JOY OF MAKING MUSIC (Congregational Singing)

Singing is an important part of the life of almost any church. In the article below, Rev. Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk, who is both deacon and organist at Saint Philip’s gives some of the reasons for why that is. She then goes on to talk about some of the techniques that help make it easier for anyone to join in with congregational singing. Singing is meant for everyone, and these tips will be helpful for everyone. Enjoy.

THE JOY OF MAKING MUSIC (Congregational Singing)
Rev. Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk

Congregational singing can be so rich when it is thoughtfully integrated into worship and used to enhance the sacraments and proclamation of the scripture. I believe the voice to be the most sacred instrument. I also believe choral music to have unmatched expressive potential. The Pipe Organ for me is close behind but it is hard to take the Pipe Organ on a trip with you, or to the lake.

Our individual voices are a gift from God, but when we sing God’s praises collectively,

this is one way we can give thanks to God for his many blessings in our lives. All of you

who worship here at St. Philip’s regularly know the power that congregational

singing can add to our worship services.

Joyful trumpets
On special occasions such as Easter St. Philip’s Congregation singing has often been enhanced by the addition of trumpet music form Tanis’s son Nick Kolisnyk (l), and Michael Minor, our Rector’s Warden (r).

Biblical Precepts of Congregational Singing:

In Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, Christians were commanded to sing to one

another. Both the Prophet and Apostles make it clear that we are to sing praises.


Jesus and His apostles sang a hymn following the Last Supper in Matthew 26:30. Heavenly Beings fill heaven with their praises – Revelations 5:9-14; 7:9-12. Continue reading

Maundy Thursday – Footwashing, Altar Stripping

Today is Maundy Thursday. We celebrate this as part of the Great Triduum, the three day Easter Service. We mark the giving of the New Commandment, the institution of The Lord’s Supper, or Holy Eucharist. It is also quite common to remember Jesus washing his disciples feet. These three are all part of the Biblical story surrounding Easter. You can find out a little more about the first two, by visiting Rev. Donald’s personal blog for some reflections on them.

Maundy Thursday foot washing.
The jug, basin, and towels waiting to be used in Maundy Thursday foot washing.

Another thing that is commonly done in Anglican churches (and probably others), is the stripping of the altar at the conclusion of the Maundy Thursday portion of the service. I say portion because Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday are all one service. That is why there is no dismissal at the end of the Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services. We leave in silence from those services, so that we can allow ourselves to fully enter into the mystery and agony of Jesus’s death and burial. While we never forget that Easter Sunday is coming, we don’t want to race ahead and forget to reflect on the more difficult and painful memories of Passion Week. Learning to sit in silence and grief is all part of the resurrection process.

Jesus Washes his Diciple’s Feet

In our foot washing on Maundy Thursday we are reminded that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples when they gathered in the upper room. If you are not familiar with that story, I’ve copied it here below as it appears in the 13th Chapter of the Gospel of John.

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.”* For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Jesus, despite being the teacher and the one you would expect to be the recipient of the footwashing, instead takes it upon himself to be a servant and wash the feet of his disciples. Washing feet after a journey on the road would not necessarily be a pleasant job. Yet Jesus shows his humility by being a willing washer of the feet of his disciples. Though we wish to be in the role of Jesus as we read this, I think we often find ourselves in the role of Peter, unwilling to let Jesus wash our feet. There is humility in washing feet, but there is also humility in allowing our feet to be washed. Often our unwillingness to allow others to wash our feet is based in an unwillingness to let people see us as we really our. Our shoes and socks hide the real condition of our feet in much the same way our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual masks, cover up the sin and pain in our lives. *It should be noted that even though Jesus knows, and makes reference to Judas and his coming betrayal, Jesus still washed his feet as well.

Stripping the Altar

Clearly the stripping of the altar is not part of the Biblical narrative of the Passion Week. Then, why do it? There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, but instead of listing them, I’m going to point you to this article by Richard Lischer. Lischer is a professor at Duke Divinity School, the same school where Stanley Hauerwas, whose videos are elsewhere on this site, was also a professor. Lischer’s book The End of Words, was one of the textbooks for the preaching course I took while I was at St. John’s College studying for the priesthood. I think this article does a good job of summing up many of the reasons why we strip the altar at the end of our Maundy Thursday service.

