|Posted by Canon Linda Nixon on March 17, 2015 at 1:45 AM||comments (0)|
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is hard to believe that Lent is just around the corner, (so is spring!). As Lent is here early let us hope for an early spring!
In our liturgical calendar, (which includes the lectionary - scripture readings, and church seasons marked by the colours of our hangings) the church does some strange things. For instance, the lectionary bounces around from baby Jesus to grown Jesus many times over from
Christmas to Lent. It seems we have barely finished celebrating the birth of Jesus and now we are preparing for his crucifixion.
The liturgical calendar starts with Advent. This marks the beginning of a new year in the church. It then cycles in seasons and special days - Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week -Tridiuum, Easter and Pentecost (which is ordinary time). We may wonder why we do this.
It has been said that the Liturgical Calendar is a tool that kindles the hearts of Christians so that they will remember God’s marvellous plan of salvation and grace that was accomplished through the birth, life, death and rising of Christ, who once again walks the earth in our time and presence.
Walking this way through our faith reminds us of Jesus’ life here on earth, both 2000 some years ago and today.
We are the hands and feet of Christ, we are his body present on earth. His ministry continues through you and me. If that isn’t scary I don’t know what is. It is an awesome responsibility and at the same time it is an awesome privilege!
Lent, I think, is meant to be the five weeks of the year that we really give this some serious thought. So my hope and prayer for us all during this season is that we find something that we really want to learn or experience more in our spiritual journey. Maybe it’s prayer, or reading scripture. Think about joining the Conversation this Easter Season “Making Sense of the Christian Faith”. Being more intentional about learning about our faith and our Christian story can only deepen our relationship with God so that we can serve better.
With regards to service, perhaps we also give serious thought to what it is we are called to do, to accomplish, to become. What are God’s plans for us? Perhaps it is mission work. Perhaps it is serving in the church. Stop and Listen … Where are you being called?
During Lent we see Jesus’s mission and ministry deepening to the point of giving up his life for us. Let us walk with him, so that we may grow in understanding and passion. Lent calls to us so that our love for Jesus and desire to walk with him may be rekindled as we carry his light with us out into the world.
Have a Blessed and Holy Lent as we prepare for the Holiest of Seasons this Easter!
Yours in Christ,
LENTEN CALENDAR of EVENTS
Sun. Mar. 22 8:30 a.m. Holy Communion BCP
Fifth Sunday in Lent 10:00 a.m. Holy Communion BAS
7:30 p.m. Lenten Worship
Wed. Mar. 25 7:00 p.m. Lenten Bible Study with Bishop Terry, Trinity Church Cambridge
Sun. Mar. 29 8:15 a.m. Breakfast
PALM SUNDAY 9:30 a.m. Holy Communion BAS
Wed. Apr. 1 7:00 p.m. Lenten Bible Study with Bishop Terry, All Saints Church Waterloo
Thurs. Apr. 2 6:00 p.m. Pot Luck Seder Supper
MAUNDY THURSDAY 8:00 p.m. Holy Communion, Stripping of the Altar, Foot Washing
Fri. Apr. 3 10:00 a.m. Good Friday Service
GOOD FRIDAY 7:00 p.m. Movie: Jesus Christ Superstar
Sat. Apr. 4 TBA At St. John’s Anglican Church
Sun. Apr. 5 8:30 a.m. Holy Communion BCP
EASTER SUNDAY 10:00 a.m. Holy Communion BAS
|Posted by Canon Linda Nixon on February 1, 2015 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
FROM THE RECTOR’S DESK
Greetings on this, my fourth Vestry at St. James’!
It is hard to believe that the year has gone by this quickly. So much has happened over 2014. I need to break things down so that I can reflect thoroughly so please forgive the length of this epistle and doubly forgive me please if I forget anyone or anything!
In the past year together and most recently I want to thank you for making Christmas so special here at St. James’. I especially thank the children for their wonderful presentation! Thank you to the teachers and creators of this retelling of the Christmas story. I especially love that there was a character with such a skeptical personality. She made me laugh, after all don’t we all have thoughts like that from time to time? Bill and I also want to thank all of you for your generous outpouring of gifts, cards and support this past year and at Christmas. Your thoughtful and kind gestures are humbling and greatly appreciated!
