Burying Time Capsule

Burying Time Capsule
1859 - 150th Anniversary of Parish - 2009 (photo by Scott & Debbie Travers )

Friday, March 21, 2014

Much thanks to Bishop Sue Moxley

     This weekend celebrations are taking place in Halifax to celebrate the ministry of The Right Rev'd Bishop Susan Moxley ( Bishop Sue ) as bishop of our Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  She served as our Bishop for the past decade.  Bishop Sue has contributed greatly to our Diocese, community and country - God blessed us with her ministry!!
     Here are a few photos of Bishop Sue taken in our Parish that will be included in a slide presentation at her retirement dinner this evening.
     Congratulation Bishop Sue - sincere thanks!   God bless you as you retire.
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     Here's an article which appeared in the Anglican Journal last summer when Bishop Sue announced her retirement.
Bishop Moxley to retire

By Marites N. Sison on June, 07 2013

Bishop Sue Moxley, the first woman bishop in the diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI, will retire in March 2014. Photo: Art Babych
     Bishop Susan “Sue” Moxley, known to many Anglicans in Canada and overseas for her passion for social justice and church renewal, has announced she will retire in March 2014.       By then, Moxley will have served in an episcopal role for 10 years—three years as suffragan (assistant) bishop and seven as diocesan bishop for the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. She also will have served as an active priest in the Anglican Church of Canada for 29 years. In 2007 Moxley, then 61, made history by becoming the first female bishop elected in her diocese, and the second female bishop to lead a diocese across the Canadian Anglican church.  With the recent completion of the new multimillion-dollar diocesan centre and retirement living facility in Halifax, and the full approval of the diocese’s new governance structure, Moxley said she felt it was a good time to pass on the baton. “I looked at things I process and things that we are finishing up, and I thought that’s a good point in time right about then,” said Moxley in an interview.  “I’ve loved being a bishop. I’ve loved even the grungy bits of dealing with not-so-nice stuff,” she said. “There’s no way to describe what it’s like. But it’s an honour—it’s a service role and it’s humbling because you get to be with people in the most extraordinary circumstances.” Being “a visible servant of God in the community,” she added, has also been a “huge thing.” She describes being with people in their personal journeys of faith as a highlight of her ministry as bishop and priest. She has been with people “in good times and in bad, and…as they gain new insights about where God is in their lives.”  The opportunity to travel around the diocese and overseas when she represents the national church has also been gratifying. “I keep saying, I’ve been to places that people don’t even know exists in our two provinces,” said Moxley. Her daughter has teased her about the amount of travel. “She used to see those ads that said, ‘Join the Armed Forces and see the world,’ and she’d say, ‘Mom, for you, it’s been ‘Join the church and see the world.’ ”
     Moxley pointed to the vibrant youth ministry as something that she and members of her diocese are most proud of. “The diocese a long time ago made an investment in young people” and continues to do so, she said.  For instance, each parish can send a young person to the diocesan synod—“not a youth synod or some side event”—and they are full, voting members. The diocese has provided regular, consistent funding for a youth ministry co-ordinator and for sending youth to national Anglican and other youth gatherings, among others. The commitment has paid off in terms of leadership development, she said, pointing to the diocese’s four clergy under age 30, who came through the whole process of being involved with their church.  Some dreams remain that Moxley would like to see move forward, among them the project to build “healthier” parishes. A group is looking at the Re-imagining Church program, developed by Toronto’s Wycliffe College, which "introduces people to the basic principles of being a missional church," according to its website.  There have been a few surprises in her role as bishop, said Moxley. “The whole [matter of] how to use lands and buildings well—that’s not something I was ever introduced to at theological school.”  Fortunately for Moxley, her travels overseas as the national church’s bishop representative to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) brought her into contact with new ideas. “Something that really helped me was going to the ACC meeting in Hong Kong [2002] and seeing how they had built highrises on their little patch of land,” she said. The highrises incorporated worship space, offices and places for clergy to live, and these were supplemented by income derived from the other 80 or so floors of apartments, she said. “That really got me thinking about how we could do that here.”  One result has been the redevelopment of the diocese’s properties north of All Saints Cathedral, in south-end Halifax. The church partnered with Shannex, a seniors’ care-provider, to construct an eight-storey, 150-unit facility, which includes 15,000 square feet of space for the cathedral and the diocese’s administrative, educational and other needs.
     While the diocese hasn’t overcome its financial challenges, Moxley said this partnership project has provided people with a glimpse of how to find different ways of funding “God’s work in the world.” Another thing that theological school didn’t entirely prepare her for was “finding different ways to finance the work of God in our church,” said Moxley. Like most dioceses, 90 per cent of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island’s income comes from commitments made by parishes. “So, the whole notion of financial campaigns and fundraising or other ways of planned giving—all of that stuff was a surprise to me,” she said. “It takes a goodly amount of a bishop’s time, especially in a diocese where we don’t have a lot of staff.” There have been personal revelations as well. Being bishop has made Moxley realize that, “I can look at the big picture. I can step back from the details that might drive you crazy and say, ‘OK, where does this fit? How does this fit? Where are we going with that?’ ” Parish life, she said, didn’t provide her with the opportunity for this kind of thinking. She also discovered she had more patience than she’d thought, said Moxley, laughing.  Some actions—whether by clergy or lay—could flummox her at times, but she found she could listen and help sort out things.  Moxley has also learned how to let go of things that are beyond her control as bishop. “When I was parish priest, I always wanted worship to be really well done, to be the best that it actually could be, so I’ve spent a lot of time working with people to say, ‘Now, this is what needs to happen here so things flow properly,’ ” she recalled. “What I discovered as bishop is you have absolutely no control over that,” she said, laughing. “If it doesn’t flow the way I want it to, too bad.”
     She admits, though, to having no patience for people “who put absolutely no effort into planning worship or no effort into caring for people and doing the work they’re called to do.” But she will find time, she said, to call them to task because she believes that priests and lay leaders have to “love God’s people,” and not just put up with them. Asked about her experience of being the diocese’s first woman bishop, Moxley said it was no different from being among the early women priests in Canada—it was a non-issue for most. While there are people who disagree with the ordination of women, including “one or two” in her diocese, she said that for her, being a woman has never been an issue. “People have not been rude. My experience has been nothing like the experience in England, where it has been very difficult.” On some level, she said it has broken stereotypes, including “crazy things like people saying, ‘I know I couldn’t meet with you at supper time because you’d need to be home to get your husband supper,’ and I’d go, ‘Right.’ ” She said she won’t disabuse them of that notion, but she hopes that it has made people realize that all bishops need to have supper with their family.  “I don’t know if being a bishop who’s a woman has made a difference in the diocese or not,” said Moxley. But she acknowledged that it has meant a difference for women, who often comment on it and who realize that they, too, could be called into that role. She recalled a meeting of Anglican Church Women (ACW), followed by a service, and as she went down the aisle, she saw a woman crying in the pew. Thinking she had offended her in some way or that the woman was opposed to having women bishops, she went up to talk to her. “I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And she said, “No, I’m not OK. I saw you up there with your mitre and that crozier and I thought, ‘If God could call her, God could call me,’ and I’m terrified.” That concept hadn’t existed for the woman until she saw Moxley, and that was “quite astonishing,” said Moxley. She remembers telling the woman, “Well, you never know. Years ago, I never thought I would be here, either.” But Moxley said she is happy to have been called. 
     She has a few ideas about how to spend her retirement, including hiking, travelling and gardening with her husband, Bruce, who retired in 2011. She has also drawn inspiration from a retired Episcopal priest she met on a hiking trip in Scotland, who fills in for priests and bishops so they can go on much-needed sabbaticals. “The other thing I’ve been excited about is the area of stewardship creation and how we get people to understand that God has given us so much and our attitude needs to be one of thankfulness, not how much can I get for myself,” she said.  Moxley is also delighted at the prospect of spending more time with her grandson, who will turn four in October. Right now, “Grammy” only has him every Monday, on her days off.  “What I’ve said to priests who retire here is, ‘I’ll give you six months to go and play and you can let me know when you’re ready to come back and do something,’ ” she said. “That’s probably what I’ll do. I’ll go play and do something.”

