September 2006 Issue No. 8

Debra-Dynes Family House

Grandma’s Baby Cupboard

When I was invited to join a support committee from St Mark’s for the Debra Dynes Family House, I wasn’t sure where I could be helpful.

Barbara Carroll, Director of the House, gave us a tour one evening and talked about the needs of families that came to the House. Later, I thought about our Circle 2 Ladies group and our prayer: “Help us to promote all that is good in the life of our Community.” The Family House is in our Community, and perhaps we could have a baby shower. There are many new Moms with no family in Canada. Their needs are real, and we can help.

I mentioned this to Circle 2, and we agreed to have a baby shower twice a year – in June and December. Many of us have grandchildren, and it was always fun, and still is, to go through the baby department and bring home a gift for a baby.

At times a parishioner will give me a gift for the Baby Cupboard. Barbara has mentioned to me many times how much the Moms really appreciate these gifts.

I wish to thank all of St Mark’s parishioners for understanding the needs of the Family House.

– Rhodena Burley

Fascinating Facts

  • It takes a minimum of 15,000 plastic bags to supply our Food Bank.
  • Debra Dynes is one of the largest Food Banks in the City of Ottawa serving a wide geographic area. We feed a minimum of 1500 people per month (in March 2005 it was 1700). As well as the food we receive through the Ottawa Food Bank, volunteers collect breads each day and the generous donations from local food drives brings in an extra $60,000 value of supplies each year.
  • At any given time the Family House supports and supervises students from University, Colleges and High School in their placements and practicums.
  • What’s a "Baby Bundle"? Ask the many Church and Social Action groups, especially Rhodena Burley, who regularly hold baby showers (without the baby!) so that our community newborns and infants have a celebration package to welcome them.
  • Need a birthday cake? We freeze all our cakes to make sure that no child in our community goes without a cake to celebrate their special day.
  • At any given time there are a minimum of 25 nationalities represented in Debra Dynes. 66% of our population is under 25 years of age – a number that does not change over time. The Family House continues to provide services to a minimum of 150 people per day. We do this with creative partnerships, community resident support, volunteers and non-sustaining funds.



The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
He said to them,“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”
For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
-     Mark 6:30-32 (N.R.S.V.)

The season of the fall takes us back into the activity of program life in the parish, after ceasing much of our normal activity during the months of July and August. A favourite speaker and author of mine, Father Richard Rohr (Franciscan) founded a ministry in Albuquerque, which is named “The Center for Action and Contemplation.” He always says that the most important word in this title is and. A balanced spiritual life for individuals and parishes requires both action and contemplation. For those visiting the Center in New Mexico, Father Richard gives two basic talks, each about an hour and half long. The first talk is titled, “Bias from the Bottom,” and seeks to ground the listeners in the Biblical tradition of God’s call to action in the world. It outlines the essence of what has sometimes been called “liberation theology” (a loaded term).

On the first four Tuesdays in the month of October 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th I will be using a video of this talk, “Bias from the Bottom,” with a brief discussion period, from 7:30 - 8:30 PM in the Church. I am preparing some study sheets with questions to make available for those who wish to participate. The one-hour format will begin with prayer and some lead up questions to the 25 minutes of video (approximately) that will be shown. This will be followed by a short time of discussion and concluded with the singing of a hymn and closing prayer. The titles for these evenings are:

Session 1 - The Difference between religion and living faith
Session 2 - Understanding the story of the Bible
Session 3 - Jesus in the middle (holding the right and left together)
Session 4 - Out of our heads, into our hearts (finding your reference outside yourself)

The Second talk is titled “Contemplative Prayer.” I will be using the video for this talk in another four sessions with the same format during the season of Lent next year. A book that compliments the “Bias from the Bottom” talk is Jesus’ Plan for a New World (The Sermon on the Mount), by Richard Rohr with John Bookser Feister (St Anthony Messenger Press, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1996). A book that compliments the “Contemplative Prayer” talk is Everything Belongs (The Gift of Contemplative Prayer), by Richard Rohr (The Crossroad Publishing Company, N.Y., 1999).
    We know everything today
    And believe almost nothing.
    It is not reason that drives our lives,
    But passion or the search for it.
    It is not words and concepts,
    But living images that grab our souls.
    It is not what we know that haunts us at the end,
    But what we did not know and don’t know yet.
    We must make friends with the unknowing,
    What you know is just ten thousand different things.
    But what you believe
    Is what you pay attention to,
    What you care about,
    What finally lives and matters in you.
    What you believe is not one of ten thousand things,
    It is that which sees ten thousand things.
    It is not what you know that matters,
    Or changes anything:
    It is what you believe - And believe all the way through.  
    (Richard Rohr)

As we claim the name of Christian and seek to follow Jesus, may our lives personally and corporately reflect the balance and pattern of our Lord’s action and contemplation.

