Community

 

Working together for common good a joyful experience.  Read about our involvement at the University of Victoria Multi-Faith Services HERE.

 

Christian Science Chaplain at the University of VictoriaJohn Park (2),
John Park

It’s a privilege to be part of a multi-faith team of chaplains at the University of Victoria! Each one of our team – presently composed of representative from 11 faith groups – has unique spiritual perspectives, and a desire to use their talents to help students spiritually, to remove barriers of prejudice, and to enrich the campus ethos.

At present, I’m on campus on Friday mornings from 9 to 12, and participate in a monthly team meeting with the other chaplains. These meetings, as well as other ad hoc occasions, are models of respectful multi-faith dialogue, which allow us to appreciate each other’s faith perspectives on different matters.

During my office hours, I’m always available to talk to any student, and either provide counsel or refer them to another chaplain. The whole idea is to listen, to build bridges, and, if warranted, to offer perspectives.

At the start of each fall term I’m involved with several joint activities with other chaplains. We generally set up a multi-faith table at the President’s BBQ, at an international student’s activity, and at an activity involving the parents of incoming freshmen. Later in the term and in June, we have an opportunity to give invocations at the fall and spring convocation ceremonies.

Besides such regularly scheduled activities, we often plan joint activities together throughout the year. One thing we’ve begun to do is to advertise ourselves as a resource for the university. As such, we’re often called upon to participate in classroom presentations when an instructor feels that our input could be useful in bringing a religious or spiritual perspective to bear on the topic at hand. For example, together with other chaplains, I’ve participated in an undergraduate course on Nursing Practice in Hospice Palliative Care. In this online course, I participated in small group learning discussions, sharing comments from the perspective of Christian Science.

All these opportunities for multi-faith interaction allow us to break down barriers between faiths and between faiths and the secular community. They also allow us to dispel misconceptions. From my own perspective, dialogue has allowed me to show that Christian Science is deeply rooted in Christianity and is not Scientology.

I work with a wonderful group of chaplains in this work. Multifaith Services is now under Student Services, which provides our administrative services, including our Office Coordinator. The university provides about half our funding, with the other half being provided by the participating faith groups, according to whether they are supporting part-time or full-time chaplains.

Invocation for Fall Convocation
at the University of Victoria, 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 13, 2014
John Park, Christian Science Chaplain

With respect for our diversity, whether we close our eyes or leave them open,
lift our heads or bow them, raise our hands or fold them, let us be of one Spirit and Mind in expressing gratitude and thanksgiving for this occasion. I invite you to think or pray or meditate about the graduates we honour in your own way, as I offer this invocation from the point of view of my faith, Christian Science.

Dear Father-Mother, God,
source of all life, truth, love, intelligence, and wisdom,
who created us
to be witnesses, members, and heirs of Your glorious creation,

Thank You for bringing us to this day of celebration,
to rejoice with the graduates at their accomplishments and achievements.

Let us realize that they will be privileged
as socially and ethically aware professionals
to use their knowledge for the benefit of both themselves and others,
and to express in their individual lives the love and peace
that bring about healing solutions to human problems.
And so I thank You for the qualities, abilities, and talents they possess,
reflecting Your nature, that can be used to enrich us all.

I thank You for the support they have received
from family, faculty, staff, and others.

I thank You for the opportunities that You have prepared for them,
and for the strength, courage, and wisdom You have given them
to meet the challenges,
which will enable them to grow morally and spiritually.

I thank You for Your continued blessing and presence in their lives.

I know that You have created each graduate as a unique individual
for a particular purpose.
Help them to realize and to fulfil that purpose.
Amen.

John has written an article about his work as a chaplin at the University of Victoria.  You can read this HERE.

 Victoria skyline

We are a member of the Victoria Downtown Churches Association.

This group of Christian clergy and representatives from churches in the downtown and surrounding area of Victoria meets monthly for mutual support and to address issues of common concern.  A DCA member also acts as representative to the Leadership Council of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness; and also annually participates in the Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the Legislative Buildings on November 11th. Beth Gibson, a member of our church, is currently co-chair. The group meets the first Tuesday of each month at a participating church.

Some things we have been involved in:

Oct. 15, 2015
The Art of Mental & Spiritual Self-Care: Forum & Fair. The spiritual dimension cannot be ignored, for it is what makes us human. Sponsored by the Spirit of Health, and held at the University of Victoria.  The speakers on the panel are Dr. Rita Knodel, Director of Counselling Services and Multi-faith Services; Adrienne Carter, a psychotherapist; Anna Bowness-Park, a Christian Science practitioner of spiritual healing; and Peter Shurvin,  Royal Jubilee Hospital Spiritual Health Practitioner.

