The Parish of St. Joseph of Arimathea
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From the Rector

Dear Friends,

It seems like only a short time ago I sat at this keyboard to tell you of the passing of one of our communicants. 

Sadly, so sadly, I sit here again with equally difficult news. 

A couple of years ago, Silvia Moody passed away peacefully with her loving husband Matthew at her side. 

In earlier times, of those present, who can forget, when after recovery from a significant stroke, Silvia led our small band of seekers in the Alleluia at Mass. With a voice as clear and beautiful as her spirit, moving over our hearts like the Divine over the face of the Deep. It moved me to tears then, it moves me to tears now, to hear it in the chamber of my mind. 

It wouldn’t be much longer it seems, that I was with her for some of her final moments as I administered the Last Rites of the Apostolic Johannite Church. It was painful then, it’s painful now. 

Sadly, I must tell you that Matthew has now also emerged into the light beyond the shadow, and passed on. 

Our group here, small as it is and gathered under the name and patronage of St. Joseph of Arimathea, owes much to the spirit, character and joy of Matthew Moody. Indeed, the whole Apostolic Johannite Church does, though there are only a few who may remember it. 

Matthew was there, contributing time, wisdom and resources, when we worked on incorporating the Apostolic Johannite Church in Canada and reviewing its Canon Law, and some of the vestments that I have celebrated liturgy in over the years, are because of his generosity. It was because of him that I made it to Conclave when times were difficult, even. 

While the challenges of Silvia’s health, his own busy schedule running the food business they steered successfully together, and the many joys and challenges of being a father, kept him from communion as the years made their march- it was always a joy and never a moment lost in-between, when Matthew was able to join his voice and hand with ours. 

Matthew had a deep love for Liturgy and believed strongly in serving the Divine in the face of his fellow humanity. 

We still yet shared the communion of humanity through many evenings, talking long into the night with full stomachs and enough glasses to chime a symphony, or perhaps at least one rendition of a favourite Rush song

His sense of wonder, diamond sharp intelligence, and one of the most sincere humble and honourable souls I’ve ever met, were blessings bestowed freely upon all without regard to station, journey or trajectory. 

Those conversations made me a better priest, a better human being, and let’s be honest, gave me a better appreciation for good food. 

The kitchen was a canvas and he painted like a master. Yet when it was my turn, he welcomed our humble fare like the feast of a King. 

A piece I wrote some years ago, on St. Joseph of Arimathea, meditated on whether or not something was still worth doing, if we were not remembered as the ones who did it. St. Joseph, you see, gave up his own tomb, the mark of his legacy, in the service of Christ. 

Matthew sought neither thanks nor return, neither laurel nor reward, and the work, the friendships, the opportunities and the joy of the journey itself was sufficient. 

It seemed to me for him, like some of his favourite novels by Patrick O’Brien - about life in the Royal Navy- the voyage was its own reward. 

And like the patron of the parish, who gave much of himself without thought of how he would be remembered, it is the rarity, the quality and the integrity of Matt’s character- which has indelibly etched in the Eternal, a man we will not soon forget. 

On behalf of a grateful Church and the humble fare of its steward- Hail and Farewell.

This Month at St. Joseph's

Please join us as we celebrate the Contemplative Eucharist of the Apostolic Johannite Church on June 12 at 730pm, or for some dinner and discussion, June 26th at 715pm.

Also, keeping reading on to the final thoughts on Conclave 2019, for a nice little piece of news for interested locals. 

With that, and our regular service, I hope to see you there. 

Ad Sacram Flammam,
+ Shaun Mar Iohannes

News and Education from Around the Church
The Primate of the United States takes us through a look at the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Apostolic Johannite Church and the history of Christianity - from Conclave 2018.

Conclave 2019: Closing Thoughts and Thanks

Every year, the Apostolic Johannite Church endeavours to expand its collective and individual understanding, and its fellowship, in new directions.

In the last few years, part of this effort has been focusing our Conclave presentations and workshops around themes for exploration- to deepen and contextualize that which we know, and to embark on learnings and subjects we do not know.