Our Maundy Thursday service at Saint Philip’s is tonight, March 29th, at 7:00pm. Our address is 240 Tache Avenue, and we would be delighted if you could join us for this solemn and thoughtful entrance into the great three day service of Easter. We will also be marking Good Friday, on March 30th at 11:00 am, and Easter Sunday, April 1st, at 11:00 am. We will follow our Easter Sunday with a time of celebration and coffee following the Eucharist.



Holy Week, Bishop’s Visit, Baptism

We have reached the half-way mark of our Lenten journey, and soon Holy Week will be drawing near.

This year, St. Philip’s Holy Week will begin with a Palm Sunday, April 9th, 11:00 am, visit from Bishop Don Phillips, Bishop of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land. Bishop Phillips will be preaching during the service, while we as a parish participate in the litany and procession of palms. After the service we will spend some time together over coffee and dessert.

Monday of Holy Week, April 10, 2017, will be the second last of Reverend Donald’s lectures on Eucharistic Eating. This week we will be looking at the concepts of death and sacrifice in our eating, and how they relate to the Eucharist.

On Thursday, April 13th, 7:00 pm, we will celebrate the institution of the Lord’s Supper during our Maundy Thursday Eucharist. Maundy Thursday is also the day when we hear again Jesus’s new Commandment.

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) NRSV

Following the service we will be stripping the altar as we prepare for Good Friday.

Friday, April 14th, 11:00 pm we are holding our Good Friday Service. This is a solemn service where we will take time to contemplate and reflect on the death of Jesus Christ.

Holy Week, Empty tune.
The Angel with the women at the empty tomb.

Sunday, April 16th, 11:00 am, is our Easter Sunday Celebration. We will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We will welcome new people into the family of God through the waters of Baptism. Following the Eucharist we will gather in the Memorial Hall to continue the Easter Feast.

We hope you will be able to join us. If you have any questions, feel free to call St. Philip’s at 204-237-3650, or email us at

Eucharistic Eating

Eucharistic Eating (Lecture Series)

Purpose of the Series

To place our daily eating into the context of the Eucharist and to bring the Eucharist into our daily eating.

Thanksgiving (Eucharisto) is at the heart of Eucharistic eating.

Each lecture will move from the general idea of thanksgiving into the idea of thanksgiving in Holy Eucharist. Each of the potential ideas on any given week will be linked to thanksgiving.

The lectures will be held on Monday’s beginning on March 6, 2017. Lectures will begin at 7 pm and run until roughly 8:30 pm each week.

Eucharist - The Cup remembering

Week One – eucharistic eating

Small letters to indicate that the focus will be on the concept of thanksgiving more than on the Eucharistic Meal.

This week will also provide a general  overview of the series.

Week Two – Hunger

How does hunger prevent thanksgiving (and perhaps vice versa)

Hunger and Pain

Hunger as a weapon

Agony of starvation

Hunger as time consuming

Homelessness & hunger

Week Three – Dining Together

fraternal meals 

family dining

speed of life

Food Courts

Eucharist as meal of community

Week Four – Fasting-Feasting

Food moralism

The need for fasting/feasting

Week Five – Sacrifice & Death

All eating involves death

vegetarianism and veganism

Food as medicine

Christ’s sacrifice

Week Six – Eucharistic Eating

Historical Development of Eucharist

Shared Meal

Salvation in the Eucharist.


Some of the ideas found in various weeks may also apprear in other weeks, but I haven’t included them for brevity’s sake. This outline will undoubtedly change over the next 10 weeks, as further reading brings clarity of confusion.

Thoughts, comments, and questions welcomed.

Music, Remembrance – Evensong Sermon.

This sermon on Music and Remembrance is being preached bySt. Philip’s Deacon Tanis at St. Luke’s Anglican this afternoon


RCCO Service November 6th St. Luke’s Anglican


May the words of my mouth and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our Rock, our Strength and our Redeemer.  AMEN

Thank you for inviting me to be part of this service.


