"TThe church gathers ... reflections on synod 2019"
Winter seems to have arrived even though it's still fall!! And you'd think by now I'd have realized how important it is to have the snow tires installed early!!
Thank you to those who have expressed your sympathy in the death of my aunt last week. It was relatively sudden and unexpected. She is the last of my father's siblings. I was blessed though to spend some time with her as she was transferred from Collingwood hospital to Newmarket with the hopes of some tests and perhaps a procedure on her heart. That was not to be. But because I was closer than her immediate family, I spent time with her last Wednesday night and throughout the day. I will treasure those moments as I grieve the death of someone who was an important part of our family and who held that position of being the last of her own immediate family. May she rest in peace and rise in glory!!
On Sunday, as part of our observance of Remembrance Sunday
we planted and dedicated the St. Paul's Peace Pole.
It is a beautiful artistic creation including
a tree which grows up into the light of various colors.
There are two messages on the Peace Pole ...
"May peace prevail on earth"
and "May there be peace in our homes and community"
The Peace Pole is an invitation to our wider community
to join in praying for and working for peace
right in our own neighborhood, in our homes, among our families,
in our churches and other community groups,
and in our own individual hearts.
This is the message about the Peace Pole Movement
I shared during the liturgy on Sunday ...
The Peace Pole Project began in 1975 in Japan
by Masahisa Goi, author of the universal message and prayer,
“May Peace Prevail On Earth,”
and the founder of The World Peace Prayer Society.
A Peace Pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays
the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.
There are tens of thousands of Peace Poles in 180 countries
all over the world dedicated as monuments to peace.
They serve as constant reminders for us to visualize
and pray for world peace.
Thank you to Len Skidmore, Sharon Taylor
and especially artist Lisa Ronco for her
imagination and crativity.
What a wonderful symbol to share with our community
in our common and shared hope for peace!
On Sunday evening, as part of St. Paul's Ministry of the Arts
and as part of our Remembrance Day observance
Stu Beaudoin directing the Orpheus Symphonietta
performed Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony.
An exciting and moving performance of this romantic master.
Ted Barris added to the occasion with stories of medics
from each of WWI, WWII Malaysia and the war in Afganistan
and the trials they faced.
St Paul's participated again this year
in the town's observance of Remembrance Day
by laying a wreath.
Thank you to Jill Markle
who placed the wreath on our behalf.
"We will remember them"
Thursday Nov 14... 10 am; Communion followed by Bible Study at Mae's Thursday Nov 14 ... 7:30 pm; Choir practice Saturday Nov 16 ...11 am; Uxbridge Santa Claus Parade ... watch for the GSA entry which we as a parish are supporting Saturday Nov 16 ... 2 to 4 pm; Gay Straight Alliance Sunday Nov 17 ... 8:15 am Quiet Traditional Communion; 9:30 am "The Table"; 10:45 am Classic Communion Thursday Nov 21... 10 am; Communion followed by Bible Study at Mae's Thursday Nov 21 ... 7:30 pm; Choir practice Sunday Nov 24 ... Food Bank Sunday ... supporting Loaves and Fishes and their ministry of providing food to those who are hungry in our community Sunday Nov 24 ... Reign of Christ ... 8:15 am Quiet Traditional Communion; 9:30 am "The Table"; 10:45 am Classic Communion Sunday Nov 24 ... 2 pm; Communion at Douglas Crossing Sunday Nov 24 ... 7:00 pm; Bach's Christmas Oratorio ... performed by Cantorei sine Nomine accompanied by Orpheus Symphonietta ... Tickets $25 Monday Nov 25 ... 7 to 9 pm; "holy spirits" at Wixan's Thursday Nov 28... 10 am; Communion followed by Bible Study at Mae's Thursday Nov 28 ... 7:30 pm; Choir practice Friday Nov 29 ... 7 to 9 pm; Gaymes Night
Reminider ...Food Bank Sunday
every 4th Sunday of the month
Let's fill the shopping cart and support those in need in our community!!
Wardens' Finance Report - Month Ending October 2019
We are in the same financial position
as we were at the end of Oct 2018 - $12,000 short of our budget.
This is good news as we reached our goal last year
- so this year we are just as optimistic!
We have about 6 weeks to our fiscal year-end, December 31st,
let's all be optimistic and see what we can all do to make our budget.
We will continue to provide updates
throughout the coming weeks in our progress.
Your continued support and generosity is greatly appreciated.
Peace and grace,
We are in need of individuals
who can support our ministries of soundboard & projection
on Sundays at both 930 and 1045.
If you can assist, please let me know.
Thank you to those who are currently doing this ministry.
They are both so important to our Sunday liturgies.
A special thank you to Dave Rehill
who takes on most of the work in projection.
I know he enjoys preparing the slides
but we need to acknowledge and thank him!!
Thank you to Marianna who will be working with our children
during the 930 service
to prepare with them dances to tell the Christmas story
at the family service Christmas Eve.
Be sure to bring your children out
so they can participate fully!
Before we know it December will be here with lot's happening at St. Paul's. Mark your calendars now
so you don't miss anything!!
Wednesday Dec 4 ... noon; Community Lunch at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Wednesday Dec 4, 11 & 18 ... 7 pm; Advent Candlelight Communion services Sunday Dec 15 ... 2 to 4 pm; Christmas Open House at the rectory Sunday Dec 15 ... 4:30 pm; Community Christmas Carol Sing Saturday Dec 21 ... 7 pm; Longest Night Service Sunday Dec 22 ... 8:15 quiet communion service & 10:30 am (note time change) Choir Cantata "Emmanuel" Tuesday Dec 24 ... 4:30 pm Family Christmas Communion service ... 10:30 pm Carol Singing ... 11:00 pm "Almost Midnight Communion" Wednesday Dec 25 ... 10:00 am; Christmas Day Communion Sunday Dec 29 ... 8:15 quiet communion service & 10:30 am Communion with Carol singing
"The church gathers ... reflections on synod 2019"
Attending My First Synod
... reflections from Gail Browne, lay delegate to synod from St. Paul's
I’ve wanted to attend Synod for quite a while, so I will start my report on last week’s session in Richmond Hill with a sincere “thank you” for electing me as St. Paul’s representative for the next three regular sessions of Synod and any other gatherings called by our bishop to deal with the business of the church in our diocese.