This year, we selected the Divine Feminine, and it couldn’t have come at a better time- for the Apostolic Johannite Church as a communion and community and for many of us as individuals, of which I count myself one.

Her echoes and resonances ring forth in the figures lost to the distraction of the modern era, but kindled anew through the exploration of the Missing Witches with Amy Torok and Risa Dickens. We also had opportunity to see her at work in traditions adjacent to our own, through an exploration of Sophia as Goddess, with T. Scarlet Jory.

She comes as a lightning flash and a torrent, proclaiming her presence in the voice of thunder, which Dr. Celene Lillie showed us in an exploration of The Thunder Perfect Mind.

Her undercurrent- powerful, determined, and revitalizing, courses its way through our art and history, as noted by Nic Laccetti in his exploration of the work of Josephin Peladan, and turns up where you don’t always expect to see it, as demonstrated by Dr. David Goodin in the Divine Feminine in the Gospel of John.

Like the Temple tradition of which His Excellency, Mar Timotheos spoke in his talk on the Great Lady, the Divine Feminine remains, thrives even, in the consciousness and sanctuaries of the people.

Sometimes we meet her in places that we as human travellers fear to tread, in death, loss and the contemplation of our own mortality- in the darker places of our consciousness, as illustrated by His Grace, Mar Thomas

In places most closest to home, Fr. Joseph McCauslin gave ear to her voice in the person of Mary, Theotokos, Mary Magdalene by way of Clark Aitkins in the Gospel of Mary and Barbelo and Sophia in an exploration of Gnostic Ascent and the cosmology of the Apocryphon of John with Very Rev. Fr. Tony Silvia.

Fittingly, we capped off our run of excellent talks with How to interpret the Gospel of Thomas by Dr. Andre Gagne- a dive into Wisdom itself in the form of scripture.

From the start of Conclave until its end- I don’t think it is an understatement to say that every attendee came away with a powerful sojourn in the sanctuary of the Divine Feminine, individually and together with our community- with old friends, and new friends.

Our sincere thanks to our many excellent speakers and guests- Dr. Celene Lillie, Amy Torok, Risa Dickens, T. Scarlet Jory, Dr. David Goodin, Dr. Andre Gagne, Nic Laccetti, His Grace, Mar Thomas, His Excellency, Mar Timotheos, Very Rev. Tony Silvia, Fr. Joseph McCauslin, and Clark Aitkins.

Each has given our Church and the living stones from which it is built, a lifetime of exploration, meaning, practice and reflection- and the voice of thunder will echo and reach many corners of the Apostolic Johannite Church in the months and years, and dare I say- decades, to come.

With that, it remains to note the most powerful and inspiring presence of Divine Feminine during this week of communion, community and celebration- that of the women of the Apostolic Johannite Church themselves- and not just here in Conclave but in the sanctuaries of the Apostolic Johannite Church around the globe- our female clergy, seminarians and members will grow, challenge and inspire the Apostolic Johannite Church in ways that I cannot.

Speaking for myself, but I suspect not just for myself, it was moving, inspiring and humbling.

My special thanks especially to the Rev. Jonathan Stewart not only for selecting our theme, but for his ear to the ground of the Johannite Church, and his own inspiration in selection of topics and speakers. He also kept everything on time, everyone well fed and everything running smoothly. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was done by a team of people.

With that, there remains but one duty at the closing of this Conclave- which is the announcement of the next Conclave.

For its 21st Conclave, and to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Apostolic Johannite Church- Conclave comes home to the foothills and mountains of Alberta.

See you in Calgary, 2020.

Sovereign Pontiff and Patriarch
The Apostolic Johannite Church

Upcoming Schedule

Liturgy: 7:30pm @ The Unitarian Church of Calgary
Room 4, Side Entrance
1703 1 Street Northwest
Calgary, AB T2M 4P4

Coffee and Discussion:
7:15pm @ Boston Pizza @ North Hill

1668 14 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1M7

May 8 - Liturgy - St. Julian of Norwich
May 22nd - Dinner and Discussion

June 12 - Liturgy - St. Barnabas
June 26 - Dinner and Discussion

July 10 - Liturgy - Jean-Baptiste Willermoz
June 26 - Dinner and Discussion


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