Dear Friends in Christ:
This summer I began a new chapter in my life as I became the Director of Anglican Formation at the Vancouver School of Theology (VST), University of British Columbia. I am considered faculty, and I have an office on the third floor of the new VST building on campus.
People of the parish have been very congratulatory, supportive and encouraging, which has been a blessing. I was touched that so many expressed relief that I am not departing. I will continue as Rector of St John’s and I will be here most Sundays. I will be at VST Tuesdays and Thursdays, and my typical office hours at St John’s will be Monday and Wednesday mornings (which is not that different than what I was doing).
This is a new lease on life for me, as I enter into a teaching and mentoring role with people in the process of discerning and training for their future in ministry. Having been a university chaplain many years ago, I know what an exciting and stimulating place a university environment is. I also know that I will bring that enthusiasm, and new insights and experiences, into the life of St John’s as a result.
It is also a new lease on life for the parish, as we seek and find a person to become part of the ministry team. This person, who will work at 1/3 time, will bring a new set of gifts and interests and experiences, that will be enriching to the parish as a whole. We are still in the process of figuring out exactly what the role will look like, but we have had interest expressed in the position, so I hope we will be announcing this new staff person sometime soon, possibly as early as October.
This summer, the Synod Office of the Diocese moved into new premises at 1410 Nanton Street in Vancouver. VST is transitioning into a new building as we speak. And here at St John’s there are dramatic new developments are happening in the parish as we look to make improvements to the building, and look toward the future in hope.
As the hymn says:The Church of Christ in every age, beset by change but Spirit-led,
Must claim and test its heritage, and keep on rising from the dead.
The Venerable Grant Rodgers
Financial Update, September 2015
Greetings from the wardens. This note is to keep you up to date with our financial situation. As of the end of July, we have an accumulated deficit of $13,356. Our expenses to the end of July were about $11,500 higher than last year. Most of that increase is due to our Diocesan apportionment to the end of July being about $9,300 more than last year. If you consider that at this time last year we had a surplus of about $10,700, the change in our finances is even more significant, we are about $24,129 behind where we were last year at the end of July.
You might be wondering what has changed. As noted above, our apportionment has been increased significantly but in addition parishioner donations are down by around $13,500 or roughly $2000 per month. We know that our membership has changed somewhat from last year with some people no longer attending but we have also gained some new parishioners. Other people may have had significant changes in their ability to contribute due to personal circumstances. We have also just had one of the hottest driest summers in recent memory that might have had some people out enjoying themselves and they just haven’t been keeping up with their financial stewardship.
If you have been falling behind on your planned financial support and are able to catch up with your donations it would be very helpful if you did. If your situation has changed and you cannot keep up with your pledge we understand but would appreciate if you were to confidentially inform our envelope secretary of your revised pledge.
If you have any questions about the finances or management of the parish, please feel free to contact any one of us and we will do our best to answer your questions.
Sharon Cooper Maureen Simons Terry Walton
UPDATE ON PROPERTY REVIEW
Progress to Date
At our 2015 Annual Vestry Meeting, we announced that the Parish Council has formed a Property Review Committee to assess our property needs and make recommendations on possible changes. As a result of the merger of St. John’s and St. Margaret’s, we have an opportunity to apply for Diocesan funds to develop our property. If approved, these funds would be in the form of a grant – not a loan. We are not considering a capital campaign or a mortgage.
The Property Review Committee members are currently:
• Maureen Simons
• John Binns
• Sue Hall
• Mary-Lou Kyle
• Tony Pellett
We held a consultation with parish in March 2015 and gathered lots of feedback. The Committee recommended and Parish Council approved a two phase approach:
• Phase 1 the Church; and
• Phase 2 Balance of Property.
We determined preliminary objectives for the Church:
• Address accessibility: elevator between floors, wheelchair space in front of church;
• More space in sanctuary;
• More seating in church; and
• Keep Choir facing parishioners.
We appointed the Iredale Group to conduct a feasibility study with those objectives in mind. They came back with three concepts, one of which met all the objectives and was the lowest budget. We held our second consultation on September 13 showing the concept design and answering questions. As we advised on September 14, if we proceed, we estimate that the process could take up to 14 months in total and about six months of that would be the construction phase during which time we and those that use our church would have to find alternative space.
We are reviewing all the feedback we received to date on the concept and will be working with the Iredale Group to further flesh out a design incorporating the feedback. Once we are further along in the design, we will hold another consultation before going to the Diocese. We will prepare a request to the Diocese and meet with the Diocese to discuss. We will also hold a Special Vestry Meeting for a vote. We are looking to add people to our Committee. If you have a background in engineering, construction, or project management or just have a desire to contribute to the work and you would like to join the group, please speak to me or one of the other wardens, Terry Walton or Sharon Cooper.
