“No man is an island entire of itself” wrote John Donne in the seventeenth century, blithely unaware of political correctness. “Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” This awareness of our connectedness to the world around the Cathedral is notable in many events taking place in September.
Connecting Through the Arts
Patrick, Adrian and Alex, our cathedral organists, are presenting what is surely one of the most curious concerts heard in the Cathedral. Starting at 6 pm on Friday, September 4, an all-night concert will celebrate the life and legacy of American composer John Cage. The concert is titled ORGAN2/ASLSP, after the composer’s infamous 1987 work for organ, which is intended to be played literally “As SLow aS Possible” (A performance in Halberstadt will take 639 years).
The Cathedral organists, Patrick Wedd, Adrian Foster, and Alex Ross, will perform a 12-hour version of this piece while other Montreal musicians simultaneously perform a variety of Cage compositions, and a group of readers grapple with Cage’s mesotic version of Finnegan’s Wake. Mesotics are like acrostics, only they spell out words by lining up the middle letters of a passage. Here the name James Joyce is revealed in each 10 line paragraph. Quite remarkable!
There will be a pre-concert talk at 6 p.m. on September 4th, and the concert will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available for purchase until 10 p.m., and the end of the concert will be marked by a complimentary breakfast in the cathedral baptistry. Click here for more information.
On Saturday, September 5, at 4:30, there will be a more conventional concert, in the L’Oasis Musicale series, featuring harpist Robin Best and flutist Jeffrey Stonehouse. Their concert, Voyage: 20th Century Masterworks for Flute and Harp, explores some of the lesser-known repertoire for this iconic duo, featuring elements of world music from Indian Ragas to the waterfalls of New Zealand, and the classic tango of Argentina to the traditional tunes of Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes. The Oasis concerts are a great way of connecting to Montrealers and to visitors; audiences are steadily growing.
The events being presented by the Cathedral for Les journées de la culture on September 25, 26 and 27 will attract at least 1000 visitors each day. You are all invited to be there for some of the activities and there are lots of opportunities to get involved:
* act as a guardian of the displays
* be a friendly greeter on Friday and Saturday
* help with set up on Thursday
* bake scones for the cream tea after evensong on Sunday
* serve the refreshments then and after Saturday’s concert
Sign-up on Sunday or email the cathedral office, attention Ann Elbourne.
Connecting Through Justice
The Social Justice Action Group (SJAG) will present a session on “Open Door” Restorative justice September 13. Peter Huish and Michele Rattray will speak to us about Montreal-Southwest Community Ministries and the CoSA Project (Circles of Support and Accountability) in the side chapel after the 10am Eucharist.
As a community we often worry about our response to the people with whom we have contact in and around the cathedral, especially those who have obvious problems. In order to help us Constable Boccardi, a Community Police officer, will hold an information/question session on Wednesday, September 16, in Fulford Hall from 10 am to noon. The session is recommended for our pastoral staff, vergers, stewards and volunteers. To confirm your presence could you please email [email protected] no later than Thursday September 10th.
Are you interested in the ways that faith intersects with public life? Or the relationship between religion, ethics, and politics? Or finding ways to share our theology and tradition with those who are curious? Join the Public Theology Working Group and help shape this year’s program. Monday, September 28th from 6-7:30 pm in the Undercroft.
Connecting Through Travel
Are you curious about other cultures? Perhaps the “Exposure Trip to Cuba” is for you. Join Montreal School of Theology students for a transformative week in Cuba. Dates: January 2-9, 2016. Cost: $2300 per person, which includes travel, meals, accommodation, and insurance. Registration deadline: Sept. 15, 2015. To register or more information, contact Alyson Huntly: [email protected] or 514-849-2042.
Or you could sign up to be a pilgrim in England under Paul’s guidance. The group will be exploring our Anglican heritage from Augustine to Aidan, the English saints, April 20 to May 3 next year. Leaflets and registration forms are available at the back of the church. Please register soon!
Connecting Inside the Church
Another learning experience could be the Conference Synod 2015 being held October 16-17 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Lachine. Join Synod delegates for this time of learning and diocesan community building. Register by Sept 15 and save 25%. See http://www.montreal.anglican.ca/synod/ for details.
Please take note of the General Vestry meeting to be held Sept 20 after the 10 am service. On the agenda are the final approval of financial statements, an update on upcoming fund raising and a conversation about ways to recognize donors. Corporation hopes to get ideas from the congregation.
The Sunday School is looking for some new volunteers, having said good-bye to three faithful and wonderful helpers this summer! Please contact Rhonda if you would like to learn more about how to be involved in this valuable and rewarding ministry.
The Cathedral Book Group is reading Us Conductors by Sean Michaels for discussion on October 4 at 7pm. All are welcome to join the group. Speak to Jane, Diana or Donna
Please consider sponsoring flowers to beautify the Cathedral in thanksgiving, in memory of a loved one, or for the joy of offering flowers to the glory of God! The cost of the flowers is approximately $60.00. Sponsors are needed for October and November.
Connecting with the Country
Here in Canada we are, of course, in the midst of a general election campaign. The Anglican Church of Canada has produced a useful non-partisan resource identifying political priorities for Anglicans. It consists of a series of 10 resource sheets on justice issues. The issues are grouped under 3 headings:
1. Bridging Divides – homelessness, child poverty, intergenerational inequities.
2. Restoring Right relations – Reconciliation with the native peoples, proper use of creation, new approaches to restorative justice, diversity, inclusion and inter-faith cooperation.
3. Promoting Peace and Stability – welcoming the stranger (refugees), international assistance, partnerships for peace in the Middle East.
Each sheet includes a theme, background on the issue, a description of the Anglican experience and perspectives, and questions for candidates about what their party would do to address the issue. Links to further information and resources are provided, while a separate section offers tips for a successful meeting with one’s Member of Parliament. It’s a great resource and a good discussion starter. Compassion, Justice and Reason: An Anglican Approach for Election 2015
Welcome back to an exciting September!