Let's Stay Connected - Wednesday, April 8, 2020

posted by Gary van der Meer   [ updated ]

Dear Friends,

Today is Wednesday in Holy Week, or Holy Wednesday - a day with its own traditions. In the Anglican Journal, Kate Crane's article tells us what to do: Spring cleaning: Holy Wednesday’s transformative tradition. Crane realizes this has been a Lent like no other, so we might not know where to begin. "Cleaning happens when I recognize that something new is emerging out of my previous circumstances, habits and familiar stimuli... It always seems that without a deep clean, or some similar rearrangement of worldly objects, new realities might not arrive." Read more... 

Now that I am staying in, things I overlooked before are so obvious that I can't stand them! I am cleaning. Little by little, something is happening to me while I do it. I walk in the door and I am so grateful. It's as if clean space is space for new thoughts. 

And so my thoughts turn to Jesus. We are in a new place, ready for new insights into his final days that speak especially to our situation and our times.       Gary+

Holy Week Schedule
Maundy Thursday, April 9, VIDEO: 4:00 p.m. / ZOOM: 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday, April 10, VIDEO: 10:30 a.m. / ZOOM: 2:00 p.m.
Holy Saturday, April 11, VIDEO 4:00 p.m. / ZOOM: 7:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 12, VIDEO: 10:30 a.m. / ZOOM: 2:00 p.m.

It's a story we know but not the way we have ever shared it before. I hope you will join us. Let's learn and live it together:

YouTube: You can watch all the videos here.

Zoom: For each day, you will receive an invitation email with the password. You can join either using your computer or your phone.

Props: These items will be helpful as we meet together online.
  • Thursday: Bread & Wine/Grape Juice. Jesus shared these with his disciples and we will share them while we are together. 
  • Friday: A Cross. I hope you have one you can use. You can also make one by watching this wonderful demonstration video from our friends at St. Chad's Anglican Church (Dufferin & St. Clair)
  • Saturday: A Candle. Food and Drink. We start this service with all your lights out. We will light our candles together. We will turn on all our lights together. Once the lights are on, we share the Resurrection Party for the rest of the service.
  • Sunday: A Flower. And Chocolate (if you like chocolate?)
***Please invite your friends by forwarding the "Invitation to Online Worship" emails.

A Message from our Archbishop Anne Germond 

Archbishop Germond encourages us in her video to change our church signs for Easter to express our "gratitude for workers in all essential services: Hospital workers, grocery clerks, garbage collectors... We are thankful for them all." She recommends that all churches ring their bells at 9:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday. We don't have bells, but we are going to have the organ playing and the doors open. And I will be on the steps and ringing my little bell!

*By way of background: Archbishop Germond is the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario (which is made up of the Dioceses of Toronto, Ontario, Ottawa, Niagara, Huron, Algoma, Moosonee), of which she is also the Bishop of Algoma and Moosonee. The Archbishop is elected from among the bishops of these seven dioceses. Archbishop Germond was born and raised in South Africa and came to Canada in 1986. She visited St. Anne's in January 2019, shortly after being elected.

Service to those in Need

Thanks to everyone who dropped off food for the Oasis Dufferin Food Bank. They have had a great response but the need continues. Please continue to bring food directly to Oasis, 1219 Dufferin Street, on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Ring buzzer at the Hallam Street entrance). Please note that financial donations make more sense - less handling and cleaning of items - and you can do that directly here.

*If you are in need of food and live within the Oasis catchment area, you can get food Wednesdays - 9:30 to 12:30.

Hand-sewn Masks

Oasis Dufferin needs Face Masks! We need volunteers to make them. Here are two easy patterns for you to try.

Easter Egg Hunt

Our City Councilor for Davenport, Ana Bailao, has changed the annual Easter Egg Hunt due to COVID-19 restrictions - in a way for all to join in: "I have also launched the Davenport Easter Egg Hunt! event. Due to the challenges we are facing this year, we are trying something a little different and sharing our celebrations online through a #DavenportEggHunt social media community event! Let's come together as a community to draw, colour or create our very own eggs and then share them with our neighbours by placing them in our windows or porches. If you take a photo and tag me on social media @AnaBailaoTO using the hashtag #DavenportEggHunt, I will be sure to share it with the whole community!  
*Colour some eggs! 

