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Newsletter, October 18, 2018

Many events including All Souls remembrance of the departed, panel discussion on dying with dignity, start of English bible study – new youth group – feedback about Diocesan Quiet Day – the diocesan stewardship of the environment recognizes work of cathedral ESJAG – cannabis topics

Dear Friend of the Cathedral,

I’m writing this letter with my agenda by my side. You might like to do the same because the first part of this letter will list 10 events you are invited to attend, some coming very soon, some happening in November or even December.

  1. The LGBTQ? group will hold their monthly coffee klatch this Saturday, October 20 from 3 to 5 pm in La graine brûlée, 921 rue Ste-Catherine E .
  2. The same day Oasis Musicale presents a concert at 4:30 featuring trombonists David Russell Martin and Evrim Can Dogan with pianist Sandra Hunt, exploring the duality of the trombone’s repertoire, sacred and profane, from the Romantic era to the present day.
  3. Wednesday, October 24, 7:30 – 9 pm, English Bible study at Ann’s house with Bertrand Olivier – the start of a new series beginning with the Epistle of James. Details of future meetings will be decided that evening.
  4. Sunday, October 28, 2 pm in the Hollis Lounge, French bible study, Pain, partage et prière.
  5. Oct 28, 7 pm, at Jane’s house, the cathedral’s book group will discuss Annabelle by Kathleen Winter.  You’re welcome to join us even if you haven’t read this month’s book!
  6. Sunday, November 4 at 4 pm, the cathedral will be holding a special service remembering the departed. Join us for a service of readings, music and reflection that invites us into a time of remembering. We will honour the memory of individuals who have died, and acknowledge their continuing importance to us. We will also pause and remember past tragedies, so that we cannot forget their costliness, in terms of human life and human suffering. We will come together as a community of remembering and be reminded that we are not alone in our pain, grief and sorrow. At this service names of those who have died will read. This Sunday and the next please add names to the notebook that can be found near the baptistry and candle stand. The intercessor will read names from the book which will then be placed on the altar. If you can’t be in church during the next two weeks you can email names to and I will add them for you
  7. Tuesday, November 6, at midday, Lunch n’Chat get together.
  8. Saturday, November 17, the annual parish supper in Fulford Hall. Talk to George if you’d like to help.
  9. Sunday, November 18 at 12 noon, Social Service Society Annual General Meeting. All are welcome. There will be a light lunch.
  10. Monday, November 19 at 7:30 pm at the Cathedral, Dying to Die: an exploration of the ethical and theological aspects of Medical Aid in Dying. There will be a discussion led by a panel of two distinguished speakers, the Rev’d Doug Graydon, coordinator of chaplaincy services in the Diocese of Toronto, and Lori Seller, Ethics advisor at the MUHC.

In addition to these particular events, the Hungry minds group for young adults meets every Monday for supper and bible study. Speak to Jean-Daniel if you’re interested. Also speak to Jean-Daniel if you know of a youngster aged 10 to 15 who would be interested in the monthly youth group just started under the leadership of Maddy McGregor and Emily Stuchbery.

And the December event? The Sing-Along Messiah returns, Saturday, December 15 at 4:30.

Here’s some feedback about recent activities:

The Diocesan Quiet Day held last Saturday drew about 35 folks from across the diocese as well as two or three members of our parish. Verger Greg carefully guarded the silence from his end of things so that the participants could spend their quiet times praying or reflecting in the Cathedral as well as in Saint Anselm’s chapel (a meditation space with flowers and candles), in the corridor overlooking the garden, in sofas or chairs elsewhere, or at the art table. Three short meditations provided guiding scripture passages and suggested dialogues for individual use. The day concluded with a joyful eucharist celebrated by Bishop Mary Irwin Gibson and marking the feast of Teresa of Àvila, renowned for her direction of souls.  (Her autobigraphy remains an all-time best-seller among literary works in Spain, second only to Don Quixote).

The Diocesan Stewardship of the Environment Committee has recently published an article and a blog describing the Cathedral’s  ESJAG (Ecological and Social Justice Action Group). They contain an excellent overview of the aims of this cathedral group. I encourage you all to follow both links and read first the description of the work and aims of ESJAG and then the blog about the plastic free picnic held in June. ESJAG members will be meeting soon to plan a programme for the coming months. If you are interested in becoming part of the organising group please speak to Jan Jorgensen, Edward Yankie or Lisa Middlemiss.

If you are feeling both rich and generous and would like to contribute to the mission of the Diocese consider buying a ticket to the 11th annual Bishop’s Fundraising dinner to be held on Thursday November 15. Hugh Segal, Master of Massey College is the guest speaker. Tickets cost $250 each. The attached order form gives you details.

Finally, on this day, the start of cannabis legalisation in Canada, many people have questions and concerns. If you are one of them you might like to look at this website . In May 2018 the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada held a major international conference on the policy challenges surrounding marijuana legislation in Canada. The papers presented at that conference have been collected into a book High Time: The Legislation and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, and available in March 2019.

I don’t want to finish on a “high” note, so let’s end with a prayer for the beginning of autumn taken from the university of Notre Dame’s web site.

O God of Creation, you have blessed us with the changing of the seasons. 

As we welcome the autumn months,
may the earlier setting of the sun
remind us to take time to rest.

May the brilliant colors of the leaves
remind us of the wonder of your creation.

May the steam of our breath in the cool air
remind us that it is you who give us the breath of life.

May the harvest from the fields remind us of the abundance we have been given and bounty we are to share with others.
May the dying of summer’s spirit remind us of your great promise that death is temporary and life is eternal.
We praise you for your goodness forever and ever. Amen.


Ann Elbourne


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