The quarterly magazine of the Church of the Transfiguration • Lent & Easter 2015 THE Rooted in the Kingdom of God p.4 ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: THE BISHOP SANG ❊ THE TRANSFIGURATION COMMUNITY COMING OUT OF THE COLD ONE BODY IN CHRIST ❊ UPCOMING EVENTS ❊ QUESTIONS & GRACE ❊ I SING WITH A PENCIL IN MY HAND by Kristen Hamilton, Director of Music Ministry Church of the Transfiguration 111 Manor Road East Toronto, ON M4S 1R4 T: 416.489.7798 F: 416.489.3272 [email protected] www.churchofthetransfiguration.ca EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Susan Carlén CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fr. David I. Giffen GRAPHIC DESIGN Carlén Communications CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Michael Hudson To have a submission considered for the upcoming issue of the Transcript, please contact Susan Carlén at [email protected] or call 416.489.7798. Next issue: April 26th, 2015 Submissions for this edition are due by April 12th, 2015 Supporting Church of the Transfiguration The Bishop sang W e had the privilege of having Bishop Patrick Yu with us for our ‘almost midnight mass’ this Christmas Eve. As we sang a variety of carols before the service began, the Bishop was whisked away during our last selection - “O Holy Night”- to dress in his robes and chasuble and to ready himself for the service. At the close of the service, we musicians were jamming out to the Pentatonix version of “Carol of the Bells” when the Bishop came up, complimented us warmly on our contribution to the service, and continued back to the narthex to shake some more hands. As we began to pack up our music, the Bishop circled back and said to me, “David deprived me of the last verse of “O Holy Night”. Do you think we could sing it?” I looked at him sceptically and said, “Right now?” “Yes,” he replied. So as the congregation enjoyed eggnog and sherry in the narthex, Bishop Patrick Yu stood in the almost empty sanctuary beside the piano and sang a beautiful solo version of “O Holy Night”. As we began to sing, Brenton jumped in on the cello, and our violinist, David, picked up his bow and joined us. And so, at midnight on Christmas Eve, we brought in the birthday of Jesus with a solo by the Bishop. It was great! ✣ Ask us about the many ways of giving: pre-authorized giving, weekly envelopes, offerings at services, annual gifts and bequests. Drop by/Mail in: 111 Manor Road East Toronto, ON M4S 1R4 Call: 416.489.7798 Susan Carlén, Office Administrator Tax receipts will be issued for gifts of $20 or more. 2 Feasting on the Sacraments Sunday, February 22nd Stay for a simple lunch right after the morning service, and invest an hour in learning more about why we do what we do. LENT & EASTER 2015 The Transfiguration community coming by Jeff Potter, Pastor of Outreach and Evangelism OUT OF THE COLD On November 29th, a team of 19 volunteers from Transfiguration took on the task of preparing and serving a hot meal for the Out of the Cold community at Blythewood Baptist Church. For many of us, myself included, the prospect of preparing a meal for up to 120 people within very limited time constraints was a little bit daunting - and involved working with challenging quantities of food to prepare a meal of shepherd's pie, salad, veggies, and dessert. On our morning shopping trip to Costco, we bought all of the ground beef available in the meat department - some 90 lbs in total. Combined with 150 potatoes (fresh from the Swidersky-Futter farm), dozens upon dozens of heads of lettuce, bags of frozen veggies, and quantities of spices meant for commercial kitchens, we bought enough food to surprise even the Costco sales clerk. Food prep was hard work - our team suffered a minor cut, strained muscles and plenty of blisters from peeling, cutting, boiling and mashing 150 lbs of potatoes - but provided an excellent opportunity for us to pull together as a team and have some fun. It was remarkable to see everyone enjoying themselves, and working as a (mostly) well-organized unit. In the end, the food even turned out reasonably well! Most of all, the true success of the evening was the opportunity that we were all given to take part in the extraordinary ministry offered by Out of the Cold, to meet new people from a range of backgrounds, and to experience the way in which the divide between guest and volunteer can seem to disappear over a shared meal. Father David and I spend a good deal of time talking about 'Kingdom moments' - times when we catch of glimpse of the way that God is at work in the world. For me personally, and as I've heard from many of our volunteers this evening was full of many such Kingdom moments. Thanks be to God! ✣ Here’s what some of our volunteers said they would most remember from the evening: “I remember taking my plate, and feeling unsure