Wednesday, August 21, 2019, Archbishop Melissa Skelton paid her second visit of 2019 to St. Jude’s Anglican Care Home located in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood adjacent to Children’s Hospital. Archbishop Skelton was responding to a request from St. Jude’s Anglican Chaplain, the Reverend Clare Morgan to preside at the Eucharist and officiate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Anita, a resident at St. Jude’s had indicated her intention to be confirmed in the Anglican Church. This event had been scheduled for early in the summer, and unfortunately it was necessary to postpone the Confirmation Eucharist due to Archbishop Skelton’s health issues, however, the archbishop was delighted to be available on this rainy, late summer morning to confirm Anita.
There was a very good turnout in the St. Jude’s chapel for worship. Rev. Morgan welcomed the congregation, proclaimed the Gospel (The Beatitudes), preached and administered Holy Communion, assisted by faithful St. Jude’s volunteer, Judith Parkes of St Mary’s, Kerrisdale. For her text Rev. Morgan touched on the Gospel reading but she focused in more specifically on the St. Jude’s community and Anita’s journey of faith saying:
“So many of you in this community are humble in your own self-estimation. And in Anita I see such a godly sense of humility, honesty and quiet strength. In preparing for confirmation I asked Anita several questions about faith and her sense of the divine. Anita said that ‘God is all around us,’ and that God is ‘all things bright and beautiful.’ But Anita was also very careful to tell me that ‘God is in ugly things too.’ Anita told me that Jesus is a friend whom she talks to and that she sometimes argues with. How wonderful I thought to feel so close to our Lord as to trust him enough to have a good argument. Anita also told me that the Holy Spirit is ‘the one we cannot see’ and then she chuckled and said ‘I am like Thomas.’ But I find the label ‘the one we cannot see’ to be very profound… the Holy Spirit can only be seen by the effect she has on us and on the people around us… like love.”
Following the homily Anita was presented for confirmation and was examined by the archbishop. Archbishop Skelton led the congregation in the Affirmation of Baptismal vows, prayers and then Anita was confirmed by the laying on of hands.
The liturgy was moving, prayerful, hopeful and inspiring. There were three congregational hymns: “Lord of All Hopefullness” “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. The music in worship was led by Barbara Teasely at the organ. Barbara, a long time member of Christ Church Cathedral is the regular organist at St. Jude’s.
August 21 was a very busy day for Archbishop Skelton as she and her husband, Deacon, the Reverend Eric Stroo were scheduled later in the day to fly to Whitehorse, Yukon for the consecration of the new bishop.
Please remember Anita and all the folks at St. Jude’s Anglican Care Home in your prayers.
An article by Reverend Clare Morgan reflecting on the experience of Anita's Confirmation will be published in the October 2019 issue of Topic, the monthly publication of the Diocese of New Westminster, circulated online and by mail as a section of the national publication, The Anglican Journal.
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