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.
Hope our friends are living fully in the beauty that surrounds us. For some it may be difficult to see the beauty; perhaps those who see beauty also enjoy the responsibility to share it . . .
Below is our post for this week. gw
How does the Church look like Christ?
How does the Church not look like Christ?
Should the Church look like Christ?
The stories of Jesus, as found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John offer the Church a template for its life in the world. Utilizing scripture in a template fashion can be a completely liberating experience for us, as the Church tries to navigate who and what it is today. But it can also be a little on the complicated and demoralizing side, especially when the Church sometimes doesn’t fits the template – those times when we have not cared for God’s children and the earth, and when we did not courageously strive to right the wrongs of injustice and violence.
For us, this week, we are looking at the story of Christ after the arrest of John the Baptizer, from Matthew’s gospel. In this particular story, the story reveals Christ who has just spent 40 days soul searching, and with news of John’s arrest, becomes immediately active in ministry and mission. He travels to his home, teaching that light has come to dispel the darkness that had been consuming people. He then called disciples to follow him; he also renamed some of them so they might be recognizable and distinct in God’s activity. He then, with disciples, went about healing, teaching and caring among people. That’s the story . . .
Here may be the template . . .
I begin a journey with God each and every new day; the past days inform my very being, but they are indeed ‘past days’. News of the world reaches my human ear, and my compassionate ear, and I am drawn into others’ lives (my hope is to not be drawn by fear). I move about my familiar home, that is my neighbourhood, and I do so suggesting to folk I meet that there is a crack or fissure with which light is squeezing through into our lives. I begin conversations with people, many of whom I have not met previously, and I discover real giftedness every day. I ask those with whom I have chatted, if we could pick-up this conversation again, maybe tomorrow. One or two of them become closer relations, and I learn to call them ‘friend’, because that’s how I see goodness and safety in the world. My friends and I discover similarities, passions and hope . . . gw
There's been a break in the deep-freeze, so I can type again with no fear of the fingers shattering into ice shards. Here is our post for the week.
The Diocese of Rupert’s Land Refugee Fund (of which we are significantly supportive), is participating in a fund-raiser this month with Riverwood Square Senior’s Living. This is the fourth of 4 events that Riverwood Square has initiated and facilitated with our parish community in the last 8 months.
Riverwood Square looks and acts like a building, like many buildings, where several of our seniors move toward after home ownership. It advertises senior living, it has signs that suggest vacancy on occasion; and it has a secured, or locked, wing, for seniors who may be experiencing some negative effects of aging. All in all, it looks like a normal seniors accommodation complex.
Like I said already, our community is now hooked in to our fourth fundraising, care-giving event; twice the kitchen staff of Riverwood Square has prepared a hot breakfast, and served it at the local school (with whom we operate a breakfast program); and twice the staff and Kitchen folk have prepared a wine-tasting, cheese-snacking fundraiser for community ministries with which we are involved. Riverwood’s rationale is that their administration and residents believe they have been part of community and therefore strongly desire to give back to community.
Through modern communication mechanisms, and especially through the development and nurture of relationships, our St Paul’s, has been led into the fabric of community living and being, to find God at work in and amidst all people. Riverwood Square contacted us, to see if we wanted them. They came to us not only with a gift, but with the very deep desire to be in relationship and partnership with us. St Paul’s has dwelt in the same desire since our visioning day almost 12 years ago; so it is no surprise that we are developing more events with Riverwood Square.
Riverwood has gone further to develop deeper relationships with our ministry partners, and Ecole Viscount Alexander; the school, as it happens, now sends small groups of band musicians to Riverwood to entertain residents. St Matthew/Maryland will probably have another fundraiser with the help of Riverwood Square. The Church? well, our role was to help make those possible relationships vital and real – that’s exciting!
My hope for 2017, is that mission and ministry will continue to become more clear to us, as the real needs in our geographical community also become clearer. Cheers gw