Category Archives: Christianity


I don’t preside over many funerals.   Recently I was asked to preside at a funeral service that was hard for all concerned.   Here is the final version of the service, including homily.

Funeral Service for Ryan Hind                                                                                      March 17, 1974 to February 28, 2015

Introit/Opening Prayer

God our refuge and strength,

close at hand in our distress;

meet us in our sorrow and lift our eyes

to the peace and light of your constant care.

Help us so to hear your word of grace

that our fear will be dispelled by your love,

our loneliness eased by your presence

and our hope renewed by your promises

in Jesus Christ our Lord.



 On behalf of the family of Ryan Hind, thank you for coming this morning to share in honouring his life and memory.   We gather together to celebrate a life and morn a passing of someone dear to many in this room.   Those of us who are not close friends or family are also here to help share the burden of grief and to let those who cared about Ryan know that they are not alone at this time.

 Opening Prayer:

 God of hope,

we come to you in shock and grief

and confusion of heart.

Help us to find peace in the knowledge

of your loving mercy to all your children,

and give us light to guide us out of our darkness

into the assurance of your love,

in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Readings & Reflections

First Reading:

Not, how did he die, but how did he live?

Not, what did he gain, but what did he give?

These are the units to measure the worth

Of a man as a man, regardless of his birth.

Nor what was his church, nor what was his creed?

But had he befriended those really in need?

Was he ever ready, with words of good cheer,

To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,

But how many were sorry when he passed away?


 Second Reading:

Remember me when I am gone away,

gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

you tell me of the future that you planned;

Only remember me; you understand

it will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet, if you should forget me for a while

and afterwards, remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

a vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

better by far you should forget and smile

than that you should remember and be sad.

(Christina Rossetti)

 Community Memories:  

Friends and Family of Ryan are welcome to share memories


Third Reading:

Because of the LORD’s great love

we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;

therefore I will wait for him.”

The LORD is good to those

whose hope is in him,

to the one who seeks him;

it is good to wait quietly

for the salvation of the LORD.

It is good for a man to bear the yoke

while he is young.

Let him sit alone in silence,

for the LORD has laid it on him.

Let him bury his face in the dust—

there may yet be hope.

Let him offer his cheek

to one who would strike him,

and let him be filled with disgrace.

For men are not cast off

by the Lord forever.

Though he brings grief,

he will show compassion,

so great is his unfailing love.

For he does not willingly bring affliction

or grief to the children of men.

(Lamentations 3:22-33 New International Version)

My role here today is that of being a representative of the community.   Most of you here are friends and family and acquaintances of Ryan.   I’m not.   But he is a part of my world.   We knew people in common. We lived in Toronto and likely complained about the cold and made jokes about the Leafs or former mayor Rob Ford.   He died tragically.   But he was and isn’t alone.   People care about Ryan; strangers offer prayers for him and his family; in many ways we do what the Jewish community calls sitting Shiva—sharing in the grief and helping to carry the burden of lose in whatever way we can.

And part of our responsibility as members of a caring community is to remind family and friends that Ryan’s life wasn’t defined by what happened at the MacDonald’s.   He was a sports fan, especially of the Colts. He wore a NFL jersey at the visitation. I have heard many people tell of his generosity, his kindness, his exuberance for life.   Everyone of those who knew Ryan, who cared for him, who now grieve for him and feel a sense of lose, have memories of Ryan that should be nurtured and reflected on—you don’t make and keep friends without being a part of good times; family members will remember the cute toddler or the dreamer; you have something good in your minds about Ryan.   These memories should be cherished because only you have them.   The rest of us only have partial glimpses of who Ryan was. You have the depth of knowledge from which wisdom comes. We share your grief but we do not have what you as family and friends have—memories of Ryan not in crisis or the news but in good times.   That is the best way to honour Ryan while respecting your own grief and loss.

I have had the opportunity to visit Jerusalem twice.   I have watched Muslim and Jewish boys play soccer together; I have heard the Muslim call to prayer blended with Christian church bells and the sounds of the shofar (ram’s horn) being blown at sunset.   I heard a busker playing It’s a Wonderful World as children from different races and backgrounds played in a public square.   Yet, walking around the walls of the old city I could see barbed wire and bullet holes—a harsh and vivid reminder that even in one of the most sacred spots in the world, a place where peace is waiting for a chance to blossom, there is violence and hatred and bloodshed.   HaMakom (literally, the place)/Allah/God wants peace while humanity, in our frailty, has problems living this out.

If violence can occur in the sacred places of the world, it isn’t a surprise when violence erupts in our secular temples.   It is always a tragedy with far more victims than the world sees. Ryan would have died at some point—that is part of the human condition.   But he did not need to die when and how he did.   Ryan death would have always been mourned, even if he died in a hospice aged 107 surrounded by loved ones   But his loss is more keenly felt because he died in a violent way in a situation that makes little sense to us on the outside.

Those who have reached my age have watched loved ones die. We know that time transforms but never eliminates grief. We miss those who were one a part of our lives.   At times a memory will cause a smile; at times tears.   While few among us will have the experience of morning the tragic death of someone close to us, many have a lived experience that helps us have empathy with some of what Ryan’s friends and family are living through today.

Our responsibility, as people from the world beyond Ryan’s family and friends, is to remind those close to Ryan to not let his life end where and how it was frozen in time.   Ryan will continue as long as you hold onto the memories of the Ryan who laughed and cried and drank and argued and played games with you—the real Ryan.   The rest of us are here to help carry the burden of grief so that family and friends can honour Ryan and begin their healing journey.

A couple of thousand years ago a wandering teacher in the middle east had a dinner with friends, a meal shortly before he was killed. He didn’t ask a lot from his friends—he was the one more likely to be asked for things—but did ask them to agree that whenever they got together and shared a glass of wine to remember him.   Friends and family of Ryan, whenever you get together in the future whether at a kitchen table or a Timmy’s or a bar, raise a glass in his memory.   You have decades of memories to share and keep alive.

The Lord’s Prayer

 Celebrant: As our Saviour taught us, let us pray,

All: Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

 Final Commendation

Invitation to Prayer:

Before we go our separate ways, let us take leave of our brother Ryan Hind.   May our farewell express our affection for him; may it ease our sadness and strengthen our hope. One day we shall joyfully greet him again when the love of Christ, which conquers all things, destroys even death itself.


Signs of Farewell

Celebrant: Saints of God, come to his aid!

Hasten to meet him, angels of the Lord!

All: Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Celebrant: May Christ, who called you, take you to himself;

may angels lead you to the bosom of Abraham.

All: Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Celebrant: Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon him.

All:      Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Prayer of Commendation:

 Into your hands, Father of mercies,

we commend our brother Ryan Christopher Hind

in the sure and certain hope

that, together with all who have died in Christ,

he will rise with him on the last day.

Merciful Lord,

turn toward us and listen to our prayers:

open the gates of paradise to your servant

and help us who remain

to comfort one another with assurances of faith,

until we all meet in Christ

and are with you and with our brother for eve:

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 The Committal:

 In peace let us release our brother to his place of rest.

May the angels lead you into paradise; May the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem.?

May choirs of angels welcome you and lead you to the bosom of Abraham; and where Lazarus is poor no longer May you find eternal rest.?

Whoever believes in me, even though that person die, shall live. I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.

May the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever:

All: Amen.

Celebrant: Go forth in the name of Christ.

All: Thanks be to God.


Outline for a Wonderful Family Wedding

Matthew Mackay and Andrea Bodnar
Brantford Golf and Country Club
August 9, 2014




Entrance (procession)


P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Love of God
and the communion
of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
All: And also with you.

P: Friends, we are gathered here today in the presence of God
and of one another to share together in celebrating the marriage of Andrea and Mathew and to ask God’s blessing upon them.

The bond of marriage was given by God who created us to be in covenant. We acknowledge the reality of human failure; yet we affirm the joy and freedom of lifelong union. In the assurance of God’s promise to be with us, let us open our hearts in faithfulness and in hope.

The Declarations (Statement of Intent)

P: Matthew and Andrea are here to today to declare their love for one another and to receive on their marriage the blessings of God as expressed through and within the Christian faith.

P: Andrea and Matthew, you have made it known that you wish
to have your marriage blessed and honoured according to the rites and customs of the Christian community. Before God and before these witnesses, do you freely confirm that you have come here to give yourselves to each other in marriage and will you honour and love each other for the rest of your life?

Andrea: I do
Matthew: I do

P: Do you, the families of Andrea and Matthew give them your love and blessings and promise to uphold and care for them in their marriage?

Family: We do.

P: And will all of you here today, the friends and community of Matthew and Andrea, give them your blessings and promise to support and honour them in their marriage?
All: We do.


P: Eternal God, our creator and redeemer, as you gladdened the wedding in Cana of Galilee by the presence of your Son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding. Look in favour upon Andrea and Matthew, and grant that they, rejoicing in all your gifts, may at length celebrate with Christ the marriage feast which has no end.

All: Amen.



Reader One: Union by Robert Fulghum read by Emily Beaton

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

Reader Two: The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur read by Kyle Dix.

Did you hear about the rose
that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it’s dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.


Andrea and Matt, you are here in the midst of friends and family to celebrate your marriage. You have honoured us by inviting us to be with you and for that we thank you.  And I am especially pleased to be celebrating a wedding for and with members of my extended family.

In my faith tradition marriage is the only sacrament that is performed not by clergy but by the two people who are coming together in marriage. My primary role is that of witness. We are here to share in their celebration and joy but they are the key participants in a special ministry. And it is a very magical sacrament because we can’t actually point to the moment when the marriage occurs. There is a point in the ceremony where the legal requirements appear but the marriage itself is made real by the people involved. It could have already happened or may happen years from now when they look at each other and realize that something has happened in their life, an ontological change, that changes them from separate individuals to individuals who are somehow and forever a part of each other.

Matt and Andrea are established people in their own right. They are both doing the impossible by going into classrooms encouraging children to learn and by trying to instill a permanent sense of wonder and hope. And they are not strangers to each other. If you heard it, ask them how they met—it isn’t a story you’d find in a newspaper but it is a delightful one that wouldn’t be out of place in a folksong. They have their own friends, their own interests, their own experiences that have shaped them and will continue to shape them. Being married isn’t an ending of their uniqueness; it is an opportunity for something new to grow between them and within each of them.

Because this is a family wedding, I’ll take the liberty of giving some advice from an elder to the next generation. The best of times could always be better; the worst of times could always be worse. Don’t think about that. It is the meaning you find in each moment that is key. And it times of difficulty or tension or boredom, consider the worlds of Galway Kinnell:

“Wait” by Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands.

Matt and Andrea, it will take decades for you to truly appreciate one another. It may not always be fun; there will be stresses and strains; but your life’s journey together will always be fascinating if you remain open to each other. Remember to dream and take risks and cherish quiet time together.

There are a few pieces of advice I want to give to the bride and groom before I conclude:

The first is to remember that you are physical beings. Our creator expects you to enjoy all of life’s gifts.

The second is to remember to take time for both yourself and for each other. You are both individuals and a shared essence.

The third, and final, is to remember that you should engage in true mutual obedience—this does not mean following orders but listening to the way each other lives in the world, the personal story each of you is sharing.

May you always find wonder in your lives.

