February 2005

Norma Mellon Retires

On November 28th, members of St Mark’s parish gathered to bid a fond farewell to Norma Mellon, along with Norma’s family and other well-wishers. Norma spent more than 23 years as parish secretary and office administrator at St Mark’s and her service spanned the incumbencies of four parish priests — David Stalter, Gordon Worden, David Lethbridge and Roger Steinke. Father Gordon and Father Roger, along with People’s Warden Keith Wilkins, described some of the numerous contributions that Norma made to the parish during their presentations at the event, and gave the audience an idea of the commitment and dedication that she brought to the job. Father Roger noted that the work was not entirely without stress as he quoted a saying that had appeared on the wall in Norma’s office: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape”!

The technological changes that took place during Norma’s time with the parish are indicative of the length of time she spent with us. Norma started working in the office of St Mark’s in October 1981, a time when electric typewriters were still used. Norma describes the preparation of typed material, such as bulletins and Vestry reports, as being quite tedious at that time, since every mistake had to be corrected using white-out, or the entire page had to be redone. 

In 1987, Lorne Bowerman trained both Norma and Father Gordon Worden in the use of a computer and a dot-matrix printer. The latter piece of hardware was damaged when the roof gave way to one of our many leaks at St Mark’s. The computer greatly facilitated the preparation of typed material. Norma learned DOS and then, in the mid-nineties, Windows.

One of Norma’s main activities was to prepare the weekly and special bulletins for St Mark’s church services. Many parishioners may not know  that   Norma  has   a  Bachelor  of  Arts 

degree from Queen’s University, with a major in English, and was well- qualified to ensure that work was done using good English. Over the course of her career, Norma prepared approximately 1,150 bulletins.

When asked about her time at St Mark’s, Norma cited her good relationships with the Rectors as being one of the highlights. She looked upon the parish as an extended family and found, in that family, a good sense of community and co-operation. She mentioned that St Mark’s has been a good training ground for new and upcoming clergy, and said that some of the most fun has been with postulants, especially with David Andrew and John Stopa, who both spent time in the parish. She also acknowledged the work of the many wardens who have served with dedication over the years.

What is Norma doing now? She is taking a well-deserved rest and considering her options for the future. She may get involved in teaching English at some level, or she may get involved in something where she could use her musical talents. We wish her all the best and know that whatever she does she will continue to do it in the dedicated and thoughtful way that characterized her work at St Mark’s.

- Brian Harrison

Rob and Norma Mellon with Fr. Roger Steinke


The Paschal Mystery

The focus of it all is on the Paschal Mystery. Paschal is a word which means “lamb.” Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The Paschal Mystery is the miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The Paschal Mystery shows that God is for us, not against us.

The Paschal Mystery is something we share in through Baptism and renew at every Eucharist. In Baptism and Eucharist we participate in the Paschal Mystery.
The Paschal Mystery is life itself.

The Paschal Mystery is losing our lives for God and others. The mystery is that only by dying can we rise to new life.

The Paschal Mystery is God’s surprise for us.

The Paschal Mystery is God showing the world who God is.

The Paschal Mystery is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Paschal Mystery is being Christ centred in everything.

The Paschal Mystery makes us one with God.

The Paschal Mystery makes us one with each other.

The Paschal Mystery brings us into harmony with all creation.

The Paschal Mystery calls us to repentance.
The Paschal Mystery gives us forgiveness for our sins.

The Paschal Mystery is power — the greatest   power in the universe.

The Paschal Mystery empowers us to forgive as we have been forgiven.

The Paschal Mystery turns enemies into friends.

The Paschal Mystery is love which always acts sacrificially for the sake of others.

The Paschal Mystery brings to us the Spirit of God and the Spirit is life.

The Paschal Mystery is Jesus’ death and resurrection for me, the cross and the open tomb for all.

The Paschal Mystery is personal.

The Paschal Mystery is universal.

Help me, Lord, to feed on, participate in, and show forth the Paschal Mystery in all that I am and have and do. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Celebrate Recovery is a programme in the Spirit of Lent and Easter, already underway every Tuesday evening at St Mark’s, commencing at 7:00 PM. We welcome newcomers to this at any time.

Stations of the Cross, with meditations, prayers and hymns, will be led in the Church on Wednesday February 23 and Wednesday March 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Evensong with a preaching series entitled “In the Cross of Christ I Glory: Finding the Cross as the Way of Life” will be on each of the five Sundays in Lent at 7:30 PM — February 13 through March 13, inclusive. Come and observe a Holy Lent, as noted in the calendar of events in this newsletter. Come to participate in, experience and help to proclaim the Paschal Mystery of Christ.

- Roger Steinke +

Through a Postulant's Eyes

During the first year of postulancy field placements, postulants are required to spend two terms at two different parishes as observers. As observers, students are asked to write an end of term reflection paper, which includes responses to four questions. In my placement at St Mark’s, not as an 'observer’, but as part of my Masters in Pastoral Theology practicum course, I have kept these questions in mind. Here are some of my answers, in continuation of my brief remarks (with thanks to Lorne Bowerman and the BAC), at January’s delicious and enjoyable breakfast.

The questions and some of my reflections:

1.  What makes this parish experience different
from what you have known over the years? What are the similarities?

St Mark’s is unique in my experience as a relatively young church that has included among its congregation three generations of the same family. I have worshipped with grandparents and their children and their grandchildren on a Sunday here! Like other churches in this Diocese that I have attended with my family, St Mark’s is genuinely welcoming. Michael and the children are having an experience here that differs from mine, but that is no less hospitable.

2.  Describe how you have experienced the
 Gospel being proclaimed there.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed in the preaching from the pulpit (or wherever) in the daily liturgical services offered at St. Mark's. The music offered by Ariane and the choir supports the Sunday liturgy beautifully and enriches occasional celebrations. The Gospel is lived in the service rendered by the Workers in the Vineyard and all members of this community within and without the church walls. I have seen the sanctuary serviced to the Glory of God by the members of the Altar Guild, the children taught and journeyed with by Janice and the Sunday School and nursery teachers, the parishioners who cannot attend services visited and brought Communion, by Roger and the Pastoral Care team. I have watched donations come in for Debra Dynes, locally, and Samaritan’s Purse, internationally. People are fed by the people of St Mark’s.
3.  From a ministry leadership position in this
  parish, what delights you?

I am delighted by many things at St Mark’s: the focus on disciples making disciples, and all the ways the Gospel is proclaimed and lived. I particular enjoy that St Mark’s supports both a scholar-in-residence and a parish nurse. The Rev. Gregory Bloomquist is not only a superb preacher and a fine man, but also not alone in the parish of St Mark’s in having a heart for the mindfulness of Christianity. There is a certain awareness of liturgical pastoral theology in this parish that I did not expect to encounter outside of the university classroom.

Patti Robillard described to me her role back in the fall (besides counselling, referral and advocacy services, the Parish Nurse provides health education), and as I have noticed her rotating messages on her bulletin board, and heard positive feedback about her workshops and her work with many of us, I have come to really appreciate the value of the Parish Nurse. Patti’s work significantly contributes to the ministry of St Mark’s.

4. What makes this parish ‘tick’?  What makes
it unique?  Just what kind of a place is it?

The quiet work of a number of dedicated people keep St Mark’s ‘ticking’! The unique history, building and essential stories of St Mark’s (including the Jubilee Year celebrations, the clergy through the years, and Norma’s melodic retirement party) make this a singular parish. What kind of place is St Mark’s? A welcoming place. A place to experience renewal. A place — in the words of the parish prayer — where we pray to the Lord God:    Transform us into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus, so that many will be attracted to You and drawn into Your Kingdom. Through Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord, Amen.

As I continue in my practicum placement at St Mark’s, I have liturgical, pastoral, homiletical and devotional objectives, that, God willing, I will complete for my Masters in Pastoral Theology. More importantly, I pray that the people of St Mark’s continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and grow, love and serve together as His disciples.

- Margo Whittaker

The Bishop's Levee

Christ Church Cathedral, January 1, 2005 Hosted by St. Mark's
Special guest, the Primate of Canada, Archbishop Andrew Hutchinson

photos: Sheila Vaudrey


Our “Name that Rag” contest was a great success, with a large percentage of the parish population taking part — both to come up with suggestions and then to vote on the candidates.

Our gratitude to all; many of the names put forth were very witty, and all were certainly valid options.

Congratulations to Brenda Zanin, whose proposal of “Mark This Word” has won the privilege of gracing this banner headline, for what we hope is a long and fruitful future! §


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 e­files 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.

Many, many thanks in advance!

- Sheila Vaudrey

Newsletter Editor
tel: 225-8182  jubilate@magma.ca

MEDITATION: the imagination

One of the prayers we pray each Sunday refers to our imagination. It reads this way: “Glory to God, whose power working in us, can do infinitely more than we ask or imagine.” Wow! Have we ever thought about this much? This is really quite a statement. What can the imagination think of? It has led to inventions that help improve our lives. It has developed new concepts, new ideas and new ways of living. This same type of power can be true of our prayer life. Herein is the power of God, which leads to things that are beyond our most vivid imagination. However, for this to happen we need to be totally plugged into God’s power. For this, our prayer life needs to be regular, disciplined and one that commits us totally to Jesus Christ. It is a commitment that brings us into full communion with God. This kind of prayer involves more than verbosity; it is the practice of the presence of God. When we live in God’s presence and God lives in us, then it is God’s power that flows through us. This power develops through our daily commitment to prayer, and our relationship with God. Effective and powerful prayer comes through our openness to God.

If we put this in other terms, the only way my lamp will light up is for me to plug it into the source — that source being electricity.

For my prayer to be effective I must he plugged into God, and allow the power of God to flow through me. When we open ourselves up to God’s power we become “at-one” with God, much the same way as the lamp becomes one with the electricity that flows through my home. It is through the power of the one true God flowing through us that God’s power works in us to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine.

- Marion Stalter

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@magma.ca

Newsletter editor:  Sheila Vaudrey e-mail: jubilate@magma.ca