Maureen Simons-Associate Warden
LITURGY as the work of the people
We would not be able to have meaningful worship at St. John’s without the involvement of many people prior to and during the services. Our worship as ‘Liturgy’ has its origins in the Greek word ‘laos’ meaning ‘people’ and the root word ‘ergon’ meaning ‘work.’ Thus to offer our liturgy as the ‘work of the people’ many people are involved not just our clergy.
These are opportunities where you may wish to be involved after training is provided. We honour the diversity of the parish so the more voices we hear and people we see in liturgy, the richer our experience.
MINISTRY of READERS of the scripture or INTERCESSORS offering the Prayers of the People
This is an either/or opportunity. As a reader or an intercessor you would be placed on a rotational roster that would allow an opportunity for participating in either ministry on a six – eight week basis.
You will be sent a notice of the readings and a reminder as an intercessor that you will be offering the prayers for the following Sunday.
MINISTRY of SERVING the PRIEST, DEACONS and PEOPLE in the sanctuary and at the Altar
This is a ministry of service. The Servers and Crucifers are trained to bring the processional cross into the midst of the people and to lead the people out into the world. During the portion of the liturgy known as The Service of the Table the servers provide support to the deacons while the table is being set and cleared; support to the priest/presider during the Eucharistic prayer; serving the people during the administration of the Communion by ensuring that all are fed and nourished at the table of God.
If you feel you may be called to either of these ministries, please contact Deacon Anne Anchor through firstname.lastname@example.org
Education for Ministry course aka EfM
We often use this phrase in our community, as the course has been an integral part of our lay education opportunities. It is a course that has been offered throughout the Episcopal and Anglican church for 40 years. As our understanding of the word ‘ministry’ as incorporating all people in the church, this course offers empowerment through knowledge and spiritual searching and discernment to be a minister in the church and most importantly in the world.
The Education for Ministry (EfM) program offers the opportunity for people to explore our scriptures, Christian history, our Anglican traditions, and the ethics of being a Christian in the world today.
Each of us are called in our faith journey to take some time to explore what our baptism vows of to “proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ” and to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” mean to us.
EfM meets Wednesdays at 6:30 in the house next door known as the Parish Ministry Centre (PMC).
If you would like to Enroll in EfM or get further info please contact
Deacon Anne Anchor through email@example.com
Interested in joining the Choir???
The St. Johns Church Choir has resumed its Fall rehearsals. This year our membership is between 14-16 enthusiastic singers. As well as helping to lead the Sunday service music, we endeavor to sing special worship anthems to fit the church season. We draw from a wide variety of repertoire and enjoy the fellowship of others who share a love of music. As Ella Fitzgerald wisely stated, “The only thing better than singing – is more singing.”
Choir practices are most Thursday evenings at 7:30. We welcome you to join us!
Remembering Dorothy Saunier
Dorothy Saunier was a wonderful neighbour and friend. Terry and I met her and her husband often for over-the-fence chats as they walked their dog on the North Rd. trail behind our house in years past. We saw Dorothy at church and worked with her at the Wednesday Thrift Store St. John’s operated at that time. They shared their garden produce with us and their delight in the large flock of grosbeaks they fed sunflower seeds to off their deck. Dorothy was a faithful member of ACW and I had the privilege of driving her to meetings when her sight became poor. Terry and Dorothy were Wardens together at St. John’s and her even, thoughtful approach was valued. In failing physical health, Dorothy went to live at Dufferin Care Centre and contributed to the well-being of others with her sharp mind and input to the council there for nearly 12 years.
We were delighted that Dorothy was the recipient of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster in 2014. A deserving, always grateful and a warm and wonderful person has left our midst. May she rest in peace.
*Services for Dorothy will be held here at St. John’s on September 30th at 1:00 PM . Everyone is welcome to attend
Remembering Lauren Savage
I remember Lauren Savage coming to church with his sons Julian and Matthew. They always sat in the front of the church.
Lauren was on the church council for many years. He also held the position of Treasurer for the church and the Day Care.
He read the lessons and prepared the readers and side persons list.
Later on when Lauren could no longer drive to church Dora Fejes would bring him. I visited him when he could no longer come to church which was a blessing for me.
He will be missed.
*Thank-you to those who helped me remember Lauren.
