November 2005 Issue No.5
A TRIBUTE TO A CONGREGATION
It is your Church, a sanctuary from the pressures of life. Structurally, it is without a doubt one of the finest of many small Churches with which I have had the good fortune to be associated with over the past half-century. You should respect it for its beauty alone, but take heed of what lies under its outward skin. It poses no great shouts of acclamation. This is not what the building stands for. One should carefully screen mental thoughts when in a contemplative mood. Upon entering, there is a profound sense of scriptural work behind these walls.
St Mark's Window
donated by the
I wish to state here one reason that personally impinges on me when in a contemplative mood as I enter. The soft-toned woodwork, the soaring rooflines redolent with the wholesome “ether” of trees and the burnished edges, makes one just ache to touch its beautiful texture. It is the sheen and grain of long-lived trees, sanctified here for us.
There are voices at work here also: echoes of the many good people who have gone before us to their rest, Veterans who saw death, young people who lived here, married, raised a family… each of which has become part of this shrine of kindred spirits. I can’t help but feel the essence of the many who shared this sanctuary, coupled with the good Pastors who served it so well. The volunteers, the helpers, the workers hired for specific tasks; they receive no fanfare. Yet were it not for these, this Church would be far less fortunate. They are some of the most important people in any organisation.
Take note also of the many blessings that have been showered on this Church, and the many who have been blessed by it.
I came here quite a few years ago. I was serving in another Parish at the time, and I had occasion to see Father David Bolton, then the Rector of St Mark’s. I will never forget entering the building, standing in the centre of the Nave, looking up at the beams and panels… and then, turning around, I saw the East Window. Immediately I thought of the stained-glass ones over in the old countries. At the time I found it hard to have to drive across the city to the other Parish where I was serving. St Mark’s became my Church shortly after. I chose the third row, where I could see the Pulpit and the message being given. This was my Church now.
For about thirty years St Mark’s has been my spiritual home. Due to sickness in the family I have had to curtail my time here, but I have not left it. I never could. Having served in so many other Churches across this land, in so many ways, over fifty years, I think my qualifications grant me licence to state these facts and to share them with you. There is a spiritual union of which I am a part. It is in my being, I cannot shake it off, and I don’t want to. Let me assure you that I have the greatest love for St Mark’s over and above my many years in other Churches, and I feel that this is still the best and most loved Church in this city.- Harold Raynes
THE PASTOR'S PREAMBLE
“Year B: The Year of Mark”“This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God”
At the end of November, as we come to the close of the Church Year, we begin a new Church Year with the season of Advent (November 27th). In our Sunday lectionary this is Year B, the year we focus on the Gospel according to St Mark. Mark is commonly accepted as the oldest of the four Gospel Books of the New Testament, and is the shortest. It is called the “action Gospel,” because events move so quickly from one to the next. The whole Book is framed by two events: Jesus’ baptism and Jesus’ death. Our whole lives as disciples of Jesus are also framed by these two events: our baptism and our death. Everything in between is about growing, by God’s Spirit and grace, into the likeness of Jesus.
Make this new Church Year your personal focus into the Gospel according to Mark. The three things that Mark records at the beginning, which is Jesus’ baptism, are: the tearing apart of the heavens, the descending of the Spirit on Jesus, and the Voice from Heaven saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved.” The three things Mark records at the end, which is Jesus’ death, are: the departure of the Spirit as Jesus breathes His last breath, the tearing apart of the curtain in the Temple, and the voice of the soldier in charge of Jesus’ execution: “Truly this man was God’s Son.” God in Christ is the God who seeks us out and visits us where we are, in time and in our very flesh, personally. The living God is no longer hidden behind temple curtains or clouds in the sky. The testimony of God about our own “beloved-ness” and our inheritance as children comes directly from God, in the Spirit, and from all those people around us “in whom the Spirit dwells.”
Our growth in the knowledge, experience, and freedom of God’s Spirit and grace will follow the same pattern we see in the disciples of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel. Jesus calls His disciples together into a community. No one ever volunteers to be a disciple. Jesus enlightens His disciples with knowledge and teaching (which they don’t get, yet Jesus never gives up on them.) Jesus empowers His disciples to be holy people of God. Although they never really achieve this, Jesus never takes back His power. He simply and consistently reminds His disciples of this gift of God’s power to them. Jesus keeps His disciples in spite of their complete faithlessness to Him. Maybe this is the most important point of all.
