Friday, 21 December 2012

Solstice 2012 - A Time For Transformation

It's the morning of December 21, 2012, and as most people suspected, the world is carrying on as before, despite the Mayan long form calender entering a new era.

A friend forwarded me an email with a Solstice Invitation, written by Peter Senge, and the words he used invites us to reflect on where we are going individually, as parishes, and as a region in North Vancouver.
Last week a small group gathered in the Mayan forest in the Yucatan to explore what the ending of the 5,125-year "long count” on December 21 might mean to us. We came from diverse contexts: education, medicine, governance, science, conservation, spirituality and business. We were connected by our commitment to contribute to the evolution of our own consciousness and the transformation of key institutions that shape our society.
We came knowing that December 21 and 22, 2012 represent not only the end of one cycle but the beginning of a new one - a "chance for humans to start again,” as one of us expressed it while in the Yucatan.
There is a Mayan myth, retold on many monuments in sacred Mayan sites, about day 1 of the just-ending long count cycle. Nine wisdom holders gathered, "had a cup of chocolate and a conversation”, and reflected on how to re-establish harmony after such a long period of chaos. In this conversation they identified seeds they wanted to plant for the new cycle.
We are sending this message to a small group of friends around the world, each of who is connected to networks of collaboration in their work. We are inviting each of you to consider the sacredness of this moment. On December 21st, starting at the international dateline in the central Pacific, people around the world will hold for 72 hours a space of love, respect and appreciation. Each in their own way, people will reflect on this new cycle through prayer, in silent contemplation and meditation, in dialogue, sitting and walking in nature, through ceremony and ritual.
During our time together in the Yucatan, we posed several questions upon which to reflect. We would like to share a few of them with you, to also reflect on in the coming days.
  • What am I committed to transforming in myself?
  • What seeds do I, and we, want to plant and cultivate for the well being of people and all life on earth?
  • What is the story that will be told in 100 years about what was transformed in this new beginning?
We offer a second invitation: to see the sacred places all around us as hubs of amplification for the collective practice of holding planetary well being. The invitation is to go to a place that is sacred for you and to visualize planet earth and all living beings as an integrated living entity. This is no political agenda for a new world order. Rather, this practice builds on what many older cultures have known for a very long time and brings it into this moment: to connect and integrate with the field of higher vibration that is created naturally when enough of us concentrate our intentions, prayers, meditations, chanting, rituals, and visualizations on the well being of the whole. It is a time to feel fully integrated with oneself, the group that you may be with, and the larger wholes of which we are a part, including the human community and all our fellow travelers on this small microcosm of life in the universe. 
We invite you to visualize and strengthen our radiating light as the Aura of the planet. The potential of this collective practice is to create an internal experience that can free up blockages, individually and collectively, and liberate the life force and universal energy within.
Take this time to awaken the awareness of our capacity to regain the states of balance, harmony and integration, moment by moment, and the awareness that we have the capacity and the tools to transform, the ability to shift:
  • From fragmentation to integration
  • From aggression to kindness
  • From being absent to being present
  • From tension to relaxation
  • From doubt to clarity
  • From denial to commitment
On December 21-22, we will take a "pause” in our habitual activities for two days in support of the conditions for living that we would like to see, feel and manifest, as we start the first day of this new era. Please consider yourself invited, together with others in your personal networks, to join in this intention setting in whatever form feels best and most natural for you.
SPECIFICALLY, we invite you all to stop and tune in four times a day both on December 21 and 22, wherever you are:
  • At sunrise
  • At Solstice time (Yucatan) 11:11 GMT
  • At sun set
  • In the evening 
Peter Senge,
(on behalf of the attendees of Yucatan gathering)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Deanery Christmas Events

With Christmas so close, parishes in the deanery have a number of exciting events planned. If you're in North Vancouver this Christmas, be sure to attend one or more of the following services and events!

Sunday December 16:
  • 10 AM Christmas Pageant at St. Martin's (195 Windsor Rd E)
  • 7 PM Christmas Lessons and Carols at St. Martin's followed by treats and grog and carol singing in the church hall
Tuesday, December 18
  • 7:30 PM Blue Christmas at St. John's (220 8 St. W) for those who are grieving or finding the joyful services don't fit
Wednesday, December 19
  • 11 AM Carolling at Cedar View Seniors Home (1200 Cedar Village Cl) organized by parishioners of St. Clement's
Thursday, December 20

  • 7 PM choir concert and sing-a-long on Thursday December 20th at 7:00.  Our choir has worked hard to prepare some truly beautiful music and of course, some rip-roaring sing-a-longs!  We are very happy to welcome some guest singers from the community to our choir, as well as some special guests: World music artist Nadina Zarifeh, Violinist Roxanna Wetham and Composer/Conductor Christopher Kovarik.  Admission to this event is by donation and any amount will do.  Everyone is welcome!  There will also be a raffle for a beautiful acoustic guitar.  And of course, there will be snacks!!  All funds raised at this concert will go towards our church.  If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, this is the place to do it!  We hope to see lots of you there.

