September  2009 Issue No. 20

Grounded in the Past … Grounded in God

Change is rarely easy. For some of us (like me, for instance), some element deep within rebels at the idea of moving away from what is tried and comfortable. However, change is an absolutely inevitable part of this mortal existence. The world is incapable of staying the same for long. Even as it spins on its axis, even as it orbits the sun, its surface shifts and the myriad forms of life it harbours have no choice but to adapt accordingly. One must either change or die.

On the other hand, the only way to know how to change is to examine what has gone on before. The past is our roadmap as to what methods have worked and what attempts have failed, and what patterns have emerged. The philosophy “Those who do not read their history are doomed to repeat it” is right on target. Our traditions give us knowledge and grounding; our mistakes teach us humility and perseverance.

Surely Jesus has been the biggest agent of change for the entire human race. Not only did He build a new Church out of virtually nothing, and then go on to lead that Church through the past two millennia, but He also has advocated an even deeper adjustment: a change of heart within every single one of us.
Nonetheless, those changes He instituted are all based on the clear record of the past. He set Christianity firmly upon the foundation of Judaism and the covenant with God. He guaranteed our salvation by purchasing it with His own life, exactly in accordance with the prophesy of God. He directed the Church to correct its errors when it wandered away from the path of God. And He showed us how much we personally need the mercy, the grace and the love of God. As a result, we are all very different, and very much improved, than we would be without Him. We have new lives – we have New Life.

In this our Diamond Jubilee Year, we look back on our past with great respect and no small amount of pride. We honour those who changed this neighbourhood and the people within it by creating a new parish in turbulent times. We honour those who have maintained the physical structure and the spiritual life of this parish, changing along the way to meet the new needs of its buildings and its members. We honour previous incumbents, remembering all that they have taught us and the situations through which they have led us. By recognizing past contributions, we know why we are here and how we got here. We cannot change effectively if we don’t take note of the sign-posts behind us.

The “Last Supper” tapestry,
given to the glory of God 
in loving memory of Olive Lewis

This fall we are putting together a new Photo Directory of St. Mark’s. It has not been so long since our previous one (2006), but we have seen a lot of change in the relatively short period in between, and such change should be acknowledged and documented. Everyone is invited to take part in the construction of this important monument to our history. Those who are unable to make the trip to the Church for an official photo session are invited to receive a volunteer photographer into their own homes at their convenience. Everyone who takes part will receive a free Directory. The photos will be ready in time for Christmas; the Directory copies, early in the New Year. This is a great project for our 60th anniversary – we do not want to forget what we have learned and how we have grown.

Change is going to happen in this life; there’s just no changing that! Even so, when we gaze wistfully into the past and peer uncertainly towards the future, let us draw strength from one ironclad fact: the One Who never changes is God. When He makes a promise, we know He will keep it. And, against all human reason, He continues to love us… no matter what.

– Sheila Vaudrey

The Pastor’s Page

Things in this world come and go quickly: more quickly than they did 60 years ago.

“The Western Electric Model 500 telephone was the standard desk-style telephone set used by AT&T (the Bell System) in North America from late 1949 through to the divestiture of AT&T in 1984” (according to Wikipedia, 31 August 2009).

In grade school, I would have gone to the library to look up that fact in an encyclopaedia. In high school, I would have used a terminal connection to a mainframe database. In university, I would have used a semi-graphical menu-driven interface. In grad school, we got the World Wide Web. Last year,  I would have gone to Wikipedia’s main portal on the web. Now, I just Googled it, and it got me there in no time.

If you still have one of these phones, it’s 60 years old now – just like St. Mark’s. And it probably still works as well as it did the day it was made – just like St. Mark’s. Along the way, many parts of the telephone and communication system have changed. Touch-tone dialling became available at home in 1963. Cellular phones arrived in the 1980’s, and now outnumber people in some countries. The phone I bought last year will be useless in less time than its predecessor, you can count on that. 

But I can still take an old Model 500, plug it in, put my finger in the hole of the number I want and drag it all the way around to the little curved piece of metal. Then I do it nine more times, and I get connected. Well, I’m pretty sure it works on the Bell networks – I’m not too sure about the other company. I’d have to find an old 500 to check.

Sixty years of ministry in a rapidly changing world is something we can be proud of. I want to take this opportunity to thank the 60th Anniversary Committee for making this a year of celebration. We have eaten together, enjoyed a few glasses of good wine, sat down together over strawberry shortcake and tea, and shared memory and meaning. 

Also, at the time of writing this, I’m watching the contractors put the final touches on the landscaping that will become a Memorial Garden, in memory of the lives and ministries of all those who have gone before us. Without the Memorial Committee’s hard work and persistence, this project would not have seen completion in time for this anniversary. Let it be for us a sacred place where we stand on the shoulders of giants so that we can see the distant horizon.

As we are busy Celebrating our Past, we are also Strengthening our Future. I have spent the summer having lunch and dinner with members of this faith community, talking about what brought you to St. Mark’s and whether you have a vision for our parish. In the wise words of one parishioner: “Well, Brian, it’s hard to say what the future will bring.” But at the same time you talk about Stewardship and Mission and Outreach and young families and all the other hopes and dreams we have for sharing the reign of God and building it up in the world God loves. Just imagine what could happen if we built those ideas upon each other as we fashion a renewed shared vision for ministry at St. Mark’s! What we need now is the same passion, cooperation and wider vision our predecessors had 60 years ago as they built up first a worshiping faith community, and then a building to give the new Church a home.

