This Week at St. Stephen’s–May 22, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS, IT’S A FAMILY OF SIX!

All our patience and preparation have paid off. Sometime in the coming months, a Syrian family will be arriving via Amman, Jordan , to begin a new life here in Canada. Together with St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, we are their sponsors and we will become their support while they settle in.

The family comprises a mom and dad and four children—two boys, 14 and 12, and two girls, 9 and 5. The dad and the older three children speak some English, there are no known medical issues, and the dad has transferable skills for employment here. It sounds like they are well positioned to succeed in their new life.

Our NeST team (Newcomer Support Team) will be submitting a formal application to the Central Processing Office for the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, the federal program to place UN-approved refugees with private Canadian sponsors. Once approved, the application will be forwarded to the Visa Office in Amman and we are told the family could arrive between three to six weeks after that.                                                                                                                                 May 22
So there are still some bureaucratic steps to follow, but barring any unforeseen stumbling blocks we could be meeting our family a few months from now—lots of time to raise both money and awareness and create room for them in our hearts. More information will follow as it becomes available. In the meantime you can direct any questions to Carol Rose Skelly, NeST Co-Chair.

This Week at St. Stephen’s–May 22, 2016

CONGRATULATIONS, IT’S A FAMILY OF SIX!

All our patience and preparation have paid off. Sometime in the coming months, a Syrian family will be arriving via Amman, Jordan , to begin a new life here in Canada. Together with St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, we are their sponsors and we will become their support while they settle in.

The family comprises a mom and dad and four children—two boys, 14 and 12, and two girls, 9 and 5. The dad and the older three children speak some English, there are no known medical issues, and the dad has transferable skills for employment here. It sounds like they are well positioned to succeed in their new life.

Our NeST team (Newcomer Support Team) will be submitting a formal application to the Central Processing Office for the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, the federal program to place UN-approved refugees with private Canadian sponsors. Once approved, the application will be forwarded to the Visa Office in Amman and we are told the family could arrive between three to six weeks after that.                                                                                                                                 May 22
So there are still some bureaucratic steps to follow, but barring any unforeseen stumbling blocks we could be meeting our family a few months from now—lots of time to raise both money and awareness and create room for them in our hearts. More information will follow as it becomes available. In the meantime you can direct any questions to Carol Rose Skelly, NeST Co-Chair.

This Week at St. Stephen’s–May 15, 2016

The Spirit is a-Movin’.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             May 15

This week we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, filling them with sudden courage and zeal. Many call this the “birthday of the church” because the church sprang to life—preaching the Good News, performing miracles, growing exponentially. The Spirit is seen as God’s gift to the followers of Jesus Christ, now as then, firing our proclamation and stirring us to action.

May 15aBut is the Holy Spirit exclusively the gift of the church? Do not those of other faiths also exhibit the same inspiration to speak the truth and to act boldly? Do we not also see God working through civic leaders, artists, workers of charity, and good people everywhere—even those who profess no faith at all?

While the wildfire ravaged the city of Fort McMurray last week, while the first responders were risking their own lives to ensure the safety of others, offers of assistance came flooding in from all sectors and regions of our country, and from beyond. The offers came from Muslims and Sikhs and atheists and agnostics and, yes, from Christians.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Mayb

It is an extraordinary thing to witness the movement of God’s Spirit in the hearts of people. It fills us with hope and with gratitude. Just as we Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit into our midst at Pentecost, so can we also give thanks for the many ways God breathes life into our world. Together we can say: God lives!

Bring a friend to church

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Think about how you found St. Stephen’s. Was it a friend? An event? A family connection? Regardless of how you found St. Stephen’s, someone took the first step to make you aware. We’re continuing to grow in togetherness and in numbers.

How have you helped St. Stephen’s become more intentional as a community in the last week? In the last month? Have you spoken to someone new at coffee hour? Have you attended an event or gathering that’s not a Sunday service? Have you written an article for the newsletter? Sent us a photograph for Facebook? Have you forwarded our newsletter to a friend to invite them to an event? Shared an event or post on your Facebook wall? Have y

ou had coffee with a fellow parishioner?

OK, so those are all things that you can do and require some time and action and effort. What about things that don’t require effort? How do you talk about your experiences at St. Stephen’s around the lunchroom table? When people discuss controversial social issues, how do you respond, and how does your faith inform that response? Does the national church’s response to issues inform your own?

Evangelism comes from the Greek and literally means to share the good news. As this article suggests, sharing comes in many forms, and looks different depending on our relationship with the person we’re sharing with. Don’t feel like you have to “beat people over the head” with your faith—just live it and watch for opportunities to tell people about the place where you can Be Real. Belong. Believe It.

This Week at St. Stephen’s–May 08, 2016

Empty Seats

May 8Five years ago, as our building committee bore down on plans to renovate St. Stephen’s, we said we wanted our church to become a community hub, a cultural centre, a gathering place for the neighbourhood. It sometimes seemed a remote dream, especially as the challenges mounted up and plans had to be trimmed back.

