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SUMMER 2014

Connect with Us!


21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


1 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva
...is the title of a new book written by Professor Marcus Borg, a well- known Christian author.
Borg has compiled the New Testament books as they were written, not how they appear in the
Bible. So instead of the Gospel of Matthew taking the lead, The First Letter of Paul to the
Thessalonians begins the journey, which makes sense given that St. Paul was one of the first
writers of the New Testament to provide recorded documentation.
Paul was a convert to Christianity who was convinced that those who
followed Jesus would live more authentic and spirit-filled lives. He
wandered from community to community baptizing individuals and forming
Christian gatherings in places where people were yearning for spiritual food.
I dont think times are all that different in 2014. Humans still yearn for
fulfillment: spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical. We are creatures
who need others around us to feel loved. Paul understood that individuals
need to belong and need to feel valued. He felt that Christ provided that
sense of belonging and gave us an enduring love through his death and
Resurrection.
Many people have lost that understanding of Jesus and it seems to me that
is why celebrities have taken over as ones to be worshipped. People yearn
to follow someone who seems larger than life, better than they are,
someone to aspire to be like each day. The challenge is that celebrities -
whether they are sports, media or political personalities - are human beings
and therefore flawed just like us. And so, we are disappointed when they
turn out to be just that: human!
God sent Jesus to earth to proclaim that no one is perfect except our Creator
and therefore we should stop beating ourselves up and start following the
one who gives us eternal life. Jesus encourages us to see the humanity and the dignity in everyone we meet, no
matter how difficult that may be, and to set aside judgement in exchange for empathy, compassion, and
understanding. However, God asks us to worship God and God only. I dont know about you but that makes life a lot less
complicated for me!
Everything I need to know about Gods love I can find in the Bible and see at work in our society. The stories we find are
played out time and time again. The Bible outlines ways we can live more authentic lives. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE ->
Evolution of the Word

Summer Worship
Sundays at 10:00 am
beginning Sun July 6
th

Welcome Back Service
Sun Sept 14
th
at 10:30 am
Kids Summer Camp
Mon July 7
th
Fri July 11
th

9 am 12 noon daily
Please note: our Bridge Club and Bible
Study groups, along with our Choir, will
resume meetings/practise come
September.










SUMMER 2014




Connect with Us!
21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


2 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva
THIS COMING FALL, WE WILL BE MEETING FOR A FIVE WEEK SESSION ON SOME OF LIFES BIGGEST QUESTIONS:
How do you embrace a life of meaning?
How do we listen and embrace prophetic voices in the 21
st
century?
How do we embrace faith so that it actually means something in our lives?
There is much to contemplate! But in the meantime, enjoy this beautiful weather, remember the
winter so you dont complain about the heat, and most importantlyrememberSt. Johns is air-conditioned!!!


Paul Townshend
The Diocesan Renew Campaign, which officially launched about a year ago, is a call to refocus energy to rebuild our
resources in the six priority areas of: Parish Vitality, Huron Church Camp, Empowered Leadership of Clergy and Laity,
Commitment to Youth, Enduring Legacy and Shared Ministry. Our parish has been building our vision and goal setting
over the last few years to enhance our vitality in very similar areas. We are searching for those activities, ideas and
approaches that will enhance our mission in this community and further afield. We are doing our best to discern where
God is calling us to place our efforts in ministry and service.
IN THE FALL, WE WILL BE HOLDING OUR VISIONING DAY TO START TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE CURRENT RESOURCES AVAILABLE
THROUGH THE DIOCESAN RENEW COMMITTEE.
We need to broaden and expand our focus to project our parish needs looking down the road to St. Johns future.
We need to consider many important questions:
How will we continue to care for our beautiful church?
How will we engage our youngsters and young adults?
How will we support our clergy and prepare lay leaders, who are so important in the daily functioning of our
Christian community?
How will we ensure our rich legacy is passed onto future generations?
How will we raise the funds required to fulfill our dreams of establishing a solid foundation for Gods work into
the future of our community?
In Christ,
Rev. Wendy Mencel
Rector

Stewardship Update






SUMMER 2014




Connect with Us!
21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


3 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva
Renew-All Prayer
O God, the Giver of all new life,
transform our lives and renew
your Church through the power
of your Holy Spirit; that we
might better share with others
your life and joy through Jesus
Christ, who is our life. Amen
In Our Community
When it comes to finding the answers, prayer is a powerful tool through which we can
seek Gods guidance. The enclosed prayer, composed by Bishop Morse Robinson, is being
used in many parishes throughout the Diocese to call on God as the giver of all new life to
send forth the transforming power of the Holy Spirit so we may develop new ways to
share our joy in life which we find through our relationship with Jesus.