Today we are here to worship together, remembering those who gave their lives for

our freedom, remembering those who are presently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, Continue reading

Sermon – Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus

zac1October 30 2016   Luke 19: 1-10        ZACCHAEUS CLIMBED THE SYCAMORE TREE         Rev. Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk

Luke 19:1-10
19:1 He entered Jericho and was passing through it.
19:2 A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.
19:3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.
19:4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.
19:5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”
19:6 So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.
19:7 All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”
19:8 Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.”
19:9 Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.
19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

Zacchaeus climbs the tree
Zacchaeus climbs the Sycamore tree to see Jesus

May the Words of my mouth and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord our Rock, our strength and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

I was so excited when I saw the Gospel that I was assigned to preach on today.  Zacchaeus has

always been a person in the bible that has intrigued me.  He is a curious sort of guy, a complex

character. He was a chief tax-collector in Jericho, a descendant of Abraham and the biblical account

gives us an example of Jesus’ personal, earthly mission to bring salvation to the lost. 

 We have to remember that tax collectors were despised as traitors. They worked for the Roman

Empire, not for their Jewish community, so this is context of the readings today. The people thought of

him as corrupt.  I found out in one of my Church History texts that in Jericho at that time in history the

lucrative production and export of balsam was centered in Jericho, so you can imagine that tax

collection would have carried both importance and wealth.

So here is this short, wealth guy, who decided to climb a Sycamore tree to see Jesus in the midst

of the crowd. I wondered why the tree specifics were named in the Gospel reading, and I know nothing

about Sycamores – so a bit of snooping told me that they grow to 20 m tall and they have a considerable

spread with a dense round crown of branches.  So this tree was probably fairly substantial to hold a

person. In the Bible, the sycamore is referred to seven times in the Old Testament and once in the New

Testament.  Though it was not as common in Palestine, the sycamore was a very popular and valuable

fruit tree in Jericho and Canaan.  In Kenya the Sycamore tree is considered sacred. It was often called

“Tree of Life”, or “Origin”. Another interesting fact, the Gikuyu Tribe of Kenya have been thought to

have been slaves in Egypt – when they fled the Pharaoh they fled North, while Moses and his people fled


So why name the Sycamore Tree in the gospel story?  I think it is named because roots run deep

to sustain such a tree and this tree is rooted in history to the time of old testament and the people of

that time.  Zacchaeus climbed a sacred tree to look upon Jesus Christ.  He hung out on a limb to see

Jesus and he wanted Jesus to see him too.

Jesus called Zacchaeus by name. He made eye contact, and spoke to him face to face. He was

glad to see him – at least that is the tone I take from the Gospel today. This was not an interruption in

the Messiah’s schedule.

Jesus calls out to him  – he has time for those who seek Him.

Getting that attention, oh yes, some of us are better at that than others, this is true.

We have 5 small grand kids all under 5, so you can imagine when we have a family get together there is

a lot of activity, noise, and if the grandkids are all talking at the same time, it is tough for me to give

them individual attention.

One of my grandsons, he is the loudest of them all and in the middle of the

age group, will take his little hands and put them on my face and say “Grandma…… “

This may happen in the midst of Lorne and I getting supper for 14 on the table – he will search us out

and basically  say by his gesture  “Listen to ME”  not them.  ME.  Very sweet, very direct, and yes, I

stop what I am doing and I give him my total attention. He knows how to communicate in a busy

environment.   – JUST LIKE ZACCHAEUS

 LOOK at ME !!!-  Zacchaeus did the same thing.       Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a

look at Jesus, but he also wanted Jesus to look at him. The Savior did look.  He showed his Love by

acknowledging this short guy hanging out on a limb in the Sycamore tree.  When Jesus reached the spot,

he looked up into the branches, addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to come down, for he

intended to visit his house. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a Jew, would consider being a guest of a

tax collector – WHAT!!! You have got to be kidding!!! This thought was certainly being murmured

around the crowd.

Zacchaeus was curious….. that is a good trait, even if you are a tax collector.

Maybe, especially if you are a tax collector. I think that God has placed in the soul of every human being a desire to

connect to the Creator.  Steve Andrews a baptist pastor says it very well:

Some fight it, ignore it, and deny it, but the Scripture is clear. Human beings

are spiritual beings and no amount of worldly success or possessions can satisfy

 the deepest longing of the soul to know God.

The gospel indicates to us that God chose to associate with (and to save) this man whom He

knew to be an unworthy sinner. The others people were not pleased about this. They were angry,

because they did not see themselves as sinners, but as the righteous. Earlier this month we discussed

wealth and how it is not a sign of God’s favor. We talked about Jesus declaring that it is nearly

impossible for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.

This gospel brings balance – a story about another rich man who receives Jesus with joy, who promises to give half of his wealth to the poor and to restore

fourfold any amount to those he may have defrauded. It is not about wealth, it is not about worthiness,

it is about saying YES Lord – LOOK AT ME, Change my heart, and welcome me in – a sinner.

 We need to see in this gospel message that Jesus came to save those who are unworthy, those who are sinners. Yes Jesus responds….. I see you.  Come to me….. Yes I have time for you…. Even you.

Let us Pray:

In your Son you seek out and save the lost, O God,

and invite us to the banquet of your eternal home.

Visit your people with the joy of salvation.

Help us to be curious and rejoice in the riches of your forgiveness.

Help us to reach out and be a welcoming community, willing to share with others  the fest of your love. Amen.

November Events Saint Philip’s

There are three events coming up at Saint Philip’s this November that you may be interested in.

The first two events take place on November 11th. These events start off with our Remembrance Day service at 11am. We are honoured that we get to share this day with the members of the St. Boniface-Norwood Legion Branch #43. There is a long history between Saint Philip’s and the Legion, and one which we strive to maintain. One thing to know about this Remembrance Day service is that you should arrive early if you need to sit, because the building fills to overflowing. Fortunately, as last year, there is televised overflow in our Memorial Hall. Continue reading

Fall Welcome Back Barbecue

This Sunday September 18th, St. Philip’s will be holding our annual fall BBQ. This BBQ marks the return to regular activities at the church. If you check out our post on last September’s happenings you’ll see many of the groups that call St. Philip’s home.

Doors are open at 10:00 am.  The service begins at 11 am. Immediately following the service there is a BBQ on the front lawn. We should be ready to start eating at about 12:30 pm. Hot dogs, hamburger, and buns will be provided.  We hope you can join us at 11:00 am for our celebration of Holy Eucharist, but if you can’t please feel to swing by and join us for the BBQ. We would also like to encourage people to bring potluck salads, beverages or desserts for the BBQ. However, if you are unable to do so, we still invite you to stop for the chance to meet your neighbours at St. Philip’s.

Swing BBQ for fall
Come on out for the Fall barbecue at St. Philip’s

The Barbecue will go on rain or shine. If it is raining, we will eat inside in the Memorial Hall.

Fall at St. Philip’s

Our Fall Barbecue is just the beginning of our year. We will once again be holding our Rememberance Day service in support of the St. Boniface-Norwood Legion, on November 11. On November 11 we are also holding our annual Roast Beef Dinner. Two weeks later on the 25th of November we will be welcoming J.D. Huston as he performs his one man play, Screwtape, based on the works of C.S. Lewis. More details will be made available as we come closer to those dates.

September also marks the return to regular uses from some of St. Philip’s tenants. The Bolero Dance Theatre will be back in the swing of things. As well, Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers are on the go. Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings St. Philip’s also plays host to The Theotokos of the Life-Giving Spring Mission.

Dennis Maione – Guest Preacher

This Sunday, Rev. Donald is at St. Mark’s. Our service will be Morning Prayer, and we will be having a guest preacher, Dennis Maione. Below the picture you will find a brief biography on Dennis. We invite you to come out and hear Dennis speak.