By the way – the ringing sound on my fancy mobile Smartphone (smarter than me most days) sounds just like an old 500. Nothing gets your attention like the sound of those mechanical bells. And the old phone we keep in the basement for emergencies (not quite an old 500, I’m afraid) – well, it works just fine today, even on the new phone system we installed last week. Let that be a metaphor for St. Mark’s engaging the world around us in new and creative ways, with all the gifts God has given us over 60 years of fruitful ministry.

– Fr. Brian Kauk

Bring on the Strawberries – and the Hats!

St. Mark’s Strawberry Social   (photos by Enid and Terry Thompson)

Building toward the Future

In keeping with the theme of celebrating our 60th anniversary, Celebrating Our Past and Strengthening Our Future, St. Mark’s Outreach is entertaining a request from John McFarlane, new owner of what was the Rectory (aka “the Back 40”), to develop the back of his property. Since access through St. Marks’ parking lot would be required, our consideration and approval is requested and required. Some members of the congregation were asked to be part of an advisory group to Outreach and thus to Parish Council in the matter of the “Back 40.” Phil Conquer and Lorne Bowerman have agreed to provide input.

An initial discussion with Mr. McFarlane clarified that a modest-size building for senior care would be the most likely type of social housing development we would consider. Needless to say, the Congregation will be kept in the picture throughout this process. John MacFarlane is arranging for some drawings of a concept plan so that everyone will be able to visualize what is being considered.

Under consideration as well will be questions such as partnering with an existing organization, or perhaps forming a separate Corporation to administer this development on behalf of St. Mark's. These questions will require a great deal of thought and input. Of two things we can be sure – change is difficult, and change is inevitable. Let us put our hearts and minds together as we consider the possibilities. Reaching out to others in need can be rewarding to those who give as well as to those who receive.

– Marilyn Benn   Outreach Coordinator


October’s cooling, wind and rain,
We know the weather has to change,
Without a glorious “Indian summer,”
Autumn weather would seem a bummer,
Thanksgiving’s over, scrumptious dinner,
Where nobody left the table thinner,
Leaves have long been red and gold,
Houses still are being sold!
Cars are changing anti-freeze,
Quickly falling now, the leaves,
Over are the village fairs,
Halloween pumpkins everywhere!
And CHURCH BAZAARS are in the air!

– Bob Wootton

Meditation … 

Shall We Dance

Most people love to dance. The steps are sometimes simple, and sometimes more intricate. All dancing is in tune with some music, and we simply need to create the rhythm with our bodies.
Did you know that all of life is a dance? We move through life in such a way to give others their space, both physically and emotionally. When others make movement, we shift our position to create as little friction as possible.

As this issue of “Mark this Word” goes to press, students are just arriving back at school, some at new schools, colleges and universities for the first time in their lives. Things change; circumstances change. My oldest grandson is starting junior high, and I have difficulty thinking of him being old enough to be there. Bob attended the wedding of his oldest granddaughter earlier this summer. Time really does go on.

Bob and I spent an evening at the Greek Festival this summer. We decided to dance. We don’t know Greek dancing per se, but we felt we could do the rhythm of the music reasonably well. The MC of the evening came and danced with us, leading us through the steps, giving us guidance. The students returning to university will seek guidance; the students starting high school will as well. We all need guidance in our lives. Did you know that part of the word “guidance” is the word “dance”?

Just recently as we read our daily devotional, the author made a reference to the integration of the two words guidance and dance. The author indicated how dancing is like doing God’s will. “Two people dancing together are not struggling with each other; one leads and the other willingly follows. When the two become a team their movements flow in harmony with each other.” If we break down the word “guidance,” we can notice that the first letter “g” represents “God” and then “u” and “I”… and so guidance is about God and you and I dancing together. When we are together in the dance of life, through friendship and relationship, the dance of life is easier. We can share our happy times together and get through difficult times more easily.

As we embark on this dance of life together, know that the guidance we need comes from the eternal source, the one whom we call God. He alone knows the steps we need to take. He alone knows when and where the dance will end. He alone knows when the new dance will begin.

– Marion Stalter

The Many Names of Christ

To the ARTIST He is the One Altogether Lovely.
To the ARCHITECT He is the Chief Corner Stone.
To the BAKER He is the Living Bread.
To the BANKER He is the Hidden Treasure.
To the BIOLOGIST He is the Life.
To the BUILDER He is the Sure Foundation.
To the CARPENTER He is the Door.
To the DOCTOR He is the Great Physician.
To the EDUCATOR He is the Great Teacher.
To the ENGINEER He is the New and Living Way.
To the FLORIST He is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
To the GEOLOGIST He is the Rock of Ages.
To the HORTICULTURIST He is the True Vine.
To the JUDGE He is the Righteous Judge, Judge of All Men.
To the JEWELLER He is the Pearl of Great Price.
To the LAWYER He is the Counsellor, the Lawgiver, the Advocate.
To the NEWSPAPER He is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
To the OCULIST He is the Light of the Eyes.
To the PHILANTHROPIST He is the Unspeakable Gift.
To the PHILOSOPHER He is the Wisdom of God.
To the PREACHER He is the Word of God.
To the SCULPTOR He is the Living Stone.
To the SERVANT He is the Good Master.
To the STATESMAN He is the Desire of All Nations.
To the STUDENT He is the Incarnate Truth.
To the THEOLOGIAN He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
To the TOILER He is the Giver of Rest.
To the SINNER He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the World.
To the CHRISTIAN He is the Son of the Living God, the Saviour, the Redeemer and the Lord!

JesusThere’s just something about that Name…

(contributed by Janis Perkin)

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: November 15 

- Sheila Vaudrey  Editor

Church Photo Directory 

October 23 – 24   sitting # 1

November 5 – 7   sitting # 2

time-slots to be arranged; see the sign-up sheets

Those unable to come to the Church can be photographed in their home

- Sheila Vaudrey  


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

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