We ask you to take this time throughout the summer to reflect and think about the
possibilities for St. Johns future. We have an abundance of parishioners with talent. I
know that through prayer, planning and working together, we will bring forth ideas which
will resonate into our future here at St. Johns.
Looking forward to hearing from you all on Visioning Day.

GARAGE SALE, BBQ & BAKE SALE
Ian Nicholson
It was a beautiful day! The sun shone, the temperature was pleasant with just a
slight breeze, and the crowds came early and strong.
The 2014 St. Johns Arva Garage Sale was, once again, a great success. Raising
over $2250 this year, the Garage Sale managed to, once again, sell a wide
range of items: from electric typewriters to beanie babies, an antique Kodak box
camera to two sets of golf clubs, Christmas trees and even a childs bed shaped like a race car. Sales were particularly
brisk at our book and clothes tables. Great prices had many of our visitors leaving with smiles (and armloads of
goodies!)
Undoubtedly, the aroma of the BBQ drew many visitors as well. Under the
organization of John Mencel, our food sales exceeded all expectations this
year. In fact, we sold out long before noon, much to the dismay of one young
man who was sent by his wife with a plate to pick up lunch for the family. She
had bought some of our tasty treats earlier and was hoping to be a repeat
customer. Leaving them wanting more is always a good thing.






SUMMER 2014




Connect with Us!
21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


4 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva
We cant wait to see what John might do next year.
Of particular interest to those who entered the church was our Bake Table. Many of our ladies, baking both at home
and in the church kitchen on Friday before the sale, put together a mouth-watering display of their hard work. For those
thinking of helping out next year, you should know that the smell of freshly baked goods coming from the kitchen on
Friday was an unexpected reward for those organizing and pricing that day.
There are many, many people to thank for the success of this glorious day those
who donated, worked to organize and price, helped with sales, and those that
cleaned up afterward. In particular, Charles Scroobys many years of organizing the
event and his support this year made it easy to step into the role of convenor.
Thank you also to Vera Bentley for her very generous donation of her time and
knowledge in helping to organize the event.
This Garage Sale reminded me of why our family chose St. Johns Arva. We are a church that comes together as a
community a community of God that is a part of its local community. What a community can do when it comes
together was on display on that beautiful Saturday morning.

TEA PARTY FAREWELL

On Friday June 6
th
, Alice Linden and Norma McFarlane hosted an afternoon tea party in honour of Sandra Hobson,
longtime member and active volunteer at St. Johns Arva. The party was great fun for our church ladies and a great
opportunity to express our sincere thanks toward Sandra for her friendship and contributions to our community.
We send Sandra Gods blessing for safe travels as she makes the journey to relocate out West.
BELOW IS A NOTE FROM SANDRA TO OUR PARISH COMMUNITY:
I just wanted to write a short note to thank everyone at St. John the Divine for their friendship and support over
the past 23 years.
St. John is everything a parish should be. The services - including the music, liturgy and preaching - sustain the
soul and the kind people nourish the heart!
I only hope to find such a wonderful parish in Parksville. Please contact me if you are going to be in British
Columbia: shobson@uwo.ca I have a guest room/quilting studio that is available for friends from St. Johns.






SUMMER 2014




Connect with Us!
21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


5 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva
JOCKEY PERSON-TO-PERSON FASHION SHOW
Jo Trudgen
Our Spring fashion show this past April, catered by Epicure Selections, was a
wonderful success! Not only did it serve as a great fundraiser for the Church, but it
was also a fantastic opportunity to get together, while enjoying awesome clothes
modelled by our wonderful church ladies and delicious food, of course!
A very special thank you to Julia Loft of Epicure Selections and of course our lovely
models: Norma McFarlane, Hilda Abel, Alice Linden, Sandra Hobson, Vi Stephenson,
Rev. Kate Hathaway, Sherry Revington and Carla Blackwell! I am looking forward to a Fall Show and seeing
everyone soon!

PLEASE WELCOME!
Hello everyone! My name is Nicole Sader. I am so excited to be your new Youth Program Coordinator. I live
in the Stoneybrook area where I have resided for 15 years.
I graduated Lucas Highschool in 2012 and am currently enrolled at Fanshawe College, starting my second
year in the Child and Youth Worker Program.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and close friends including my chihuahua
Josie. I am very interested in fitness and enjoy living a healthy active lifestyle, but I also am one to
argue that there is truly nothing better than enjoying a good book!
I look forward to meeting everyone and starting my new position at St. Johns Arva!

