Frequent Patrons of
Magdalen's Rose and Compass
Wagner, Meg submitted December 2003
My name is Meg Wagner and I greet you from Iowa where my family and I attend Trinity Church in Iowa City. I'm sure you know my mother, Mary Jane Anderson, who has been inviting me to meet you all for a while now. Hope I won't cramp her style!
I am the figure skating director at the ice arena here (a job that I love) and the mother of two boys (a job I love even more). My husband is a reporter for a local tv network affiliate. At Trinity I have been the youth group director for the past 10 years and am finishing up a term as Senior Warden on our Vestry.
Like my mom I am an avid mystery reader and love cross-stitch and needlework & wish I had more time for both! Make my drink a Bass - (no beer I can't see through - although my beer and wine choices seem to get darker as I age, so maybe there is hope for me yet!)
Warren, Robert (a.k.a. Raspberry Rabbit) submitted June 2002
Good day to most! I know some of you from the old days on Anglican-L but I haven't been there and I gather it's not been an overly happy place of late. I used to correspond with rather a lot of people from all over the world and I found that a number of very enjoyable and personally profitable (as opposed to $$ profitable) contacts emerged from these conversations. Okay okay - intro, intro - I know I know.
My name is Robert Warren. I am a 44 year old anglican priest working as the executive director of one of Canada's largest homeless shelters - the Old Brewery Mission - I run approximately 450 beds in Montreal for men and women - 260 of them designed to care for really hard cases. I'm a former hospital chaplain, former military chaplain, former port chaplain who was somewhat underemployed as the rector of a tiny parish in nearly-downtown Montreal and am now rather 'overemployed' in a job with a lot of fundraising, human resources management-type work which is quite interesting and stimulating but rather exhausting and heart-rending. I regret, somewhat, that I'm not preaching on a more regular basis (I'm taking services somewhere about every 2nd Sunday). I'm looking forward, some day, to returning to a parish - maybe in Montreal, maybe elsewhere.
I'm a single father to a sixteen year old daughter named Hannah who is my 'best thing' and who has just graduated with honours from high school and will be attending a local CEGEP (in Quebec we have these two year junior college programs prior to a three year degree program in University) and will be studying liberal arts.
A few years back one of the members of the Anglican list provided the list members with a recipe for Rabbit done in a Raspberry Jelly sauce and I sorta liked the name Raspberry Rabbit and took it for my own. I write the odd little poem/prophecy/short story thingy, collect them in the vain hope that they're getting better with time and that I'll be able to retire of them since I haven't done much else for myself in my old age.
I'm in the process of reinventing myself. I kinda like that.
Watts, David submitted October 2003
I started life as a child, following an uneventful infancy. I was born in 1946 in Marysville, New Brunswick, Canada to a devout Baptist family. At the end of the war, my parents returned to their home town although my mother had wanted to stay in Ontario after peace was declared, feeling it would give them a better start in life. My father would have none of it saying 'he was born in Marysville, and he would die there'. Which is what he did, but along the way, he modelled a dogged determination, and a strong belief in 'roots', which I am now coming to appreciate.
It was that 'fundamentalist' upbringing that gave me a solid grounding in the Christian faith although it wasn't until I was an adult in the Anglican church that I was able to fully discover two hitherto unknown parts of the faith - the social justice Gospel, and the beauty of the liturgy.
My earliest memory of 'worship' happened when I was about ten years old. It was our habit to attend church twice on Sunday. On this particular evening, for some reason the pastor was away, and a lay person from the community filled in. At 10, I day-dreamt a lot especially during the evening services to pass away the hour. I certainly didn't expect anything special that evening just because there was someone new in the pulpit, but when he began to preach, my attention was so riveted on him that the rest of the sanctuary disappeared, and he was all I could see. I had heard many 'altar call' sermons, passionate and forceful, but this was different; this man was not calling for repentance - he was simply preaching the gospel; he wasn't loud and banging - just confident and assured of the truth of what he was saying. It made such an impact on me that ever since, I have seen 'church' in a new light. It was the first time I understood church involved 'regular people'.
When I was thirteen, I was baptized after making my declaration 'for Christ'. I stood in my dungarees and white T-shirt, waist deep in a pool of lukewarm water, while the minister stood beside me. He spoke words I can no longer recall. I was embarrassed to be in front of the whole congregation. Finally he put one hand on my back, and with the other, he pushed against my chest. I allowed myself to fall backward into the water. For a split second, I was submerged with no way to get up except for this man's arms. In that millisecond, I recognized I was unable to save myself from drowning unless I put my trust in this person who represented the church, and God. That thought has never left me. It was a very sacramental experience for me which has lasted forever. It was the first time I experienced the power of God in my life.