In the words of my grandmother’s people: Apegish wii-zhawenimik Manidoo (I hope you are blessed by the Creator)

The Marriage


P: Almighty God, you send your Holy Spirit to fill the life of all your people. Open the hearts of these your children to the riches of your grace, that They may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love, joy and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.


Matthew and Andrea are delighted to be surrounded by friends and family today as the celebrate their marriage. There two here today who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Andrea and Matt chose today for this celebration not only begin their life as a married couple, but to honour and celebrate the promise of marriage made by Matt’s grandparents, Margie and Danny Murray, 50 years ago and who have asked to renew their vows this day. Margie and Danny (Murray), will you come forward and be prepared to repeat after me:

I, ________, take you ______, for my wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

P: Bless, O God, the giving of these rings, that those who wear them may live in faithfulness and love all their days, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.


I give you this ring as a sign of our covenant. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honour you.

P: Amen.

Before God and this congregation Margie and Danny Murray have renewed their marriage vows to each other. May there be truth and understanding between you as you are a joy and a blessing to each other. May you enjoy length of days, fulfilment of hopes, and peace and contentment of mind. Amen.

Personal Vows of Matthew and Andrea

The Giving of Rings

P: Bless, O God, the giving of these rings, that those who wear them may live in faithfulness and love all their days, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.


I give you this ring as a sign of our covenant. With all that I am, and all that I have, I honour you.


P: Let us pray.

Almighty God, in whom we live and move and have our being: look graciously upon the world which you have made, and for which your Son gave his life; and especially on all whom you make to be one flesh in holy marriage. May their lives together be a sacrament of your love in this broken world, a sign of unity overcoming estrangement, forgiveness healing guilt, and joy vanquishing despair. God, in your mercy.
All: Hear our prayer.
P: May Matthew and Andrea so live together that the strength of their love may enrich our common life and become a sign of your faithfulness. God, in your mercy,
All: Hear our prayer.
P: May their home be a place of truth, security and love; and their lives an example of concerns for others and all of your creation. God, in your mercy,
All: Hear our prayer.
P: May those who have witnessed their vows find their lives strengthened and their loyalties and trust confirmed. God, in your mercy,
All: Hear our prayer.
P: Loving God, there is no joy that does not come from you, no pain that does not echo in your heart. See our needs and give us strength to work with you and each other in building a world where love can flourish. We ask through in Christ’s name.
All: Amen.


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P: Friends, let us give thanks to our God.
All: Thanks be to God.
P: Most gracious God,
we give you thanks
for your tender love
in sending Jesus Christ
to come among us,
to be born of human mother,
and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life.
We thank you, also, for consecrating
the union in love
of Matthew and Andrea.
By the power of your Holy Spirit,
pour out the abundance
of your blessing
upon this man and this woman.
Defend them from every enemy.
Lead them into all peace.
Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts,
a mantle about their shoulders
and a crown upon their foreheads.
Bless them in their work
and in their companionship;
in their sleeping and in their waking;
in their joys and in their sorrows;
in their life and in their death.
Finally, in your mercy,
bring them to that table
where your saints feast for ever
in your heavenly home;
through Jesus Christ our Lord
we pray,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, for ever and ever.
All: Amen.
P: In the words that Jesus taught us, let us pray:

All: Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.



The Proclamation

P: Matthew and Andrea have made a covenant of marriage before God and in the presence of all of us. They have confirmed their marriage by the joining of hands, by the exchange of rings and by the giving of a kiss. Therefore, I declare them to be husband and wife.

The Blessing of the Marriage

P: May God bless, preserve and sustain you; may God look upon you with favour; May God fill you with all blessings and give you grace that you may in the life live together in joy, and in the world to come have life everlasting.
All: Amen.

Signing of Documents/Registrar


P: Greet Andrea Mackay and Matthew Mackay, who are joined in marriage.



P: May the blessing of the God of Abraham and Sarah; of the Son, born of our sister Mary; and of the Holy Spirit who broods over the world as a mother over her children, be upon you and remain with you always.
All: Amen.

Sending Forth

P: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord and one another.
All: Thanks be to God.







FIRST LESSON: 2 Maccabees 1: 1 – 6

The Jews in Jerusalem and those in the land
of Judea, to their Jewish kindred in Egypt,
greetings and true peace. May God do good
to you, and may he remember his covenant
with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, his
faithful servants. May he give you all a heart
to worship him and to do his will with a
strong heart and a willing spirit. May he open
your heart to his law and his commandments,
and may he bring peace. May he hear your
prayers and be reconciled to you, and may he
not forsake you in time of evil. We are now
praying for you here.


O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall
prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy
walls: and plenteousness within the palaces.
Alleluia, alleluia. Praise the Lord, O
Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion. Alleluia.

In Jewry is God know: his Name is great in
Israel. At Salem is his tabernacles: and his
dwelling in Sion. There brake he the arrows
of the bow, the shield, the sword, and the

GOSPEL: John 20: 19 – 23

When it was evening on that day, the first day
of the week, and the doors of the house
where the disciples had met were locked for
fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among
them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he
said this, he showed them his hands and his
side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they
saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace
be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I
send you.” When he had said this, he
breathed on them and said to them, “Receive
the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any,
they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins
of any, they are retained.”


On a beautiful summer day in a peaceful
city war seems far away. Unless we are
refugees from places of conflict, are a veteran
or currently serving military or have such
people among our friends and our families, it
is hard even for war to seem real. We have to
work hard to make war alive in Toronto as it
is something that happens elsewhere. And yet
we are at war. Canadian military units are
serving overseas in places of conflict;
individual Canadians are volunteering for
service in the military of countries such as the
U.S. and Israel; Canadians are going to other
lands to take part in religious wars. No
matter how nice it is in our community today,
no matter how comfortable we may feel in
our lives, there are wars being fought and
people are dying and our friends and
neighbours may be involved. Peace is in our
world, but it isn’t present everywhere.
War isn’t what Jesus came to live among
us for. War isn’t what Christians are called
to be—we are called to peacemakers, not
warriors. And, while throughout our history
Christians have taken part in wars, we have
never forgotten that Christ came to bring
peace. We hear it in the scriptures and we
read the pronouncements from church
leaders. We have fallen far from the central
teachings of our faith if we don’t embrace this
essential reality that peace is what we are
called to witness for.


