Mark's Midweek Musings


Wed May 27, 2020

Time keeps moving along ... so much of the same ... and yet some things that aren't the same. This week I officiated at my first "zoom" funeral for Marie Collyer which was quite emotional and moving despite the reality that we couldn't gather in the church. And in the world around us, things are opening up a little and sometimes I think a bit too fast. People are sadly becoming non compliant with the personal isolation which might well lead to new and increased cases. The gardens are planted with annuals, the perennials are coming shooting up with new sprouts of life, the temperature is warmer, and the reality of Covid 19 and all of its ramifications remain all too real for us. We're all find our best way to cope.

As well, I am looking forward with great excitement to this Sunday's Pentecost online liturgy. Working in partnership with Rev. Karen Coxwell from Trinity United is a joy and delight. There will be many dimensions to the worship experience which although it means some extra work and time is very rewarding and uplifting for me. I'm looking forward to inviting you into this worship experience when we truly celebrate the gift and promise of the Holy Spirit and what that means for us during such a time as this. Watch for the link to be sent out on Saturday.
Each week ...
  • Keeping Connected email ... Tues & Thurs
  • Online Zoom Compline Tues at 7:30 pm
  • Mark's Midweek Musings ... Wed
  • There will be no Mid week Online reflection video this week
  • "Zoom" Coffee & Conversation ... Wed
  • On line Hymn Sing ... Thurs
  • Conference Call Bible Study ... Thurs
  • Zoom "Be Anxious for Nothing" series
  • On line worship for Sunday
I have been asked to share
some scripture passages
that people can read over the week
and reflect in their own personal times
of prayer and bible reading.

These are the appointed lectionary readings
from the psalm and the gospel
for celebrations of the Eucharist
  • Tuesday ... Psalm 68: 7-20; John 17: 1-11a
  • Wednesday ...Psalm 68: 28-36; John 17: 11b-19
  • Thursday ... Psalm 16; John 17: 20-26
  • Friday ... Psalm 103: 1-2, 19-22: 1-6; John 21: 15-19
  • Saturday ... Psalm 11; John 21: 20-25
  • Sunday ... Psalm 104: 25-35, 37; John 7:: 37-39
  • Monday ... Visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth;      Psalm 113; Luke: 1: 39-57
Is this a familiar reflection
when you look in the mirror?

Are you feeling anxious these days?

This zoom series

"Be Anxious For Nothing"

is meant for you!!

To date, we have registered
7 from St. Andrew's Chalmers,
4 from Trinity United
and 2 from St. Paul's.

As well, through facebook
there has been a lot of interest
from the wider community.

I've also issued invitations
to a number of my facebook friends
from various parts of my life.
So far 8 have responded
accepting the invitation
to join in the series.

If you've never used zoom
it's easy!!

I can assist you ahead of time
in learning how to connect
and participate in this online
series which might be
of interest and benefit to you.

Let me know if I can help!!!

I hope to hear from you
and to having you enter into
this time of spiritual renewal
during such as time as this
and all that Covid 19 does
to increase our anxiety.

Please email me and sign up ...

Dear friends in Christ,

You are warmly invited to attend an online celebration of Pentecost which is being offered in joy and love from every corner of our vast ecclesiastical province – from Moosonee and Algoma in the north and west, to Ottawa and Ontario in the east and Toronto, Huron and Niagara in the south.

In word and song, in prayers, music and images we will catch sight and sound of the Spirit’s flame and work in our midst, binding us together in love.

The celebration will be premiered here on our website and shared on your diocesan websites and social media channels too.

May this act of worship be a visible sign of our unity, and until then may the peace of God which passes all understanding hold you gently during this time of pandemic.

The Most Reverend Anne Germond
Metropolitan of Ontario
First ... thank you on behalf of the wardens
for the donations we have received
through the mail and through Canada Helps.

To possibly make it easier
for you to make your offerings
I will be at the church 
up on the landing of the south door
for you to drop your offering off
on the first Friday of each month
from 1 to 2 pm.
June 5.

As well, I will be available
to pray and offer a socially distanced blessing.

For the sake of safety
please enter off of Toronto Street
and not from the lower parking lot.

If there are a number who
show up at the church at the same time,
please be sure to follow
appropriate social isolation.

