Notes from St. Paul's - March 19
For the next little while, I hope to send a daily note with a brief reflection and any notices there might be about the parish during this time of emergency measures.
*One of our Wardens said to me that a time like this is a defining moment for Christians when we are called to follow and imitate Jesus Christ:
. . . to show courage when others are afraid;
. . . to be unselfish when others are tempted to hoard.
. . . to think outwardly and thoughtfully of others when many are tempted inward to discouragement and despair.
*There are a number of online resources to assist with daily prayers. Annette Brownlee has passed this link along from a group called “Cradle of Prayer” within The Episcopal Church. You can both listen to Morning and Evening Prayer as well as read along. It is well read and chanted, and is available here: https://cradleofprayer.org/
(The services are taken from the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer which are largely the same as the ones found in our own Book of Common Prayer. Both books hearken back to the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer although in both Canada and the United States, minor changes were made along the way.)
*Daily Bread is also much loved at St. Paul’s. It is available online, too: https://odb.org/
*Quite a number of churches will be streaming their Sunday service. At the moment, we are not able to provide a video stream of much quality, but we can provide a good audio recording, which we will do, and which we will make available along with a printed outline for members to follow along at home. We are encouraging as many as possible to pray together at 10.30 a.m..
That said, one of the truly good things that could come from this unexpected season would be to take up the practice of prayers said at home, particularly where that has not been the custom. Home prayers are provided in both The Book of Common Prayer (pp. 728 ff.) and The Book of Alternative Services (pp. 685 ff.).
Both the BCP and BAS are available here: www.anglican.ca/about/liturgicaltexts/.
For families who have always wanted to establish this practice at home, but have never quite known how or when to do it, now is the perfect time.
For Freedom from Worry
O LORD, who hast pity for all our weakness: Put away from us worry and every anxious fear, that, having ended the labours of the day as in thy sight, and committing our tasks, ourselves, and all we love into thy keeping, we may, now that night cometh, receive as from thee thy priceless gift of sleep; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From “Forms of Prayer to be used in Families”, The Book of Common Prayer, p. 730.)
For Home and Family
O God whose desire is that all the peoples of the world should be one human family, living together in harmony, grant that our home, by its worship and its witness, may help to hasten the day when your will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
(From “Home Prayers”, The Book of Alternative Services, p. 697.)
*We are updating our email contact information as quickly as possible. If you know someone who would like to receive them, please have them pass along their email addresses. If you would prefer not to receive these notices, kindly let us know.
*Of greatest immediate concern is the welfare of any member who is frail and/or on their own. Please check in with those you know. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are aware of anyone in need or distress.
*Cutelin” Farqhar, a dedicated member of the choir and parish of St. Paul’s, died on Saturday, March 14, 2020. A private funeral for the family will be held on Friday, March 20, 2020. A service in the church will be arranged once the suspension of services is lifted.
May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
*At 10.30 am on Sunday, March 22, the parish of St. Paul will be called to prayer. An order of service will be sent and an audio recording of the service will be provided for members to follow along.
*Website troubles - at the worst possible time, our website caught a bug. It should be fixed within a day or two.
*A basic schedule of services continues at the church: the daily offices and a Sunday eucharist. From home, every member is invited to join.
*The financial needs of the parish remain and your faithful support is sought - through the mail service or the Pre-Authorized Giving Program.
*The clergy of St. Paul’s are all in the vicinity. If any one of us can be of service, don’t hesitate to call or write.
Church phone: 416-499-1545
Church email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr. Dean Mercer: email@example.com
God bless you.
Fr. Dean Mercer+