Interfaith Learning Evening

This year Holy Week and Passover overlap. On the Tuesday after Easter Rabbi Elyse Goldstein will join us on Zoom for 
"Explore, Compare & Discover Passover & Easter" 
Here's a 3 minute video preview. (I made it - my first iMovie...Gary) Tuesday, April 14, 7:00 p.m.

This week's photos were taken by Joy Yu, especially her most recent pictures from Christmas at St. Anne's.

And one more of Joy with her husband Jared Zhai. We await Joy's safe return from China.


From Sharron Le Blanc:
A poem by Toronto's Poet Laureate, Al Moritz:

Thoughts in Time of Plague

When we set out, we knew
many would die on the way.
And yet, the journey was joyous.

When we made our home we knew
many would die there. And yet we loved
that house. All the views from its windows
we named “beauty”.

When we went down the road,
the light was different every mile.
What could be behind those mute windows
with sometimes a peering eye, what pleasure
in those almost empty gardens, what unknown work
in the factories, birds in the dense wood?

When dawn came in our bedroom
or we woke too late in the old
shattered kitchen amid food scraps, empty bottles,
didn’t our memory burn deeper? — the same
old scar, flaming anew, shifting, unmoved.

And when we were trembling by the sick
that we loved and feared — so many — was it different?
Whether on the road with nowhere
to lay them down, or in the room with nowhere
else to take them… When we had to watch
the threatened breathing or leave it
to go to work. When we had to hear they had died

without us — was it different? No. No different.
Except that we saw something we always knew
in the dark. Failure was not
and success had never been
the end. The end was care.

Rest in Peace 

We give thanks for the life of 
Joseph (Dan) Bancroft - November 28, 1928 - April 5, 2020. 

Dan was born and raised in Barbados. He studied law and accounting in England before coming to Canada to join his sisters in Toronto. He joined St. Anne's in the 1960s and was an active parishioner as a reader and auditing the church financial reports. He worked for the City of Toronto and retired from his final role as Chief Auditor for City Hall in 1994. At this time, we pray for his family, especially remembering his sisters who are part of our St. Anne's family, Myrtle Bancroft, Doreen Bancroft and Wendy Graham - and also their families. There will be a graveside service on Saturday, April 13. Attendance is limited by COVID-19 restrictions. 

Rest eternal grant to him, O God. 
And let light perpetual shine upon him.


We continue to pray for those in need. Please send any names you would like to add to our daily prayers. The following prayer is from the magazine Sojourners.

God, protect me from hopelessness, prepare me for courage, and push me to love. Amen.

A final word of thanks to Joy Yu for this lovely picture with my mother and sister Alicia.

May God's blessing be upon you and those you love - this Easter and always.


Bishop Jenny Andison: Pastoral Letter to the Lay People of York-Credit Valley - April 2, 2020

posted 6 Apr 2020, 12:47 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 6 Apr 2020, 13:27 ]

My sisters and brothers in Christ, 

Two weeks ago, on the feast of St Patrick, I drafted a letter to you, the people of the York-Credit Valley Episcopal Area. The rapidly evolving circumstances prevented me from sending it at that time, but since then, I have been praying for you, concerned for you, and thanking God for you. Today I am expressing my gratitude for your steadfastness and courage in these uncertain times.

At the time of my first writing―a mere fourteen days, and yet what feels like a lifetime, ago―I commented that we were together entering into new territory in terms of what it means to be church. 

How quickly that “new territory” has become the “new normal.” I have seen such creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and radical re-imagining in the past weeks as you continue to organise as one body in Christ, even as we remain physically apart. I am amazed, but not surprised, by the variety and diversity by which worship, outreach, and pastoral ministry are continuing in the York-Credit Valley Area and across the Diocese. This is exactly what our faith has always equipped us for―to reach yearning ears and desirous hearts, whether by tried-and-true means or high-tech media solutions. I want to tell you how proud I am of the clergy, staff and lay leaders of our YCV parishes as they have continued to adapt to new expectations and uncertain timelines for parish life. 

