This Week at St. Stephen’s–April 29, 2012

HILDA SHILLIDAY

From earliest times, faithful people have felt called to separate and distinguish themselves from “the nations”. This was not an attitude of “better than”, but a stance of “in service to …”. So the people of Israel saw themselves as a light to the nations, and the early Christians as the Body of Christ.

There are many ways we at St. Stephen’s are engaged in service to the world. And where we cannot manage a piece of outreach work ourselves, we provide financial support to those who can—including our long-time friend Hilda Shilliday. Already deep into her retirement, Hilda felt a desire to make a contribution to those who suffer from poverty and from the devastating effects of the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

Calling upon her background in nursing, her tireless resourcefulness, and her considerable moxie, Hilda offered her volunteer services to a hospital in Uganda that focussed on care and treatment for those with AIDS. But her influence soon spread beyond that, as she helped support a fledgling orphanage, and even took on government officials on the practice of corporal punishment in the schools.

Hilda is an inspiration, and we are very fortunate to be able to participate in her work through our Outreach-Beyond Fund. This fund supports several projects in Africa, including YEGO Rwanda, a counselling service provided by our friend Emmanuel Gatera. You can support Hilda and Emmanuel in their important work at any time by making a donation to St. Stephen’s with the memo “Outreach-Beyond”.

This Week at St. Stephen’s–April 15, 2012

GOOD-BYE TO CATHY

This week we say good-bye to Cathy Fulton, our Associate Priest since 2007. Cathy came to the priesthood from a background in nursing, being ordained for the Diocese of Ottawa before moving to Calgary with her husband Jim in 2001. She now retires from active ministry.

Along with Don McLeod, Cathy formed part of an experimental staff team back in 2002, helping forge a new and innovative approach to parish ministry. When funds ran out, both Cathy and Don moved on to other ministries in the diocese. But Cathy returned to St. Stephen’s five years later as Associate Priest and Pastoral Care Coordinator.

Among Cathy’s many gifts, we been blessed by her servant’s heart for pastoral care; her attention to detail in liturgical preparation; her deft and thoughtful preaching; her devotion and diligence in all her work; her creative resourcefulness; and above all her personal faith which shines through everything else she does.

Many have also commented through the years on the effective dynamics at work between Cathy and Brian our Rector, on the complementariness of their personalities and styles, and on the importance of gender balance in the sanctuary and in our ministries.

Cathy will be missed; but she will not be gone altogether. Cathy will continue assisting our Diocesan Executive Archdeacon until the consecration of a new bishop in the fall. And, of greater significance to St. Stephen’s, after a brief hiatus we hope to see Cathy installed as Honorary Assistant here, where she will be always welcome.