On January 26, the Church of St. Stephen and St. Bede (Anglican and Lutheran) celebrated a New Ministry with the parish of St James Winnipeg. The two parishes will share ordained ministry with the Rev Canon Dr Murray Still serving as incumbent/pastor.
The shared ministry is unique in that the incumbent/pastor will share time with Anglicans and Lutherans.
The shared ministry is unique in that the incumbent/pastor will share time with Anglicans and Lutherans. To mark the occasion, Rupert’s Land Bishop Donald Phillips and Evangelical Lutheran (ELCIC) Bishop Elaine Sauer shared in leadership at the celebration service.
This ministry continues the good work done through the years in this community, and is part of the work and witness of the whole church.
“After prayerful consideration, and in consultation with the parish and diocesan leadership, we have appointed the Rev Canon Dr Murray Still as priest in the parish of St Stephen and St Bede, in addition to his appointment as priest of the Parish of St James,” explained Bishop Phillips. “We offer our prayers for him in this position of leadership in our common ministry. This ministry continues the good work done through the years in this community, and is part of the work and witness of the whole church.”
Just over 60 people turned out on a cold blustery winter night to offer prayers and celebrate the new ministry. The service was uplifting and included African drumming, singer and song writer Scott McPherson, a joint choir and an opening prayer song by Ko’ona Cochrane, who presented Dr Still, an Indigenous priest, with a braid of sweetgrass.
Cochrane explained the braid was made of grass woven together into three strands. On its own, a blade of grass is weak, but woven together it becomes strong. Sweetgrass is used in Indigenous prayer rituals and was given as a gift with red and white bands of cloth attached. The red and white colors represent the coming together of the red and white nations in reconciliation.
The new pastor at St Stephen and St Bede will also participate fully in Lutheran activities.
Bishop Sauer explained that the new pastor at St Stephen and St Bede will also participate fully in Lutheran activities.
“I’m looking forward to this new experience,” said Dr Still. “The first few Sundays have gone well, and we look forward to the two parishes working closely together.” According to the Rector’s warden, Marilyn Lund, the similarities were very apparent with our joining as Anglicans and Lutherans and now joining again in ministry with St James.
“I’m looking forward to this new experience,” said Dr Still.
Already, the two parishes are sharing members on various committees and planning joint ministry activity, such as Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and other Lenten activities. The two parishes will also share an educational event in Lent, starting March 17 at 7 p.m. at St Stephen and St Bede. St James will host the March 31 evening.
The Lenten study will feature the two bishops speaking on the Waterloo agreement
The Lenten study will feature the two bishops speaking on the Waterloo agreement, marking the first of many opportunities to celebrate the 10th year of Anglicans and Lutherans becoming St Stephen and St Bede. Planning for a large celebration of the 10th year is underway. For example, St Stephen and St Bede are looking forward to an outreach concert in the fall featuring the African Asante Children’s Choir.
By Marilyn Lund and Karis Hagness
Marilyn Lund is Rector’s Warden and Karis Hagness, is People’s Warden of St Stephen and St Bede