As every year passes there are meetings and partings. We are delighted to welcome many new people who have joined our community here at St. James’ over this past year. Please be looking for info about our second new-comers welcoming service. It was a wonderful time last year and will be where we officially welcome you as a community.
We’ve also had to say goodbye to some of our loved ones. We miss them so much. I know that grief has many ways of sweeping through our lives. The loss of close loved ones is particularly difficult. But even when we’re not related our close friends and co-workers are loved and missed, as well.
This year the Blue Christmas tree especially touched my heart as I read all of your loved ones’ names. I hold you and your love for your loved ones in prayer. Be gentle with yourselves in the losses we’ve shared. And to the best of our ability let us always give thanks for the cherished memories we hold.
Again this year join with me in offering a shout out to Wendy Muir in our office. She keeps many balls in the air for us! Wendy’s second year anniversary was Hallowe’en. I’m thankful for an auspicious date so I never forget to be appreciative!
As much as the office keeps us on an even keel, I must thank the Parish Council of 2014 for their diligence, honesty and openness as we made decisions over the past year. Our meetings of Parish Council discuss the life and health of St. James’ spiritually, as well as financially. Their collective wisdom and experience continues to be a blessing to me as we minister in this place.
This year we will be sending Ian Robertson off to new ministries among us as he steps down from being our treasurer. A huge thank you, Ian, for such complete and faithful service on our council. We welcome now Christine Peynado as our new treasurer and thank her for taking this important role on our behalf. Blessings on you both as you continue to use your gifts and skills.
A very special thanks to the many hours your wardens have given above and beyond Parish Council. Their counsel and commitment to St. James’ has been invaluable.
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There are so many people who keep St. James’ running I want to thank each of you for all you provide by the way of either leadership and or hard work. We are very blessed to have these strong teams in a variety of leadership roles here at St. James’.
Every week there are between 35-50 people who keep St. James’ vibrant. From greeters and sides-people, readers and intercessors, lay-administrants and servers, Chancel, choir and children’s ministries leaders, to coffee hour and nursery, bulletin folders and everything else that goes into making each week great…Thank you! We simply couldn’t function without you!!
Thank you to all who provide our musical ministry; the Choir and all facsimiles (maybe the word is ensembles?)…Annetta and Bill, occasional musicians Yvonne Birtch, Sandi Sherk and Diane O’Krafka, and our young people who offer their talents as well! (I’d name you all but I am terrified of leaving someone out, please forgive me.) Your gift of musical talent enhances our worship so much!
Thank you to the team who cares for our finances. Sometime we forget all the hours and faithful service to keep our records and receipts in order. Therefore, a huge thank you is in order to our counters and Envelope Secretaries. Margaret Robertson and Tom Sloane, who have been here every week for years, now have help from Jean Kent and Billie Hall-Francis to help keep everything running smooth for our Envelope Secretaries Clairene Bazilio and Mike Johnson.
This past year our Butterfly Garden was an incredible success and we won first prize for our design, educational components and contribution to helping the pollinators in our area. Thank you to this team for all their hard work and creative planning! As it was dedicated in memory of Bev Lovell we gave thanks to all our gardeners, past and present, for caring for our little portion of creation.
Thank you to the men of the parish for your hard work and dedication to our building and our social gatherings for St. James’ and the community as a whole! We all truly appreciate your wisdom and leadership, abilities to fix and repair, lug and lift, organize and plan, and all the other things that you do to bless this parish family!
A special thanks for the Christmas Trees Sales project! Poles, banners and lights highlight our presence in this community during our successful campaign. We thank Hans Nieuwenhuis for his leadership this year as well as all those who volunteered (Steve Tuck gets a shout out too) to make this a successful fundraiser for the Church again this year. We need and appreciate everyone who comes out to help. Please be looking for ways that you can consider being involved next year.
