Advent – Christmas Events at Saint Philip’s

This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Over the next several weeks there will be several events celebrating this season and then moving on to celebrate Christmas. Below we’ve provided a list of all the services between now and Christmas. Some of these are at our usual 11 am, and some are taking place during the time our 4 pm service meets.

Christmas is often a time when people wish to remember the traditions that formed them as children, and we invite you to come along and connect with a friendly, and loving community that hopes to help you discover new meaning, and new relationships in the midst of these treasured traditions.

St. Philips wreath
Advent wreath at St. Philips.

Dec 2: Advent 1

Morning Prayer 11 am. Following the service there will be our usual coffee time.
No 4 pm service

Dec 9: Advent 2

Our 11 am service is Holy Eucharist. Following the service we will hold our Annual Advent potluck in the Memorial
Hall. We invite everyone to bring a dish to share. However, if you are unable to provide a dish, don’t let that stop you from attending.

Our 4 pm service for this week is also Holy Eucharist. Followed by a light meal in the Memorial Hall

Dec 16: Advent 3

We are doing something different for this Sunday in Advent. At 4 pm there will be a children’s pageant. So, we decided that we would cancel the 11 am service, and that the whole community would gather together to join with the children in their pageant.

There will be warm beverages, and treats served after the service(Memorial Hall).

Dec 21(Friday)

Carol Singing with The Janzen Boys 7 pm. We will be singing carols In English, French, and we might even get the chance to learn one in Swahili. That’s the plan for now, but we may add extras as we go along. Follow this link to hear The Janzen Boys doing a cover of Neil Young’s Helpless, Helpless, Helpless. Hot beverages and treats to be included.

Dec 23: Advent 4

For the last Sunday in Advent we will be celebrating Eucharist at the 11 am service, followed by coffee and treats.
We will also be celebrating Eucharist  at the 4 pm service, with a light meal to follow.

Dec 24(Monday)

Christmas Eve. We start our evening with a carol sing. This sing-a-long is a pick your favourite. We use our Book of Common Praise and invite people to choose their favourites. This starts at 6:30 pm, and at 7:00 we remember the story of the birth of Jesus followed by celebrating the Lord’s Supper together.

6:30 pm carol singing
7:00 pm Christmas Eve Eucharist

Dec 25(Tuesday)

Christmas Day: We will once again remember the story of Jesus’s birth(different readings) and celebrate the Eucharist at 11 am

Please note that there is no coffee time on Christmas eve or Christmas Day.

Dec 30: Christmas 1

By this Sunday we will be in the middle of the Twelve Days of Christmas. As Christmas is a whole period of celebration and not just one day, the 11 am service will be a service of Holy Eucharist.

We will update you on the plans for the 4 pm services as they get solidified.

January 6th: Epiphany

Yes, Christmas extends all the way into the New Year. Epiphany is the last day of Christmas (in the Western Calendar). Today we will observe and celebrate the journey of the Wise Men. Normally the first Sunday of the month is morning prayer, but on such an important feast day we will be celebrating Holy Eucharist at 11 am. We will be back to serving coffee and treats after the service, as well.

Our plans for 4 pm are still to be worked out.

Day 2 – National Indigenous Sacred Circle

Here is the report from the second day of the National Indigenous Sacred Circle. You can find day one’s report here.

Sacred circle cross
A cross set up as part of the Sacred Circle

Sacred Circle Daily Report — Day Two

Music and Prayers: The morning opened with music and prayers from the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh in Oji-Cree including prayers for the fires in the area.

Gospel Based Discipleship: Bishop Mark MacDonald explained the development of Gospel Based Discipleship. It has been especially successful in indigenous communities and in urban settings where the traditional form of church is foreign to people. Bishop Mark offered support to those that walk in this pledge of discipleship to care for people’s spiritual needs. He asked members to put the gospel in the center of their circles and put Jesus in the center of their hearts. The memory keepers felt that hearing about the history behind GBD was helpful. “It is a really important way to connect and talk about what people feel as opposed to the head approach.” In Acts we are told that where people meet, that is where the church is.”

PWRDF: Judith Moses and Will Postma explained the work of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. They will be creating a new 5 year strategic plan and would like to have a greater emphasis on reconciliation and indigenous healing. There were many questions and comments from members expressing the numerous areas where help is required in indigenous communities. The memory keepers had much respect and appreciation for the work of PWRDF. “It might have been helpful to have some images of the work currently being done.” There is a need for a much more focused relationship addressing the many crises in indigenous communities.”

