This Week: September 18th 2016

picture1Heading into the fall season, what are the personal habits and disciplines that will keep you healthy? A good diet, exercise, mental stimulation, meaningful relationships, and of course a balanced approach to it all! St. Stephen’s can help you with your spiritual health, which has both inward and outward components.

Inwardly, we think of those practices that keep us rooted in God’s loving presence—like prayer, study, and meditation. Our meditation group will be starting up shortly for those who want to learn a simple practice of mindfulness. The labyrinth group is working on some special events this fall to introduce you to the benefits of a walking meditation. And our weekly adventure in Bible study stimulates your thinking about the Christian life.

Outwardly, we think of service, of ways we can contribute to the needs of others, and support our community life, both in church and in the neighbourhood. St. Stephen’s is exploring a new relationship with the Metro Alliance for the Common Good to identify and meet the city’s greatest needs. Our refugee committee is awaiting the arrival of our sponsored family from Syria. And cultural events such as the upcoming Midtown Mosaic Art Show help connect us with our neighbours.

All of this comes together in our worship, which offers many ways to become involved from choir to greeting to chancel work to the tech team. So pick up a copy of this year’s Spiritual Menu from the entrance foyer and choose your own new spiritual habits.

Urban Portraits Photographer

picture1Kerri Singh, of Irish and Danish ancestry, was born and raised in southern Alberta. Married and with an eight year old son, she is the Founder and Photographer behind 2Create Photography, a childhood passion which she turned into a professional practise.  Her clientele and commissions are global and with many noteworthy corporations and individuals, including Indian Royalty.

At her core Kerri Singh is truly a multifaceted artist. She uses the medium of photography to manifest her artistic expression. Early experimentations with the use of mixed media, watercolor, pastels, charcoals & drawing taught her that art has many detailed layers.  She uses this knowledge with her photographic skills to create art, using the camera  as her brush and the world as her inspiration.

In her quest to capture the beauty that she envisions in people, places and nature she has extensively travelled across Europe, Indian subcontinent and North America. The energy of a person or place and its emotional and spiritual vibrations are always important to her. Her work consists of balancing environmental portraiture and personal perspective. She captures the essence of her vision in documentary, theatrical or editorial styles then applies the metaphorical lens to create a spectacular memory, a moment in time.

She is currently working on art projects illustrating Women & Children of the streets in India, ‘Life in a Shopping Cart’ ( A documentary of homelessness in Canada)  and Exotic Tastes of India.

She lives and works from Calgary, Canada. You can read more about her on her blog at

Book Launch: Halfway Home: 50 Years in 50 Chapters


“Halfway Home: 50 Years in 50 Chapters”

Approaching middle age can be a rattling and unnerving time of life. But it can also be a wonderful opportunity to laugh, remember and reflect. In Halfway Home, author and commentator Todd Hirsch reflects on each of his 50 years so far—one chapter for each year—sharing details of his childhood, growing through adolescence, and finding his way from job, to career, to calling.

Todd is launching the book at St. Stephen’s on Friday, September 9th, at 7:00pm. He will be doing a few readings from the book, which will be followed by a short moderated conversation on ageing, celebrating and living in gratitude. Everyone from the church is encouraged to come. And, it’s free!

Calgary Pride

St. Stephen’s has been a long-time supporter of the queer community, dating back to the days of Integrity Calgary, which met monthly here for many years, including several Pride Eucharists. Now, the queer community has taken many steps toward acceptance in our broader society.

This weekend is Pride weekend in Calgary, and there are numerous events to take in. Two, in particular, may be of interest to St. Stephen’s parishioners. The Pride Parade starts at noon on Sunday, September 4th, and runs along 9th Avenue from City Hall to Shaw Millennium Park.

It’s a fabulous event, and groups as diverse as ATB, Hillhurst United Church, and politicians come together to celebrate Pride by marching. As the parade wraps up, attendees often tag along at the end of the parade as they make their way to Shaw Millennium Park.

There, they’ll find a family zone, a Village Brewery-sponsored beer garden, and a marketplace highlighting fantastic products and services of interest to all people. Admission is free, and it goes rain or shine!

St. Stephen’s has been a proud ally of the queer community for years, and that legacy can continue, with your support, this weekend. Hope to see you there!

This Week: July 17th 2016

51a56e50-0531-43c3-beff-910d25b48aacA few weeks ago, as we awaited the outcome of General Synod’s vote to permit same-sex marriage in the Anglican Church of Canada, Parish Council debated the merits of hanging a rainbow flag outside our church. It would have been a sign of our solidarity with our LGBTQ+ members and friends … while the church debated the legitimacy of their relationships! In the end we decided not to fly the flag, at least until such time as equality and justice was achieved nationally.

Then, in a surprise turn of events, same-sex marriage captured the support of over 70% of the popular vote at General Synod while losing by one vote in the House of Clergy. Within 24 hours that count had been corrected and the motion passed. So now we anticipate its return to our national body three years hence for ratification and implementation.

In the meantime, three dioceses have already declared they are proceeding with same-sex marriages without General Synod’s ratification and several more are considering similar actions. Where our own diocese stands on this issue remains a mystery: our bishop (who voted against the motion) has not issued any public statements. Nor is it clear if, in the wake of General Synod’s decision, he will now permit same-sex blessings.

So … is it time to fly the flag? Would it be a sign of solidarity, or would it confuse our hopes with our actual ability to act? What do you think? Tell us. Operators are standing by …