What’s happening at All Saints Anglican Church?
It’s been an exciting past few months at All Saints Kimberley. Recently we welcomed the Reverend Yme Woensdregt as our part-time, interim minister. Yme is a familiar name and face in the area; he has a regular column in the Kimberley Bulletin & the Cranbrook Townsman. While Yme is still the pastor at Christ Church, Cranbrook, he has been leading worship at Kimberley’s “Little-Church-on-the-Hill” in the absence of a permanent incumbent.
We at All Saints are in the hunt for someone to take on Yme’s role when he retires in June of this year. All Saints, like many of the main-stream churches in the western world, has been facing the double whammy of declining membership and an aging congregation. So, we are now in discussions with the Kimberley United Church (also looking for a new minister/pastor) about engaging someone interested in a shared ministry in our two vibrant, active church communities. This type of arrangement, in which one minister shares duties in each church, has been in place for many years in Invermere and more recently in Fernie. Yme’s broad background and experience are a great help in guiding us in this process. Members of both congregations met at the end of February to explore commonalities, concerns and to discuss next steps.
When it comes to vibrant and active communities, both churches and others in town can boast that many of their members volunteer regularly and donate many hours weekly, helping others and making Kimberley a better place. Take a look at organizations such as: The Loan Cupboard, The Thrift Store, Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank, Refugee Resettlement Group and many more. You’ll see local church members hard at work around town, organizing, fundraising & lending a hand. They’re all working to help people in our city by keep these much-needed services running well. At last summer’s July-Fest parade, church volunteers were on hand with cool drinks and muffins for parade participants. At the longboard race, church volunteers were on course providing refreshments to riders, trudging up from the finish area for the start of their next heat. They also coach and inspire our youth in many Kimberley Sports.
This past Christmas season, ‘All Saints’ parishioners took on four Primates World Relief projects. What’s that all about you ask?
THE Primates World Relief Development Fund (PWRDF), started in 1958 and is named for the Primate – head of the Anglican Church in Canada. It began in Springhill, N.S., to help relieve the suffering following a coal mine bump which killed 75 men. Since then PWRDF has been actively providing assistance where and when needed, at home and abroad. PWRDF has supported refugees and migrant workers through its relief and development programmes. In Canada, PWRDF has helped provide disaster relief for victims of storms, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters. Since 2000, PWRDF has been a separately incorporated agency, recognized and approved by the Government of Canada. This results in all our projects’ funds being matched 6 – 1 by the Gov’t of Canada.
PWRDF also works actively to engage young Canadians on social justice issues, recognizing the power of youth to create positive social change in our world, nationally and internationally.
The recent ‘All Saints’ initiative followed last year’s very successful “Buy the Farm” project. Then, parishioners’ goal was to raise funds to buy the needed supplies to set up one farm with an ongoing food supply in an African country. Enough was raised to buy three farms! Each set of farm supplies included: 1 cow, 1 goat, 2 piglets, 5 sheep, 40 chickens, 20 guinea fowl, 1 twenty kg bag of seeds, organic farm supplies, plus farm tools.
This time, parishioners committed to 4 slightly less ambitious, but more varied sets of projects: Project ‘Buzz Kill’ funds the purchase of 50 mosquito-net kits to help prevent the spread of malaria in Mozambique.
‘The Doctor Is In’ provides funds to equip a Doctor in Burundi to deliver quality health care in clinics there.
‘Free Wheelin’ funds the purchase of bicycle repair kits for community health workers in Tanzania and Mozambique, workers who rely on bicycles to see patients. The repair kits keep these much-needed workers’ bikes rolling so they can spend more time with their patients rather than walking from place to place.
The project, ‘Equip a Maternity Ward’ in Burundi, goes to a brand-new expectant Mothers’ House, built next to the village Health Works Hospital. This ward makes it easier for women to have safe labour, delivery and quality post-natal care. The gifts to furnish the ward ensures that new mothers can receive the care they need. Enough money was raised for 5 sets of the above projects.
Closer to home, through the “Nuu-Chah-Nulth Economic Development Corp” in Port Alberni, BC., we also supported the program which trains, mentors and offers business & start-up loans to indigenous youth. Again, the Gov’t of Canada matches all gifts: $6 to $1.
Submitted by Ian Ferrie