I have also come to recognize that what feels like new territory for us as the Church is also old, familiar territory. The Church has witnessed social disruption over and over again in its history. While modern institutions scramble to react to the present outbreak, the Church can in fact say, “Been there. Done that.” The Black Death, the Spanish Flu, world wars and financial crashes. The Church has known―and seen a way through―plague and pandemic, depression and recession, war and persecution. What's more, these things are a daily fact for many of our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion, in countries where epidemic, civil war, and systemic poverty are common realities above and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. While these times are distressing and uncertain for us, we have much to be grateful for with every reason to remain confident in God's unwavering, transforming love for us. 

And so I encourage you to continue to commit yourselves in support of your parish family. Pray for your clergy and your churchwardens. Continue to make your regular financial offering, as best as you are able. 

Remain in touch with members of your church family. Keep the Sabbath by making time and space in your home to worship and pray. Continue to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ, opening your heart to God's shaping power during this strange and unsettling time. Know that God will guide us in ways that may be different and may not always be comfortable for us, but that can still bear fruit and glorify God.

This letter comes with my continued prayers and thanksgiving for you. As we approach Holy Week, let us remember that we are a Resurrection people. We follow a God, who suffers along with us, who knows what it is like to be tested, isolated from loved ones, and stripped of all comforts. But beyond the Cross of Good Friday lies the empty tomb of Easter Sunday, the restoration of a hope that endures all suffering, and the promise of a rise to glory and life everlasting.

Easter Letter from the Churchwardens - April 3, 2020

posted 6 Apr 2020, 12:21 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 6 Apr 2020, 13:28 ]

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” 
 —Matthew 18:20 
“Subject to subsection (3), no person shall attend […] a gathering of more than five people for the purposes of conducting religious services, rites or ceremonies.” 
—Emergency Civil Protection Act, Ontario Regulation 52/20 
When the early apostles first spread across the Eastern Mediterranean, they borrowed a common Greek word to describe their participation in the work of God, their community practices that reached friend and stranger: leitourgia, literally “public work”. Today, the liturgy remains above all an act of turning to others, a corrective to our inclination to retreat into our private selves, thoughts and needs, a time to honour Paul’s exhortation to the church at Philippi: “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others” (2:4).
Of course, liturgy is also built around shaking hands, sharing communal cups, and—well, a whole lot of practices that were still observed just a month or two ago but now seem downright unthinkable.
What is a congregation that can’t congregate? How do we worship when we can’t gather? 
It’s challenging, to be sure and we’re still figuring it out. But in the beginning was the Word, and ever since, the Christian message has flourished by adapting quite capably to whatever medium is at hand. And for as long as there have been Christians, there have been people forbidden from gathering who have still found ways to be the Church.
A few of us have been gathering (in small numbers, at safe distances) on Saturdays to produce a weekly prayer, reading and music video, posted to YouTube on Sunday morning. It is followed by a conversation on Zoom, where a few dozen folks have joined (by video or phone) for reading, reflection, music, prayers, and blessings.

There is even a certain intimacy in the videoconference format, a Hollywood Squares screenful of people in their kitchens, living rooms, and makeshift home offices—their natural habitat—with all of us following a dress code more Staycation Casual than Sunday Best. And, in fact, some St. Anne’s programming has not only migrated to Zoom but expanded: the monthly book club has vowed to meet again a week sooner than scheduled; the monthly Messy Church has, at the kids’ urging, become a weekly playdate.

Our wardens’ meetings have also moved from monthly to weekly, while the Ministry Advisory Council (MAC) still held its March meeting, with new members and renewed energy. And in this time when so much has slowed or even ground to a halt, our faithful staff—Gary, Juli, Mervin, Mary Lou—have remained remarkably… busy.

Over in the Parish Hall, our March Community Dinner was served as a takeout meal, and it looks like we’ll do the same in April. We’ve also opened up the Skey Room to our neighbours at LOFT St. Anne’s Place as they hold mask-fitting sessions to help protect their residents and staff.

