My Thoughts on Synod 2019

Here is my attempt to summarize the events and decisions at our General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada which is held every three years.

The first decision is, I think it would be fair to say, monumental. That is that Indigenous Anglicans now have formed their own Province within the Canadian Church. Until now there have been 4 (I hope I have that right) such Provinces each with their own Archbishop/Metropolitan with a great deal of authority. There are many Indigenous Anglicans in Canada and (I think the number is right) 11 Indigenous bishops. This is somewhat reminiscent of when the British bishops left places like Nigeria and Uganda after independence. Those churches exploded with energy and power (from 2 million to 22 million Anglicans in Nigeria for example) under their own bishops. This is the result of years of work and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Indigenous Anglicans are for the most part highly evangelical and their place in our discussions is quite powerful.


This Sacred Thing: Marriage

We all know the plot of the romantic comedy

  • Boy meets girl
  • Boy loses girl
  • Boy finds girl

And usually (if they are doing it right) there is some kind of party at the end. A wedding banquet or something like it.

Even Aristotle writes about this back in the day.

The Wedding is “not just a piece of paper” it is deep within our minds and hearts.


Revelation and Euthanasia


A bit of a long read. The paper that I recently prepared on the insights of the final book of the Bible (Revelation or the Apocalypse) applied to the matter of euthanasia. I have been encouraged to share this by my instructor. There are some technical parts here as it is an academic paper but I hope the main insights come through.

— Fr. Greg


Selected excerpts:

Two years ago Canada legalized “medically assisted death”. This is properly “active euthanasia” at the request and consent of a person who is faced with the inevitability of death “in the foreseeable” future. This legislation explicitly sees persons in post-Enlightenment terms, that is, as autonomous and rational individuals whose freedom choice must be respected. The state is obliged to respond by this person’s request by providing this person with a lethal injection.

The legislation and its application guidelines do not reference mediating institutions. The State’s view of humanity is efficient, technical, without compassion or understanding. It has claimed authority over the liminality of death.

This [State] complex itself is collective and more than collective. It cloaks itself in the “ideological superstructure” of modernity. But the apocalyptic imagination allows this to be seen through for what it is, the state killing its citizens.

What is the hope here? The hope is in the act of unveiling. It is rooted in the Truth which is true telos of humanity found in the Lamb who was slain and who (and not the State) reigns even in and over death itself.
Read the entire paper in this PDF file.

Your Life is Sacred! Treat it with Reverence.

Our original font has 8 sides to show that at our baptism we entered into the “8th day of the week”.
God’s sacred day. 
Come and join us on Sunday morning as we learn how Jesus  makes our life sacred and what that means.

Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?

Incumbent’s Report for the AGM February 2019
“Is nothing sacred?” I can’t remember the last time that I heard this question. Throughout history (until now) human beings have marked the course of life with sacred events. As Christians these sacred events have been: baptism, confirmation, marriage, sacraments for the sick and dying and burial of the dead. This is all within the context of our weekly Eucharist. In our culture, these things have faded; and, as we can also see, if we deny the sacredness of things (and of human life itself) we begin to treat life carelessly.


Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Unwrapping the Gift

An audio mediation by the Anglican Brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist.

The Twelve Days of Christmas follow from December 25 until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the traditional date when the Magi arrived to present gifts to infant Jesus. For many, the meaning of these days is lost. By Christmas night we are saturated with the holiday hype, overfed by music and food, and may already be disappointed that the presents received are not enough.

This audio book is not a bah humbug about Christmas customs and presents. This is simply an invitation to go deeper than the tinsel and wrappings, beyond the presents given and received, to the source of all the good gifts in life. Readers are invited to unwrap gifts that will last, praying the twelve days of Christmas.

Click here for a link to the SSJE website.

October 2018

Brothers and Sisters,  
As you can see, we are devoting this year to the theme of “Building the Body of Christ”. We believe that these words from St Paul describe where we are being led during the upcoming year.    
By building the body of Christ, we mean strengthening the bonds


Welcome Back 2018

As the dog days of summer close, we look towards the Fall and our mission as a parish.

This last year at the annual meeting we outlined some of the ways we might put our mission into action. Here is the main part of that report so that we can by the grace of God be re-inspired to have the rubber hit the road in the next few weeks.