A Way Forward: Danielle Black and Aaron Sault presented the document, “A Confederacy of Indigenous Anglican Lands in Circle with the Primal Elements”. The PowerPoint presentation examined a way forward to an Indigenous Anglican Spiritual Ministry in a journey with the Anglican Church of Canada. The Diocese of the Artic sang and offered grace in Inuktitut before lunch.

Focus Groups: During the afternoon, members broke up into 6 focus groups based on areas of interest. They included the following topics. Opiod Crisis, Resource Extraction/Climate Change, Governance for Self-determination: Canon 22 and a Constitution, MMIW and G, Marriage Canon, Suicide Prevention

The memory keepers both attended the Suicide Prevention group and were impressed with the factual, inspiring and ground level presentation. “We have a major key to help in this crisis – faith and hope in Jesus. It is our responsibility to help.” “Yolanda Bird and Jeffrey Stanley with mentoring from The Rev. Norm Casey are doing really important and life giving work.” “The focus of traditional indigenous and Christian teachings are a powerful way of dealing with grief.”

God’s Vision of Globalization: The Rev. Malcolm Chun from the Diocese of Hawai’i discussed God’s vision of globalization, which was defined as the bringing of distant people closer together. He noted this was the dream of the United Nations and the dream of the Anglican Church of Canada and the dream of Sacred Circle. The memory keepers enjoyed the presentation. “It was refreshing to hear a talk on globalization from a divine perspective.” “I appreciated his enthusiasm.”

Episcopal Church Greetings: The Rev. Brad Hauff, Indigenous Minister of the Episcopal Church extended greetings from the Episcopal Church and Archbishop Michael Curry. He described his personal calling and the work of the Ethnic Ministries Department. The memory keepers had the following comments.

Ninth Indigenous Anglican Sacred Circle

August 6-11th, 2018 marked the Ninth Indigenous Anglican Sacred Circle. This year the Sacred Circle was held in Prince George, British Columbia. The theme for the Sacred Circle was: “Making and Strengthening Disciples: Reborn in Water and Spirit,” Matthew 28:19-20.” St. Philip’s deacon Rev. Tanis Kolisnyk was part of the this gathering. Over the course of the gathering there were four daily reports given. Starting today and continuing for the next four days, we will be sharing them on our website. 

Sacred Circle Daily Report — Day One

Blessings and greetings: The Eucharist opened with a water blessing from Bishop Mark MacDonald and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. Greetings and gifts were extended from The Rt. Rev. Barbara Andrews and members of the Territory of the People.

Memories and Hope: In his homily, Archbishop Hiltz, remembered the apology by Archbishop Michael Peers 25 years ago and asked for a moment of silence for Vi Smith, who accepted the apology on behalf of indigenous people. Archbishop Hiltz explained that the thrust of the apology was about the intention and hope to create a new life for indigenous people. Memory keepers were moved by his message. “He started with the history and brought back a lot of memories – that was an amazing and sacred day for us.”

Reports received: Reports were received from the co-chairs of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, the Coordinator of Indigenous Ministry and the National Indigenous Aboriginal Bishop highlighting their work over the past three years. Bishop MacDonald further explained the history and role of the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop and noted that “what we do here this week will guide us for years to come. I pray that you do it with a heart that is aware of the healing power of God, so that we can bring back that healing power to our communities.”

History Highlights: A video produced by Anglican Video showing the history of the Anglican Indigenous Church in Canada was shown. The memory keepers were moved by the video. “It was good to remember the people that are not with us anymore and that their spirits are still with us.” “The eagle in the closing gives us inspiration.”

An Indigenous Spiritual Movement: The document, “An Indigenous Spiritual Movement: Becoming What God Intends Us to Be” was distributed. Members broke into small groups to read and discuss the document and later report back to plenary. The memory keepers found the process good, but thought that more time would have been helpful. “ We all learn differently and allowing for this would have been good.” They were also inspired by the report from the youth group. “It was great when the young people said, “We’re still here!” This message was repeated numerous times today.

Spirituality of Self-Determination: The Rev. Dr. Martin Brokenleg was the guest speaker and spoke about the path forward on the road to self-determination. The memory keepers were very impressed with the presentation. “Martin’s presentation really brought the whole day together, completing the picture.” “It is important to not have a Pollyanna view. Life has roadblocks and we either give up or find a way around them.” “Indigenous spirituality is not complicated!” “I think it leaves us with feelings of hope.”

