Killing me softly at St. John’s Shaughnessy

Unlike ACNA, the Anglican Church of Canada has not taken a position on euthanasia, preferring instead to waffle extensively on the subject.

To that end, St. John’s Shaughnessy sponsored a meeting with two doctors who euthanise their patients – only upon request, we are assured –  to further their indecision about whether it is better to kill the aged or take care of them.

The choice of venue holds some irony, since St. John’s is the parish that, having kicked out an active ANiC congregation, was likened by the imported congregation to a mausoleum and is itself crying out to be euthanised – if only someone would listen.

It still amazes me that euthanasia doctors constantly assure us that the process is dignified, painless, and relatively inexpensive, yet, when it comes to executing convicted murderers, we have nothing but problems and disturbing signs of distress. Hasn’t it occurred to prison authorities that the medical profession is awash with doctors with all the experience needed to kill people with dignity?

From here:

Death With Dignity – British Columbia & Oregon

Two medical doctors shared with about 80 people gathered at the Synod Office conference room adjacent to St. John’s, Shaughnessy (SJS) February 27 their experiences of how they help people die in British Columbia and Oregon. The forum on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) was sponsored by SJS, along with St. Philip’s, Dunbar and Christ Church Cathedral. A Death with Dignity program has been operating in Oregon for 19 years following a 1994 referendum. Court injunctions delayed implementation till 1997, at which point Oregon became the first state to let patients determine the time of their own death.
In British Columbia, the Medical Assistance in Dying program followed a 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, and has been in effect for the past eight months after federal legislation (Bill C-14) received Royal Assent on June 17 last year.Dr. Charles Blanke, a professor of medicine at the Knight Cancer Institute in Portland, talked about the similarities and differences between the Oregon and the British Columbia programs.

[….]
Dr. Blanke said people sometimes bring up the Hippocratic Oath because it specifically prohibited the administration of fatal poisons. He noted the ancient Greek oath also forbids abortions which are legal and accepted by many in both the US and Canada.

Diocese of New Westminster moves its office to St. John’s Shaughnessy

St. John’s Shaughnessy has been costing the diocese of New Westminster $20,000 per month to stay afloat. It’s so empty that it resembles a mausoleum. As a parish, it is a failure; what more fitting setting for a stifling Kafkaesque bureaucracy than the tomb of the interloper that deliberately displaced a once thriving congregation.

The only thing that concerns me is: will there still be room for all the same-sex couples?

From here:

The new Diocesan Office will accommodate existing Synod staff requirements with room for growth and change. There will be meeting rooms available to welcome the various committees and structures of the diocese large and small and these venues will also be appropriate for study

and research. A large classroom/training facility will also serve as a meeting room occupying the former gymnasium. The existing Trendell Lounge will be shared with the Parish for its fellowship time and receptions. Community user groups will be sought for the unused lower floor and the third floor with this income contributing to offsetting costs to the diocese.

The Business Administrator for the Diocese of New Westminster, Rob Dickson had this to say regarding the key components of the renovation project:

“This project is a good use of Diocesan resources now and for the future as the special synod imagined. it will benefit the diocese as a whole, the archives and the Parish by employing an asset of the Parish and the diocese.”

Diocese of New Westminster proposes moving its offices to St. John’s Shaughnessy

Since most of the congregation left St. John’s Shaughnessy, the building has been costing the diocese $20,000 per month to maintain. The diocese is finally publicly admitting that the rump congregation of St. John’s has little use for such a large building:

St. John’s (Shaughnessy) has the stewardship of a building that is far beyond their current parish needs. They are in active search for a complementary “tenant”.

The diocese wants to:

lease a significant space from the Parish of St. John’s (Shaughnessy) at a rate that would be approximately half of the current occupancy cost …….. We currently occupy approx. 4100 sq. ft.; the space we are looking at in the Admin and Christian Education Building is approx. 11,000 sq. ft. – the complete lower floor with entrance on the Cartier side of the building.

