Saturday, November 3, 2018

Congratulations to Our Former Rector

Congratulations to our former rector, Rev. Karen Urquhart, who becomes the 7th rector of St. Christopher's Anglican Church in West Vancouver.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Farewell, Kevin

In 2009, St. Catherine’s welcomed Kevin Wong as its new music director.  For nine years we have enjoyed his gift of music: his skill at the piano and organ and his talent as a choir director.  Today we said farewell to Kevin, who leaves for Calgary to take a position teaching at Mount Royal University and the University of Lethbridge.

With his parting words Kevin recalled his first Easter service at St. Catherine’s – being invited to join in our service and coming to feel closer to both God and the congregation.

Although we’ll miss you, Kevin, we are happy for your opportunity to share your music and broaden your experience.  Best of luck in Alberta.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Your Faith Through the Creeds

Image result for christian creeds

The introduction to “A Modern Liturgy for the Holy Eucharist as used at Saint Catherine’s Church, Port Coquitlam, BC at the Family Service” (circa 1979) [1] included the following reflection on the Nicene and Apostles Creeds:
We shall, however, say the ecumenical version of the Creed as produced by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. and ratified at Constantinople in 381 A.D.  
The Eastern Orthodox Churches have always faulted Western Christians for arbitrary changes in the wording of the Ecumenical Creed of the Undivided Church.
With due respect then for historical accuracy, this ‘new English version’ of the Nicene Creed lets us recite it in its original form.  Hence the verbal changes to “We believe” and the omission of the phrase “and the Son” (in Latin, filioque).
The so-called Apostles’ Creed uses the personal pronoun “I” because this statement of faith originated solely in the West as part of the examination of candidates for baptism.

Over the years St. Catherine’s has used “modern language” versions of both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed, although for some time we have rarely used the Nicene Creed.  More recently we have experimented with different affirmations of our faith.
Starting on September 9, 2018, interested persons will have an opportunity to explore various expressions of the Creed during four weekly discussion sessions.  Chris Longley, a graduate of Education for Ministry will lead the discussion group.

[1]In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Anglican Church was working to update or replace the Book of Common Prayer, as other denominations worked to renew their liturgies.  The International Consultation on English Texts produced modern language texts for the Gloria in Excelsis, Lord’s Prayer, Nicene Creed, Apostle’s Creed, etc.  This work culminated in 1985 with the production of the Book of Alternative Services, which we use today.  However, it was a slow and sometimes process that entailed 14 years of experimentation.  In 1979, Anglican Church leaders reached a compromise that would allow all congregations to use a clarified Tudor English form of the service, a contemporary English form, or both.  From 1982 to 1985 St. Catherine’s used a “Blue Booklet” and a “Yellow Booklet,” which contained a “Modern Liturgy” based on a proposed revision of the traditional Tudor English service. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday - the Sunday of the Passion

Traditionally, St. Catherine's marks Palm Sunday with a procession around the church holding palm crosses or fronds.  Later, members of the congregation participate in presenting the Gospel that describes the Passion of our Lord.

The Rev. Cannon Herbert O'Driscoll has this to say about the Palm Sunday procession:*

"Liturgical processions are not just occasional attempts to vary the sequence of our liturgy.  A procession is full of symbolism in action.  It may not be a very grand procession.  There may be a small choir, a few children, a server in the latest runners under an ill-fitting alb or cassock, all followed by a very ordinary and familiar priest.  Grandeur and appearance is not the point.  Meaning lies in the actual doing of the procession.  The very important fact being acted out is that Christian life is a JOURNEY.  We are travellers, 'companions on the journey,' as a modern hymn sings.  The way in which we are doing our travelling may change.  At times we may travel as wanderers, rather lost and vulnerable.  We may travel as pilgrims, sure of our destination.  We may travel as nomads, barely surviving as we go.  Sometimes we may be confident enough to travel as adventurers, even explorers.  All these models are true of our Christian travelling.  All are implicit in that ordinary shambling procession on its way up the aisle, across the front pew, back around the font, and finally into the chancel and home."

