We will remember...
Mission & Outreach: Is Missional Just the Flavor of the Month?
Today's Missional Minute was written by Dr. John Bowen, our Guest Speaker at our recent Diocesan Synod.
“Mission,” “missional,” and even “missionality” seem to be everywhere. Bishops are talking about it. Candidates for ordination are talking about it. The leader’s guide to the recent Mission Action Plan uses the word “missional” no fewer than fifty-five times! And, of course, the Diocese of Niagara has its own School of—guess what—Missional Leadership. Everyone, it seems, is trying to be missional.
Quite rightly, people are asking, “Is this just the latest flavour of the month?” Is “missional” just one more in a long line of bright ideas guaranteed to solve our problems and grow our churches? We’ve seen this before: terms come and go, like those famous Baskin-Robbins “Flavours of the Month”—horseradish ice-cream, anyone?—but nothing really changes. How is “missional” any different?
One way to explain missional is to contrast it with a more familiar term, outreach. We often treat outreach and being missional as the same thing, but actually they’re not. Make no mistake about it, both are important, and many churches naturally engage in both. But I think it is fair to say that historically we have been better at outreach than at being missional.
What has changed? Fundamentally, our cultural situation has changed. It’s a familiar story and hardly needs repeating: The Church has moved from the centre of society to the margins. That means our ministry has to change.
Imagine a church which once had a thriving youth ministry but whose neighbourhood is now a community of empty-nesters and retirees. What should the church do? Our instinct is to look for a dynamic new youth leader who will miraculously renew the youth ministry out of thin air! But no, it is better to think about how to minister to those actually in the community already. This is not failure, but change. The shift from outreach to mission is that kind of change. Let me illustrate the difference:
None of these, whether outreach or missional, is a bad thing—they’re all good! Who wants to decide whether a speaker from the PWRDF is more or less important than hearing from our local councillor? But I think you can see that there is a difference of emphasis:
So are mission, missional and missionality the flavour of the month? Well, it’s a flavour we are not particularly accustomed to, certainly. I grew up in a small town in north Wales, and the culinary range of my home and town was healthy enough but, well, pretty limited. As a result, it was not until university that I encountered such exotic flavours as Chinese food, chili, and mango. Now, of course, I take those flavours for granted as a delightful part of life. So the missional flavour may be unfamiliar, but if we can experiment with it, it can be life-giving for us—and for our neighbours.
I remember Archbishop Michael Peers, former primate of the Canadian Church, saying how he remembered the days when social justice was the passion of a small fringe minority of the Anglican Church, folks who were regarded as somewhat peculiar and off-centre, in some cases not even very Anglican, and easy to dismiss.
But those who saw the importance of social justice persisted, and gradually persuaded others that it was central to authentic Christian faith. Today, as a result of their persistence and faithfulness, social justice is rightly considered central to the life and ministry of the Anglican Church. You can see where I’m going with this—social justice may at first have seemed like the flavour of the month, but it has become a normal and welcome part of our daily life. May the same happen with the idea of mission.
New Incumbent: Archbishop Greg is pleased to announce that he has appointed The Rev. Eyad Ajji to be the new Incumbent for the Parish of St. Mark and St. Philip, Calgary as of November 1. We ask for your prayers for Eyad as he transitions to this new role, and ask God to bless the parish as they journey together.
Archbishop Greg's Activities and Events
November 2: Clergy Day with Michael Harvey, Holy Cross, Calgary
November 4 to 19: Holidays
November 20 to 23: Clergy Retreat, Sanctum Retreat Centre
November 24 & 25: Diocese of Brandon, Electoral Synod
November 26: Bishop's Visit, St. Barnabas, Medicine Hat
November 28: Admin and Finance Meeting, Diocese Office
November 30: Anglican Fellowship of Prayer Meeting
November 30: Service and Supper at St. Andrew, Gleichen
Please hold Archbishop Greg in your prayers as he serves as our Bishop and Metropolitan, as well as finding time to relax and refresh.
Foundations for Preaching Course
Beginning November 6
The Calgary School of Discipleship will be offering our Foundations for Preaching course in November and December.
