Why Join a Religious Order? (Anglican Sower Feb. 2007)

Posted: November 25, 2012 by Ty in Archives
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year we would like to see your parishes take a few minutes to think about consciously including AYC in your parish plans and budget.


We hope families with children will consider a week at camp in August for your children.


At AYC, we had 34 parishes represented among our campers and staff last year. Of the 83 parishes in our Diocese last year, only four parishes donated money to sponsor 12 children who needed bursaries. Yet those 12 children were from eight different Anglican parishes.


We have been blessed by a number of individuals donors to our camp who do not even belong to an Anglican parish yet want to make sure we never have to say no to a request that a child go to camp.


Special thanks goes out to all those who recognize the importance of this ministry. We could never do it without all of you. Because we rent the site with kitchen and support staff included, we incur extra expenses.


In the past, the Diocese has not included AYC in their annual budget. However, we have been very grateful when the Diocese covers our deposits and any shortfalls we may have incurred.


This past fall as we welcomed our new Bishop, the Executive blessed us with a one-time gift to help us with our deposits for the coming year.


There is also a group of people who volunteer hours of their time to work at camp, plus donate supplies to keep camp going. We could not operate without the commitment of these people.


AYC is held for two weeks in August at a site we rent on Red Deer Lake (west of Hobbema) called Livings Springs Bible Camp. Over the last several years, we have built a wonderful relationship with the Living Springs Board and Staff.


Living Springs is owned and operated for the summer months as a joint venture between six local Evangelical Churches. We have reached approximately 100 children each year. We could accommodate 75 children each week.


This is where you come in. Spread the word to every family you meet. Perhaps your parish would consider sponsoring children connected to your parish.


No children? A donation to AYC directly will help sponsor children whom you may not know but whose parents may not be able to afford the full fee. The AYC philosophy is that every child should be able to attend camp. The cost to sponsor one child is $330 and through the Diocese, we can offer a tax-deductible receipt for your donations.


If you feel you would like to get involved with this important ministry or would like to learn more about what we do, then we would like to invite you to our Annual Camp Reunion and Dessert fundraiser on March 3, 2007 at Holy Trinity Church, 18 Hidden Creek Road N.W. from 2-4pm.


We will have desert, a silent auction and lots of pictures from past camps. Itʼs a chance to visit old camp friends and to get a real feel for what camp is all about. I challenge every parish to send someone to our reunion to see what camp means to the children who attend. Better still send one child to camp.


Lastly, we ask all of you for your prayers. Pray that we receive the children to attend, the volunteers to staff camp and the funds to pay our way. This is a Diocesan ministry and our hope is that every parish large or small with children or not, will see the importance of this ministry and find it in their hearts to participate in some small way.


Please visit our website for more information. http://www.anglicanyc.ca or call us directly on our AYC phone (403)835-3555. See you at the reunion!

Sheila Taylor was

AYC Director for 2006







Summer’s Coming




Free for all at Senior Camp.


Fun at Junior Camp.


Why Join a


Religious Order?


by Ty Ragan


I began the second phase of my Novitiate with the Third Order, Society of St. Francis of Assisi on the eve of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4).


I watched with joy as the animals God entrusted to us were blessed. A question is asked by a friend as I help him write a term paper in the history of Christian spirituality, why a Religious Order? Why strive to be “of no higher office than that of minor” as Francis phrased it in his earliest Rule?


Why? Because it gives me the freedom to move in life among those who need help unhindered by red tape. St. Francis of Assisi is not only the patron of animals and ecology, but also became the patron of political activism. The front line of social justice work came from the spirit of Francis and Clareʼs journey to the heart of Christ.


It is a vocation that fits my character, running for office, writing articles or letters, challenging the leaders of our church and nation or simply buying lunch for someone who is hungry or helping someone achieve. Yet then the question arises, isnʼt this what being a Christian is all about?


The answer is yes. Part of it is community. Itʼs being connected internationally with brethren that share the same heart of faith.


But it is more than community. Part of it is accountability. But you can also find that by being part of Cursillo, TEC or any host of other men or womenʼs ministries.


Recently I have been going through a rough patch of discouragement in my calling. Itʼs not about my vocation, for my vocation is Franciscan. Currently my calling is ministry to youth and children in the church. I also work with Hull Child & Family Services.


That is the joy of the Gospel life. The Holy Spirit moved within me over a year and a bit as I wrote my personal Rule of Life to be a Franciscan. Over this past year I have been living this rule more consciously.


The rule is designed to be general enough for life, yet specific enough to constantly cause growth in ministry in the world.


I am in the home stretch as I move towards life profession. In my heart I know this is where I should be. But in the religious life it is a community decision reached through prayer.


My vocation is not mine alone, but a community decision. This goes back to the earliest rule where Francis wrote about missionaries. He said their calling had to be seen by the friars, the priest, and the church. They had to be willing to learn about the culture and become fluent in the language.


I am a missionary. I have to remember that. A document challenges me to never give up. The religious life is not for every believer. It is a call to obedience, simplicity, prayer, and action.


It is a call never to remain silent when injustice is seen and to help those who are in need. It is a challenge to daily examination and transformation. As Francis wrote in those early days about education; a brother should not move on from one teaching of. Jesus until it is inwardly digested and outwardly lived out.


To be a Franciscan is to literally live out the heart of Christ in the world. The answer is simple for me when I am asked why the Religious Life? It is the same for all of us; God called and I answered.

Ty Ragan is a lay Franciscan working in ministry to youth and children at St. Georgeʼs Anglican Church, Calgary. He is a frequent contributor to the Sower.

(http://www.calgary.anglican.ca/Sower/2007/SowerFeb07.pdf p.8)


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