There are times when I wonder how hard
it must be to be part of a peaceful witness.
All we have to do is not pick up a weapon or
strike out at someone. Just like the best way
to address hunger is to feed people and the
best way to address homelessness is to
provide someone a place to live, the best way
to build a peaceful world is to not add to the
violence in it.


Christians in the world need to become
more consistent in our witness for peace.
Our churches can’t send out the contradictory
messages of calling for an end to war and
providing chaplains to the military. God isn’t
on the side of those with the most battalions;
God is on the side of everyone. Our peace activists                                                  have to stop sending out contradictory messages.                                                     We can’t call for an end to war while doing apologetics for one
side or the other in a conflict. God isn’t on
the side of those most in harmony with our
ideas; God is on the side of everyone.

There are among us the unseen victims of
war—from soldiers with post-traumatic stress
syndrome to people who have seen their
entire family killed by a missile. There are
victims of war around the planet, from
Christians crucified by ISIS in their effort to
re-establish the caliphate to those killed when
their shelter was bombed to those whose
aircraft was shot down to the children who
are forever scarred by what they have
experienced while hiding in a bomb shelter.
And, as Dwight Eisenhower stated so clearly:
“Every gun that is made, every warship
launched, every rocket fired signifies in the
final sense, a theft from those who hunger
and are not fed, those who are cold and are
not clothed. This world in arms is not
spending money alone. It is spending the
sweat of its laborers, the genius of its
scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not
a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the
clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a
cross of iron.”

War is evil. We are called to do good and
to overcome evil. As people that pay for war,
as people who participate in many ways in
supporting movements and institutions that
could be working for peace, as people who are
called to be living examples of the shalom
kingdom, we need to do better. We may not
know how to achieve peace on earth but we
do need to start somewhere. We need to find
ways to avoid violence in our own lives, we
need to find ways to not be so complicit in
violence in our community and around the
world. From praying for peace to being a
voice against war to being a more gentle
presence in a harsh world, we can do things in
our lives that will change the world. Let us
do so; lives depend on it.

Notes for A More Coherent Co-op Presentations—Cahoots


Cahoots Festival

Silver Lake Mennonite Camp, May 30, 2014



Thank you all for coming.   I’m Brian Burch. I live, work and volunteer in the co-op sector and have been a part of provincial and national area governing bodies of worker co-ops, financial co-ops and housing co-ops since last millennium.

I’d like people to quickly go round and introduce yourself.   If you could let us know if you are a member of a co-op—if so, please let tell us their name—and what you would like to get out of this workshop.   I hope to have time to touch on areas I’ve missed that you’d like to address.

What is a co-op?

The most basic definition of a co-operative these days is an organisation incorporated under a co-operative act.   But a co-operative is more than that—it is a sharing of resources and vision to meet a common goal.   They are ongoing experiments in the living out of the ideal of Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid.

Types of co-ops?

Co-operatives come in a of variety forms, but they tend to fall into the following broad categories:

Worker Co-ops

Consumer Co-ops

Producer Co-ops

Financial Co-ops

Housing Co-ops

Community Co-ops

Worker Co-operative (From Wikipedia):

A worker cooperative is a cooperative self-managed by its workers. This control may be exercised in a number of ways. A cooperative enterprise may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which managers and administration is elected by every worker-owner, and finally it can refer to a situation in which managers are considered, and treated as, workers of the firm.   La Sembra in Ottawa comes to mind as an example.

Consumer Co-operatives (From Wikipedia):

Consumer cooperatives are enterprises owned by consumers and managed democratically which aim at fulfilling the needs and aspirations of their members. They operate within the market system, independently of the state, as a form of mutual aid, oriented toward service rather than pecuniary profit. Consumers’ cooperatives often take the form of retail outlets owned and operated by their consumers, such as food co-ops. However, there are many types of consumers’ cooperatives, operating in areas such as health care, insurance, housing, utilities and personal finance (including credit unions).   Karma Co-op in Toronto is an example.

Producer-owner Co-operatives (from Wikipedia)

Producer cooperatives are owned by producers of farm commodities or crafts that band together to process and/or market their products. Purchasing or shared services cooperatives are cooperatives whose members are businesses that join to improve their performance and competitiveness. This form of co-op is most common in agriculture, where farmers often must band together to survive in an industry that is increasingly industrial and centralized.   Gay Lea is one of the best known in Canada.

Financial Co-operatives/Credit Unions (From Wikipedia):

A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative, democratically controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members. VanCity is probably Canada’s best known credit union.

Housing Co-operative (From Housing Connections):

CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING– Co-operative housing is collectively owned and managed by its members (the people who live there). Co-operative members actively participate in decision making and share the work involved in running the housing community.

Co-operative housing in Canada is primarily, but not exclusively, non-profit.   However, there are other forms of co-op housing, including equity and limited equity co-ops and building co-operatives.   Don Area Co-op, where I live, is a non-profit housing co-op. Options for Homes involves building co-operatives.

Community Co-operative (from

Community co-operatives are organisations set up to provide a service or services to a particular community and which use co-operative principles to guide their organisations and their activities.  Forward 9 Co-op, in Toronto, was formed with this in mind.   Community Partners For Success Co-operative Quinte and the Bias Free Co-operative in Ottawa are more recent examples.

