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News of April 28th

Dear Friend of the Cathedral
Many of you have expressed interest in the mini conference being organised by the Social Justice Action Group this Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm in Fulford Hall. We are delighted that there will be at least 5 representatives of the First Nations participating in and leading the discussion about call 62 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as teachers and students giving their perspective on the content of the Canadian History courses in schools and university. The conference is open to all interested people. It’s free, but it would be helpful to organisers if participants either contact the cathedral office by Friday, or even better, register on Eventbrite

If you are interested, but can’t be there on Saturday, we will send notes about the meeting to you if you make a request.

We will hear more about issues which concern the Indigenous peoples on Sunday when Annie Ittoshat preaches at the 10 am Eucharist. Annie Ittoshat is an Anglican priest. She grew up in Great Whale (Kuujjuarapik) on Hudson’s Bay, came to Montreal to study social work, did the first part of her theological training on Baffin Island, and then earned a Masters of Divinity from the University of Toronto – the first Inuit woman to do so. She is now the pastor of an Inuit congregation in St Paul’s Lachine, and also works with Inuit in the inner city, and in prison.

The suggested spiritual exercise this week refers to Turtle Island, the Indigenous name for North America which originates in the Aboriginal creation story. If you don’t know the story you can find it here:
Here is the exercise from Vivian: “Putting the Gospel in the Centre of our Sacred Circle” is one way to share individually or in small groups with a practice used by Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. Any event or meeting is organized and carried out with the Gospel in the centre. The gospel passage is read three times, followed by a short time to reflect and share on (1) what word(s), idea, or phrase stands out? (2) what is the Gospel/Jesus saying to me? (3) what is the Gospel/Jesus calling me to do?.Here is a fuller description of the method and, for starters, a link to daily Bible Readings for April 2016 .

The description of the method is fascinating – do read it and consider whether it might be applicable to some of our gatherings.

There are some important services coming up. The first is a special Ascension Day service followed by a short organ concert on Thursday, May 5 at 12:15. Paul is presiding.

The second is the Ordination on Sunday, May 15 at 4 pm when Stanley Brooks will be ordained deacon, and James Duckett, Denis Géry, Jean-Jacques Goulet, Amy Hamilton and Josée Lemoine will be priested. It will be a very special occasion because James and Josée are former Cathedral parishioners while Jean-Jacques and Amy are part of our current ministry team. Stanley is from Trinity, Denis from Trois Rivières. If anybody would like to donate flowers to decorate the cathedral for the ordination, please contact Rob Wells. There will be a catered reception afterwards. Please contact Donna Riley via the Cathedral office if you would like to help set up or clear away.

Last Sunday the Dean blessed the new tapestry on the celebrant’s chair in the chancel. This was the impressive work of Janet and Bob King, needlepointers extraordinaires. It is a brilliant red with the coat of arms of the cathedral in the middle. Janet writes that they worked almost 250 000 stitches, with Janet starting at the top and Bob at the base. They did it in memory of Janet’s father, Kenneth William Haworth, who was Dean of Salisbury Cathedral from 1960 till 1971. The wool and painting of the design was supplied by Brickpoint, who worked with us on needlepoint wool from Paternayan for the high altar kneeler in the 80’s and the chapel kneelers in early 2000. If anyone who admires the upholstery wants the name of the gentleman who did it, Bob and Janet can give an excellent reference. Meanwhile, Jane Aitkens is working solo on the tapestry for the back of the Bishop’s chair. It might take her another year or two to finish!

A pilgrimage group from Yorkminster in Ontario visited the cathedral yesterday. They were very impressed by the beauty of our church’s interior. Louise Lockhart, deputy warden, is working on ideas for landscaping the exterior. She will be discussing changes to the grounds immediately round the cathedral with the landscaping company Strathmore. If you would like to make a suggestion or possibly help out then please contact Louise. The plan for growing vegetables, spearheaded by Anika, is going well. She has found foster parents for all her little seedlings.

The Oasis Musicale concert at 4:30 on Saturday presents “Belcanto Barocco” performed by the soprano Frédérique Drolet, the mezzo soprano Meagan Zantingh, the harpsichordist Jonathan Addleman and the theorbo-player Esteban la Rotta. In 16th and 17th century Italy, the dawn of the Bel Canto era, vocal music was considered the perfect way to depict the colours and drama of beautiful poetry. In this programme, you’ll hear two voices singing about the pain and joy of love, accompanied by harpsichord and theorbo, in pieces by Monteverdi, Caccini, Sances, and more. I had to look up the definition of theorbo. Apparently, it is a large lute with the neck extended to carry several long bass strings.

Please note that the summer series of Wednesday concerts will begin next Wednesday, May 4 at 6:30pm with a concert for viola, cello and piano. For details of the concerts, visit

Last week saw the thirtieth anniversary of the terrible explosion in the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in the Ukranian Soviet Socialist republic, on April 26, 1986. A member of our congregation Yevgeniya Amis was living close to Chernobyl with her family at the time. She has written a poignant memory of that day sparked by an article she read.

There I was, going to work in the morning and crying as I was reading an article about Chernobyl”s 30th anniversary… My childhood memories overwhelmed me, and I just couldn’t stop… Our neighbor was a nurse, and her hospital in Kiev was the first one to receive the people who were burned alive from inside: the first liquidators… Thanks to her we knew about the accident before everybody else… The authorities tried to hide the information: to avoid panic, they preferred to sacrifice lives… My father had to go to Chernobyl in June, barely a month after the accident… for many years his feet had terrible wounds that wouldn’t heal… I remember a dosimeter that wasn’t very useful because the radiation level was so high the device wouldn’t measure it… I remember a summer in Crimea as “radioactive refugees” and the side glances from the locals (“Are you contagious?..”) I remember lots of scary words: ionizing radiation, exclusion zone, sarcophagus… I knew them all too well for a first-grader… I remember my godmother who died of leukemia shortly after the accident… I remember… and I cry…”
Thank you for sharing this with us, Yevgeniya. It will remind us to pray for the survivors of the many disasters which afflict our fragile world. Indeed, as Donne wrote, (using the inclusive word “man” for all humanity)
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
… any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

If you are home during the day, come and be “part of the main” on Tuesday May 3rd for Lunch‘n Chat, a potluck lunch and time of fellowship in the Hollis Lounge (on the second floor at 1444 Union Avenue). RSVP to the Cathedral office by Monday morning, May 2nd.
Finally, here is an important notice about parking in the forecourt on Sunday morning at 10 am. Please note that on Sundays parking in the forecourt before the 10 am service is reserved for people with a parking pass who have mobility issues. As you know, the parking meters do not start operating until 1 pm so parking on the street for the duration of the service should not be a problem.
With best wishes to you all
Ann Elbourne
Office Volunteer

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