Friday, December 21
  • 12 noon A Seniors Moment Christmas Luncheon at St. Agnes (530 12th St. E) . Turkey dinner with all the trimmings! Christmas carols! Bring your friends. Call Laura in the office at 604-987-0432 to register.
Sunday, December 23
  • 9:45 AM Children's Christmas Pageant at St. Clement's (3400 Institute Rd)
  • 10 AM Lessons and Carols Service at St. John's
  • 10 AM Lessons and Carols at St. Catherine's (1058 Ridgewood Dr) with handbell choir
  • 10:15 AM Children's Christmas Pageant at St. Agnes
  • 2:30 PM Carolling at Lynn Valley Care Home (1070 Lynn Valley Rd) organized by parishioners of St. Clement's
Monday December 24 (Christmas Eve)
  • 4 PM Children's Christmas Story Time and Carols at St. Martin's
  • 4 PM Service at St. Clement's. Great for new members and children
  • 5 PM Family Service at St. John's
  • 5 PM Family Eucharist at St. Catherine's
  • 7 PM Christmas Eve Candlelight Choral Eucharist at St. Martin's and St. Clement's
  • 8 PM Christmas Eve Service at St. Agnes (note the new time!)
  • 10:30 PM Christmas Carols at St. Catherine's
  • 11 PM Christmas Eve Candlelight Choral Eucharist at St. Martin's, St. Clement's, and St. Catherine's
  • 11 PM Choral Eucharist at St. John's
Tuesday, December 25
  • 10 AM Christmas Day Eucharist at St. Martin's
Sunday, December 30
  • 10:15 AM Christmas readings, carols & Eucharist at St. Agnes. (no 8 am service this day)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Come to the WILD

Come to the WILD

…bring your friends!

A North Vancouver Deanery Event

for young people ages 11-14

Saturday Dec 1

9 AM to 3 PM
a field trip to A Rocha Creation Spirituality Center
“caring for God’s world”

$12 per person
Register with Laurel Dykstra

Meet at St. Catherine’s parking lot

1058 Ridgewood Drive

8:45 AM

We want EVERYONE to come, if $12 is too much for you or for a guest, come anyway! We have funds to make sure everyone is included. For more information talk to Laurel.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Diocesan Reorganization and Structuring

Dear Colleagues and  Synod Delegates,

There is an important meeting of church leaders both clergy and lay, especially synod delegates, scheduled for the morning of  Saturday Nov. 3 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at St. Stephen’s, West Vancouver. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the “White Paper on Diocesan Reorganization and Restructuring.”  The White Paper was created in order to stimulate discussion around the possible re-ordering and streamlining of our diocesan structures to free up people and energy for more effective ministry.

A working group, in response to Plan 2018, has made the following recommendations for our discussion:
  • Meeting as Diocesan Synod once every two years with a diocesan conference on leadership in mission and ministry in alternate years.
  • Reducing the size of Diocesan Council and reducing the frequency of Council meetings
  • Rationalizing and reducing the number of diocesan Standing Committees.
  • Enabling quicker and more effective decision-making on matters of property and finance by utilizing technology and empowering a small executive group to make recommendations for review and approval by Diocesan Council.
  • Providing diocesan services for parish audits and financial review to assist, in particular, smaller congregations in their work of administration.
  • Reviewing and revising our governing provisions in our Canons, Constitution and Regulations.
I would suggest that this might be an opportunity to broaden the discussion around priorities for future mission to build and grow our diocese.  It would be wonderful to have from each parish as many Synod delegates and lay leaders as possible in this conversation.  At the very least it will be an excellent learning opportunity about the structure and function of our diocese.  Please let me know if you can go and please form a car pool if possible.

I apologize for the late notice on this forum;  the invitation to you was delayed because I have been on sick leave recovering from a car accident.

To help you prepare, see the paper that has been written outlining these suggestions and the rationale behind them.  Please do your best to read and reflect on it before we go.  RSVP to me by returning this email.

I do hope you can attend.   Feel free to invite any other lay people from your congregation who might be interested in such restructuring.

We will have coffee on at 9:30 and we begin at 10:00 Saturday Nov. 3.  St. Stephens  885 22 St. West Vancouver.

Yours in Christ,

The Venerable Lynne McNaughton
Archdeacon, Capilano

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Upcoming Youth Events in North Vancouver

Joseph Auditions--Oct 19-21
The diocesan Arts Ministry will be having friendly low-pressure auditions for Children, Youth and Adults interested in participating in next year's production of Joseph and the Amazing Techincolor Dreamcoat! Auditions at St. Mary's Kerrisdale, Oct 19-21, contact David Taylor

If there is a small group of North Shore young people taking part in this production we can coordinate transportation

Living Our Commitment: What Does Reconciliation Look Like?--Nov 24
Anglican Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald will be in our diocese for a teaching day November 24. Registration for youth delegates (15-30) is free and there will be a youth/YA lead discussion group on reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Anglicans and what our future looks like together.

The event is hosted by St. David of Wales parish and you can e-mail Bettina Greuver with your name, and parish to register--be sure to say that you are a Youth.

Young Youth Event on Creation--Dec 1
This is an event for young people ages 11-14 focused on the environment
If there is enough interest and support we will have a Sleep Over in addition to the Saturday visit to a wildlife centre
Please let Laurel know if this is of interest to the youth you work with (or in your family) and if you are able to volunteer (volunteers require a criminal record check)
Laurel Dykstra 604 985-0666

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Ministry Plan Workshop

The regional council met on Saturday, Sept. 29th for a workshop from 9:30 to 1 to discuss and review the Ministry Plan.  The goal of the workshop was to review how far we've come, and assess next steps to be taken over the coming year.

The workshop was facilitated by Tasha Carrothers, the Deanery Ministry Plan (MAP) Associate from the Synod Office.  The members welcomed Patrick Blaney, newly appointed priest of the worshipping community at St. John’s.  The workshop opened with song, a bible reading, and a prayerful hymn, led by Rev. Sarah Tweedale.