as to where to sit. I picked a spot, and two of the guests said, “Are you eating with us?” I said yes, and wondered that they were so surprised.” “Standing in line with Father David to be served and have people look up and smile with recognition that friends of theirs were being served along with strangers.” “ What a moment of grace.” “Sitting down to share a meal with a stranger. A stranger with whom I share a name - Kathleen. My new friend calls herself "Kat”, I call “I shall myself Kathy. A bonding. Reflecting remember Kris how two Kathleens and Kamalini have led such juggling slippery different lives.” potatoes (launching more than one in my direction), and how polite the guests were.” “As I started chatting with the woman sitting across from me, the man sitting next to her disappeared. He came back a few minutes later; he had stood in line to get me a glass of juice. Serving, or being served…that then.” distinction didn’t really exist just Art in the City Friday, February 20 An evening of wine and cheese and jazz music, in support of our Little Lambs ministry. Art by local artists. Drop in between 7 and 10 pm. LENT & EASTER 2015 3 by Susan Carlén, Office Administrator “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossian 2:6-7 Roots take time to develop. Roots are not established overnight. These truths have been lived out by both John Lawer and Patrick Dugan, two recipients of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto, and two long-time members of the Church of the Transfiguration. The Diocese of Toronto explains the thinking behind the Order: “In 2013, the Archbishop of Toronto and the College of Bishops, with the approval of the Diocesan Council, created an award titled the Order of the Diocese of Toronto. The purpose of the Order is to recognize and honour those members of the laity in the Diocese who have given outstanding service over a significant period of time in their voluntary ministry. We give thanks to God for the work and witness of those faithful lay persons in the Diocese who in the exercise of their baptismal ministry have demonstrated that “their light shines, their works glorify”.” John described receiving the award as “A pleasant surprise! Older members of the congregation will know what I mean when I say with age one tends to be forgotten – so it was pleasant to be remembered.” When Patrick found out that he would be receiving the award he said that after the “initial shock it was heartwarming to have years of involvement recognized.” One of the endlessly fascinating truths of the Body of Christ is that “work and witness” can look very different from person to person. This is certainly the case with Patrick and John. John Lawer is a lawyer. With his professional background and knowledge he served for many years on numerous committees and commissions of the Diocese, and was Honorary Lay Secretary of Synod for a time. His distinguished service on the Diocesan Trusts Committee (the committee which oversees license agreements with groups who I consider myself to be especially blessed…to have enjoyed the friendship and fellowship of the members of the Church of the Transfiguration for more than half a century. John Lawer ,Our 21stAnnual : Pancake Supper at the Church of Transfiguration February 18th, 7:30 pm. 4 All are welcome. Tues. Feb. 17 . From 5 – 7.30 pm w LENT & EASTER 2015 rent space in Anglican churches, as well as determines recipients of certain grants) was emphasized when he was presented with the Order on New Year’s Day, 2014. When asked what Transfiguration means to him John replied, “Although I have been a member of many organizations throughout my adult life, in some of which I have been very involved, I have always considered my commitment to the church of Jesus as particularly expressed in the Anglican communion to be paramount. I consider myself to be especially blessed…to have enjoyed the friendship and fellowship of the members of the Church of the Transfiguration for more than half a century.” Patrick Dugan’s background is in building. As a contractor and master carpenter, he has donated countless hours to the maintenance and upkeep of the physical church building here at Transfiguration. From moving the altar to hanging enormous paintings Patrick has had his hand in almost everything. Anyone who wants to know what he does or has done needs only to look around: his heart, soul and fingerprints are all over the building. from the ceiling to reconstruction after the pipe organ was removed to replacing all the windows, Patrick has had his hand in almost everything. Anyone who wants to know what he does or has done needs only to look around: his heart, soul and fingerprints are all over the building. Patrick describes Transfiguration as always being “an anchor point, a place to regroup, re-establish and reflect.” He