No comments yet

Newsletter, August 30, 2018

The season of creation – George Herbert’s view of creation – parish events showing our relationship to creator God and each other – Ordination – Cathedral partners with the city around us for Journées des églises de Montréal, Journées de la culture and August 25 cultural soirée in support of the Syrian family we are sponsoring

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

Welcome to the Season of Creation which will last from September 1 to October 4. You can read more here about this season, which is being celebrated by many Christian churches around the world. It will be the focus of our services this Sunday and onwards, and a theme running through many of our activities.

Six Cathedral members recently returned from a pilgrimage in Southern England with happy memories of soaring (and scaffolding-shrouded) cathedrals, small churches, old towns and ancient monuments. [Photo by Jane Aitkens shows Salisbury Cathedral].

One small church we visited was St Andrew’s church in Lower Bemerton where the poet George Herbert was rector until his early death in 1633. Anglicans often sing hymns he wrote. You might also be familiar with his poem about God creating the world:

When God at first made man, 
Having a glass of blessings standing by, 
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.
Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie, 

Contract into a span.” 
So strength first made a way; 
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure… 

The one gift God withholds, says Herbert, is the gift of rest. Humanity must work if it is to find its way to God.

 Let him be rich and weary, that at least, 
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness 
May toss him to my breast.”  

I think there are many in our wonderful and hard-working Cathedral community who can relate to those lines. So, let’s take a deep breath, get out our calendars, and find out how we are celebrating the season of creation this September, deepening our relationship with God, each other and all creation.


[On Tuesday, September 4, the Christ Church Cathedral Social Service Society hosted an elegant afternoon tea from 3 to 5 pm in Fulford Hall, in memory of Dorie Cuming, a past president of the society.  To get the most timely information about parish events, look at the end of this post to see how you can subscribe to the email version of the parish letter, which is sent out on Thursday afternoon most weeks.]

Sunday September 9 plan on joining the community picnic to be held in Wallenberg Square, the garden behind the Cathedral. Bring a dish of finger food or a plate of sandwiches to share for lunch. The usual cookies and drinks will be provided. In the spirit of caring for creation ESJAG challenges us all to make this picnic plastic free!

Children’s church resumes the same Sunday, September 9. Jean-Daniel will be happy to hear from volunteers who would like to teach or help out in other ways this fall.

Pain, partage et prière The French Bible study and prayer group will also meet on September 9th at 2:00pm in the Hollis Lounge.

There will not be an Oasis concert on the Saturday of the Labour Day weekend. Concerts will resume on September 8. Please see

LGBTQ+ September 15, 4-6 p.m. Join the group for a casual coffee get together to kick off the year at La graine brûlée, 921 Rue Sainte-Catherine E.

La Cathédrale, le soir, September 16, 6pm.  Bilingual Communion service with contemporary praise music.

Sunday September 16 – discussion of The Cathedral Reading Group’s summer book Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. All are welcome to join the discussion. Talk to Ann Elbourne, Jane Aitkens, Diana Bouchard, or any other member of the group to find out more.

Episkopé is making plans to hold adult bible studies in people’s homes during the fall season, starting in October. Watch for more details about time, place and content. Meanwhile, talk to Amy or any other member of Episkopé if you are interested in participating.


On Sunday, September 30, at 4 pm at the Cathedral, Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson will  ordain Joel Amis, B.A., M.A., M.Div, Tania Lesack, B.A., B.Th, M.Div. to the transitional diaconate and Jhon Steeker Saint-Clair, AEC, Cert. Phil.,B.Th, to the vocational diaconate. Joel and Tania are long-time Cathedral members and Jhon did part of his in-ministry training here, so I’m sure you’ll want to come if you can to support them on this important day! Please pray for God’s blessing and comfort to sustain Tania, Joel and Jhon.


Once again the cathedral will throw open its doors to thousands of visitors during the annual city-wide Journées de la culture, Sept 28 – 30. We need your help to make our programme a success: Friday evening inflating balloons and arranging displays; Saturday all day acting as stewards; Sunday helping with elevenses on the forecourt. Look for details of the programme in next week’s newsletter.

The Cathedral is also participating in an event during the weekend of September 7 – 9th which is a pilot project of the Conseil du patrimoine religieux du Québec. During these Journées des églises de Montréal, 27 churches are holding open house for the people of Montreal. The Cathedral of course is always open, but it would be good to have some friendly greeters in place on Friday and Saturday. Visitors might ask for a tour of the cathedral. We do have printed guides so this shouldn’t be difficult, even if you are feeling a little shaky on the history of the building. Please email Ann at if you are eager to help. You might like to see which other churches are involved at Some of these churches are not normally open.

Last Sunday Jan Jorgensen, with some other cathedral members, organised an event in the Cathedral in which visiting writers and musicians as well as our parishioners contributed their talents to a soirée in aid of the Syrian family we are supporting. I gather it was a wonderful evening which raised over $1,000. Jan reports that Soheil, the father of the family, spoke eloquently about how he has loved his country and so he would love Canada – How he worked hard for Syria and he would work hard for Canada – that they wouldn’t be a burden … and more. So many people present at the evening knew what it was to move to a new country, and some of them also came to Canada as displaced persons or after  being refugees.

And so – in many ways – we are celebrating the season of creation this September, deepening our relationship with God, each other and all creation.

As we raise a glass of something cold on Labour day, be it water, wine or gin and tonic, let’s give thanks for the bounty of God’s creation.

Ann Elbourne


To receive this Newsletter earlier by email, and with it, additions like the Forum agenda, financial updates, minutes and reports, posters, photos, etc., simply send your coordinates to the Cathedral office…  the failsafe method is to email both Newsletter author and parish volunteer Ann Elbourne  and Parish Administrator Elizabeth Shama  .


Subscribe to our diocese’s e-newsletter, published every two weeks.

LIKE the Cathedral’s Facebook page and if you want to spread the word, comment on posts and share them.

Post a comment