We then reviewed the progress we've made on the five main focuses of regional council: Neighbourhood engagement, Ministry Centres, Shared Ministry Team, Congregational and Deanery Development, and Stewardship of Resources.  After hearing reports on Council's progress, members expressed their views on the pace of imnplementation of the plan.

Generally, the consensus was we're doing fairly well on the shared ministry team, but progress has been slow in the areas of neighbourhood engagement and congregational and deanery development.  The model in place for guiding us for Ministry Centres and Stewardship of Resources were flagged as needing review.  The results of this survey led to a discussion on priorities which encapsulated most of the meeting time.

As those who have followed the process might expect, the biggest point of emotion and contention was the buildings.  There felt like some consensus around the room that we currently have too many buildings for the number of parishioners we currently have.  And from there, as one might expect, differing opinions were offered.

There was feeling among some in the room that since all five parishes are running at a deficit and facing declining enrolment  that it behooves us to act with urgency to get on with making the tough decisions to reduce physical plants to free up monetary and people resources to get on with making the tough decisions.  Others in the room felt that as a region, the individual parishes are still getting to know each other, and rushing to sell buildings and consolidate parishes will distress parishioners and drive them away, compounding and repeating the problem.

The ongoing issues of financial sustainability of the individual communities, the excess of church buildings in the Deanery when compared with current church attendance, and the need to establish tangible action plans of neighbourhood engagement were discussed at length. Priorities were explored and an appropriate sense of urgency established. It is fully recognised that positive change does not occur easily. Setting up appropriate action plans and guiding the decision making process in these areas is undoubtedly a challenge for the Regional Council.

A Formula for Change

Tasha, our most adept facilitator, referenced the following formula, which encapsulated the hesitancy for this kind of change:

C = D x V x F > R

Change can happen when Dissatisfaction with the status quo, a Vision for the future, and First steps taken is greater than the Reluctance to change.

Around the room, some were clearly ready for change, while others were perhaps not dissatisfied with the status quo, or unclear on what the vision for the future is or whether it will work for them, or feel great reluctance to change because their buildings mean so much to them.

Next Steps

For the near future (1-2 years), the regional council has decided to focus more of its energy on building our ministries, and really engaging with our neighbourhoods under the guidance of the Rev. Patrick Blaney.  [In line with all members of the Deanery Ministry Team, Patrick has a clearly identified responsibility in the deanery as well as his role as priest at St. John’s; his deanery responsibility (40% of his time) is in the area of neighbourhood engagement]. In addition, we will work on further engaging the youth and families under the leadership of Laurel Dykstra, the newly appointed curate, and Stewardship of our resources, while still being mindful of the critical question of the future of the church buildings in the deanery.  It is anticipated that the evolving action plan for Ministry that the shape our ministry takes will shape the requirements of our buildings.

The members of Council are mindful that the Holy Spirit will guide us through this period of change.  The expressed special thanks to the people of St. John's for being such wonderful hosts, and to Tasha Carrothers for her fantastic job facilitating.  She kept the meeting well on track, managed the conversation, and got everyone engaged.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Thinking about Confirmation?

If you have ever wondered about being confirmed in the Anglican Church or just wondered what it is all about, we would like to invite you to lunch. The Deanery of North Vancouver is hosting an informational lunch meeting for those who have ever considered being confirmed and those who have questions about confirmation. There will be speakers, a time for questions and answers, and we would like to treat you to lunch!

The date is Sunday, October 14 from 12:00 noon to 1:30pm. It will take place at St Agnes Anglican Church, 530 East 12th Street in North Vancouver.

You do need to preregister so we can know how many to expect, so please contact Patrick Blaney at (604) 986-1151 or email him at If you leave a message, please let us know of any dietary requirements for lunch.

We believe this will be a fun and informative event that will introduce you to the sacrament of confirmation. Please do come and join us!

The Rev. Patrick Blaney, St John, North Vancouver
The Rev. Laurel Dykstra, St Catharine’s, North Vancouver

Friday, 27 July 2012

North Vancouver Eco/Social Justice Report

A new era has developed with the establishment of the North Vancouver Regional Council (all 5 Anglican Churches and Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran) – and a group with representatives from all these units has coalesced under the heading – Eco/Social Justice, and our first project has been to focus on the issue of Pipelines and Tankers.

Working together, the group put on a Public Discussion session on 11 July on Pipelines and Tankers and their impact on BC’s pristine wilderness and coast.  The speakers were Ben West, Communications Coordinator & Healthy Communities Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee (formerly known as the Western Wilderness Committee), Rafe Mair, former politician, talk show host and activist, and Reuben George, from the Tsleil Waututh First Nation.  The Rev. Laurel Dykstra, the Deanery’s new part-time curate, did an outstanding job facilitating what turned out to be a fairly contentious meeting. North Vancouver session was designed to build on the BC Bishops’ statement about the need for fairness in the review process for the Northern Gateway project, and on the motion passed by the May 2012 Synod of our Diocese opposing the Northern Gateway project.

Over 80 people attended this Public Discussion on a hot and lovely July evening.  Presentations focused on the significant risks and problems with the projects, and they were followed by spirited question and answer sessions with views on both sides being expressed.

