Archdeacon: the Ven. Lou Rivers
Regional Dean: The Rev. Mark Lemon, Capilano-Kingcome Deanery
This is the eighth report from parishes within the diocese of New Westminster regarding their ministry. This month we highlight the parishes in the Deaconry of Capilano, which is in the Archdeaconry also called Capilano. The information has been collected by Bettina Gruver, Diocesan Program Co-ordinator, and comes from files, websites, personal experience, and a questionnaire.
Every year during Lent, the "Angli-cans" project at St. Christopher raises money for a local and international charity, i.e. for the North Shore Safe House for Youth and for street children in Mwanza, Tanzania. The youth group holds car washes and donates the money to SOS Villages Canada and the North Shore Safe House. The parish participates in Programs for Adults at Risk and Restorative Justice workshops. Outreach to seniors' care homes includes worship and visits. The WISH Centre, the Food Bank and Coventry House are helped with donated goods. Past support has been given to the Picasso Café through parish lunches and the Angli-can project. Many parishioners volunteer their time on community boards. Two teens were part of the Taize pilgrimage in '03 and one teen joined the Jars of Clay servant leadership training in '97. Both programs are supported by Stewards in Action. AA and a pre-school meet in the parish rooms.
Fun outreach projects at St. Stephen’s, West Vancouver, have brought local, national and international ministries close to home. That includes helping to provide clothes and linens for the El Hogar orphanage project in Honduras, collecting "Loonies and Toonies" in film canisters for a special outreach need, to one individual's "Bread for Barter," with all proceeds going to the Salvation Army. Significant financial contributions are made to the North Shore Youth Safe House and the NS Harvest Project. There is planning for the future for a number of outreach ministries around youth, the sea and some existing structures in the parish
St. Francis in the Wood supports ministry close to home and overseas, like Doctors Without Borders. The Canadian Harmabee Education Society, providing funds for the education of girls in Africa, is supported for a particular girl who is planning to become a doctor. Long-standing support is provided to Covenant House through time and talent. A parishioner who helped establish Covenant House serves as CEO. Parishioners set-up and staffed their Clothing Room. At Christmas, volunteers provide hampers of a different sort: 150 backpacks are filled with hoodies and goodies for the teens. The parish is also part of Neighbour Link, providing funds and volunteers. The Youth Group got involved in outreach last year, raising $25,000 to help build a clinic in Darfur. One Taize teen pilgrim traveled there in '03; four teens took part in the '01 pilgrimage. The pilgrimages are supported by SIA. The parish welcomed AlAnon, NAnon, Scouts, Guides, Day Care, PreSchool, dance and yoga classes to their facilities.
In response to a community survey, a May 1 Community Day was held last year at St. Monica's with band performances, fun activities and sales of goodies. Community events, concerts and dramatic readings are offered regularly. Parishioners involved in NeighbourLink assist people with housekeeping, rides and runs to the Food Bank. Hampers are distributed at Christmas. The parish supports financially our Volunteer-in-Mission, the Rev. Tess Meadows, serving in Belize. Last summer, two boys from a refugee family who had just arrived where sponsored by the parish to attend a week at Camp Artaban.
A parish youth traveled to Guatemala this spring with the pilgrimage supported by SIA. Four AA groups and a pre-school use the parish facility.
The Breakfast Program is the pride and joy of the parish of St. John's, Squamish. Started several years ago in the elementary school near the church, volunteers serve breakfast to the children. Some children are able to put a loonie in the box, others are not - nothing is required. This has set a precedent for other churches to start similar programs at other schools. The Squamish Ministerial runs Community Christmas Care, delivering close to 300 hampers. Last year, the rector was the chair of the 25 member committee from various congregations. 20 parishioners from St. John's joined the large pool of volunteers needed to make this successful. The Food Bank receives help from 10 parishioners and many other organizations receive volunteer support as well. Pathfinders, Sparks, Brownies, dance classes, and Tai-chi have been welcomed to meet in the parish facilities.
Weekly parishioners at St. Bartholomew prepare sandwiches for needy children and take them across the street to the elementary school. Fridays, the noon Eucharist is followed by a luncheon - open to all from the community. Food Bank items are collected on the third Sunday each month. Knit and Knatter, a group of parishioners and community people meet weekly to knit for local charities. At Christmas, the Women's Transition House receives goods donated by the parish. Good acoustics in the building invite annual concerts and the use as a music festival venue. The parish is open to many groups: Bridge, Alateen, Quilters, Artists, Beavers, a Qigong class and a Montessori School. In the early `90's, the parish received SIA funding to launch an after-school care program for children. The program provided needed care for 10 years and after a one-year hiatus, will start up again this month.
St. Hilda's `Stone Soup', an ecumenical monthly meal program, is offered to clients of the Food Bank; sandwiches and dried soup mixes are handed out to those waiting in line. The money raised by an annual garage sale is distributed to local charities, such as a mental health group and the Women's Transition House. Two professional counselors, parishioners, offer their expertise free of charge to individuals and couples and many parishioners donate their time to Hospice ministry. Seniors outreach is developing together with a local organization: a network of volunteers is being established to visit shut-ins in the community. Funding provided for the Arrowhead Mental Health Drop-in-Center helps keep its doors open. Internationally, financial support is going to South Africa where a former parishioner is teaching and to Mexico, where a current parishioner is reaching out to people with mental disabilities. A few of the many organizations using the parish rooms: AA, Alnon, and a widows support group. In `97, two teens took part in Jars of Clay, a servant leadership training program. This summer, one teen will travel with the Taize pilgrimage. Both programs are supported by SIA.
St. David/St. Paul in Powell River offers a weekly soup lunch along with the community and the Lutheran Church. It feeds about 22 people. Monthly, the parish collects items for community groups in baskets around the baptismal font as a reminder of the baptismal covenant to care for the less fortunate. Items go to the Parish Food Pantry, a Young Mothers group, Family & Social Services, and the Women's Transition House. Annually, the parish hosts a Storytelling Festival with school children, Aboriginal Elders, authors and local personalities. Proceeds this year went to the Tsunami Relief in Sri Lanka. A Sisters in Spirit service raised funds to support ministry in the Vancouver DTES. The parish hosts The Malaspina Writers Association, Powell River Chorus, P.R. Townsite Historical Society and P.R. Townsite Rate Payers Association.
Whistler Village Church was created in ecumenical partnership with the United Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It is currently served by an Anglican priest. In partnership with the First United Mission in downtown Vancouver, the congregation collects items for the Food Bank, provides financial support and responds to requests for specific items. The Whistler Community Services Society operates a Re-Use-It Center which receives donations and volunteer support from the congregation.