Thank you to all the women of the parish for all the hard work and dedication that you bring to the life of St. James’! From the weekly commitments of Chancel and ACW to the special events and fundraisers, the extra hours you generously give St. James’ with your gifts and talents truly bless this parish family!
A special thanks for the Bazaar in October, a busy project! We welcome the community into our midst for a time of pre-Christmas shopping, with crafts and treasures, food and fellowship! Thanks to all the volunteers who make this happen!
To all of you for your support of outreach projects, thank you. You have provided cards, food, gifts and monies to those who need to know that someone, and God cares. It is very important that we care for one another and also most important that we care for those outside of our four walls. Thank you for doing that.
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We had our third annual New Year’s family video dance to mark the arrival of 2015. A big thank you to Bill Nixon and Rod and Stella for their help, and all those who saved bubble wrap! You made an evening of fun, food, fellowship and dance!!! It truly was a fantastic night and we look forward to next year!
Thank you to Mike Savoy and Bill Nixon for building, launching and updating our web page! I still have to get in the habit of updating it more regularly but please check it out.
Thank you, as well, to Mike and Bill for the computer support in our offices. Just a reminder that we have our own radio station! Well not really a station but now you can tune into the service on 88.1 FM as long as you are close to the building! (But wouldn’t it be cool if it reached the arena?!! )
Thank you to Carina Hackett for helping out with the nursery co-ordination and all those who care for our little ones. Thank you, as well, to all those who have contributed to the updates in our room for our little ones.
Finally, I want to thank you, the members of our St. James’ family, for your on-going faith and the stewardship support of your Church through your giving of time, talent and financial means.
As 2015 begins, let us renew our commitment to our faith in Christ, in ourselves and in each other. Your frequent attendance at worship, as well as your support of our Church activities; contributing to our mission to our neighbouring community, as well as around the world, are ways to exercise our faith and discipleship.
As we “reflect backward” over the past year it is amazing how many people are involved on a regular basis to keep the life of St. James’ rich and fruitful! But as we are the living body of the living Christ it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Each of us has our gifts and skills, our talents and resources and when pooled together amazing things can happen, as our doxology says “whose power working in us can do more than we can ask or imagine”!
This past year our capital campaign was a huge success and we are on the brink of seeing the fruits of our labour. Thank you all so much for your generosity! The remodeling is coming together nicely and we thank you for your comments, questions and concerns. Through everyone’s incite, plans have been revised, tweaked and I believe the project will be completed with the best of ideas as part of the design. Thank you!
The wardens have listed this past year’s accomplishments and I am hesitant to repeat them, but please take note of all you have accomplished. You are a wonderful congregation and I am blessed to be with you.
As we “journey forward” we also find ourselves blessed by those who have decided to join us here at St. James’. Welcome to all of you, thank you for choosing to walk in faith with us!
We have much to look forward to and there are ideas out there we haven’t heard yet I’m sure!.
I really would like to see a renewal of our “thespians”, those who would like to participate in liturgy in a fun and informative way through acting out our stories.
It is my plan to continue to focus on the 5 Marks of Mission. Our involvement with the pollination garden is directly connected with the 5th Mark. As a reminder the Marks are:
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To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom To teach, baptise and nurture new believers To respond to human need by loving service To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
This year it would be wonderful to see our community involvement grow again and address the other four head on. It would be good to discover where and what needs are really out there. How can we be Christ to others, our neighbours, our world?
There will be opportunity to learn more about our faith, our scriptures, our personal and shared journeys with Christ. Please, as you see evenings or other opportunity for workshops, conversations, readings, take advantage as best you can. We are called to grow in wisdom and stature just as Christ did.
If you are interested in being involved in any of the above ways or have other ideas, please speak to me, write an email or note. If you would like to try your hand at any of the ministries we have listed, do be in touch. I know God has blessed you all with amazing gifts and skills and creativity, you just may not have realized it yet!
Let’s, in the coming years, take the bushel basket off and let our lights shine here in Hespeler and Cambridge and beyond!
I have risked missing something or someone, and for that I truly apologize. The editor of this missal needs my report, so I truly seek forgiveness if I have been remiss. We have so much to be proud of and thankful for!
