LOGO angelican
February 2012
Vol 4 Issue 6

Practicing Month to Month
A Newsletter of the Spiritual Enrichment Committee
Welcome to our Spiritual Practices E-Newsletter  

Dear friends,


 As we continue our series on the spiritual practice of prayer I am very grateful to Stuart McKay who has written a lovely reflection on how the practice of writing poetry is, for him, a spiritual practice.  As many of you know Stuart is a published poet and a member of our congregation.  Please read his short piece and join us for Conversations after the service this Sunday to hear more from Stuart. 

Dates and times for events at the church in February are in the side column. Please take special note of the February 12 annual meeting and of Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday February 21 and 22.




The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee


Stuart McKay on Writing as Prayer



 The only option I had was to stand there in front of that piece. Nothing else mattered. I was elated and, even all these years later, I can barely begin to explain why.


I image the patience and devotion the artist had when he set out to make his work of art. Choosing the right kind of heavy white paper, committing himself to the simple act of pressing uninked type-writer keys into the surface seemed, to me at least, like an act of faith. Did he imagine me bearing witness to his work, a work of such tender simplicity that it haunts me even now?


Such an experience is best met with prayerful silence, but since this is an effort to give shape to what is essentially shapeless, I offer these few thoughts. My goal as a poet is to create work in which people can find what they need. Ultimately, my work must be a place where people can stop, stay and wait.


Though it sounds strange, I create out of a desire for emptiness. The last thing I want is to crowd an already crowded world with more noise. Work that demands an awareness of only itself and not the holy mystery that calls it into existence is only a clanging cymbal.


Even the act of creation can become sacramental. In the fall of 2011, I spent two weeks writing in the Evamy Studio in the Leighton Artists' Colony at the Banff Centre for the Arts. My studio represents an ideal place for me to write because it allows for a kind of emptiness. All I had to do was write. I was alone for much of my residency; socializing was a choice, resting from writing was a choice. I could attend to the passionate mystery of creation itself. By empting myself of worldly concerns, I could come close to encounter a little of the pleasure of our creative God.


I have come to understand from these experiences that the created thing may not be as important as the reasons for its creation. Certainty of what a work of art will do lessens its potential power and value. It diminishes the artist too, especially if the artist loves God. Emptiness need not be thought of as a kind of poverty. Instead, standing in front of it, it might signal a way forward.



This month at St. Laurence



 Thursday, February 2nd - 9:30 am

Contemplative Prayer with Geri Urch


 Sunday, February 5th- 10 am

Eucharist followed by Conversations with Stuart Mckay


Sunday, February 12th - 10 am

service followed 11 am annual meeting. Following the annual meeting lunch will be served and there will be a presentation regarding the renovation. We anticipate being finished by 1 pm.


Thursday, February 16th - 9:30 am. Contemplative Prayer with Geri Urch


Sunday, February 19th- 10 am

Eucharist and Baptism.  No "Conversations" because of Family Day Weekend.


Tuesday, February 21st - Shrove  Tuesday.  Pancake supper from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. All welcome.


Wednesday, February 22nd- Ash Wednesday.  Services at 11:00 am and 7:30 pm.


Sunday, February 26- 10 am Eucharist Don McLeod to preach and preside


Monday, February 27 -7:30 pm

Contemplative Prayer with Don McLeod