Your fellow disciple on the road,

- Roger Steinke +


Teachers and Apprentices

donated by
Joanna Boyle

I hope you had a wonderful, safe, healthy summer. As we head into September we get back into more normal routines. Many people set new goals at this time of year in terms of eating better, exercising, getting more sleep, or even just staying more organized. (Or all of the above!) Please check my bulletin board for ideas on setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timed) goals to increase your chances of succeeding.

An exciting addition at St Mark’s this year will be the presence of four Third-Year Ottawa University Nursing students, who will be doing their community health nursing clinical placement here. The students’ clinical day is Tuesday, so they will spend a part of each Tuesday from Sept. 19 to Dec. 5, and again from Jan. 9 to April 3, at the Church. They will also come to the Church on a Sunday once or twice each term to meet the wider community.

Their work in the fall semester will include working as a team to do an assessment around a particular health issue. This may involve interviewing some individuals involved in different ministries at the Church to get their input, as well as research, literature reviews, et cetera, around the issue. Then, on a Sunday, they will come and do a bigger assessment with the community at large. (This might mean handing out a short survey, speaking with willing people at coffee time to ask a few specific questions, and such.) Once they have put all their findings together, they will come up with a plan of action for the January-April term. In the winter term they will carry out a health action based upon their findings. This might be a seminar, a health fair, or the development of a binder or other educational materials to hand out.

I am excited that we will be having nursing students at St Mark’s. As an Ottawa University nursing instructor, I have worked with students at All Saint’s Anglican Church for three years and Emmanuel United Church for the past two years. In all experiences, both the churches and the students evaluated the experience very highly. Students consistently recommended it for students the next year, and both Churches are excited about having students again this year.

Another initiative this year from the Health Committee, along with myself, will be to make sure that we as a congregation are ready to deal with a pandemic or any other widespread emergency that comes along, and also to educate all in the St Mark’s community to ensure you are individually prepared for what you would do in a health crisis. In the past year there has been much in the news about Pandemic Planning and Emergency Preparedness. All levels of government have developed strategic plans in case of a pandemic and or other emergency. One part of their plan is to enlist the help of faith communities. During times of crisis, the faith community is where many turn for support. At St Mark’s we have several ministries to reach out to those who need support. Watch for upcoming announcements about this and other health education initiatives.

I continue to be available for health education, health counselling, or other health needs you may have every Wednesday as well as either Monday or Thursday of each week. You can reach me at 613-224-7431.

- Patti Robillard

A note from the Treasurer

At the end of August, the parish finances are sitting about where we expected them to be. Our collections income is within $300 of the budgeted amount. Our other general income is slightly ahead of predicted. Our total expenses were slightly lower than predicted. As a result, our expenses to date have exceeded our income to date by only about $3000. This is a good financial position for us at this time of year. Over the summer, we have had major refurbishing of Bishop Reed Hall, which was paid for from the reserve funds. In June, we received a large bequest, which has been forwarded to the Diocese to be put into the Consolidated Trust Fund according to the dictates of the Diocese.

My one-sentence summary of our finances would be: Well done, but keep up the good work!

– Joy 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.

Next submission deadline:  November 12, 2006

- Sheila Vaudrey  Editor

And Two for the Church

With the release of this newsletter, summer, its fine days, warm weather, and holiday time are drawing to a close. The children are back in school and life has returned to its normal routine. The first big holiday in the offing is Thanksgiving. We’re busy now with the plans for this – who will hold the family Thanksgiving and what food will the family members bring? Which games or TV programs will be watched that day? What choices await us?

While we’re busy doing our elaborate baking for that day, maybe we’ll take the time and make a couple of extra loaves and pies and put them in the freezer in readiness for the Church Bazaar, which isn’t too far off.

Thanksgiving is a special time to help us remember. It’s more than pumpkin pies, turkey and mashed sweet potatoes; it is a time to remember all the special bounty that God has so richly given us.

It’s also a time to give Him thanks from that bounty, from that great storehouse of riches. It is a time to return to God, what is God’s indeed. And this return is not meant to be just at Thanksgiving, although this is a great time to start. It is meant to be every day of the year.

Do we take the time each day to give thanks to God? Do we reflect this thanks in the way we live, and the way we give? Would others believe that we believe in and follow a generous God? Or does God simply get our leftovers?

- Marion Stalter

Ministry at the Ottawa Civic Hospital

Four times a year, on the fifth Sunday of the month, St Mark’s Church takes its turn ministering to patients at the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital. Have you ever been in the hospital and missed your communion? Well, these patients really miss it, and they are so grateful when we bring them Holy Communion.

Most recently Brenda Zanin and I have been performing this ministry. The duties are not overwhelming. It involves being at the Civic by about 10:00 AM (parking is free for volunteers), assisting in preparing the chapel for the Mass, participating in a short sung service, and then taking the consecrated wafers to those hospital patients who are Anglican and who requested it when visited by a Pastoral Care volunteer during the week. There can be anywhere from five to eighteen patients to visit.