What are the co-op principles?

Seven Cooperative Principles:

Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.

1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

3. Members’ Economic Participation
Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.

4. Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.

5. Education, Training and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.

6. Cooperation among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

What does faith have to do with this?

Acts 2:43-47 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

From the earliest days of the Christian faith mutual aid and the sharing of resources was a living expression of the Shalom kingdom as a living expression of practical love in the world.   While not a specific Christian form—the On Co-op website lists a number of Muslim co-operatives—-there would be no co-operative movement in Canada if it was not for Christian communities who took seriously the example of the earliest Christians who did the hard and difficult work of sharing their skills and talents to make the world better.   It was no co-incidence that the earliest leadership of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation were people like the Methodist minister J.S. Woodsworth or the Baptist minister Tommy Douglas.   Building the New Jerusalem was a shared work.   From the Social Gospel to Liberation Theology, co-operative initiatives have been seen as the practical way to address social problems while showing that alternative models of social and economic organisation are practical and viable.

Some examples of the faith roots of co-ops in Canada—please feel free to jump in if you know their contribution:

Roman Catholic Bishops, Quebec: Sought Pope Pius X’s approval for priests to manage local caisses.

Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops: co-founder, Co-operative Housing Foundation of Canada, which became the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada.

United Church of Canada: co-founder, Co-operative Housing Foundation of Canada, which became the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada; provided a revolving loan fund to develop housing co-operatives in the early 1970s and 1980s)

Student Christian Movement at the University of Toronto: founded Campus Co-op at the University of Canada, the oldest continuing housing co-operative in Canada

“Toyohiko Kagawa, Japanese Co-operator, spoke at a Student Christian conference in Indianapolis during the Christmas holidays in 1935. Four University of Toronto theology students Donald Mclean, Art Dayfoot, Archie Manson and Alex Sim were so moved by his speech that upon returning to Toronto they formed a discussion group to debate the possibility of operating a co-operative. Riding on the tails of a depression, the men decided that a housing co-operative would be the most pragmatic venture to undertake. In October 1936, finally able to gather the minimum number of people to open a cooperative, the men established the first Campus Co-op House that they called Rochdale, at 63 St. George Street, accommodating 12 men, many of the farm youths with a United Church affiliation. The principal of Victoria College used the first floor for offices and the top two floors were vacant.   The Co-op men occupied the top two floors, eleven rooms, including a kitchen and a storeroom, rent-free, paying maintenance fees only.”

St. Luke’s United Church: one of many churches that had a congregational based Credit Union

Fr. Moses Cody: Roman Catholic priest who founded the Antigonish movement, which worked throughout Atlantic Canada to develop worker and consumer co-operatives

Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative: does social investment on behalf of Canadian charities, all of which are religious and the vast majority of which are Roman Catholic religious orders, although the United Church of Canada, the SCM, CFSC and Trinity-St. Paul’s United are members

Waterloo County Mennonites—founded the Mennonite Credit Union, one of the largest community based credit unions remaining in Canada.: “Founded in 1964, the credit union began with a radical vision for expanding our faith community’s historical commitment to mutual aid.  What started out as $22 in a cash box and a modest attempt to share financial resources among Waterloo County Mennonites has grown into a full-service Anabaptist financial cooperative. We remain committed to the radical dream of our founders: to be a Christian vehicle for the sharing of financial resources within the Mennonite, Amish, and Brethren in Christ communities. And today we’re building on that dream, serving members of other Christian faith communities who share our values.”


Unlike a lot of community based initiatives I have been a part of, co-operatives work. They are not perfect organisations—we are not perfect people and co-operatives reflect this.   But they work.   According to the On Co-op website: “The survival rate of co-operative enterprises is almost twice that of investor-owned companies after five or 10 years in operation. “ (   No matter how bureaucratic a co-operative becomes, and in large co-operatives like MEC or credit unions like Alterna can become rigid and governance remote from the average member, the boards come from the membership and the by-laws that govern them are approved by the members.   The principals that are woven into the life of a small worker co-op or a housing co-op are woven into the core of even the largest co-operative.   I do think it is important for people who are connected to the co-operative movement attend federations and co-op cluster meetings to realise that the dreams of a co-operative and more compassionate world are shared at all levels of the movement and in all sizes of co-operatives.

Humans are social creatures.   Even those of us who are loners are connected in many ways to other people.   The co-operative movement takes the realities of quilting and barn raising bees and applies this sharing to the meeting economic and social needs of each other and the wider world.

The co-operative movement has never been inward looking or isolationist.   Initiatives such as Rooftops Canada and the Co-operative Development Foundation work with partners around the globe to encourage and support local co-operative development and emerging leaders.

Despite many changes in the political and landscape in the world since I attended my first co-op meeting, I remain confident in, and evangelical about, the co-operative movement.   I am, at heart, a CCFer who will not rest contented until it we have eradicated capitalism and established the Cooperative Commonwealth. (paraphrased from the Regina Manifesto)

Q & A


Trivia Question:

When did the co-op rainbow flag first fly

ICA adopted its original rainbow flag in 1925, with the seven colors symbolizing unity in diversity and the power of light, enlightenment, and progress.

An interesting report on Co-operatives in Canada can be found at:

Note for a more coherent co-operative presentation – Fair Trade Fair for Global Justice

Note for a more coherent co-operative presentation
Saturday, April 26, 2016
Fair Trade Fair for Global Justice
Donway Covenant United Church
230 The Donway West, Toronto, Ontario M3B 2V8

Thanks for inviting me to lead a workshop on co-operatives. I have been active in various expressions of the Canadian co-operative movement for over 25 years. From serving on the boards of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative to being a member/owner of Ganesh Community Development Co-operative to being the executive director of CoAction Staff Association , which is a co-operative that provides services to its members who are staff of housing co-operatives, I have worked and volunteered in three of the five major areas of co-operatives in Canada—housing, financial and worker co-operatives. I am not directly involved in insurance co-operatives or related mutual societies nor am I active in consumer co-operatives, even though I am supportive of their work and purchase insurance through Co-operator’s Insurance.

