September  2008 Issue No. 16

St. Mark’s Pastoral Ministry at the Perley

Although it began nearly 25 years ago, St Mark’s connection with the Perley-Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre continues to be a vital ministry for our parish.

Dena Burley was asked to do a brief summary of the time that she has been involved, and this is what she wrote:

“In the spring of 1985, I became a part of St Mark’s Pastoral Care Team – Friday morning Chapel service at the Perley Hospital on Aylmer Ave. Fr. Gordon Worden, priest at St Mark’s, led the service. The Team volunteered, bringing the patients, in wheelchairs, to the Chapel – a room on the second floor. As the congregation grew, a new chapel on the first floor was made available, to hold 25-40 patients. Leslie Worden played the accordion for the hymns, and 3-year-old Jessica came along with her mom.

“When Fr. Gordon left the parish in 1990, Fr. David Lethbridge became priest at St Mark’s. A new facility – the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre – was built, and the move was made in 1996. In 1997 Fr. Roger Steinke became priest at St Mark’s. We continued the Chapel service on Friday mornings – usually with Fr. Roger, Carol Dicks as organist and Sheila Pitt as Lay Reader. The congregation grew to 35-40+. The Chapel is spacious. The volunteers still brought the patients to and from the Chapel. Fr. Brian Kauk is now our priest at St Mark’s and continues to hold the Friday morning services.”

The Friday Perley Volunteers at work!

photo: Pat Matthews

In her summary, Dena was referring to the work of what the Perley-Rideau calls their Pastoral Service Volunteers. While these volunteers go through the screening and orientation program required by the Perley-Rideau, they do not require any specialized pastoral training to carry out their important work. Each Friday, the team from St Mark’s signs in and is given a list of names of residents known to be interested in attending the church service. One volunteer stays in the Chapel while the other volunteers go to the different wings and ask those on the list whether they wish to attend that day, and, if so, accompany them to the Chapel. During the service, the volunteers give assistance where required, and afterwards take the residents back to their respective floors. The volunteers then have coffee together at the cafeteria before going home, which is a time of fellowship but also an opportunity to talk about their experiences that day.

As well as doing this work, at times over the years some St Mark’s parishioners have assumed the role of Pastoral Care Visitor. Because of their additional training in pastoral care obtained from a 10-week course offered by the Ottawa Pastoral Care Training Program, these people have been able to do bedside pastoral visiting with residents wishing to receive them. Such visiting has taken place at times other than during the Friday morning services.

St Mark’s has been recognized many times by the Perley for its important pastoral work there. A plaque hangs on the wall in the Link at St Mark’s and there have been articles featuring St Mark’s Pastoral Service Volunteers in “Between Us,” a newsletter published quarterly by the Perley-Rideau Foundation. As well, the volunteers receive individual recognition for their work when they are presented with their long-service pins after each five years of work. At this year’s Volunteer Week festivities at the Perley, where the theme was “Volunteering is the best gift of all,” Dena Burley was given special recognition for her particular gift of “understanding.”

Many people from St Mark’s – both men and women – have been involved in the Perley ministry over the years. However, recently, several long-time volunteers have found it necessary to give up this work. If you should wish to become involved, or would like more information, do not hesitate to speak to Fr. Brian.

– Georgia Roberts

From the Rector’s Desk

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
(Proverbs 29:18)

I love this time of year. Perhaps it’s due to so many years of conditioning, first in grade school, then in University, and then in serving churches. The fall always feels like a new beginning to me. It is a time to start a new page, to come back refreshed and renewed, to return to work that engages my passion and my training.

But church life doesn’t just happen, no matter how energized and passionate we are. It also takes discipline, commitment and a shared vision of what we are working to achieve.

The Book of Common Prayer, in a section one typically reads during boring sermons, contains this:

“Every Christian man or woman should from time to time frame for himself a RULE OF LIFE in accordance with the precepts of the Gospel and the faith and the order of the Church; wherein he may consider the following:
“The regularity of his attendance at public worship and especially at the Holy Communion.
“The practice of private prayer, Bible-reading and self-discipline.
“Bringing the teaching and example of Christ into his everyday life.
“The boldness of his spoken witness to his faith in Christ.
“His personal service to the Church and the community.
“The offering of money according to his means for the support of the work of the Church at home and overseas.”