Brenda and I and the priest (the affable Fr. Tom Granger) make two to six bedside visits each time. (Occasionally the patients have been discharged or are fast asleep so we don’t get to visit every one.) The most seriously ill patients, including those in the Heart Institute, are seen by the priest. We do not spend a long time with each patient. We say a shortened form of the Holy Eucharist service, giving a consecrated wafer that is thin and dissolves easily without liquid. We’re out and on our way before 12:30 PM.

When I began this ministry, I wondered how receptive the patients would be to my visits, and whether I would face embarrassing or difficult situations. I am pleased to report that the patients I visit are DELIGHTED to see me. Remember, these people have asked for Holy Communion to be brought to them. They recognize that it can be awkward for the visitor and do their best to make me feel welcome and comfortable. If they’re not well enough to take Communion, they’ll say so and I just say a prayer with them. My personal favourites are the older ladies who tell me it’s nice to be visited by a good-looking young man (elsewhere I don’t hear that too often!).

There is a need for two more volunteers for this ministry, which will be a great help when Brenda and I are out of town, on holiday or business travel. Preparation involves common sense things like meeting with Fr. Roger, having a tuberculosis skin test, getting your photo taken for an identification badge, being screened through the Screening in Faith program, et cetera. Any new visitor will accompany Brenda or me on our visits until they’re ready to go on their own. It’s also possible to serve at the Altar at the service in the Chapel, but this is not mandatory.

If you feel that you would find this work rewarding, as I do, and would like to know more, please ask Brenda Zanin, Fr. Roger, or me.

– David Matthews

A Pilgrimage Postponed

Due to the very uncertain situation in Israel and environs at this time, our 2007 trip to Jerusalem
has been put on hold.  However, let none of us surrender hope that we will one day walk there.
With God’s grace, a lasting peace will prevail.
Meanwhile, please pray for the welfare of all who dwell in the Holy Land.

The Frugal Culture Connoisseur

All of us have to follow a budget. Said budget can sometimes leave very little room for leisure – even in the city, where buses go almost everywhere and selection is almost unlimited. However, that minor detail should not deny people their share of cultural exposure in the nation’s capital or anywhere else.

There are some events taking place around town that cost next to nothing and that might interest a lot of people … provided they were made aware of such events in the first place. Bob Ryan has been doing some excellent research on St Mark’s behalf. Here are a few intriguing examples:

The Royal Canadian Mint: 320 Sussex Drive (
Phone 613-993-8990 to book a tour through the Ottawa plant
Weekday tours: adults $5.00; children (4-15 yrs) $3.00; children under 4 FREE;
families (2 adults + 2 children) $13.00
Weekend tours: adults $3.50; children (4-15 yrs) $2.00; children under 4 FREE;
families (2 adults + 2 children) $10.00
Sat. Nov. 11: Special Remembrance Tribute at 1:30 PM (free!)

Rideau Hall: 1 Sussex Drive (
Guided tours of Government House: weekends, 12:00 – 4:00 PM (fall schedule)
Outdoor Family Activity: Tell-a-tale Trail Treasure Hunt: weekends, 12:00 – 4:00 PM (fall schedule)

The Great Canadian Theatre Company: 910 Gladstone Ave. (
The first Sunday of each production is a “Pay What You Can” matinee
“The Oxford Roof Climber’s Rebellion”: Sun. October 15, 2:00 PM
“Leo”: Sun. November 26, 2:00 PM

Third Wall Theatre: The Ottawa Art Gallery, Daly Ave. at Nicolas Ave. (
“Degrees of Fantasy”: held in the Firestone Gallery, 12:30 PM, Fri. September 29 (free!)
“Cubicles”: held in the Basement, 7:30 PM, Thurs. October 5 (free!)
“Doctor Faustus”: the Dress Rehearsal before Opening Night is free! Wed. October 25, 7:30 PM

A Beautiful Thought

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room.

She said: “How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?”

The surgeon said, “I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.”

Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?”

The surgeon asked, “Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.”

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to her son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.

“Would you like a lock of his hair?” the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally.

The mother said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the university for study. He said it might help somebody else. I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.’”

She went on, “My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could.”

Sally walked out of Children’s Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there.

She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car. The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house.

She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair, to her son’s room. She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She lay down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Lying beside her on the bed was a folded letter.
The letter said:

Dear Mom,
I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever forget you, or stop  loving you, just ‘cause I’m not around to say I LOVE YOU. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again.

Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know.

Don’t be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything.

The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus Himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important.

That’s when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you goodbye and everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed. Well, you know what, Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him: ‘Where was He when I needed him?’ God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn’t that cool? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I’m sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent the Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from

God, Jesus & Me

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:

Newsletter editor:  Sheila Vaudrey e-mail:


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