St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Fort Garry, in south Winnipeg has been around for nearing 100 years. We are a suburban gathering of people meeting in Fort Garry, but residing, working, schooling and playing all over the city of Winnipeg. We refer to ourselves as Paulinians, as a sign of respect for our patron, and as a clever way to distinguish ourselves from other communities of the same name.
We strive and struggle to be a welcoming, warm, and friendly people; sometimes awkward like a couple at their first dance, sometimes like ships in the night, yet always with the hope that we are seeing Christ in the stranger’s disguise.
People of all ages comprise Paulinians, infants to our elders, we are all fully members of the one Body of Christ. Our worship is a blending of old, new, creativity and originality and is somehow woven into our fabric, which is Anglicanism.
We endeavour to be open to and accepting of all peoples; especially in our age of diversity and change. Although we could never be all things to all people, we can share the road with all people.
What’s God Up To?
Geoff Woodcroft publishes a weekly update on "What's God Up To?". Please see below for this week's insight.
Hello fb peeps! Sometimes we discover that God's ideas, plans and actions are so 'out-there' that I have to scrtch my head, wondering just how I could possibly miss. So often, these days, I have discovered that even the Church, that noble institution, can fail to see the incredible work in the hearts of neighbours - wonder why . . . Below is my post for this Sunday. Cheers, gw
Drama! I think western thought thrives on it, develops it, self-medicates to escape it, and then just claims “it’s drama, it’s not real anyway”. Of course, like moths to flame/light, we western culture folk seem to be addictively drawn. We are exasperated and fatigued by it, but we also willingly invest in it.
Simply observing our current events, however you receive such, the drama of politics, economics and the environment consume far more of us, than, dare I say, our willingness to accept the invitation to be part of the solution to our myriad of problems.
The Church has a long standing history of travelling the route between spectacle and participation; the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ actually tells us this. The disciples in the story see the transfiguration as spectacular drama, and respond to the drama by asking to build homes for the deity. The perceived deity does not respond, however; it is Creator God who responds: "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" What does “Listen to him!” possibly mean, if it is not to pay attention to the drama unfolding before us? I think that “listen to him!”, if not in the context of drama, is therefore a call for us to participate deeply in the life of the Body.
To live in the life of the Body, therefore, is to love one another, love God, love neighbour as self; it is to bind the broken hearted, cast out darkness and the like, to seek and serve God in all that lives, to draw people closer to ourselves, to make peace, justice and hope reality for those for whom it is barely a dream.
To live the life of the Body is to rally against the drama and bright shiny objects, to view the pathways into participation and completion. It is to savour every moment, life and happening as blessing, even the hurt, betrayal and sorrow. For in all aspects of this life God has chosen to dwell.
To live the life of the Body is to live out the life of God’s blessing upon all whom we are given in relationship. The person we do not know, but whom we see in need, is the home of God. The neighbour with whom we struggle, is the home of God. The one we love, yet see no longer IS the home of God. The Body knows this – and acts. gw
Mark Moote will be preaching this week; Take a listen at 10am Sunday morning. Below is the weekly article. gw
I was reading through Leviticus today; not really hobby, more of a necessity of the job. Leviticus is one of 5 books of the Torah (those ascribed to Moses); and this is a book that unpacks the 10 Commandments, into over 600 statutes and ordinances. Statutes and ordinances are basically 600+ more laws that need to be adhered to for the sake of God’s favour.
Today’s treasure is “You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.” At first glance I think, ‘good rule’; but that does not last very long – it is replaced by ‘What sort of a people need to be told to not revile the deaf, nor put stumbling blocks before the blind?’ I am afraid to tell you that I am one of those who revile the deaf, and put stumbling blocks before the blind – and I think that I will need constant reminders so as not to oppress others.
I am of the crowd that bought into the use of the word 'normal' to describe an exclusive club. I've got all the normal body parts for a middle-aged man, I don’t necessarily speak English well (I use cheats), and I just fit-in to the point of being indistinguishable from the pack. I can see and hear from the front as well as I can from the back, I can fit into all male washrooms, and I have no known allergies. There is no stumbling block in my way, and I don’t hear anyone reviling me for my short-comings. It’s a great place to be if I am not thinking of anyone but myself.
However, I think that God called the leaders of the Hebrew people the same way the leaders of today are called, to be ever mindful for the oppressed and powerless in our neighbourhoods, work-places and families. Sometimes that means that leaders, by necessity, must feel and be uncomfortable, and not out of some religious obligation, but rather, out of pure compassion.
To be a genuine and good leader is to empathetically understand that through our rich and diverse relationships we are all made whole in God, as God is whole within each and every person. To acknowledge the creator, the divine in all people is to remove stumbling blocks. gw