BIRTHDAY WISHES
Barbara Hambly was all smiles at her recent 90
th
birthday party! Thanks to everyone who joined in
the festivities!

Nicole Sader,
*NEW* Youth
Program Coordinator







SUMMER 2014




Connect with Us!
21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


6 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva
BAC BREAKFAST



A huge thanks to our Chef-in-residence Charles Scrooby and the gang for their
ongoing efforts in putting on these fabulous pre-service breakfasts the third Sunday
of every month!
The food and fellowship is enjoyed by all and as a bonus, the funds raised go
toward sending St. Johns youth to Huron Church Camp for the summer.



Please contact our Parish Administrator to confirm the Parish Hall is available for use PRIOR to booking your event/using
our facilities. We appreciate your cooperation! Phone 519-660-8177 or Email stjadmin@bellnet.ca
If you are the Coordinator of an ongoing church-related event series not listed on our calendar,
please inform our Parish Administrator as soon as possible and your details will be added.
Joseph C.K. Lin
A Church goer wrote a letter to the Editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every
Sunday...
"I've gone for 30 years now," he stated, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of
me, I can't remember a single one of them... So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving
sermons at all."
Why Go to Church ?
Friendly Reminder
Chef Charles Bob McCullough Ray Jones






SUMMER 2014




Connect with Us!
21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


7 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva

This started a real controversy in the Letters to the Editor column, much to the delight of the Editor. It went on for
weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I
cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals.
But I do know this... They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given
me these meals, I would be physically dead today.
Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"
When you are DOWN to nothing... God is UP to something!
Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!
Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!
Walters Dinner Theatre Presents:

Thursday September 11
th
, 2014 at 1:30 pm
836074 Hubbard Rd, Bright, ON NOJ 1B0
A little reminder to those who have purchased tickets to the
matinee, if you have not already, please make a note in your
calendars!

We should be there no later than 11:45 am as lunch is served
at 12:30 pm; the show begins at 1:30 pm.
If anyone is interested in car-pooling , please get in touch
with Ilse Jones: 519-433-2542 or
woerzle@myway.com. Im happy to arrange something.

I am also hoping to arrange another Eating Together Event,
maybe a BBQ? If, interested, talk to Ilse.
September Five-Week Study

Dates/Times TBA
Kathleen Norris leads us through a series of 10-15 minute
video presentations followed by group discussion. We will
explore:

Why does belief matter?
To what do we give our hearts?
Can Biblical teachings be of benefit in our daily lives?
What does it mean to remain in God's image?

As with all our studies, conversation is encouraged and
divergent paths of conversation always welcome.
Dont Miss Out!






SUMMER 2014




Connect with Us!
21557 Richmond St P.O. Box #129 Arva ON NOM 1CO
P: 519-660-8177 F: 519-660-0946 E: stjadmin@bellnet.ca
Rector: Rev. Wendy Mencel Honourary Assistant: Rev. Kate Hathaway Lay Reader: Jean Davies


8 | SUMMER 2014

stjohnsarva.ca /stjohnsarva @saintjohnsarva

Lord God Almighty Savior redeemer, only true God to be worshiped and prayed; how can
we tell you how much we love you? Take now our lives, Lord, and teach us to love.
These words put to music by Connie Huseman and sung during our opening service, frame much of what Synod was
about this year; that being, our call to serve God, in the name of Jesus, by building strong relationships, in love, with
those around us.
Synod gathered in the City of London from Sunday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 27; 257 laity and 126 clergy were
registered to vote. Bishop Robert Bennett and Bishop Terry Dance called us to order at 5 pm and made special welcome
to Bishop Saulo de Barros, his wife Ruth de Barros, and Lay Leader, Mary Joyce White Rocha of Brazil. Their warm
presence represented the peoples of the Diocese Anglicana Da Amazonia, our new companion diocese; into which we
enter a relationship of interdependence and shared responsibility, of friendship and mutual support on the Way of
Jesus (words from the signed covenant).
We settled in by taking care of pre-functionary business. At 5:30 pm we proceeded to the Cathedral lawn to share a
delicious Brazilian themed meal supported in part by Huron University College. Under comfortable skies, live Brazilian
music entertained us and folk mixed and mingled at will.
At 7:30 pm we regrouped in our Cathedral for the opening Eucharist. Two highlights of the ceremonies were The
Bishops Charge and the covenating of our new relationship to the Diocese of Amazonia. Rev. Canon Bill Cliff best
summarized the worship by saying it was an experience of intimate community, and a transcendent communion with
God. The collection garnered $42,562.49 for the work of the PWRDF.
The Bishops Charge was a comprehensive look at the relationships that we in the Diocese of Huron currently
participate. Many challenges arose in Bishop Bobs address; one central task coming in these words; we are hardwired
to be in relationship[so the question becomes] will we say yes to Gods persistent invitation to make covenantwill
we say yes to the creationsinvitation to be in relationship to love and be loved?
A summarized report of the following 1.5 days is best presented thematically. As a result many energetic subtleties will
be missed, many specifics not mentioned, many go unthanked, and many voices will unfortunately go unnamed. This
years themes include:
Theological Undertones Relationship Development Relationship Maintenance Affirmations
READ MORE AT: http://www.diohuron.org/what/synod/welcome.php
Whom Will You Serve? A Snapshot of Synod 2014
The Bishops Charge to the 172
nd
Synod of the Diocese of Huron
Welcome
To the saints who are in Huron and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (slight reworking of Ephesians 1.1-2)