May 2014.
“Faiths Coming Together through Compassion, Awareness & Justice” a three-day multifaith event  hosted by the Edmonton Interfaith Centre and the Edmonton Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions May 1 – 4, on the University of Alberta campus. The brochure highlights the two keynote speakers and the exciting line-up of workshops for the event.

Sept. 29, 2013
Forum Sunday at Christ Church Cathedral
A panel discussion on “Spirituality, Politics and the Media: A healthy community needs all our voices

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This well-attended function was one of a regular series of monthly forum events hosted by Christ Church Cathedral that looks at different issues our society is facing. The speakers on the panel were Hon. Carole James, MLA (Victoria-Beacon Hill); Chris Coleman, Victoria City Councillor; Paul Bramadat, Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria; Jack Knox from the Times Colonist; Jo-Ann Roberts from the CBC program, All-Points West; and Anna Bowness-Park, moderator and  regular contributor to Spiritually Speaking, the multi-faith blog hosted by the Times Colonist, and a member of our churchYou can read the article about the Forum discussion HERE in the Times Colonist

Spring of 2013
At the Ballot-Box:  where Spirituality and Politics meet
This four week program was to help Christians and provincial election candidates to look at politics through a spiritual lens. Each evening was a moveable feast, with prayer, a souper meal, and time to learn from each other. We were the host church on March 18.

Spring of 2012
The Victoria Downtown Churches Association: A Mosaic for Christ
A four-week program to help Christians learn about their Christian neighbours. Each evening was a moveable feast, with prayer, a souper meal, and time to learn about Christ working in your neighbours’ churches.

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In Print and Online

 

Check out contributions to the Vancouver Sun , the Vancouver Courier and the Victoria Times-Colonist where Anna Bowness-Park, is a writer to blogs on the link between health and spirituality.

 

 

You can also read Anna’s Health Connection blog here .

 

 

Aug. 16, 2017 – Times Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking: Cell phone mishap offers window to spiritual discernment.  You can read this story HERE. 

Aug. 12,  2017 – Times Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking:  The Reformation: Ancient history or daily renewal?  You can read about this HERE.

Apr. 22, 2017 – Times-Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking: Don’t let ME-TV broadcast its own fake news.  You can read this article by our Matt Jackson HERE. 

Apr. 8, 2017 – Vancouver Courier:  The Spiritual View: Developing a Spiritual Defence Against Human Influence.  “The time for thinkers has come.” So, wrote Mary Baker Eddy in her book on Christianity and healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. You can read more about this HERE.

Feb. 15, 2017 – Times-Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking:  Discovering the Divine as the Centre of the Universe.  You can read about this HERE.

Feb. 11, 2017 – Times-Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking:  Introducing St. Valentine the Healer.  You can read about this HERE.

Dec. 28, 2016 – Vancouver Courier:  The Spiritual View: When meditative prayer includes the Divine, anything is possible.  You can ready this story HERE.

Dec. 14, 2016 – Vancouver Courier:  The Spiritual View: The Story of Silent Night and the relevance of church today.  You can read this story HERE.

Sept. 14, 2016 – Times-Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking:  Virtual Reality and seeing beyond the limiting barriers of the human mind.  You can read about this HERE.

Aug. 24, 2016 – Vancouver Courier:  The Spiritual View:  Challenging old and new theories about man’s nature.  You can read this story HERE.

July 13, 2016 – Times-Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking: X-Men: Apocalypse and the search for a loving God. You can read this story HERE.

July 9, 2016 – Times-Colonist:  Spiritually Speaking: People’s Spiritual Qualities are not Rooted in Gender.  You can read about this HERE.

May 22, 2016 Losing tattoos and find an indelible identity.  You can read about this HERE.

May 21, 2016 – Times-Colonist:  God’s love will give you all the time you need.  Ginny Chadwick tells how time does not have to be a factor in our lives – in our health or happiness.  You can read her story HERE.

May 5, 2016 – Mother’s Day:  Finding the mother within each of us.  You can read this HERE.

Apr. 27, 2016 – Do our memories define us?  Remembering my father.  You can read about this HERE.

Mar. 21, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health: Easter —  an opportunity for a new view of life.  You can read about this HERE.

