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.
The Golden Rule is an idea that spans all religions. It can be said in many different ways, and in many different languages, but the basis of the principle remains the same.
The Reverend Canon Geoff Woodcroft
Geoff was ordained in 1990 and served in Northern Ontario in parish and chaplaincy ministries. He came to Manitoba in 1999 to serve as Chaplain and Dean of Residence at St. John’s College.
When The Rev. Canon David Pate retired in December 2001, St. Paul’s embarked on a search for a new incumbent, and were very blessed to welcome Geoff in August 2003. Geoff brings many wonderful gifts to his ministry with St. Paul’s. He has been instrumental in much change, yet has a profound respect for tradition. Change is never done for the sake of change, or to be “modern”, but for growth – as we grow individually in our life in Christ, as we grow in our church community, and as we grow in our ministry in the world.
A gifted musician, Geoff works with the Rejoice Group and choir so that the music speaks to the theme of the ceremonies. Geoff encourages and works to equip the ministry of all, as we seek to do God’s work in the world, including and inspiring children and youth to fully participate in the life of the church.
One way to describe Geoff’s ministry at St. Paul’s, and indeed the world, would be building relationships/ community.
Geoff Woodcroft publishes a weekly update on "What's God Up To?". Please see below for this week's insight.
Have you ever had those moments when you just seem paralyzed from the shoulders and up. Continuous news feeds about the world’s disasters probably leave me believing that I am too small, or ill-equipped to deal with such hardship. Oddly, I am not as bothered by this as I think I should be; so is this the point where I have become numb? When daily confronted by stories of great challenge, violence close to home, and scandal after scandal we might very well consider that we no longer have control in our environment.
I watched, in vain, as a senior citizen tried to convey her thoughts and needs to a professional at the bank the other day; the encounter was surreal. First the elder made a comment, “When you call me, you only let it ring 3 times. I cannot get to the phone that quickly.”
Reply: “You should always carry your cordless phone with you.”
Elder: “I don’t want to carry my phone around with me.”
Reply: “Hmmm, I don’t know.”
To me this conversation shows a deficit in our ability to communicate effectively with one another. I’ll bet that the elder thought she was using her banking time at the wicket to propose policy changes for the bank. I will also bet that the teller interpreted this as small talk. I think that both the professional and the elder both left that conversation dissatisfied, and perhaps, out of control.
I thought a lot about the above encounter, and I have struggled to find my way in to the story to see God working. Please allow me to suggest the following observations. The elder brought a piece of wisdom forward; but wisdom, unlike knowledge, requires some relationship building in order for it to be imparted correctly. The teller, on the other hand is a youthful and energetic being, but unlike the elder, she is at the beginning of her work experience in a new generation, with a new language: BUT, she is young, and for the elder, is absolutely the right person at the right time and place to begin the transmission of wisdom.
God, whom we believe to be with ALL people, is fully present in these conversations and happenings. Our job as the Church is to recognize the health that is within all people, and see how it is used for realizing the health of this world.
....Geoff WoodcroftClick here to see more of Geoff's insights on the St. Paul's Anglican Facebook Page
News to Know & The Progress
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