Lent Soul Cleaning

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


Some reflections from the chair ...
  • our meeting was in the context of prayer and worship remembering who we are even as we gather together to do the business of the church;
  • we received and accepted the financial statements for 2021 showing our worth as over $1million;
  • we discussed and voted on two outreach related motions; although it was not unanimous, the motions passed by a significant majority indicating the desire of vestry to use some of our investments in the work of outreach to assist with the needs of our wider community;
  • we passed a budget which saw no increase in expected offerings for 2022 given the economic climate of our day;
  • we passed a motion for the wardens to initiate a capital campaign to recoup as much of the expenses as we can related to the refurbishing of our elevator, the masonry work on the church and outside painting at the rectory
  • following robust discussion, we did not pass the diocesan social justice motion; we voiced our support in principle for the motions intent but could not endorse the specifics it was asking for
All in all it was a good vestry
as we faithfully witnessed to who we are
as followers and disciples of Jesus.

As God has given us the will to do these things
may he also give us the grace to accomplish them.
Sunday afternoon
four of us gathered in the church
for a vigil of prayer for Ukraine

If you weren't able to be there
and would like to offer prayers
please see the website
for scripture passages to reflect on
and prayers to pray

Ash Wednesday at St. Paul's
Today ... March 2, 2022

We will offer two in person services
celebrating communion
with the imposition of ashes.

10:00 am and 7:30 pm

No advance registration required.

We will follow Covid 19 protocols
of masking and physical distancing.
In person worship at St. Paul's 
resumes this Sunday
Sunday March 6 at 10:30 am

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.

Please register in advance.
We expect this requirement to soon be lifted.

Thank you for you understanding
and your patience
to keep everyone safe and healthy.
At the moment, the Diocese of Toronto
continues to require the protocol 
of contact tracing for Covid 19.

As such, we ask that you register in advance
so we have an idea of who will be attending.

Simply go to the link and follow the directions
filling in your name, number attending
and contact email.

Here's the link to register ...

Thank you in advance for your help!!!
If you are unable to attend in person worship at St. Paul's this Sunday
the service will be live streamed

Here's the link ...
If you miss the live streaming
of Sunday morning worship
from St. Paul's

Here is a link to our You Tube channel
where you will find the video ...
This week ...
  • Wed Mar 2  ... Ash Wednesday; 10 am; In person Communion Service with imposition of ashes
  • Wed Mar 2  ... Ash Wednesday; 7:30 pm; In person Communion Service with imposition of ashes
  • Thurs Mar 3... Conference Call Bible Study
  • Sunday Mar 6 ... 1st Sunday of Lent; 10:30 am; in person Communion Service live streamed for those not able to attend in person; a video will be on our you tube channel following the service
  • Monday Mar 7 ... Spiritual Formation Monday's
  • Tuesday Mar 8 ... Zoom Prayer Group
Midweek Communion
Wednesday's at 10 am

No pre registration required.

Face masks and physical distancing
will continue as usual.
Lenten Candlelight Communion

Wednesdays March 9, 16, 23 & 30
and April 7

Quiet, contemplative, meditative music,
in the darkness of the church
lit by candlelight.

I invite you to join me
in observing this holy Lenten season
by engaging with this rhythm
that takes time out of your week
to mark the spirituality of this season
as we walk the Lenten journey with Jesus
in preparation for Holy Week and Easter.

No registration required.

We will follow Covid protocols
of masking and physical distancing.

February 25, 2020

Dear Friends,
Like you, I am watching aghast at the news in Ukraine as that poor country is showered with missiles, invaded from every side by Russian advances. Peace is shattered in that part of the world. People are dying, wounded, displaced – and terrified. From the relative safety of our homes, we watch appalled, feeling helpless, but moved to pray to the God of Peace, entreating the Holy Spirit to inspire political leaders towards the cessation of all violence, and to work towards the healing of the nations. 

Challenging times call the Church to respond in courageous ways. In recent years, we’ve seen the Church responding to the resettlement needs of refugees, sending aid to assist with the rebuilding efforts following a natural disaster, and reaching out to those closer to home during times of economic distress. The response of Anglicans across the Diocese to the 25th annual FaithWorks campaign reminds me that we have generous hearts and spirits to meet the challenges of the world. I am deeply moved and grateful for the consistent outpouring of support for our annual outreach appeal that you have shown. In the last two years of pandemic alone – despite the isolation, absence of community worship and fellowship, and competing financial challenges – you raised over three million dollars to support Diocesan outreach.

Although the 2021 FaithWorks campaign fell short of our $1,500,000 goal by just under $50,000, more parishes than ever participated (91%) and total giving to parish campaigns was its highest since 2005 ($913,000). Nearly 60% of parishes increased their giving last year over 2020. Half of those parishes saw significant increases of at least 1% of their annual offertory. Thank you for your generosity.

To give, as Henri Nouwen says, is an opportunity to look beyond ourselves and to participate in the greater vision that God has for all humanity. That vision is reflected most poignantly in Matthew 25:40: Jesus teaches “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” This message gives us hope that, with God’s help, we can create a better world, a safer world, a more inclusive world. A world of true peace.

The Lenten season marks the launch of a new FaithWorks campaign year. While many needs remain the same in 2022, I want to particularly draw your attention to an exceptional request being made this year that is an effort towards God’s peace here at home. Last year, in response to Call to Action #82 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Diocese donated $300,000 to the Spirit Garden project at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto. Resolution #82 calls for provincial governments and parties to the Settlement Agreement to develop publicly accessible memorials in each capital city to honour survivors and all those lost during the dark history of Canada’s residential school system.  

I want to encourage each one of us to think about how we can participate in this call to action as well – through our parishes and individually.

This year’s FaithWorks materials provide an opportunity for Anglicans across the Diocese to participate in this important effort. We are going to “piggy-back” on the FaithWorks campaign process to avoid duplication, maximize exposure, and make it easy for you to give. As with other “extra” appeals we have done in the past, this request does not compete with FaithWorks but allows you to make an additional gift in support of Indigenous Reconciliation. We have included posters and brochures which profile this important initiative and provide directions on how you can contribute. We will launch the Spirit Garden Campaign with a video in April in anticipation of our special Indigenous focus in June. I encourage your prayerful and generous support.

“Let there be Peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” sang Vince Gill. True peace originates with the Prince of Peace, Jesus, but as the hands and feet of Christ in the world, our efforts through prayer, advocacy, and generous financial contributions, can and do make a real difference in the ushering in of the Reign of God. 

I want to close by extending a special thank you to the FaithWorks staff and volunteers who work quietly and anonymously without recognition or praise. You are agents of peace, and I am grateful for you.  

Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto
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 ... Ash Wednesday ... Ps 103:8-18; Mt 6:1-6, 16-21
  • Thursday ...  Ps 1; Lk 9:18-25
  • Friday ... Ps 51:1-4, 17-18; Mt 9:14-17
  • Saturday ... Ps 86:1-6; Lk 5:27-32
  • Sunday ... First Sun of Lent ... Ps 91: 1-2, 9-16; Lk 4:1-13
  • Monday ... Ps 19:7-14; Mt 25:31-46 
  • Tuesday ... Ps 34:1-8; Mt 6:7-15 
Wed March 2 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Wed March 2 ... Ash Wednesday ...10;00 am; in person communion with imposition of ashes
Wed March 2 ... Ash Wednesday ... 7:30 pm; Candlelight Communion with imposition of ashes
Thurs March 3 .. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs March 3 ... 7:30 pm Choir Practice
Sun March 6 ... 1st Sunday of Lent ... 10:30 am; In person communion service ... live streamed for those unable to attend in person
Mon March 7 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Tues March 8 ... Zoom Prayer Group
Wed March 9 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Wed March 9 ... 10;00 am; in person communion
Wed March 9 ... 7:30 pm; Candlelight Communion
Wed March 9 ... 10 am; In Person Communion Service
Thurs March 10 .. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs March 10 ... 7:30 pm Choir Practice
Sun March 13 ... 2nd Sunday of Lent ... 10:30 am; In person communion service ... live streamed for those unable to attend in person
Mon March 14 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Tues March 15 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Compline
Wed March 16 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Wed March 16 ... 10;00 am; in person communion
Wed March 16 ... 7:30 pm; Candlelight Communion
Thurs March 17 .. 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs March 17 ... 7:30 pm Choir Practice
Sat March 19 ... Celebrating the Saints ... St. Joseph of Nazareth
Sun March 20 ... 3rd Sunday of Lent ... 10:30 am; In person communion service ... live streamed for those unable to attend in person
Mon March 21 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Tues March 22 ... 7:30 pm; Zoom Prayer Group
Wed March 23 ... Mark's Midweek Musings
Wed March 23 ... 10;00 am; in person communion
Wed March 23 ... 7:30 pm; Candlelight Communion
Thurs March 24 ... 11 am; Conference Call Bible Study
Thurs March 24 ... 7:30 pm Choir Practice
Fri March 25 ... Celebrating the Saints ... The Annunciation of the Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sun March 27 ... 4th Sunday of Lent ... 10:30 am; In person communion service ... live streamed for those unable to attend in person
Mon March 28 ... Faith Formation Mondays
Wed March 30 ... 10;00 am; in person communion
Wed March 30 ... 7:30 pm; Candlelight Communion
Thurs March 31 ... 7:30 pm Choir Practice

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?"
Lent Soul Cleaning

Bishop Jenny Andison wrote, "Lent is spring cleaning for the soul; a chance to clear out some spiritual junk from our closets and re-evaluate some of the rhythms and habits that the pandemic has forced on us." Today, we mark the beginning of Lent as we accompany Jesus on the 40 day journey that takes him and us to the cross and ultimately the empty tomb. As we make this pilgrimage along with Him, it serves as a time to do some soul cleaning and cleansing so that when we are spiritually prepared to encounter the passion of Christ and fully experience the joy of His empty tomb.

