Algoma parishes offer worship services for developmentally challenged
Three parishes in the diocese of Algoma are partnering with a local special needs charity to offer worship services for people with developmental challenges.
For roughly a year, the parishes, all in Ontario’s Muskoka region, have been working with Community Living South Muskoka, a registered charity that serves individuals with development disability and their families, to provide the twice-monthly services.
The services are held at St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, Bracebridge; the lead clergy is the Rev. Margaret Morrison, of Lake of Bays Anglican Parish; and St. James’s Anglican Church, Gravenhurst supplies a musician and prints the service bulletin. Clergy from St. Thomas and St. James also participate. Community Living South Muskoka publicizes the services, offers transportation and supplies any needed support workers.
Each service begins with a review of sermons from previous gatherings, with questions addressed to congregants such as, “Who loves each and every one of us?”, “No matter how old we are, we are all children of ____?” and “Who built the ark?”
There are then prayers, hymns (often performed with actions and hand-held instruments) and a sermon accompanied by slides. The service concludes with a gathering to enjoy snacks.
In December 2017, 17 congregants were awarded certificates recognizing what they had learned of the Old Testament.
Morrison says she would be happy to share the homily slides with anyone interested in offering similar services in their parish.
Anglican liturgist to be memorialized with $5,000 bursary
Family and friends of Douglas Cowling, an Anglican musical director and liturgist who died in January 2017, have set up a $5,000 bursary in his name.
Beginning in fall 2018, the Douglas C. Cowling Bursary in Liturgical Music will be awarded every year to one musician working part-time in one of the diocese of Toronto’s parishes. The goals of the bursary are to encourage music and liturgy that promotes participation in worship by people of all ages, and to support the training of the bursary recipient.
The bursary will come out of a fund managed by the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Foundation. The Cowling family has committed to providing $5,000 or more every year for five years to the fund.
Applicants for the bursary should send their proposals to [email protected], by June 29.
Cowling, who served as a musical director and organist at several parishes in the diocese, was known both for his innovations in liturgy and his musicianship. A four-time Juno Award winner, Cowling was also a musical scholar and founding member of the Tallis Choir, a Toronto choir that specializes in the music of the Renaissance.
Cowling “had an absolute passion for liturgical reform that would involve the entire congregation in song and music,” recalls Canon David Harrison, priest at Cowling’s church, the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
Niagara to host triennial Cursillo conference
A keynote speech by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, will be among the highlights of the Canadian Anglican Cursillo Triennial Conference, which will be hosted by the diocese of Niagara this year.
Themed “Behold, I am doing a new thing,” this year’s conference will take place June 22-24 at Renison University College in Waterloo, Ont. Participants will have a choice of attending two out of three workshops: “Discernment,” led by Sr. Elizabeth Ann Eckert of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto; “Your Spiritual Autobiography,” led by Canon Peter Davison of the diocese of Niagara; and “Labyrinth,” led by Lori Haskings-Barber, a certified trainer in the use of spiritual labyrinths.
Also expected to attend the conference are representatives from the Anglican Foundation of Canada, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund and the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer.
The conference will include a business meeting, during which the next national executive of the Canadian Anglican Cursillo Secretariat will be elected.
More information on the conference can be found at www.anglicancursillo.com.
The Cursillo movement aims to support and encourage Christians through short courses in areas such as grace, faith, evangelism and Christian community in action. Brief talks are followed by discussions by participants in small groups. The movement originated in Spain in the 1940s; the first meeting of the Canadian Anglican Cursillo was held in Toronto in 1977.
—Niagara Anglican, The Saskatchewan Anglican
Fredericton bishop plans fourth annual diocesan walk
For the fourth year in a row, David Edwards, bishop of the diocese of Fredericton, will be heading across one of the diocese’s archdeaconries on foot to visit parishes, pray with local Anglicans and bear witness to communities on the route.
From May 23 to June 5, Edwards will be making his way through the archdeaconry of Woodstock, which covers the province of New Brunswick’s northwest, including the upper reaches of the Saint John River.
According to a tentative schedule released by the diocese, his pilgrimage will begin with evening prayers at the Church of St. Luke in Woodstock, followed by a 20.6 km walk to Hartland the following day—plus a walk across the town’s famed covered bridge. The following days will see the bishop doing at least in the teens of kilometres each day, with several days of more than 20 km of walking. Some sections of the route will involve driving.
Highlights will include a visit to the McCain Foods factory in Florenceville; attending a meeting of the diocesan council at Camp Brookwood, an Anglican youth camp; and a visit to a potato packing operation. The pilgrimage will include sections through a nature preserve and other walking trails. It will finish up at All Saints Anglican Church, Magaguadavic.
Members of the public are invited to walk alongside the bishop for one or more days. Information on how to participate, and more about the pilgrimage, can be found on Edwards’s blog, at anglican.nb.ca/wp/pilgrimage.
—The New Brunswick Anglican
Edmonton interfaith group sees progress in fight against homelessness
Members of an interfaith group formed to fight homelessness in Edmonton are making strides in terms of both learning how to work with one another and in their awareness of the housing potential of their property, attendees at a gathering of the group heard March 27.
Formed in 2011, the Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative (CRIHI) includes groups from a variety of spiritual traditions, including Anglicanism. Recently, connection and co-operation on homelessness have improved between these groups in Edmonton, said Christian Reformed Pastor Mike Van Boom, the CRIHI’s housing ambassador. Faith communities also are increasingly aware, he said, that the land they own might be used as housing, he said.
Van Boom said he recognized there are challenges in getting diverse groups to work together on homelessness, but added that overcoming these challenges is a priority. The government, he added, often takes the “quality of the partnerships involved” into account when it decides on funding for new projects. Another priority for the CHIHI, he said, is for it to move from looking at homelessness “from a broad, city-wide perspective” to getting “boots on the ground,” and “to energize local communities, to engage local temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras.”
The meeting also heard from representatives of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Moravian, Unitarian, Muslim and Jewish communities, as well as followers of Indian spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba.