In The Neighborhood
St. Aidan’s blends mainline and evangelical
Tom Chan ChristianWeek Columnist
WINNIPEG, MB—While St. Aidan’s Anglican Church holds to many practices of a traditional mainline church, it also incorporates a blend of evangelical and charismatic elements.
On Pentecost Sunday, for example, the service at St. Aidan’s is orchestrated with liturgical pomp and circumstance, including an organ prelude of Handel’s Air from Water Music Suite, the procession of the clergy in red vestments symbolizing Pentecost, confirmation of five young men and the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.
But the congregation is just as apt to offer healing prayers during a morning service, anointing people with oil and laying hands on individuals as they pray. Every Thursday afternoon, a team gathers at the church to pray for various requests.
Located on the corner of Campbell and Kingsway in north River Heights, St. Aidan’s is a member of the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land, which, in turn, is one of two-and-a-third Anglican jurisdictions in Manitoba: Diocese of Brandon and Diocese of Keewatin. St. Aidan’s was planted in 1929, a daughter church of Winnipeg’s St. James Anglican. St. Aidan’s core values can be summed up three ways. The church is Evangelical (being instruments of Jesus’ Great Commission), charismatic (being in tune with the Holy Spirit) and sacramental (rev- erently using vehicles by which believers may encounter God). “In this way, our worship is Trinitarian, reflecting all three Persons of God,” summarizes parish rector Brett Cane. “Not everybody appreciates each of the three approaches to the same degree, but suf- ficient room is made in the church service and programs for each expression [with which to worship] for different age groups,” says St. Aidan’s parishioner Charlotte Holland. An architect by training, Cane enjoyed his volunteer work with youth through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. In his quiet time one day, he read in the Scriptures about workers being needed in God’s vineyard. “A self-debate happened,” recalls Cane. “I challenged God with four questions as to why I should answer His call. The Lord answered each
question to my satisfac- tion. That settled that! I responded to God’s call to be ‘His chief worker’ (Greek word for ‘archi- tect’) in the vineyard.” Educated at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, England, and Fuller
Seminary in Pasadena, California, Cane previously served as a youth chaplain and a program officer for the Diocese of Montreal. He also pastored two parishes, St Stephen’s in Chambly, Quebec and St. George’s in Montreal before becoming the rector of St. Aidan’s in 2002.
Co-pastoring St. Aidan’s with associate priest, Ken Turnbull and deacon Linda Stokes, Cane is making prepa- rations for his upcoming retirement in January 2012 when he will assume a chap- laincy role at Trinity College in Bristol, England. In the monthly parish
newsletter, The Window, Cane encourages his parishioners to take the “interim period” between his leaving and the appointment of a new rector to “do some deep searching of the heart and mind to discern God’s will for St. Aidan’s.”
Lost sheep Continued from page 1
as well.” Each year, the church
reviews its membership list. If the church’s leadership hasn’t seen or heard from a member for six months, they are placed on an “inactive” list. After that member has been
on the inactive list for 12 months, the church sends them a letter saying that they will be removed from the membership list unless the church hears from them otherwise. “It’s varied,” Kraft says of
the responses he receives to those letters. “There’s been instances where you don’t hear anything from anybody, so you just do it.” Others ask to remain on the
Congregation: St. Aidan’s Anglican Church
Congregation Size: Averages 150 attendees per Sunday with 400 on rolls Denomination: Anglican Founded: 1929 Address: 274 Campbell Street, Winnipeg Sunday Services: 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Contact Information: Phone: 489-3390
Web site: www.staidanswinnipeg.ca
Pastors: Brett Cane, Ken Turnbull and Linda Stokes
Mission Statement: The mission of the Parish of St. Aidan is to worship and serve God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven, through: 1. Teaching the truth of God as revealed in Scripture, 2. Fostering a loving community within the Body of Christ, 3. Bringing people to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, 4. Responding in a Christ-like way to the social and spiritual needs of all people, and the stewardship of God’s creation.
Telling Phrase: Evangelical, Charismatic, Sacramental
Unique Ministry: St. Aidan’s Christian School in the north end of Winnipeg
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• August 2011 • 15
list until they find a new church home, others have been going to a different church so they begin the process of transfer- ring their membership, and others respond in anger, ask- ing, “How dare you kick me off the membership?”
Never rescinded At Charleswood Mennonite
Church, membership is never rescinded, says John Braun, who has been the lead pastor there for the past 17 years. Before his ministry at Charleswood, Braun was the pas- tor at a church where the mem- bership list was re-evaluated and letters were sent out to members who had been inactive. Braun found the practice
to be counterproductive, and prefers to approach people as personally as possible when they are no longer attending the church. “There are lots of reasons
why a person might not be attending, so it’s not good to jump to conclusions,” Braun says, adding that patience is key. “Sometimes people need
space,” he says. “If you have the sense that they would like to be left alone for a while, then
I think the church needs to have patience and then [approach them] again later on.”
At Calvary Temple, the
downtown congregation that draws 1,800 to 2,000 people to its services each Sunday, it’s easy for people to disap- pear out the back door if they haven’t invested in a small group, says lead pastor Bruce Martin.
Approached by a friend If someone who has invested
in the life of the church stops attending, typically they are approached by a friend from the church. If that friend asks Martin to visit the member who has stopped attending, he does.
didn’t want to be a member, they’d have
to tell us—we wouldn’t tell them.”
“I have a theory that every-
body … wants to know two things,” Martin says. “Do you love me? And, do you need me? That’s usually what people are asking. Even the people who slam the door and say, ‘I’ve had it, I’m going to walk out of here.’ What they’re really doing is testing you to see if you’ll love them through the anger.” During his conversations with
people who stopped attending Calvary Temple, Martin attempts
to understand why, and he apol- ogizes if they feel that the church has hurt them. The church doesn’t ever
purge its membership, he adds. “If someone didn’t want
to be a member, they’d have to tell us—we wouldn’t tell them,” Martin says. “I don’t look for ways to exclude peo- ple. I look for ways to include people.” At Waverley, Kraft has seen
his share of membership tran- sitions. He once heard a sta- tistic that said when there’s a change in senior pastor lead- ership, there’s usually a 20 to 30 per cent turnover rate in membership. Since he took over as lead
pastor in August 2006, he’s found that statistic to be true. “I’ve learned many, many
times that it has to do way more with the person that’s leaving than me, and secondly, some- times it is me, and the ques- tion I always ask is, God, what would you have me learn from this situation? Is there a nugget of truth in what they’re saying, and if there is, what would that be, and how can I learn from it?” Kraft says. “And I’ve found most often
when I’ve had a chance to reflect in a healthy way, if it was something I’ve done or my style or my philosophy of ministry, I own what I need to own to the people or to the individual, and communicate that over a coffee or an e-mail,” he continues. “Nine times out of 10, it real-
ly opens the door to have no awkwardness when you bump into people down the road.”
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