Monday, March 10, 2014

The First Sunday of Lent

Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness
Image cf. www.truthbook.com
Matthew 4: 1-11  Jesus' Temptation in the Wilderness
     This time of testing showed that Jesus really was the Son of God, able to overcome the devil and his temptations. This temptation by the devil showed us that Jesus was human, and it gave Jesus the opportunity to reaffirm God's plan for his ministry. .Jesus' temptation was an important demonstration of his sinlessness. He could face temptation and not give in. Jesus wasn't tempted inside the Temple or at his baptism but in the wilderness where he was tired, alone, and hungry, and thus most vulnerable. The devil often tempts us when are under physical or emotional stress (for example, lonely, tired, weighing big decisions, or faced with uncertainty). But he also likes to tempt us through our strengths, where we are most susceptible to pride. We must guard at all times against his attacks.  The devil's temptations focused  on three crucial areas: (1) physical needs and desires (2) possessions and power and 
(3) pride. But Jesus did not give in. Jesus was hungry and weak after 40 days of fasting, but he chose not to use his divine power to satisfy his natural desire for food. Food, hunger and eating are good, but the timing was wrong. Jesus was in the wilderness to fast, not to eat. We also may be tempted to satisfy a perfectly normal desire in a wrong way or at a wrong time ( sex before marriage, stealing food). God wants you to satisfy them in the right way at the right time. Jesus was able to resist all of the devil's temptations because he not only knew Scripture, but, he also obeyed it. Knowing and obeying the Bible helps us to follow God's desires rather than the devil's. Satan used Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin! Study the Bible carefully, especially the broader contexts of specific verses, so that you understand God's principles for living and want he wants for your life. The devil offered the whole world to Jesus if he would only kneel down and worship him. Today the devil offers us the world by trying entice us with materialism and power.  We can resist temptations the same way Jesus did. If you find yourself craving something that the world offers, quote Jesus' words to the devil: "You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him."

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ash Wednesday

     On Ash Wednesday we held two services - the first in the afternoon at St. Luke's and in the evening at St. Peter's.  
     The following cf. http://www.anglicanjournal.com/
Palm crosses from the previous year are burned to create the ashes. Photo: IStockPhoto  - See more at: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/40-days-to-easter#sthash.Jm0gBum1.dpuf
            Derived from the old English word for “lengthen” (as do the days in spring), Lent is the 40-day period of prayer, penitence and pondering before Easter. 
            Starting on Ash Wednesday, the seventh Wednesday before Easter, it commemorates Christ’s period of deprivation and sacrifice in the desert and recalls the events leading to his crucifixion. 
            Strict observers of Lententide may observe periods of fasting or at least abstain from festivities, certain foods and other indulgences, giving the money saved to charity. 
Lent’s liturgical colour is a sombre purple, recalling the royal robe the Roman soldiers mockingly placed on Jesus.