The Archbishop of York, Most Rev John Sentamu, spoke on 18th July 2014 in the Second Reading of the Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Lords. Read Article
Clifford is what people call a cradle Anglican. His mother was a devoted Anglican Church member who would start out on a ten mile trek to the church every Sunday. If she got a ride on her way, good, if not she kept going till she got there. This dedication was passed on to Clifford who as a young man attended the Anglican Church. He was Minister’s Warden for Archdeacon Andrew Ahenakew and also for Gordon Ahenakew. He has been a vestry member of St. Mark’s, Hines Mission Church and St. Simeon & St. Anna for over 50 years. Even now at the age of 79 Clifford is there doing any necessary repairs to the church, shoveling the snow before a church service, attending at Communion and Wake services, an active member in the church choir and he rings the bell every Sunday. He is also a member of the Elder’s Council for the Indigenous Bishop of Missinipi.
Cifford and his wife Leona were married in 1960 and have eight children, 24 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. In 1963 he started driving the school bus while farming. He retired from the driving in 1999 but still continues to farm. He seldom has any hired hands which earns him the respect of the younger farmers in the community. He now has 62 head of cattle, 900 acres of pasture and he farms 200 acres of crop land with help from his sons.
His daughter tells of getting a tap on the head if they were not listening in church. Their dad is a firm believer in education and sent them off reserve to the school in Canwood. The principal and guidance counsellors were guests at their house for tea many times. After church on Sundays the kids would watch their uncles and Dad play soccer at the sport grounds.
In Romans, St. Paul wrote that faith required a visible witness. Clifford has been a faithful Anglican witness all his life.
Betty was born Betty Barlow on February 4, 1935 in Vermillion Alberta. In 1957 she married Ken Burningham, who was then a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. She also obtained her R.N. at Alberta Nursing School that same year. Betty and Ken had three children and five grandchildren. With her husband and three children Betty supported Anglican Churches in Winnipeg, Brandon, Chilliwack and Halifax serving as Sunday School teacher, ACW member and youth advocate.
In 1967 Ken answered a call to the ministry spending three years at Emmanuel and St. Chad College. He was then assigned to the Arborfield Parish, encompassing Cumberland House to Hudson Bay to James Smith Reserve.
Betty had her own ideas of the duties of a “minister’s wife”. She served on existing groups like the Altar Guild, ACW, VBS and Sunday school BUT she also helped with or re-organized services at the Melfort Deanery ACW Ladies Retreat, Arbo-Teen Annual Conference, Caring Evangelism, Stephen Ministries and Ascension Bible study. She presently leads a monthly bible study at the Arborfield Special Care Home. Betty and Ken attended summer camps with their children and grandchildren where she served as nurse and camp cook. Ken died in 2001.
In Ephesians Paul reminds us all of the importance of good deeds and Christian service. It is Betty’s humble faith that services us now. She welcomes, she sings, she prays, she serves, she inspires. Her lifelong service is only exceeded by her Christian faith and example.
Norman was born on August 20, 1941 and attended school in Crompton, just south of Kinistino. He attended the University of Saskatchewan School of Agriculture and graduated in 1963 the same year he married Marilyn. They have two children and four grandchildren. Karen and her 8 year old son Liam and Rob and Tracy and their children Rachel 19, Jack 15 and Sarah 11 years old. Norm’s life time occupation has been farming. At one time they farmed eight quarters of land. They had a variety of different farming operations such as hogs, potatoes, and pedigreed seed. Norm’s son Rob has now taken over the operation of the farm with his Dad at his side. He served as president of Tisdale Aviation in the 1980’s and 90’ and was involved in Civil Aviation Search and Rescue as commander for the northern area.
Norman became a lay reader in St. Matthew’s Tisdale in 2000. Even as a teenager he would help take services in Kinistino when the priest was away or the parish was without a priest. Norman has been a vestry member and Minister’s Warden since coming to Tisdale in 1963.
Norman is someone who is always available for whatever needs to be done. His humility and genuine concern for the church and its people has earned him the respect and gratitude of the congregation.
