This Sunday is not only Valentine’s Day but also the first Sunday in Lent, causing a difficult ethical dilemma – is it alright to eat chocolate? I expect most of us will. However, we can put guilt aside and take up Rhonda’s excellent suggestion for a Lenten spiritual practice which is not just about giving up chocolate. She has created a prayer card for individuals and families to use daily, and suggests choosing each week something distracting to set aside; a way of praying; and a form of generosity.
The Lent study course begins this Monday and continues until Easter on Mondays, Feb. 15 to March 14 & April 4. Sessions are 6-9pm in Fulford Hall. The cost of $40 includes the book and suppers. (Bursaries available) To register call the office.
Here’s a great way to celebrate St Valentine. At 4:30 on Saturday the 13th L’Oasis Musicale presents Love Notes, a pre-Valentine’s Day program exploring the romanticism and passion of two master composers: Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven with Katherine Dennis, violin, and Kyle P. Walker, piano. For details visit http://loasismusicale2.blogspot.ca/ Fair trade refreshments are available for sale, and all proceeds support the concert series.
If you’d like to catch up with what’s going on at the cathedral, including an update on the crumbling arch now hidden by scaffolding, and if you’d like to give your input into future plans, do come to Forum on Tuesday the 16th at 6:30. Refreshments are served from about 6 pm.
One item which will be discussed is the recent vote organised by SJAG as to which of the Calls of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be our focus for the year. Ten possible calls were presented. Each call got some votes, but the clear winner was Number 62, the call to review the school curriculum. SJAG would like some suggestions from Forum about ways the cathedral could work towards the implementation of this Call
As you know, Rhonda is leaving for Ottawa at the end of the month. We want to give her and her family a rousing send off. We will be saying good bye after the 10 am Eucharist on February 21st, but you are also invited along with other members of the Diocese to attend Evensong in the Cathedral that Sunday at 4pm to wish Rhonda, Thomas and Gilbert all the very best for their future ministries. Evensong will be followed by a celebration (marked with a little sadness) in Fulford Hall. Do please come. If you would like to contribute to a parting gift please put your contribution in the offertory plate, marking it for Rhonda’s farewell, or contact Bob King
Cathedral parishioners, Jonathan Sa’adah and Beth Adams are in Mexico at the moment. Jonathan is a well known professional photographer. If you would like to see some fascinating images and unusual viewpoints of the places they are visiting take a look at Jonathan’s blog. Pope Francis will be visiting Mexico City this week. It’s interesting to see how people are gearing up for this visit – lottery tickets with a picture of the pope for example. Beth also has pictures on her blog.
Preparations for Nuit blanche on February 27th are in full swing.
Come and hear Adrian and Robert play organ pieces at the beginning of the evening, and later Jonathan with Les Flautistes de Montréal, learn how to ring hand bells and mini tower bells, sing compline by candlelight, drink free hot chocolate, look at a display of art, hear a visiting gospel choir and relax to late night jazz.
All this on Saturday, plus three short concerts the evening before featuring Sam, Joseph and a group of Armenian musicians, Jonathan Stutchbery a very talented classical guitarist, and the CORtet horn ensemble. I will attach the programme which gives the times for these various events. Please share the cathedral Facebook Nuit blanche page!
The diocesan office now sends out a weekly email on Wednesday mornings giving news from the diocese, information about parish events and many links.
One item you might see there is the West Island Women’s Retreat – Silent Retreat for women of all ages, April 29-May 1, at the Ermitage Ste-Croix in Pierrefonds. Spiritual director Elizabeth Welch from St. Andrew’s and St Mark’s, Dorval. For more information, please contact Liz Glasgow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Some meetings in our parish – dates for your diaries
Ø Sunday School & Friends Potluck Breakfast at 8:30am in the Undercroft
Ø Amnesty letter writing after the 10am Eucharist, write letters or sign postcards to speak out against injustice.
Ø Pain, partage et prière, the French sharing and bible study group will meet at 2:00 p.m. in the Hollis Lounge.
Every Wednesday Hungry Minds, Bible study and supper for students and young adults, meets from 6 to 9 pm. in the Undercroft.
The Cathedral Book Group meets on Sunday, March 6 at 7 pm to discuss “Mr Pip” by Lloyd Jones. If you like talking about books, do join us. We meet in each other’s homes and are very relaxed and informal. To find out where we are meeting in March speak to Diana, Donna or Jane or email the office.
Don’t forget the annual vestry meeting which will be held on Sunday, March 6 in Fulford Hall after the10am Eucharist. The meeting will receive the annual report, approve the financial statements and the budget and hear about various appointments as well as voting on motions. This is not nearly as dull as it sounds – Anglicans are really quite good at lively meetings.
Normally we ask people to donate flowers each Sunday but traditionally churches do not have flowers in Lent; the arrangements remind us that Lent is a period of prayerful reflection and renewal during which we choose to give things up. Many people like to donate flowers for Easter.
Finally, if you would like to have a conversation about being baptized, confirmed or received into the Anglican Church at the Easter Vigil, please speak to one of the clergy as soon as possible.