As we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s coming to us - Jesus’ birth, presence with us, and His coming again at the end of time - reflect on these themes of Mark’s Gospel. May the Spirit of God fill you and all those close to you with the joy and peace of our Saviour in this Holy Season.
- Roger Steinke +
WHOSE DECISION IS THAT?
Some of us have been wondering about the roles and responsibilities of the various elected and appointed individuals and groups. Who has responsibility for what, and to whom? Having checked the Canons, By-laws and Regulations of the Diocese of Ottawa, I offer the answers below.
The Vestry is the congregation: all regular worshippers over the age of sixteen who contribute regularly to the maintenance of the Parish. The Incumbent (the Parish Priest) must convene the meeting of Vestry once a year, no later than the end of February. Vestry must elect a Parish Council at its annual meeting. At St Mark’s we only partially do this at the Annual meeting, with the appointment of financial officers and the approval of the annual budget. Other elections and appointments are made at a Special Electoral Vestry held in the beginning of June. Parish Council includes the Rector, the Churchwardens (or "Wardens"), the Treasurer, the Lay Members of Synod elected by Vestry, and additional members elected by Vestry. If, during the course of the year, vacancies occur among the members of Parish Council, the Priest may appoint replacements.
Vestry may also meet in a special meeting during the year if called by the Priest and/or the Wardens for a specially designated purpose. If ten members of Vestry submit a written request to call a special meeting of Vestry, the Priest and/or Wardens are obligated to do so.
Parish Council must take appropriate action on matters referred to it by Vestry, following the directions Vestry provides. Between meetings of Vestry, however, Parish Council has all the right and duties of Vestry prescribed to it by the Canons, By-laws and Regulations of the Diocese. The phrase "make recommendations" appears three times in the Regulation concerning Parish Council's duties. Parish Council makes recommendations on Parish financial statements, on the Parish budget, and any other matter affecting the responsibilities of the Parish. Parish Council must assist the Priest in supporting Christian education in the Parish and work to ensure regular attendance of Church members at services.
Parish Council meets regularly during the year. The agenda for each meeting is proposed by the Chair, who is chosen at the first meeting each year. The proposed agenda may be modified by and is adopted by decision of Parish Council. Matters of substance to be discussed by Parish Council should be reviewed by the Corporation before they go to Parish Council.
One of the two Wardens is elected by Vestry; the other is appointed by the Priest. Between meetings of Vestry, vacancies may be filled by election at a special meeting of Vestry, or the Priest may decide to appoint a replacement. Neither of the two Wardens may exercise their powers without the consent of the other Warden. The two Wardens and the Priest comprise "the Corporation": under Canon Law they are the Trustees of the Parish.
The Corporation appoints the staff, the Vestry Clerk, and other lay officers. The Wardens must carry out the legitimate directions of the Synod and Vestry. The Wardens must assume responsibility for financial reports, the Parish budget, counting and depositing the offerings, ensure the Parish lands and buildings are maintained, ensure that Church services are held, and ensure that the Church is not used "for any profane purpose". Corporation meets regularly, in advance of the Parish Council meeting. The two Deputy Wardens (Incoming and Outgoing) also attend Corporation meetings.
The Priest is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Bishop. In cases where a Parish receives applications and conducts interviews to fill a vacancy for Incumbent, the applications are vetted by the Bishop: the Parish will only be given applications of persons whom the Bishop is willing to appoint as an Incumbent. The “Parochial Committee” consists of the two Wardens and Lay Members of Synod. The Parochial Committee is responsible for writing a Parish Profile and works with the Regional Archdeacon toward the appointment of a new Incumbent, interviewing clergy candidates. The Priest's stipend, allowances, and benefits are set by and paid by the Diocese. The Diocese recovers this cost from the Parish.
The Priest is responsible for the ordering of Church services, religious education in the Parish, and any organisations carrying on business in the name of the Church or on its property.
