LOGO angelican
December 2014  
Vol 19 Issue 26


Practicing Month to Month

Dear friends,


This coming Sunday we begin the sacred season of Advent. It is a season to slow down and be quiet as we wait with hope, peace, joy and love for the birth of Christ in our lives and in our world.  Please see the sidebar for all the various activities of the season and join in as many as you are able.


We continue to explore the theme of stewardship.  The first thing to say is a big thank-you to all who pledged for 2015.  We had set an ambitious  goal of a 20% increase in pledges and feel so blessed to have achieved a 16% increase.  A full report will be published in this week's announcements but on behalf of the wardens and parish council a big thank-you for your generosity.


This month's spiritual practice newsletter is below and is written by Carol Gardiner.  This month we shift our focus to food security, also very much an issue of stewardship - stewardship of our resources and of the earth. 




With every blessing for Advent


The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee

Carol Gardiner -  Stewardship as it relates to Food Security.


Over the coming months, the Social Justice committee will provide opportunities for us to learn about food security and explore the idea of food as a spiritual practice.  For most of us, in our very blessed existence, food is something we might grow but most assuredly we buy, prepare and savour.  Is it a spiritual practice?  Perhaps one that requires some thought on our part?  But wait... spiritual practice always requires thought and intention.  It may even demand that we move out of our comfort zone.

            A spiritual practice should draw us deeper into an understanding of, and a relationship with, God, ourselves and our fellow travellers on this earthly journey. 

Food is an intimate and integral part of our daily lives.  It is that which sustains us physically and mentally.  It allows us to be.  It also contributes to our emotional well-being.  We have a relationship with food that, in our privileged first-world existence, allows us to know where our next meal is coming from.  We can look forward to it.  We do not suffer because our children are hungry.  We do not struggle with malnutrition ourselves.  Sadly, we do know that there are families in Calgary and Canada who do struggle with those concerns. We, in our privileged situation, have no reason to be stingy, inward turning, or greedy.  We can instead open our hearts and hands to share generously.  It is often said, to those whom much is given, much is expected.  It should not be a hardship to be generous when we are so blessed. 

            Our Primate Fred has taken up the cause of food security as the major thrust for the Primate's Fund (PWRDF).  Beginning in November of 2013, and continuing on to 2015, Anglicans across Canada are invited to participate in a program called Fredsays.  There will be opportunities to learn more about this as we move through Advent.  You can get a sneak preview by going to www.fredsays.ca

              Through the Primate's Fund, Canadian Anglicans have had a long historical practice of offering food aid as our humanitarian response to global famine and starvation whatever the root cause might have been - war, natural disaster, etc.  It was the accepted social justice response for the times. Food provided to those who were in crisis.  Over the years, our understanding of the need for, and the efficacy of, food aid has changed and now our current belief focuses on food security and food sovereignty as the desired outcome for our charitable efforts.  Food security and sovereignty are basic rights of life.   It is now apparent to those who work in international development that our focus should shift from providing food aid, which is a short term solution, to that of encouraging and supporting food security and sovereignty.  Of course food aid has its place as an immediate response to disaster but we now want to focus our efforts on providing those in need with long term, viable, life-giving solutions.  We want to help those who are food insecure to develop the necessary skills and to have the resources to support themselves and the wider community so that they have healthy, culturally-appropriate food in sufficient quantity, produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods (food security and sovereignty).  It is an investment in the present with an eye to the future.  This approach is people-centered development.  We want to accompany these folks on a journey toward sustainable development in their own countries.  Food security and food sovereignty are certainly pillars of this approach.  We know that if we give a man a fish, he has food for one day.  However, if you give a man the needed support and equipment to fish for himself, he has food for today and tomorrow.  He can contribute to his family's well-being and that of his community.  He is nourished in body, soul and mind. 

            As we move through the church year, we will be invited to participate in several exciting initiatives that will raise our awareness of food security and sovereignty and provide us with the opportunity to significantly impact the needs of others - locally, nationally and internationally. 

            Back to our question - food as a spiritual practice?  Yes!  I must respect the food that I grow and buy.  Nourish and safeguard my small plot of the earth in a holistic way.  Buy food  responsibly to honour the planet, myself and my family.   Prepare food with gratitude and reverence.  Consume food in an intentional way that contributes to my physical and spiritual health.  Educate myself about food security/food sovereignty.  Financially support programs that contribute to the development of food

security/sovereignty for those in fragile locations across the globe.  Pray for the well-being of those with whom we partner and for their mentors. Ultimately, enter into a relationship with food that honours it and shows reverence for it as a God-given gift for all. 

            There will be opportunity for education in the days ahead.  Throughout Advent, we will highlight the Fredsays projects.  There will be two opportunities to engage with guest speakers when St. Laurence hosts Jerremie Clyde who has a passion for sustainable farming and Andre Visscher who works for the Canadian Food Grains Bank.  These gentlemen will be with us to help us learn more about food security/food sovereignty and how we can help contribute to achieving it - locally, nationally and internationally.  Prayerfully, quietly and reverently let us act in a collective way to make a difference this Advent. 

December at St. Laurence

Sunday, November 30

10:00 am Service for Advent 1 The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee preaching.  Jerremie Clyde to speak about food security during 'Conversations.'


7:00 pm Advent Poetry Circle.  All welcome to gather as we look at some Advent poems as curated by September Wisdom Centre Guest Kim Langley.


Thursday, December 4

9:30 am Contemplative Prayer Service with Geri Urch


Sunday, December 7

10:00 am Service The Rev. MJ Leewis-Kirk preaching

Advent Lunch with Craft & Bake Sale after the service.


Thursday, December 11

9:30 am Prayer Group with Stuart McKay


Saturday, December 13

1:30 pm Memorial Service for Ted Cooke


Sunday, December 14

10:00 am Service 

The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee preaching.

Conversations after the service with Andre Visscher from the Canadian Good Grains Bank

Wednesday, December 17

6:00 pm  The Longest Night - A service of Comfort and Light in the Midst of Darkness. The Rev. MJ Leewis-Kirk presiding.

A light dinner will be served following the service


Thursday, December 18

9:30 am Contemplative Prayer Service with Geri Urch


Saturday, December 20 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Dress rehearsal for all children and adults involved in Christmas Pageant.  Rehearsal to finish with pizza!


Sunday, December 21

10:00 am  Lessons & Carols Service with Children's Pageant.

This is also Food Bank Sunday


Wednesday, December 24

5:00 pm  Christmas Eve 

Family Service with Holy Eucharist

8:00 pm Christmas Eve

Holy Eucharist

Thursday, December 25
10:00 am Christmas Day

A quiet Contemplative Service with Geri Urch with reserved sacrament

Sunday, December 28

10:00 am Christmas 1

The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee preaching. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

10:00 am Epiphany and Baptism The Rev. MJ Leewis-Kirk preaching. 


The Church Office will be closed from December 22 until January 6, 2015 at 9:30 am