Violet was born in Northern Ontario. After completing high school she attended teacher’s college . She taught at Satawe, (near Thunder Bay) Madson School, at Sault Ste Marie.and in Rainbow Lake, Alberta. As education requirements for teaching intensified Violet went on to qualify with first, a one year certificate and then a university degree in teaching. Her teaching career was very important to her as can be seen in her love of children and her understanding of the troubles encountered by many in our communities.
Violet is very interested in the needs of others and is quick to point out injustices in social situations. She is an active volunteer and family helper for many shut-ins, and elderly neighbours. For 30 years Violet has been active in the diocese and church. She has been President of the Diocesan ACW a few times, and is our representative for the Primates World Relief Development Fund. She was a faithful member of St. John’s Glaslyn, until it closed and now belongs to St. John’s Livelong, part of the Turtle River Parish. She has been a synod delegate at many Diocesan Synods and has also attended Provincial and National Synods.
Violet has two sons and two beautiful young grandchildren. Violet’s concern for the needs of others and her faith in her God is a Christian example to all who know her.
Don has been the Diocesan Treasurer for the past 18 years, which means he would have to attend all Executive and Finance Committee meetings an average of eight per year, at least, plus every Synod held over the last 18 years. He worked with Bishop Tony through the challenges of the Residential Schools settlements and continues to serve with Bishop Michael in these fiscally challenging times. His duties are always carried out with decorum, expertise and kindness to all he has worked with.
Don grew up on a family farm outside of Adanac. He was baptized at St. Thomas Church in Adanac and confirmed at St. John’s Cathedral in Saskatoon. He married Colleen Samson at St. Mary’s Church in Birch Hills. Don and Colleen have lived in Prince Albert since 1984 and attend St. David’s Church. They have two children, Jillian and Paget who both have completed their masters’ degrees and are pursuing their chosen careers.
Since his involvement at St. David’s he has filled many official roles and responsibilities. He has served on Vestry, functioned as treasurer (2000-2004) and been elected as Warden, a position he is now serving. Don is always willing to do some of the unappealing tasks such as moving tables and chairs, setting up or taking down for various events, helping with yard sales and beef suppers. Don is also involved in many community activities such as Director on the P.A. Regional Health Board, to coaching and refereeing sports events. He should have more time for his favourite sports of curling and golfing after he retires this year from his position of Branch Manager for the P.A. (Conexus) Credit Union
For 54 years Harry has been a member of St. George’s Church in Loon Lake. Originally from Radisson, Sask. he moved to Loon Lake in 1956. In 1960 he married Judy Morton. They had three children. Judy was the treasurer for St. George’s until her death a few years ago. Harry continues in the position of Minister’s warden among other duties such as upkeep of the church, grass cutting, snow removal, minor repairs, turning on the heat for services and according to his nominators etc. etc. etc. you get the picture! They quote “do not know how the church would carry on without him”.
Harry has been a regular synod delegate at the Diocesan Synod in Prince Albert. He is always willing to sit on a committee, help organize a 50th anniversary celebration, or to welcome parishioners to his home for various meetings and bible studies. Harry spends much of his time serving others, offering help and drives to neighbours and elders.
In his spare time he works for Marshalls Funeral Home, acts as coroner and Justice of the Peace and is on numerous boards. Harry is a dedicated and selfless man who contributions are motivated by his strong Christian faith.
Ralph grew up in the area between St. Louis and MacDowall. He went to school in MacDowall. He married Donna May Campbell in 1973. They had two children. In earlier years Ralph attended St. Stephen’s Church in MacDowall. He was always a part of the church in Macdowall volunteering and doing his part around the church.
Ralph’s daughter was influenced by her father’s example of living a Christian life and has devoted her life to working with school children around the world. She worked with families in the Dominican Republic. Sadly Ralph and Donna lost their son suddenly in an accident. After this they moved to St. Louis and became a part of the Emmanuel Church. In St. Louis Ralph has been a lay reader and people’s warden for eleven years. Family and community play a large role in his life. He plays violin for the seniors and other groups in the area and helps with his daughter’s youth group. He and his wife play with the Prayer and Praise group led by Archdeacon Hoskin and his wife Mary Lou.