has belonged here for 40 years now. Jan. 1, 2015: Archbishop Colin and Patrick Dugan Three days, one journey Celebrate Holy Week with The Paschal Triduum LENT & EASTER 2015 When asked what they would say to someone who asked, “What does it mean to serve God?” Patrick replied that for him it has meant using his talents and skills to support the church’s work in the community. John underlined the importance of choosing Jesus as a role model: “Study the life of Jesus – what he did and what he said, and resolve to truly follow him. Consider always, when faced with a problem, to ask yourself quietly, what would Jesus say or do? And remember that he is alive and will respond if only we ask.” What is my “work and witness”? What is yours? Whether with our hands, our heads, or our hearts – whether with our prayers, our music, or our friendship – whatever our education – whatever our age - we who are rooted in Christ are invited to serve him, each other, and the world around us. ✣ Jan. 1, 2014: Archbishop Colin and John Lawer Maundy Thursday – April 2 at 7:30 pm Good Friday – April 3 at 12:00 pm Easter Vigil – April 4 at 9:00 pm 5 by Father David One Body in Christ A gain and again throughout the New Testament, Saint Paul and others make reference to Christians belonging to one body in Christ. The idea around this concept is that for those of us who have come to belong to Jesus – and to his Body though our baptism – we have also come to belong to one another. That might be an easier concept to understand when we look at our community at Transfiguration, to the fellow parishioners that we know and love who sit alongside us in the pews each week, but what about Christians who belong to other denominations, or in different countries; those who follow Jesus who we have never met? Last summer, a former parishioner, and ardent supporter of Transfiguration, Virginia Davies, approached me to float an idea. She wanted to fund an initiative with us that would give our community the opportunity to look out well beyond our front doors. In memory of her ancestors – Armenian refugees who found solace and comfort in Anglican churches years ago – Virginia asked me to come up with an idea that would invite the people of our community to see that when Christians worship in Toronto on Sunday, they worship alongside her in Manhattan, alongside Christians in South Africa, alongside followers of Jesus in Asia, and alongside members of the Body of Christ across the globe. That although we are many, we are one body in Christ. With this in mind, I began a conversation with Archbishop Colin. In recent years, the Archbishop has become the Diocesan Bishop not only for Toronto, but for the Diocese of Moosonee (Northern Ontario and Quebec) as well. I asked him what he thought of our congregation beginning a companion We will spend a year in correspondence and prayer with one another, and in 2016, I will lead a group of people from Transfiguration to visit them and take part in their ministry. “…so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” – Romans 12:5 relationship with a congregation from his other Diocese in the Canadian Church. He was delighted by this, and from there, a new relationship between the Church of the Transfiguration, Toronto, and St John the Baptist, Wemindji, was born. Wemindji is approximately a 21 hour drive from Toronto. It is a part of the Cree Nation in Northern Quebec and a historic Anglican presence in their region. The clergy couple team of the Reverends Rod and Lisa BrantFrancis spend much of their time on the road (often unable to be back in Wemindji for Sunday service) as their pastoral presence reaches far beyond what we know from urban parish boundaries. Their context in Christian ministry is very different from ours, but also very much the same, as both our communities seek to follow Christ into the world, serving as his hands and his feet. This Easter season, Rod and Lisa will be coming to visit Transfiguration for four days. They will take part in ministry with us and teach us a little bit about who they are and what their ministry looks like. In turn, they will garner experience with us, taking stories home with them to share with their community. We will spend a year in correspondence and prayer with one another, and in 2016, I will lead a group of people from Transfiguration to visit them and take part in their ministry. 6 LENT & EASTER 2015 by Patti Ryan QUESTIONS & GRACE A s a librarian, I spend much of my day answering questions. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the unexpected to the absurd. Tucked neatly behind the fortress of the reference desk with my fingers hovered over a Google search box, no question seems beyond reach. But, in my real life as the parent of an (almost) five and a seven year old, things aren’t quite as simple. I am very excited about this budding relationship between our two parishes, and look forward to the fruits it will bear in the coming months and years. I encourage you to keep the people of St. John’s, Wemindji in your prayers, as they have begun to do for us, looking forward to a day when we will experience a unity in presence, as we already know in unity of prayer and in Christ. - David + LENT & EASTER 2015 My professional training has not prepared me for the questions that I routinely hear in the quiet moments before sleep, or more likely, as we are racing out the door to school, hoping not to be late for the second time that week. These questions, unlike those I hear at work, are not for the faint of heart: “Mommy, how old is God? Did Jesus drive a red car? Does God have a grandma?” And, the one that always stops me in my tracks: “Mommy, why can’t we see God?” One of the reasons I joined the Children’s Ministry team at the Church of the Transfiguration is that I have come to realize that the best, and perhaps the only way, for me to respond to these important questions from my children is to experience God’s love alongside them. I am slowly learning that unlike at work, my job at home is not to have all the answers at my fingertips, but to provide opportunities for my children to see and feel God at work in their everyday lives, surrounded and supported by a community of Christian faith. Every week, as the children of Transfiguration gather together to pray, sing, dance, read, talk, create, laugh, and get to know each other better, I am silently struck by the awareness that we can indeed see God. In those moments, I am reminded that sometimes the best answers aren’t found in dusty old reference books, but are revealed to us in unexpected ways through God’s infinite grace. I feel very fortunate to be a part of a Children’s Ministry team that works to create a welcoming physical and spiritual space for the children of Transfiguration to experience Jesus through, and in the presence of, one another. The experience has helped to deepen my own faith, and has given me a chance to spend time with some of the most entertaining members of the congregation! I am grateful for the dedication and generous leadership of Becky, Roopdai, Kristel, and all the other volunteers, and am honoured to be a part of such a vibrant ministry at Transfiguration. ✣ 7 by Kathy Bailie I sing with a pencil in my hand llow me to clarify this. I am one of the Transfiguration Singers. I hold a hymn book in one hand and a pencil in the other hand. As one of the singers, you won’t ever hear me do a solo, duet or be a part of a trio. Maybe a member of a quartet if only four singers turn up on a Sunday morning. It has happened. Two sang descant, one sang a lot and I carried the melody. I refer to it as my only solo performance. Being in the choir stalls has perks. You get a full view of what is going on in the pews. Who sits where, and best of all: the 10:28 arrival of the parishioners, the Transfig phenomenon. Some even come later… Back to the pencil bit. I enjoy music and singing. But I have a very basic understanding of how to read music. Hence the pencil. My hymn book has all kinds of pencilled notations; arrows up, arrow down, messages that tell me how long to hold a note, when to take a breath, and, most importantly, which line to follow. No descant, no alto. Sounds complicated? Not really. I enjoy music and singing. But I have a very basic understanding of how to read music. But it is fun. Lots of fun. Kris Hamilton (a.k.a. Director of Music Ministry) makes it fun. The other singers and the musicians make it fun. Mistakes are accepted – we learn from each other. We have a good time! Consider joining us. On a more personal note, Sunday mornings and being a Transfig Singer has become “my time”: singing with friends, learning new music and perhaps most importantly, focusing on the sacred part of my life and putting aside the profane part that tries to take over. Recently we sang “Christ, Be Our Light”, written by Bernadette Farrell: “Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ be our light. Shine in your church gathered today.” My invitation to you is to come at 9:30 am on Sundays to practise and celebrate. Sing glory to God. ✣ YOU ARE WELCOME TOO! At the Church of the Transfiguration we look forward to welcoming new people every Sunday and every day throughout the week. If you have been longing to connect – or reconnect – to God, or have been seeking the comfort and care of a loving community, you are most welcome to join us here. Sunday worship takes place at 10:30am every week and Children’s Ministry is always available for children aged two-twelve. Make sure you stay for coffee afterwards, as we look forward to getting to know you better. Welcome!
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