We now have a prayer labyrinth on the lawn outside St. John’s that is open to you and to everyone in the community!
Labyrinths are designed as paths to walk along as you pray or meditate.  Unlike a maze, which requires you to make decisions, a labyrinth provides a path that leads you from the entrance to the center, and then, when you are ready, the same path leads you from the center to the place you began.  

Our labyrinth is based on the 13th century labyrinth at Chartes Cathedral, France.  During the 13th century, for those who could not undertake long pilgrimages to distant places, churches provided labyrinths as a form of pilgrimage for people in their own local area, in the midst of their daily life.  Following the example of a labyrinth I saw at the Jesuit Ignatian Retreat Centre in Guelph, our labyrinth is made entirely out of grass, with the grass along the path trimmed shorter than the grass along the borders.  You can see the attached pictures of Cathie, Williette, and I mapping out the labyrinth with spray paint (similar to the one we made here in July 2019) and then trimming the grass along the path to make it more visible and longer-lasting.  
Here are some suggestions for walking a labyrinth (from the labyrinth at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, Ottawa)
Approaching the Labyrinth
Follow the path, one step at a time.  Make a prayerful preparation.  Stand at the entrance, breathe deeply a few times, relax, and still your mind….Take your time.  Find your pace.  Coordinate your footsteps with your breathing if that helps.  
Let go of any expectations you may hold, and observe your experience as it unfolds.  
You could ask yourself at each turn, “What am I turning away from in my life? What am I turning towards?”
You could ask for guidance and insight into a concern of your own, or on behalf of someone else. 
You could pose a question at the outset.  
You could fill your mind with prayer, or sing quietly to yourself.
The labyrinth works at the intuitive “soul level” of the mind: Everything that happens is a metaphor, symbol of something beyond.  Remain open to receive subtle images, thoughts, memories, or flashes of insight.  These can be fleeting, so it helps sometimes to take paper and pen with you to capture them, and give yourself time after to journal or draw.  If you wish to walk in again, feel free to do so.
Three Stages for the Walk
Release: Release and let go as you are walking towards the centre.  Release and let go of the details of your life.  This is an act of invitation and it quiets and empties the mind.  All pilgrimages begin with a first step.  It’s the act of walking that makes you a pilgrim, in life or in the labyrinth.
Receive: Open your mind and heart.  Let yourself experience the changes of direction.  You may get turned around, but you are never lost; trust that the path will lead you where you need to go.  When you reach the centre, stay there as long as you like.  It is a place of meditation and prayer.  Receive what there is for you to receive.  Relax and let the wisdom of the world come to you.
Respond: As you leave the centre and return on the same path, ponder what you have received.  Take these thoughts back out into the world in which you live.  Each time you walk the labyrinth, you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel called to do and to fully be the person you are.
We will be glad to hear of your responses as you walk and pray along the labyrinth.  Please feel free to forward this email to any friends or neighbours who might be interested.
Grace and peace,

You and your pets are invited to the 4th Annual Blessing of the Animals on the lawn of St. John’s.  It will be at 10:00 on Saturday, October 1st, in honour of the Feast Day of St. Francis.  A copy of the service is attached.  We will thank God for animals and all creation, and each animal will receive an individual blessing.  Feel free to forward this invitation to any animal lovers you know.  