Around the Diocese
A Statement Regarding the Syrian Refugee Crisis from the Right Reverend Melissa Skelton,9th Bishop of the
Anglican Diocese of New Westminster – September 8th, 2015
Again, we who live in privilege in the west have seen the horrifying results of civil wars in other parts of the world. The September 3rd, 2015, video and photographs from the Turkish beach saddened the entire world. The Kurdi family are in my daily prayers, as are all Syrian refugees and all others displaced by the horrors of war. The Anglican Diocese of New Westminster is a Sponsorship (Refugee) Agreement Holder. Even prior to the worldwide coverage of the current situation, a number of parishes were in the process (and remain in that process) of sponsoring refugee families. On the day of the publication of the photos from the Turkish beach a parish in the diocese was notified that they had been approved to move forward with their sponsorship of an Iraqi refugee family who are scheduled to arrive in Canada, September 22. It is parishes and groups of parishes working with the Diocesan Refugee Unit group and representatives of the diocesan legal team who sponsor refugees.
The Chair of the Diocesan Refugee Unit, the Reverend Michael McGee has received numerous requests from individuals, and people representing parishes for information about refugee sponsorship. There has also been a marked increase in direct requests from refugees and refugee families through the diocesan website. The diocesan legal team encourages parishes and interested parties to make all applications through the Diocesan Refugee Unit. The Reverend McGee can then make the connections as necessary with an available member of the legal team. This will help ensure that those who are applying have a clear understanding of the commitment involved in the process before they begin. I am optimistic that we in the Diocese of New Westminster will be able to help. I am moved and heartened by the response of the parishes of our diocese to this crisis, as well as other civic and community leaders, including Vancouver’s mayor, who has convened a Town Hall meeting tonight to discuss what the City of Vancouver can do to host refugees. I hope you will join with me in prayer for everyone involved in this crisis and I encourage parishes to contact the Diocesan Refugee Unit Chair, the Reverend Michael McGee through the diocesan website at http://vancouver.anglican.ca/diocesan-ministries/unit-groups/pages/refugee-unit
REFUGEE UNIT INFORMATION EVENING
In response to the growing crisis out of Syria and Iraq, the Diocesan Refugee Unit is offering an information evening on Thursday October 8 at 7pm.
The meeting will be held at the Synod Office, (1410 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver.)
This evening will include a 60 minute presentation on the Private Sponsorship of Refugee Program of the Diocese followed by a Question and Answer Period. This evening will provide information to parishes considering sponsoring refugees or who are wondering how their parish can constructively engage this growing crisis in the Middle East and in other parts of the world.
LIVE & SILENT AUCTION AND DINNER
• October 3, 2015
• St Laurence, Coquitlam
Doors open 5:30pm – Dinner at 6:30For information and/or tickets contact:
(604) 936-5423 firstname.lastname@example.org
*no tickets @ door
St. John’s A.C.W.
The ladies of St. John’s meet every third Thursday of the month to discuss and organize various fundraising functions, as well as other aspects of supporting our parish and the community. We collect various small items for outreach such as Campbell’s soup labels, used stamps, pull tabs etc. If you have any of these items to donate, they can be deposited in the baskets on top of our display cabinet.
We also collect used clothing, bedding and towels, which are taken to our Diocesan A.C.W. warehouse, packed in bales and distributed to some of the churches in the Province of the Yukon. If you have any used clothing to donate, please label them with “A.C.W. Place” and leave them in front on the corner cupboard on the stage area. We recently held a ‘High Tea’ event in August which was attended by 52 people. We ate a delicious and elegant meal, enjoyed fellowship with our friends and also raised some funds for our outreach projects. This is proving to be a popular event and hopefully will continue to be an annual affair. We will soon be busy preparing for the Fall Bazaar which will be held on Saturday November 8th. If you require any further information about the St. John’s A.C.W., please contact Ann Adair-Austin at 604 936 7256. All women of the parish are welcome to join us at any of our meetings or social functions.
November 7th, 2015
10:00 AM- 3:00 pm
HANDICRAFTS, BAKE TABLE, LUNCH & SNACKS,
ST. JOHN’S CHURCH
2208 ST. JOHNS STREET
PARKING IN PARKING LOT AT REAR OF THE BUILDING!
Coffee and Crafts meets the first Wednesday of the month in the church hall. The next meeting will be October 7th at 9:30 am in the church hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The Altar Guild will be decorating the church for Thanksgiving on Saturday October 10th at 9 a.m.
Fruit, flowers, plants and vegetables will be gratefully received.
If you wish to do so, a donation could be made to the Altar Guild and items will be purchased for you.
Bible Study continues to meet in the church hall every Tuesday at 10:00 AM. Everyone is welcome to attend.
The Seniors’ Tea will take place on Monday September 28th in the church hall at 1:30 PM. This is a great way for members of the local community at large and members of the parish who are unable to attend regular church services to share in fun and fellowship. Everyone is welcome !! The Tea begins at 1:30 PM. If you have questions or would like more information, please see Brenda Binns.