Come Holy Spirit!!
I’m writing this email Sunday afternoon after joining with some of our parish online watching the Diocesan Pentecost celebration and now I’m waiting for the provincial video celebration to start. As one of our parish council mentioned during our meeting last week ‘this time is making the church connect and come together’ and I have to agree- I think its raised awareness of the other regions of our Diocese as Archdeacons and Regional Deans have helped Bishop Susan lead our Sunday prayers and today we were able to hear our Acts reading in Spanish and our Gospel in Mandarin, giving us a reminder of the wonderful diversity of the Church of God here in Niagara and beyond.
In the story of Acts the disciples are given first ‘the gift of tongues’ which is a primary way of breaking down boundaries between peoples. This Pentecost we may be acutely aware that barriers exist in so many ways- sometimes because of prejudice and hatred and ignorance, sometimes because of apprehension of difference or mistrust. Sometimes the barriers are between ages or generations and sometimes between races. Always though, at the root is fear.
Our faith reminds us that ‘perfect love drives out fear’ (1John 4.18), let us pray fervently in this time of ‘distancing’ that through actively loving our neighbour we may drive out fear and division and extinguish hatred and that the light of the holy spirit may banish the darkness of ignorance and prejudice from our lives and communities and we may be brought together by the Spirit, one in the image of God. Amen.
Pax et Bonum,
SUNDAY 7th JUNE: PRIDE
Next Sunday is TRINITY SUNDAY- remember to join Bishop Susan at 10am to celebrate!
It is also the day we are marking ‘PRIDE’ and celebrating the diversity of our 2SLGBTQIA+ family in the church. A special service will be streamed via the Diocesan Facebook and YouTube at 3pm next Sunday and is titled ‘FIERCELY LOVED’!
SUPPORTING US ONLINE
As we have leaned heavily on online resources to allow us to worship and pray together during this time, we have also seen the opportunity for churches to make lots of connections with the wider community for whom Social Media is an important means of communication and community awareness. If you are on Facebook or some other social media platform you can support the mission of the church in some really simple ways:
1) Leave a REVIEW on the Facebook page saying in a few words why your church is so important to you and why others should join us.
2) SHARE a video, or post that you find inspiring from our church so your friends and connections can see it and connect with us.
3) INVITE friends to ‘like’ or follow our Facebook page.
4) LISTEN and SHARE our podcast via SoundCloud or by posting a link to the front page of our website.
5) Encourage others to JOIN US ON ZOOM on Wednesday 10am for our online Coffee Hour Chat.
6) SHARE the Diocesan Service each Sunday to your page.
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS……
Have you got lots of questions about faith, the bible, or church that you’d love to have some kind of answer to? What Christians believe? What some of our traditions or symbols mean? Why we do certain things in church? Mike would like to start a regular video where he can answer some of those questions- so please email them in. Don’t be embarrassed- if you’ve wondered it, so has someone else and frankly Mike might like to know too!
The ADC (Association of Dundas Churches) met this past week, the first time on ZOOM. We have agreed to delay our AGM until November. We give thanks for Anne Washington and Norma Coe for representing Saint James with our local Christian family.
Mike offers a time of quiet prayer at the end of each day via our Church Facebook page at 8pm Monday-Friday. The ‘video’ stays on the page so you can visit it later in the evening if there’s a better time for you to join us in prayer.
READING THE BIBLE:
Starting this week, each email blast will list daily readings for the week for those who want to take some time each day to reflect on the scriptures. The suggested readings are the Gospel reading appointed in the daily lectionary for the celebration of the Eucharist. This week:
Monday Luke 1.39-57 (Feast of the Visit of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth)
Tuesday Mark 12.13-17
Wednesday Mark 12.18-27
Thursday Mark 12.28-34
Friday Mark 12.35-37
Saturday Mark 12.38-44
Sunday- Next Sunday is TRINITY Sunday; join Bishop Susan Via Facebook or YouTube.
Each week, Mike produces a podcast- a 10 minute time of hearing the Gospel reading of the week, with a reflection. This week’s podcast is a reflection on the story of Pentecost and can be heard from the front page of our church website or via SoundCloud, clicking the link below:
Do you have the ability to record yourself reading scripture or prayers on a webcam or phone camera and to get that file to Mike via a cloud? I’d love to be able to feature many voices in forthcoming videos and podcasts; please email Mike to let him know if you are able and willing to help.
We are currently planning to relaunch our community dinners as a ‘drive through’ option starting later this month, to support the growing number of people experiencing food insecurity at this time. There will be strict protocols in place for this and kitchen volunteers will be limited and assigned times and tasks. We are working alongside Grace Valley Church and we are being guided by our Diocese. Please contact Nora Clevenger if you are able to make a financial contribution towards the cost of offering these meals or drop it off in the mailbox at church.
ONLINE COFFEE HOUR
This Wednesday 20th May, 10am-11am we’ll host an online ‘Coffee Hour’. To take part in this you’ll need to sign into ZOOM which is a conferencing software. Go to http://zoom.com/ . You can click ‘Join a Meeting’ in the top right-hand corner and enter the meeting number and password, or simply click on the link below.
For those unused to using this software, a few notes:
· Only one person can speak at a time, so the host (Mike) will invite you to speak.
· It is considered polite to ‘mute’ your microphone when you are not speaking otherwise background noise from your home can confuse those listening.
· There are different ways to ‘view’ the meeting – by clicking ‘gallery view’ when you join the meeting you can see everyone present.
· It is very different to meeting in person so be prepared to be patient the first time you use this and we get used to this way of meeting.
· If you have technical questions about using Zoom please contact Bob Morrow.
· PLEASE USE YOUR REAL NAME so we know who is joining each meeting.
Here are the details you need:
Topic: SAINT JAMES ONLINE COFFEE HOUR
10am Wednesday 3rd June 2020
To join Zoom Meeting, click here:
Meeting ID: 826 0575 7834