As the session wrapped up, discussions focused on what individuals can do, and what kind of follow up sessions are being planned including:

  • Showing of the film “On the Line” by Frank Wolf – his 2010 journey by bike, on foot, raft and kayak from the Alberta Tar Sands along the route of the proposed pipeline to the tanker terminal at Kitimat.
  • A session with Economist Robyn Allan who has written commentary about the failure of the governments to act in the best interests of the province and the country.
  • Planning is starting for these sessions and information will be circulated.  Stay tuned.

Ben West with Audience

Ben West

Reuben George and Ben West

Laurel Dykstra, Event Facilitator and Regional Curate

Ben West and His Presentation

Rafe Mair

Reuben George - Tsleil0Waututh Nation

MP John Weston - West Vancouver Sea-to-sky

Eco/Social Justice group

Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles, Laurel Dykstra, Darlene Clarke, Chris Trendell, Penny Connell, Christine Rowe, Joanne Graham, Lynne McNaughton, Elizabeth Mathers, Gail Berger, Phil Sunderland, Marion Edwards, Alison Watt, Lynne Graham, Beth Graham, Jim Berger, Liz Young
With fabulous support before, during and after the event from:
Stephen Muir, Sean Faivre-Duboz, Tom Rowe, Peggy Trendell-Jensen among others.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Does the Anglican Church have a future in Canada?

Canadian sociologist Reginald Bibby has a new free e-book publication available here:

It's an interesting look at historical trends of church membership in Canada. He seems to be rather pessimistic about the future of the Anglican Church , but is more optimistic when it comes to conservative evangelical churches. Food for thought even if you don't agree with his conclusions.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Regional Council BBQ

Last night, the regional council met for a BBQ at St. Martin's hall.  This was the last event for the regional council for the summer, and we will re-convene in the fall.  A great time, and lots of delicious food and meat, was had by all.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Laurel Dykstra, Regional Curate

St. Agnes postulant, Laurel Dykstra, was ordained a transitional deacon last Sunday. On July 1 she begins her new ministry at St Catherine's. She is with one of her presenters, Don Carrothers, and wearing a stole given to her by the parish and made by our own Kathy Campbell. We have been blessed to have Laurel with us over several years as our postulant, and are looking forward to working with her as she assumes some deanery responsibilities for youth ministry.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Pipelines and Oil Tankers Discussion

Public discussion forum featuring Rafe Mair and Ben West on July 11, 2012 from 7-9 at St. Agnes.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Lizz Lindsay Honoured

St. Agnes deacon and former North Vancouver Regional Council representative Lizz Lindsay has been honoured as an outstanding alumnus at VCC.  Congratulations Lizz!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Regional Service 2012

On June 10, 2012, the North Vancouver Deanery had a joint service for all five parishes, held at St. John's.

St John's before the service

A full congregation!

Coffee Hour Volunteers
The sermon was by Rev. Douglas Fenton, Director for Mission and Ministry, Diocese of New Westminster.  It is certainly worth a read if you missed the service,  as the message ties in the reading from Samuel towards the future of the North Vancouver Deanery.

2nd Sunday after Pentecost 10 June 2012 St John the Evangelist, North Vancouver
Deanery of North Vancouver
I think it was more luck than good management that caused me to escape another Trinity Sunday with the folks here at St John’s. A year ago they had to listen to me on the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity. For some good reason I didn’t pull that straw this year.
“Those to have ears to hear let them hear, the still small voice of God.”
It was an historic occasion that brought four days of holidays to the UK last weekend. There were hours of colour commentary for Canadians, and other members of the Commonwealth, as we watched the pomp and pageantry like only the British still undertake, with the celebration of sixty years of Elizabeth II’s reign as Queen of Canada and her other realms and territories.
Sixty years, no matter how old you are, is a very long time and with no retirement in sight. She is the only monarch most of us have ever known. (And doubt that any of my clerical colleagues were old enough to have been required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen prior to their ordination as I was—part of our historic heritage.) Yet, as many commentators observed, it was a noticeable change and poignant moment when Prince Philip was absent from the Queen’s side as she entered St Paul’s Cathedral for the Service of Thanksgiving. It was a reminder that while we may sing ‘long to reign over us’ the time will come when we will be forced into a transition to a king whose name is Charles and then William. It won’t matter that you’re not a monarchist. It will be a momentous change from what we have known--for a lifetime for many--what has been familiar, comfortable, obvious--to something uncommon, uncertain, and maybe even unrecognizable.
Change always has uncommon, uncertain and unrecognizable characteristics built into it. Isn’t that the point? Change is bringing about something new, something different. And no, it’s not always better. We can, however, make some decisions about what impact that change will have on us and the world we inhabit.
This Sunday we have the second of the fourteen Sundays that we will read from Samuel. Last Sunday we met Samuel as a young boy who was discovering what God had in mind for him.
[1 Samuel 3:1-10] In the space of one night’s fitful sleep he discovers that he can hear the voice of God. He also learns that because of this divine encounter, God has a message for him to prophesy. It’s a message for his mentor, teacher and friend, Eli whose sons, remember have been unfaithful to God. The reading last week concluded with Samuel hearing God calling him for the third time: “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
It’s a bold claim, I think: “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Listening to God is a bold thing in its own right. Telling God that you are listening is, in my mind, even bolder.
We know that God is in love with us. And we say we’re in love with God. Well, how many of you have ever said to those who love you and those you profess to love: your parent or your wife or husband or partner or child: ‘Yes, yes, I’m listening! Yes, I heard you!” Anyone else but me?
We’re not always listening when we claim to be—so, perhaps sometimes it’s a bold claim to say to God: ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’ unless we really intend to be doing so. And what are we listening for? The word that God will give us or the word we want to hear?
I am quite sure that Samuel, even as a naïve young man, was not hoping he would get the message that he did and would have to give, that he would have to prophesy to Eli, his beloved teacher. But he was listening.