The truly wondrous thing is that, despite this impressive display of bureaucracy, it all works very well. Praise God!
- David Matthews
A STANDING POSTURE
I am quoting from the Michaelmas AD 2003 edition of The Anglican Digest on an article entitled “Why I Stand,” by Cay Hartley of St. Alban’s Parish, Washington, D.C.
“I am one of those people who continues to stand after the Benediction in the Great Thanksgiving. When I counted off the years, I realized that I had been standing for almost 15 years. In some congregations this would not be unusual, but at St. Alban’s standees are in a minority, and sometimes I feel conspicuous and lonely! So, when a few people asked why I stand, I decided not only to answer but to do a little research and ask some other folks who stand why they do it.
“With help from the Rector and solid Episcopal references, I learned that standing is a very old tradition. In the early Church there were no kneelers or even chairs! The standing posture was the one prescribed for prayer. In the late Middle Ages, kneeling during corporate worship was forbidden and reserved for private devotions.
“Liturgical scholars like Marion Hatchett and Howard Galley, both of whom were instrumental in writing and shepherding along the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, have written about standing during the Eucharistic narrative. Hatchett writes that standing is a symbol of our affirmation of new life in Christ and prayer offered in His name, and that by standing we participate in the action around the Altar. Galley suggests that if the congregation kneels during the narrative, they should stand for the Lord’s Prayer that follows. Both write about standing as a reclamation of tradition from the early Church, and both also confirm that kneeling is appropriate for confession, absolution and other penitential seasons and offices.
“I grew up with the 1928 BCP, so was thoroughly comfortable with the directions for kneeling. During my worship in my home parish in Florida, parishes in Virginia, overseas, and then at St. Alban’s, I always knelt with everyone else. The publishing and subsequent use of the 1979 BCP represents the point at which standing became more common. Knowing the affection that many people have for the 1928 BCP, and recognizing that change is nearly always difficult, the writers included new rubrics directing that the congregation might stand or kneel during the Eucharistic narrative. About the same time, I visited a number of other congregations, and was surprised to discover that people stood during the Eucharistic narrative. So I tried standing, tried kneeling again, and discovered that standing at this point in the service matched my internal state of acclamation and celebration for the Living God. It feels like I am saying ‘yes’ to God’s call for praise and action in the world as well as a remembrance of loving sacrifice.
“One of the wonderful attributes of our church is that there is room for our many differences. Standing or kneeling, we are united in our belief and love of God. Perhaps you might try standing during the celebration of the resurrection of Christ.”
The following paragraphs on “Standing Posture” are excerpted from Rites for a New Age by Michael Ingham, copyright 1986 – Anglican Book Centre – used with permission.
“As already noted, the Prayer Book imposed a penitential posture upon Anglicans from the beginning, requiring us to kneel for prayer, communion and for the receiving of blessings. This was consistent with its theological understanding of our essential unworthiness in the presence of God) even after our redemption by Christ and our baptism in the Spirit). Curiously, this was a practice opposed by the Calvanist school at the time of the first and second Prayer Books. They felt that kneeling was an inappropriate posture. Instead, they favoured sitting or standing (though their reasons had less to do with any doubts over penitence than with a deeply rooted suspicion that kneeling was Catholic and idolatrous).
“The Book of Alternative Services, however, consistent with its different spiritual emphasis, suggests standing as the appropriate posture in the presence of God for those who have been called into Christ’s Kingdom. Symbolically, this gives physical dramatization to the Easter event. God has raised us from death to life in Christ. We are bidden to stand and rejoice in God’s house. Our bodies proclaim what our lips and hearts celebrate: that we have been made worthy through Christ to be called children, heirs and co-workers with the Lord of creation. Whereas the Prayer Book encouraged self-abasement, the new rite announces: ‘We offer You this bread and this cup, giving thanks that You have made us worthy to stand in Your presence and serve You’ [from Eucharistic Prayer 2, page 196].
“This is not intended to express a false confidence, the narcissism of the Me Generation. It is not saying we are as good as God and so ought not to bow down. (I have a cartoon in my study showing a businessman standing by his bed, hands folded in prayer, saying, ‘You understand, God, a man in my position doesn’t kneel.’)