Mar. 14, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our health:  Defying secular trends to find meaningful structure.  Jennifer Garner is not alone in her decision to return to the church to find stability in her life. It is a growing trend.  You can read this HERE.

Mar. 7, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Encounter with a bear offers a fresh view of life.  My encounter with a bear showed me a different way to think about our connection with all life.  You can read about this HERE.

Feb. 29, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Spiritual qualities are not rooted in gender. You can read this story HERE.

Feb. 22, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Albert Einstein – learning to think beyond the clock.  ““My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit who reveals himself in the little that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds.” Albert Einstein  You can read about this HERE.

Feb. 15, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owing our Health:  Mary Baker Eddy – a woman who refused to be a victim. Mary Baker Eddy had every right to believe she was a victim of life’s circumstances. But she didn’t.  Read about this HERE.

Feb. 8, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Letting love transform our lives.  You can read about this HERE.

Feb. 1, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning  our Health: From virtual reality to seeing  beyond our limited views of life. In virtual reality, modern illusionists show us that seeing should not necessarily be believing.  You can read this story HERE.

Jan. 25, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Unemployment and finding a new identity. You can read about this HERE.

Jan. 18, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Where do you go for health advice?  You can read this story HERE.

Jan. 11, 2016 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  What keeps us healthy and happy?  You can read about this HERE.

Dec. 21, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Christmas – finding renewed hope in the face of despair. Read this story HERE.

Dec. 14, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning  our Health: From global warming to a spiritual climate change. You can read this story HERE.

Nov. 30, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  From the trauma of loss to finding new meaning in life.  Adrienne Carter with colleagues at the Centre for Victims of Torture, In Jordan. The headquarters for CVT is in Minneapolis, but has branches in many different parts of the world, including Jordan.  You can read about this HERE.

Nov. 23, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Well-being is not dependent on emojis :)  Last week, Oxford Dictionaries proudly proclaimed its word of the year. Though formerly a word now, it is actually a word picture, popular with social media.The example it selected was “tears of joy.”  You can read this story HERE.

Nov. 16, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Don’t be a victim!  Be alert to your inner super hero.  We don’t have to be an elite athlete to feel empowered by our inner superhero.  You can read about this HERE.

Nov. 9, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  From unattainable manly myths to the freedom of the “new“ man. Popular but narrow stereotypes impose images on our thinking that are damaging and misleading about manliness.  You can read this story HERE.

Nov. 2, 2015 – Vancouver Sun: Owning our Health:  How are we preparing for the refugees?  You  can read about this HERE.

Oct. 26, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health: The selling of retirement futures. Is retirement all that it’s cracked up to be? New research questions traditional views.  You can read this HERE.

Oct. 12, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Finding refreshment beyond the bottled water.  Our preoccupation with drinking large quantities of water, believing it’s good for our health, should prompt us to ask – are we looking for deeper refreshment?  You can read this story HERE.

Oct. 5, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owing our  Health:  Thanksgiving and the practice of advance gratitude. A lot has been written that confirms gratitude as beneficial to health, but what about when we say thank you in advance of receiving? You can read this story HERE.

Sept. 26, 2015 – Victoria Times-Colonist:  For richer or poorer – the question of health and wealth.  You read this story HERE.

Sept. 14, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Loving, not labelling our children.  You can read about this HERE.

Sept. 7, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  For richer or poorer, the question of health  or wealth. You can ready this story HERE.

Aug. 31, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Rebuilding mental health after forest fires. Before the rains even start, green foliage is already pushing up through the burnt soil, reminding us that the idea of life is eternal. You can read about this HERE.

Aug. 24, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Fear, cancer and the healing  effect of spirituality. A comprehensive analysis of studies on the link between health and religious or spiritual beliefs was published this month in the Journal of Cancer, giving us pause for thought.  You can read about this HERE.

Aug. 17, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owing our Health:  Finding freedom from the image trap.  Stereotypical images of what constitutes beauty are promoted in every age. One actress found a way through the image trap.   You read about this HERE.

Aug. 10, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Why caring about Cecil the lion is good for our health.  August 10 – World Lion Day reminds us that how we treat each other and our fellow creatures is essential to both individual as well as universal health.  You can read this story HERE.

Aug. 3, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owing our Health:  from health despair to inspiration and restoration.  Arthur’s journey from disability to freedom inspires us to see that we need not accept despairing predictions regarding our health.  You can read Arthur’s story HERE.