The congregation feels their parish would not be the same without the prayerful dedication and commitment exhibited by Ralph.
Fred was born in 1952 in Prince Albert and has lived his whole life as an active member of St. Alban the Martyr Cathedral. In his teenage years Fred sang in the choir, served at the Altar and was the assistant Sunday School Superintendent. In his adult life while serving on the corporation, teaching Sunday School and working, he found to time to volunteer with the Prince Albert Arts Council, the Share a Meal Food Bank, the Northern Hockey Development Association and the Prince Albert Kinsmen Minor Football Association.
Fred and Marlene were married in 1975 and have two daughters Laura and Diana. Fred worked in Corrections until he retired but still does follow up of those who have left incarceration which is an example of his conscientious commitment to improving the lives of people in all walks of life. In retirement he has continued as a volunteer with the P. A. Housing Authority Board of Directors, the P.A. Parkland Health Region, the SPCA and the Prince Albert Historical society.
He has been a lay reader at St. Alban’s for many years, does monthly leadership at the Candle Lake Community Church, helps out at Carment Court and wherever else he has been needed in the diocese. He serves on the St. Mary’s Cemetry Advisory Committee and is a member of the Diocesan Constitution and Canons Committee. He has attended many Diocesan Synods and also Provincial and General Synods.
Fred’s commitment to conserving the best of our past and respecting those who have gone before us and his willingness to actively engage new ideas that promote growth and ensure the well-being of others make him a great churchman and vital member of his community.
Carol’s nomination comes from the congregation at St. Mary’s Church in Birch Hills and Holy Trinity, Brancepeth where she has served as a lay reader for 27 years. She has been instrumental in maintaining the building and congregation in Brancepeth ensuring that services continue there in the summer months. She leads the Holy Trinity, Brancepeth ACW and is largely responsible for the fact that they are still active in service and in prayer for the ministry and mission of the church. Carol served two terms as the Diocesan ACW president and still continues to be involved on the Diocesan level.
Carol was born in 1942 in Birch Hills. She took her schooling to become an RN and worked in Winnipeg and Brandon nursing. There she met Ian Pryznk and they were married on June 12, 1965. They had three children, Shawn, Boyd and Moniqua and they provided Carol and Ian with six grandsons, one of whom graduates this year. When they returned to Birch Hills Carol worked at the hospital and then took over the Administration duties of the nursing home in Birch Hills and Kinistino until she retired. Ian farmed and worked for BP Water delivery.
Carol has been (and continues to be) very active in the Birch Hills and Brancepeth communities where she is a highly respected leader sitting on many boards and organizations such as the Co-Op, Birch Hills Housing Authority, Brancepeth Community Hall and Birch Hills Curling Rink, and Birch Hills Legion. Carol is an excellent ambassador for the Anglican Church and witness to Jesus Christ.
Henry was born in La Ronge on April 22, 1941. He married Jessie McKenzie in August of 1959 and they had three girls and one boy. Jessie passed away in 2007. Henry is blessed with 10 grandchildren. He received his education at the Residential School in Prince Albert. For him his positive experiences at the school, such as his athletic achievements in track and field and his membership in the Air Cadets, outweigh the negative.
Henry worked at many different jobs throughout his life as Manager of Co ops, fur buyer, butcher, radio operator for DNR and post office worker. At present Henry is a member of the Police Management Board and also a vestry member for All Saints Church. He attends all the wakes and is at church every Sunday helping with the services. He is an entertaining guy who tells students stories of the old days when your mode of travel was dog teams and canoes. He knows a lot of native games and ways of preparing medicine from nature. Henry has a few pet peeves such as the catch and release of fish, pollution caused by snow machines and outboard motors etc. He is also very concerned about the decline of migratory birds like ducks, geese and other waterfowl and smaller birds.