What I plan to do is talk for a little while about co-operatives and why I think this is a good time for co-operatives. Hopefully my comments will inspire some questions and debate.

I’m curious if there are people here who are a member of one or more co-operatives. Let’s just go around and let us know if you are a co-op member (wait for responses).

(see for source of stats and Desjardins anecdote)

I’m not surprised at the results—4 out of 10 Canadians belong to one or more co-operatives. In Quebec it is 7 out of 10.

There have been formal co-operatives in Canada since the early 19th century. Related mutual societies, such as mutual insurance companies, go back just a bit earlier. From farmers wanting a better deal for their crops to workers wanting some real control over their employment conditions and the products they produced to people wanting to share the risks of dealing with fire or major illness to people wanting to have affordable housing where costs and control were shared with their neighbours to people wanting stores accountable to those that purchase the products instead of distant shareholders, co-operatives have been a part of the Canadian fabric since well before confederation. At times a way of marginalised to get control of their lives and resources—Alphonse Desjardins founded the first credit union in Canada when he learned of a Montrealer who had been ordered by the court to pay nearly $5,000 in interest on a loan of $150 from a moneylender—at times a way for government to implement social policy which is why most Canadian housing co-ops were developed—and at times just good economic sense, which is why Co-operatives, Gay Lea and Ocean Spray continue to prosper, Co-operatives make both idealistic and practical sense.
Not surprisingly when dealing with social justice, faith communities can be found in the lead. Here are a few examples. Can people suggest what role they had in the Canadian co-operative movement?

Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops: (co-founder, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada)

United Church of Canada: (co-founder, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada; provided a revolving loan fund to develop housing co-operatives in the early 1970s and 1980s)

Student Christian Movement at the University of Toronto: (founded Campus Co-op at the University of Canada, the oldest continuing housing co-operative in Canada)

Fr. Moses Coady: (Roman Catholic priest who founded the Antigonish movement, which worked throughout Atlantic Canada to develop worker and consumer co-operatives)

St. Luke’s United Church: (one of many churches that had a congregational based Credit Union)

Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative: (does social investment on behalf of Canadian charities, all of which are religious and the vast majority of which are Roman Catholic religious orders, although the United Church of Canada and Trinity-St. Paul’s United are members)

This is a very exciting time to be a part of the co-operative movement in Canada. There have been a number of co-operatives start up in the past few years—West End Food Co-op, Solar Share Energy Co-operative, Local 75 Housing Co-op come immediately to mind. Less well known are efforts such as A-Zone in Winnipeg, a co-operative of anarchist worker and community focused co-ops, which obtained financing from CAIC and Assiniboine Credit Union to purchase a major building in downtown Winnipeg. The government of Canada, for the first time in its history, has a multi-party Co-operative Caucus/Working Group to explore ways in which co-operatives can be nourished in Canada. Rooftops Canada and CCA are able to work with partner co-operatives in the developing world with ongoing support from CIDA and a core of dedicated volunteers.

To me there are some good reasons for optimism about the Canadian co-operative movement that I haven’t always felt. I admit that there are current challenges for many forms of co-operatives. It is easier to get the financing for a worker or consumer co-operative than a housing co-operative. There are political uncertainties affective alternative energy co-operatives. Credit unions are being hit with changes to the Income Tax Act. Government policies are not always in harmony with the reality of co-operative decision making.

Yet even with these real challenges, I think that this is a potential boom time for co-operatives. I have four reasons for thinking this way.

One very real need for any co-operative is funding. Co-operatives have benefited from funding from CAIC and from the Community Forward Fund, from changes in rules that have encouraged the use of community bonds and crowd funding and from governments across Canada that have supported local co-operative ventures.

Another is community interest. The co-operative model seems to have found momentum both from the concerns that inspired the occupy movement and the new interest in social and impact investing. Both radical anger at the dominate economic systems and the desire of those with wealth to try to effectively use it for social good seem to have blossomed at the same time.

Thirdly, and related to the above, is the slow, persistent and gentle reminder that co-operatives work. Worker co-operatives are more likely to survive their first five years than any other corporate model. Consumer co-operatives have loyal members and, both on the small scale such as Karma Co-op and the large scale such as Mountain Equipment Co-op, find creative ways to fit into niches in the marketplace and, when faced with crisis, their members have been creative in ensuring the ongoing viability of their co-op. Financial co-operatives—credit unions and related member controlled banks—weathered the recent financial crisis that shook the banking system with far fewer problems than traditional banking institutions.

And finally, one of the things that truly gives me hope is the change in leadership of the movement. My generation is being replaced with a far more diverse body of co-op directors, staff and developers than we represent. On my last term on the board of the co-op I live in, the majority of the directors weren’t born when I moved into DACHI. Problems are being addressed in ways some of us older activists are not comfortable with as the new leadership looks at our shared movement with fresh eyes.

With new leaders, alternative financing models in place, a desire for new organisational models and proof that co-operatives work, this is a good time for co-operatives.

Brian Burch

Some helpful website resources:

Ontario and Canadian Co-operative Movement

Housing Co-operatives

Financial & Insurance Co-operatives

Worker Co-operatives

Consumer Co-operatives

Other Co-op Links

Service of Holy Baptism for Christian Ty Leandro Chopite Santinelli August 18th, 2013

Service of Holy Baptism with Eucharist for Christian Ty Leandro Chopite Santinelli August 18th, 2013


Celebrant: Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People: And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen. Celebrant: There is one Body and one Spirit;
People: There is one hope in God’s call to us;
Celebrant: One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;
People: One God and Father of all. Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Celebrant: Let us pray.