To each and every one of you gathered in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul this evening;
welcome to the 172
nd
Synod of the Diocese of Huron. I would also like to extend a personal welcome to
Bishop Saulo and Ruth de Barros and Mary Joyce White Rocha from our new Partner-in-Mission: The
Diocese Anglicana do Brazil (Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brazil) We thank God that you have arrived
safely and that you will be with us for the next while. The people of Amazonia are with us through your
presence.
I must confess that the opening Service of Synod has always been a highlight for me (I didnt say
the Bishops Charge, I said the service). It is so right, appropriate and necessary to frame our time
together in worship and praise of the One who gives new life: Jesus Christ! And when we gather for
these glorious services, Im always sensitive that we worship in the shadow of matriarchs, patriarchs and
all the saints who have journeyed before us to lay down the pathway of faith. Can you feel their holy
and mystical presence? (Therefore we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses; let us also lay
aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set
before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith - Hebrews 12:1,2a) Thanks be to God!

Cycling and Community
Many of you know that I love to cycle in the good weather. If traffic is heavy on city streets, I
gravitate to the beautiful trails that parallel the Thames River as it meanders thru the city. If traffic is
not an issue then I explore the various residential neighbourhoods of London. Recently, while on an
early morning ride, I found myself in the citys southwest and passing by a Christian church thats been
around for a while. The building looked much the same as always except for the new LED sign that
boldly proclaimed: This is now a Community Church , where historically it had been an integral part
of a wider protestant denomination. This congregation is not alone, for there seems to a marked trend
for churches to re-tweak by rebranding and by hushing up denominational affiliation as if it might be a
bad thing. I suppose this might be a considered a contemporary missional strategy but I suspect it might
fall in the same category as painting the front doors of churches red; all sizzle and no fire! As I cycled
slowly past this particular neighbourhood church, the name-change prompted me to ponder about what
the motivator for the change might have been. Certainly, it is self-evident that the faithful are always
called into community. (for when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. -
Matthew 18.20) It is also a truism that we are to be Gods sent people. (Go therefore and make
disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the triune God- Matthew 28.19) And all of us are
acutely aware of the ever-present challenge to be in the world but not of the world (Romans12.2,
John17.16)
Since its first beginnings, the Christian community has had a love/hate on/off come
close/stay away relationship with the culture. And 2014 is no different; in fact our particular time
presents us with a multitude of unique challenges. In the world of selfies, me-ism, relativism, Nimby-
ism, Facebook, texting, Twitter and the like; (did I tell you what I had for breakfast two days ago?) in
such a world the challenge for Christians is to embrace a healthy individuated sense of community, one
that is NOT synonymous with being local, myopic, inward, selfish, or silo-building.
I really appreciated cycling past that South London community church for it prompted me to
reflect further on what community looks like for Anglicans, or at least for this Anglican. One thing I do
know, its way more than simply re-branding or disengaging.. At our best I think Anglican Christians
belong to a community of communities. At every level and iteration, we gather in Christ to be sent
out in Christ.
Locally we gather in over 200 faith communities dotted across southwestern Ontario where
thousands of Gods children live, move and have their Christian being. Most of you in the Cathedral this
evening hail from one of those communities.
We also gather as a Diocesan Community of Faith as here in this 172
nd
Synod. Again there are
thousands of us involved in diocesan ministries as varied as Social Justice Huron, Youth Synod, Mission
to Seafarers, Doctrine and Worship, Church Camp, and even the Cemetery Committee. Take a good look
at the reports in the synod journal; they give us a focused snapshot of what the diocesan community
looks like.
Then there is the national expression of Anglican Community which includes thirty dioceses just
like Huron tied together by a common commitment to National Church Mission and Ministry. Anchored
by Vancouver Island in the west, Pelee Island in the South, Ellesmere Island in the north and
Newfoundland jutting out into the North Atlantic; yes we are the Anglican Church of Canada. (or
perhaps more accurately the Anglican Community of Canada)
The circle of communities keeps getting wider. We are indeed blessed to be an integral part of
the worldwide Anglican Communion; eighty-five million of us in 165 countries spread out across this
fragile earth, our island home.
And thanks be to God, our communitys life doesnt stop with the surname Anglican. By virtue
of our baptism, we are one in Christ with Christians in every time and place; Copts, Lutherans,
Pentecostals, United, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Presbyterians and on and on. No matter what
overprotective judicatories might say, there is a huge rainbow of believers out there and all are our
sisters and brothers.
And last but certainly not least, today we affirm and celebrate our newest community
experience: Amazonia and Huron.
You see we are a veritable spiders web of interconnectedness. Yes in every sense of the word,
we are a community of communities and thanks be to God for that. Its one reason Im proud to be a
Christian that embraces the Anglican pathway.