Henry is now retired and living in LaRonge and is continually volunteering and attending church. He serves as an Elder in the Lc La Ronge Indian Band. Henry is a supportive and faithful role model for the citizens of the LaRonge community.
Gladys was born and raised on a farm near Coronation, Alberta. When she finished school she went to live with her sister in Victoria B.C. She took training there and was employed as a stenographer. While there she met and married Vernon Warren, who was stationed there with the Air Force. In 1946 they moved to the Warren farm near Nipawin. They had three girls: Iris, Linda and Debbie.
Over the span of sixty years Gladys has been involved with St. John’s in Nipawin by serving on the Vestry, ACW, Altar Guild and St. John’s Choir. In her earlier years she was leader of the Junior Girl’s auxiliary leading them in nature study and working towards badges of excellence. She served on the Executive Committee for eight years as Junior Secretary of the Diocese. She is also involved with helping at Camp Okema through fund raising and various other activities.
Gladys is one of the main church members to visit shut-ins and works tirelessly promoting good will and inclusion of all Anglicans in the church. Gladys has supplied altar flowers every Sunday for over thirty years. After each Sunday service she would take the flowers to the sick and shut-ins. Gladys is an “encourager” in our church and parish. She gives support and encouragement to our ministers and their families and to everyone who attends the church.
A sermon preached at the Investiture of the Order of Saskatchewan
By the Rev. Chris Dow
On Eve of the Sunday after Ascension Day
31 May A.D. 2014
Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day: That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord! (Judges 5:1-2).
In the Name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
I must admit that when I found out I was assigned to preach here today at the Investiture of the Order of Saskatchewan, I was surprised and humbled; and also confused and a little embarrassed. Confused and embarrassed because, despite having spent a number of years in school (and having the hood to prove it), I did not know the meaning of the word ‘investiture.’ So I had to look it up in the dictionary.
As I discovered, ‘investiture’ literally means ‘to clothe or to cover with a garment’ and is used in the sense of endowing someone with the clothing (or the insignia) particular to a certain rank, or in this case, an order.
To clothe or to cover. That’s important to keep in mind, because I think it helps us to understand what it is we’re doing here today – and what we’re not doing. Let’s start with that – what aren’t we doing?
I want to argue that this is not an awards ceremony or a hall of fame induction –at least, not like those of the world. Unlike the NHL, for example, the Church does not give awards to her most valuable and outstanding players – again, at least not in the same way or for the same reasons. The eleven of you have not earned a trophy or a spot in the Diocesan hall of fame based on your own merit and performance, judged to be greater than that of your teammates.
I don’t mean to sound contentious or dismissive; and far be it from me to discredit your contributions to our Diocese. In human terms, I think we can say for sure that without you (and the previous recipients) there would be no Diocese, so great has been your faith and service over the years.
But even so, I do want to insist that this is not an awards ceremony or a hall of fame induction, where the glory is given to man.
Rather, first and foremost, this is a service of worship in Ascensiontide, where we give thanks to God the Father for the glorious Ascension of His Son Jesus Christ; and it is in light of our Lord’s Ascension into heaven that we must understand today’s investiture.
Judges 5; Hebrews 4:14-5:10
So to that end, let’s turn, just very briefly, to our appointed lessons for this evening, first from the Book of Judges.
I find it striking that our lectionary is ordered so that this week, we reflect on our Lord’s Ascension into heaven by reading through the most earthly, brutal and nasty of all Old Testament books, with some of the most flawed and unlikely heroes of the faith.
What do we make of this? In the words of our collects for this week, I think Judges shows us very clearly our human need, as sinners, to have our ‘hearts and minds’ ascend with Christ into heaven and ‘with Him continually dwell.’ Judges also shows us our need, as afflicted and broken vessels, to be comforted and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Today’s story from Judges is certainly no exception: Sisera, the commander of King Jabin’s mighty army, had oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for 20 years (Judges 4:3). At the end of our lesson, we heard some details of his cruelty: A womb or two for every man; spoil of dyed materials for Sisera, […] embroidered for the neck as spoil (Judges 5:30). It seems he would not only and rape and pillage, but take the jewellery of his victims and wear it as a medal of victory.
