Our news this week starts with a letter from Paul and Jonathan. They write:
Dear friends at the Cathedral,
It has been two weeks since Jonathan and I left the Cathedral and our life has been moving very fast. We had a good flight over from Canada to the Uk with BA and arrived safely with our 8 suitcases and two computer bags to be collected by a friend from my last parish. Fortunately she has a van which could accommodate all the bags. The move into the new home has been a bit of a drawn out affair with different pieces of furniture arriving from different places. The last van load was collected from my brother’s house today and will be delivered in London on Thursday. One of the inconveniences has been being out of internet contact. Wifi will be installed in the vicarage next Wednesday and all being well the iphone will be functional sometime this weekend. Until then I have been relying on public wifi in public places.
I want to thank you all for the very very generous present you gave both Jonathan and me as we left – you are very kind and we shall use your gift carefully and wisely but are also wondering what one item would be a lovely treat by which we can remember your kindness. Thank you also for the send-offs you gave us on Sunday 20th. The morning was special and moving – thank you especially to Louise for sorting the drinks and to Peggy for cakes – lovely as ever. Thank you also for all the kind words you said about us. We also want to thank all of you who worked to make the diocesan send off in Fulford Hall after evensong such a fun event. Thank you Vivian for organising it all – but I know that there were many other people involved in creating sketches, speeches and of course in cutting out the letters to decorate the hall.
I don’t start work until December 19th and so we went to St Paul’s Cathedral for the Eucharist on Sunday. It reminded me of you all at the cathedral (although on a little larger scale) – a beautiful choir singing a Hassler mass, lovely violet and blue vestments on the three ministers at the nave altar, and a slightly adventurous and creative liturgy – I felt very much at home. But imagine our surprise and delight to find our very own primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz preaching the homily – a comforting act of providence. Both Jonathan and I will contact our friends individually once we have got on-line, but we wanted to thank you for all you did for us.
Paul and Jonathan.
Now for other news about the life of the Cathedral community here in Montreal.
Christmas preparations are of course well under way; bulletins are being prepared and music rehearsed. You will find the schedule in the bulletin this Sunday and the events listed on our calendar page. The Sing Along Messiah is happening this Saturday at 4:30. Do come to sing the choruses – or just to listen. It’s always a fun event. The following Saturday Patrick will play La Nativité du Seigneur, an organ work by Olivier Messaien which is a wonderful meditation for the season.
Vivian’s suggested spiritual reflection this week offers you Jan Jorgensen’s beautiful theological reflection “Saying Yes to God” which weaves together the experience of the Holy Family, and the anticipation we feel as a church family waiting to sponsor a family from Syria. It is offered to you for prayer and also for prayerful future action.
Vivian has also sent the link to Donald Boisvert’s December 3 sermon on John the Baptist … perhaps that irritating friend whose awareness is not always welcome… might stimulate your own reflections during this season. I believe a figure of John the Baptist will be added to the Christmas crib in front of the altar this Sunday. Take a look!
The themes of expectation and preparation will be the focus of next Tuesday’s “Lunch ‘n Chat” potluck lunch and fellowship in the Hollis Lounge (on the second floor at 1444 Union Avenue). Everyone is welcome. RSVP to the Cathedral office by noon, December 12th.
The Cathedral Reading Group will meet at 7pm on Sunday to drink Jane’s fabulous eggnog, watch a movie, and discuss The Course of Love by Alain de Botton. We hope to be finished by bedtime! All are welcome. Speak to Jane or Diana.
Also on Sunday, after the 10 am service, you can join the Amnesty letter-writing group to sign a post card or write a letter to speak out against injustice.
Last Sunday SJAG (The Social Justice Action Group) considered a request from Carol Meindl, member of a committee that is concerned with the lack of inclusiveness in the current Quebec History Curriculum. She wanted us to support a statement that they will be sending to the Quebec government. SJAG agreed with the views expressed in her letter and Jan replied “I am writing on behalf of the Social Justice Action Group of Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican).
We endorse your statement which seeks greater inclusivity in the Quebec history curriculum.
Please note that we are empowered to speak solely for the Social Justice Action Group of the cathedral and not as representatives of the cathedral – such an endorsement would have required a lengthier process.”
A member of or parish, Casey Remrov Vormer has been receiving accolades recently for her art and her oratory. On December 1 and 2nd Casey exhibited a large selection of amazingly detailed pencil drawings in Toronto at an International art Exhibition for autistic artists from all over the world. Two weeks earlier he received a standing ovation from 600 people at an event in Montreal where he spoke about the challenges of being autistic. You can listen to Casey’s speech at https://www.patreon.com/posts/speaking-at-gala-7359744
Please note that Forum is a week early this month. Congregation members are invited to gather for refreshments at 6 and a meeting at 6:30 next Tuesday in Fulford Hall. The agenda and the minutes of the last meeting are attached. There will be updates from the refugee sponsorship group and a budget report as well as a consultation with the Parish Search Committee. This is a good opportunity to learn about the search process and to give input regarding what we are looking for in a new dean and rector.
If you are the co-ordinator of a cathedral activity please be aware that the Annual Vestry looms large on the horizon of 2017. Tania would like your report by January 9 – and probably your prayers also. It’s a huge job putting the annual report together.
Happy Advent 3 – Gaudete Sunday. Anticipate pink vestments!