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,
Lucia

 

We invite you to participate  as we experience in our worship the love of God expressed in the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection during Holy Week.  Our schedule is
Maundy Thursday in the church 7:00 p.m. April 14th
Good Friday in the church 12:00 noon April 15th
Good Friday on zoom 7:00 p.m. April 15th (email us to request the zoom link)
Easter Sunday is our regular Sunday schedule
8:00 in the church using the Book of Common Prayer (older language)
9:00 on zoom
10:30 in the church using the Book of Alternative Services, with music
We don’t know how many people will attend on Easter Sunday, and therefore we don’t know whether there might be too many people to maintain 2 metres of distance at the 10:30 service on Easter.  
The 8:00 service has plenty of space for social distancing even on Easter Sunday.  
Grace and peace,
Lucia
We  are giving food and clothing donations to the  migrant workers, who have begun to arrive.  This is in addition to our Lenten project in which we give monetary donations to the Migrant Worker Ministry. The list of items Rev. Augusto Nunez is asking for is
Non-perishable food: Sugar, Salt, instant coffee, White rice, Tomato paste, whole tomato in the can, quaker oats, cooking oil, Small Water bottles, Bagged beans or can beans:  Black Beans, kidney beans, Black-Eyed Peas, and eggs.
Mexican specific: corn tortillas, bottled whole chili peppers
Caribbean specific: brown rice, cornmeal, corn beef, tinned mackerel, white & whole wheat flour
Hygiene or cleaning supplies: Shampoo, Detergent (small bottles laundry detergent 75 oz or less), toothpaste, bar soap, Gillette gel deodorant, aftershave, shaving razors, dishwashing liquid, toothpaste.
Clothing: Men’s t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, pants, shorts, running shoes, socks, rubber boots, raincoats.
You can bring these items to the church and we will take them to St. Saviour’s in Orono.  Rev. Augusto is at St. Saviour’s every Tuesday from 10:00 to 12:00, and you can also take the items there directly during those two hours.  The address is 23 Mill Street in Orono.
Rev. Augusto is also looking for some volunteers to organize and bag the donations on Wednesday April 20th, and some volunteers to drive the donations to the farms and drop them off on Thursday, April 21st.  If you can volunteer for either of those tasks, please contact him.  
Also, they have a new website, which you can check out: 

https://www.migrantworkerdurham.com/

Grace and peace,
Lucia
It has been a joy to meet the new people coming to St. John’s even during the pandemic!  
We will be starting a 9-week Inquirer’s Class entitled What Do Anglicans Believe?  This class is designed for 
  1. People who are new to St. John’s, as a way to welcome you and explore together what Anglicans believe and why
  2. Adults and teenagers who would like to explore whether they want to be Confirmed, and adults who would like to explore whether they want Baptism for themselves or their children.  
  3. Long-term members of the congregation as a way to refresh and deepen our own understanding of our faith, and as a way to get to know other parishioners, both new and long-term, in a way that goes beyond small talk.  
The discussions will be based on the Outline of the Faith, which is attached.
The classes will begin after Easter, the week of April 24th, and will go until the week of June 19th.  During the nine weeks, we will have two groups, one group that meets in person and one group that meets on zoom.  You can choose which one you attend.  
If you are interested in attending, please reply to me to let me know whether you prefer the in-person group or the zoom group.  I will get in touch with the people who reply and we will figure out which time and which day of the week is best for the people who are interested.  
I am looking forward to these conversations about our faith and the ways we grow in awareness of God’s love for us, and the ways we grow in love for God and our neighbours.
Grace and peace,
Lucia

Migrant workers come to Ontario and to this area to work in our fields and orchards every year. They leave their families for many months to earn money here in Canada but also to help provide us with fresh local fruit and vegetables. St. John’s has supported the migrant worker ministry in this area for a number of years now. The Reverend Augusto Nunez, priest at St. Saviour’s Orono, is one of the Anglican clergy who helps the migrant workers with spiritual and practical support. Every summer we have collected food and other items, so that the workers don’t have to take as much money out of their pay cheques for them.

For our Lenten project at St. John’s we have challenged the congregation again this year to raise $500 towards this very worthwhile local ministry. If you have not already make a contribution there is still time! There is a table with donation envelopes in the sanctuary if you would like to give cash or a cheque or you can give online by going to the St. John’s website and mark your donation “Lenten project”. The migrant workers will thank you for helping them in their work of providing us with the many local fruits and vegetables that we enjoy all summer.

