Notes from the Clergy
On Wednesday of this week Allan and I will have been in Canada for a year. It has been quite an experience: adjusting to living in a new country; becoming familiar with this fine city; feeling uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of extremes of wealth and poverty, not least in the Downtown Eastside; discovering something of First Nations culture and of the history, for good and ill, of colonialisation; getting to know the feel and ways of a new diocese and parish; reflecting on what it is to be an Anglican in the very secular and multi-cultural Pacific Northwest where the Christian faith is still a relatively new religion, practised for some 200 years, having served in a parish church the chancel of which was built in 684 and where the Church of England is still, though to a more limited extent than in former generations, part of the fabric of national life. It has been a fascinating and informative time, and I am glad to be here.
All of this has given me the opportunity to learn more about who I am as a person and as a priest, and how I am called to relate to the communities in whose lives I share; about what really matters to me, and how I discern God at work in and around me.
As I have been on this journey, I hope and pray that my interim ministry here at St. James’ has helped the parish community to reflect again on some similar issues in the light of its heritage of faith: what does it mean to be a 21st-century Anglican Catholic parish in an increasingly secular society, set in the social context of the Downtown Eastside? Where is God leading? How may we reflect God’s love and longing for all people revealed in Jesus Christ to those amongst whom we live and work? How may we join in where God is already at work in the communities around us?
Please continue to pray for the Canonical Committee as it seeks to draw together a picture of St. James’ identity and the parish’s vision in the Parish Profile. This coming Saturday’s Parish Council is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to this conversation: do come if you can.
Fr. Kevin Hunt