"Rooted in Old Testament precedent (Job 52:6), ashes are worn as symbols of sin, sorrow and repentance. Lenten ashes are made by burning frond crosses blessed in the previous year's Palm Sunday celebrations and are sometimes mixed with anointing oil".
"Derived from the old English word for 'lengthen' (as they do in spring), Lent is the 40-day period of prayer, penitence and pondering before Easter". "Lent's liturgical colour is a sombre purple, recalling the royal robe the Roman soldiers mockingly placed on Jesus".
"On the day before Ash Wednesday, Christians traditionally would go to their confessor to be shriven. After being absolved (shrove), they would mark the day by indulging in -- for the last time before Easter -- richer foods given up for Lent, such as eggs, fats, sugar, milk, meat and fish. With the addition of some flour, a batch of pancakes made a thrifty catchall for a household's pre-Lenten store of sugar, milk and eggs. As for pancake races, legend has it that a 15th-century woman was frying pancakes when she heard the tolling of the shriving bell. Off she raced to confession -- apron, pan, pancakes and all". [Text of entire article.]
"In the fullfilment of an aspiration long held by indigenous Anglicans in the north, the ecclesiastical province of Rupert's Land is poised to have a new diocese by 2014. The 47th session of the provincial synod, held in Brandon, Man., June 7 to 10 , unanimously approved a resolution from the diocese of Keewatin to divide the diocese and create a fully independent indigenous diocese from the portion known as the northern Ontario region. 'We have been walking together and now we are dancing together', said the Rev. Wayne McIntosh, rector of St. John the Baptist Anglican Church in Fort Frances, Ont., after seconding the motion at the synod. The region's current bishop, the Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa, will head the diocese. Two-thirds of the diocese lies in First Nations parishes, and five languages are spoken there: Cree, Oji-Cree, English, Ojibway and Dene. Many diocesan clergy and lay people speak at least two languages on a daily basis". [Text of entire article.]
"As anticipation of July's  joint Anglican-Lutheran assembly intensifies, an experimental issue of 'Rupert's Land News' (RLN) features contributors from both churches (rupertslandnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/RLN-January-2013.pdf). 'By the time Joint Assembly happens, our readers should already know that the Anglicans and the Lutherans of this region have a relationship', says Terence Moore, RLN editor. RLN increased its January 2013 run of 4,070 by 2,800 copies, which were hand-delivered to members of the 39 Lutheran congregations within Rupert's Land. 'The entire marginal cost was less than $400', says Moore, who co-edited the issues with Rick Scherger, communications co-ordinator for the Lutheran synod of Manitoba Northwestern Ontario. 'The two bishops will decide who picks up what'. Contributors include the two respective bishops, the Lutheran dean of the diocese of Rupert's Land and a Lutheran pastor. If interest warrants, the experiment may be repeated. 'The distribution is difficult, so we will not decide this lightly'." [Text of entire article.]
"The fourth national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), held in Prairieland Park, Saskatoon, [21-24 June 2012], was not just about the survivors. It was also about their children and grandchildren, said TRC Commissioner, Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair. 'The intergenerational survivors need a chance to have their voices heard' he said, pointing out that over a 130-year period, the schools affected seven generations, causing 'a lot of damage to individuals, families and communities. It may take another seven generations to achieve that state of balance that the schools took away' he added. All Canadians must understand the legacy of the schools and take responsibility for this national disgrace, said Sinclair. 'This is not an Indian problem; this is a Canadian problem. Saskatchewan has one of Canada's highest number of survivors of the residential school system -- some 30,000 First Nation and Metis people have applied for compensation under the class-action settlement agreement". [Text of virtually all the article.]
"On March 19 , Mildred Richardson of Tavistock, Ont., reached her 100th birthday. She received a congratulatory certificate from Archbishop Fred Hiltz. Richardson has spent a lifetime serving the Anglican church. A former grade school teacher, in the 1940s she spent two summers plying the back roads of northern British Columbia in a two-ton Sunday school van. 'It wasn't for everyone. You were far away from the amenities of home and you had to keep in shape', recalls Richardson. As a 'vanner' she drove one of Eva Hasell's 24 vehicles that brought Anglican teaching to rural Canada from 1920 to the 1970s. 'If your van broke down on an isolated road, you had to wait until help came along', Richardson recalls. Luckily, the big Fords were equipped with beds. 'We had a little camping stove and we ate mostly out of cans', she says. 'Sometimes we got invited to dinner, and sometimes people held canned-goods "showers" for us'. Her 35-year teaching career included two years at Indian residential schools in Alberta. 'What upset me most was that the children were punished for speaking their native language', she says. 'You'd be surprised how quickly I could turn deaf'." [Text of entire article.]
The high rate of maternal mortality in Bangladesh "about 194 per 1,000 births in 2010 -- is falling. And the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is helping the country to reach its targeted reduction to 143 maternal deaths per 1,000 by 2015. Only 20 per cent of Bangladeshi mothers are delivered by mainstream medical professionals; more than 70 per cent use a traditional, unpaid birth attendant know as a 'dai'. 'The dai is a highly respected member of the community', Parash Baral, a project manager for the Bangladeshi NGO called UBINIG, told an audience at Church House, Toronto, in April . 'She will drop whatever she is doing and go to a woman in need'. The PWRDF has partnered with the Canadian International Development Agency and UBINIG to provide enhanced training for these attendants, and better access to prenatal, neonatal and child health care in 15 selected Bangladeshi districts, each with its distinct culture, language, food and geographical conditions". "The PWRDF project, which will run until 2015 and serve 130 villages, is also funding a fleet of tricycle ambulances to transport mothers in need of care, as well as several flat-bottomed boats to ferry the ambulances across rivers".
"The 105th prelate to ascend the throne of St. Augustine will be the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, 56, bishop of Durham. He will be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral on Mar. 21, 2013 ... Named to the episcopacy just last December , Welby succeeds Dr. Rowan Williams, who is retiring at the end of December  after 10 years as Archbishop". "A married father of five, Welby is considered a flexible but evangelical clergyman holding a traditional view of marriage but also supporting women bishops". "Welby became dean of Liverpool in 2007 and was enthroned last December  as bishop of Durham, the fourth-most senior clerical post in the Church of England. His hands-on experience as an executive in the oil industry in Africa and his later experience in conflict resolution will likely stand him in good stead as he deals with divisive factions within the 77-million member Anglican Communion. From 2002 to 2007, he led Coventry Cathedral's ministry of reconciliation around the world, serving in dangerous areas of severe civil conflict such as Nigeria".
"The Anglican Church of Canada hosted the third Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue in June . It grew out of Lambeth 2008, which uncovered divisions on the issue of human sexuality and same-sex relationships. The group was originally organized by Archbishop Colin Johnson of the diocese of Toronto. 'There's a real commitment and a deep recognition that we need each other', said Archbishop Johnson". [Text of entire article.]