The wisdom of tradition speaks for itself, although in this case the tradition is relatively recent. This section was added to Cranmer’s original genius by the Canadian revision of 1959. Still, the words remind us of our duty to our own spiritual journey, even in an era when that duty is less than fashionable.

Just as parishioners are here encouraged to do, the Church must “from time to time” frame for itself a statement of why we are here and what we hope to achieve together as children of the Living God. The most recent statement of shared vision and mission comes from the Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa in 2007, renewed again at Synod last year with the presentation of “Faithful Stewards, New Directions.”

It says: 
"We are a vibrant body of faithful Christians working to fulfill the mission that God has given us.”  

Then, expanding on what is meant by mission: 
“With God’s grace, the mission of our ministries and parishes is:
To enable people to know Jesus Christ
To live and share the Good News
To serve God’s world.”

These are fairly broad terms, leaving it up to each one of us to fill in the blanks, to find the intersection of our own vocation and the world’s needs (Buechner, Frederick. Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC. New York: Harper & Row, 1973, p 95). Similarly, St Mark’s as a parish must, if we are to be true to our shared vocation, discover once again this year what it means to share in the mission of Christ. A shared vision of who we are is essential not just to our enterprise, but to our very being.

– Fr. Brian Kauk



A Note from the Treasurer

Although our financial situation is still not particularly rosy, neither do we seem to be in a downward spiral. Our collections income is still about $10,000 under where we expected to be at this time of the year. This is about where we were at the end of April. Our expenses are down as well, so we are within a couple of thousand dollars of our target in terms of net income. Are you asking: "Where did we go off track and why?" Our problems began in March. Our collections income in March and April were about 80% of what we expected in those months. The collections income in May and June were on track. In July, we only received about 77% of our expected income but compensated somewhat in August by receiving more than expected. If you look back to March and April, you may remember huge snowstorms and a confusing date for Easter. The summer months can be hard to predict and if we take the summer as a whole, we received about 90% of what we expected. We are continuing to keep a very close eye on the finances, particularly with a view to making a realistic budget for next year. We will keep you informed of any change in our financial status.

– Joy Bowerman

The 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.

Carleton University’s Live Butterfly Show:
October 4 – 13. Free. Observe butterflies as they emerge from their chrysalises, and watch hundreds of exotic specimens fly free in two display green- houses at Carleton’s Nesbitt Biology Building. 
Westboro Village Celebrates Autumn: 
Sat. Oct. 11, 10:00 AM – 5:00pm Roaming actors, theatre troops, buskers, singers and much more, plus a sidewalk sale. Island Park Dr - Golden Ave.
Great Canadian Theatre Company
Certain Sunday Matinees are “Pay What You Can!” Oct. 26: “Zadie’s Shoes” (a young man gambled away his girlfriend’s money, prays for a miracle – or a win). Nov. 30: “Coma Unplugged” (the victim of a seeming accident takes stock of his life). Matinee time is 2:00pm

The Nurse’s Nook

I hope all of you had a wonderful summer. I look forward to the fall. One exciting happening is that once again I will be supervising third-year nursing students from the University of Ottawa at St Mark’s every Tuesday morning. Ryan Mulles, Emma Newland and Warren Williams will be with us from September 16 until the end of March. They will also be coming in a few Sundays of each term in order to better meet everyone and get your input on how they can make a difference at St Mark’s.

This past year I have worked with many members of our church with lots of different health concerns, but one issue that has frequently come up is the issue of driving. Deciding whether or not it is time to give up driving can be a difficult decision for many people as they age. For some, the worry about loss of independence and loss of convenience keeps them driving long past the time that they are safe to do so. They are putting themselves – or, even worse, others – at risk. Although many seniors can safely drive well into their 80’s or some even into their 90’s, it is important to be vigilant in assessing your driving skills to ensure you are not becoming a danger on the road.

