"A Time To Speak"

Mark's Midweek Musings ... January 14, 2021

As I sit to reflect this week, there is so much to ponder ... from the dramatically increasing number of Covid 19 cases in the province and right here in our community of Uxbridge to the assault on democracy in Washington last week. The world we live in is in quite a state at them moment.

Please, please, please follow the protocols and restrictions including the stay at home order. Things are rapidly moving with this virus and the only way to stem the tide is to follow the prescribed advice and wisdom of medical and health officials.

What we are called to first and foremost as followers of Jesus is to pray. When there is nothing else we can do ... we can and we need to pray. So, I encourage all of us to enter into a spirit of prayer as we ask God to bring healing on His world and brings peace into the chaos that creates division.

And when we don't know what to pray ... simply pray, "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy." Amen.

With the stay at home order in place
what our weekly worship looks like
will change starting next week
to limit people having to come to the church
for video taping sessions.

I will be asking readers to video themselves
offering the scripture passage for the day
and send it to me
which I will incorporate into the online video.

For the moment
I will offer the prayers of the people each Sunday.

The virtual choir will continue
to lead us in the hymn sung
and Stuart will provide instrumental music
to assist us in entering into
the holiness of our online worship.

Most importantly ...
we will continue to worship
in a way that is engaging and builds us up
in our individual and shared journey of faith
as followers of Jesus Christ.
A message from the wardens ...

Thank you!!! We had an exceptional year at St. Paul's financially given that we were living through Covid 19 and all that has meant to our parish life together. We wanted to give you a synopsis of where we stand at the end of 2020.

Our offerings were budgeted to be $109,500. If we take into account what was needed for the Family Ministry position that we didn't hire, the offerings needed to support our operations were $97,000. Our actual receipts for offerings for 2020 as of December 31 was $108,500. That means that we received from you a surplus of over $11,000. That included a sizeable one time donation that we received of $10,000. However, that in no way negates the fact that all of us as parishioners of St. Paul's stepped up to the plate and supported our ministry to the fullest despite the realities of a pandemic. Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!

In addition, we had budgeted to use $114,195 from our investments to support our budget. As of December 31 we used $ 58,000 which is approximately $56,000 less than we had budgeted. That too is good news!!! And part of the reason for this is because of the diocesan Jubilee covering assessment costs and stipend for three months. We are grateful to the diocese for their support.

Finally, we had budgeted $5,000 for our Outreach ministry. Through your generosity we surpassed that and were able to support valuable agencies that work with the marginalized and disenfranchised locally in Uxbridge and further abroad too. Thank you for taking this part of our baptismal ministry seriously and for your support of our Outreach Committee, enabling the work they do.

It has been a good year financially. We thank each of you and we thank God!! We are in a good position as we enter 2021 because of your support over this past year.

Thank you and God Bless.

Sharon Houston, Beth Crook, Art Mathews and Dorothy Haines

Due to Covid 19
we are delayed in distributing 2021 offering envelopes.

We apologize for any inconvenience
this might cause for you.

We are working on how to distribute them
given the safety protocols and restrictions
in place at this time.

In the meantime, here ways
that you can continue to support St. Paul's
  • sign up for Pre-Authorized donations
  • use E-transfers
  • mail your donation to the church (PO Box 673, Station Main, Uxbridge, ON, L9P 1N1)
  • drop your donation in the locked box at the side door of the church
However you continue your offerings to St. Paul's ...
thank you for your continued support!!!
There is so much happening in our world
that leads us to faithfully pray
both on our own and together.

Beginning on January 26
I invite you to join with me
in an intentional time of prayer
on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month
at 7:30 pm using zoom.

Prayer is a powerful way
we can come before God
to lay our needs and concerns before God
and listen in silence as God speaks to us too.

There will be moments of quiet,
a reading from scripture
and the opportunity to pray
for whatever is happening in the world
and in our lives too.

Consider joining me for this half hour.

Please let me know if your are interested.

There are provisions to engage
using either your computer or your telephone.

Praying together will lead us
to look at things through a different lens
and with the anointing of God's Spirit.
The Sunday in our parish cycle of prayer
we remembered and gave thanks for ...