And now we enter the journey of Holy Week

Needless to say, the format will be a bit different this year—but from Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday, journey we will. And yes, there will still be Easter lilies, thanks to many donors this year. 
We have purchased flowers for use in Holy Week worship videos, which will be delivered as a gift to the homes of people of St. Anne’s, especially those who are alone over this season. We also plan to decorate the church with flowers our first Sunday back with the listing of names as part of that celebration.

St. Anne's Churchwardens: David Roeder, Marc Potvin, Peter Gorman: Easter Presentation on YouTube

St. Anne’s has been blessed with considerable generosity in the face of the COVID-19 crisis: the Diocese has proclaimed a Jubilee for April and May, waiving parishes’ usual monthly payments; online donations, previously rare, have started rolling in; cheques have arrived in our mailbox. We are so very grateful for this support.  

Still, financial pressures have affected every sector of society, and St. Anne’s is no exception. So if you usually drop an envelope or a cheque or a bill in the collection plate, and are in a position to still give regularly, please contact Mary Lou at about setting up a pre-authorized remittance (PAR). You can also donate through CanadaHelps, either monthly or one-time via our online donation page. 

Above all, what we ask that you give to St. Anne’s in the uncertain weeks and months ahead is your continued presence and witness. We can’t say how long our building on Gladstone Ave will sit empty. 
But of course, that’s not St. Anne’s—you are.  Stay safe, stay healthy, and we wish you and yours a happy and blessed Easter.

David Roeder
Rector’s Warden
Marc Potvin
People’s Warden
Peter Gorman
Deputy Warden
Roy Schatz 
Warden Emeritus

Invitation to Worship Online: Palm Sunday - April 5, 2020

posted 4 Apr 2020, 18:32 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 6 Apr 2020, 07:10 ]

Online Worship: 04 April 2020 - Palm Sunday

Hello Friends,
We welcome you for worship with the St. Anne's community this Sunday April 5 - at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom! 

To be ready for the service, here's what to do:
  1. Watch Part 1 of our Sunday Worship here:
    (a 13-minute video filmed in St. Anne's)

    *About the making of the Worship Video: Segments were recorded in advance at separate times and then edited to flow together as a single video. Safety Protocol: No more than 5 people in the church. Due to camera angles, people in the video appear to be closer than they are; we exceeded minimum social distance requirements.

  2. Print the Sunday Program - attached to this post!
  3. Join Zoom Meeting - come on just before 2:00 p.m. with the following coordinates:

Meeting ID: 972 295 502
Password: 043566

Join us by telephone - try the following numbers: 
 +1 647 558 0588
 +1 778 907 2071 
 +1 438 809 7799
 +1 587 328 1099 
 +1 647 374 4685 

Let's Stay Connected - Thursday, April 2, 2020

posted 2 Apr 2020, 16:01 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 4 Apr 2020, 18:33 ]

Hello Friends, 

With the growing realization that the present crisis will extend even further into the future, it's more important than ever that we continue to connect with God and with each other. Welcome back for announcements, photographs, music, poetry and prayers.      Gary

  • Stay home. If you must go out, take precautions to protect yourself and others. 
  • We are reaching out to be in touch - please expect a call from me or the churchwardens to check in about how you are doing.
  • Thank you for your continued support for St. Anne's through your offering/donations.
  • Our website has been updated to reflect the many changes we are experiencing as a community, including new events. Please take a look:

What does it mean to practise spiritual closeness? Connecting with God and each other. Connecting with Creation. Connecting with our deepest selves.

We are learning new ways: 
  • Consider that flour is sold out because lots of people now want to bake bread. People are showing off their baked creations. What could be more basic than the sacrament of bread and wine? 
  • Consider that people are reading and writing poetry. What could be more basic than the sacrament of words flowing around us and inside us? 
Worship brings spiritual closeness as a gift that will see us through.

Out of necessity, we are worshiping in new ways. Churches everywhere are experimenting to find what works for their community. It's interesting to check them out and compare. We have our own Made-at-St. Anne's version of worship. Each service comes in two parts: 
  1. A worship video on our channel on YouTube; this includes an opening prayer, reading with suggestions for discussion, a message from our wardens, and music. 
  2. A conversation on Zoom; this includes the text of the reading, an approach for discussion and reflection, music, prayers and blessings. 
This will also be the format for each of the days of Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday.

