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.
I work on the corner of Point Rd and North Dr. Every day while attending to the more mundane aspects of my job I hear several drivers sounding car horns. Typically, there are some folk who for whatever reason blow through the four-way stop just outside my window. Today was no exception, and the horns have been sounding all morning. I feel myself agitated with the first few blasts; but then something softens in me, and I know remember that people make mistakes, as I do, people take harsh criticism painfully, as I do, and people try hard to make amends, as I do. I have tried to curb my angst as soon as I can on these mornings, so that I am more free to offer my care and blest wishes to those who are just trying to make it through the morning, as I do.
St Paul’s houses a pre-school, Friends Together. Children come to school every weekday guided by their parents and guardians, sometimes their young sisters and brothers are also in tow, and sometimes with a lot of squawking and fussing. Parents and guardians have their work cut-out for them, often they have the appearance of those who are in a hurry, or stress about something. However, most of the parents and guardians also mellow very quickly once inside our warm building; usually offering greeting to our office staff, and helping their charges to pronounce our names – the basis for another great new relationship.
Every three or four days, I watch Patrick heading up Point Rd, and usually wearing more jacket than I ever would. Patrick carries a couple empty grocery bags with him, and I can watch him from my window for quite some time as he makes his way up to the HWY, while picking-up every piece of garbage he finds and putting them in one of the bags he has. One day last year, the snow had melted, and I was basking in the new warm sun outside my office (no coat, just shirt sleeves), and I yelled hello to Patrick, still clad in his long winter parka and gloves. He did not recognize me at first, so I yelled, “Its Geoff from St Paul’s!”, to which he responded, “its Patrick, picking up the garbage!” I felt a twinge of guilt that I did not run over and help him-out a bit. Later that day I found some trash on the street near my house and I picked it up.
....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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