During the reign of Deborah the prophetess, the LORD routed Sisera and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. […] But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, where he thought he’d be safe (Judges 4:15, 17). But after lulling him to sleep, Jael – most blessed of women – drives a tent peg through his head (Judges 5:24). Barak, who was in pursuit of Sisera, arrives to find him already dead, with the tent peg in his temple (Judges 4:22).
This fulfills the prophesy of Deborah, who earlier told Barak: the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman (Judges 4:9). Usually this is interpreted as God punishing and shaming Barak for being a ‘chicken,’ for he did not want to go to battle without Deborah. But I disagree. The author of Judges never says that Barak is disobedient or hesitant; after all, ‘Deborah is a godly woman who speaks God’s words. Why wouldn’t [Barak] want her with him?’ 
Barak, then, shows us three things about faith-in-action: first, that faith involves listening to God (and godly people) in every situation of life; second, that faith is about ‘showing courage’ in the face of danger and ‘overwhelming odds;‘ and finally (and most importantly for our purposes) that faith does not seek one’s own glory and honour. Barak goes to battle against Sisera knowing full well that he will not get credit for winning the victory.
In human terms, we could say that the honor is shared between the three of them (Deborah, Barak and Jael), as it is shared between the eleven of you here today. ‘But really, the honor goes to no human at all. It was the Lord who spoke to, and through, Deborah; the Lord who went ahead of Barak and then gave him victory; and the Lord who handed Sisera over to Jael.’
At the end of chapter four, just before the song of Deborah and Barak that we heard, the author of Judges concludes, on that day, God subdued Jabin, the Canaanite king, before the Israelites (Judges 4:23). Not Deborah, not Barak, not even Jael, but God alone defeated King Jabin and his commander Sisera.
God is the deliverer; He acts according to His own power and will, not His people’s merits, so He alone deserves the glory. ‘His working through people is a privilege for them,’ not something that earns them honour and praise.
Faith-in-action does not seek one’s own glory. We see this in Barak in the Book of Judges; and we see it above all in God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, our great high priest who has passed through the heavens (Heb. 4:14). As we heard in our second lesson from Hebrews, Christ did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by God the Father (Heb. 5:5). In the same way, for those who take the lead and offer themselves willingly in His service, no one takes this honour for Himself, but only when called by God (Heb. 5:4).
You see, when an award is won (or when someone is inducted into a hall of fame), the focus is, of course, on the winner (or the inductee) and her achievements and performance. The winner is exalted; he takes the honour for himself.
But, as I argued earlier, today is different. At an investiture an award is not won, but rather, clothing is endowed. So the focus (and the glory) is less on the one being clothed and more on the garment itself and the One who bestows it upon you.
Before His Ascension into heaven, Jesus said, Behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:48-9).
What powerful clothing is this? None other than the Holy Spirit, given on Pentecost. And what does this glorious garment look like on those to whom it has been given? St. Paul tells us: Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another […] forgiving each other […] And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony (Col. 3:10, 12-14).
Friends, our risen & ascended Lord Jesus Christ has been pleased to clothe the eleven of you with power from on high. That is, He has given you various gifts and fruits of the Spirit, which you have faithfully used to His glory in this Diocese over many years.
But of course, the clothing of the Spirit is given to all those who believe in Him. So may I suggest then that your role as lay leaders – as members of the Order of Saskatchewan – is to be a living reminder of this to all God’s people. This is a hard time in the life of our Church – a time when all her members need to be reminded of their true colours.
In the words of the prophet Isaiah, the Spirit of the Lord God is upon you […] to grant to those who mourn in Zion […] the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit (Isa. 61:3).
Take heed of tomorrow’s lesson at morning prayer – exemplify and proclaim it to the Church: Put on your strength, O Zion, put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; […] Shake yourself from the dust and arise; be seated, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion (Isa. 52:1).
So may the medallion that you are about to receive around your necks be never worn with pride – for then it will become a bond that must be loosened. Rather, may it be for you always a reminder of your clothing with power from on high - power to lead and renew the Church.
