30 AM Sunday morning right through to 9 PM at night. The other is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which was built from spare lumber that was considered scrap and volunteer labour; it includes traditional iconography and carvings and is open for all to visit.
I received no startling revelations or profound spiritual enlightenment but, rather, I came back questioning. While in the camp I had suffered the depredations of the great poo (read fecal) pond which is open water treatment, had gone through a rocket attack and my helicopter had been targeted, but what impacted me most was the lack of happiness in the locals and the loss of life. There were a number of losses both civilian and military while I was-there, and more greeted me when I got home. So instead of finding answers in the desert, I found myself questioning why we do what we do, why lives are taken while still in their youth and why, when we worship the same God, we seem to be receiving different messages.
Upon returning, I reintegrated to life in Canada, and the questions fell by the wayside as I got involved in Christmas and then Lent, and of course the regular rhythm of life in North America. Now that I am back in this situation, I found myself pondering the same questions and I realize that this second journey has been part of the answers and the encounter that I was looking for in the first journey.
It all came together just now in this room, sitting quietly, with no television or radio. The book I was reading is fmished and I now have time alone to listen. I hear the call to prayer - a haunting yet compelling song - and I find myself drawn to prayer and able to listen to the answers. It was as if my mind was opened to everything spiritual that I had experienced in the first trip and then again in my journey to this place and time. I was able to now see and feel the presence of God.
In London, standing amongst the throngs of tourists in Westminster Abbey, I was called to prayer when a priest mounted the pulpit and bid the people quiet as we prayed for the world and the hurt therein, and all complied. Later in the Abbey gardens I was transported back in time, and could see the scholars and the monks each inspired by God. In Dubai, in the Gold Souk, I was walking in back alleys and came upon a clearing filled with people talking and eating. There were hundreds of them, all in what appeared to be abject poverty. Yet at that moment when the call to prayer could be heard they all turned and prepared for prayer. In Kabul in the middle of the road, a beggar, hunched over with age and care, was pleading to those in the vehicles ... and a young Afghan man who did not look much better off than the beggar came from the side of the road, reached into his own poverty and gave to the old man. And in my mornings, to the sound of jets, helicopters and transports, I open my Bible and God talks to me through the Scriptures.
That call to prayer was the opening of my inner heart and spirit to God's message for me. lt allowed me to recognize my encounters with God in all His incarnations allowing the flow of peace and love to enter into me. lt opened my eyes to God's presence in everything and everyone regardless of religion, colour, creed or preference. The answer to my questions are answered in my heart and cannot be put on paper, but the words of Jesus come to me, that He is the Way. The way He lived His life is the perfect example of how God wants us to live our lives: judging not, being tolerant of other's ideas and practices, to love God and to love others as He loved us.
What this journey into the desert has taught me is that my life is the encounter I was looking for. In living each day with God, I must take the time to listen to my own call to prayer so that I can recognize God's whisper in the midst my busy life.
Listen to your Call to Prayer.
Kabul, 19 May 2008
Frugal Culture Connoisseur
Budget restrictions are a fact of life for most of us, but they should not restrict our exposure to culture. Fortunately, they don't have to. Ottawa has an amazing selection to fit all price ranges. There are various events taking place that might interest a lot of people and that cost next to nothing. Bob Ryan makes a point of searching out interesting demonstrations of local talent.
NAC "Noon Under the Bridge" June 24, 25 & 26. Noon hour - Outdoor Chamber Music with the Young Artists' Program. Free.
The Ottawa Storytellers at the Tea Party Cafe June 24, 7 to 8:30pm. 119 York St. "All in the Family." Free.
RCMP Musical Ride Sunset Ceremony June 27, 28 & 29. 7 to 9pm. BeechwoodAve. and St. Laurent Blvd.
Andrew Hayden Park Air Show June 28, 29, 30 & Jul. 1st - Music, art shows, petting zoo, food kiosks, etc. Fireworks and cake on Canada Day!
Royal Canadian Mint - 100 Years of Minting Mint tours and boutique. 320 Sussex Drive. Mon.-Fri. 9am to 7pm; Sat.-Sun. 9am to 5:30pm. Admission for the family is $13.00. Best to reserve ahead; phone 613-993-8990.
Breach of Security
Incidents are still occurring when the alarm is activated. If you are the person in charge of a meeting at St Mark's, please make it a point to remind people to check all doors, verify that all are locked. Rental groups will also be contacted regarding this. We are each and all responsible for the security of our Church ... a small price to pay for the privilege of meeting here.
Mark This WordAny and all contributions are welcome. It is a great convenience to receive files electronically, but I shall willingly transcribe for people who do not have computer access. The best method for e-files is to save them in Rich Text Format (RTF) and email them to me. Hard copy can be mailed or handed to me on Sundays at St Mark’s.
Next submission deadline:August 31, 2008
- Sheila Vaudrey Editor
The 23rd Psalm . . . to ponder
The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not want (That's Supply!)
He maketh me lie down in green pastures
He leadest me beside still waters
He restoreth my soul (That's Healing!)
He leadeth me on the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake (That's Purpose!)
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death(That's Tribulations!)
I will fear no evil(That's Protection!)
For Thou art with me(That's Faithfulness!)
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me
Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies (That's Hope!)
Thou annointest my head with oil
My cup runneth over (That's Abundance!)
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life (That's Blessing!)
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever (That's Eternity!)
face it - the LORD is crazv about you!
Note from the Treasurer
The first four months of the year saw an ever-widening gap between the expected collections income and the actual collections income. At the end of April, the collections income was approximately $7,300 below what was expected. The good news is that at the end of May the gap had not widened, and the collections income was still only $7,200 below what was expected. Our expenses are not more than expected, and overall we are not much worse off than we expected to be at this time of year. However, it is a matter of some concern and will certainly have budget implications for 2009.
- Joy Bowerman
The Parish of St. Mark the Evangelist1606 Fisher Ave, Ottawa, ON K2C 1X6
Anglican Church of Canada
Tel: 613-224-7431 * Fax: 613-224-7454
Newsletter editor: Sheila Vaudrey
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