Today we encounter a far different Samuel. [1 Samuel 8:4-11, 16-20] Times have changed.
Samuel is now an old man and the last of the judges of Israel. His sons may not be blasphemous and unfaithful to God as Eli’s sons but they are not as attentive to God as Samuel is. And so the elders of Israel come to Samuel. They want a change. They want a king. No more judges. They want a king like everybody else. So, Samuel, having learned from childhood what to do next goes to have a conversation with God. He prays. And what does God say to Samuel? “Listen….Listen to the voice of your people…”. So the tables have turned. Something has changed. Rather than Samuel being told by Eli to listen to God, God now tells Samuel to listen to his people. Samuel is the intermediary, the translator of change between God and God’s people. And God tells Samuel to be very clear with the people as to what they will get. “Listen to their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them…”. They may well want something new, something different, and they will get it—a change is about to occur. It’s a pivotal moment in the story of the people of God—a transition from the former leadership model of a judge who was a guide and interpreter of God’s plan for his people to a monarch. Samuel himself is about to transition from prophet and priest to a bridge figure for what God is about to do – anoint a king, the first king: Saul.

There is in the text a struggle between two traditions where one recounts the former ways and the nostalgic peaceful co-existence with God and the new way where asking for a king suggests disloyalty to God and a rebelliousness. It seems to me that the author or authors of the text were themselves struggling to interpret the changing times. What would the new way be like? What will we have to sacrifice? What new thing will emerge?
Just as Eli told Samuel to answer, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’ God continues to remind Samuel to ‘listen’.

In our own time God is still asking us to listen—listen to the communities where we live, work, go to school, and play; listen to the culture, the economy, the demographics; listen to finances, physical resources; listen to our heart—judge our own response, our own deep desires. What is it that we’re hearing? What is that we’re afraid to hear?

I think you know something of this in the North Vancouver Deanery. You have spent time listening to the community in which you live, where you worship, and encounter God in your midst. There has also been a courageous move to the very edge, the verge of doing a new thing.
But it would seem at this moment there has been retreat—some further back than others. After three years of praying, studying and listening the hardest decision has yet to be made: we’re over-built and with buildings that need more than a makeover. Now what do we do?

In preparation for the diocesan-wide collaborative evaluation the Diocesan Family chose two words: vitality and sustainability to determine the health and vigor of a Parish Church’s engagement with God’s mission and the ministry to carry it forward. Vitality speaks of the clarity with which the community’s understanding and intersection with God’s mission is lived out in ministry both within the church community and in the parish—the surrounding neighbourhood.

Sustainability reflects the physical and financial resources to accomplish the ministry and the capacity to be fully present in mission. The word strategic was added to indicate if and where a particular location would add significance to the conversation. For some it seems to have been understood as the ‘escape clause’. If the Parish Church can be described as strategic the proverbial ‘they’ will leave ‘us’ alone.’ Strategic comes with some expectations. What is the ‘can’t do without it’ mission of the location in relation to those other nearby ministry centres to allow strategic to be the designation? Unless there’s a shared understanding of the whole – a catholic appreciation, in its truest sense - that a certain church should be named strategic the definition can’t be sustained.

In this Deanery some of the most exciting and the most challenging conversations have occurred.
There is the beginning of a clerical colleague group within what is described as the ministry team—and I use the word beginning with intent. The evidence I see is that there is considerable respect and care for one another and it’s a beginning. It’s not that it doesn’t occur in other deaneries but very often there’s a great indifference.

The conversation around gifts present and gifts needed has caused some creativity to emerge around staffing. With two new members about to join the clerical team this will certainly change the dynamic—and another change—another re-beginning.

Jump-starting community engagement with staff deployed particularly to do so, coordination of the team’s work, integration of laity and clergy in a ministry team; these are all components of building a healthy response to participating in God’s mission in the region.

But there is one hard nut to crack and it was not yet been spoken—what is going to happen with all the buildings? True, when the process was first begun there were seven churches and now there are five. However, one does not have to be a social geographer or urban planner to know that what we have presently is not what we need and I think cooler heads would be willing to say we need two, maybe three, churches to serve the population and mission we’re about. Now, I’ve been in the Anglican Church long enough to know that it’s not just the Presbyterians or Baptists or Lutherans who have a market on stubborn and single-mindedness — we’ve been practicing a long time and we’re pretty darn good at it, too. Forgive me, but the stubbornness seems to be centered around an unwillingness to take shared responsibility for the decision that will be made in the best interests of God’s mission in this Deanery. To be set against one another won’t work. To say ‘we’re alright Jack; don’t worry about us’ betrays a willingness for collaboration and collegiality.