* Thanks to Rev. Fred Tassinari for this quote from Praying to the Lord of Life (pp. 82-23) by Rev. Canon Herbert O'Driscoll.  Thanks to Ann Blue for the photograph of the procession.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Mothering Sunday, May 11

The fourth Sunday in Lent is Mothering Sunday, a day when the Church emphasizes the Family o  It is a time for mothers, in particular.  The traditions at St. Catherine’s are to give a carnation to each mother or adult woman in the congregation at the end of the service and to serve Simnel Cake during the coffee hour.
f God and the Human Family.
The tradition of Mothering Sunday is many centuries old.  It dates back to the time when domestic servants in England were permitted to go home to worship at their home churches and visit their mothers.  According to G.D. Rosenthal, Bishop Wheatley, who wrote a commentary on the Book of Common Prayer in 1720, thought that the idea of Mothering Sunday originated from the Epistle for Mid-Lent Sunday, which refers to Jerusalem as the “Mother of us all.”
When returning home the servants brought gifts for their families.  Often the gift was a cake, from which arose the tradition of the Simnel Cake.  According to Rosenthal, “In shape the Simnel cake resembled a pork pie, but in materials it was a rich plum pudding inside a stiff and hard pastry crust. Simnels were made up very stiff, tied up in a cloth and boiled for several hours, after which they were brushed over with egg and then baked. When ready for the table, the crust was as hard as if made of wood.”  The crusts of today’s Simnel Cakes are made of marzipan and may be decorated with 11 or 12 marzipan balls.  The 11 marzipan balls represent the 12 apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Christ. If 12 balls are used, the 12th one represents Jesus.

Further reading:
For a detailed history of Mothering Sunday see

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A New Parish Council

Congratulations to our new Parish Council, who were elected at the Annual Vestry Meeting on Sunday, February 18:

Bishop's Warden:                                Lei De Santis (continuing)
People's Warden:                                Chris Longley
Treasurer:                                            Ardella McLaren
Vestry Clerk:                                       Catherine Martin
Envelope Secretary:                             Barb Foley
Synod Delegates:                                Jennifer Green (continuing)
Christine Stoll
Youth Synod Delegate:                      Jeremiah Narayan
Alternate Synod Delegates:                Tony Sauder (continuing)
Arlene Sturn
Annette Smith
Youth Alternate Synod Delegate:      Logan Fulton
Members at Large:                              Bruce Middleton
Barbara Massie
Amy Williams

Thank you to the members who served on Parish Council for the last year.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Shrove Tuesday

Image result for mardi gras images

Perhaps the most famous celebration of Shrove Tuesday, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, takes place in New Orleans.  In Rio de Janeiro it is "Carnival", in many other places it is simple a winter carnival, all taking place just before the commencement of Lent on Ash Wednesday.  But for all, it is a time of celebration,a time to party, and have a last fling before the austerity of Lent.  It is time to use up all the rich and even decadent foods which will definitely not be on the family menu during the Lenten season.  The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve".

 According to an entry in Wikipedia, Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including AnglicansLutheransMethodists and Roman Catholics, who "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."

This year, St.Catherine’s will once more host a pancake supper on Tuesday February 13.  All are welcome but sign up is requested to make sure we have enough food on hand.  What are some of the pancake traditions followed in your family?  

Well, in mine we don’t eat big fluffy pancakes, we eat crepes, sprinkled with lemon juice and sugar and rolled up.  Definitely quite yummy.  So Shrove Tuesday will definitely be “Fat Tuesday” in our household!
Image result for shrove Tuesday images
Image result for candlemas imagesCandlemas:  an important day in the Christian calendar, marking the 40th day since Jesus’ birth when Mary, a new mother,  went to the Temple in Jerusalem to complete her ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son, in obedience to the Torah.  Full details are found in Luke 2: 22-40.  It is during this presentation of Jesus that Simeon, a devout and holy man who had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiahpronounced, upon seeing Jesus,  “LORD, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: to be a light to lighten the gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel”.  This passage is known as the Nunc Dimittis.  Also in the Temple that day was the prophetess Anna who began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