As in all parishes and families, the past year has brought joy and sorrow. May we continue to lift all of the concerns of our parish family members up in our hearts and prayers. Pray we continue to be a blessing to each other as we walk in faith together.
As I continue in my ministry journey with you, I also must thank my family for all their love and support.
God’s blessings and peace be with you all in 2015!
Yours in Christ, Canon Linda
|Posted by Canon Linda Nixon on December 7, 2014 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
Happy Advent everyone!
This past year has gone by very quickly! We have much to be thankful for and still so much to look forward to!
It is in that looking ahead that sometimes we forget to look at the present. Advent is a season in the church that has the intention of asking us to slow down and think about the moment, the right now.
Yes it is preparation for the birth of Jesus, but so much happened in that waiting period so long ago that we need moments to take it all in. Taking it all in, means better understanding of what happened then and what it means for us.
The bumper sticker campaign, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” is only useful if you know who Jesus is and the what, when, where, why and who of the situation. Otherwise it can seem like an inside code. Why is Jesus the reason is a perfectly honest question in today’s world. So many people have not heard the story of Jesus from beginning to end.
Advent is meant to be the time to help break the code. Get to know the story of Jesus’ birth from the beginning. Look at each of the players from different perspectives.
This advent story really begins with Elizabeth and Zechariah. Poor Zechariah, a priest struck speechless. (personally I can’t imagine) These two living lives similar to Sarah and Abraham are blessed by a visit from the angel Gabriel and their lives change for ever. We see that a lot in our Bible stories. God or God’s angel visit and your life is forever changed.
Joseph and Mary take a starring role in the stories for Advent. Their lives too are changed in many challenging ways. John the Baptist, now there’s a character for you, how could we ever relate to him? Emperor Augustus, the people of Judea, the shepherds and angels, the innkeepers who turned Mary away and the one who shared the stable are all important players in our foundational Christmas story. Of course we carry the story on to the visit of the Magi as well so they are important, too.
Through the richness of our scripture we meet amazing people. Advent is a call to step back and get to know them. It is an opportunity to take time to see if there are parallels in your life to theirs.
So I encourage you to sit with these Advent stories and reflect on how God has changed your life, how God has blessed your life, and how we are called to respond.
There will be services on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 in the evening (see schedule) where we will get an opportunity to be still, listen, reflect and pray.
It is my hope that we can journey through Advent in celebration, thanksgiving and deeper understanding so that our Christmas will be even more meaningful each year.
God Bless each of you and those you love and cherish, this day and always!
In the peace of Christ,
|Posted by Canon Linda on July 24, 2014 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Wow! It sure has been a busy summer so far! Two weeks of "Brick Works Academy" hosted here! What a fabulous camp. Fifty eight young people attended. The camp is based on Lego and the creative ablitily that it provokes. From programing to building robotics and stop animation to just good fun and games, these weeks were amazing. We look forward to hosting next year!
As I type the giggles and happy activities of 40 girls who are attending "Girls Rock" punctuate the environment here at St. James! It is a pleasure to host these young woment as they nurture self esteem and learn a variety of skills. They sing and dance, write skits and have fun and games too!
It will be really quiet in August!
It is always our prayer that our young people, at St. James, in our neighbourhood and beyond are given opportunity for growth and development in a safe atmosphere. We are happy to be one of those places.
I hope your summer is going great. Our services each week are a little different during the summer... same times but sometimes themed. Our next Ice Cream Sundae Sunday is August 17th and we encourage everyone to dress as their favourite sport. Show your support for your team!
Have a fun safe and happy summer!
Yours in Christ,
|Posted by Canon Linda on March 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
This is March 12th our snowy days have returned after a brief taste of plus temperatures and sunshine. It does make for a long winter and the feeling that spring will never come. But it will. We who have been round long enough know that "this too shall pass". It isn't easy for some of us to be patient or accepting of the fate Mother Nature is delivering however there is new life just waiting for the right moment to spring out.
Much of life is like that....as long as we are on this earth there is always a chance for new life.