In the gospel today there is a debate between the scholars and lawyers and Jesus own family as to whether or not he’s suffering from a mental illness. [Mark 3:20-35] Jesus was forgiving people, healing them, restoring them to the fullness of life. That was contentious. Only God gets to do that, and if not God then Satan. Jesus counters his accusers, his tempters by reminding them that it would be impossible for Satan to cast out Satan. And he goes on to use a metaphor:
If a kingdom is divided against itself that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
While Jesus used this example to describe why evil could not combat evil without destroying itself, and therefore why his ministry was from God, it also stands to reason that if our church is to be strong in this region of the Diocese, it cannot be set against itself either, or the strength will be depleted.
Times are changing. We cannot stop the change. We can be a part of the change and adapt accordingly. We have clear evidence of what is happening in our churches. Declining attendance and reduced financial capacity due to many and complex reasons. All the more reason for us to be collegial in our ministry and collaborative in our facilities as well as our response to God’s mission. The longer we defer a decision the less opportunity we will have to make a decision at all — it will be made for us—and not by ‘them’ but by the rapidly changing society around us.

Change. Samuel, urged by God, listened to the people. Samuel thought that the people were abandoning God by asking for a king. But the people pressed on and Samuel realized that king or no king God was still in charge. So Samuel finally says to the people “Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.” [1 Samuel 11:14-15] As we know Samuel would be around for not only Saul’s ascendancy to the throne, but David’s also. And through this change, through the renewal of the monarchy of Israel, Israel would become a nation. Rabbi Edwin Freidman, a well-known proponent of family systems theory, taught that a good leader was one who was self-differentiated, non-anxious and able to take stands at the risk of displeasing others—not for the sake of stirring up trouble but because the outcome would be a better one for all. Samuel certainly exercised that kind of leadership with God’s guidance. The foremost example is Jesus – the most effective and self-differentiated leader who in today’s gospel lesson, despite the scholars, his mother, and his family, Jesus is able to maintain his focus on doing God’s will by healing and forgiving and by bring God’s mission to the fore.

Change. It is ours to manage or we will be managed by it. And God has promised the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to guide us into all truth. We must be collaborators with God in mission so that the focus can be on healing and forgiveness, bringing our communities to new life, to the fullness of life and not simply sustaining them through to the last whimper and gasp.

My friends, we are being offered an opportunity in this time to do something very meaningful and very powerful that will upset the homeostatic malaise and allow us to be, through the Holy Spirit, leaders and, as cliché as it sounds--agents of change. As St Paul has told the Corinthians, ‘we do not lose heart’ for by grace there is so much more to the fullness of life. [2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1]

In the collect for the day we acknowledge God’s assurance to us of life abundant for all eternity and we prayed: “Deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in [Jesus Christ]” [Book of Alternative Services, p 360]. We betray ourselves if we fail to acknowledge that the new life we seek is compromised by our own unwillingness to live into it, and therefore, causing it to die.

So, be courageous. Don’t give over to hand wringing. There’s life to live and there is ministry to do. God’s mission does not wait. Together, make a decision for the good of the whole. There’s a world around you waiting--waiting to be brought to a fuller knowledge of the life abundant in Jesus the Christ.
Those to have ears to hear, let them hear, the still small voice of God.

Preached at St John the Evangelist, North Vancouver on the occasion of the annual service of Eucharist of the Deanery of the North Vancouver. 10 June 2012.
If you have have any comments on the sermon or the service, feel free to leave them on this blog.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Synod 2012 "Ted-Style" Talks

At the Diocese of New Westminster Synod on May 11, 2012, the delegates were treated to four TALKS about varying topics on running a church.  Below are links to those talks:

Kerry Allman's TALK about Church Communications

Bishop Greg Rickel's TALK about Money

Andrew Stephens-Rennie TALK about Youth Ministry

Reverend's David Taylor's and Andrew Halladay's TALK about Godspell

Reverend Michael McGee's TALK about Refugees Part 1

Reverend Michael McGee's TALK about Refugees Part 1

Bishop Michael Ingham's May 12th Synod Sermon

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Raisin' the Roof

St. Martin's will be holding a dance and fundraiser on June 2nd.  It should be a great time!  Contact Bev for details at 604-802-5410.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Future events for the Deanery

There's a variety of events coming up around the deanery in the next few months:

Anglicanism 101 Offered twice this Spring.

What I always wanted to know about the

Structure, worship, ethos, ….your own questions….

1.  Tuesday mornings:    10:00am to noon May 29 and June 5    St Catherine’s, Edgemont Village
2.  Wednesday evenings:  7:30 -9:30  May 30 and June 6 St Clement’s, Lynn Valley
             Both sections facilitated by Lynne McNaughton

“Drawing a New Path to God”

A DEANERY CONTEMPLATIVE DAY:  Saturday, June 2nd from
9.30am-2.30pm at St. Martin’s.   "Drawing a New Path to God" - learning a new visual way to
pray.  $15 registration fee (includes lunch and art supplies).  No prayer or art skills required.
Limit 10 per session, facilitated by Olivia Creighton and Heather Luccock.  To pre-register
contact Olivia at or phone 604- 987-0219.

Book Study: Love Wins

3 Thursday evenings: May 24, May 31 and June 7 7:30 to 9­:00 p.m.
St. Agnes, in the Bartholomew Room

Diocesan School for Leadership

A reminder: the registration deadline is April 30. Call Marnie, Doug, or Tasha at 604-684-­6306.

Deanery Joint Worship: Sunday, June 10 at 10:30 at St. John’s

Deanery Pew Exchange: Sunday, Sept. 30th

Deanery Retreat at Rivendell: Sunday evening through Tuesday noon, November 25 to 27.

Diocesan School for Leadership

A reminder: the registration deadline is April 30. Call Marnie, Doug, or Tasha at 604-684-­6306.