“What this is saying is that after Easter our reverence may be expressed in celebration rather than abnegation. Because of Christ’s faithfulness, not our own, we can have confidence in the presence of God. Easter has changed everything, including our physical attitude.
“Architecturally, the consequence of this more optimistic spirituality may eventually be the disappearance of altar rails. As new structures are built to contain the new rites there will be less need for this familiar apparatus, except where there is a desire to retain the option for receiving communion in the traditional manner. Altar rails, in fact, have not always been part of the Anglican heritage. They were introduced by Archbishop Laud during the English Restoration to protect altars from despoliation by Protestant extremists. They resemble nothing so much as a fence around the sanctuary separating the people of God from the inner sanctum of the clergy. Such symbolism sits ill with the Book of Alternative Services.”
- John Kirby
The National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces
In Ottawa’s historic Beechwood Cemetery, a beautiful stretch of lawn has been consecrated to a beautiful purpose. The stone monolith welcoming the visitor says it all: “For the men and women of Canada’s Armed Forces who have served their nation with distinction in war and in peace…”
In the centre of this gently sloping, simply adorned lawn towers a three-sided pillar of pale granite. Each face bears an inscription: one for the Royal Canadian Army, one for the Navy and one for the Air Force. It is a graceful tribute to those who have given their all, and a powerful reminder for us who remain.
- Sheila Vaudrey
When I Think of Famous Men
Near the snow, near the sun,
on the highest fields
See how these names are feted
by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And the whispers of wind in the listening sky
The names of those who
in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts
the fire’s centre
Born of the sun they travelled
a short while towards the sun
And left the vivid air
signed with their honour.
- Sir Stephen Spender, 1905-95
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
- LCol John McRae, MD, 1917
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
O Christ, whose voice the waters heard,
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amid the storm didst sleep:
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.
- William Whiting, 1860
A SNAPSHOT IN TIME
* Photo Directory 2006 *
Where has the time gone? It is hard to believe that it has been five years since we did the last photo directory in our 50th Anniversary Celebrations in 1999.
And much has changed at St Mark’s. Without the Photo Directory to remind us, we would not easily bring the changes to mind.
We have scheduled two sessions for the photography - Thursday February 16 to Saturday February 18 for the first session, and Friday March 17 and Saturday March 18 for the second session.
There is no obligation to buy. It costs St Mark’s nothing as well. It is a win-win situation.
Be part of our history. For further information, ask Lorraine Ross, Keith Wilkins, or Lorne Bowerman. §
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.
If you would rather receive this newsletter in electronic format only, that’s great; it will save paper. Simply email me with your request.
Next submission deadline:
January 29, 2005. ◊
- Sheila Vaudrey
(This really happened to one of our own…)
A father decided that it was time he taught his children how to use the family computer. Among other things, he explained the need for passwords, and invited the youngsters to create one for themselves. Their choice was certainly unique: “MickeyMinniePlutoandGoofy.”
When the father asked why they’d chosen so long a password, they immediately proved how well they could follow instructions: “But Daddy, you said it had to be four characters!”
- courtesy of Marion Stalter
If you did not attend St Mark’s between the fall of 1997 and the spring of 1998, you probably do not know Fr. David. He was our Student Intern from St Paul’s University during those months. Following his Ordination in the fall of 1998, he served as Incumbent of Clayton for three years and then as Rector of St. Katherine of Alexandria, a large all-black, inner-city church in Baltimore, Maryland. During his time there he received a number of citations from the Mayor of Baltimore, the United States Senate and the Governor of Maryland for his amazing ministry in the church and secular community.
Fr. David will be speaking at the opening session of Celebrate Recovery on Tuesday, January 10 at 7 PM. We are looking forward to hearing him. Do come. Refreshments will be served following his talk.
Also, please note that Fr. Roger will be speaking the following week, January 17 at 7 PM. You may remember his sermon series on the “Road to Recovery” earlier this year. Plan to come on the 17th and hear him go more deeply into the subject.
- Lyndal Petit
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 * e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter editor: Sheila Vaudrey e-mail: email@example.com
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