This Week – July 3, 2011

Our slide into summer may slow us down, but no one’s asleep in the hammock here at St. Stephen’s.  Here’s what’s happening.

Next Sunday we welcome the neighbourhood to our annual Stampede Breakfast and outdoor worship.  Organizer Marion Gibson has assembled a great crew to assist with the breakfast (we are preparing for 300 this year!), Don McLeod will be presiding at the worship, and the Padre and the Cow Pies will be provide the music.

Then on Sundays throughout the summer we will be returning to our “summer lite” pattern of shorter worship services featuring the lectio divina, a meditative approach to hearing the Word.  Guest clergy (while Brian and Cathy are away) include Don McLeod, Tara Livingston, Barry Foster, and our Bishop, Derek Hoskin. 

Start-up Sunday is September 11, when we welcome the return of the summer exiles who have been wandering in dry sunny places, and also newcomers who have been searching for a spiritual home.  We will rev the engines of our fall programs and launch a new season of mission and ministry.

Meanwhile, throughout the summer and into the fall, Jack and Heather Walker and our Open Doors campaign team will be knocking on doors and making phone calls to ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate in our exciting vision for the renewal of our buildings and property.  

Visit our new web site and find out what else is happening this summer.  It’s up-to-date and interactive and we want to hear from you:

This Week: June 26, 2011

Last week our “Year of the Child” task force met to begin guiding us through a year of “child honouring” at St. Stephen’s.  It promises good things not only for the children and youth of the Parish, but for all of us.

Someone asked about the “Year of the Child”—was this a United Nations designation or something?  No, this is just our “Year of the Child”.  Vestry, at its meetings in February and March, identified children and youth as deserving special attention in the coming program year.  The reason was simple: as we enjoy the recent arrival of young families to our church, we want to ensure that we engage them—and therefore keep them—as they grow up in our midst.

There is another reason too.  Raffi, the well-known Canadian “children’s troubadour”, has launched an initiative he calls “Child Honouring”.  This is a way of seeing the world, with its many challenges and joys, through the eyes of children.  By so doing, he says, many of the world’s problems solve themselves as we learn to work not for self-interest but for the sake of others.

So in the coming year our task force will examine all areas of church life with an eye for how we welcome, engage, and protect our young people.  We will link with Raffi’s initiative and become part of a larger plan to see the world through the eyes of children.  And we will become more attuned to God’s care for all of us.