We had a fantastic and wonderful celebration of our 300 years of continuing Anglican worship in Nova Scotia. I was so pleased to greet the bus with my parishioners from the Parish of Three Harbours and to have Elizabeth Abler from my parish as my server. I was one of 22 concelebrants with Bishop Sue. I greatly enjoyed feeling surrounded by the national church in our celebration, although in the physical space we surrounded them!
The service began with five historical vignettes of our history as a diocese. They were well written, funny, poignant and honest. I struggled with the first vignette, as did my husband who is an Acadien. The first service at Port Royal was to celebrate the conquering of the french by the English. That was how this celebration was introduced to me 5 years ago. When I pointed out the insensitivity of this, the phrase was subsequently dropped from the presentation.
So, the first thing we (and our aboriginal guests, I may add) saw was two soldiers joking about finding wood in this new land by stealing the ax from the local carpenter and then destroying his house. It was written in a spirit of comedy which I did not find particularly funny. The vignette ended with a story by one soldier about his father’s musket. It is not the musket that is important, but what you accomplish with it. Again, this was written in the spirit of looking forward to great accomplishments, and all I could think was, yeah, look at what was accomplished at the point of a musket.
Having said that, the most moving part of the service for me was the liturgical dance. About 21 people dressed in costumes representing wind, water, doves and fire. It was beautifully executed, and I am very proud of my friend Katherine Bourbonniere and her choreography.
As part of my saying goodbye, I was invited to be a concelebrant for this service. It was an honour to stand with some wonderful and supportive colleagues at the celebration. We have a good college of clergy. As we were lined up, we couldn’t all hear the hymn sing. Those closest to the doors started to sing and led the rest of us in singing in the hallway.