I was very excited, and a bit intimidated, to find myself in the midst of 600+ Anglicans ranging in age from mid-teens to probably 90’s... especially when I realized that, including Mark, I knew only 3 people in the room.
In his opening remarks, Bishop Andrew reminded us that life does not grow in a straight line, and challenged us to remove the dead wood from our souls to give God room to come in. He touched on many important issues including same-sex marriage, making room in the church for diversity, and living with a sense of expectancy. He reminded us that the church might be one generation from closing or one generation from taking off.
Sylvia Keesmat, a professor and author, reminded us that we are called to serve and observe creation. Climate catastrophe, which used to happen in “other places” is now happening everywhere, and must be addressed. Dr. Keesmat spoke about the importance of home gardens and teaching children to garden. Several other speakers talked about the environment and the importance of eliminating single use plastics in our homes and our parishes. Synod passed a motion to eliminate single use plastics by 2023.
I attended a workshop focusing on vision, planning, deciding and acting for growth and new opportunities while continuing to be the best we can be in “traditional church”. The Diocese has staff, volunteers and grants available to help us. This workshop also touched on reconfiguring for the future. Did you know that 200 years ago there were 400 Anglican churches in the Toronto Diocese, and now there are 200? The next 5-10 years are crucial times in the life of the Diocese.
Christian Harvey and Cormack Culkeen talked about a Ministry Apprenticeship Programme, which provides funding for up to 10 hrs./week for 8 months with job shadowing, mentoring, networking and retreats to develop skills in youth, children and family ministry.
Member’s Time was fun... people could talk about anything they wanted for 3 minutes. topics ranged from the Anglican Foundation and Fresh Start programmes to the Doomsday Clock, nuclear weapons and reaching the marginalized.
Synod left me with more questions than answers. I’m looking forward to hearing the results of our Natural Church Development survey, and helping plan for the future for St. Paul's.
How many synods now
... a reflection by me as the Incumbent of St. Paul's.
I can't even hazard a guess how many synods I have attended over my 30 years of ordained ministry in the Diocese of Toronto. But there have been many and each one is different and often so much the same. And as Gail recognized she didn't know very many people at all, I seemed to be stopping almost every step on the way in to say hello to someone.
First I want to acknowledge that this was Bishop Andrew's first synod as our diocesan bishop. I felt he approached his ministry as chair of this gathering with grace, humility and his keen sense of humor. Keeping things on the agenda on track and facilitating necessary conversation and dialogue around discussions of motions is not an easy task. Well done Bishop Andrew on your first synod as our bishop!!
On the one hand, synod is the place where many of the legal requirements of the diocese are lived out and acted upon in our canons and constitutions. There is the presentation of financial reports and budgets. These can be a bit monotonous. However, they are necessary and sometime useful in generating conversations we need to be having about how we govern ourselves and how we spend our financial resources faithfully.
I appreciated the tone Bishop Asbil offered synod in what was one of the best charges I have heard in my 30 years of attending synod. He was clear that the future is ominous when we look at statistics and projections. However, using the analogy of over pruning a hedge, he asked the question ... will it not grow back?? He challenged us to believe that the ministry of the church does need to be pruned but in order that it may grow and flourish even in new directions with new models. That gives me hope!!
Bishop Andrew made the commitment that "Equal Marriage" will be offered across the Diocese of Toronto by Pentecost 2020 which is June. This is a significant promise to make as it will allow for any priest in any parish to officiate at all marriages under the same set of guidelines. Around Same Sex marriages, no one must participate if it is against their understanding of marriage. However, for those who feel called to offer that sacrament to our LGBTQ2S+ community, we will be free to do so as with any couple who approaches us.
There was lots of discussion of environment, social housing, how we structure ourselves as a diocese, the allotment charged to parishes and a time for individuals to offer a word to the bishop in his discernment around same sex marriage. Dr. Sylvia Keesmat was inspiring and challenging in her calling on us to care for creation in our own context. I was elected as the alternate clergy representative to go to Provincial Synod in the fall of 2021 should one of the other delegates not be able to attend.
As usual, the worship was inspiring; I love singing out the hymns in particular with 600 others in the room also singing exuberantly!! It is always a reminder that we are part of a bigger church that our own parish at 59 Toronto St. S in Uxbridge. Because of that we enjoy many benefits we aren't even aware of and we are obliged to support the diocesan center who do so much for us, with us and on our behalf.
I offer us this prayer for the church in our Diocese of Toronto following synod as we commit ourselves to contributing to the building up of God's kingdom in who we are and all we do ...
Lord, we lift up our priorities as the Diocese of Toronto.
Give us ears to hear what Your Spirit is saying to our church.
Open our eyes to see things as You see them.
Help us move beyond issues of immediate need
to pursuing Kingdom issues.
Bring us to a place where
“Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
is more than just words we say
but equally ministry lived out in action.
In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Remember, if you have a question, I encourage you to send it to me in an email and I will do my best to answer it either in a weekly update or in a sermon.
As always, my inbox is open, and so is my office door if you'd like to chat. I'm usually in my office most mornings Monday through Thursday unless otherwise announced due to a meeting. Stop by or make an appointment!