LOGO angelican
June 2013
Vol 5 Issue 10

Practicing Month to Month

Dear friends,


  As June begins I draw your attention to a few special celebrations at St. Laurence.  Sunday, June 9 we look forward to welcoming St. Martins and Good Shepherd congregations to our 10 am service to celebrate and highlight out shared OneBody youth program.  Thursday, June 13 at 7:30 pm please join us for the launch party of Juleta Severson  Baker's book of poetry and prayers, Every Word Spoken
Also, please note that at the end of June we are once again on the move.  Last year's summer arrangement with Good Shepherd was so warmly received by both parishes that we have decided to combine the congregations for summer worship again this year.  Sunday, June 30 and all of the Sundays in July we will not be having services at St. Laurence. I will be leading 10 am services at Good Shepherd Anglican Church (408 38 St. SW).  In August Good Shepherd will close and Kersi Bird will lead 10 am services at St. Laurence. 
Below is the spiritual practice newsletter for June.  As we finish looking at the practice of Justice I am so pleased that Anna Seltner has shared some of her reflections with us. Anna is currently a linguistics student at Queen's University. Please take a moment to read her very thoughtful and challenging reflections below.






Anna Seltner on Justice as Spiritual Practice




Justice in Faith


The word 'justice' is one of the most useful terms that any

would be politician, spiritual leader, or revolutionary has in their arsenal. It's an emotive word, one that does not have to be explained and is considered so central to society that its use is rarely questioned. Justice is something that everybody seems to want. In the name of justice those in search of power can raise an army, be it armed with guns and bombs or with righteous indignation and a computer keyboard. The use of justice can be used to garner positive results; in the name of justice we have striven to acknowledge and halt the prevalence of rape culture in our society. However justice has also been used for less noble ends. Our conception of justice has led us to celebrate the death of a 26 year old and cry out for the death of his 19 year old brother.


Our justice system is firmly rooted in the idea of punishment. We build bigger prisons, introduce longer jail times, and yet are confused when this 'justice' fails to lead to a better or safer society. We are always looking for the right person to punish and the right way to punish them, but does this system truly reflect justice? Does this idea of justice fit into the message of Christ's compassion?


Christ lived in a time where there were definite expectations about 'right behaviour' and 'wrong behaviour.' According to the justice system at the time, people who lived a certain way were scored, shunned, and left to be outcasts of society. Social shaming was one way in which people were punished. And yet who was Christ most often seen with? Was it the people who lived correctly? The people who were accepted into society? No. We are told again and again that Jesus ate with the outcasts, blessed the sinners, welcomed the criminals. He, who we view as the ultimate judge of mankind, the ultimate distributer of justice, did not engage in punishment. He did not shame sinners. Instead he welcomed them to his table, listened to their stories, and helped them through his stories. His sense of justice was not rooted in punishment, but in compassion.


And he went beyond simply talk and discussion. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, he shows how the justice system is unjust. If our system of laws and punishment were truly just, how could a man who was completely innocent face the fate we only deem just for the worst of crimes? In dying at the hands of justice, Christ showed the ultimate injustice of the system.


Ultimately, the question we must ask ourselves is whether we seek to have faith in justice, or justice in faith. Do we assume that a system of punishment will lead to a better society, or do we accept the lesson of Christ, and recognize that true justice is rooted in compassion, in hearing the troubles of those around us and seeking to make our world one that is centered around healing rather than punishment.

This seems a simple proposition, but the challenges in making it a reality are all too clear. There are people who knowingly commit terrible crimes, who knowingly harm others, and who cannot be simply allowed to remain in society. However a focus on prison as a place of captivity and punishment will not solve our problems. Cries for the death of a single man will not solve our problems. Developing harsher punishments for rapists without education and cultural change will not solve our problems. Greater awareness of mental health will help. Greater compassion for our neighbours, be they our next door neighbours, our neighbouring communities, or our neighbouring nations, will help. Greater education, more listening, more teaching, will help. We must have Justice in Faith, not faith in justice.






June at St. Laurence



Sunday, June 2 10 am Sunday Service. Archdeacon Barry Foster to preach and lead "Conversations" re: St. Laurence and our contribution to the Diocese.


Thursday, June 6 9:30 am Centering Prayer with Geri Urch


Friday, June 7. 6 pm.  St. Laurence Dines around the World.  Casual parish supper.  Indian Food. All welcome.  $25.  Please RSVP to church office if you'd like to join us.


Sunday, June 9 10 am Service. St. Martins and Good Shepherd  to join us at St. Laurence for OneBody service led by youth of all three parishes.  Light lunch to follow the service.


 Thursday, June 13, 7:30 pm Launch of Juleta Severson-Baker's new book of prayer and poetry, Every Word Spoken.


Sunday, June 16 10 am service using material from Every Word Spoken. Last day for Sunday School for the year
Thursday, June 20 9:30 am. Centering Prayer with Geri Urch.
Sunday, June 23 10 am. Last Service in St. Laurence building until August.   Please plan on staying after the service for a short presentation re: final financial numbers on our renovation. A debt reduction plan will also be presented.
Sunday, June 30  10 am combined service at Good  Shepherd (408 38 St. SW).  Vic Cabel to preside and Wayne Stewart to preach.