But today we witness the fulfillment of that dream. St. Stephen’s is busy most weekends with concerts, art shows, and theatrical performances. Renowned performance groups like Cantare Children’s Choirs, Luminous Voices, and the Calgary Instrumental Society thrill local audiences that sometimes burst the seams, sending patrons up into the balcony.

So it is curious that we ourselves are seldom numbered among the members of the audience, even when we are co-sponsors of events offered here. True, we designed the space for use by the wider community. But we host some of the best talent in the city right here in our sanctuary, and for the reason that (we said) we love the performing arts.

So this is just a reminder that we are part of the community too. When our neighbours come to see a performance, they are also coming to see us—not just our buildings, but the people who reside here. In coming weeks we will host a program about Sound and Spirit, and bring back the Donald Ray Johnson Blues Band, among other events. It would be unfortunate if we were to miss out on the very blessings we offer to the world.

This Week at St. Stephen’s : May 8th 2016

Picture2Five years ago, as our building committee bore down on plans to renovate St. Stephen’s, we said we wanted our church to become a community hub, a cultural centre, a gathering place for the neighbourhood. It sometimes seemed a remote dream, especially as the challenges mounted up and plans had to be trimmed back.

But today we witness the fulfillment of that dream. St. Stephen’s is busy most weekends with concerts, art shows, and theatrical performances. Renowned performance groups like Cantare Children’s Choirs, Luminous Voices, and the Calgary Instrumental Society thrill local audiences that sometimes burst the seams, sending patrons up into the balcony.

So it is curious that we ourselves are seldom numbered among the members of the audience, even when we are co-sponsors of events offered here. True, we designed the space for use by the wider community. But we host some of the best talent in the city right here in our sanctuary, and for the reason that (we said) we love the performing arts.

So this is just a reminder that we are part of the community too. When our neighbours come to see a performance, they are also coming to see us—not just our buildings, but the people who reside here. In coming weeks we will host a program about Sound and Spirit, and bring back the Donald Ray Johnson Blues Band, among other events. It would be unfortunate if we were to miss out on the very blessings we offer to the world.

A Day of Musical Exploration with the Instrumental Society of Calgary

Picture1ISC SOUNDWORKS
Presents
SOUND & THE HUMAN SPIRIT

A Day of Musical Exploration with the Instrumental Society of Calgary Sunday, May 29, 2016
St. Stephen’s Anglican Church

1:00 – 7:00 p.m. (including pauses, food and beverage) Tickets available at www.instrumentalsociety.ca or at the door on the day.

$75 Adult for Full Day (including food and beverage)

$60  ISC Subscribers for Full Day

$50  Musicians and Students with valid I.D. for Full Day

$20  Concert Only

The Art of Letting Go 1 – 3 p.m.
Workshop with Kevin Komisaruk, concert musician and member of The Music and Health Research Collaboratory (Toronto)  http://uoftmusicmahrc.ca Exploring performance practice, rhetoric, ‘flow’ and improvisation, and how these impact the spiritual, emotional and physical health of artists and listeners. With special participation by ISC musicians.

Intersect 3:30 -5 p.m.
A panel discussion with prominent members of Calgary’s musical, medical and spiritual communities exploring
Health and Wellness Through Ancient and Modern-day Practices of Music

Interplay 6 – 7 p.m.
ISC musicians perform Olivier Messaien’s Quartet for the End of Time. Here is a little window into this profound work… Written with materials and priviledges granted to a prisoner by a guard, Messaien completed the Quartet for the End of Time for a unique combination of dilapidated instruments available to his prisoner friends. In 1941, shivering in the cold at the Stalag VIIIA POW camp, prisoners and guards shared sounds that weaved a story, in their odd metrical way, reaching into the depths of human pathos and emotions.  The story danced with violence, tender longing and serene hope looking forward to sacred texts where time is no more.  As they shivered and participated together in the waves of sound that frigid night, perhaps the line where enemies are separated was blurred.
Featuring Special Guest Speakers

Kevin Komisaruk is an Associate Professor in the performance area of the University of Toronto and a core faculty member with the Music and Health Research Collaboratory.  His work explores intersections between performance practice, rhetoric, flow theory, and improvisation, and how together these impact the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of artists and listeners. In practice, his research develops applications for re-purposing professional stage performance in a variety of medical contexts, especially palliative care and stroke rehabilitation, with a view towards enhancing existing therapies and developing new ones. As a concert musician, he has performed throughout Europe, the UK, and North America; his recordings on the ATMA label have received several international citations.