Being Anglican and Metis

Being Anglican and Metis

Rev. Donald MacKenzie asked me to reflect on what it means to me to be Anglican and Metis. Please know that my response is my own personal view. Other Metis Anglicans will also have a story that will reflect their own journey.

Firstly let me say that when we gather as a Church, we often begin by acknowledging the Land. When we gather as a people of faith and start in this way, it reminds me to be conscious of our setting and our linkages to one another. Indigenous, Settler or New-comer, we come together here in this place and time. We give thanks for the relationship to each other and God the Creator.

The Metis flag.

We come together here on Treaty 1 + 2 territory on the traditional land of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, and Oji-Cree peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation. We are grateful for their stewardship of this land and their hospitality which allows us to live, work, worship and serve God the Creator here.

In my adult years, I became involved with my Metis Nation here in Manitoba, embracing Metis culture, working towards positive changes supporting my community and learning from Elders. I am a busy Anglican Deacon, working full-time in my vocational work at the University of Winnipeg and also serving in community, Continue reading

April 22nd Sermon – Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk

Sermon: April 22nd 2018 Rev. Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk St Philip’s Anglican Church

John 10:11-18
10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
10:12 The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away–and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
10:13 The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.
10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.
10:16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
10:17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

May the words of my mouth and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord, our strength, our rock, our redeemer. AMEN.

Today’s Gospel message and Psalm 23rd are all focused on the Lord being our Shepherd. I know that many of you here today will have heard of the tragedy that happened two weeks ago with the Hockey Team from Humbolt Saskatchewan, where they collided with a Semi Truck. 16 members of that Bus died, with some of them in hospital as we speak today.

There was a message that I heard about the Chaplain of the team, who was driving in another vehicle behind the bus. He was one of the first ones on the scene….. the horrific scene. That scene has been dubbed “the valley of the shadow of death”

Team Pastor Sean Brandow, shared with a watching nation the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. As a Chaplain, he knew these young people, coaches and other professionals who supported the team well. Now, he was there, in the midst of chaos, pain, loss, shock and grief. The head coach was a Christian and he used his position to mentor the boys on his team to be men with character . . . and to know Jesus.

The reason I am bringing this up is because he talked about not being able to find words of comfort – Chaplain Sean Brandow refers to Psalm 23 at that given time. It was the beginning of this Psalm that kept coming to him in this time of need.

He also said – The Bible tells us that God knew each of them before they were born. He gave them breath. (Psalm 139:13–16).

Into this shadow of death, Pastor Brandow offered the light of Christ’s resurrection. In the gospel today, Jesus did not stay dead. . . . He says to his disciples who are listening to him in John 10:11, ‘I am the good shepherd,’ and the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Today is Shepherding Sunday.

So how do we know that God is with us in our suffering? Because Jesus was here, Jesus went through every bit of suffering before we ever did. We have someone that has gone ahead of us and before us into the heavenly realms and who now sits and intercedes on our behalf — we talk to Jesus, we commune with Jesus, we cry out to Jesus. And it’s in this time that we need a shepherd who has walked through this valley before, who can guide us.

Through tears Chaplain Sean went on to comfort a broken team, a broken town, a broken country, with the sovereignty of God. His words were disarmingly honest. He did not try to explain what he did not know, but he pointed to God for hope going forward. We can take this to heart too….. Where-ever we are with struggles that are small and struggles that are large. God is our hope.

He told the attenders of the vigil in Humbolt that he did not want to be there, but it was good to be together. What he is referring to here is a sense of community. When something in life derails us, it is important to know that we have each other and Jesus. At St. Philip’s we have community, we have each other, we have Jesus. For this I give thanks.

He told more of the story of that night: His cell phone was out of juice so he was not receiving texts: At the hospital he walked around hearing and seeing nothing but darkness. For 15 hours the only part of Psalm 23 that was in his head was: Even though I walk through the valley of darkness. That’s all he heard. That’s all that went through his head. This is the valley of death, this is the valley of darkness. He said he had nothing. Nothing. “ I’m a pastor, I’m supposed to have something”.