Dear St. John’s,

Coffee hour went well on Sunday and we are delighted to announce that we will continue to offer it on future Sundays! 
It will be held in the parish hall right after the 10:30 service. 
Thanks to David Crowe and Williette Gardner for hosting it on the 20th.  We are looking for two volunteers for each Sunday in the future.
1 A muffin volunteer to bring two dozen muffins (either homemade or store-bought, your choice).
and
2 a set-up volunteer to arrive at 10:00, 
set up chairs & tables for 25-30 people in the parish hall,
start the coffee in the coffee urn and prepare the coffee machine for decaf right before the 10:30 service, 
go to the parish hall right after receiving communion to start the water for tea, put out the cream, sugar, milk, and juice, and serve the coffee & tea. 
The set-up volunteer doesn’t have to bring anything: the church provides the coffee grounds, cream, sugar, milk, juice, serviettes, and other supplies.
We’d like both the muffin volunteer and the set-up volunteer to help with cleanup and putting tables away.
We will write instructions and post them in the kitchen with the specifics, and for the next few weeks David will be there to show new volunteers around.  
This is a wonderful opportunity to help in a ministry of hospitality.  If you would like to volunteer, please reply to me and tell me whether you’d like to bring muffins or do set up, as well as which Sundays you will or won’t be available. 
Grace and peace,
Lucia

We will have Ash Wednesday services on March 2nd at 10:00 a.m. in the church and at 7:00 p.m. on zoom this year.

The service in the church will include the imposition of ashes, Holy Communion, and music as well as the Ash Wednesday scriptures, sermon, and prayers.
Thank you for the replies to my question about which Ash Wednesday services you would be likely to attend, which showed clear preferences for those two services, and were very helpful.  
Since the YouTube option got only one reply, instead of livestreaming this service we will be directing people to either 
the YouTube of last year’s Ash Wednesday service 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fp2LnlvFqw&t=9s

 

or to the Ash Wednesday Choral Eucharist at St. James Cathedral which will be livestreamed at 6:30 on the 

Diocesan YouTube channel

We hope you will participate in the way that is best for you at this holy time of year.
Grace and peace,
Lucia

Dear St. John’s,

Next Sunday, February 6th, we will be returning to in-person worship at St. John’s in addition to continuing to worship on zoom and with the livestream on YouTube.  Our Sunday worship schedule will return to what it was in December:
8:00 Eucharist with the Book of Common Prayer, without singing
9:00 Morning Prayer with sermon on Zoom
10:30 Eucharist with the Book of Alternative Services, with singing
The 10:30 service will be livestreamed and available on YouTube as well.
We will continue with our protocols of masking, social distancing, and hand sanitizing at the in person services.  
We welcome you to participate in whichever form of worship is best for you and your circumstances
The announcement from our bishops giving each parish the option to return to in-person worship if they choose to do so is below.
Feel free to let me know if you have questions.
Grace and peace,
Lucia

Dear Friends:

Three weeks ago, we made the difficult decision to shut down all in-person worship in the Diocese of Toronto for the remainder of January in response to the unprecedented number of Omicron infections in Ontario. This action was taken in solidarity with the rest of society, including other essential services such as schools, to help stem the rate of infection and protect our fragile health-care system from being overwhelmed. We’re grateful for your understanding and participation as we have worshipped online over the past few weeks.

After prayerful deliberation and consultation, we have determined that as of February 1, 2022, the Diocese of Toronto will return to the “local option”: those parishes who wish to re-open for in-person worship may do so using our Amber Stage Guidelines. Those parishes who wish to continue worshipping online are commended for making that safe and responsible choice.

If your parish would like to re-open, please inform your Regional Dean before doing so. Please note:

Under our most recent Amber Stage Guidelines, updated just before Christmas, all persons present must be masked, regardless of role.
Attendance is limited to that which can be accommodated with physical distancing, up to 50% of total capacity.
It is highly recommended that singing be kept to a minimum.
There can be no vaccine mandate for regularly scheduled Sunday morning services. Additional services, including weddings and funerals, may impose restricted access for attendance if it is pastorally appropriate or desired by the family involved.
Absolutely no one is obliged to re-open or to attend in-person worship if they don’t feel it’s safe to do so. This includes our clergy. If you are a priest or deacon who is feeling pressure to act against your better judgement or in a way that feels unsafe, speak to your bishop. We will support you.

We’re all tired of the revolving door of opening and closing restrictions. As a Church, we want to slowly build back up to a place of full strength, and to that end we’re making our decisions cautiously and prudently. We know that local leaders are facing these same challenges. We can draw comfort from the experience of the early Church, whose members knew that gathering together carried an element of risk, yet believed that it was a worthwhile risk – not a foolish risk. We take this risk with utmost caution and care, confident in God’s great love and providence for the Church as we seek to serve and worship the crucified and risen Christ.

We as your bishops will be praying for each and every parish as you make choices that are right for your community. We are available to consult if you wish to speak with us on these matters.

Yours in Christ,
The College of Bishops