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.
All too often I hear the Christian folk commenting on the plight of others (you choose whom); that the other person is somehow deficient, faithless, and absent from God. I think that the real point that some people make is that they have the God products and others do not. My experience in life does not substantiate this type of comment or thinking.
Surprisingly, most of the references about deficiencies in both Hebrew and Christian testaments seem to be referring to Hebrew and Christian leaders, and not about the folk they lead, serve or represent. My experience has shown me that the fullness of God, found in every human being, directs my attention and activity toward any other person. Where religion, including Christianity, (in many parts of its history), have worked to separate and exclude some people; it is Christ, God, Spirit, Love, I AM, that has worked through the eons to bring ALL people to unity and inclusion.
I think I really need to look at the people around me at any given moment; and this week I will choose 11am as my reference point. I am going to really look past the out surface, the words being spoken or shouted, and the busy or sedate environment in which I find myself. I am looking for that one tiny bit of humanity that shows me God. I will look with my spirit as well as my eyes; I will reach past my bias and prejudice to see the life created before me, and struggle to find the words, “It is good.”
I will find, because I always do, that the presence of God has been waiting for me; and not me waiting for God to show-up. I will discover a new exciting moment not dependant on time and space to describe it. God will, again, pull me from my slumbering self into a new expression of ALL that is good.
As disciples in this world I think we are called to understand God’s full presence in all humanity as the beginning place for a safe and genuine conversation. I see disciples (you and I) being called by God, just as we are, to deep and sustaining relationship, by being in deep and sustaining relationship with those who fill-in our world.
Just how much energy, faith and commitment will it take for me, today at 11am, to say hello to everyone with whom I am in contact? (I promise not to be driving at 11am).
....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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