There are also traditions and superstitions associated with Candlemas.  For example, in the United Kingdom, good weather at Candlemas is taken to indicate severe winter weather later: "If Candlemas Day is clear and bright, / winter will have another bite. / If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, / winter is gone and will not come again.  In North America the parallel to Groundhog Day is absolute, right down to the day: February 2.  In some parts of Europe, crepes are traditionally eaten on Candlemas,  In parts of Latin America the feast is traditionally tamales.  Sailors are often reluctant to set sail on Candlemas Day, believing that any voyage begun then will end in disaster—given the frequency of severe storms in February.

So it seems that in various parts of the Christian world, different traditions are followed.  At St. Catherine’s we will celebrate the Candlemas Eucharist at 4pm on Sunday February 4, followed by a pot luck supper.  Let’s see if any one brings crepes or tamales!
Take away from last Sunday’s sermon: Paul, the moral pharmacist.  In other words, St. Paul, prescribing liberal doses of moral rectitude, to the people of Corinth ( 1 Corintihians 8:1 – 13).  
Thanks to the Rev. Neil Ferryhough for this one

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ramblings from the Theologian’s Café (submitted by Chris Longley)

Once a month, the Theologian’s Café meets at Glen Pine Pavilion Seniors’ Centre in Coquitlam.  It is free to attend, but you must pre-register.  This was my first time attending, and I will definitely return.  The session is moderated by the very knowledgeable John Slattery.  Our topic for January was PRAYER.

We started out defining the types of prayer: petition, thanksgiving and adoration and the belief that there is someone or something to pray to.  There is also pseudo prayer, often an expletive such as “God dam you”, quasi prayer such as “O Lord help us” (which could be a prayer if the speaker was actually petitioning for help but generally this is more an expression than a prayer.)
Good examples of actual prayers can be readily found in the Psalms: Psalms 4, 22 and 72 are all petition prayers, Psalm 136 is a prayer of thanksgiving, Psalm 135 a prayer of adoration and Psalm 23, probably the most well known of all Psalms, is actually a bit of all three.

We also discussed the difference between prayer, meditation and contemplation.
Prayer is personal and it is relational. Prayers can be individual or they can be a group effort.  Being in a group raises the energy level, whether it be prayer, meditation or singing in the choir.

Assumptions of Prayer:
·         That there is a being to pray to (either God or a supreme being)
·         That the being cares and is aware of you
·         That the being will be able to respond in some manner
o    You cannot count on the means or timing of the response
·       That there is energy to be gained
There was quite a bit of discussion as to whether you can pray subconsciously and without intention. Also that uniformity in prayer is different from unity in prayer.

Effectiveness of Prayer:
There is an assumption that there is “someone” out there who will give a response, but don’t ever think you know the mind of God in how He responds.
We must enter into prayer with an open mind.  When we pray and something good happens, is is causation or coincidence?  What is necessary in ourselves for effective prayer?
·             -  Faith, that someone is listening
·             -  You don’t have to be in a certain moral state
·              - You must be sincere
    - You may receive Grace if you believe in God which may lead to Faith.  What you do with it (grace) is your           choice.

Until next month…..

Feb. 19, 1 – 3pm Will the Real Bible Please Stand Up? (program #605957)
Mar 19,  1 – 3pm  Religious Communities (program #605956)
April 16, 1 – 3pm The Roles of Organized Religion in the Wider World (program #605958)

May program: The Apostle Paul (details in next Coquitlam program calendar)       

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Year's Prayer

by Charlotte Anselmo

Thank you Lord for giving me
The brand new year ahead
Help me live the way I should
As each new day I tread.

Give me gentle wisdom
That I might help a friend
Give me strength and courage
So a shoulder I might lend.

The year ahead is empty
Help me fill it with good things

Please give the leaders of our world
A courage born of peace
That they might lead us gently
And all the fighting cease.

Please give to all upon this earth
A heart that's filled with love
A gentle happy way to live
With Your blessings from above.