During those early years in such a welcoming, warm, solidly faithful, but somewhat insular community, I developed an awareness and appreciation for the scriptures, for a sense of community of believers and a knowledge of Jesus as real in my life, but the breadth and scope of wider Christian thought and expression was not part of my reality, so when I grew into adolescence and my view of the world became a multicoloured affair, I was left with very little spiritual depth or Christian intellectual understanding, and I easily gave up on the church and any connection to a Christian community. After two failed years at university, I left for New York City to study photography. The python in my 45th St hotel room and the time I quit my summer job to go to Toronto to see the Beatles are great stories but they'll have to wait for another time. Back in Canada during the turbulent but exciting years of the late 60's and 70's, I joined the growing throng of Canadian youth criss-crossing the country looking for adventure and trying 'to find themselves'. I lived in Ottawa from 1970 to '72, when the 'hippie' lifestyle shaped everything - at least in my life. I had it all - a steady income, freedom to go, live, do where and whatever I wanted. It was total freedom that I shared with countless others. Although I lived in a rooming house with my relatively strict landlady and her two sons, my life was spent working, or enjoying myself with friends who had rented a house nearby. There were about seven or eight people living there, including a young couple and their baby. Whenever I was there, I thought it was 'heaven on earth'; I was accepted as an equal, everything I wanted was available, and there were no pressures, no requirements. So when one day, they offered me a room, it was perfectly reasonable that I would move in. I wasn't prepared for what happened next. As I sat in a comfortable well-worn arm chair from the local poverty association's warehouse, drinking wine straight from the bottle, I gradually noticed everyone staring at me with a look I'd never encountered before - or since. I became unsettled, then apprehensive about what might be happening. Soon I became scared because I sensed that whatever was going on, it was not something good. In twenty minutes, I went from assured of belonging to urgent needing to get away. I got up and ran out the door, continued running and didn't stop until I arrived back in my room with the door shut. It took a few days to get it all in perspective. The experience was evidence that even though I'd moved away from God, He had never left me. I remain convinced to this day it was an occasion of the Holy Spirit's intervention in my life. It was the first time I realized God was always with me.
Eventually, I found myself back in New Brunswick, and having embarked on a very fulfilling career, I got married. In Hampton Ana and I began a new kind of life. For the first two years, nothing much changed except the two of us lived our lives together. But it was when we were expecting our first child that God spoke to each of us individually and we both felt the urge to return to a worshipping faith community. Ana was a cradle Anglican, and I didn't feel the need to return to a Baptist congregation, so we became members of our village parish, and eventually I was confirmed. In those years the church was entering a period of renewed devotion to the Holy Spirit; the charismatic movement was in full swing, and a group from our parish went to Darien, Connecticut to hear the Rev. Terry Fulham and witness the "wonderful moving of the Spirit" in that community. My father was quite apprehensive, feeling that we were getting drawn into some kind of cult. Today, having lived through those years, having experienced the good and the bad, and having come out intact at the other end, I know technically he was wrong but I also realize his fears were not entirely baseless. Returning to a Christian community after years of individualism and search for immediate gratification, created in me a desire to work for the church, and I took my place on the local vestry sometimes called a parish council. I was soon a warden, and in time became a diocesan synod delegate. During my years as a parishioner of the parish of Hampton, I was thankful I had found a parish with a long tradition and history. Hampton is a region with a strong Loyalist background. This proved invaluable to me as an Anglican; my own family history is in NB but those roots extend into New England. Through this heavily English-oriented parish, I learned a lot about the history and tradition of 'the Church of England'.
I was shown specifically by God's grace what it meant for 'two to become one' in marriage. I learned that He often spoke to me through Ana, and I came to understand how I could be an answer to her prayers. I remained active in prayer and praise groups but as time went on, these small groups began to turn inward and introverted. I needed to exercise my faith in a wider community, a wider world. When my photography business suffered in the recession of the early '80's, and things took a turn for the worse, I gave up my studio, moved to Fredericton and went to work for the provincial government. My parish level involvements continued but when I was asked to join a diocesan committee, I was happy to raise my sights, and felt I had lots to offer. I became a member of a mission-oriented committee and, strengthened by a visit to an Anglican diocese in Kenya, developed what has become a life-long, deep interest in the international mission work of our church. Encouraged by those experiences, I served on Diocesan Council, and our diocese's Board of Programme. It was at that time that I became a layreader, a ministry which I still carry on today.