Dennis Maione

Dennis Maione keeps bumping up against cancer. First diagnosed with a colorectal tumour as a graduate student and young newly-wed, he thought his subsequent victory over the disease would set him up for a straight run at life. A decade later, however, he found out he carried a cancer gene. And a short while after that, fifteen years after his first diagnosis, the entrepreneur and father of three faced a recurrence of colon cancer, the second round exacting a higher toll than the first.

In illness, Dennis wrestled a strong enemy throughout protracted periods of doubt, confusion, and pain, but also with grace, wit, and humour. What I Learned From Cancer is the author’s first memoir and work of creative nonfiction, chronicling cancer, genetics, and medicine, but mostly hope. Insights into the soul of a cancer survivor abound throughout the book’s three parts: first, its compelling and often surprisingly funny narrative; second, its reflective essays, wherein lessons learned are presented as though to the author’s younger self encountering cancer for the first time; and third, its basic introduction to the disease we all hear of so often, structured as conversations with a doctor. The book introduces a rich array of characters: supportive community members, physicians good and bad, and an assortment of villains and heroes, many in the unlikeliest of places.

Dennis Maione fills his days with an eclectic mix of speaking and writing. He is an active advocate on behalf of patients navigating healthcare and sits on many volunteer committees to promote patient-centred healthcare. He believes that personal stories are the core of community building. In addition to being Reader in Residence for the Literacy Partners of Manitoba, he also teaches workshops in high schools: memoir workshops to English students and bioethics workshops to science students. He speaks about wellness and personal wholeness to cancer patients, care givers, medical people, and community groups.

In addition to promoting his most recent book, (2014, Prompters to Life), Dennis is currently writing a nonfiction book loosely based on his Italian family history, and is writing his first work of fiction, a thriller about fear and fearlessness. More information about Dennis and his many projects is available on his website, To purchase, inquire at your local book store or buy it online. Paper copies are available at and the eBook is available at



Pikangikum Letter

Much like the situation in Shoal Lake, this has been a disaster for the community of Pikangikum for many years.

A joint letter on the situation in Pikangikum

In an open letter, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald encourage Anglicans and Lutherans to write letters to the federal government expressing solidarity with the northern community of Pikangikum, Ont.

September 24, 2015

Dear Friends in Christ,

We wish to share with you our concerns regarding the water situation in Pikangikum and invite you to consider writing a letter to the Federal Government.

Through the 2016 National Youth Project, Lutheran and Anglican youth have been lifting up the Right to Water and walking in solidarity with the people of Pikangikum through our partnership with the Primate’s World Relief Development Fund (PWRDF) and the Pimatisiwin Nipi (Living Water) group. This has included raising funds to support providing potable water to homes in the community.

Writing letters to elected representatives is one way to express solidarity. It is also an opportunity to deepen understanding of our democratic processes. The government is elected to represent the people and hearing from one’s constituency is an essential element of decision making and democracy.

We have included a sample letter you may use as basis for crafting your own letter to your government officials. You may wish to write to the Honorable Bernard Valcourt, MP, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and/or to your own MP. (And a full list of list of Members of Parliament can be found at:

Additional things to consider when you write your letter:

  1. Think about who should receive your letter. Writing to the minister responsible for an issue can be as effective as writing to the Prime Minister. Writing to your local Member of Parliament is always appropriate, as they are your direct representative.
  2. Focus on one issue—you can always write another letter in support of something else.
  3. Include relevant information.
  4. Tell elected leaders what action you think should be taken.
  5. Ask for a response
  6. Make sure to sign your name.
  7. Postage to Members of Parliament is free.

Don’t worry if you aren’t an expert. What matters is that you let them know this is something you care about and that you want to see them do something about it.

The mission of striving for justice and peace in all the earth is a life-long calling that we receive in our Baptism. We are inspired by the leadership in promoting the Right to Water that is being offered by youth through the National Youth Project. It is an important expression of the Full Communion partnership between Lutherans and Anglicans and a valuable contribution to the witness of the church.

Yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Anglican Church of Canada

Rev. Susan C. Johnson,
National Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Bishop
Anglican Church of Canada

Download this letter in PDF format.