Sunday, November 8, 2009

Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle celebrates it 125th Anniversary

On October 31, the Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle held celebrations in honour of the 125th Anniversary of the Diocese. The celebrations began with a dinner held at St. Martin's Parish Hall. I was very honoured to have been invited to take part in these special celebrations.

I was greeted by Bishop Gregory Kerr Wilson, the Bishop of Qu'Appelle, seen here with his wife Vicki.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Archbishop David Ashdown the Archbishop of Keetwatin and Metropolitan of Rupertsland.

With me here at the table is Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Bishop Cynthia G. Halmarson. I should mention here that twice yearly the four Roman Catholic Bishops in Saskatchewan and the three Anglican Bishops and the Evangelical Lutheran Church Bishop meet for a day to discuss their own ministries and other works that we are able to do in common. One such common work, that bore good fruit, was a statement by the Bishops of Saskatchewan regarding uranium mining and nuclear power asking that all Saskatchewanians educate themselves as fully as possible regarding all aspects of this pertinent topic.

During the dinner we were joyously entertained by the Best Buddies Blues Band. This group is from Leboldus High School in Regina.

In the middle is one of the instructors, Chris Hamilton.

Bishop Kerr Wilson got himself into the act with some enthusiastic xylophone playing.

And then we were shown how to really strike up the band.

Then Bishop Greg and myself tried our hands at the drums. I must admit to great pressure on this percussion debut on my part. But it was all a great time.

Then the real professionals showed us how to really do it.

It was great fun to be allowed to be a part of this terrific group for a bit that evening.

Bishops often "sing the blues" but not with so much fun as we had that evening.

Sunday Morning 125th Anniversary Service

A liturgical service, Solemn Eucharist of All Saints, was held in Luther College High School on Sunday morning to which I had the honour of being invited. I was accompanied by Msgr. Don Bolen, the Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Regina and recently working at the Pontifical Commission for Promoting Christian Unity at the Vatican. Msgr Bolen's field of speciality was relationships with the Anglican Church, so it was a great pleasure for me to have him with me for this special event.

The liturgy began with the Rite of Sprinkling reminding us of our baptism and God's cleansing us from sin so we may more fittingly enter into this time of prayer and concluded with a Renewal of the Baptismal Covenant.

There was a very good number of people in attendance.

The Rite concluded with the singing of one of my favourite hymns: "For All the Saints" with the hymn tune "Sine Nomine." From left to right in the front row: Bishop Rodney Andrews, Anglican Bishop of Saskatoon, Msgr. Don Bolen, V.G., myself, Archbishop Ashdown and Bishop Cynthia Halmarson.

The preacher was The Very Reverend Kevin Martin, Dean of St. Matthew's Cathedral in Dallas, Texas.

Here, I am exchanging the Sign of Peace with Bishop Kerr Wilson. Although I was not able to participate fully in the liturgy by receiving Holy Communion since our two Churches have not achieved communion between ourselves, it was still a very positive experience to join in prayer with our Anglican brothers and sisters and praise and give thanks to God for the many blessings we have both received.

The Anglican Church in Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have achieved full communion and so Bishop Halmarson joined Bishop Kerr Wilson and Archbishop Ashdown at the Altar for the Eucharistic Prayer.

Bishop Greg spoke his appreciation to all present at the end of the Service.

And here are the bishops in attendance at the 125th Celebration.

And also Msgr. Bolen whose work for the Roman Catholic Church at the international level has enabled him to feel much at home in the company of our Anglican friends and fellow Christians.

Our congratulations go out to the Diocese of Qu'Appelle from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina on one hundred and twenty-five years of living as a diocesan church here in Saskatchewan. It was a particular pleasure for me to have been able to take part in these celebrations during the year in which our own Archdiocese is celebrating its Centennial Year. On our part we will continue to promote the unity of all Christian Churches and seek the Communion for which our Lord prayed. May God bless our efforts.

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