November  2010 Issue No. 25

Advent Edition

We wish Sheila Vaudrey well and hope that she will be able to put her considerable skills to publishing the next newsletter in spring 2011

Slim & Trim


With the start of September, Slim & Trim is back exercising three mornings each week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The sessions start at 9:00 AM and last for one-half hour. Henry & Kathleen Prince who moved to Toronto and now split their time between Toronto and Jamaica were back in town for a visit and came out to exercise and greet friends. Henry requested a group photo in order to remember the many friends they still have here. Because we don't recall ever doing a group photo before of Slim & Trim, we decided it would be worthwhile putting in the Newsletter. 

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is an offshoot of Samaritan's Purse, an outreach started by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. This is a world-wide undertaking with huge support in Britain and Australia, and the U.S.A. The boxes filled with toys and school supplies are sent to children in poor and war-tom countries.

Twelve years ago this idea was brought to our Mothers' Union meeting. We are pleased with the support we have received from our congregation, then and since.

This year we filled 39 boxes and 2 backpacks. I would like to thank you all for your constant support of our M.U. projects. We have been able to brighten the day for many children.

- Cynthia Greer

St Mark's Mothers' Union
welcomed Anna from Kenya 

On October 29, MU members were invited to meet Anna Otiende Ogara, from Kenya. We held a service and lunch followed by an informal talk with Anna, who was joined by Judy Oatway, formerly of Montreal, and National Board member of PWRDF, now a member of Epiphany in Ottawa. Judy also spent 6 months as a volunteer in Kenya. 

Anna and William Ogara stayed with Jenny Morphew (our PWRDF rep) during their time in Ottawa. They were visiting Canada for the annual meeting. Anna and William have 4 children. In Kenya, all education has to be paid for - even primary schools. 

A new constitution has recently given women more rights - previously they had no identity except through a male family member. Many children do not attend school, because women are uneducated and often widowed, struggling to raise families. 

As in most African Anglican communities, the main women's support group is Mothers Union. Membership has grown to over 100. Single mothers are now included. The mothers are encouraged to become self-sufficient through small cottage industries, and they are helped by self-help 'seed-money' loans. 

This gives the women ownership of their lives and an incentive to succeed. The money is then paid back for others to borrow. She mentioned St Peter's school in Bwaja, where the women made an altar cloth that is travelling around  Canada to raise funds for future projects. It will be at Ottawa cathedral November 21. 

Mothers' Union meets l pm in the Conference Room the 4th Friday of each month starting in the January. Program topics are about the family. New members are always welcome. 

- MU Contact Cynthia Greer


Senior's Eucharist and Lunch 

On Wednesday, November 17th, another  successful Senior's Eucharist and Lunch was  held at St. Mark's and once again all those who attended expressed enthusiasm and thanks for this event. We had 30 people sitting down for lunch. Many more were present, helping in the kitchen. The Eucharist was a lovely service, the food was delicious and a beautiful singer/ pianist named Kristy Hagerman provided entertainment.

This event first started in the fall of 2005 and 
has been a joint initiative of the Health 
Committee and Pastoral Care/Friendly Visiting 
Team. It was started in response to the need that was recognized in many of our parishioners who were no longer able to come to St. Mark's. 

Although they very much appreciated receiving communion at home, and were being visited by the clergy, myself, friendly visitors, etc. they still missed actually getting to a service in the church itself. For most of these people, poor health, mobility issues and transportation were the main reasons they could no longer get to church. Many of them now lived in retirement homes a fair distance from the church, in Bells Corners, Barrhaven, Orleans, etc. Margaret Blakeney, one of our Friendly Visitors approached me with the idea of somehow holding an event for this group of people. Discussions were held about whether we had the capacity to put together the large number of volunteers needed to bring them to church. The decision was made with the support of both the Health Committee and Pastoral Care / Friendly Visiting Teams that we could get enough support and the Eucharist and Lunch was planned for the Fall of 2005.

