Freedom Spiritually and Theologically Speaking

Mark's Midweek Musings ... February 2, 2022

Here are some photos
of the tree being removed from in front of the church.
While the diocese has given permission
for parishes to resume in person worship
we will be waiting at St. Paul's
until Sunday March 6 at 10:30 am

While some churches across the diocese
are re-opening sooner
I was part of a meeting of area clergy
from other Anglican churches in the area
a majority of whom inicated
that they will also be reopening
the beginning of March.

We will continue to follow Diocesan protocols
of masking and physical distancing
and limit the congregational singing.

The service will be live streamed
and a video available on our You Tube channel.

Watch for details to register
so we are prepared for how many will attend.

Thank you for you understanding
and your patience
to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Thank you to those who
participated in the recent survey.

We will begin a mid week Communion Service
on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
on February 9th.

No pre registration required.

Face masks and physical distancing
will continue as usual.

During the season of Lent
beginning on Wednesday March 2, Ash Wednesday
we will also offer an evening Candlelight Communion Service.
Please mark your calendars now!!

We will hold our annual meeting over zoom
on Thursday February 24 at 7:30 pm

A copy of the vestry report
will be available through the parish website.

A paper copy of the vestry report
will be available from the church office.
Please speak to Evelyn to make arrangements.

Details of the zoom link
will be emailed closer to the meeting date.

Each week in advance of vestry
emails will be sent out with information
about the Diocesan Social Justice Motion,
the operating budget for 2022,
the captial budget for 2022
and additional motions to be presented 
dealing with outreach.

We hope this will help you
be prepared for what will be presented.

If you have any items of business
to be included in the agenda
and discussed at vestry.
please send it to Mark as the chair of vestry
by Thursday February 17, 2022.
This week ...
  • Thurs Feb 3 ... Conference Call Bible Study
  • Fri Feb 4 ... Pre Vestry Email ... Diocesan Social Justice Motion
  • Sunday Feb 6 ... Fourth Sunday After Epiphany ... an email will be sent out with a link to the online video worship service
  • Monday Feb 7 ... Spiritual Formation Monday's
  • Monday Feb 7 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Choir practice
  • Tuesday Feb 8 ... Zoom Prayer Group
  • Tues Feb 8 ... Pre Vestry Email ... Proposed 2022 Operations Budget

January 28, 2020

Dear Friends,
Tomorrow, Bishop Kevin and I are looking forward to joining the Youth Leaders Theology Training Day. It’s an annual gathering of our talented youth leaders, coming together for a time of fellowship and to benefit from some practical and spiritual education about our Anglican faith and tradition, helping them to grow into their roles for discipling the youth of our Diocese. Representatives from both Trinity and Wycliffe colleges will be on the Zoom call, and they will be encouraging participants to consider increasing their theological education through courses and programs.

Deepening our faith through intellectual engagement is a worthy goal for all baptised Christians. You too may want to look into possibilities for taking a theology course, or learning more about Anglicanism. If you’re a reader, it’s a good thing to have a Christian book on the go at all times. Lent is coming up in a month, and that is a wonderful season to find something to read that’s a bit theologically or spiritually challenging. You have 40 days to work your way through it! I still haven’t decided what my own Lenten book will be this year. Any suggestion? Let me know.

Last week, I wrote about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and how the Universal Church is one Body, united in our faith in Jesus Christ. The cooperation and mutual respect of the many Christian denominations through the ecumenical movement gladdens the heart of God. Understanding each other better leads us to a deeper appreciation for our own faith and tradition.

It’s in the same vein that I invite you to consider World Interfaith Harmony Week, which starts today. World Interfaith Harmony Week was established by the United Nations in 2010 and falls over the first week of February to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. You can find out more about this annual event and see its many special events in its calendar.

Here in the Diocese of Toronto, this important work is spearheaded by our Bishop’s Committee on Interfaith Ministry, co-chaired by the Rev. Roshni Jayawardena and the Rev. Jeff Nowers. The committee is our first point of contact for interfaith ministry in the Diocese and can provide resources and contacts on interfaith activity. (I’d like to particularly thank the Rev. Deacon Jim Leatch, our newly appointed representative to the Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, an interfaith dialogue that the Diocese of Toronto initiated in 1962.) The Bishop’s Committee on Interfaith Ministry is planning to host an annual educational event for all clergy and laity in our diocese, and in the meantime, has provided a refreshed webpage – – that contains some helpful liturgical and prayer resources. Over time, they hope to add more resources such as a calendar of multi-faith events and celebrations, a glossary of key terms, a recommended reading list, and a new video series featuring interviews with local leaders from other faith traditions.

In this Interfaith Harmony Week, I wish you all the blessings of Peace – Shalom – Salaam – Shanti.

Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto

If you missed our worship
for last Sunday,December 19
here's the link ...
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
  • Wednesday ... Presentation of the Lord in the Temple ... Ps 84 or 24:7-10; Lk 2:22-40
  • Thursday ...  Ps 132:10-19; Mk 6:7-13
  • Friday ... Ps 18:31-33, 46-50; Mk 6:14-29
  • Saturday ... Ps 119:9-16; Mk 6:30-34
  • Sunday ... 5th Sun After Epiphany ... Ps 138; Lk 5:1-11
  • Monday ... Ps 132:6-10; Mk 6:53-56
  • Tuesday ... Ps 84; Mk 7:1-13
Tues February 1 ... Zoom Compline
Wed February 2 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs February 3 .. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Sun February 6 ... 5th Sunday After Epiphany ... a link will be emailed to a pre recorded video of prayers, readings, a sermon and music
Mon February 7 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Mon February 7 ... 7:30 pm; Virtual Choir practise
Tues February 8 ... Zoom Prayer Group
Wed February 9 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Wed February 9 ... 10 am; In Person Communion Service
Thurs February 10 .. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Sun February 13 ... 6th Sunday After Epiphany ... a link will be emailed to a pre recorded video of prayers, readings, a sermon and music
Mon February 14 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Mon February 14 ... 7:30 pm; Virtual Choir practise
Tues February 15 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Wed February 16 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Wed February 16 ... 10 am; In Person Communion Service
Thurs February 17 .. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Sun February 20 ... 7th Sunday After Epiphany ... a link will be emailed to a pre recorded video of prayers, readings, a sermon and music
Mon February 21 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Mon February 21 ... 7:30 pm; Virtual Choir practise
Tues February 22 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed February 23 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Wed February 23 ... 10 am; In Person Communion Service
Wed February 23 ... 11 am; Zoom Coffee and Chat
Thurs February 24 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs February 24 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Vestry Meeting
Sun February 27 ... Last Sunday After Epiphany (Transfiguration) ... a link will be emailed to a pre recorded video of prayers, readings, a sermon and music
Mon February 28 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Mon February 28 ... 7:30 pm; Virtual Choir practise

An option to make your St. Paul's donations
which is easy and convenient

we have online banking available for e-transfers.

If this is helpful as you support the ministries of St. Paul's
the email address you need is

Please use the security question
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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!!
Freedom Spiritually and Theologcially Speaking


"Freedom" is a word that has been coopted to the point that the true meaning has been lost over time. When I hear someone on an overpass saying ... "I want my freedom; I deserve it; I'm entitled to it; it's about what i need" ... then I think we've missed the point. 

Our church sign has had a message of gospel and theological freedom ... "Freedom is a gift from God; Freedom is serving others; Freedom is following Jesus Christ; May it indeed be so!!" That is the freedom that Jesus came to proclaim and the freedom we are invited to receive as the generous gift from God who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

The freedom that Jesus proclaimed had nothing to do with the exercise of power and everything to serving our neighbor and loving our neighbor the way we ourselves would want to be loved. True freedom for us ultimately comes through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the empty tomb of Easter. Sadly, in many of the uses of that word lately, that's nothing like the kind of freedom that people are referring to today.

Freedom in the spiritual and theological sense is about what is good for the whole community. It has nothing to do with expressing hate and using violence to promote a spirit of arrogance and entitlement. Freedom is never meant to put others down in order to raise ourselves up. Freedom isn't meant to be self serving; it is about the common good for all people.

What does scripture have to say about freedom ...

Isaiah 61:1 ... "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring  good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners"

Psalm 118:5 ... "Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free."

Jeremiah 34:15 ... "You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name"

Galatians 5:18 ... "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law."

Acts 13:38-39 ..."Let it be known to you therefore, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus[ everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses."

Galatians 5:13-14 ... "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

John 8:36 ... "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."

John 8:31-32 ... "Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

As disciples of Jesus, we are called to imitate Jesus in who we are; in all we say; in all we do; in all of our relationships with others. And in so doing, remembering our baptismal covenant and our baptismal identity, we are called to promote what brings about justice, respect, dignity and freedom for all people. We do that by acknowledging that we all need to be set free as part of our human condition. And that our truest freedom comes about through Jesus.

As I watch the news and read reports of many things happening in our world and our country, I think we need to reclaim the nature of freedom that is the gospel. And in so doing, we need to have the voice to speak out when the word freedom is misused or abused, and call for a return to the essence of the freedom we long for and are called to work for in contributing to God's eternal kingdom.

Let's pray as our sign says ... freedom is a gift from God; freedom is serving others; freedom is believing in Jesus Christ ... may it indeed be so!! Amen.
A prayer for true freedom

Gracious God, we pray that You will be with us
when we find my mind confused by competing agendas,
running this way and that
often confused what to believe.
It seems that just when something big comes up,
we turn our attention to the media or the internet 
that distract us and may even overwhelm us.
Jesus, we need You to be with us 
and give me the faithfulness to focus on you
and the message of hope and promise you offer us
and the discipleship we have committed ourselves to..
Free us from m our tendency to zone
because of the distractions calling for our attention.
Clear out scattered mind. Free me from distractions.
Help us to recognize and value 
our true freedom as your children.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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