As we prepare during Lent for the coming of Easter... it is good to remind ourselves, that regardless of what lies behind new life awaits.
The death and resurrection of Jesus tells us that there is always hope.... hope even in death. New beginings await us in this life and in the life to come. It is difficult sometimes to see that things will get better, especially when they appear to be getting worse. It often takes time and patience.
My prayer today is especially for those in the midst of difficult or trying times. May God surround you in the peace of knowing that things will get better. New life will come again.
|Posted by Canon Linda on February 28, 2014 at 1:10 PM||comments (0)|
The interesting thing about Lent is that not many people observe it anymore. It used to be an almost exciting time where people planned what they were giving up or adding to their routines. We challenged each other, dared each other to last over the six weeks to Easter with our goals.
Six weeks.... give up chocolate, eat fish on Fridays, drop coins in a box every day .... NO TV! Scary!
Well this year I challenge you to make plans for Lent. Maybe it could be adding something to your day (rather than taking something away) for six weeks. They, who ever they are, say that it only takes three weeks to create or correct a habit. If thats true then the last three weeks of Lent should be easy!!!
You know what I'm going to suggest adding don't you! Reading scripture, routine prayer, spending time just being or hanging out with God. You may be surprised how relaxing and refreshing those times can be. Perhaps adding a random act of kindness to the daily routine for all of Lent would be a good idea, think of the good you can do for others.
However, what ever you choose to do, or not do, for Lent I pray that you do find a holiness that is new, maybe even exciting. Lent is a time to create new habits, its to be a form of self-discipline that purposefully takes us closer to God. Thats why giving up chocolate isn't on my radar, it would just make me cranky. But doing something that brings me closer to God gives me a lift!
My prayer for you is to have Holy thought provoking, habit changing and Blessed Lent!
|Posted by Canon Linda on December 24, 2013 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
It is my prayer for all to have a still moment in this busy season. I hope you have time to be quiet and listen for the rustle of angels wings, the hint of a new born baby's cry. In the midst of the chaos that becomes Christmas may you see the Christ child. He shows up in the most amazing places.
In the faces of neighbours family and friends. On the news in the midst of disaster as people help people over come. In the stillness of the air on a moonlit night.
There is a Nigerian proverb that goes something like this.... Be still. Listen. If you listen hard enough you will hear the foot falls of ants.
Maybe we wont hear ants but I hope that we will hear the calm still voice of God reminding us "Emmanuel" God is with us. Through the blessed birth of Jesus we know.... Emmanuel.
May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with you and yours this Christmas time and always.
|Posted by Canon Linda Nixon on November 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM||comments (0)|
Greetings as we enter this Blessed Season of Advent! The season of new beginnings!
Another year has marched past!. There are so many thoughts and memories of 2013 as the year begins to wind down. The weird thing in the church is that we are actually winding up as we enter the new liturgical church calendar!
Advent has often been thought of as a season of waiting!!! Waiting for Christmas, waiting in line ups, waiting for confirmation that guests are coming, then waiting for their arrival…. Wait, wait, wait!! But in reality, I find it a season where I want it to slow down, it goes by way to fast!! Before we know it the Pageant is over, the Lessons and Carols sung, Christmas Eve has come and gone…. Ahh…. Slow down!!!
Are you feeling harried too? I think the one thing we long for… time… has to be the most elusive gift in the busyness and bustle of Christmas preparations. And why is that? Where did the quiet image of a long journey ending tucked in a stable go?
It is lost in the commercial and economic dictates of our society.
Lost in the competitive structures that dictate that the one with the most toys wins.
Lost in the focus on perfection, everything must be just right, we have to make sure everyone is happy.
So what’s a body to do?
We would all like to slow down, make time stand still, but it doesn’t often work that way. Our obligations to family, work and friends keeps the calendars full.
But we also as Christian people have an obligation to Christ. We need to take time to reflect, to pray, to read about him. At Christmas this would be a great gift….it is his birthday after all.
Christmas/Advent takes us to the beginning of our Christian faith journey’s history. It’s an introduction to God’s planning of giving us this gift of Jesus. It’s a moment in time to reflect on our roots.