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. The YouTube video will be available by 10:30 a.m. This Sunday's Zoom Conversation is at 2:00 p.m. We hope you will join us.

On Saturday, you will receive an email invitation to join our worship including: YouTube Video, Bulletin (attachment), and ID & password to join the Zoom service.


From Merlin Homer: A poem by Kitty O'Meara

"And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listening more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”
Listen to the Poem here.
From Peter Gorman: "Pandemic" - a poem by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

This week's photographs are by Emily Lork. Emily co-leads the St. Anne's Archives. She's a member of the Altar Guild team. Emily has been taking pictures for St. Anne's for a few years - perhaps including pictures of you. Here are some highlights from Emily's recent photographs.

And for those of you, who don't know Emily, here she is - along with our Altar Guild: Sharon, Yvonne, Darren, Emily, Tim.
Thank you so much, Emily!

From Chris Schroer: From Embers by Richard Wagamese, recorded in chalk in front of St. Anne's.

Service to those in Need
Let's help make sure people have enough to eat by donating to our local food bank, OASIS Dufferin Food Bank. Their take-out dinner (Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m.) program and Wednesday food bank (9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) are both happening with outside pick up only. They are running out of food:

"Those of you who have been to Oasis know that the Fire Hall is a fair distance away. Most of the way to Dupont. And as most of you know, we are handing out food outside from the front door of the church. On Wednesday the lineup stretched out. It was long. From one end it was difficult to see the other end. Even for a tall person. Keeping people six feet apart made it safer, but longer. Once we got going the line moved quickly. But it did not shrink. For every person served, another joined the line. It took an hour and half to serve the entire line. But we stayed open for the late comers. Over 140 people served. It was not a record, which stands at 153, but it was close. The record will probably fall in the next week or two. I wonder how the fire trucks are going to get out."                       Blog from March 28, 2020

Here are their needs:
  1. Donations of money online through Canada Helps so that they can buy/order what they need with as little social contact with others as possible. Cheques can be mailed to Oasis Dufferin Community Centre, 1219 Dufferin Street, Toronto ON, M6H 4C2.
  2. Donations of food including:
    • sauce & pasta, in that order - they receive more pasta than sauce
    • rice
    • beans
    • canned fish, tomatoes, veggies
***Donations of food must be dropped off on Tuesdays between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. People are  asked to call ahead if possible (416-536-4431) and to press the buzzer on Hallam Street when they arrive. (They are NOT accepting new volunteers at this point.)

If you walk outside today, you can feel spring flowers ready to burst out. This Intercessory Prayer for the Easter Season is written and submitted by Carole Giangrande.

In this difficult time, let us pray in thanksgiving for the solace and beauty of nature as a reflection of God’s goodness. May sunlight and bountiful life speak to us of resurrection, and may the lengthening days inspire hope for the healing of our world.

Lord, hear our prayer.

As we pray for each other, let us also pray for all migrating birds as they return to nest, and for the habitat that nourishes them as they bring song and beauty to our lives.

Let us pray for all animals preparing to give birth. May they find the necessary food and shelter for their young, that they may thrive in their wondrous variety.

Let us pray for all plants as they begin to leaf and flower, and for the success of crops planted and tended by our farmers. Let us pray in thanksgiving for their labour and for the blessing of abundant food, that it may be available to all.

Let us also pray for the welfare of pollinating bees which God provides to assist the growth of food and flowers. May they be restored to health and may their numbers increase.

Let us pray for aquatic life, that it may flourish in lakes, seas and oceans cleansed of pollutants. Pray also that we may be moderate in our consumption of fish and sea mammals.

May the Paschal mystery at the heart of creation open our hearts to grace and abundant life. Let us pray with all of nature in never-ending praise of God.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
As we prepare for Holy Week in this time of anxiety,
give us strength and hope
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.

Invitation to Worship Online: Sunday, March 29, 2020

posted 28 Mar 2020, 19:06 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 29 Mar 2020, 04:45 ]

Online Worship - 29 March 2020

Hello Friends,
We welcome you for worship with the St. Anne's community this Sunday March 29 - at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom! 

