From the Dean's Desk: Diocesan Synod


The 77th Synod of the Diocese of Calgary took place on October 13 and 14, 2017. In his Charge to Synod, as well as in a pastoral letter circulated to all delegates, the Archbishop talked about the importance of healing and reconciliation. Indeed, the theme of this year’s Synod was “Toward Healing and Reconciliation”. The guest speaker was the Right Rev’d Lydia Mamakwa, first bishop of the Indiginous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamakoweesh, a diocese in Northern Ontario which was established on 1 June 2014 out of the former Diocese of Keewatin. In her two keynote addresses, she spoke of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Churches’ response and follow-up to the 94 Calls to Action, especially in the area of education. The Synod was also address by the Right Rev’d Sidney Black, Indigenous Bishop for Treaty 7 Territory, who gave a moving talk of his own residential school experience and how deciding to be positive has freed him from bitterness.
Greetings were brought from the Synod of Alberta and the Territories of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (with whom the Anglican Church of Canada is in Full Communion) by the Rev’d Dr. Julianne Barlow, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary by the Rev’d Adrian Martens, and from our Companion Diocese of the Windward Islands by The Ven. J. Everton Weekes who not only gave us an update on our Companion Diocese but also an open invitation for members of the Diocese of Calgary to go and help them at any time.
There were important presentations from committees, among them from the Rural Ministry Committee which was helpful to any parish. The Rev. Clara King shared about re-engaging rural areas in the church. She made three points:
1) that this is an opportunity for the Diocese to become a hub of resources and programs;
2) the importance of building up a spiritual life and the capacity of whole congregations, not just some leaders;
3) and we all need to make a commitment to focus on what we can change not what we can’t. 
There were a number of administrative matters that were dealt with, including electing members of Synod to Diocesan Council, Provincial Synod, and General Synod. The Dean was elected as delegate to General Synod, which next meets in Vancouver in 2019. There were two administrative motions. One dealt with minor amendments to the Canons of the Diocese of Calgary and the other with a motion from the outgoing Diocesan Council requesting that the incoming Council focus its energy on creating a mission strategy for the Diocese. Both were passed almost unanimously. The crucial motion brought forward to the Synod was one which asked “That this Synod requests the Bishop to grant permission to any clergy who may wish to bless the unions of faithful, committed, Christian same sex couples. In requesting such permission, clergy and lay people of the Diocese of Calgary shall be entrusted to follow their consciences.” This brought a number of people to the microphone, all in a respectful way. The motion passed by nearly 60%. The Archbishop indicated that he would give his response (whether he will permit parishes that have expressed a desire to respond pastorally to committed, Anglican, same-sex couples to offer a service of blessing or not) within a month’s time. 


All Mothers and Children Count

The Cathedral Outreach Committee and the local Primate’s World Relief and Development fund (PWRDF) are sponsoring a fall fundraiser: “All Mother and Children Count.” All monies collected go to maternal and child health in Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique and Burundi.

This is a Coffee Cup Campaign, where we ask you to donate what you spend on coffee for a week to this project. Cups, decorated by our Sunday School children, are available either in the narthex or the Parish Hall. Inside are envelopes for your donation. Place the envelope in the collection plate. Make cheques payable to Cathedral Church of the Redeemer with AMCC on the memo line. If you give cash, put your name on the envelope.

Whatever you give will be matched by the Federal government in a 1:6 matching programme. If you give $10, the amount going to PWRDF will be $70, so please give what you can.



Fall Outreach Project

Inspired by the PWRDF Project "all Mothers & Children Count," we have begun to knit or crochet small gifts to give to Mothers in the community who have few resources. The group meets each Thursday in the Parish Hall from 4 until 6 pm allowing those who wish to attend Vespers at 6:15. A $10 donation is suggested to sign up for this project, but it is not a requirement. If you are not sure about knitting and would like to learn, come along, and you will be helped. Please contact Lesley Pugh, or 403 234 9948 to join the group.

PLEASE NOTE: The knitters will not be meeting during December. They will recommence their work in January.


ESL Café

The ESL Café provides practice in conversation for new immigrants to Calgary. We have nearly 20 students, mainly for Turkey, at the moment. We meet in the Parish Hall Wednesday 3-4:30 pm, and Saturdays 10:30 am - noon. If you would like to assist, contact Joy Newman: or 403 208 1602.

Tribute to Elizabeth Challice

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Elizabeth has been an active and much loved member of the Cathedral congregation for many years.
She trained in London at the Royal College of music and was organist at St. Andrew’s, Calgary, before becoming assistant organist at the Cathedral for both Robert Bell and Terry Fullerton.
She became an active member of the Altar Guild when Hugh Stiff was Dean, and apart from a brief respite, remained a valued member until her retirement this year.
She was president of the ACW, and was an active member, playing the organ for the annual service.
She has been coffee hour organiser — and generally helped in a myriad of ways.
We are truly grateful to Elizabeth for her committed service to the Church, for her wealth of stories and her continued participation in the life of the Cathedral.

Recent: NeST Update

NeST Update. On Sunday, October 22nd the Al Jbawi family met a number of the Cathedral parishioners at Bruce and Ruth Parent’s house. We were all impressed with their cheerfulness and quiet grace. We continue to support them along with St. Stephens and St. Paul’s.

A Stitch in Time with the Deerly Wrought Sampler Guild

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This week's blog post was written by Sheila Cook.

On Saturday, April 22, the Cathedral Altar Guild hosted the Deerly Wrought Sampler Guild (DWSG) at the Cathedral. The DWSG is interested in historic and traditional stitching in all contexts. The Cathedral Altar Guild ladies were more than happy to show off the historic and current vestments, hangings and altar cloths. The DWSG’s interest in the Cathedral’s inventory of vestments and hangings came from a project that we recently completed: the High Altar Kneeler Project.  Jeannette Douglas, who designed the high altar kneelers, recommended a tour of the Cathedral to the DWSG and I believe they were not disappointed!

Dean Lee welcomed the group and started the morning with a brief history and a tour of the Cathedral. Elizabeth Challice, Mary Downing, and Pat Glen lead the discussion and presented many examples of the beautiful embroidery that are on the chasubles, stoles, copes, altar cloths, and hangings. There was a wonderful feeling of sisterhood between the two guilds.

The tour concluded in the narthex with refreshments and an opportunity to visit. It became very clear to all present how important the work that the Altar Guild does every week. The pride this unsung group has in preserving and maintaining the vestments, hangings, and other stitching goes without question. This is just a part of what the Altar Guild does for the Cathedral. I’m sure our Altar Guild volunteers are breathing a big sigh of relief after a very busy first half of the liturgical year. A big thank you to the Altar Guild for all their hard work!