Parishes working together in new ministry

Hollis Hiscock

Three parishes are moving forward quickly and effectively with the Chinese Anglican Mission in the Oakville area, delegates at the fall Niagara synod were informed.

St. Simon’s, St. Aidan’s and St. Cuthbert’s parishes are bases from which the Reverend Garfield Wu is reaching out, welcoming and integrating Mandarin speaking people into a variety of ministries.

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Jeff Ward (left), Garfield Wu and Darcey Lazerte explained what the Chinese Anglican Mission is doing in the Oakville area. Photo: Hollis Hiscock

St. Simon’s Rector Darcey Lazerte compared the church mission to sports groups. When participation is down, they often find “the number one cause is failure to reach out to new people.” He emphasized the importance of reaching out to new Canadians.

An earlier diocesan press release stated, “According to a report by Community Development Halton, over a third of the newcomers to Halton are from Asia and the Pacific and that number appears to be trending upward. Included in these figures are a wave of young, middle-class Mandarin speaking people with whom the Chinese Anglican missioner hopes to engage.”

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St. Cuthbert’s has concentrated on seniors, including classes for women. Photo: Garfield Wu

Garfield told Synod attendees that the ministry has an advisory group composed of representatives from all three parishes. Each parish also has its own co-ordinating group to initiate activities.

St. Simon’s sponsored a Moon Festival celebration with 200 people in attendance, St. Aidan’s new ministry is focusing on youth and St. Cuthbert’s is concentrating on programs for seniors, including a choir and classes for women.

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Over 200 people attended the Moon Festival celebrations at St. Simon’s. Photo: Garfield Wu

Rector Jeff Ward of St. Cuthbert’s said most people start from ground zero and then build community which is an “inspiration for us all”.

Space is needed for people to come together to meet, so, he said, we must “keep the doors open.”

Garfield was born in mainland China. He lived and worked there for over 30 years before coming to Canada, when he pursued a call to ordained ministry.

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At St. Aidan’s, the emphasis is on youth who have increased the number of choir members significantly. Photo: Garfield Wu

In addition to being the Chinese Anglican Missioner — the first for the diocese — he serves as Priest-in-Charge of St. Aidan’s Oakville.

The funding for the Chinese Anglican Mission comes, in part, through a Walking on Water (WOW) grant from investment gains realized on a special fund set up with the proceeds of disestablished parishes and property sales.