Saturday, 31 May 2014

An Epistle to the Church... from the young people and young adults gathered for Young Sojourners 2014

Over the May long Weekend the group of youth, young adults and leaders who gathered at Sorrento Centre for the Young Sojourners weekend wrote an epistle to the Church. You'll find the complete letter here:
To the Church of God in this place, to those who have been made holy to God in Christ Jesus, who are called to be God's people.

Grace to you and peace from God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We write to you as a body of young people called into life and witness, a people of faith who are vibrant, varied and passionate. We write to you as the Church, in thanksgiving for youth leaders who understand, adults who act like kids, for dancing, for a community with a deep history, where people of all generations meet. For Jesus who is present in youth and Church gatherings. By these we are united as the Body of Christ.

We implore you, continue in these good works. Do not segregate people by age, keeping young and old apart from each other. Bring people together in work and worship as one body. As young people, we feel pressured by other people's expectations, but not welcome to come as we are. We feel called to use the breadth and depth of our own God given talents and gifts, however the invitations are few.

While we have gathered at the Sorrento Centre this weekend we have explored the themes of freedom and heroes in the context of the Church and our lives. As part of that exploration, we watched a music video for the song Free by Rudimental feat. Emeli Sandé. In the video a young person who is being bullied finds freedom through the invitation of a falconer and by witnessing the flight of a hawk.

Within our Church communities there are falconers who've left their mark on our lives. Some of their actions have been small, seemingly insignificant, but they have helped us take flight.

These people have reached out to us with their many gifts, taken our hand and guided us.

The actions and attributes of these leaders have brought us full inclusion and healing. They have awakened hope in us and helped us listen to  God's call. Through the shared wisdom of all generations and all understandings we can imagine the Church and through cooperative action we can live out God's call.

We have many interests, talents and passions through which we can be of service for the building up of the Church. We want to be invited in.

This is how we wish someone would invite us to participate:

We want to be invited into worship. We want to be creators and not just consumers of worship. We want to sing, act, dance, draw, write, compose, and make worship that is creative and engaging. We want to preach about how God is active in our lives and about where God is inviting us all into the story. We can read and serve alongside ministers of all ages. We can make a worship space that is aesthetically inspiring and beautiful.  We can make bulletins for worship. We can play and chose the music that we use in worship. We want to explore with you what contemporary and relevant worship could be: to bless pets, to invite older people to make crafts with us as a part of the service, to have disco church, to use rap and comedy and drama.

We want to be invited into outreach ministries. To serve at the Mustard Seed, community meals, to build relationships and be an encouraging presence to people around us. We want to create new opportunities for community outreach through learning about each others' projects like cafes in Church basements and the blessing of the wheels for emergency response vehicles and personal transport.

We want to be invited into programs. We are interested in many different things and we want to learn. Don't assume that we aren't interested or aren't able to participate. We can lead VBS and Sunday School and redefine mission trips.

We want to be invited into spiritual formation. We want bible studies that take our schedule into consideration – before or after school. We want deeper spiritual formation that addresses difficult questions and doesn't seek to give easy answers. We want to engage in the ancient practices of our faith and actively learn through pilgrimage.

We want to be invited into organization. We want you to acknowledge that young people also have diverse perspectives on faith and life – THERE IS NOT JUST ONE YOUTH PERSPECTIVE. We want to be involved in decision-making and how the Church is run, in creating policies and not getting bogged down in politics. We want to be asked to participate because of who we are instead of being the token young person.

We want to be invited into fellowship. We want more cookies and more community lunches and to help make them. We want more festivities. We want to be invited to the Seniors tea and we want to do kitchen duty. We want to gather for fellowship outside the Church – to go on camping trips and fishing trips. We want to be together for youth group every week.

Why is this important to us? Because when we aren't included it's hard for us to worship and to live out our faith. Because we feel we have a lot to offer and to teach others. It is important because the Church keeps shrinking when young people aren't invited to contribute. We have ideas that nobody else has thought of and we need an opportunity to share them. When we are invited to participate we feel a sense of belonging and a sense of community. This belonging is important to us and it helps us become who we are called to be. The Church is not just a place for adults, it is a place for everyone, for people from generation to generation.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. Our love is with all of you in Christ Jesus.


The young people and young adults gathered for Young Sojourners 2014

June Parish Update

Hello friends,

Here are some interesting things happening at the Cathedral in the lovely month of June:

Sunday June 1, 2014 Jerusalem Sunday

Join us as we pray for and focus our hearts on the community of Jerusalem.  Praying for peace and the mission and ministry of the church in this historic part of the world.