And so I say to you, not ‘Congratulations,’ but rather ‘Thanks be to God.’ That you lay leaders have taken the lead in this Diocese, that you have offered yourselves willingly, bless the Lord! To Him be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever (Jude 25). Amen.
 Or possibly, Sisera would give ‘the spoil of dyed materials embroidered for the neck’ to his mother and ‘her wisest princesses’ to wear.
 Tim Keller, Judges for You (The Good Book Company, 2013), p. 60.
 Ibid., p. 67-8.
 Ibid., p. 68.
 Isaiah 52:1-12 is the appointed lesson in Year II for morning prayer on the Sunday after the Ascension – the day after the Investiture.
TRINITY COLLEGE DIVINITY CONVOCATION 2014
The Trinity College Convocation will be held on May, 13 2014 in Strachan Hall. At this Convocation they will be honouring The Right Reverend Michael W. Hawkins with an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa).
THE RIGHT REVEREND MICHAEL W. HAWKINS
Michael Hawkins was born and raised in Halifax Nova Scotia. He served in the Naval Reserves during his undergraduate studies, graduating from the University of King’s College with a B.A. (Hon.s) in Classics in 1985. He attended Trinity College 1985-1988 and received his M.Div before being ordained a deacon and priest in the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Michael served the five points of the Parishes of Pugwash and River John from 1988 to 1993. He moved to work with the eight congregations of the Parishes of Petite Riviere and New Dublin in 1993 and remained there until being appointed Rector of St. Alban’s Cathedral in Prince Albert and Dean of Saskatchewan in 2001.
He was elected as Bishop of Saskatchewan in December of 2008 and consecrated on March 6th 2009. He serves alongside the new Diocesan Indigenous Bishop, the Right Reverend Adam S. Halkett, Bishop of Missinipi, as part of a vision called, Mamuwe Isi Miywachimowin, Together in the Gospel.
Bishop Hawkins will be presented by Dr. Walter Deller, and will be hooded by Bishop Colin Johnson
The Right Reverend Michael W. Hawkins Bishop of Saskatchewan
1308 Fifth Avenue East Prince Albert Saskatchewan S6V 2H7 (306) 763-2455 firstname.lastname@example.org
Priest and Pastor of
Meadow Lake – Loon Lake
The congregations of Good Shepherd (Lutheran) and Holy Trinity (Anglican) in Meadow Lake have been working towards a shared life and mission since 2011. A loving, sharing and supportive environment has been developed during this time. They have decided to consolidate their buildings (Church and Hall) and are prepared to call a Pastor to serve with them as a single congregation. They have been bold and courageous in coming together and the energy and excitement of their combined worship and witness is evident. They share in ministry with the neighbouring congregation of St. George’s, Loon Lake and have a term sharing agreement with the Fort Pitt Mission.
They are looking for an Anglican or Lutheran priest and pastor whose own commitment to Christ the Savior as a disciple is solid and growing and who is full of the love of Jesus.
Meadow Lake is located in the northwest part of the province of Saskatchewan.
There is s well maintained Rectory, a three bedroom bungalow style house with a finished basement and attached garage.
Parish profiles are available from the Synod office. Applications will be received for this position until June 30th, 2014. We pray that clergy from both the ELCiC and the ACoC will consider applying for this position. Clergy from outside the Diocese of Saskatchewan should consult their own bishop before applying. Letters of application and resumes should be sent to:
The Rt. Rev. Michael Hawkins
1308 Fifth Avenue East
Prince Albert SK S6V 2H7
Fax – 306-764-5172
The Parish of Arborfield and Nipawin is a newly formed Parish in the Diocese of Saskatchewan comprised of two congregations in rural Saskatchewan.
The Bishop and Parish are seeking a priest to serve as full time incumbent for these two congregations and communities. The Parish is seeking a faithful priest to serve with them who is interested in entering into the life of the two communities and who has strong leadership and interpersonal skills and an ability to work with youth and their families as well as with elderly and shut-ins.