The offerings will be blessed
as part of the following Sunday's Online liturgy.
Upcoming dates to keep in mind
related to our Online Worship ...
  • Sun May 31 ... Pentecost ... we will worship together with Trinity United Church to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit ... what better way to celebrate this glorious spirit filled feast day than ecumenically with out brothers and sisters in Christ
  • Sun June 14 ... we will celebrate Pride as an affirming parish with Bishop Kevin Robertson preaching
  • Sun June 21 ... we will be blessed to have our Primate, Archbishop Linda Nicholls preaching as part of our liturgy 
We have our "Canada Helps" account
up and running 
and ready to receive donations.

For those who would find this 
a helpful way to continue
supporting St. Paul's.
here is the link ...

Thank you in advance
for your support of our ministry at St. Paul's

Thank you to the wardens
and especially to Dorothy
for working on this.
A message from Gail Browne ...

Hello everyone,

When I picked up my order at Otter Greenhouses today, I learned that
they have cancelled their planned fundraising campaign with schools and churches, and are instead donating 5% of their plant sales to the Uxbridge and Port Perry food banks... a great way to help those in our communities who are finding it especially difficult during the Covid-19 crisis.  If you can, please support this very important campaign.

As you may know, St. Paul’s collects food once a month for the Loaves and Fishes food bank.  We also take part, with other churches, service clubs and individuals, in providing a pay-what-you-can Wednesday lunch for clients and friends of the food bank.  All food is donated, and money collected is donated to the organization.

As stores and services begin to re-open, remember to stay safe... wear a mask when shopping, wash your hands frequently, and practice social distancing.

If you or someone you know
is in need of pastoral support
during this time

please leave a message
at the church office or email me.

Trust me when I say
it is no bother!!

This is what I'm here to do!!

During these days of Covid 19, masks have become a necessary addition to our apparel as we venture into spaces where it is difficult to be appropriately distanced. People with the skill have been making masks and sharing them with friends and neighbors. Sadly, there has been a time when masks were in short supply for those in our health care system. As such, their health was sometimes potentially compromised. Masks in this instance are being used for protection and to minimize the transmission of germs that could cause the spread of Covid 19. 

I was thinking, though, that even before Covid 19, many people wore a different kind of mask which in many cases wasn't healthy or helpful. We wear emotional masks that can distance us from others, even those closest to us; we wear spiritual masks which might well distance us from God. The masks we wear are a way of protecting ourselves from harm or disappointment. And yet, whether we are talking about our relationships with other people, or our relationship with God, those emotional and spiritual masks might well do anything but protect us. In fact, they may well add to our stress and impair the relationships in question.

Our calling is to be authentic in the lives we live and in how we relate with each other, and those closest to us. If we are being authentic and thereby honest and genuine, then there is no need for those masks that can easily become a part of our human experience in our relationships with each other, and in our relationship with God.

While we are physically protecting ourselves out of necessity, especially during such a time as this, we need to remove the other masks which aren't helpful and which may well cause us additional stress and anxiety. And that's especially true in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 

The truth is God sees through any mask that we put on. However, what God desires is for us to be intentionally our authentic selves and to come before Him genuinely as we are in a given moment, whatever we may be feeling or experiencing. God desires that we would take off any spiritual mask we have put on and to simply let ourselves be loved and cared for.

I think one of the spiritual masks we're guilty of putting on comes out of feeling unworthy of what God can and wants to do for us. It's a natural trap to fall into that state of thinking we don't deserve the abundance of blessings God desires to offer us. 

There's no doubt that we need to always be humble before God, and to approach God not out of our own feeling of entitlement. However, we need to also always be ready to be receptive of the gift God has for us in a given moment. And that gift becomes all the more clear when we remove any mask that prevents us from engaging with the gift to the fullest.

So, maybe ask yourself what masks you have put on that perhaps you need to remove. And then pray for the courage and grace to remove the mask and be authentic and genuine in all relationships, but especially in your relationship with God. The truth is we would all be healthier and more content if we were to do just that. And that is God's greatest desire. 

A prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book ... 

God our healer,
keep us aware of your presence,
Support us with your power,
Comfort us with your protection,
Give us strength
and establish us in your peace. Amen
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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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