You will hear the following mantra in the next few weeks and over the course of next year.
Scripture, prayer and mission.
These fundamentals are what make up our faith. These practices help us slow down. They remind us what our faith is all about.
It doesn’t take long to pause and reflect, connect our world experience to the gift of our faith.
Over the next few weeks, I encourage you to ponder the symbolism of all that we do. Think about the characters in Jesus’ birth story, why are they important? Who do you relate to the most? Share your insights and stories with your friends. I pray you may have Blessed and enlightening conversations!
May your Advent journey bring enlightenment, renewed hope, renewed joy and deep peace.
Yours in Christ,
|Posted by Canon Linda Nixon on September 19, 2013 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
Notes from the Rector’s Desk
Holy Doodle it’s August!!!
Thank you to all who have volunteered over the summer in all of the roles that makeour church work like a well-oiled machine!
As we begin to regroup for the fall, I am able to reflect on scripture that tells us Christ said “I came to give you life and give it to you abundantly”…. “that my joy may be complete in you”. Fun, laughter and joy are all part of our spiritual journey, a blessing that feeds our soul.It feeds us in ways that are like that “peace that passes all understanding”. It becomes a deep wellto draw upon during the trials and challenges, grief and loss that will come our way.
I thank God that here in our St. James community we have and continue to help sustain one another through difficult times. Therefore, I pray that you have been refreshed, renewed and re-energizedin the healing grace of warm weather, perhaps a different if not slower pace,and sharing time with friends and family.
Just before we began our summer time breaks, Clare Stewart resigned as warden. As many of you know Clare has faithfully served in the Wardens role for a few years now! At this time Clare has indicated that her time needs more accessibility to be with her family after her brother suffered a major stroke. Clare will continue in her roles as a Lay Reader and Server, as well as helping with Christian Education from time to time. So we thank her for her service asa warden and wish her all the best in continued study and service in other capacities!
With Clare’s stepping down from an appointed position, I have appointed Jenn Tuck as Rector’s Warden. I am very pleased that Jenn agreed to take on this role! I thank Jenn specifically for her leadership in the updated “Girls” washroom.It’s great!
Thank you, once again, to all our wonderful and faithful people who serve us here at St. James so well! You are a blessing!
I also look forward to and pray that the year ahead will be filled with spiritual blessings of fellowship, food, learning and many ways to exercise our faith. May we continue to support one another, our community and beyond!
Looking ahead, the month of September is full of activity, both for the soul and the body! We begin with “Gathering” Sunday on September 8th. This kicks off a newyear of ministry here at St. James! All of our programs and groups begin again,as well as a few “new” or “renewed” initiatives.
On the 8th the youth and children are invited to bring their back packs and/orbicycles to church for a service of Blessing. This is to remind us all, that God is with us no matter where we are. (If you or you know of someone who needs assistance getting supplies for school please contact Canon Linda on her cell 226-218-7484).
Also,on this Sunday the Anglican Churches in Cambridge (ACIC) will be hosting here at St. James, the now Annual ACIC BBQ for all of our parishioners and friends. Please stay after church or rejoin us at 12:30 pm on September the 8th and eat and be entertained by local musicians and more!
The Annual Corn Roast returns on September 14th. This feast is enjoyed with food prepared by the men of our parish, aswell as contributions from the rest of us. Please see the write up in this newsletter.
September 29th is Back to Church Sunday! This special day is celebrated throughout the Anglican communion, not only in our diocese but in many places around the world! Thousands of people across the UK have returned to church, courtesy ofthis simple gesture; ask! Please see more information in this newsletter! It is the Alzheimer Coffee Hour hosted by the ACW this Sunday, as well.
And now, the fall isn’t just all about Sundays …. Please read more about the groups and other events listed in the newsletter. There are more events to come as the year progresses!
Please do drop by or call in at the office. Orif you would like, I’d be happy to visit you in your home.
Every Blessing as the fall unfolds before you. See you in church and beyond!
Yours in the peace of Christ,