It was at that time that the community was sending his those texts:

  • we’re praying of you,’
  • we’re thinking of you,’
  • be strong.’
  • People sent passages of scripture That support of people – saying I love you, that people care, that people are praying, that you’re supported,
  • Those are important things in the midst of a very dark time.
  • Someone reminded him that there’s more to that Psalm than ‘we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.’ You need to finish the statement, someone said to him – FOUR IMPORTANT WORDS
  • I will fear no evil because you are with me.’ ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ The pastor said, “ It took 15 hours of darkness to really understand that I had a shepherd that was walking with me. I don’t know if that made it any softer, but it made it better.”

Psalm 23 says: The Lord is my shepherd – he’s mine. ‘I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake and even though I do walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’ The rest of the Psalm continues on and it says we can dwell with the Lord forever.

You can read his sermon on I encourage you to do so. He addresses important questions which he had no answers for. Honest, heartfelt questions. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. It is true that Jesus is our Shepherd and today the gospel and Psalm is a great time to be reminded that Jesus went before us, now sits and intercedes on our behalf. We can talk to him, cry out to him. He is our Shepherd and he has walked through this valley before. He can guide us always. He’s alive my friends, For this we give thanks today. Amen.

Reflection on two Creeds of the Anglican Church

Last week Rev. Tanis wrote a piece on the congregational singing. This week we’re sharing some work she did, reflecting on two of the creeds that are a regular part of most Anglican services. The Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds. In a few days Rev. Donald will post on a third, though much less used, creed, The Athanasian (so-called)

Reflection on two Creeds of the Anglican Church

Rev. Deacon Tanis Kolisnyk

In our Sunday worship services in the Anglican Church here in Canada, we have the opportunity to say either the Apostle’s Creed or the Nicene Creed. Have you ever wondered why we have this as part of our service? I had the opportunity to do some reflection on this and to do some liturgical analysis to start to explore this a bit more. My question was – Why are Creeds important to us as Anglicans and why do we still have them in our services today?

Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles by Constantinople master

In Christian church history, the Creeds were useful in several ways and for some of those same reasons, they are important today. It is a public statement of faith, a standardized way in which people confess their faith in Jesus Christ. A creed is a concrete way to anchor the Christian faith and it ensures consistent beliefs from generation to generation. It was an anchor for the early church and for us today. Continue reading

Easter Welcome

This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, leading up to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. As is generally the case, we expect to receive a whole lot of visitors to Saint Philip’s. Some of them will be people who have never spent any time with us in the past, but many will be people who have shared in our lives over many years. Whoever you are, and whatever may bring you to Saint Philip’s we wish to say welcome. Glad to meet you or glad to see you again. You can find a list of all the services at the bottom of this post.

A couple of weekends ago I, Rev. Donald, attended a preaching workshop at St. John’s Cathedral, featuring Rev. Mark Whittall. Rev Whittall is the pastor at Saint Alban’s in Ottawa. It’s was a really, good workshop, and along the way I picked up several copies of his book Reinvention: Stories from an Urban Church, which the Saint Philip’s vestry will be reading and thinking through over the coming months.

Good Friday, Holy Week
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

During the last couple of weeks, I’ve read through the book. Today, as I finished the book off, and one of the last things that Whittall talks about is the Easter services of 2015, four years after the church plant at Saint Alban’s got started. While describing how that week went, he talks about the effect of having people from homeless shelters as part of their community. He says:

They teach us what it means to be a welcoming community and to practice hospitality. We know that for some people life is hard and lacks stability, and to walk through our doors is an act of courage. They may be with us for a few hours or for a few years. They may disappear and then show up again months later. When they do, we celebrate. One of the reasons we celebrate is that often people who come from a hard place in life have a great deal to teach us about faith. (150-51)

Whittall is talking about the homeless, and the transient, but so many people in our midst are coming from hard places. At Saint Philip’s we hope you will join us. We hope that you will give us the opportunity to celebrate your presence among us, even, as Whittall states, it’s only for an hour or two.

Perhaps you feel that in the past, we have not celebrated your presence with us. For that we need to repent. Not simply to apologize but to make sure as God’s people we change our orientation. It doesn’t matter where you have been, we hope to be joyfully welcoming you and celebrating that you are with us now. For now is the only time we have.

Easter Week Services & Times

Saint Philip’s invites you to join us as we celebrate Holy Week. We begin on March 25th, at 11 am as we celebrate Palm/Passion Sunday. We will be including the palm procession, with readings and music. There will be a coffee time after the service

Holy Week starts
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week

At 4 pm on the 25th, our Kid’s Church will also be having a service of evening prayer. A light supper follows that service.

