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Newsletter, February 2, 2017

Prayer and Action … Donald Boisvert … letter from Search Committee … pastoral emergency number  … good news re Donald Hunt … coming events … Nuit blanche & hot chocolate: help! … Anglican Church of Canada link to news.

Dear Friend of the Cathedral,

What to do, what to say at the end of this horrific and unsettling week? We are people of faith so it’s a given that we will pray. Many of us are people of action so it’s another given that we will write letters, sign petitions and go on marches. What we can’t do is nothing at all, so here are a few links to help us move forward.

In a statement on the horrific shooting at a mosque in Sainte-Foy, Québec City, that left six people dead and many others injured, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, calls on the church to pray for the people of Ste-Foy and all our Muslim brothers and sisters. Read the Primate’s statement.

This is social justice week.  Social justice is, in itself, a spiritual practice, and this newsletter regularly features notices and news about the Cathedral’s Social Justice Action Group and the issues it is addressing. Scripture does just that, week by week, when we read it in the light or Luke 4:18. Two members of the Cathedral—Vivian Lewin and Meg Graham—attended  the Women’s March in Washington, and you can read Vivian’s photo essay about that experience here ( Beth Adams and Jonathan Sa’adah attended the vigil on Monday for the victims of the shooting in the Quebec mosque, his photos and her essay is here.

What prayer practice will be best during these difficult days?  “Pray as you can, not as you can’t,” counsels one tradition of the church. Light a candle. Attend the daily offices. Walk outdoors, away from the screen. Pray to be shown a way that will open your heart.

In our own community please pray for Donald Boisvert who will be undergoing surgery in the next few days. Donald, who is acting as interim rector, cannot be physically present in the office or the church for some time, so please pray also for our clergy team, Episkopé and Corporation who are working hard to keep everything working smoothly around the Cathedral.

The parish search committee also appreciates our continued prayers for its work and sends this update:

 “The Parish Search Committee would like to warmly thank everyone who completed the recent questionnaire, either online or on paper. In all, 86 people responded – a substantial proportion of our community. Despite some confusion around the last question (apologies to all), the committee received a great deal of good information. Particular thanks to everyone who added comments, which really enriched the process. Now the committee is working on completing the parish profile, which is the document that will be made available to anyone interested in the position. That profile provides not only basic information about the Cathedral’s activities, finances, and plans, but also presents our values, our aspirations, and the qualities we are seeking in a new rector and dean.”

There is a new pastoral emergency number for you to note :  For pastoral emergencies that happen after office hours and on weekends please call 514 608 1754. This will connect you to a cell phone that will be with a member of the clergy team. Please use only for emergencies.

Patrick came by the office yesterday with some very good news about Donald Hunt a previous Assistant Organist here. He has just been appointed Director of Music at the cathedral in Victoria, having turned down an offer from Sheffield in England. There is a choir school attached to the cathedral so presumably their choir is enriched with treble voices. It seems a long time since we in Montreal had a choir of men and boys, with 24 boys singing every Sunday – and ruining their Sunday grey flannels playing touch football in the cathedral grounds after the service.

A lot of people derive comfort in trying times from being with a group of like-minded people. Here are some reminders of events you can join –

Hungry Minds, supper and bible study for students and young adults every Wednesday evening, 6pm in the Undercroft.

Lunch n Chat this Tuesday, February 7: potluck fellowship, noon till 2 pm in the Bishop Hollis Lounge. They will be making Valentine cards for the Veterans Hospital. All welcome. RSVP by February 6.

Pain Partage et Prière next Sunday, Feb 12, at 2 pm in the Hollis Lounge

Amnesty letter writing and postcard signing next Sunday during coffee hour.

The Cathedral Reading Group will meet on February 19 at 7 pm to discuss Our Souls at Night by Ken Haruf.  Speak to Ann Elbourne to find out where we will be gathering.

Also on February 19 don’t forget the Annual General Vestry Meeting – always interesting;  your participation is urged as the cathedral community plans for the coming year.

Further off, but the planning stage is now – Nuit blanche in Christ Church Cathedral, 6pm to 1;30 am on Saturday March 4th. We will be serving at least 1000 cups of free hot chocolate so I urgently need a team of people to help make the drink in the undercroft and keep our two huge thermoses filled. We also need people to serve the hot chocolate, particularly between 10 and 11 and strong people to carry the thermoses upstairs!

I mentioned the Archbishop’s communiqué at the beginning of this letter. The current information letter from the Anglican Church in Canada contains other interesting and challenging articles for example about the church’s prison ministry and about funding given to two Indigenous MDiv students by the Diocese of Western Newfoundland   Read more. about the students. For the whole letter go to

In prayer with you all

Ann Elbourne




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