This Sunday, I have prayed with people who have been deeply affected by discrimination; because of their sexuality or gender identity and because of the colour of their skin.
Today is our Diocesan celebration of PRIDE and this week has seen the largest protests giving voice to the injustice and oppressive experience of Black people since the 60’s.
So I want to begin this week’s email blast with two ‘affirmations’:
Saint James Church is a community of faith where we hope all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities will find a place to belong, a safe, welcoming and affirming space, where we may together experience the fierce love of God as we live fully into the people God has made us to be.
Saint James Church is a community of faith that stands in solidarity with all those who protest injustice and who experience discrimination; especially our Black, indigenous, newcomer communities and all people of colour. We denounce racism in all its forms. We acknowledge our privilege and repent of our failures, and pray for ever changing hearts to be part of the work for justice, dignity and hope.
A MESSAGE FROM THE METROPOLITAN
Rt. Rev. Anne Germond, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical province of Ontario, issued a letter this past week on behalf of the whole house of Bishops of our Province (which includes 7 Diocese), confirming that our church buildings will remain closed until at least September of this year and will be reviewed closer to the time as conditions for gathering become more clear.
Please note that while it is clear church will be forever changed by this time of pandemic, there has been lots of speculation about what that will mean and we won't know until we live into our new realities slowly and safely and take special care to pay attention to the opportunities for mission that this time has given us.
If you have not yet done so, check out our Diocesan celebration of PRIDE on the Diocesan Facebook or Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DslYkwwuIkU&t=28s
READING THE BIBLE:
Each week our email blast lists 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 8th Matthew 5.1-12
Tuesday 9th Luke 10.17-20 (Columba, Abbot of Iona 597)
Wednesday 10th Matthew 5.17-19
Thursday 11th Matthew 10.7-16 (Saint Barnabus)
Friday 12th Matthew 5.27-32
Saturday 13th Matthew 5.33-37
Sunday 14th Matthew 9.35-10.8, Join Bishop Susan at 10am on Facebook
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!
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.
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.
ONLINE COFFEE HOUR
This Wednesday 10th June 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