When I was in theological college, one of the first things we were taught was the importance of establishing firm routines. I remember my theology professor's main point. Interruptions will come, but not as often as you might think. In the meantime, good daily routines make possible the most important things in life: like managing a cattle and grain farm, which my parents taught me; like learning a complex subject, which my teachers taught me; like maturing in the faith, which I have been taught by the ordinary saints in whose company I've had the fortune to live my life.
That, to say two things. The first is practical. For most of us right now, our routines have been turned on their head, but we can adapt. Regular hours to begin and end the day; regular hours for work and play at home; regular hours to eat.
The second thing is that attention to the ordinary course of life is a special trait in the Anglican tradition, particularly through the practice of keeping the daily offices - by learning to give thanks and to pray for ourselves and others at the ordinary divisions of each day - morning, noon, and evening.
The trivial round, the common task,
Will furnish all we ought to ask,
Room to deny ourselves, a road
To bring us daily nearer God.
Only, O Lord, in Thy dear love
Fit us for perfect rest above;
And help us this, and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray.
(John Keble, from the poem, "O timely happy, timely wise.")
Which is a long-winded way to say that, half-measure as it may be, Morning Prayer will now be offered through Zoom, and you are welcome to join.
*Morning Prayer Resumes
The regular schedule of Morning Prayer according to the Book of Common Prayer resumes tomorrow at 7.30 a.m.. You are welcome and may participate by phone, mobile or internet. It's short and simple, but a proven path and one of the gems in the Anglican tradition.
Here's the way in:
Topic: Morning Prayer
Time: Apr 1, 2020 07:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Computer Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/924588539
Meeting ID: 924 588 539
One tap mobile
Meeting ID: 924 588 539
*Our website is now clean and clear of all troubles: www.stpl.ca
My sincere thanks to Zach and the technical support we received at www.Blacksun.ca.
Our Holy Week schedule is greatly modified this year, but we may also experience its truths more deeply.
Three simple gatherings by remote are planned:
Palm Sunday - 10.30 a.m. - The Rev'd Dr. Annette Brownlee
Good Friday - 10.30 a.m. - Fr. Ajit John
Easter Sunday - 10.30 a.m. - Fr. DeanMercer
The link to each service will be available on the website.
In a very difficult time for churches who depend on regular services and their regular events for financial support, "CanadaHelps" is a Canadian charity that helps make online giving possible for charities, safely and securely. We are now registered with CanadaHelps and you can find the online form on the "Giving" page of the website. We also have forms availablefor registering with our "Pre-Authorized Giving" program. Or, church envelopes can be mailed in or dropped off. From what I have been told, giving has been generous in March through a very difficult season.
*Friday Night Bible Study Resumes
The online service "Zoom" offers a free service for group meetings. People can access it using a computer, a smartphone or a regular phone. The Friday night Bible studies on Matthew will carry on. If you'd like to join, even if you haven't done so previously, please respond to me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send you the instructions and the link later this week. This week's lesson is taken from Matthew 21:33 - 22:46. It is Lesson 19 in the study guide, "Matthew for Everyone" by Tom Wright.
*These notes have all been posted on our website blog:
*Office hours are effectively suspended, but the answering service works fine and we'll reply to phone calls and e-mail a.s.a.p..
*We are updating our email contact information as quickly as possible. If you know someone who would like to receive these notes from me, please have them pass along their email addresses. And if not, kindly let us know.
*Of greatest immediate concern is the welfare of any member who is frail and those, young and old, who are on their own. Please check in with those you know. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are aware of anyone in need or distress.
*A basic schedule of services continues at the church: the daily offices, Friday Bible study and a Sunday eucharist. On Sundays at 10.30 a.m., every member is invited to pause in prayer for the parish. This can be done on one's own or you may follow along a video, found on the church website.
*The financial needs of the parish remain and your faithful support is sought - through the mail service or the Pre-Authorized Giving Program. We now have an online means of giving through CanadaHelps, here: https://stpl.ca/give.html
*The clergy of St. Paul's are all in the vicinity. If any one of us can be of service, don't hesitate to call or write.
Church website www.stpl.ca
Church phone: 416-499-1545
Church email: email@example.com
Fr. Dean Mercer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rectory phone: 416-497-6352
God bless you.
Fr. Dean Mercer+