The course will run on four Monday evenings (November 6, 13, and 27 & December 11) beginning at 6:30pm via Zoom, and will be led by The Rev. Br. Jason Carroll, The Ven. Dr. Pilar Gateman and Rev. Steve Bateman from St. Augustine, Lethbridge. There will be a cost of $75; help is available if the cost is a problem. This course is available to those seeking Licensing for Lay Ministry as well as anyone who is interested.
This course will provide students with the theological grounding of preaching in Scripture and prayer, education on how to craft and write a good sermon, instruction on good delivery and mechanics of public speaking, and opportunity to discuss the nature and specific challenges of preaching in a modern context. Students will be able to make connections between Scripture and the journey of faith, understand the importance and purpose of preaching in the life of the Christian church and the world, and distinguish appropriately between the office of preaching and the opportunity to express publicly their own private opinion, while being able to incorporate stories from their personal journey of faith in an appropriate manner.
For more information or to register, please click here.
Tuesday, November 2
Our next Diocese of Calgary Clergy Day will be held on Tuesday, November 2 at Holy Cross, Calgary. We will gather at 9:30 and begin at 10:00 am. We are pleased to announce that Michael Harvey, of Back to Church Sunday, and Unlocking the Growth movements, will be speaking to us on the ACORN project.
Please RSVP to Dianne.
Happenings at All Saints, Cochrane
Michael Harvey: We would like to invite you to a Discipleship Workshop with Michael Harvey on Saturday, November 4 from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm. Michael will be speaking on how we can reach others for Jesus. Anyone who would like to gain confidence in reaching out in faith and invitation is welcome to attend. Coffee and refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!
Monthly Prayer Services for Healing: all are welcome to attend. Next Service will be on Saturday, November 11 at 5:00 pm at the church.
Wanted: to borrow, a red server's cassock, size adult small (although a larger one could be temporarily altered). Please contact Rev. Elizabeth at (403) 660-5636 if you have one.
Happenings at the Cathedral
LEARN TO LOVE - How do we love our neighbours literally on our doorstep? Your Cathedral invites you to receive frontline training on how to care for the houseless, free-of-charge, every Sunday morning from experienced, professional workers. Inquire with our volunteer coordinator, Wendy, for more information.
TRANSGENDER PERSONS AND FAITH - The Cathedral is providing TWO upcoming opportunities to learn and grow in our awareness and support of the transgender community.
The first is a Zoom educational event featuring Dr. Eileen Scully, Director, Faith, Worship & Ministry for the national church where Dean Chris Dowdeswell and Rev Derwyn Costinak will interview her on the new "Pastoral Liturgies for Journeys of Gender Affirmation and Transition" passed at this summer's General Synod. This event will take place on Sunday, November 5 from 4-6pm. Register here and the link will be sent to you shortly before the event.
The second is the Cathedral's annual service of prayer for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This will take place on Saturday November 18 at 7pm. This service will not be livestreamed, but all transgender people and their allies are encouraged to join us in person. For more information on transgenderism and suicide, see the Mental Health Commission of Canada's fact sheet.
JOB POSTING: The Cathedral is seeking a Sunday School Teacher/Coordinator. For information, please click here.
Crafting Group for Community Building
St. Martin, Calgary
Auction - November 3
Good Shepherd, Calgary
Our next Ultreya, the monthly gathering of the Cursillo Community, will be held on November 10 at Holy Cross, Calgary and via Zoom, beginning at 7:00 pm. Feel free to bring a dessert to share. We look forward to this time of worship, learning and building community.
Diocesan Youth Party
Friday, November 17 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm
For more information, please contact James Lawton at St. James.
Upcoming Christmas Fundraisers and Events
St. Martin, Calgary: Christmas Market, Saturday, November 18: There will be live music, vendors, kid's crafts and holiday photoshoot opportunities. Tickets are $5.00, with proceeds going to their outreach programs. To RSVP, click here.
St, Luke, Red Deer: Christmas Tea and Talent Sale, Saturday, November 25: from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in their Church Hall. Our talent sale will include crafts, baking and a white elephant table. The tea includes a light luncheon. Cost is a free will donation.
Holy Cross, Calgary: Candy Cane Tea & Bazaar, Saturday, November 25: from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Baking and Deli table, a Craft table with sewing, quilting and knitting, a Treasures table, and books will be available. There is no entry fee, but in the Glad Tidings Tea Room, coffee and lunch are served.
All Saints, Medicine Hat: Annual Christmas Tea & Bake Sale: Saturday, December 9: Admission is $7.00 per person, at the All Saints Community Hall.
