A dedicated Church: Archbishop praises Parish for its commitment to faith and diversity

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"158","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-3354 ","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"320","height":"283","alt":"Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada"}}]] Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, blesses the congregation at the conclusion of the Feast of Dedication marking the Parish's 125th year on October 19.

In a sermon touching on Celtic beliefs and his own Maritime upbringing, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, noted that St. Barnabas remains a committed parish eager to continue the work of Christ, both in its own building and the wider community.

Archbishop Hiltz was the signature guest at the Parish's Feast of Dedication, marking 125 years of worship and service on October 19.

Noting the Celtic concept of "thin space," where places of strong spirituality can erase the distance between earth and heaven, Archbishop Hiltz said a consecrated Church remains a permanent marker of Christ's presence in the world. A consecrated Church, he said, "remains set apart forever, for the spiritual nurture and pastoral care of Christ's flock. It is set apart forever for their strengthening, by God's grace, for their work in the neighbourhood and the nation, the city and the world."

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"159","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-3358 ","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"320","height":"214","alt":"Photo of the procession of clergy, along with the banner of St. Barnabas"}}]] The St. Barnabas banner joins the procession at the opening of the Feast of Dedication service.

"Housed within these walls" are the accumulated prayers, both joyful and sorrowful, of all the life events -- marriages, baptisms -- as well as the funerals that have marked the communal life of the parish, he said. A Church is more than brick, he added -- it is living stone, "but I have to tell you, as a Maritimer, when I think about...living stones, I never think of brick. If you roam the shoreline of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, you will never see two rocks that look the same.... Those beach rocks are beautiful, because they're diverse.... It's a beautiful image for the Church. And the diversity we embrace, and happily so, in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Listen to Archbishop Hiltz's complete sermon:

[mp3-jplayer width=100%]

The service was the high point of a weekend celebration marking the Church's Quasquicentennial. The celebrations included a lavish dinner at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club the night before, at which the Primate was also in attendance, and concluded with a service of Evensong and Solemn Benediction Sunday evening.