Blessing of the Animals 2021

Friday, September 30 is Truth and Reconciliation Day (formerly Orange Shirt Day) in Canada. At St. John’s, we will be acknowledging and honouring this day with activities at the church. We plan on having resources for you to look at, as well as a list of resources to take with you. There will be informational videos and websites on the screen. Everyone will also be invited to take part in a collaborative “every child matters” art project. 
We will begin at 4:00pm and expect to be finished around 7:00pm. If you have an orange shirt, please consider wearing it. We would like to take pictures of people in their orange shirts to share with the diocese. There were a lot of members of the congregation who bought orange shirts in the summer. It would be wonderful if we could get a group photo (or 2!). 
This is a drop-in event. Light refreshments will be available. You don’t need to register or RSVP, just show up any time between 4:00 and 7:00 on September 30 and stay as long as you wish. All members of the congregation and the larger community are welcome to join us, to learn, discuss, and reflect on this solemn day. We hope to see you there. 
Take care,
We will host a pumpkin carving event for kids and adults at 5:00 on Friday October 28th.   Halloween is the celebration of “All Hallows’ Eve”, the Eve of All Saints’ Day, and has a long history in the Church.  
The church will  provide pumpkins, paints for the pumpkins, and some knives and carving kits.  Donations to help with the cost of the pumpkins and supplies are welcome.   You can either take your pumpkins home afterward, or leave them for the weekend as a display by the church.  
Please reply to me to tell us whether you would like to attend and whether you’d like us to provide a pumpkin for you or whether you would prefer to BYOPumpkin. 
I am delighted to announce that next Sunday, September 11th is the start of some new things and a return to some previous things.
  • Our 10:30 worship service will move from the parish hall back to our sanctuary
  • Our Sunday children & youth program will return.  During the opening hymn, the children and youth will follow Cathie McCabe and the other teachers to the Great Hall for their program, and they will return to the sanctuary after the sermon. 
  • The 8:00 service will resume, using the Book of Common Prayer, in addition to the 10:30 service from the Book of Alternative Services
  • We will celebrate the baptism of Liam Runhart, who is the grandson of Karen Linka’s uncle James Carr, on September 11 at the 10:30 service.  
We are so glad to see people coming back to church again after their summer travels, and we look forward to seeing you next Sunday!
Grace and peace,
Dear St. John’s,

We have new Summer Signs and painted stones outside our church, created by our children and youth.

I recommend that you drive or walk by the church to see our signs in person. To our Bowmanville community, they present words that describe the character of God and the blessings that he gives us.

Our signs say ~  Extravagant  Love : Amazing  Grace

I hope these signs will give encouragement to you, as well as to passersby to our church.

I want to thank the people who helped create our Summer Signs:

  • Julia and Chelsea Smith who painted the beautiful backgrounds of the signs
  • Patty Kingsley who added her special artistic touches
  • Greg Thomas, who prepared the sign boards + cross, and installed the signs

I also want to thank our church families and members of our children’s and youth program who have painted the colourful stones in our gardens. Make sure to look at these when you come by to see our signs.

May God continue to be your hope and inspiration.


Cathie McCabe

We are delighted to announce that St. John’s will be celebrating two baptisms in July!
July 10th will be the baptism of Munachimso Ezefibe, son of Chukwudi and Koso Ezefibe.
July 24th will be the baptism of Liam Carr, grandson of James Carr, nephew of Karen Linka, and cousin of Nathaniel Linka.
We have enjoyed both families worshiping with us and participating in the Inquirers’ Class, and we hope you will join us at these joyful celebrations of their life in Christ and our welcoming Munachimso and Liam into the household of God.
During the summer, we plan to continue our zoom service at 9:00, our in-person worship service at 10:30, and our livestreaming of the 10:30 service on YouTube.
As in previous years, we will not have the 8:00 service on the Sundays in July and August, and we invite everyone to the 10:30 service.   

Our intern Paige is staying longer!

I am very excited to share some wonderful news about Paige!   Her six-month internship with us at St. John’s was scheduled for January 5th to June 19th, and during that time she has become such a well-loved part of our faith community and our ministries that I’ve heard several parishioners say, “I wish we could keep you longer!” which is exactly how I’ve been feeling myself.  
We have just received the wonderful news that Paige’s request to stay with us longer has been approved!  She will be staying until the diocesan committee meets in September, and we are hopeful that at that meeting they will approve her staying until May 2023, when she and the rest of her cohort are scheduled to be ordained as transitional deacons, and a year later as priests.  
Paige will be taking a month of vacation after June 19th, during which she will be taking a camping trip and travelling in Scandinavia.  When she returns on July 31st, we will refer to her as our postulant, which is the word for the people who are in the final two years of preparation for ordination.  
I thank God for Paige, and that she will stay with us for more learning, growth, and ministry in this wonderful faith community of St. John’s. 
If you would like to send a message to Paige, you can do so at the address above.
Grace and peace,