Dear Friend of the Cathedral,
So much is happening around the Cathedral in the next two months it’s hard to know where to begin! We are of course planning goodbyes to Paul and Jonathan, setting in motion the process of finding a new dean and organising the interim care of the cathedral and its parishioners. Please see the very important message from Corporation at the end of this letter.
More immediately we are saying goodbye to Adrian Foster who has been Patrick’s assistant organist for the past 3 years. Adrian is a very talented musician with an impressive knowledge of the works of Messiaen. As a result of his studies at McGill he has been awarded a substantial grant to finish his doctorate in Paris where he will complete his thesis on the recorded improvisations of Messiaen. Adrian will play for the last time as assistant organist at Evensong this Sunday. We wish him a brilliant future and a happy time in Paris. Robert Hamilton will continue as organ scholar and we are delighted to welcome Nicholas Capozzoli as the new assistant organist. Patrick is also happy that a number of young McGill students have joined the choir this season. The choir certainly sounded fine last Sunday when we were privileged to have the bishop as celebrant and preacher. At the end of the service Mary presented the Bishop’s Award to Marjorie Sharp for her leadership in social service projects. Congratulations to Marjorie.
Congratulations also to Tyson Rǿsberg who has successfully defended his MA thesis in history at Concordia. His title was “A Sheltered World: Remembering the Great Depression in Rural Quebec and on the Prairies.” In his thesis he wove together family stories and information gathered in interviews with other people.
Social history like this is fascinating, and you can see some great information about the cathedral’s past in an archival display during the Journées de la culture which take place next weekend in the cathedral from Friday, September 30 to Sunday October 2. During the Journées there will also be an art exhibition, a vestments exhibition, an organ demonstration, lots of concerts, a chance to paint to music on Saturday afternoon at 2 and – back by popular demand – punch & popcorn after the Oasis concert on Saturday and a cream tea after Evensong on Sunday, both on the forecourt (see the programme schedule at the end of this post). I plan to be there most of the weekend. I do hope lots of you will join the celebrations. I believe the organisers are still looking for volunteers to be greeters and security watchers. Please contact Joceline through the cathedral office or sign up this Sunday
Another joyful event coming up on November 11 is the annual fundraising concert organised by the music committee. Members of the congregation are being asked to contact people who might like to place an ad in the programme. Ben Stuchbery has forms and request letters for you to use. Please talk to him on Sunday or contact him through the office.
It’s strange to be thinking about the spring when fall has barely begun, but the organisers of Nuit blanche have already contacted us asking us to participate in the city-wide event on March 4 2017. We have to contact them by the end of October. I am looking for a few people who would like to brainstorm some ideas and come up with a rough plan for the evening. Details can be decided later. This is part of Marie-Claire Bazinet’s email:
“This year, as we mark the 50th anniversary of Montréal’s Expo, the Nuit blanche turns back the clock and establish 1967 as the theme of the 14th edition. Inspired by that landmark moment for the city, we will call upon the ideas, creations and aspirations of the era and give them new life in 2017. We are launching the following invitation to our partners: to revel in the festive atmosphere of Expo’s Man And His World, the optimistic mood, the openness to the world that transformed the city of that time and the flavour for modernism of that monumental experience to spark their programming with a jolt of inventiveness and daring.”
So if you feel inventive and daring please speak to me as soon as possible.
This Saturday 24th September at 4:30pm in the cathedral we welcome the American pianist Daniel Colalillo for his “Montreal Debut Piano Recital“. Acknowledged by “The New York Times,” Daniel Colalillo has performed in numerous recitals at Carnegie Hall sponsored by the “Piano Teachers Society of America,” earning him the “Alumnus Achievement Award of Excellence.”
Do you need advice on the road to retirement? That’s the title of an event sponsored by the Social Service Society on October 15, from 10am to 3pm in Fulford Hall. They have invited 6 professionals – 2 lawyers, a financial advisor, an accountant and two social workers – who will give advice about legal, social and financial faced by older people. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Please contact the cathedral office by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 514 843 6577 / 236. Please don’t register by replying to this letter; the office would appreciate a separate email.
As described in last week’s newsletter, the Montreal Diocesan Theological College is sponsoring a public lecture The Scriptures in the Church, on Friday, October 28, at 7pm in Fulford Hall. Despite Jesus’ admonition to his disciples to love one another, the Bible today often serves as a source of disunity. Reverend Bill Countryman will explore the historical origins of this situation and suggest a future more life-giving course.
LGBTQ events: Saturday, October 15, at 6pm there will be a BBQ at Les and Mike’s place. BYOB and a salad or dessert. Speak to Jean-Jacques Goulet for further information.
Pain, prière et Partage The French Bible study and prayer group will meet this Sunday, September 25, at 2pm in the Hollis Lounge
Hungry Minds: Supper and Bible Study for students and young adults meets Wednesdays at 6 pm in the undercroft. For more information talk to Rev’d Jean-Daniel (email@example.com).
This Sunday: end of the month lunch at noon in Fulford Hall. Volunteers are needed to serve a hot lunch to people in need. This month the lunch is sponsored by Centennial College.
Volunteers needed: Do you have an interest and time to visit a shut-in on a monthly basis? If you are interested, let Jean-Jacques or the office know. There will be a training session offered Tuesday evening September 27.
Bookkeeper needed: Our current bookkeeper, Roz, is soon retiring. The cathedral treasurer, Jane Aitkens would like to hear from you if you know of someone interested in a part time bookkeeping job.
*Please read this very important message from Corporation which contains an update on the search process for a new Dean:
A special general vestry meeting has been called for Tuesday, October 18th, at 6:30 p.m. in the Cathedral, to elect a search committee. Bishop Mary has asked Corporation to act as a nominating committee to recruit and recommend the committee. Normally a parish search committee would have 7 members, but at this week’s Forum meeting, the community expressed their preference to have 9 members, as was done for the previous search committee, to ensure a wide range of representation, skills, and views. Over the coming weeks, Corporation will therefore be considering and approaching a variety of people for this task. In line with criteria suggested by Bishop Mary, Corporation will be looking to ensure sufficient diversity (e.g. in terms of gender, age, language, etc.). Members must be proven stakeholders in the long-term well-being of the Cathedral and its mission and values, in terms of their involvement in the life of the community; they must also be committed to remaining actively involved when the new incumbent is in place. Members will have an understanding of the Cathedral’s role as an essential component of Diocesan ministry, along with a vision for future growth. Experience in interviewing and hiring will be a definite asset. Anyone wishing to put their name forward is asked to contact the People’s Warden, Les Stutzman before Monday, October 3rd, with a brief summary of their background, reasons for wanting to be involved, and how they see themselves in relation to the above criteria. Given that the two wardens (people’s warden and rector’s warden) are automatically on the committee, there will be 7 other slots to fill. Potential members should be aware that this is a serious undertaking in terms of time and energy over the coming 6 to 9 months or more. Corporation invites all Cathedral parishioners and friends to pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit in bringing together a strong team for this essential ministry.
It seems right to conclude this week’s letter with a Spiritual Practice about Good Decision Making. As you pray for the work of the ministry team and corporation, for the campaign volunteers, for the future Search Committee and its members, you may care to read this essay by Christopher Page, an Anglican priest in BC. “Good decisions take time and patience,“ he writes. “Our best decisions are seldom rushed. … Urgency tends to create clenching and tightness. Good decisions come from a place of opening, softening, and gentleness.”
Please pray too for Paul and Jonathan and all the people in the cathedral community who will miss their leadership, their witness and their loving pasturing.