Around the dioceses, October 2017

Published September 7, 2017

Ontario parishes earn money from solar power

Three parishes in the diocese of Ontario are selling power generated by solar panels on their church or church hall roofs.

The province of Ontario’s microFIT program allows producers of solar power to sell it to their local distribution company. (The arrangement is different from net metering, according to which any excess electricity produced translates into a credit on the producers’ hydro account.) Christ Church Gananoque; St. Luke’s Anglican Church, in Kingston; and St. George’s Church, Trenton are all selling their power through microFIT. Christ Church Gananoque, which installed its panels three years ago, makes almost enough money from the program to offset its electricity costs; in one 12-month period, the church earned $4,148 while paying $4,448 for power. Christ Church paid about $45,000 to set up the system.

St. Luke’s, which earns about $550 per month during spring and summer and about $200 per month during fall and winter, paid $30,000 for its solar power system, half of which was covered by a grant from the Anglican Foundation of Canada.

At least one of the diocese’s clergy is using the program for his home. The Rev. Ian Ritchie, interim priest-in-charge for the parish of Trinity, sells more than $6,000 worth of electricity generated from the panels on the roof of his Kingston, Ont., home each year.

Those interested in Ontario’s microFIT program will need to apply by the end of December 28, 2017, however, because the program, meant to speed up the early adoption of renewable energy systems, is coming to an end.


Adrienne Clarkson says she never doubted the existence of God, afterlife

Former journalist and governor general of Canada the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson spoke candidly of her spirituality at a multi-faith conference held in St. John’s June 3, 2017.
Clarkson said she never doubted the existence of God—adding, with a smile, “There must be more to life than this”—or of the afterlife, and believed that we will eventually be “part of the Godhead.” She also said Christians should recapture the enthusiasm of the early church, and be eager to share the news that with Christ, light had come into the world. The church, Clarkson said, is “us, as individual human beings, giving out witness, not our buildings.”

Clarkson, who was born in Hong Kong and raised an Anglican, served as Canada’s governor general from 1999 to 2005. She was the final speaker at the conference, “Faith in the Public Square,” hosted by the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.
Attendees also heard talks by Sr. Elizabeth Davis, a member of a Roman Catholic religious order and former CEO of the St. John’s Health Care Corporation; and Geoff Peddle, bishop of the diocese. The event concluded with audience questions to a panel consisting of the speakers plus three representatives of Jewish, Muslim and Anglican organizations.

—Anglican Life

Edmonton prison chaplain ‘stumbled’ into role

The newest Anglican chaplain at an Edmonton maximum-security penitentiary is a self-described “rebel” who says he came to prison ministry unintentionally—and now feels blessed to be able to do it.

Since May 2017, Billy Isenor has been serving as a prison chaplain at the Edmonton Institution. Isenor says he “stumbled” upon prison ministry in 2011, when he was asked to fill in for a chaplain on leave from the Edmonton Institution for Women.
His first thought, Isenor recalls, was, “Are you mad? Four walls, restrictive movement, this is totally not my personality.”

His feelings changed, however, when he became aware of the great need filled by prison ministry.

“What we do goes back to Matthew’s gospel,” he says. “You visited me when I was in prison, when I was sick, when I was poor.

“Prayer and a compassionate ear can go a long way. The men we work with don’t come with the best histories. They’re so entrenched in street culture and that’s all they know. We try to give them the courage and faith to walk in a different way—different ways to cope and express their frustrations—even for five minutes,” he says.

“We try to show them that even though it looks like society has given up on you, God doesn’t give up on anyone. He doesn’t just disappear. He is present among all of us and he knows our heart.”

As of press time, Isenor was preparing to be ordained as a transitional deacon September 14.

—The Messenger

Diocese of British Columbia sponsors 350 refugees

The diocese of British Columbia is now sponsoring the settlement in Canada of 350 refugees—making it the largest private sponsor of refugees on Vancouver Island, if not the entire province of B.C., the diocese’s refugee sponsorship co-ordinator says.

The diocese’s refugee program is 70 times larger now than it was one and a half years ago, says Rebecca Siebert, making it comparable to those of the dioceses of Ottawa and Niagara.

The diocese of British Columbia covers Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands of the Strait of Georgia and Kingcome Inlet on the B.C. mainland.

However, Siebert says, offers from would-be volunteers or donors abruptly stopped last year, and since then the program has been both trying to reach out to the public for more support and calling on family members of the refugees to raise the money needed to sponsor them. These family members, most of whom arrived in Canada as refugees themselves years ago, have been “scraping together all of their savings in order to facilitate the sponsorship of relatives,” she says.

About 30% of the sponsoring groups the program manages are Anglican parishes, and about 10% are ecumenical partnerships. Most of the rest, Siebert says, are people who don’t actually belong to the church or any faith-based organization at all, but have felt called to act.

—Diocesan Post


Related Posts

Skip to content