Janet Youngdahl is active as a soprano, academic and choral conductor. She has toured with the ensemble for medieval music Sequentia throughout Europe and North America. She appears as a soloist on many recordings on the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi / BMG label. In concert, she has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City, the Proms in London, and the Melbourne Festival. Recent recordings include several discs of 17th-century Italian music by Kapsberger and Castaldi for Toccata Classics, cantatas by Elizabet Jacquet de la Guerre for Centaur Records and a new recording of arias by Barbara Strozzi with beloved UK soprano Catherine Bott.  Dr. Youngdahl is an Associate Professor at the University of Lethbridge, her work as a specialist in the chant of Hildegard von Bingen has fostered invitations to offer lectures and workshops at the University of Toronto, California State University and the American Academy in Rome.

Brian Pearson is an Anglican priest—the Rector of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Calgary. He is a published author (two works of fiction and one of autobiographical essays) and a singer/songwriter. As the evocative power of the Christian story wainsin the modern age, Pearson is curious about human spirituality, and the many and diverse ways the divine breaks through into consciousness. The arts have always served us as such a medium, reaching beneath the differences of particular religious traditions to create pathways for the life that flows through us all.

Sarah Van Peteghen is an Accredited Music Therapist based in Calgary, Alberta.  At the Alberta Children’s Hospital, she works with children aged 0-18 on goals involving everything from developmental play with infants to processing trauma through song-writing with school-aged children and teens.  She specializes in neonatal intensive care work with premature infants to increase tolerance to a hospital environment through the use of rhythm, breathand lullaby. Sarah created the first music therapy internship program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in 2013 which has just graduated its 3rd music therapy intern.  In the community she is employed by JB Music Therapy, an award-winning company who designs treatment plans for people of all ages and abilities to foster change.  There Sarah works with seniors, adults with mental health issues and developmental delays as well as preschoolers coming from trauma-based environments.  When not playing with children or running her wedding music agency RSVP Weddings, she can be found puttering in her garden or cooking with gluten and sugar.

Pandit Dabral, PhD. was born near Dehradun, India, into a family of Sanskrit scholars.  He holds a doctorate in Yoga Philosophy and Sanskrit from Varanasi, India.  A disciple of H. H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas, he trained extensively with Swami Veda Bharati, travelling with him for many years teaching Meditation and Yoga Philosophy in Asia, Europe and North America. Panditji is an experienced teacher in the Himalayan Tradition who is capable of bringing the authentic teachings of the yoga masters to all types of students. People of all ages enjoy his accessibility and humor. His knowledge of Sanskrit and the yoga scriptures is vast and comprehensive yet he is able to explain complex ideas in ways that are easy to understand and apply to daily life. He brings the experiences and knowledge of the Himalayan sages to life.  He is the Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Center Calgary and Shri Rama Yoga Meditation.
Hal Eagletail is from the Athabasca speaking Tsuu T’ina Nation.  Many teachers have contributed to Hal’s knowledge in traditional ways of knowing, herbology, healing, traditional arts and craftmanship and ceremonial leadership.  Hal’s late grandfather, Frank Onespot, a member of the Blackfoot Prairie Chicken Society, transferred the rights of the Eagle Whistle, Whip and Rattle to Hal.  Hal provides leadership in times of celebration, healing and spiritual growth at various events throughout Indigenous contry and is sure to leave a trail of laughs behind.  Hal is a Traditional Wellness Counsellor with the Aboriginal Health

For Tickets see Eventbrite at the bottom of this page or contact us at boxoffice@instrumentalsociety.ca

$75  Regular for Full Day (including food and beverage)

$60  ISC Subscribers for Full Day (including food and beverage)

$50  Musicians and Students with valid I.D. for Full Day (including food and beverage)

$20  Concert Only (no food and beverage

This Week at St. Stephen’s–May 01, 2016

“FROM THE GROUND UP”

Feb 28Following the suspension of Calgary’s Inn From the Cold satellite program, where churches like St. Stephen’s offered food, shelter and hospitality to the homeless, many of us wondered how we might continue our work with those in need in our city. Serendipitously, a respected broad-based community organization has arisen in Calgary that may help us continue that good work, creating and sustaining a community that offers respect, equality and justice to all its citizens.

The Metro Alliance for the Common Good (MACG) is a new iteration of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), an alliance of faith-based and community organizations that transformed the inner city of Chicago (the “Industrial Areas”) in the 1940’s. It now operates in over sixty-five cities worldwide developing leadership, coordinating civic-minded organizations and galvanizing citizens to create local communities of which we can all feel proud.

The Calgary chapter of MACG is currently offering a series of three listening events where citizens gather to explore the areas of greatest need and concern in our city. (The second in the series is being held Monday, May 2, 7 – 8:30 pm, at Beth Tzedec Synagogue.) St. Stephen’s has been invited to participate and several of our members will be in attendance.

To help us become better acquainted with MACG and with the social demands of the Gospel, The Reverend Ryan Andersen, Lutheran minister and lead organizer of MACG Calgary, is our guest preacher at both services on May 1st. You can also visit the IAF and MACG websites online.