Choose this day
One of the prime directives of God springs forth early in the Hebrew Scriptures, when at the
moment of creation we hear this: It is not good that man (we) should be alone.(Genesis 2:18) This is
a way of underscoring something we naturally intuit; that we are hard-wired to be in relationship (deep
and abiding relationships) with God the Creator, with each other, and with the creation itself. This need
to live relationally mandates that we seek out community. Critical to all this are the choices we make as
we journey through life. Will we say yes to Gods persistent invitation to make covenant; to love and be
loved? Will we say yes to those with whom our lives intersect; to love and be loved? And will we say
yes to the Creations breezy and subtle invitation to be in relationship; to love and be loved? Ah choices,
choices!
This evenings text from the Hebrew Scriptures is also about making choices. Nearing the end of
his life, old Joshua gathers Israel together at Shechem. His purpose is to recount the communitys
tumultuous salvation history, to affirm Gods abiding faithfulness and to challenge the people to
respond and make covenant. He then issues the challenge of all challenges.
.choose this day whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15b)
His response is clear:
..but as for me and my household(my community) we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15b)
The community of Israel rises to his challenge:
Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God. (Joshua 24:18b)
Israels response at Shechem resonates for us these many years later. Each day we also are to
make choices: Serve the Lord or not. (I want to follow Jesus. We want to follow Jesus.) And when we
make our choice and say yes, we are always driven into community; a community whose life and health
is framed by another covenant- the Baptismal Covenant. First we choose to embrace the triune God.
I believe in God: Creator
I believe in Jesus: Redeemer
I believe in Holy Spirit: Sanctifier
Then we covenant to choose a Christian lifestyle:
- continuing in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread and the
prayers
- when we wander away, we return to faith by the Grace of God
- we strive to be gospel people by word and example
- we strive to seek and serve Christ in all persons loving neighbour as self
- we strive to seek justice and be peacemakers
(that the way things are in the world are not the way they have to be)
- and we strive to sustain and renew the life and health of this fragile earth, our island home.
Strengthened and uplifted by the Holy Spirit, we are a proud Gospel people in our hearts sanctifying
Christ as Lord and always ready to make our defence to anyone who demands from us an account of the
hope that is in us. (1 Peter 3:15 slightly re-worked)
The Life of Synod
Being of a certain age, I can recall numerous Synods of yesteryear. In the early days of my
ordained ministry, the Synod of Huron looked and felt like a formal, almost stiff, parliamentary
gathering with Roberts Rules of Order actually ruling. I really appreciate that Synod has morphed from
that rather stiff formality to become almost a family gathering; immersed in worship, prayer, praise and
scripture study. Yes, we still have our rules of order; community chaos would ensue if we didnt agree
on how to frame our time together. The business must be cared for, but we are a much more relaxed,
peace-filled community and for that I am grateful.
So Synod, whats on tap this year?
- As always, watch for the life-blood of Huron mirrored in the varied reports contained within
the Synod Journal or at the display tables outside the plenary hall.

- Watch for Hurons missional heartbeat reflected in ministries as diverse as congregational
coaching, Hurons Aboriginal Council (LAIC), university chaplaincies, youth ministries, Huron
Church Camp, diaconal ministries, Camp Wendeke, Family Camp, Social Justice Huron and
the like.

