Following a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on Feb. 6 to strike down as unconstitutional the ban on assisted dying, the Anglican Church of Canada’s task force on end-of-life issues will release this spring a new document outlining the church’s response and guidelines for how Anglicans should work within the new legal reality.
As Mary and Joseph say, “Yes, his name is Jesus,” Simeon takes the child in his arms and blesses God saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29–32).
The kitchen at our church has a pass-through window with a bird’s-eye view of one of the children’s ministry spaces. During Vacation Bible School last August, within earshot of this open space, I was chopping candy bars and other build-your-own sundae ingredients while listening to the morning’s carpet conversation.
The diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador is a place of contrasts. In its centre, St. John’s, wealthy property developers rub shoulders with fishermen and oil workers just back from Alberta’s Fort McMurray. In its farthest-flung regions, priests drive for hours to visit remote parishes in Labrador.
These contrasts are present, too, in the life of the church.
It is known colloquially as “the turnaround.”
Every few weeks, thousands of Newfoundlanders make the long commute to northern Alberta to work in the oil industry. They stay there for a “shift” of two to four weeks, and return to their families on their weeks off.
Early in January, the Canadian government pledged to welcome an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years.
The speakers who kicked off the 2015 Vital Church Planting Conference in
Toronto, which ran from Jan. 29 to 31, reminded those attending that
for new ministries or fresh expressions of church to thrive, they have
to grow naturally out of the existing community and they must be tended
with honesty and authenticity.
On the frosty morning of January 30, participants at the Vital Church Planting conference at St. Paul’s Bloor Street in Toronto took some time to explore the virtues of slowing down, accepting uncertainty and embracing weakness.
January 31 marks the 100th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s birth. In the same way that people remember where they were when John Kennedy was assassinated, I can recall with intense clarity the moment I discovered Merton.