The Collect of the Day:

Celebrant: Heavenly Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit
you give to your faithful people new life in the water of baptism. Guide and strengthen us by the same Spirit, that we who are born again may serve you in faith and love, and grow into the full stature of your Son, Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and for ever.

People: Amen.

The Lessons:

First Reading: A reading from the prophet Ezekiel (47:1–9. 12)

The angel brought me to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. The man went to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross. He then said, ‘Do you see, son of man?’ He took me further, then brought me back to the bank of the river. When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river. He said, ‘This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit each month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.’

Reader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Second Reading: CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE by Dorothy Law Nolte

Children learn what they live.
If a child lives with criticism
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame
he learns to feel guilt.
If a child lives with tolerance
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement
he learns confidence. If a child lives with fairness
he learns justice.
If a child lives with security
he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval
he learns to like himself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship
He learns to find love in the world.

Third Reading: The Holy Gospel according to Mark. (Mark 10:13–16)
People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing. Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

Today is the birthday of my son, David. I can not easily recall when he wasn’t a part of our lives. Through all the many challenges of being a parent, having him in our lives has been wonderful and frightening and always better than it would have been without him. His views and way of living in the world are different than mine—being the father of a right wing atheist is always a challenge. But we must have done something right as he cares about others and the world he lives in, values woven into the way his whole extended family on both sides deal with the challenges of life.

As a parent you view the world differently—you want the best possible present and future for your child. You want them to be happy, to be able to control their own destiny, to be do things in the world that matter. In essence, we view our children the way God views creation. God, in what ever way we see the creator, desires the best for us.

As parents, no matter how much we love our children, we know that things aren’t always perfect. They will get sick; they will find that sometimes dreams don’t come true; they will find that people they care about will die.
And, as parents, we wish that sometimes we could do something that would allow things to start over.

The creator sees what happens in creation. God too wishes that the choices humanity sometimes make, either as individuals or on a global scale, would have been different. We make choices in life that cut us off from the life God intended for us; governments make decisions that divert us away from helping to build up the shalom kingdom here on earth. But unlike the limitations we have as parents, God does offer us something that allows us to reclaim all the possibilities of a new life—baptism.

In baptism the past is washed away and new life becomes possible. We are woven into a 2,000 year old family that, even if not perfect, still proclaims that love is better than hate, that sharing is better than selfishness, that we are all equal in the sight of God.

Being baptised doesn’t mean our life will be perfect, but it is a statement that life can be and is transformed. It is a covenant between God and the individual that no matter what happens in life one can start over.

Christian isn’t able to understand the promises that are being made today on his behalf. When older, at confirmation, he can chose to confirm these vows on his own. But people who care about him, his parents and sponsors, are making a commitment on his behalf to care for him, to give him guidance, to be examples of people able to enter into strong and living relationships. They are making a promise to us and before God that they will by precept and example help Christian grow up to be an example to others of who a good person is. All of us gathered here today are also making a promise. We are stating that we are also committed to helping to build here on earth the shalom kingdom, a place where all the promises of creation can be made real.


Presentation and Examination of the Candidates

The Celebrant says: The Candidate for Holy Baptism will now be presented.
Parents and Godparents: I present Christian Ty Leandro Chopite Santinelli to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

The Celebrant: Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present
is brought up in the Christian faith and life?  Usted será responsable de ver que el niño presente ¿se crió en la fe cristiana y la vida?

Parents and Godparents I will, with God’s help. (Lo haré, con la ayuda de Dios.)

Celebrant Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow
into the full stature of Christ? Por sus oraciones y su testimonio ayudará a este niño crezca ¿a la plena estatura de Cristo?
Parents and Godparents: I will, with God’s help. (Lo haré, con la ayuda de Dios.)

Then the Celebrant asks the following questions of the parents and godparents:

Question: Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces
of wickedness that rebel against God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce the evil powers of this world
which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you
from the love of God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your
Answer: I do.

Question: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
Answer: I do. Question: Do you promise to follow and obey him as your
Answer: I do. The Celebrant to the Congregation:

Celebrant: Will you who witness these vows do all in your
power to support these persons in their life in Christ?
People: We will.

Celebrant: Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and renew our own baptismal covenant.

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Father?
People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant: Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good
News of God in Christ?
People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People: I will, with God’s help.

Prayers for the Candidate

The Celebrant then says to the congregation: Let us now pray for Christian Ty Chopite who is to receive the Sacrament of new birth:

Leader: Deliver him, O Lord, from the way of sin and death.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Open his heart to your grace and truth.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Fill him with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Keep him in the faith and communion of your holy Church.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Teach him to love others in the power of the Spirit.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Send him into the world in witness to your love.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Bring him to the fullness of your peace and glory.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

The Celebrant says: Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

Thanksgiving over the Water

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Celebrant: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Celebrant: We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life. We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior. To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Consecration of the Chrism

Celebrant:  Eternal Father, whose blessed Son was anointed by the Holy Spirit to be the Savior and servant of all, we pay you to consecrate this oil that those who are sealed with it may share in the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever.   Amen.

The Baptism

Christian Ty Leandro Chopite Santinelli, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the
forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of
grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them
an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to
persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy
and wonder in all your works. Amen.

Christian Ty Leandro Chopite Santinelli, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit
in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever. Amen. Let us welcome the newly baptized Christian Ty Chopite into our community:

Celebrant and People: We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with
us in his eternal priesthood.

Celebrant: The peace of the Lord be always with you.
People: And also with you.

