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 Venerable Geoff Woodcroft, Archdeacon – Stewardship Development
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.
This week our community is celebrating a new type of moment – the blessing of back-packs, brief cases and gym bags.
I never took a back-pack, a lunch, or even a snack to school when I was in grade school; My siblings and I lived in a time of Mom was always at home, lunch was always at home on the kitchen table, and lunch time was always filled with laughter, conversations and blowing chocolate milk bubbles. My Dad worked hard at his job at Stelco in Hamilton; my brother and I often pretended to be Dad at his job, thinking he was standing in-front of those big blazing fires of steel, taking the molten stuff and making refrigerators out of it. I remember when, I was probably in grade 1, Mom used to pack a lunch for Dad in his brief case. She packed everything so carefully to ensure things would not get squished, and other things might stay cool; sometimes Mom would write a note and place that with Dad’s lunch. We wanted Mom to pack our lunches too!
Today I can count the number of work-at-home moms in my neighbourhood on two fingers. School lunchrooms are filled to screaming capacity, and back-packs, belongings and clothing, fill cubbies, hooks and hallways. Work-places and multipurpose halls have partially consumed bottles of water left in various window sills and stair railings, as if anticipating the return of their owners. Upon the streets and sidewalks are occasional single shoes and socks, a T-shirt or sweater carefully draped-over a fence post, and a grubby ball cap at the bottom of the fence almost hidden by leaves. It were as if everyone is “out there” “busy” and “independent”.
What if God is calling us from “what was”, to “what is”? What if God is asking us to enter wholly into the activities of the world just as we are, just as the world is, to mutually share God’s greatest gifts, beginning with love, hope, peace and joy? Perhaps this call is how God intends through Christ to initiate justice and respect among all people – no matter whom.
Today we will ask blessing upon back-packs, briefcases and gym bags (and other carrying devices if present), in prayer and intention, in call and discernment, and in the gifting of our community, one to another. The children will receive water-bottles, and all will receive Marks of Mission book marks, and seed paper (to be torn, and left in places where a little colour and joy are needed.
....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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- NEWS TO KNOW - September 6, 2015
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- NEWS TO KNOW - March 09, 2014
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- THE PROGRESS - December, 2013
- THE PROGRESS - September, 2013