It’s hard work being informed about issues of justice and ethics and trying to act ethically, but Lent is a good time to attempt these things. The Cathedral and the Diocese both have suggestions to help us.
1. During their January meeting, Cathedral Forum worked on producing a calendar of activities for reducing our carbon footprint while we reflect on our use and abuse of the gifts of nature. This Carbon Fast calendar, which suggests an action or reflection for each day of Lent, will be available soon on the web site and attached to one of these newsletters.
2. On Sundays in Lent the members of the congregation are invited to gather in the chapel at 11:45 for a brief presentation on various topics of environmental concern, as suggested by members of Forum. On February 22, the Rev’d Canon Eric Beresford will discuss environmental ethics in the light of the readings for the first Sunday in Lent.
3. There will also be a Lent study course also led by Eric Beresford. This will be a three-part course based on Meeting God in Mark by Rowan Williams, held on Tuesdays March 3,10, and 24 in the Undercroft. There will be soup-supper at 7pm, followed by the course from 7:45-9:30. Cost is $30 for three sessions including the book. To register please cpntact Rhonda.
4. Another suggestion for keeping Lent comes from the UK charity called Stewardship, via the Diocesan Programme Office. Called “40 Acts of Generosity“, it challenges people to perform a different act of generosity each day during Lent – to give rather than give-up. You can sign up to be sent a daily challenge, or you can make your own list. Their web site is www.40acts.org.uk
5. The annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper (February 17 at 6 pm in Fulford Hall) is always a friendly – and delicious – way to have a final celebration before Lent starts.( Please note, Forum would normally meet on this Tuesday, but will meet instead on February 24th.)
6. The following day Ash Wednesday will be observed with Eucharists and the imposition of ashes at 7:30 am, 12:15 (choral) and 7:00 pm (choral).
7. Last Monday was Candlemas (also celebrated last Sunday in the Cathedral), the point in the Christian year when we turn our gaze from the Crib towards the Cross . We heard Simeon exclaim, “my eyes have seen your salvation.” (Luke 2:30). On Monday February 2, drawing from the text of Bach’s Cantata “Ich habe genug” [It Is Enough!] Canon Eric Beresford offered this attached pithy and moving reflection to carry us towards Lent. It offers us this week’s pre-Lent spiritual practice.
However, not everything revolves around Lent, so here are some other events and requests:
The Book Group meets Feb 22 to discuss The Storied Life of AJ Firkey by Gabrielle Zevin. and March 29 for The Circle by Dave Eggers.
In the spring the group will read a most unusual book, Thaliad by Marly Youmans published by Beth Adams, Phoenicia Publishing. This is an epic poem described as” a powerful and beautiful saga of seven children who escape a fiery apocalypse” and “a plea against violence in all its forms; a call to protect not only the wellsprings of human love, but also those of the natural world.” Thaliad deals with issues that are much on people’s minds so the book group is planning a wider meeting than usual. Books are available from Jane Aitkens or Ann Elbourne for $10.
Nuit blanche à Montréal , Feb 28, is approaching fast. We are planning to serve fair trade hot chocolate during the evening and think this will cost approximately $350. Would you like to be a hot chocolate sponsor (perhaps as one of your Acts of Generosity)? Sponsor 50 cups for $25 or 100 cups for $50. Please speak to Ann. Jan is in charge of making and serving the hot chocolate. She would love some help.
The organisers are also hoping someone can lend them a hot plate for the evening to keep soup warm for the volunteers.
The evening will start at 6 with a path of light leading from St Catherine, up the steps, into the Cathedral. We are looking for donations of used (or new) candles which people can hold and also enclosed candle holders. Candle-holders could be loans.
Publicity for Nuit blanche will appear after the press conference next Tuesday – watch out for some exciting events!
PWRDF organises monthly meetings at noon in Fulford Hall. On February 12, Nicholas Pang will share what he learned from attending an anti-racism consultation organized by the Diocese of New Westminster and the Anglican Church of Canada.
The latest issue of the PWRDF newsletter, available in the Diocesan office, includes an article written by Jonathan about the Weave-a-Net project and an important statement about Syrian refugees, something of concern to many people in the Cathedral. You can find the statement at http://pwrdf.org/2014/pwrdf-expresses-concern-for-syrian-refugees/
Jonathan is one of the featured musicians in this week’s L’oasis concert in the Cathedral at 4:30 on Saturday. He is part of a wind quintet which is performing with a pianist. Go to http://www.oasismusicale.blogspot.ca or https://www.facebook.com/OasisMusicale for more information.
Randy Gates wants to hear from people who would like to become Sunday Stewards. This is a great way to be involved in the Cathedral’s ministry of welcome. It involves being on duty once a month with 3 or 4 other people. The stewards greet people, hand out hymn books and bulletins, answer questions, take the collection and monitor at communion time. Speak to Randy or to any of the stewards on duty when you come into the church.
The automatic spell check keeps turning Lent into lent – I think there must be meat for a Lenten reflection there!