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 received a message about a week ago from one of the Craig Street Cats volunteers, who also happens to be a member of St Paul’s. In the message she spoke about the frustration of trying to cope with serious fiscal shortages, which were almost entirely out of Craig Street’s hand – construction issues that made their facility somewhat, if not sometimes completely, isolated from traffic flow and parking. Interestingly, however, the largely volunteer based staff, have given even more of their time, effort and resource to secure the well-being of over 150 cats.
In a later conversation this week I was speaking with several members of St Matthew’s congregation, who were lamenting that due to bureaucratic issues with the city, and work that has gone past the deadlines, they have yet to receive their occupancy permit for the new worship space. Interestingly, their prayers this past Sunday were not complaints about what they did not have, but were gracious lovely prayers for the weak, forgotten and lost people of their local community. I cried in their humbleness.
Just before I wrote this tonight, I sat with 6 kids (2 yrs – 8yrs) and their parents. The kids had taken all the pillows and seat pads off the chapel pews and had scattered them all over the chapel floor where they laid-back listening to one of the moms telling a story. The kids were asked to comment on doing the right thing – most of them commented, (without prompting), more or less that it was about helping people who need help. It was an exciting moment to hear young children, so articulate, so filled with goodness.
St Paul’s commemorates St Francis of Assisi this Sunday with the blessing of Family with Pets at our 10am ceremony, a visit to Craig Street Cats on Madison at noon, and a trip out to Little Mountain Dog Park at 2pm to visit with dogs and their families. St Francis tends to be linked to A LOT of animal and nature blessings; but he is so much more! From his place in high nobility, Francis became shockingly aware of the great human suffering in his home town. Francis’s heart turned to compassion quite quickly; he denounced his family wealth, and began a ministry to the suffering in Assisi. His compassion to suffer with the sufferer, is the gift that he transmitted through the ages to us. This is the life of Christ to which you and I are presently called; and that is to suffer with the sufferer, to walk with humbleness, offer care in creation, and to fully embrace kindness with all.
Thank you Craig Street Cats, St Matthew’s Anglican Church and the 6 kids of the Monday Night Gathering, for finding the strength that God placed within you to do amazing things!
....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 - October 5, 2014
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- NEWS TO KNOW - April 27, 2014
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- NEWS TO KNOW - March 09, 2014
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- NEWS TO KNOW - February 09, 2014
- NEWS TO KNOW - February 02, 2014
- NEWS TO KNOW - January 26, 2014
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