Diocese of Ottawa plans affordable housing development
A new project in the diocese of Ottawa is set to provide between 70 and 200 affordable housing units in the Nepean area of the diocese.
The parish of Julian of Norwich and the diocese of Ottawa have signed a memorandum of understanding with two equity partners, Cahdco—an Ottawa-area non-profit real estate developer—and Multifaith Housing Initiative. By the end of 2019, a master plan will be developed with an architectural team for a property development that will likely include up to five new buildings, outdoor community space, a community kitchen and multi-use spaces.
The Rev. Monique Stone, rector of Julian of Norwich, says the plan is part of a larger challenge to re-examine the ministry of the diocese and parish. “We are looking at new ways of being church,” she says. The new build will be a “collaborative community,” she says.
The diocese and parish have committed to creating sacred space and shared community space on the property, and L’Arche Ottawa—the local arm of the international organization that brings people with and without disabilities into shared living spaces—will continue to partner with the parish in the new space.
The diocese of Ottawa has committed to creating 125 units of affordable housing by 2021. The new project will not be completed by 2021, with timeline estimates ranging from three to five years.
In rural N.B., ‘long game’ mission helps once-struggling parish return from the brink
A rural New Brunswick parish is thriving after several years of reaching out to the community with a new playground, dances for children and more.
Seven years ago, when the parish’s current rector, the Rev. Chris Hayes, arrived, three of the four churches in the parish of Salisbury and Havelock were no longer being used. One of those three, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Petitcodiac, was up for sale. Hayes asked the vestry to consider re-opening St. Andrew’s; a year later, the parish had nearly doubled in size, he says. Now about 60 people regularly attend the parish’s two functioning churches, and its members are less worried about its survival, he says.
Hayes says the parish has had success reaching out to the community in various ways. After receiving funding from a number of local organizations as well as the Anglican Foundation of Canada, it built a playground in front of St. Andrew’s. The playground, he says, has become something of a local meeting place.
“It’s amazing the number of casual conversations at the playground,” Hayes says. “It’s doing what we hoped and it’s gathering traction.”
Meanwhile, after hearing from local parents that there wasn’t much for local children to do socially, the parish decided to host dances for elementary school students. These events have attracted up to 150 people, Hayes says—and the church has acquired a certain amount of expertise when it comes to putting them on.
“We learned not to sell Starburst candy,” he says. “It sticks to the floor.”
The parish’s other forms of outreach include visits to seniors’ care homes, vacation Bible school and a breakfast program for local elementary school children. St. Andrew’s alone now hosts preschool and playgroup for children, yoga, soap making classes, community craft sales and more.
This sort of mission, Hayes says, is “not preaching, it’s not giving out tracts. It’s a step in a relationship. We’re playing a long game here.”
—The New Brunswick Anglican
Vancouver cathedral dean retires
Peter Elliott, who has served as dean and rector of Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral for 25 years, was set to retire Sept. 30 as of press time.
Elliott, 65, began his role at Christ Church in August 1994. He had served as curate of Christ Church Cathedral in Hamilton from 1981 to 1985 before working for the head offices of the diocese of Toronto and then the Anglican Church of Canada.
A self-described “church nerd” as a teenager, Elliott served the national church in a number of capacities. He has attended eight General Synods, either as staff or delegate, including stints as deputy prolocutor and prolocutor, and was also a member of the Council of General Synod. He was chair of the Residential School Settlement Task Force, tasked with negotiating a settlement for compensating former Indian Residential School students. Elliott also served for a time on the worldwide Anglican Communion’s Anglican Consultative Council.
As dean of Christ Church, Elliott led a lengthy $25-million process of renovating the cathedral. Its attendance also grew during his tenure, from an average Sunday attendance of 395 in 1994 to 492 in 2018. According to one estimate, Elliott’s lengthy spell at Christ Church meant that some 85% of its current congregation has never known another dean at the cathedral.
Elliott has said he saw his role as to be a kind of artistic director for the cathedral in shaping its worship.
“The liturgy expresses the deepest realities of life in ways we miss most of the time,” he said. “For me, it’s like entering the eternal now, the timeless moment.”
Peterborough church invites homeless to camp on front lawn
An Anglican church in Peterborough, Ont., has invited homeless people living in tents to set up camp on the church’s front lawn after they were driven out of a city park.
Brad Smith, incumbent at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, welcomed people experiencing homelessness to set up their tents on church property last summer. His invitation followed an order by the city for homeless people to vacate the park across from the church, where many had begun sleeping in tents during spring.
The number of tents on the church lawn has fluctuated over the ensuing months. A sizable increase occurred at the end of June when Murray Street Baptist Church had to close its overnight shelter, the Warming Room.
Since then, the number of tents has gone as high as 18. As of Sept. 4, there were 11 tents on the church lawn, including eight that were occupied and three being used for storage.
While some parishioners have expressed dismay at the presence of the tents, Smith describes the campers as a peaceful and tight-knit community and says the church has been supportive. The incumbent has worked with police to address noise and trespassing concerns, and has created a Code of Conduct to which campers must adhere. Smith has also declared his intention to work with people camping on the church grounds to help them find jobs and housing.
Diocesan Indigenous ministry holds general assembly in Saskatchewan
Approximately 80 delegates from across the diocese of Saskatchewan met in Prince Albert on June 14 for the general assembly of the Mamawe Indigenous Ministries.
The general assembly is responsible for Indigenous ministry in the diocese along with the bishop. It is chaired by the diocesan bishop and Indigenous bishop and consists of all licensed Indigenous clergy and lay readers; four representatives from each congregation, including one elder and one youth; and up to 10 additional representatives appointed at the discretion of the diocesan bishop or diocesan Indigenous bishop.
The latest assembly took place at the Senator Allan Bird Gymnasium and included speakers, musical performances, and the election of a new diocesan Indigenous council.
Bishop Adam Halkett called the meeting to order and addressed the general assembly. Speakers included Archbishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, as well as National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Mark MacDonald, Bishop Sidney Black, Bishop Isaiah Larry Beardy, Bishop Chris Harper and Senator Sol Sanderson.
Beryl Whitecap delivered to the general assembly a report on the work of the Indigenous council. Theresa Halkett, Saskatchewan representative for the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP0), provided an update on the work of ACIP. Sam Halkett discussed the work of James Settee College, which trains the majority of Indigenous clergy in the diocese.
The following individuals were elected to serve on the next Indigenous council: Sam Halkett, Edna Mirasty, Barbara Sauve, Russell Ahenakew, Elaine Bear, Harvey Whitefish, Harry Halkett, Park Buck, Ernest Sauve, Rhonda Sanderson, Sheila Chaboyer and Richard Custer.
—The Saskatchewan Anglican