Thursday, March 29th, 7:00 pm we will Celebrate Maundy Thursday. A remembrance of when Jesus gave a new commandment, John 13:34. We will remember the institution of the Eucharist, offer foot-washing and finish the service with the stripping of Altar as we prepare for…

Eucharist - The Cup remembering
On Maundy Thursday, we celebrate the institution of the Lord’s Supper, and the New Commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.

….Good Friday, March 30th, we will engage in music, readings, and reflections on the cross. This service begins at 11:00 am.

Saturday is a time of further reflection and anticipation before we come together again at 11:00 am on April 1st, to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. There will also be a time for coffee and conversation after this service

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

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

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Christmas Eve

St. Philip’s invites you to join us in celebrating the birth of Christ. We will be holding service on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. On Christmas Eve we will enjoy half an hour of carol singing beginning at 7:00 pm, followed by our celebration of Eucharist, beginning at 7:30 pm. If you are looking for a place to celebrate, to hear once again, or perhaps for the first time, the story of Christmas, please come and join us as we recall the birth of Jesus.

Christmas Eve
The Chancel prepared for Christmas  services

Christmas Day:

We will also be celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day itself. This also is a service of Holy Eucharist. The Service begins at 11:00 am.

St. Philip’s is located at 240 Tache, on the corner of Tache Avenue and Eugenie Street.

You can also follow what’s happening at St. Philip’s by following our Facebook Page.

Kyle Mason Don Amero Visit

Lasting and healthy change is difficult to achieve because there are so many forces that work to keep change from happening. The societal, cultural, and/or personal forces must be resisted by the person or organization that decides the change they desire is necessary. However, most of the time it is not enough to simply make this decision and put forward this effort by oneself.  Support is often needed in these times of change so that the forces trying to stop it do not become overwhelming. St. Philips will be hosting two people who try to, Kyle Mason and Don Amero, at our 11am service on July 17th. These individuals have devoted themselves to be supporters of lasting and healthy change within their communities.

Kyle Mason North End Family Centre
The North End Family Centre, where Kyle Mason serves as director.

Kyle Mason

Before they arrive it would be good for us to get to know a bit about these men so they do not spend their whole time simply explaining who they are. Kyle Mason will be sharing a message with us when he visits on July 17th. Kyle Mason is Winnipeg born and was raised in the North End by a single parent family. As Kyle grew he noticed that it was not just his family that struggled with poverty but many throughout his community. During this tough time in his life Kyle Mason was able to find support and community from a local church youth group. Having a supportive community during a difficult time obviously stuck with Kyle as when he moved back to the community he knew exactly how he wanted to help it out.

Kyle Mason decided to help his community by starting the North End Family Centre. It is within this organization that Kyle, his staff, volunteers, and everyone who comes to the centre work on creating a loving and safe community. This community was formed by the North End Family Centre’s ability to hear the community they wished to serve. Kyle explains, “We listen to the people that we serve. We ask what they want and what they need and move to do that. And when the community feels like they have real input, which they do, they respond.” The response Kyle refers to is that despite only having a starting location 1000 square feet they were receiving up to 1400 visits a month. This response allowed the North End Family Centre to expand to their new location so they might serve more people and help support this ever growing community.

Don Amero

Don Amero, the Juno nominated man who will be providing the music to our service on July 17th, grew up in the North End community like Kyle Mason. Don Amero also is filled with the desire to give back to his community. With this desire in mind Don works in his local community; a good example of this is last year where Don took the responsibility on to help mentor some middle school kids at Niji Mahkwa. It is here the students collaborated with Don Amero to make a song about missing and murdered indigenous women titled, Never Alone.

Don also sees his community in a broader sense and has toured the country with country music star Brett Kissell last year. They toured through many indigenous communities to do their part to support the reconciliation conversation that was spreading throughout the country. Don Amero has this to say about reconciliation, “Reconciliation is relationship, and I think that what Brett and I want to do is be a living example of two guys from different hoods, different places, different backgrounds coming together to do something really great for people.”

The relationships these two men have formed with their communities is an inspiring story we will hear more of on July 17th. We hope many will come out to be inspired by their stories and song so that we can all figure out how we can help support change in our country, city, neighbours, and selves.