Spring cleaning is something I don't enjoy doing, but it is inevitably necessary. We need to clean the windows of the grime that's the result of winter; we need to clean out any of the dust webs in the corners; it's good to go through things that we've been collecting and see if we still really need them. The same kind of cleaning out is beneficial to our spirits and our souls. In so doing we can take the time to engage in asking what keeps us from being attentive to the Spirit, often leading to unfaithfulness on our part. And how can we re-engage in what will bring us life, especially after such a period of darkness through Covid 19.

Each year, I discern how I might spend these days of Lent in a way that is intentionally spiritually engaging and thereby faith renewing. For me it's not just about giving up chocolate, although that might not be a bad thing to do!! When I think of how I want to use this time, I try and envision what would end up enhancing my relationship with God and my experience of accompanying Jesus through His death and into His resurrection. As such, I often pray to God asking Him what He might be inviting me into as a rhythm and discipline. 

When I think that this is the second Lent being observed in Covid time, I, like many of you, feel the sense of loss that is overwhelming. We long for what has felt like a wilderness exile to end; we pray, like the psalmist, "how long, O Lord, how long?" And in the midst of that, at this moment, there is hope, there is light. And yet we need to continue to pray for patience, which in itself is a spiritual gift of the Holy Spirit. Maybe there is a Lenten prayer that is more relevant than we might have thought, "God help me to have patience". 

When I think of other things I might do, I often look for a book to read that can engage my faith and spirit. This year, I looked at my bookshelf that has far too many books I've bought over the years. I knew I had purchased one a number of years ago, "How Can I Believe When I Live in a World Like This?" I think this might be a perfect time to re-read it. That very question is one that many are asking as they deal with the fallout of Covid 19 and even more present today, the war between Russia and Ukraine. 

Our faith is being bombarded with realities that are challenging us, and in turn potentially challenging our faith and our faithfulness. I want to re-claim any faith in me that might be compromised; I need to re-invest in that relationship with God that never fails and is always seeking to love beyond anything I can imagine. 

And out of that reading, I want to recommit myself to pray, to spend quality time with God each day. And in that time, to lay before God the things that are troubling my soul; the questions that occupy my mind. In so doing, I then need to equally listen for God's response that has the potential to bring me peace of mind, heart and spirit. 

A very practical thing I can do, following the example of friends and colleagues, is unplug from social media. I plan to fast from Facebook for this season of Lent. By so doing, I can take the time and energy that often goes into that activity and use it in a way that is nurturing a positive and healthy spirit within me. There is so much on social media that can compromise our spirits. There is value in social media to be sure; but I think I need a re-set in the place it has in my day to day living. 

Through these intentional disciplines I embrace, I hope that what will result is a cleaning of my soul. And out of that can open renewed ways of engaging with God and knowing Jesus as I walk this road of suffering, death and ultimately resurrection with Him.

I close this reflection with the exhortation for Lent that we hear on Ash Wednesday ...

I invite you therefore, in the name of the Lord, to observe a holy Lent by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and by reading and meditating on the word of God.

What is the soul cleaning you might do as you enter into the holy and sacred journey with Jesus throughout these days of Lent?
A prayer to bring beauty
from the ashes ...

Dear God, in this season of Lent, we’re reminded of our own difficulties and struggles. Sometimes the way has seemed too dark. Sometimes we feel like our lives have been marked by such grief and pain, we don’t see how our circumstances can ever change. But in the midst of our weakness, we ask that you would be strong on our behalf. Lord, rise up within us, let your Spirit shine out of every broken place we’ve walked through. Allow your power to be manifest through our own weakness, so that others will recognize it is You who is at work on our behalf. We ask that you would trade the ashes of our lives for the beauty of your Presence. Trade our mourning and grief for the oil of joy and gladness from your Spirit. Trade our despair for hope and praise. We choose to give you thanks today and believe that this season of darkness will fade away. Thank you that you are with us in whatever we face and that you are greater than this trial. We know and recognize that you are Sovereign, we thank you for the victory that is ours because of Christ Jesus, and we are confident that you have good still in store for our future. We thank you that you are at work right now, trading our ashes for greater beauty. We praise you, for you make all things new. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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

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