The Cathedral: Ottawa

Most days I speak of the death of Christendom and of The Great Emergence. This day I engage with Ottawa's Anglican cathedral, an epitome of Christendom. Removed from the city's cross-cultural street life, it is a focus for armed forces services and a classic cathedral choir. The profits from a huge building project of high price condominiums on its surrounds will  repay its debts and renovation costs. It aspires to support some parish social enterprises. Later we have a meeting with the Bishop. He has a reputation for making insightful appointments. Can there be such a thing as The Great Transition?

CA&H Explorer Randal Goodfellow accompanies me. I think he should have been Prime Minister. God knew better. Randal chairs the Creation Matters Committee of the Anglican Church in all Canada and in his diocese.  He can relate well to the institution and breeze out into the vast world beyond and break fresh ground. Heaven knows this is needed. At our meetings Randal's idea that I should be an energising or educating 'writer in residence' is aired. I ask myself: Where would Jesus reside? Other thoughts cross my mind: Some Christian strands polarise and settle their disagreements in the law courts. The CA&H Way of Life calls us to weave together God-given strands in love.  I ask that, if I were to come, I should be endorsed by varied strands.

And then we met some varied strands: Praying with the archetypes and the Lindisfarne Gospels at St. Joe's roof-top Men's Spirituality Group. Smudge and Prayer to the Four Directions with the Kateri First Nations Group.A visit to St. Albans cafe and centre for those without work. An evening with my friend Rob O'Gorman who took the name Brendan at his baptism in the Orthodox church. A visit to a Listening House where Luisa, who was once at Madonna House in Whitby UK, now resides, and an inspiring lunch with Fabrice Blee. This Professor of Theology at Saint Paul University wants to introduce a course in Contemplative Spirituality. I order his book 'The Third Desert', about emerging  inter-faith monasticism. I would love to be one of his students.

Over sixty people came to a day on Celtic Saints, Creation Care and new forms of Community. On Sunday morning I preached on 'Doing Something Beautiful for God'.  And then Randal and his wife Sharon and I had time to talk.


Posted at 03:53am on 15th June 2013
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