July 27, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Finding fearless joy in the  sunshine.  You can read about this HERE.

July 13, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Finding an antidote to air rage.  You can read about this HERE.

July 6, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  How love can build a bridge to those with Alzheimers.   A new documentary challenges prevailing beliefs about people with Alzheimer’s and illustrates their capacity to communicate.  You can read this story  HERE.

June 29, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Bringing a balanced view to mindfulness. “Meditation is very much like cooking lentils. The scum rises to the surface when you are doing this.”  You can read this story HERE.

June 22, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Health care needs compassion.  You can read about this HERE.

June 8, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Lessons from Pooh and Piglet on dispelling unhealthy worries.  You can read this story HERE.

June 1, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Freedom from  an eating disorder through a surprise discovery.  From food addiction to freedom. Nancy Ellen Abrams’ compelling and thought-provoking story is food for thought.  You can read Nancy’s story HERE.

May 25, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Exploring beyond a Star Trek future for healthcare.  You can  read all about this HERE.

May 18, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Sacred pilgrimages – walking the road to health.  Pilgrimages in far off places can bring spiritual and physical benefits, but we don’t need to necessarily go far away to experience those moments of healing and inspiration.   You can read this HERE.

May 11, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Does “mapping the maternal brain” reveal the source of love?  Is mothering a natural capability or the result of brain chemicals acting together?  You can read about this HERE.

May 9, 2015 – Victoria Times-Colonist:  Loving our neighbour is innately natural.  You can read about this HERE.

May 4, 2015- Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Is there a universal solvent for mental clutter? Are those mental invaders interfering with you peace and joy? Time for a spring clean.  Read about this HERE.

Apr. 27, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Fasting or feasting – finding a recipe for health. Does the recipe for better health lie in endless new diets and food trends, or in a change of focus?  You can read about this  HERE.

Apr. 20, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owing our Health:  Finding freedom from fear.  We don’t need to feel trapped by our fears.  You can read this HERE.

Apr. 13, 2015 – Vancouver Sun: Owning our Health:  Rediscovering the joy of exercise.  Einstein’s sheer joy in cycling offered him an approach to exercise that was balanced and enjoyable.  Read about this HERE.

Apr. 6, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Defeating ageism with grace.  Everyone has the right to know that they have something to contribute.  You can read this HERE.

Mar. 23, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Finding a cure for negativity.  There is no medication that can cure negativity. We need to find a solution that helps us move thought in a different direction.  You can read all about this HERE.

Mar.  4, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Vitamins or spirit – what really nourishes us?  Do we really need a cupboard full of vitamins and supplements to be healthy? You can read about this HERE.

Mar. 3, 2015 – Edmonton Journal:  Cleanses and purges – the search for purity.  Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, many believe detox and cleansing diets are effective in caring for their health. Is the search for purity tied to how we see ourselves?  You can read this HERE.

Feb. 25, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Re-thinking our self imposed limitations. Breaking through the bubble of limiting beliefs about ourselves is the first step to discovering our true abilities. You can read this story HERE.

Feb. 11, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Introducing St. Valentine, the healer.  The story of St. Valentine serves to encourage us to look beneath the superficial meaning of cards, flowers and chocolates to a deeper, healing love  You can read this story HERE.

Feb. 4, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health: Removing the “red shoes” finding a work/life balance.  The cautionary story – ‘The Red Shoes’ can serve as a metaphor for the difficulty many have in finding a healthy work/life balance. You can read about this HERE.

Jan. 28, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health:  Rewiring the brain or discovering consciousness?  Is brain consciousness? This question is prompted by interesting new research on the subject.  You can read about this  HERE.

Jan. 21, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health: Can you knit a hug? Fiber artist Rachel Matthews understands the importance of knitting love into everything she creates.  You can read this story HERE.

Jan. 14, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owing our Health:  What this doctor discovered about his smoking habit.  Is nicotine dependency a physical addiction or a mental habit? Dr. Max Pemberton thinks he has the answer.  You can read this story HERE.

Jan. 10, 2015 – Victoria Times-Colonist:  The healing power of reconciliation. Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Message this year on reconciliation set the tone for what could be a world changing, yet individual, action that brings not only peace but also better health to everyone.  You can read this HERE.

Jan. 7, 2015 – Vancouver Sun:  Owning our Health: Jim Carrey finds spirituality vital to his well being.  Jim Carrey says he found strength to deal with his depression by developing the spiritual side of his life on a consistent, daily, basis.  You can read this story HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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