How Aging Affects Safe Driving:
- Reduced vision – especially at night.
- Difficulty judging distance and speed.
- Limited movement and range of motion.
- Slower reaction time.
- Difficulty focusing attention for long periods of time.
- Easily distracted.
- More time needed to understand what is seen and heard.
- More use of prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs that may impair driving ability.

Ask yourself the following questions to see if it may be time to stop driving or to take a senior’s driving course:
- Am I experiencing an increasing number of near collisions?
- Have I been directly involved in minor collisions?
- Do I have difficulty driving through intersections, judging distances, or seeing pedestrians, road signs, or other vehicles?
- Do I have difficulty concentrating while driving?
- Do I get lost or disoriented on familiar roads?
- Do I have difficulty co-ordinating hand and foot movements?
- Am I experiencing vision problems, especially at night?

There are many alternatives to driving yourself, including public transportation, friends and family members, keeping your vehicle and having others drive for you, volunteer driver programs, and taxi vouchers. The money saved not owning and maintaining a vehicle will far exceed the cost of any of these alternatives. In the fall, I will have a bulletin board with more information on safe driving, transportation alternatives, senior’s testing requirements, etc.

Also this fall, watch for notices about CPR training/renewal for late September or early October, as well as other education sessions. In addition, we were asked by the Diocese to forward the following information:

"2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember 3-digit telephone number that will connect you to a trained bilingual information and referral counsellor who can direct callers to the appropriate community, social or government service in the Ottawa region. The service is being operated by the Community Information Centre of Ottawa, a non-profit agency that has been serving Ottawa since 1974. 2-1-1 in Ottawa is supported by the United Way and all three levels of government. The Ottawa service will be the last major node in an Ontario-wide network of eight 2-1-1 call centres. While our service will not be officially launched until late September, we are currently operational between 8:30 and 4:30 during the week and are available to take calls. Simply dial 2-1-1 from any phone (land line or cellular) in Ottawa.” (Sarah Chapman for Ann Day, Executive Assistant to the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa

I continue to be available 12 hours per week for health education, health counselling, referrals and other health needs you may have. I am available every Wednesday as well as either Monday or Thursday each week. You can reach me through the Church Office at 613- 224-7431 .

- Patti Robillard, R.N.


No, this is not a plea for a petition.

Our new Church Sign is finished and in place. Its design and its location were both carefully selected. Some tree branches were trimmed, and some trees may yet have to be removed. We’ll revisit this matter in the spring. Our thanks to the Sign Committee for their hard work.

Mark This Word

Any 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:  Nov 16, 2008

- Sheila Vaudrey  Editor

Dreaming On

In circles, moves the human race
On planet earth, through time and space,
A common movement mankind shares,
Environmental wears and tears,

Aspiring for the afterlife,
Mankind engaged in daily strife,
We strive, our daily pleasures to live,
While millions strive to stay alive,

What are we really trying to do?
As we use up the global stores,
Beneath the plains, beneath the seas,
The search ongoing never ceases,

Spending billions, some contrive,
To think, someday that to survive
Mankind must fly away
From planet earth and
Settle in some distant lands,
A planet years and years away,
Surely this madness be.

And so with millions to be fed,
Resources are spent in space instead,
Greasing the coffers of industry,
And half the people of the earth,
Consume the gadgets, spin off,
Of technology,
As food becomes in short supply,
And people die.
One wonders why?

– Bob Wootton

(inspired by “Doctors Without Borders”)

Sign outside Church:

“For God so loved the world
that He did not send a committee.”

The Parish of St. Mark the Evangelist
Anglican Church of Canada

1606 Fisher Ave, Ottawa, ON K2C 1X6
Tel: 613-224-7431  *  Fax: 613-224-7454
e-mail: stmarks@

Newsletter editor:  Sheila Vaudrey


Mark This Word Archives:
February 2005 May 2005 September 2005 December 2005
February 2006 May 2006 September 2006 November 2006
February 2007 May 2007 September 2007 December 2007
March 2008  June 2008