- This Synod will be asked to approve the next iteration of what I call the Strategic Mission
and Ministry Plan. The original plan outlined a renewed vision and direction for Huron as
we find ourselves in the midst of dramatic institutional change. Remember our three goals:
-creating an external focus on mission
-the effective formation of clergy and laity
-and wise use of resources (financial and physical)
Archdeacon Richard Salt and the Strategic Plan Implementation Group have been
working diligently on your behalf to facilitate the plans implementation. You can see and
sense the shift in focus right across the face of our diocesan life. Synod is going to be asked
to embrace two more missional goals as we move forward:
- The development of a diocesan communications strategy
- and the development of a focus, in the diocese, on excellence in liturgy
Synod is also going to be asked to adopt the revised Constitution and Canons that were approved for a
two year trial basis at Synod 2012.
- Renew was officially launched at last years Synod and is finding its legs. Renew, as you well know, is
the diocesan-wide initiative whose purpose is to enable us to realize our stated missional priorities for
both the parishes and the Diocese itself. Listen for the vibrant stories of Renew taking hold across the
spectrum of our common life. A special thanks goes out to our hard-working consultants Amanda
Gellman, Lynda McGregor and Renew Coordinator Heather Moller.
- We are now in the midst of a Year of Renew-al that began Advent Sunday and will conclude on the
Reign of Christ. Christian faith calls us to renewal over and over again. It is not a one-off. My hope is
that the intentional Year of Renew-al will anchor Renew as well as the implementation of the Strategic
Mission and Ministry Initiative. Thank you to the gifted team that has been providing resources, calling
us to prayer and inviting us to tell our faith stories. All this will conclude with a great diocesan
celebration next fall. Bishop Robinsons prayer says it all: O God, the Giver of all new life, transform our
lives and renew your Church through the power of your Holy Spirit

Amazonia
Saulo, Ruth, Mary:
A graca do Senhor Jesus Cristo seja com o espirito de todos voces. (Philemon 25)
(What I hope I just said was this: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.)
At first blush it might seem a bit odd for an English-speaking Christian community from southern
Canada to hook up with a Portuguese-speaking Christian community from northern Brazil. At least that
was my initial reaction when the possibility of a companion relationship with Amazonia was first
posited. My goodness, Im relieved we didnt stop things at that first reaction but let the Holy Spirit
speak. The subsequent negotiations between Amazonia and Huron have brought us to this service
where Bishop Saulo and I will sign the Covenant once again as we did at Amazonias Synod.
This past March Kathie, Stephanie Donaldson and I had the honour of travelling to Belem to be
with the people of Amazonia; a transformative experience that we will never forget. For ten days, we
were loved by these warm, wonderful and hospitable people. I now count Saulo, Ruth, and Mary as
colleagues-in-ministry, fellow sojourners on the Way and most importantly, as friends. I have photos of
our trip as a slideshow on my laptop so as I have been writing the Charge the faces of Amazonia keep
popping up on the screen. (Synod at St Lucas parish, young Brenda holding a bowl of Acai palm fruit, the
farmers out in the forest on the island of Bujaru, wandering about the sprawling Ver-o Market complex
in Belem, flying over the rainforest for an hour and half, travelling up the mighty Amazon to a remote
village of descendants of African slaves. And I will never forget those young girls in traditional dress
dancing for us at St. Josephs mission in a very poor part of Belem. My, how they smile!)
Yes, at first blush it might seem illogical for a northern English-speaking community to hook up
with a southern Portuguese-speaking community. But why not? We are one in faith and we are one in
Christ. There were a number of moments at Amazonias Synod where I thought I might as well be at our
synod here in London (except it was 20 degrees below zero here and 31 degrees above zero with a
steady humidex of 41 degrees in Belem) Here is their context; does this sound somewhat familiar?
-they are a people of land and water
-Europeans colonized Brazil and with it came a settler church
-ecological devastation is a significant threat to the well-being of the people
-first Nations issues are huge with the unrelenting encroachment on traditional territories by
forestry and mining interests
- marginalization of the poor is endemic
- there is a jarring dichotomy between rich and poor, powerful and powerless
- violence against women and children is everywhere and in every community
- proclaiming the Gospel in a sea of secularization presents a monumental challenge
Although there are striking similarities between the missional challenges of our two
communities, in other respects we are not exactly the same. Hear the sharp words of Franciscan
Richard Rohr as he challenges the Christian community in North America:
These are three great obsessions: power, prestige, and possessions. But in Christianity
we have always been concerned with ecclesiological questions, sacramental questions,
sacerdotal questions, and, needless to say, sexual questions questions that Jesus
practically never bothered with. But every time Jesus deals with real problems of this
world, namely, with power and control, and with economic questions that would
demand real change from us (not just changes in the head, but in our whole life), all the
churches without exception have shoved those teachings aside and ignored them.
None of us is ready for the great Christ, for the whole Christ except for poor blind people
like Bartimaeus (Simplicity, page 141)
I would argue that Amazonia might be an exception to Rohrs comment, for I do not believe that
our Brazilian brothers and sisters in Christ have shoved those teachings aside but rather have
embraced them as their missional priorities. This is why I have invited Bishop Saulo to be a prophet
among us and speak the truth in Love to his northern sisters and brothers. And we will strive to do the
same. Say what needs to be said!
Saulo, to walk with your people even for a short period of time has been life-giving and life-
changing; so much so that in just a little way, I am now Brazilian. My prayer for you, Ruth and Mary is
that you will return home from your time with us and feel that it was a time of blessing. And I hope that
you might also say that in a little way, I am now Canadian.
I think I have spoken long enough. Tomorrow first thing, I will offer thanks and make a few
announcements. For now, these words of Ronald Rolheiser will summarize my thoughts to this 172
nd