St. John’s, Nipawin currently uses the Book of Common Prayer for almost all of its Sunday services. Ascension, Arborfield alternates between the BCP and BAS. The two churches and communities are fifty kilometres apart. Both congregations have strong, committed and positive lay leadership.
Parish profiles are available from the Synod Office (306-763-2455, email@example.com). Applications will be received for this position until May 15th. Clergy from outside the Diocese of Saskatchewan should consult their own bishop before applying. Letters of application and resumes should be sent to:
The Rt. Rev. Michael Hawkins
1308 Fifth Avenue East
Prince Albert SK S6V 2H7
We dedicated two cruets for use in the Edward Ahenakew Chapel this morning. They were offered in memory of Elizabeth Graham Hunt, wife of the Rev. Canon Stather Hunt who was the grandson of the Rev. Robert Hunt, a pioneer missionary who served for over twelve years in Stanley Mission and oversaw the construction of Holy Trinity Church.
The Lord is my light and my salvation.
It is finally time to take down the Christmas decorations! In some traditions the Christmas festival is considered to last a full forty days until February 2nd, The Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
All along these forty days our dear Lord Jesus seems to get squeezed out. Observances, traditions and figures which have their roots deep in the Christian faith have come to be divorced from that faith and compete with it. On Christmas Day we find Jesus pitted against Santa Claus, a caricature of one of his own followers and bishops. A week later the commemoration of Jesus’ circumcision and the giving of his name is eclipsed by the remainders of New Year’s Eve. Having struggled for attention against the Sears Catalogue and Guy Lombardo, in the final contest Jesus is pitted against a groundhog on February 2nd. While for us December 25 is primarily the birthday of our Saviour and not the commemoration of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and January first belongs to Jesus and not to Times Square and tomorrow is first of all the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and not Groundhog Day, we should not be smug but reminded that we are a people called out of the world. One of the most important ways in which we mark that distinction is in our specifically Christian Calendar.
So I do not care whether Groundhog Willie sees his shadow but I do care deeply whether people see Jesus Christ. For if we do not, we will live in shadows forever and discover an eternal winter.
February 2nd has at least three names in the West. It is called Candlemas and has become the feast of candles as with Simeon we recognize that Jesus is a Light to Lighten the Gentiles. Forty days after birth, in accord with the law, Mary was purified after her contact with the very issue of life and restored to full communal living and so this is the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin. But it is first and last the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
There are two elders in the Gospel story of Jesus’ presentation and they stand in a wonderful way for the witness of our elders to Jesus Christ. We are told about Simeon that “he was waiting for the consolation of Israel” and about Anna that she told everyone who was ‘looking for redemption’ about Jesus.
If we are looking for something else, something better, for redemption and consolation, forgiveness, a new beginning, healing, salvation from futility and pain, and anger and frustration and death, then like Anna, I want to point to you about Jesus. Likewise Simeon would tell us and the entire world, this is your light and salvation.
Simeon had waited all his life for some sign of improvement, for some encouragement, but none came. Here he was near the end of his life and it all seemed to have lacked purpose and meaning. Must he just accept things, the world, life and death, injustice and pain and loss and suffering as they are? No, for it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. I pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal to every human being the same thing, that it is God’s good will for every one of us that we should not see death, before we have seen the Lord’s Christ. Simply put, God does not want us to die until we have come to know Jesus Christ the Saviour, the Light of the world.
But Simeon is incomplete without Anna. Those who have seen and embraced the Saviour are called to tell others, to speak of Jesus to everyone who is looking for redemption. This means telling others in your own words what you have found in Jesus. We all have a friend or neighbour whose disquiet, or searching or hunger or disappointment we are aware of, and it is to these that we are bound to speak of Jesus. Be on the lookout then for those who are looking for redemption and speak to them of Jesus.
Simeon and Anna stand in a beautiful symmetry for our elders in the faith, for all who have embraced Christ before us and pointed us to him. They stand as well for our common calling, to know Christ and to make him known. May we grow together in both.