"Daring, Deliberation, and Determination"
When I arrived at St. Paul’s, the first charge to vestry was on "daring, deliberation, and determination". The Gospel summons us to courage and boldness, just as we prayed this morning on the Ember Friday of Lent - our Lord’s promise to "pour out thy Spirit upon all flesh".
Closer to home, Christian daring is our grateful obligation as we build on the courage and vision of the saints of St. Paul’s who, in the last century, refused to go down in ashes and, instead, built a flourishing modern church and seniors residence.
But we must also plan and discern wisely. We can’t do everything, and so we deliberate, carefully testing new opportunities and whether or not the Lord has provided the interest and the necessary human and material resources.
And when we say yes, as the Lord gives us grace to do so, with Christian determination we settle into the mission we’ve been given.
This is very much on my mind as the safety guidelines are being relaxed and as of Easter Sunday (April 17), we will be returning to three services on Sunday mornings at 8.00, 9.15 and 11.15 a.m..
On the one hand, the return to form will be its own large undertaking as we resume the three Sunday morning services and restore the teams of volunteers who support them: servers, readers, intercessors, choir, sidespersons, welcomers, altar guild and Sunday School.
With the return, the weekly recording will be ended and the 11.15 a.m. service will be streamed on Zoom, a recording of which can be viewed later. We already have someone to coordinate this, but other volunteers will be needed.
In May and June we hope to resume the Thursday after-school reading program with a new focus on Math and English. Volunteers are now being recruited. Those two months will give us an idea where we stand and the summer months to plan for the fall.
Also resuming is our large commitment to parish and community music, the steel and strings already active, and hopes for choral music by late spring or fall. And to parish and community youth through our basketball and fellowship programs.
And then there are the new opportunities. Already in place is the Adzua Fellowship, a continuation of our immigrant support program, named in loving memory of Timothy and Terver Adzua. A strong support committee has already formed. Watch for a new dance program which the Fellowship has already spawned.
And tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, March 12, at 2.00 pm, a public meeting will be held in the church to test the interest and viability of an indigenous fellowship at St. Paul’s that would provide a bridge for the indigenous community in Scarborough to both the senior services of St. Paul’s Centre and SPLC, as well as a bridge for young people into our youth programs.
Everyone is welcome. Say a prayer and ask the Lord if he might be leading you. The presentation by Archbishop MacDonald alone will be worth it. And if the idea goes forward, we will need friends to help.
Christian daring, deliberation, and determination. This is our grateful obligation here at St. Paul’s. May the Lord bless us as we reopen, return and rebuild.