Synod of the Diocese of Huron. It is my hope for each and every one of us.
Jesus offers us a model; he tries to move us from one state to another: we are asleep,
and he tries to wake us; we are deaf, and he tries to open our ears; we are dumb, and he
tries to open our mouths to speech and praise; we are narrow, and he tries to widen our
perspective; we are blind, and he tries to open our eyes; we are lost, and he tries to find
us; and we are dead, and he tries to resurrect us.
(Secularity and the Gospel, page 92)
Amen.

Whom Will You Serve?
(A snapshot of Synod 2014)

Lord God Almighty Savior redeemer, only true God to be worshiped and prayed; how can we tell
you how much we love you? Take now our lives, Lord, and teach us to love.
These words put to music by Connie Huseman and sung during our opening service, frame
much of what Synod was about this year; that being, our call to serve God, in the name of Jesus,
by building strong relationships, in love, with those around us.
Synod gathered in the See city of London from Sunday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 27; 257
laity and 126 clergy were registered to vote. Bishop Robert Bennett and Bishop Terry Dance
called us to order at 5 pm and made special welcome to Bishop Saulo de Barros, his wife Ruth
de Barros, and Lay Leader, Mary Joyce White Rocha of Brazil. Their warm presence
represented the peoples of the Diocese Anglicana Da Amazonia, our new companion diocese;
into which we enter a relationship of interdependence and shared responsibility, of friendship
and mutual support on the Way of Jesus (words from the signed covenant).

We settled in by taking care of pre-functionary business. At 5:30 pm we proceeded to the
Cathedral lawn to share a delicious Brazilian themed meal supported in part by Huron
University College. Under comfortable skies, live Brazilian music entertained us and folk
mixed and mingled at will.
At 7:30 pm we regrouped in our Cathedral for the opening Eucharist. Two highlights of the
ceremonies were The Bishops Charge and the covenating of our new relationship to the
Diocese of Amazonia. Rev. Canon Bill Cliff best summarized the worship by saying it was an
experience of intimate community, and a transcendent communion with God. The collection
garnered $42,562.49 for the work of the PWRDF.
The Bishops Charge was a comprehensive look at the relationships that we in the Diocese of
Huron currently participate. Many challenges arose in Bishop Bobs address; one central task
coming in these words; we are hardwired to be in relationship[so the question becomes]
will we say yes to Gods persistent invitation to make covenantwill we say yes to the
creationsinvitation to be in relationship to love and be loved?
A summarized report of the following 1.5 days is best presented thematically. As a result many
energetic subtleties will be missed, many specifics not mentioned, many go unthanked, and
many voices will unfortunately go unnamed.
Theological Undertones
Throughout the entirety of Synod we were reminded and taught anew of our calling by God,
through Christ, to build humanity together (Bishop Saulo as interpreted from Portuguese by
his wife Ruth). Our opening Bible study (by the Rev. Canon Megan CollingsMoore) focused on
Joshua chapter 24. Joshua asked his people choose this day whom you will serve but as for
me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Megan deftly grounded us in in a faithful
intentionality so to be lovingly present and compassionately active in the lives of others.
Relationship Development
Synod 2014 highlighted many ministries within which we as a diocese are intentionally
responding to the needs of those served. Here listed are but a few groups that made
presentations.
Huron Church Camp serves the needs of many young people through a variety of
involvements. In excess of 500 children, youth, and adults participated in the ministry of the
summer camp in 2013. Rev. Chris Travers spoke to the benefits of this experience by sharing
with us how, when he was a struggling young man, the community at Huron Church Camp was
a place of filtering so that he could hear the voice of God leading him eventually to the
priesthood.
Youth Ministry welcomed and commissioned the newly appointed male Youth Chaplain, Brad
Johnson. He and the female Youth Chaplain, Rev. Sharla Ciupak, are actively engaging youth
from around the diocese by drawing them into meaningful relationships with one another and
the broader church.
The Deacons in our diocese are a dedicated group of men and women set-aside through their
ordination to be involved in a multitude of pastoral ministries. These ministries focus on
feeding the hungry, the destitute, the sick, the elderly, and much more. Bishop Dance praised
their work; they touch lives and make a difference.
The Justice League of Huron represents a number of ministries that passionately spoke of the
numerous ways our world is being torn apart by injustice. This league of voices, centered in
Jesus compassion, called us to remember our mission as the transformative body of Christ.
This league consists of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer, College of Deacons, EnviroAction
Committee, Huron Hunger Fund\PWRDF, LAIC (native ministries), Social Justice Committee,
and the Refugee Committee.
The Council of the North represents 9 dioceses that make up 85% of the landmass in our
country (and yet only 15% of the population). We were honored this year by a presentation
from Ven. Deborah Lonergan-Freake, of the diocese of Moosonee. Deborah spoke about the
creative ministry occurring in those unique northern geographical locations. She shared how
financial constraints sadly limit outreach and ministry to what she considers some of the
greatest pastoral needs in the country.

