Peterborough Anglican co-ordinates shipments for northern communities
An Anglican from Peterborough, Ont., is one of the organizers behind a recently developed program for shipping tons of donated items from southern Ontario to First Nations communities in the North.
John Andras is one of the directors of HIP: Honouring Indigenous Peoples, a charity aimed at teaching Canadians about Indigenous issues and helping schools in Native communities. Last year, HIP began a program for collecting in-kind donations and transporting them to northern communities. It started with a shipment of 1,500 articles of winter clothing to nine communities. Then, this January, HIP sent three transport trucks of donated hockey equipment and other items north to 11 First Nations communities.
The setting-up of the supply chain by which these materials reach their destinations was the work of Andras and Laurie Siblock, residents of Cobourg, Ont.
So far, the shipments have been free of cost, because the trucking companies and airlines involved-MGA International, Wasaya Airways and Thunder Air-have donated their services.
“I’ve found that the trucking industry has a huge heart and they’re aware of conditions in the North,” Andras says. “They have contacts with First Nations communities along their routes on the northern highways, so they’re aware of the issues and problems, and they want to help.”
Andras says the program has grown “far bigger, far faster” than he had thought possible. “It’s having a real impact in the North-not just by getting things up there that people need, but also making connections and having people realize there’s a lot of people of goodwill in the South who want to reach out and make things different.”
If you want clergy visits in hospital, tell staff: N.B. chaplain
If you want an Anglican chaplain to visit you when you’re in the hospital, you should make sure hospital staff are aware of this, a New Brunswick chaplain says.
Canon David Barrett, who has served as chaplain at two Saint John hospitals for more than a year and a half, says both he and his predecessor have experienced “daily frustration” because hospital staff often do not ask patients their denomination, and whether they want a clergy visit, when they are being admitted.
Privacy regulations forbid Barrett from searching for patients to visit. Instead, he gets a list every morning that shows all the Anglicans reported in the hospital that day, and another one of all the Anglicans recorded as having requested a clergy visit. But the lists may not always be complete; Barrett says he himself was not asked these questions when admitted to hospital last fall for kidney stones.
Barrett says a lot of the patients he sees get few or no visitors. He once visited a woman in palliative care who cried, saying she did not want to be alone.
“Every time I moved in my chair, she thought I was leaving,” Barrett says. He stayed with her for an hour, reading psalms and praying with the woman. As he was leaving, she said, “I needed something spiritual. You’re just what I needed today,” Barrett says.
Barrett says he takes cues from the patients when deciding what he will do on a visit. He might read from the Bible, offer prayers or even communion, he says, but sometimes the visit is simply to show someone they have not been forgotten.
-The New Brunswick Anglican
Election of bishop of Caledonia set for April 22
A successor to William Anderson, who retired as bishop of Caledonia December 31, 2016, will be elected in Prince Rupert April 22.
The date of the electoral synod was set at a January 13 meeting of Archbishop John Privett, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and the Yukon, with the diocese’s executive committee. According to the canon law of the diocese, the metropolitan fixes a date for the election of a bishop’s successor once the bishop has retired.
The bishop-elect will need the vote of two thirds of each of the electoral synod’s two houses (clergy and laity). Diocesan canons also require the vote to be in camera (not open to the public).
In 2015, Anderson announced he intended to retire the following autumn. However, in July 2016, after General Synod’s provisional vote to allow same-sex marriages, he said he had decided to postpone his retirement to December 31, in order to help the diocese and its members discern their response.
Anderson, 66, served the diocese as bishop for a decade and a half; he was elected in October 2001 and consecrated in February 2002.
Some executive committee members voiced their desire for a faithful bishop who knows the passion of Christ. Other members said they hoped the electoral synod would go smoothly and that there would be unity in the diocese thereafter.
Privett, who has served as metropolitan since 2009, remarked that by the end of the process to find a successor for Anderson, he will have installed all the sitting bishops of the province.
Edmonton church, art space offer religion and art together
An Edmonton Anglican church and faith-based art gallery are teaming up to explore the intersection of religion and art through a range of projects aimed at the wider community.
St. Faith Anglican Church and Bleeding Heart Art Space, located across the street from each other in an eclectic downtown neighbourhood, have been enjoying an unusually close relationship since around 2015. That’s when Urban Bridge Pentecostal Church, which had founded the art space as a faith-based community gallery and arts centre, closed.
Meanwhile, Bleeding Heart’s artistic director, Dave Von Bieker, and his family began attending St. Faith’s, and the church’s rector, Canon Travis Enright, began to realize the potential offered by closer collaboration.
Since then, the church and gallery have teamed up on a number of projects. The church, for example, offers a Bleeding Heart service once a month, weaving creative and sensory elements into the liturgy. This May, Bleeding Heart, together with the diocese of Edmonton’s Indigenous ministries office and with funding from the Anglican Foundation of Canada, will curate a public art installation featuring a large tree, based on a Métis story, that will serve as a focus of stories of healing.
Travis says the relationship has brought a number of benefits to the church beyond those originally foreseen. “It has given us room to think about church differently,” he says.
Von Bieker says art shows can provide a way of sharing ideas about God and other topics that are sometimes challenging to discuss.
“Theology, reconciliation, sexuality, gender identity…there are a lot of issues we don’t know how to have a good dialogue about,” he says. “Art and story are keys to having those conversations. That’s what Jesus did with the parables.”
Montreal mission struggles with deficit
For the first time, St. Michael’s Mission, which provides warming stations for the homeless, among other services, is grappling with a deficit and hoping for donations.
The Montreal-based mission is facing the shortfall partly because of a recent loss of $70,000 in government support and donations from private sponsors. For this reason, executive director George Greene says he is especially grateful the mission was chosen to be one of the beneficiaries of this year’s Bishop’s Action Appeal, an annual call for donations to the diocese.
In addition to the warming station, which welcomes people through the night, the mission also offers meals, showers, crisis intervention, legal advice and other services for some of the estimated 3,000 people without a home in Montreal’s downtown core.
The mission has traditionally had a close relationship with the diocese. It is located in the Anglican Church of St. John the Evangelist, and has had considerable support from Anglican parishes and individual Anglicans over the years, Greene says.
Last year, more than half of the 13 deaths reported among Montreal’s homeless population were weather-related. In the first month of 2017 alone, five died.
Donations to the Bishop’s Action Appeal can be made by calling the Synod Office (514-843-6577), or online at www.montreal.anglican.ca/baa2016.