Following a few years of 'service' with the Primate's World Relief & Development Fund, through which I came to know personally some national church staff, I was chosen to be one of our diocese's delegates to the Canadian General Synod, at which event I was elected to be a member of both the Council of General Synod, and the national Partners-In-Mission committee, and I still serve on both. Most recently, I travelled to the Diocese of Jamaica to visit with our partners there and gain yet another exposure to the Anglican Communion worldwide. At the same time, I have continued to be active with PWRDF both nationally and at the diocesan level. Through my wife's role as the editor of our diocesan newspaper, I have made wonderful friends with many other editors across the country - people who exhibit an undeniably Anglican, but decidedly different expression from the 'spiritual' mainstream. Also I have been a non-aboriginal partner to a Sacred Circle of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples of our church.
Perhaps it is because of those opportunities that I have developed a strong desire to know as wide a church as I can. Maybe it has been the rigid perspectives of my youth combined with Anglican diversity that has driven me to learn about all it takes to make up the worldwide Anglican Communion. Whatever the source, I am very happy about the process, and I can say unequivocally that God must plan for me to live a long, long time because there is so much of our church that I have yet to discover.
Our new diocesan bishop is an old friend and I look forward to many years of cooperation with him as we both travel this road of faith. I was part of a working group he established a few years ago which investigated and developed an intentional spiritual direction initiative for our diocese. It is a very exciting venture and one which I believe will provide a way for many current Anglicans to reclaim their voice, after years of watching narrow groups occupy the main stage. Of late, when we are in conversation, Bishop Miller has also been making funny noises about ordination. I have not resisted, nor have I jumped in head first; the answer will show itself in due course, I'm certain.
The rest is the future.
Webster-Hawes, Anastasia submitted September 2006
I live in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, with my husband Donald, and children Blythe (18), Aurelia (16), Lindon (15), Celeste (13), Giles (11), Sieglinde (9) and Freya (7). The eldest, Eleanor (20) has recently flown the nest to ride racehorses. We have about three acres of land backing onto the bush, and also live with a horse, four cats, a chook, a duck, two fish, and many visiting wuzzles (which are technically called rainbow lorikeets, but were referred to as 'wuzzles' by little daughter learning French), as well as many possums, occasional wallabies, lyre birds, echidnas, etc.
We are of the endangered Sydney species of High Church Anglican. Our main place of worship over the past twenty-five or so years has been the city church of Christchurch St Laurence, which some of you might know by reputation. I've since become involved with a church some notches down the candlestick further West. My parents were Anglicans, but my grandmother was Church of Christ, and spent much of my childhood going to church with her too. Also, got involved with a pentecostal church in my teens. A good mix, I reckon.
Am almost through a theology degree, intending to do Honours next year, and have a PhD in my sights thereafter. ( I love study). Have recently committed myself officially to the process of 'discerning my vocation' with the diocese of Bathurst, which is both terrifying and thrilling (the prospect of ordination, that is, not Bathurst, though that in itself is pretty scary, with the likelihood of having to uproot my very settled family). It is just wonderful midway through life to find myself on an entirely new track, with all sorts of possibilities, doors opening to goodness knows where!
Interests include reading and writing (have degrees in English Lit., love poetry, mysteries, etc, these days like nothing better than reading theology), music (favourite periods renaissance and baroque, but have eclectic tastes), singing (choral music - Christchurch's choir, Sydney Philharmonia, etc), playing recorders, bush walking, things old and antique, cryptic and sudoku puzzles, films, red wine, the arts generally (though hardly ever get to a concert or a show because of lack of stupid money). Love purple; favourite flower would have to be a purple iris. Our rather unkempt garden is full of Japanese maples and camellias.
Weigel, Jay submitted May 2002
I hadn't joined this list earlier, wondering if, with the new job and all, I'd have enough time for yet another list. However, I found I simply missed y'all too much not to. For any here who don't know me, I'm an almost lifelong Anglican now a founding member of a small Episcopal-Lutheran congregation in E. Tennessee where I'm chalicer, inttercessor, occasional lector, and music coordinator. During my "searching period" in my teens and twenties I was involved to a greater or lesser degree with Buddhism, Judaism, the Quakers, and a charismatic church (which is now, sadly, a megachurch). I came close to converting to Judaism at one time, but I found I just couldn't get past Jesus Christ. I returned to the Episcopal Church after my oldest son, who is now almost 30, was born and I realized just how badly I wanted him baptized, and I've been here ever since. In the rest of my life, I'm a registered nurse, currently starting a new job in the cardiovascular unit in what is considered *the* place for hearts in Knoxville. I'm married to John, who is an electrician and sailor and the love of my life, and I'm the mother of 3 adult children and the grandma to one perfect grandson. I'm also handmaiden to 4 Anglipets, 2 canine and 2 feline, and I have way too many flowerbeds for my own good. I cheer for the Lady Vols basketball team. I've been learning all I can about my genealogy and heritage. I also like to sing, though I don't do it as well as I used to, and my favorite form of humor is wordplay.
