welcomeSt. 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.

This is from Erling; he wrote this about Summer Solstice. The early church had a difficult time with Nature. Even crystal pools in sylvan glens were thought by some authorities to harbour lusty nymphs and other pagan seductions. (That’s likely why the baptismal font was moved indoors, so water would be safe from such pollutions.) Not only have sites associated with pagan lore been found threatening, but some dates on the calendar have also missed the holy mark. According to Wikipedia, by the seventh century St. Eligius was warning Christians about age-old Summer Solstice passions. He proscribed “dancing or leaping or diabolical chants.” That warning was another facet of a burden that has dogged us for millennia—fear of the other, not only of neighbours but also of predecessors. For at least 3,000 years before St. Eligius, people in the northern hemisphere had been celebrating Summer Solstice, a peak moment of the seasonal cycle of the natural “dance,” when the days suddenly stopped getting longer. As creation performed one of its biannual pirouettes, the North Pole began, once again, to tilt away from the sun. Northern humans, animals and plants began the reassuringly certain procession back towards winter and yet another solstice. Over millennia, people not only danced and chanted the solstices in and out but some erected great stone patterns in their fields. The positions of individual stones could have marked the expected appearance of the sun at given points along the horizon, essential dates for farmers and hunters. Humans strived to keep track of the times to sow and the times to reap. That ritualistic aspect of the bond between the natural world and humanity has been—and still is—criticized by some who refuse to acknowledge that “God saw that it was good”—“it” being His natural world with its myriad and mysterious blessings. I’ve been privileged to visit megaliths in France and Scotland, arrangements of giant stones that long-ago people aimed at the mystery-filled sky. I may not have chanted or danced there but I marveled, not only at the devotion, gratitude, and endurance of those who moved so many tons of stone, but also at their curiosity and contributions to our evolving astronomical and spiritual knowledge banks. The great stones served as the Hubble telescopes of our ancestors. They were essential markers for the solstice dance and testaments to our gratitude and the eternal quest to discover what God is up to. EFB

The events in Orlando call us to prayer and action. May our church's true sanctuary provide safety for the vulnerable.