The congregation that was chased out of the building thoughtfully kept it in good condition for the new tenants:

It has been determined that the building structure is very sound.

Although, sadly:

The building systems (air management, heating, electrical, single glaze windows, etc.) are at the stage of requiring updating to current standards. The building’s roof is in need of replacement and is scheduled for 2014.

As the document notes:

This is an opportunity for the Diocese.

An opportunity to convert a building designed for worship into one designed for administration; and that, after all, is what being a Missional Church is really all about.

The budgetary woes of St. John’s Shaughnessy

In 2013, St. John’s Shaughnessy is anticipating an income of $151,000. Operating expenses will be $445,000 and a replacement roof will cost $213,000, leaving a deficit of $507,000.

To cover its financial embarrassment, St. John’s is asking the Diocese of New Westminster for a number of restricted funds to be made unrestricted.

That’s what happens when a large, conservative, congregation that emphasises the Gospel is evicted to make room for a small, liberal one that emphasises social justice.

SJS money

St. John’s Shaughnessy embracing doubt

St. John’s Shaughnessy has a new website whose first page trumpets that one belief is as good as any other, doubt should be “embraced”, diversity celebrated and – in what is probably a subconscious dig at J.I. Packer – Knowing God is presumptuous. Unsurprisingly, their road is one “less travelled” – particularly by Christians:

St. John’s Shaughnessy is a small but flourishing congregation,
living our calling as Christians by faithfully walking the Anglican path.
Our road is less travelled.

We do not claim absolute knowledge of the Divine.

We really welcome everyone and are enriched by the dynamic tension of differing beliefs.
We embrace doubt. Pray hopefully. And celebrate diversity.

Fred Hiltz visits St. John's Shaughnessy, fails to plant flag

In a touching display of anti-triumphalism, Fred Hiltz chose not erect an Anglican Church of Canada victory flag during his recent visit to St. John’s Shaughnessy.

Or perhaps it dawned on him that to win an empty building whose maintenance is draining $20,000 from diocesan coffers every month is a victory that, in the annals of empty victories, makes Pyrrhus look like an amateur.

From here:

As always, the Primate has been busy visiting dioceses across Canada. He highlighted his pastoral visit to three parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster that were returned to the diocese after a legal battle. For three days the Primate visited with people, accompanied by the Very. Rev. Peter Elliott. The Primate brought and blessed an Anglican Church of Canada flag for St. John’s Shaughnessy, but refrained from raising it because he did not want to convey a message of victory over those who had chosen to leave these parishes.

Fred Hiltz preaches healing and reconciliation at St. John’s, Shaughnessy

From here (page 3):

Archbishop Hiltz started his address by thanking us for giving him the opportunity to worship together and by stating that the SJS community had been very much in his thoughts and prayers over the past few years as we addressed the tensions within the diocese. “We are all in need of healing and reconciliation and I want to acknowledge with deep gratitude your steadfastness to the Anglican Church of Canada, its worldwide mission and loyalty to the work of the Diocese of New Westminster.”

What Hiltz failed to mention is that a number of ANiC trustees are still being sued personally by the Diocese of New Westminster.

The church that brought us the generous pastoral response, holy listening and experiential discernment, is now striving for the apogee of absurdity with healing lawsuits.

St. John’s Shaughnessy is only attracting 40 people to its main Sunday service

The church building will hold over 800 people and before the Diocese of New Westminster acquired ownership of it, over 800 people attended the church.

Now, under the liberal regime of Bishop Michael Ingham, around 40 people are attending. Rev. Michael Fuller announced the number in his November 4th sermon:

Attendance at St. John’s Shaughnessy is dropping

In spite of an influx of cash , a new rector and a “Bishop’s Missioner”, according to one observer, attendance has dropped:

In a building that will hold 1000, September 2011 attracted between 80 to 70 people to the 10:00 a.m. service; now around 30 people attend – presumably distant relatives of the rector and “Bishop’s Missioner”. At the 8:00 a.m. service there are 2 or 3 people.