I can remember it vividly, my last Sunday in Church. I was eighteen years old and had grown tired and frustrated by a congregation that seemed unfriendly. I attended worship every Sunday morning and frequently the only person to speak to me would be the rector of the parish as I shook his hand on the way out. I knew needed something more.
That Sunday morning I got up and got ready for Church. I knew as I ate breakfast that this was my last Sunday in Church. I knew as I drove to the Church, and as I walked in and as I took my pew, that this was my last Sunday. What I didn’t know was that there would be a guest preacher and that he would change my life. I don’t remember his name but he was an Anglican priest who had worked at a mission on the Solomon Island funded by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF).
He spoke of his work at the mission; he spoke of the work of the PWRDF in northern Canada and other part of the world. He spoke of the origins of the Fund as a response to the mining disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia. He did all of this in fifteen minutes, with humour and insight. And my life was changed! I knew that the ministry of the PWRDF was something I wanted to be associated with. This, my last Sunday in Church, suddenly became the first Sunday of the rest of my life, a life dedicated to this fresh expression of joy, of love, of justice that the PWRDF represented.
I believe that if the Anglican Church of Canada could somehow position itself in people’s minds as synonymous with the PWRDF our worship services would be packed. Our coffers would overflow. The next time someone tells you that the Church isn’t relevant tell them about the PWRDF. Tell them about clean water, food, medical supplies and a thousand other acts of love and justice we do through the Primate’s Fund.