Bob and Jane, Evelyn, Carol, Dave, Gay and their families.
This week ...
  • Tues Connections email
  • Wed Zoom "Coffee & Conversation"
  • Mark's Midweek Musings ... Thurs
  • Conference Call Bible Study ... Thurs at 11 am 
  • Online Hymn Sing ... Thurs 
  • On line worship links will be emailed on Saturday 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 ... Ps 8; Mk 1:21-28
  • Wednesday ... Ps 105:1-15; Mk 1:29-39
  • Thursday ... Ps 95:6-11; Mk 1:40-45
  • Friday ...  Ps 78:3-8; Mk 2:1-12
  • Saturday ...  Ps 19:7-14; Mk 2:13-17
  • Sunday ... Ps 139:1-5, 12-17; Jn 1:43-51
  • Monday ...  Ps 23; Mt 16:13-19
Thurs Jan 14 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Jan 14.. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Jan 14 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun Jan 17... 2nd Sunday after Epiphany ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Tues Jan 19 ... Tuesday Connections
Tues Jan 19 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Thurs Jan 21... Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Jan 21... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Jan 21 ... Online Hymn Sing
Sun Jan 24 ... Converstion of St. Paul ... our patronal festival ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video
Mon Jan 25 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom "holy spirits ... faith conversations over a pint"
Tues Jan 26... Tuesday Connections
Tues Jan 26 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed Jan 27 ... 11:15 am; Zoom Coffee & Chat
Thurs Jan 28.. Mark's Midweek Musings
Thurs Jan 28... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs Jan 28 ... Online Hymn Sing 
Sun Jan 31 ...4th Sunday after Epiphany ... an email will be sent with a link to the worship video

Due to Covid 19
we will be meeting for vestry
for our annual meeting
in a different way this year.

At the moment, the wardens and I have set
Thursday February 18 at 7:30
for St. Paul's Vestry meeting using zoom.

This may change
due to Covid 19 provisions in the coming month.

More information will be sent to you
when details are confirmed.

We will be producing a vestry report
which will be available to you in advance.

We hope you will join in
either through your computer or the telephone
as we share together in this time
of reflecting on the past year
and planning for the year to come.

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
"What town is the church located in?"
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!!
"A Time To Speak"

In Ecclesiastes we read, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven... a time to keep silence and a time to speak." (Ecc 3:7). Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ ..." (Eph 3: 15). In John's gospel, Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8: 31-32)

We are set free as children of God and disciples of Jesus by the truth God has made known to us as good news full of hope. That truth is centered on the promise of God's kingdom which is integrated into the whole story of our faith from the beginning of creation through the prophets, in the coming of Jesus, the setting up of the early church down to you and I today. Knowing and believing in that truth brings with it a calling on us from God to speak of what we believe so that others too may come to know and trust and believe. That's really at the core of our mission and mandate as the church.

In particular, we are called by God not to be silent when we come up against the antithesis of the gospel and the kingdom. Instead, we are empowered by God's Spirit to recognize that especially then is a time for us to speak loudly, boldly and with confidence. And it's so true that now is one of those times when we are called to speak up for the sake of the gospel and the proclamation of God's kingdom of peace and justice for all.

There is far too much injustice in our society today. And it is often masked and hidden so that many of us don't see it and might not even recognize it. Racism and discrimination are a reality that far too many people have to live with every day of their lives because of their culture, the color of their skin, the language they speak, the clothes they wear, their economic poverty, their addictions or the country of their origin. We can keep our blinders on and not identify how rampant this is or we can accept our gospel calling to say and do what we can to make things different and more equitable.

I believe that the recent political uprising in the USA is a calling to us to be vigilant so that the same spirit doesn't become more prevalent here in Canada. Our calling as followers of Jesus is to speak truth when we know that someone isn't being treated with the respect and dignity that every person deserves.

What happened on Capitol Hill in Washington can not take further root here in Canada with the potential of the same on our federal and provincial legislatures. I believe that as the church we have a role to play in stopping that from becoming a reality to be feared or anticipated in our own country. 

When we know someone is being treated unfairly and unjustly because of their sexuality or their gender or because they are black or from the Middle East or Asia or because they wear a turban or because they are Indigenous or because they are on social assistance ... what can we do to correct the injustice and assure them of their rights that are equal to the rest of society?

Here are some suggestions ...
  • Educate ourselves about the realities of injustice that exist and are real
  • Work on our own habits and beliefs trying to understand and appreciate our own hidden biases and prejudices
  • be aware locally in our own community of those who live on the margins and are judged because of the situations of their lives
  • Take action in our community when issues are raised and our voice needs to be heard
  • Go to a protest or demonstration and stand up out of what we believe and Jesus Christ whom we follow
  • Share on social media so that others may become aware too and perhaps join in responding
  • Volunteer our time and energy to agencies and community groups who assist those who are so often maligned and mistreated
  • Make a financial donation to organizations whose mandate it is to address inequities and promote the fair treatment of all people as a basic right
There may be times when we need to be quiet ... but I don't believe that now is one of them. There are too many systemic issues which violate what every person is entitled to enjoy in life; there are too many injustices which are counter to the gospel of Jesus Christ and in opposition to the kingdom of God.

Let's join our voices with others who are inspired to speak truth too; together the message we send can't be ignored and some good will come out of what we do collectively. May that be an integral part of our mission and mandate at the body of Christ.
A prayer for social justice ...

Grant, O God,
that your holy and life-giving Spirit
may so move us and every human heart,
that barriers which divide us may crumble,
suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease;
that all that leads to division would be healed,
may we contribute to a spirit of justice and peace,
and respect and dignity for all people;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
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St. Paul's Anglican Church, Uxbridge · 59 Toronto Street · Uxbridge, On L9P1H1 · Canada

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