St. Edmund's Foodbank Outreach Association
Saturday, November 18 - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
This year, being held at the Bowness Scout and Lions Hall, 8551 Bowness Road NW
Needs Mount at Gaza Hospital as Conflict Continues
Health facilities across Gaza have been the target of strikes as ongoing violence in the region escalates. To date, six hospitals – including PWRDF partner, the al-Ahli Arab Hospital – and 69 health facilities have been hit, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries, and massive damage to infrastructure and equipment. A Situation Report published by the Episcopal (Anglican) Diocese of Jerusalem, which operates the hospital, states that as of October 24, 5,700 Palestinians have been killed – of whom 2,360 are children. An additional 16,000 people have been injured.
After the current conflict began on October 7, PWRDF responded immediately with an allocation of $30,000 to Al-Ahli. Since then, more than $39,000 has been donated to PWRDF by supporters across Canada for the hospital.
To read more and to find the link to donate, please click here.
Religious Leaders Brunch
Tuesday, November 14
Join us for quality conversation and community building at this November's Religous Leaders Brunch! This event is for people who take leadership in their faith/religous/philosophical communities (religous leaders, elders, youth leaders, community representatives, pastoral care specialists and chaplains), who are also interested in getting to know other leaders from different religious communities in Calgary.
This will be an opportunity to come together, to reflect on our community leadership, share our stories, listen and learn from each other. Ultimately, the hope is that we can grow into better public leaders who can then work together for the Common good of our common home.
Interested but have questions? Email Elyse here.
Cost: due to different dietary considerations, attendees will purchase their own food/drink at this venue. Angel's Cafe has lots of menu options, including vegetarian and gluten-free choices.
On-line Art Auction 2023
Benefitting Sorrento Centre
Over the past 60 years, Sorrento Centre has been privileged to host and initiate numerous and varied expressive arts programs, resident artists and creative projects. Leaders have long recognized the importance of creative expression and its relationship to the mystical Divine.
Our conviction is that art and beauty address the human need for hope. For many, hope is functionally inseparable from beauty. Beauty helps us believe that divine good does prevail. Seeking to bring the Kingdom of God to earth includes restoring the beauty that is present in creation and adding to it.
Sorrento Centre has been gifted with many unique creations showcasing our guests’ skills and talents. There are 27 Arts and Craft items or Services for you to choose from and bid on.
For instructions, to view the artwork and for placing a bid, please click here. Bidding is currently underway and will be open until Friday, November 10 at noon.
All proceeds from this auction will help Sorrento Centre with future endeavours.
St. Mary University Catholic Lecture Series
November 23: The Filthy Feet of Sacred Service with Troy Davies
What happens when prayer gets off its knees?
Anchored in a reflection on John 13:1-20 (the Washing of the Disciples’ Feet), Dr. Troy Davies will take us on a tour of the ‘soul of service’ using examples drawn from the awe-inspiring work of Alberta’s own Catholic Social Services – one of the largest multi-function social service agencies in the country!
Everyone is invited to attend this dynamic lecture, which will feature a mixture of real on-the-ground stories, while also drawing upon the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching and the theology of outreach – engaging the head and the heart of all who attend.
McGivney Hall, StMU Campus, 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Register here.
Please remember in your prayers:
- for peace within our country, and in the world, for victims of violence and natural disasters, and for areas of unrest and riots. We ask for wise discernment in our leaders;
- for Israel and Palestine, and for Ukraine and Russia - for the end to war;
- for those who are sick, suffering, isolated or in need. We ask for prayers for Barbara and Elizabeth, Janice, and Joan;
- for those who have died and those who mourn;
- for the poor, the homeless, and the needy in our communities;
- our Indigenous brothers and sisters, and their leaders in our diocese and country;
- refugees, remembering those fleeing regimes around the world.
Request a prayer:
Send prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how we can pray for you. We will only use first names which will be removed after two or three weeks. We will also pray for you during our regular Chapel services each week. Please ensure that you have permission from those whose names you are submitting for prayer, and that they understand their name will be made public to all who subscribe to the Newsletter.
We'd Like to Hear from You
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We look forward to your contributions - feel free to forward your event announcements, your parish news, your stories. Send in your details and pictures to email@example.com.