The celebrant then says: All praise and thanks to you, most merciful Father, for
adopting us as your own children, for incorporating us into
your holy Church, and for making us worthy to share in the
inheritance of the saints in light; through Jesus Christ your
Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from
whom every family in heaven and earth is named, grant you
to be strengthened with might by his Holy Spirit, that, Christ
dwelling in your hearts by faith, you may be filled with all the
fullness of God. Amen.

The Eucharist


Celebrant: Blessed are you, Lord God of the Universe. You are the giver of this bread, fruit of the earth and of human labour. Let it become for us the bread of life.
People: Blessed be God, now and forever.

Celebrant: Blessed are you, Lord God of the Universe. You are the giver of this wine, fruit of the vine and of human labour. Let it become for us the wine of the eternal kingdom.                                                                                                         People: Blessed be God, now and forever.

Celebrant: As the grain once scattered in the fields and the grapes once dispersed on the hillside are now reunited on this table in bread and wine, so Lord may your whole Church soon be gathered together from the corners of the earth into your Kingdom.                                                                                                              People: Blessed be God, now and forever.

Celebrant: May God be with you.                                                                              People: And also with you.

Celebrant: Open your hearts.                                                                                     People: We open them to God and one another.

Celebrant: Let us give thanks to God.                                                                      People: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Celebrant: It is indeed right that we should praise you, gracious God, for you created all things. You formed us in your own image, male and female you created us. When we turned away from you in sin, you did not cease to care for us, but opened a path of salvation for all people. You made a covenant with Israel, and through your servants Abraham and Sarah gave the promise of a blessing to all nations. Through Moses you led your people from bondage into freedom; through the prophets you renewed your promise of salvation. Therefore, with them, and with all your saints who have served you in every age, we give thanks and raise our voices to proclaim the glory of your name:               All: Holy, Holy, Holy God, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!

Celebrant: Holy God, source of life and goodness, all creation rightly gives you praise. In the fullness of time, you sent your son Jesus Christ, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all. He healed the sick and ate and drank with outcasts and sinners; he opened the eyes of the blind and proclaimed the good news of your kingdom to the poor and those in need. In all things he fulfilled your gracious will. On the night he freely gave himself to death, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” Gracious God, his perfect sacrifice destroys the power of sin and death; by raising him to life you give us life for ever more. Therefore we proclaim the mystery of faith.                All: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

Celebrant: Recalling his death, proclaiming his resurrection, and looking for his coming again in glory, we offer you this bread and this cup. Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts, that all who eat and drink at this table may be one body and one holy people, a living sacrifice in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever.                                                                                                                                All: Amen.


Celebrant: The body of Christ, broken for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you. Let us share, for all things are made new.


All: For the bread we have eaten, for the wine we have tasted for the life we have received, we thank you, O God. Grant that what we have done and have been given here may so put its mark upon us that it may remain always in our hearts. Grant that we may become mature Christians, that ours may be the faith which issues in action; through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Celebrant: Let us go from this place in peace, to love and serve God. And may the blessings of God, the creator, redeemer and sustainer of us all be with you this day and always.                                                                                                              People: And also with you.                                                                                              All: Amen.

Thank you for attending Ty’s Baptism. Your company and presence in this important celebration is greatly valued and appreciated.

In love and faith, The Parents and Godparents of Christian Ty Leandro Chopite Santinelli


Prelude and Postlude Music:


Quiet City for Cor Anglais, Trumpet and Strings (Celia Nicklin, Michael Laird, Academy of St. Martin In the Fields & Sir Neville Marriner)


Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major (Spring), op. 38, IV: Allegro animato e grazioso (Milan Horvat:  ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra)


The Planets, Op. 32: II. Venus, The Bringer of Peace (John Eliot Gardiner & Philharmonia Orchestra)


Dream Children Op. 43: II Allegretto piacevole (Andrew Davis & BBC Symphony Orchestra)


Joan Baez Suite, Op. 144 – 7. Finale (Sharon Isbin)


Il Sogno – Act 2: Sleep (Michael Tilson Thomas: London Symphony Orchestra)


There are times, in celebrating the Eucharist, when I feel transcendent—my feet may be on the ground but I somehow transcend time and place. At other times the celebration is routine, a set of practice rituals. The marriage sacrament is like this. There will be moments in a marriage when it seems magical—that within your private world all the wonders of the universe are somehow within reach. But much of the time marriage will bring the comfort of familiar routine, of making sense of the mystery of two people weaving their lives together.

Marriage is the most time bound and most timeless of the sacraments—it occurs at a particular moment but it is made real over a long period. An ontological change, a change in the essence of those coming together in marriage, occurs over the lifetime of a marriage. It is made apparent in the moment when vows are exchanged and all the documents are signed, but it is made concrete over a lifetime.

Marriage includes a commitment to change the future. You are telling the world that you have confidence that your lives together give more meaning to each other’s life than any other relationship possibly can. You send out ripples into the broader community that something greater than living as individuals in the moment is not only possible but essential in the ongoing world of making visible the shalom kingdom. You don’t bring perfection into the world, and being married doesn’t make things perfect in a relationship, but you do bring more hope and delight into the world. The community gathers with you, whether in a private civil ceremony or in a large gathering of friends and family, to not only share in the celebration but to remember that we are called to be a loving and compassionate community.

There are a few pieces of advice I want to give to the bride and groom.

The first is to remember that you are physical beings. Our creator expects you to enjoy all of life’s gifts.

The second is to remember to take time for both yourself and for each other. You are both individuals and a shared essence.

The third, and final, is to remember that you should engage in true mutual obedience—this does not mean following orders but listening to the way each other lives in the world, the personal story each of you is sharing.

May you always find wonder in your lives.

Apegish wii-zhawenimik Manidoo (I hope you are blessed by the Creator)