Friday, 13 April 2012

2012 Regional Council

Here's a picture of the 2012 regional council who attended last night's meeting.  Also, the March meeting minutes have been posted on the Important Documents page.

Members of North Vancouver Regional Council April 12, 2012

Front Row (L to R): Judy Brear (St. Agnes), Christine Rowe (St. Catherine), Carine Frisch (St. Clare), Dora Harvey (St Catherine), Darlene Clarke (St. Martin), Kathy Campbell (St. Agnes)

Back Row (L to R):  Laurie Dye (St. Clare), Kim Staus (Gloria Dei), Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles (Chair), Alison Brookfield (St. John), Phil Sunderland (St. Catherine), Penny Connell (St. John), John Stowe (St. Clement), Dana Bowman (Diocesan Council Rep), Jim Berger (Gloria Dei), Stephen Muir (St. Agnes).

Not shown:  Lynda Faivre-Duboz, Lynne McNaughton, Mike Nelson, Delayne Sartison, Sarah Tweedale

Thursday, 12 April 2012

30 Hour Famine

St. Martin's is inviting any youth from other parishes in the deanery to help raise money for World Vision through the 30 Hour Famine.  For those who haven't heard of the 30 Hour Famine before, it's the world's biggest youth fundraiser.  The money raised goes to education, safety, nutrition, and water projects all around the world.

The St. Martin's famine will take place on Friday-Saturday May 25-26.  Prior to that, participants will be gathering pledges from family, friends, and fellow parishioners.  On May 25th, participants will stop eating at 1 PM on Friday, and will proceed to St. Martin's at 7:30 PM.  At 7 PM the next day, we will all break our fast with a pizza feast (it usually ends up being the best tasting pizza you'll eat all year).  In between, we'll be playing games, watching TV, hanging out, and generally having a great time.  If you're lucky, you might even get some sleep.

If your parish youth group or any individuals are interested, contact Mike Nelson at as soon as possible so you can start fundraising.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Dancing Through the Centuries

There will be a classical music concert, "Dancing Through the Centuries" at St. John's Anglican church in North Van on April 29th, 2012.  Tickets are available at the door.


J.S.Bach        Suite no.2 in B Minor    arr. by Max Reger

    II. Rondeau
    IV.Bourree I and Bourree II
    VI. Menuet
    VII. Badinerie
J.S.Bach         Zer fliesse mein herze   from St. John Passion
Schubert         Fantasia in F Minor op.103
    Allegro molto moderato
    Allegro vivace
H.Villa-Lobos  Bachianas Brasileiras no.5 -  Aria Cantilena
    Piazzolla          Histoire du Tango
    Bordel - 1900
    Café 1930
    Nightclub 1960
    Concert d'aujourd'hui
A.L.Webber     All I Ask of You    from The Phantom of the Opera
I.Albeniz           Tango  arr. by F. Kreisler
C. Gardel          Tango por Una Cabeza     from Scent of a Woman    arr. by John Williams

Details are in the poster below:

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Pastoral Care Workshop

On Saturday March 24th, the Deanery held a Pastoral Care Workshop for interested members of pastoral care teams of the North Vancouver Anglican worshipping communities. 22 people attended from across the Deanery. This was an opportunity to get to know one another and to hear from our speaker - Denise Caldwell, B.A., a well known counselor, who provided very useful insight into the roles played by pastoral care team members, through active listening, empathy and understanding. Denise’s session was followed by some time in small groups learning about our experiences and joys in pastoral care.

The Deanery Ministry Team is planning other development opportunities to help support parishioners involved in this vital pastoral care ministry in our own communities.

Elizabeth Mathers

Friday, 9 March 2012

2012 Regional Council Convenes

Last night, the new North Vancouver Regional Council met for the first time at St. Catherine's.  As people may or may not know, lay members are elected for two year terms at their annual vestry meetings.  Last night the council welcomed four new members.

The evening started off with a pot luck supper, and despite no sign up and minimal advance planning, we ended up with a surprisingly well balanced meal.

The meeting began with the usual introductions, and we re-elected Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles to chair the meetings once again for the coming year.  He explained how the council operates, and we got to the business at hand.

Some highlights of the business part of the meeting include:

  • St. Claire's the building is up for sale, but St. Claire's the worshipping community lives on
  • We have decided to post the regional council meeting minutes on this blog once they've been approved.  This will improve transparency and communication to the region
  • The property task group is making excellent progress in assessing all the state of all church-owned buildings in the region.  The diocese has been extremely helpful with this process

Friday, 10 February 2012

Introduction to Regional Council

As an introduction to what the North Vancouver Regional Council is all about, here is the report submitted to the member parishes' annual vestry meeting.

The North Vancouver Regional Council meets on a monthly basis. Since its inception in March 2011 it has met nine times.

Following meetings of parish Vestries last February, the MAP Implementation Team (MAPIT) became the North Vancouver Regional Council, comprising the incumbents/priests-in-charge and two elected members of each of the six North Vancouver Anglican communities, and also including the Pastor and one lay member from Gloria Dei Lutheran church as well as one Treasurer from the deanery (there is provision for 2 treasurers, but only one has been selected and attending regularly). In addition, the North Vancouver representative on Diocesan Council is a member of Regional Council. The role of Regional Council is to implement the July 10, 2010 Deanery Ministry Plan which involves a coordinated approach to  mission and ministry activities throughout the Region of North Vancouver.

Of the members of MAPIT, nine returned as parish reps, meaning there were thirteen members new to the Council.

