LOGO angelican
January 2015
Vol 19 Issue 27


Practicing Month to Month

Dear friends,


God's peace as we begin 2015.  This coming Sunday as we celebrate Epiphany we'll also be taking part in an ancient practice of blessing chalk to take home to write a blessing on our own doors.  I first learned of this practice from Samuel, the Rector of our partner church in Israel.  Join us Sunday for something that is at once old, borrowed and new!


The sidebar contains details of events at St. Laurence in January.  We are skipping forward in time and looking at a few 20th century mystics and, at the end of the month, sharing a chili lunch.  As always we need help with food, set-up and clean-up for the lunch so please look for sign up sheets for that in the next few weeks.

Below is an excellent article about stewardship written by one of our wardens, Elizabeth McLennan. She invites us all to think about how stewardship calls us to work for justice in our world.   



With every blessing for 2015


The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee

Elizabeth McLennan - The Two Great Commandments: Where Stewardship and Social Justice Intersect  


"He said to them, you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments, hang all the law and the prophets."     Mathew 22: 37 - 40 (NRSV)


As we've been exploring Stewardship as a Spiritual Practice these past months, I've realized that my definition of stewardship has grown and expanded throughout my life.

In my childhood years, I used to think that stewardship just meant looking after God's creation which I thought of as the earth, the flowers, the birds, the animals, the trees. God made them all and it was our job to maintain his wondrous work. Of course, there was that other bit about giving money to the church so that we would have a place to worship and to show our love for God. And I was aware that some of this money would be used to help the less fortunate who, I was sure, must all live in some other country.


By the time I was a teenager (in the late 50s and early 60s in Saint John, NB), I started to become aware of the injustice and inequities in the world around me. I could have black friends and classmates but I couldn't dance with them at school dances. I could have Roman Catholic friends but I wasn't allowed to date or, heaven forbid, marry one.

My mother worked full time, an unusual thing in those days, so we had a young woman named Doris who came in to look after my sisters, brother and me. I had to deliver her pay cheque to her home one day and found myself in the heart of the pre urban renewal slums. Doris lived in a drafty, rickety flat that was heated by a small wood stove. There didn't appear to be any real furniture. And there was a baby sleeping in a basket near the fire to keep it warm. Not too far away from where Doris lived, a few weeks earlier, another baby had been bitten by a rat while it slept in its crib.   Racism, religious intolerance and poverty had become a part of my world.  


Like many young people in the late 60s and early 70s, I became active in the women's movement, the fledgling environmental movement, anti-poverty initiatives and, as the civil rights movement in the US gained momentum, I started joyfully dancing with my black friends. And, while I didn't marry a Roman Catholic, my younger brother did and became one himself. Things can change.


It wasn't until my later years though that I realized that stewardship and social justice have the same roots: the two great commandments. And I've come to believe that you can't have one without the other. We can't be good stewards without tackling the issues that keep our neighbours hungry, downtrodden and without access to the necessities of life. There is much work still be done if we are to be good stewards.


If we need a role model for good stewardship, we need look no further than Jesus. His stewardship was active. He called out and stood up to those in power. He fed the poor. He healed the sick. He comforted those in distress. He loved all his neighbours no matter who they were or what they had done. Love and compassion were the foundation of his ministry.


St. James said that faith without works is dead. I believe that stewardship without social action is also dead.

In December we heard powerful sermons on social justice from both Anna and MJ. As we start a new year, perhaps we can look at those places where stewardship and social justice intersect in our lives.


In her December sermon, MJ said she was particularly drawn to our baptismal covenant and the question "Will you respect the dignity of every human being?" (Our answer to this question is, of course, "I will with God's help.")

She went on to say that "among other things, this means that those with power must learn to share it and even give it away.


Further, we are called to advocate in all ways possible for those we name as powerless. We must work together to dismantle structures and systems that favour one group over all others; systems that give automatic privileges to one class over any other; structures that keep any group of people from realizing their full freedom and potential as children of God. Jesus loves all of us equally and without reserve."

And to that, I say Amen.



January at St. Laurence

The Church office is closed until 9:30 am on Tuesday, January 6.  

Thursday, January 1 9:30 am  Centering Prayer with Geri Urch

Sunday, January 4

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

Thursday, January 8 9:30 am  Prayer Group with Stuart McKay

Sunday, January 11

10:00 am Eucharistic.  20th Century Mystics - Evelyn Underhill - Anna Greenwood-Lee preaching and leading Conversations.


Wednesday, January 14 7:00 pm. Bishop Greg Kerr-Wilson and others in the Diocese interested in how we can better care for Creation will be meeting in the Sunshine Room.  All welcome.


Thursday, January 15 9:30 am  Centering Prayer with Geri Urch


 Sunday, January 18

10:00 am Eucharistic.  20th Century Mystics - Thomas Merton- MJ Leewis-Kirk preaching and leading Conversations


Thursday, January 22 9:30 am  Prayer Group with Stuart McKay


Sunday, January 25th 10:00 am Eucharist. 20th Century Mystics - CS Lewis. Anna Greenwood-Lee preaching.  Chili lunch after the service.