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.
Well, hello there; it has been a while. This week we are celebrating/commemorating St Francis of Assisi. For several years we have offered Pet Blessings, or Blessings to Families with Pets (if that is more acceptable). We are doing all that again this year within the ceremony, 10am Oct 2. Just after the final song, Bonnie Kawka and I will move amoung the "companions", all with whom we draw closely for comfort and care - not everyone can have a pet at home. Bonnie and I then move on to Craig St Cats for 12 noon, and Little Mountain Dog Park for 2pm. come for the the 10am ceremony, or pop in at 11am for the blessing part. Below, please find my ramblings for the week. cheers, gw The story of Francis is the story of a person who changed himself - as his way of changing the world. He was struck by the disparity between the very wealthy (into which he was born), and the impoverished who one day broke, stole and owned his heart. Francis, an elite soldier, was on a tour of duty when he passed by numerous peasants, all of whom were struggling through an unjust caste systems to feed themselves. Francis might well have worked tirelessly as an aristocrat to offer of the family’s wealth; instead he gave up his privilege, found God, and lived a life of poverty by choice. His story is not complicated, but somehow I have struggled to get my head around the concept of giving up everything, and move on to help everyone I meet, with only the person I am. Do I not require financial resource to accomplish the mountain of work that is before us now? Do I not need to be a thrifty and cunning overseer to ensure the best bang for the buck? That has certainly been my way of thinking . . . at least until recently. Through the perplexities of our social life in our country, and particularly for me in Winnipeg, much of the Church work has been quietly developing financial strategies to manage the ministry with which the Church is involved; and doing so to the point that should we fail to meet a financial goal, we would consider not fulfilling our role in ministry. But here is the rub: “Jesus said, ‘Not 7 times, but 70 times, you shall forgive.’ And, ‘Should someone sue you to take your shirt, offer your coat as well.’” The words of Jesus are radical and dangerous words for religious communities, especially those focused on survival; because those words rip to the very core of our purpose and mission – and that is to engage the world as it really is, and as we really are. The Christian Testament claims that the kingdom of God (heaven) is at hand, and now present in all of creation. Heaven is waiting for our change of vision, our full participation and sharing. As the Body of Christ we are called always into a raw, naked, genuine relationship with the world, where we can offer this Body in full service and care – and that is Heaven, always.
Our dear friend Lin Grieves is 95 years young today. In a conversation with Bob this morning I learned that Lin and Ruth are both well.