The year was marked by a significant increase in the number of joint or shared events, including shared services at special times such as Ash Wednesday, Easter and Christmas; and a regional Lenten study series based on Karen Armstrong’s book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

In the course of the year the Region and the Council said goodbye to the following clergy:
Rev. Keith Gilbert (St. Agnes) to retirement (March 2011); who was succeeded by Rev. Shirley Stockdill as interim priest-in-charge (March-April), Rev. Jeremy Clark-King (St. Martin) to his new position as interim priest-in-charge at St. Christopher, West Vancouver (August, 2011), and Rev. Gary Hamblin (St. John the Evangelist) to retirement (December 2011).  

The Rev. Stephen Muir was appointed Incumbent of St. Agnes on May 1, 2011, and Rev. Sarah Tweedale was appointed as interim priest-in-charge at St. Martin.
Currently at St. John’s, the Rev. Nick Parker is supplying Sunday worship.  For now, the Regional Ministry team will be on call for emergency pastoral care.  

Searches for incumbents for St. John and St. Martin have begun and are now in various stages of progress.

In October 2011, the Ven. Lynne McNaughton was appointed Archdeacon of Capilano. During 2011 she assumed ¼ time responsibility for ordained leadership at St. Clare-in-the-Cove in addition to her ¾ time position as interim priest-in-charge at St. Clement.  In January 2012, the Bishop appointed her as incumbent at St. Clement.  She also was affirmed as coordinator of the shared Regional Ministry Team.

In the past year Regional Council developed, approved and put forward to Diocesan Council, proposals to secure Diocesan funding support for:
  1. A 2/5-time regional responsibility in Community Development to complement the incumbency of a priest for St. John the Evangelist for a term of three years;
  2. A 1/4-time regional responsibility as Ministry Team Coordinator and coordinator of regional Adult Education and Spiritual Development;

In addition:
  1. A plan to pay off the outstanding loan owed to the diocese by St. John the Evangelist was developed by the parish, endorsed by Regional Council, and approved by Diocesan Council. This plan was successfully executed by the people of St. John’s in December, 2011.

Regional Council affirmed and recommended to the Diocese the sale of the following properties:
  1. The church building of St. Richard;
  2. The church building of St. Clare.

St. Richard’s building has since been sold, and the St. Clare building is now on the market.

The worshipping community of St. Richard was welcomed into the St. Catherine’s community. Last summer, their memorial garden was moved and the soil comingled with the memorial garden at St. Catherine’s. One of their chalices was given to St. Agnes where it is used weekly at the 8:00 am Eucharist. The Bishop conducted a formal service of secularization on November 7, 2011 prior to the sale of the building.

The worshipping community of St. Clare-in-the Cove has moved to rented space at Mount Seymour United Church and will continue to exist as a functioning worshipping community under the care of the regional Ministry Team, with Rev. Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles serving as liaison between St. Clare and the Ministry Team.

The Properties Working Group has secured the cooperation and support of the diocese in providing an updated survey of the North Vancouver church buildings with regard to their state of repair, long-term upkeep and development potential. The Regional Council continues to consider the longer-term question of what locations and buildings (and their use) will be optimal to serve the North Vancouver neighborhoods in future.

The Regional Ministry Team is currently made up of clergy who have direct responsibility for leading certain aspects of the ministry of the Region.  All have regional as well as local responsibilities.   The regional responsibilities are:
Ministry Team coordinator – Ven. Lynne McNaughton
Stewardship – Rev. Stephen Muir
Community Engagement – new incumbent at St. John the Evangelist
Pastoral Ministry – Rev. Christine Rowe (Regional Dean) and Rev. Elizabeth Mathers
Youth and Family Ministry – vacant
Coordinator of Christian Formation: Spirituality and Education – Ven. Lynne McNaughton
Regional curacy (1/2-time – application in development) - vacant
At present the Ministry Team is composed entirely of ordained members, but it is expected that as positions are filled the Team will include lay leaders.

Regional Council has operated through working groups including:
  • Ministry Team
  • Pastoral Care Team
  • Christian Formation
  • Spirituality Team
  • Properties Working Group
  • Job Descriptions Task Group
  • Stewardship mentors
  • Communications Working Group

Each of these groups has been working and reporting to Regional Council regularly and as needed.

Regional Council wishes to thank:
Tasha Carrothers (Ministry Assessment Process Associate at Synod Office) who has assisted by providing several team-building training sessions associated with our regular meetings; the Rev. Douglas Fenton (Director for Ministry and Mission Development) and Mr. Rob Dickson (Business Administrator), for their assistance with many elements of our process; and Bishop Michael Ingham for his continuing encouragement and support as we have pressed into new ways of being the church in North Vancouver.

Regional Council Members as of December 2011
St. Agnes: Kathy Campbell, Lizz Lindsay, Rev. Stephen Muir
St. Clare: Laurie Dye, Carine Frisch
St. Catherine: Bonnie Grundy, Vivian McGie (alt.) Rev. Christine Rowe, Alison Watt
St. Clement: Ven. Lynne McNaughton, Delayne Sartison, John Stowe
St. John: Penny Connell, Linda Harrison, Rev. Gary Hamblin
St. Martin: Darlene Clarke, Mike Nelson, Rev. Sarah Tweedale
Representing Treasurers: Lynda Faivre-Duboz
NV rep on Diocesan Council: Dana Bowman
Gloria Dei Lutheran reps: James Berger, Pastor Kim Staus
Chair: Rev. Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles

Respectfully submitted,