Look at our Church

A Most Important Week 2018

Dear Friends

Holy Week is fast approaching. Some of you have may have not grown up with the celebration of holy week. So I’m here to tell you why these services are so important to you as a Christian person.  The Church is very passionate about Holy Week and has been since the start. I am personally very passionate about it; it is where Jesus first clearly and personally chose to reveal himself to me. It’s a reality that has sustained me for almost 4 decades and is constantly renewed.


Reason 1. Come and follow Jesus.

The services will walk you through the last week of Jesus’ life one day at a time. This is the most important week in human history. You will want to be there.  In this week we start on Palm Sunday with the Parade of the Palms and the story from the Passion. On Maundy Thursdays we recall and re-enact the Last Supper the night before Jesus died and enact what he did there; through Good Friday when we see and touch his cross; to Easter Vigil when Light bursts forth in the new fire that we light outside of the church as night comes on. 


Reason 2. They are, in their own way, very intergenerational.

These liturgies impact the imaginations of young children in a way that a thousand VegiTale videos can’t (as great as Bob the Tomato is!) Water, light, darkness – these are things everybody understands deep in their souls. Having your feet washed by the priest or processing the body and blood of Christ to the side altar to be with Christ for a few moments as the disciples were (asked to be) at Gethsemane say it all, in a deeply memorable way.


Reason 3. We been doing it for centuries.

These are most ancient liturgies of the Church. We worship using the forms that the earliest Christians used because we are connected in this week across 2000 years.


Reason 4. Easter is out of context without Holy Week.

We are deeply into a mystery this week which makes Easter make a lot more sense and even more joyful. When we have held the palms leaves, waited with him in the garden, touched his cross and seen the first light of Easter in the darkness, Easter is much clearer. Yes we want the joy of Easter. The way of the Cross comes first.


Reason 5. Come and follow Jesus.

This is reason 1 again. You will though this week, by the grace of God, learn to know Christ better, love him more deeply and follow him more closely.
— Father Greg
Are you interested what happens at the various services this week? Read on…

What Are the Services of Holy Week?


Palm/Passion Sunday

We gather at our usual time. We remember today Jesus’ great entry into Jerusalem when he was hailed as King. And so we all receive palm branches and process around the Church. We also remember how we soon turned against him. And so we read the story of Jesus’ death from the gospel of Mark. It will not be the only time we read about his death this week.


Maundy Thursday

“Maundy” comes from a Latin word which means “commandment”.  We recall and re-enact Jesus’ Last Supper with his friends “a new commandment I give you” he said, “that you love one another as I have loved you.” Maundy. His love for his disciples was shown in two ways. He washed their feet. This was the work of a very lowly servant. It was shocking to the disciples. God, in the flesh, acting as a slave, washing the feet of these men, some of whom were about to desert, deny and even betray him. The priest will take of his vestments and you are invited to come forward and allow him to wash your feet so that you can be served in humility (it is your choice if you come forward). We also, in the Eucharist, remember that he instituted the Eucharist, another way he would give himself away to us — “Take, eat, this is my body. Drink, this is my blood”. Again to these same men. To us.

We then take the consecrated bread and wine (the Blessed Sacrament of his Body and Blood) and we all join together to process it to the side altar (the “altar of repose”). We sing briefly and wait for a few moments with Jesus – as he asked his friends to wait and pray for him the night before his death.


Good Friday

This day has a deep quietness over it. The clergy enter and kneel before the altar in silence. Today we hear the Story of the Passion from John’s gospel. This gospel speaks of the profound love of God for us in the death of God the Son. The cross will be brought forward and we will have the chance to come forward ourselves, place our hands on it and offer our deepest prayer to him. Today the Eucharist cannot be celebrated; we receive from that same sacrament which was consecrated on Maundy Thursday. “No greater love…than that a man should lay down his life for his friends”, Jesus says in John. We leave in silence.

That afternoon the clergy will be available to hear the confessions of those who wish to celebrate this sacrament.


Holy Saturday

As the night begins to fall we light the first great light of Easter in a fire outside of the Church. The light has conquered. Christ is Risen!  We process into the church ,each with our own small Easter candle around the Great Easter Candle. We remember that God freed the slaves from Egypt and he frees us now. We renew and reclaim our baptism. From darkness to light. Easter has begun. This is the most ancient of our liturgies and very beautiful!