The initial focus was just on our shut-in 
parishioners and they all received invitations to come as well as promises of transportation. If they wanted to come, we would get them there! We asked the congregation at St. Mark to volunteer as drivers, to prepare food, and to help with set up, serving of food, and Cleaning up afterwards. The invitees responded positively, the congregation also responded and we had more than enough help. The first event was a success with approximately 20 of our shut-in parishioners getting to church, many who had not been there for several years. The decision was made to hold this event each Spring and Fall and we have been doing that ever since. 

A few years ago, the focus was changed from an event just for our shut-in parishioners. We now call it our Senior's Eucharist and Lunch as we have found it to be such a well-received event that we felt anyone who wanted to attend would be welcome, Invitations still go out to our shut­in seniors but the rest of the congregation is 
invited through the bulletin and by the 
announcements at church. 

Organizing the drives with the attendees is 
always a challenge, one that has been taken on 
over the years by myself and Betty Gillham. We 
have a few who have always come. and we 
know that they love coming, but due to their 
memory issues. can't actually RSVP to our 
invitation and have trouble remembering times 
for pickups etc. It takes diligent work between 
myself the retirement home staff, and our 
volunteer driver's commitment to make several 
reminder phone calls, including right up until an 
hour before the pickup to get them there. The 
effort is worth it as they express their joy at 
being at St. Mark's again. They may forget 
dates, time, details, but they have not forgotten 
their church. 

Thank you to all those who have made soup, 
prepared sandwiches and desserts. set lip tables, 
decorated the hall, served food, done dishes, 
driven people back and forth, played the organ, 
and led the Eucharist service. 

A favorite memory is just one example of what 
makes all this effort worthwhile. At one of the 
Eucharists we held a few years ago, I watched 
two old friends greet each other with hugs and 
laughter in the foyer after their drivers dropped 
them off. They had for many years attended the 
Wednesday service and the coffee time 
afterwards together but due to ill health each had moved to a separate retirement home in the last year and they could no longer see each other regularly. They sat side by side at the service and they shared the Peace of Christ together as they had done for so many years.

They were back home at St. Mark's. 

- Patty Robillard RN 
  Parish Nurse

St Mark's Parish Lending Library

As the days shorten and winter promises to arrive, it may be a time to browse our Lending  Library for some winter reading. 

The lending library is shelved in the window­ well units in Bishop Reed Hall. In the first unit  there are sections labelled: Religion,  Anglicanism, Church Leadership and Study  of the Bible. The section on Religion may yield  some interesting on-going reading for people  who took part in this Fall's book study of A  People's history Christianity by Diana Butler Bass. You will also find a copy of the book itself  if you missed the study. The section on Study of  the Bible contains many books of interest. The  middle unit contains resources that are more  reflective. Among the many good books in  Spiritual Life you will find reliable resources  on Celtic Christianity. The Prayer and  Meditation section speaks for itself. The third  unit, closest to the Parish Nurse office, holds a  variety of books on Pastoral Care with special  sections on Aging, Loss and Grief, Death and  Dying. Finally there is a shelf of Inspirational  Stories, personal stories of person's lives and  the influence of their faith. There are some very  interesting people stories here. 

It is easy to borrow from our library and there  are instructions at each unit. Please put the date,  your name (first names are fine) and your phone  number on the sign-out cards, and leave them in  the box in the middle unit. The usual lending  period is three weeks and I will give you a call  after a month or if someone is waiting for it. I  missed putting a "returned" column on the sign­  out cards but just leave a check mark and your  initial at the end of the line. Place the book in or  beside the section it is from (colour-coded dots)  or leave it beside the box (middle unit) and I will  put it away. I'd be pleased to look at books with  you during coffee time, and help you make a  selection.