We can support the work of the Penman Clinic in Zababdeh on Sunday June 1 through a special gift from parish offerings or Gifts for Mission:

Jerusalem Sunday is a new annual church observance to celebrate companionship in God’s mission with the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem in Jerusalem, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.  The Diocese is a historic and active member of the Christian, ecumenical and interfaith community of the Middle East.  It is home to several thousand Arab Anglicans in thirty parishes and situated in one of the world’s holiest destinations for Christian, Jewish and Muslim pilgrims. 
Regrettably, few religious tourists to the Holy Land today encounter Palestinian and other Arab Christians, or visit a parish church, school or hospital.  Jerusalem Sunday introduces us to the ‘living stones’ of the local Anglican church, to the ancestors of the first Christian communities indigenous to the region.  Jerusalem Sunday is an opportunity to meet Arab sisters and brothers in Christ in the Anglican Communion, and hear them talk about discipleship in the 21st century.

The ministries of the Diocese of Jerusalem bring hope, skills, health; a peaceful future to those they serve.  Jerusalem Sunday is also an opportunity for Anglicans in Canada to send a measure of financial support to these ministries, especially the Penman Medical Clinic, Zababdeh, in the northern area of the West Bank.  The Penman Clinic, housed in the parish of St. Mathew, is a busy gathering place for townspeople, villagers and farmers seeking diagnostic tests, examinations and medical consultation.  It is the only clinic for many miles around, serving thousands of families per year.  Many who receive treatment in this and other diocesan institutions haven’t the money to pay for tests and prescriptions. The Directors of the Diocese’s medical ministries plan to relocate the Penman Clinic into its own building, refurbished with additional consultation rooms, diagnostic equipment and health care workers.  This will become a reality through the generous support of local, regional and international companions.
We can support the work of the Penman Clinic in Zababdeh through a special gift from parish offerings or by donating online at
or by mail toJacqueline Beckford
Resources for Mission
Anglican Church of Canada
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, ON. M4Y 3G2
Please note on the cheque:  Jerusalem Sunday Penman Clinic.  A tax receipt will be issued

Sunday June 8, 2014:  Pentecost

The Feast of Pentecost

On this Sunday we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit which God has given to us, that the people of God might be inspired and equipped to do the ministry and work of Jesus Christ in the world.  The story of this sending in the book of Acts tells of the Spirit manifesting as a mighty wind, and then as flames of fire.  The effect of the gift was the power to speak in tongues (many languages), to heal and preach.  The Holy Spirit is also described as breath and as a dove. Through the history of the community we know that the Spirit has been given to all believers and that they in kind have spiritual gifts that are for the building up of God’s presence in the world. Pentecost is a joyous celebration of God’s continuing lively presence with us and within us.  It is the birthday of the church!

To assist us in our celebration of worship that morning we invite you to consider doing these things:

·        Wear the colours of fire:  red, orange or yellow – or all of them together!

·        If you have a small set of wind chimes, bring them to church that morning and we will use them in worship.  We will hang all the shared wind chimes in the cathedral and let them sound on their own with the wind’s energy, and also use them more intentionally during the time of prayer.  We will be hanging them on a coat rack, so that may help you in choosing the size of your shared set of chimes.

·        If you have a colourful kite, bring it along that morning.  We unfortunately can’t fly them that day, but they will add to the colourful decorating of the cathedral space.  We will set them at the front of the cathedral around the holy table and lectern.

We want to have the reading of Gospel that morning shared in several languages simultaneously. The passage is:  John 7:37-39.  If you speak another language in addition to English, and would like to share in the communal reading aloud of the text that morning, please contact the Dean and let her know you are going to read with us.  Email: or phone:  250 372 3912 x202

Sunday June 15th Parish picnic - directly after church at Riverside Park near the covered BBQ area. There will be a light lunch, coffee, tea and lots of fun.

Strawberry Tea June 20 – 1:30 – 3:30 in the church hall – all are welcome to attend

Soup Ministry – We have had a very busy May for the distribution of soup to our neighbors and those in need. So far we have had 30 people in for soup which is double the normal amount. As a result our soup stock (ha! a pun!!!) is low. This is a call out to all soup makers – please refill our freezer with your amazing soups. Soup can be dropped off during office hours, Wednesday to Friday 10 – 1 and there are lots of containers in the church kitchen if you need them.

Our regular visitors always say how good our soups are – pat on the back soup makers of St. Paul’s!