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"Vision 2019 is an opportunity to say 'here's what I think our church needs to be about.'"
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Message from Teresa C., Diocese of Rupert’s Land

Where is my church of St. Paul’s Fort Garry right now?

A number of months ago, while administering the host for the first time (having administered wine frequently before) a young mother asked me for a blessing for her son – my initial inner response was, “I can’t do that – I’m not qualified” – whatever that might mean….fortunately that only lasted a nanosecond, because of course I would give her son a blessing – she had asked; who was I to withhold? After all, the blessing was God’s to give albeit through me at that point. The feeling I had after that event was that I was the one who had received the blessing – what a gift to be seen as having God within me!

At St. Paul’s all are welcome, and encouraged to receive the feast. It is evident that our youngest members feel a very real part of the feast. At a recent service a 2 ½ year old boy, who was up with his mother singing, ran back to the rest of his family loudly calling “It’s bread time” and then gathered a young friend to be first in line. Yes, it is unlikely this young boy has any theological concept of what “bread time” is, but he has a very real sense of belonging and celebration.

Questions are welcome at our parish – and it’s OK to not have all the answers. Study groups question many things in our faith; we hear each other’s doubts, and can feel confident in expressing our own. We are on the journey together.

This is where my parish is – a community that strives to recognize God in others, to include all in belonging and the celebration of God’s love, and to act on that recognition especially in matters of social justice.

Where do I want my Church to be by 2019?

Having been raised in the Roman Catholic Church, my love of the Anglican Church is our diversity and inclusion of a wide variety of theological perspectives, and my Church of 2019 would be willing to accept that diversity; be willing to see “the God in me honours the God in you”. (Namaste - Sanskrit salutation)

Having volunteered during GS 2007 I was greatly disappointed in the result of the motion on same sex blessings. Although the theme was “Draw the circle wide…..” the result seemed more like circling the wagons than inclusion. My Church of 2019 will be a time when we won’t need to talk of drawing a wider circle, which still intimates a boundary – no labels will be required or allowed. A Church that embraces people for who they are, not for who we hope they will become.

My Church of 2019 will be willing to see God within all, completely acknowledging how difficult that is, as well as seeing God within ourselves, also very difficult, so that we can all be excited about “bread time” and the sense of belonging that gives. That the sense of belonging brings with it a sense of acceptance and safety.

My Church of 2019 will be more outward focused – seeing social justice and human rights the things we should be fighting for, rather than fighting within.

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