Parish news roundup

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 on January 1, 2017

Silversmith’s work honours former dean

On her 88th birthday, distinguished Canadian silversmith Lois Betteridge completed a chalice titled “Tree of Life” for St. James Cathedral in Toronto. The commission honours the Ven. Douglas Stoute, who retired as rector and dean of the cathedral in early 2016.

The chalice and its accompanying paten (a plate to hold the Host) are made of sterling silver and lapus larzuli, a deep blue semi-precious stone. The base of the chalice rises like the trunk of a tree whose branches cradle a bowl. The delicate hammered surface of the bowl reflects diffuse light. The bowl is shaped like a halved apple, suggesting the Garden of Eden story.

Lois Betteridge, a resident of Guelp, was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1997.


Peterborough parish celebrates anniversary

Archbishop Colin Johnson was the celebrant and guest speaker at St. Luke, Peterborough on Oct. 23 for the 140th anniversary celebration of the parish. Included in the service was the dedication of the St. George’s Chapel, a small worship centre located in the rear of the nave. In 2009, St. George, Peterborough merged with St. Luke’s. The chapel is furnished with gifts and memorials from St. George’s. Following the service, a parish luncheon was held during which historical pictures were displayed. In addition to worship on Sundays and Wednesdays, the parish has community meals, a thrift store and a food bank.


Primate’s visit to Whitby caps celebrations

All Saints, Whitby celebrated its 150th patronal festival on Nov. 6 with guest celebrant Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. The service began with a declaration by a town crier and a grand processional, but it was moments of tenderness that made the service truly special – the Primate’s children’s focus, the singing of the same hymns as were sung at the church’s opening in 1866, and the exchange of the peace among the present and returning parishioners.

The Primate’s homily on saints and mission and his vivid retelling of the 2001 destruction by fire of St John’s church in Lunenburg brought tears to eyes of the assembled congregation, which had had its own recent experience with fire. But the tears were joyful as the Primate then dedicated All Saints’ new altar, the last piece of furnishing to be replaced since arson gutted the sanctuary in 2009.

The service was the culmination of an 18-month celebration that included visits from the Primate, two bishops, and eight former clerics as well as a New Year’s Day social, a Victorian tea, a memorial tree-planting, a brass band concert, historic walks, Doors Open and quilt display, a flower festival, 150th-themed shirts, mugs and ornaments, a parish directory, a sesquicentennial cookbook, monthly recognition of memorial windows, a bimonthly newsletter, and an elegant year-end gala dinner and dance.

At the inaugural meeting of the 150th planning committee in October 2014, the chair, Arleane Ralph, remarked that the church’s anniversary year was “not only a chance to honour the early church founders and generations of past members, but also a way to commit to holding ourselves and future generations in loving accountability with one another, an opportunity to publicly recognize that it is entirely through God’s grace and faithfulness that we are here.”

Going forward beyond this 150th year, All Saints’ strives always to be passionately spiritual, transformatively missional, and profoundly grateful for its past and its future as place in the family of God in Whitby, she said.


Visit to Six Nations part of reconciliation effort

The Aboriginal Issues Working Group at Church of the Redeemer, Bloor Street has been taking steps toward growing a relationship with its First Nations neighbours. The group began meeting in 2013 and then invited representatives from Anglican and United churches in downtown Toronto to discuss the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report before its release in 2015.

Participants in the original group included Anglican and United Church members from Holy Trinity, Trinity Square, St. Paul, Bloor Street and Trinity-St. Paul United Church. These conversations have resulted in various follow-up activities and workshops with leaders from Toronto’s First Nations community.

In early October 2016, a group of more than 30 people visited the Woodland Cultural Centre on the Six Nations reserve near Brantford and were invited to a Thanksgiving service at Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks. Bishop Mark MacDonald, the Anglican Church of Canada’s national Indigenous bishop, preached at the service.

The Woodland Centre is a vibrant museum and art gallery complex situated next to the Mohawk Institute Residential School building. It provides in-depth and historically significant insight into the residential school system and offers a distinctive look at First Nations and Canadian history. The Mohawk Institute is being restored, with a reopening date planned in the first half of 2017.

“This visit was another step in our collective learning along the path to reaching out and achieving reconciliation and understanding with First Nations peoples,” says a member of the group. To learn more about this initiative, sign up for the weekly Indigenous news digest at [email protected]. Another visit to Six Nations is being planned to coincide with the opening of the Mohawk Institute next spring.


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