Whiteley, Raewynne submitted january 2004, revised July 2011
I'm Raewynne, aka the Rev. Canon. Dr. Raewynne J. Whiteley in the diocese and
RJ when I'm skiing. I was born in Australia to a Northern Irish Father and Australian mother, and moved to the US in 1998. In
December I became a US citizen, and so now hold three passports - Australia, UK and USA.
Wilder, Virginia Cuthbert (Ginga) submitted April 2002, revised March 2005
I am from Summerville, SC and am a lifelong Episcopalian who was baptized (confirmed, married and owns a cemetery plot) in the very same parish church where I worship today. I am 57 (born 1947), naturally gray-haired, and considerably heavier than I was in high school. I have been married since 1968 to John, my childhood sweetheart. We have three grown children and three perfectly grand grandchildren. John and I keep the road worn between Summerville and North Carolina, where our children and grandchildren live. I have worked in the medical field (cancer diagnostics) and in the Church (CE Director). In 1980, I was research author of Porch Rocker Recollections of Summerville, SC, an oral and pictorial history of our slightly famous hometown. I currently work in the mental health profession and hold licenses as a Marital and Family Therapist and as a Professional Counselor. Since 1988, I have maintained a private practice in individual adult and couples therapy. Being yellow dogs, John and I are sorry that John Kerry is not in the White House.
I fret about the state of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Thankfully, I am richly blessed with many close friends. I meet weekly with a book club and a prayer-study group. We provide a spiritual community for one another in these days of controversy in the Episcopal Church. Along with our nearest and dearest friends, John and I lean left of moderate in a diocese that is hard-wired to the theological right. We periodically visit other churches, looking for a better theological fit for ourselves, but most denominations in our corner of the world struggle with the very same concerns as Episcopalians. Besides, we are just too grafted to the Episcopal liturgy to switch to another denomination - yet. That could change tomorrow. I am outspoken and prone to periodic braying about the pain and grief of being a broad-church moderate in an Anglican Right parish and diocese. You'll just have to ignore me when I do that. It will pass soon enough.
Wolf, Molly submitted April 2002, updated January 2004
I am a writer and editor, living in Kingston, Ontario, which is where the St. Lawrence River comes into Lake Ontario. It's a lovely little city, if somewhat peculiar (the combination of Canada's answers to West Point and Princeton, on one hand, with eight prisons and a whole lot of ex-psychiatric patients, on the other, makes for an interesting mix). I am married to Henry Clarke, a chaplain at the local psychiatric hospital. My younger son John Greenough lives with us, as do tortoiseshell Maggie and big grey tabby Max; my older son Ross also lives in Kingston on his own. I write a weekly piece on Godstuff called the Sabbath Blessing and have done so since the fall of 1995.
I am a cradle Episcopalian/Anglican. My parents, Fred and Barbara Wolf, were instrumental in inventing lay-led small-group adult Christian education; +Fred was Bishop of Maine, and Barbara was a respected teacher and theologian and formerly the beloved Wolfmama of several Anglican mailing lists. Both are now dead. I have two sisters, one an Episcopalian priest and the other a retired psychiatrist.
I was born in Illinois and brought up in Bennington, Vermont, and Heath, Massachusetts. Since 1971, I have lived in Canada, in Ottawa, Ont., Halifax, N.S., and Kemptville, Ont., where I lived for 16 years before moving to Kingston in February 2003. I graduated from Grinnell College, in Iowa, in 1971, with B.A. in history and English, and from Dalhouse University (Halifax) with a B.Sc. in biology in 1983. I now take the occasional course at Queen's Theological College. I have been an editor/indexer/contract writer for most of my professional life, working in fields ranging from agricultural engineering to fortifications to the taxonomy of weevils.
I have three books of my own out (Hiding in Plain Sight: Sabbath Blessings; A Place Like Any Other: Sabbath Blessings; and Angels and Dragons: On Sorrow, God and Healing) and am working on a fourth, to be titled White China, for Jossey Bass. With Linda Roghaar, I co-edited KnitLit: Sweaters and their Stories and KnitLit Too: From Sheep to Shawl. I am a fairly constant but not addicted knitter.
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