Relationship Maintenance
The Rev. Bill Ward reminded Synod when one parish is strengthened, we are all
strengthened. This is a message our bishops have been taking seriously through a strategic
plan implementation group (SPIG) under the direction of Archdeacon Richard Salt.
This plan includes the challenges of the Renew program and the enthusiastic, hope-filled,
prayerful work of the Renew-all Committee. It incorporates a variety of tools including new
models of ministry, lay training, canonical changes, and clergy wellness.
Bishop Bennett pointed out that we cant be that which we once were. In keeping with this,
Bishop Dance suggested parishes need to engage in asking fundamental questions about our
impact in reaching the needs of those around us.
Specifics of the newly adopted Strategic Plan for 2014 through 2017 can be found on the
diocesan website.
The Safe Church Committee and the Doctrine of Discovery Committee reminded us of the
importance in assessing and reassessing the impact of our relational dynamic. More
information on these committees can be found on the diocesan website.
The Administration & Finance Committee chairperson, Ven. Jane Humphreys, reported that
there was a $54,000 deficit for the diocese in 2013 and now an accumulated deficit of
$363,400. Immediately following this report, there was a failed motion to review the financial
model used in assessing diocesan income (apportionment). Despite how contentious is this
issue, and the depth to which folk feel the weight of financial responsibility, delegates, clergy,
diocesan staff, and Bishops, listened attentively, and responded verbally with considered
thought and sincere intention to manage the deficit situation with due diligence.
Affirmations
This years Synod honored the following retirees; Rev. William (Bill) Bradley, Rev. Susan Jolley,
Rev. Larry OConnor, HCN Editor, David Parson, Ven. Richard Salt, Rev. Joan Stiles, Rev. Phil
Uptgrove, and Canon G. Nick Wells.
Bishop Bennett named Mr. Richard Doyle to the Order of Huron. Mr. Doyle has a passion for
the ministry of Huron Church Camp and has been instrumental in raising funds to allow more
children and youth to attend the camp.
Retiring Huron Church News editor, David Parson, has been named Editor Emeritus for his 27
years of excellency. His last edition is June, 2014.
The Huron University College has been celebrating its 150
th
anniversary this past year. The
Dean of Theology, Dr. Todd Townshend, invited one and all to come and use the world-class
resources at the college.
This year marks the 40
th
anniversary of Bishop Bennetts ordination. He was congratulated
with a rousing round of applause at our closing banquet.
In Summary
This years Synod gathering was an uplifting experience in which relational demands were at
the forefront. Synod was called over and again to examine how its leadership will impact both
the body of Christ and the communities, within which, the body of Christ is called to minister.
This process was best summarized when Rev. Val Kenyon suggested, in a Renew progress
report, that we are challenged to lift our gaze and remember we are part of a larger
community.
A grateful thank-you is sent to those who held up the sessions through individual and parish
prayer.