Good Reading,

– Betty Caughlin 

Best Start Plan

The provincial government implemented the 'Best Start Plan', aimed at equalizing the differences in preparedness for children as they start Grade one. In Ottawa the decision was to join this with the currently running "Success by 6".  Parkwood Hills area was recognized to be in need of support.

The goal is to make sure that parents know about the services, so that they can get help that they may need for their children. It was decided that a drop-in play-group, mom and me style, would bring parents together, make them less isolated, and provide information.

Father Brian was part of this group, as was St. Rita School. In looking for a location, it seemed that we had space in the hall on certain days, and 'Best Start' was invited to open up a group with us.

The Play-Group will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Bishop Reed Hall. They will use both their equipment and our nursery toys. Timing of funerals on Tuesdays and Thursdays will need to be adjusted. Parents will stay with their children the whole time, so they will not be wandering or in any way unsupervised.

I hope that if you are in the church on those days, that you will take time to say 'hi' and help them feel welcomed.

This is a more personal way of outreach than money. It may feel a little intrusive until we become accustomed to it. Please give it time, and feel free at any time to speak to Father Brian or me. Suggestions and ideas are always welcome.

– Cynthia Greer


Brian James died on Friday, October 29th at around 9 pm following a courageous battle with cancer. When Brian first came to my office over a year and a half ago, I thought we were going to talk about a funeral. Instead, we talked about a baptism. We received Brian into the household of God at a time of great need in his life and discovered that, to take the lead from St Francis, it is in giving that we receive.

In January of this year, when Brian's condition had worsened, a group of dedicated friendly visitors from St Mark's formed a circle of friendship and support for Brian. Along with me and Patti Robillard,  St Mark's Parish Nurse, the group offered a ministry that has been offered several times at this Church. This was the first time, however, that we offered it as a ministry of hospitality, to someone we didn't know before but who became known to us through loving service. The impact of this was very powerful for us as a group and for Brian, but also for those around him: doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers at the Hospice at May Court. People noticed us as a group, and what we did, and [ think the reason why we did it: because Brian was a child of God. lost for a while, but loved all the same. I was told by more than one person speaking from a secular viewpoint that we were known as Christians because of the way we visibly loved Brian with our support.

Brian was an author, a poet and a painter. One of his last paintings, completed at the Hospice at May Court, was purchased and given to St Mark's. For me it is a constant reminder of the gift of hospitality: how in giving we receive, and how we can be known by our love for one another. At one point on his journey, Brian wrote this poem. 

I am not my 'suffering';
my cancer

I am not in Jehovah's image
not whole

I am not divinely recovering
and yet

Slowly Jehovah is my universes
Powerful answer.

Brian James, Calgary, Fall of 2009

– Fr. Brian Kauk †


Bazaar 2010 

The 2010 bazaar was a very successful day with lots of community interaction and fellowship. CanHave and St Mesrob Armenian Church Ladies joined us for the day. We raised a total of $5.135 on the day of the bazaar. The mini bazaar which is held on the first Sunday of Advent will distribute the cookie boxes and give people a chance to see some of the remaining items from the bazaar. 

A welcome addition to the bazaar this year was the selling of art note cards donated by John Topelko. They are also available at the mini bazaar or by calling Lome Bowerman at 613-225- 7904. There are 10 designs of note cards and they sell for $2 each or a package of 10 for $18. Many thanks to all those who helped with the bazaar and those who contrihuted by coming out and supporting us. 

– Joy Bowerman General Convenor

A NOTE from the

At the end of September the collections income was $12,500 below what was expected. At the end of October, we were $10,000 below what was expected. The October collections income was above the budgeted amount which ended 3 months of a $3,000 shortfall.  The November collections continue to look good however, we are still in a difficult position and it will be a struggle to meet the budget. Even if we meet the budget, there will still be an almost $10,000 deficit. 

– Joy Bowerman Treasurer 

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.

- Sheila Vaudrey  Editor 


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

Newsletter editor:  Sheila Vaudrey

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