To be ready for the service, here's what to do:

  1. Watch Part 1 of our Sunday Worship here: (a 16-minute video filmed in St. Anne's)
  2. Print the Sunday Program - attached to this email!
  3. Join Zoom Meeting - come on just before 2:00 p.m. with the following coordinates:

Meeting ID: 535 539 282
Password: 071075
Join us by telephone  +1 647 558 0588 Canada

Let's Stay Connected - Thursday, March 26, 2020

posted 27 Mar 2020, 14:08 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 27 Mar 2020, 14:24 ]

Dear Friends,

How are you doing with all these changes? 

St. Anne's is adapting to our new social distance reality to help you stay connected. Thank you for calling each other. As you will see here, St. Anne's is also going hi-tech with worship and meetings. This weekly e-newsletter is new. Thanks for your submissions, some of them are included below.

The wardens will be joining with me in reaching out to call you as well - we are looking forward to catching up with you. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. 

This past Sunday, we had our first St. Anne's Online Worship - presented in two parts:

Worship Part 1. We prepared a 15 minute video that includes prayer, scripture reading, music and singing, and a message from the wardens. This was uploaded to our YouTube Channel by Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. 

Much sweat and tears but we did it! Special thanks to:
  • Marc and Dave, our churchwardens, for their leadership in these new times; 
  • Joe, for sound technician troubleshooting;  
  • Lauren, for a wonderful version of Amazing Grace - easy to sing along; 
  • Patrick, for everything from filming to the final edit, with extensive family back up!
Worship Part 2. Our worship continued at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom, an online video conference call. Using a simplified bulletin, we did opening prayers, discussion of the reading presented on the video, prayers of the people. We also sang Amazing Grace together, and shared blessings. The first time felt a bit new and strange, but the whole experience was warm and supportive. 

Please join us this coming Sunday for Online Worship. You will receive an email invitation that will include a link to the uploaded video and the password to join the Zoom conversation. 

For Reflection
From Peter: Check out the insightful writing of Kansas poet, Anne Boyer:
The way social distancing works requires faith: we must begin to see the negative space as clearly as the positive, to know what we don't do is also brilliant and full of love. We face such a strange task, here, to come together in spirit and keep a distance in body at the same time. We can do it. I am writing this because I want the good in us to break through the layers of hateful nonsense we've been drowning in. I think we can be good, but we also must prepare for an amplification of evil’s evil. The time when the invisible becomes visible is at hand. Anne Boyer here.

From Marcia: 

From Kate: Consider these thoughts from Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky: 
Language is a powerful shaper of thinking. And the very last thing we need right now, is a mindset of mutual distancing. We actually need to be thinking in the exact opposite way: Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern. Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise. Rabbi Kanefsky here.

From our Gilbert & Sullivan friends:
"I am the very model of effective social distancing" -

Here are some scenes from St. Anne's on the First Sunday in Lent, March 1, 2020. 

Thanks for the Photographs
Thanks to Theresa Slater, one of our Sunday Photographers. Theresa has been taking pictures at St. Anne's since November. 
Rest in Peace

We give thanks for the life of Loretta Burren, June 8, 1929 - March 14, 2020.
There will be a memorial service at a future date when we are able to assemble. Rest eternal grant to her, O God.

Prayer and Fasting
The Bishop of Toronto, Andrew Asbil, along with the College of Bishops, invite all Anglicans to spend today, Thursday March 26, as a day of prayer and fasting. You will find resources for today as a retreat day here.

Fasting from the Eucharist: 
We have been advised by our bishops as follows:
...the bishops of our province have agreed together that our virtual worship through Holy Week and the season of Easter, or until such time that we can gather in community together, will not include the liturgy of the Eucharist. Sacramental celebrations are the work of the whole People of God and require a gathering of people who can be physically present to one another. That is impossible for most of us at this time. The Great Three Days of Easter, and through the fifty days of the season, we will be fasting from the Eucharist but feasting on the Word. We believe that the Risen One, the Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is present and active with us as we hear and receive him in the word of the scriptures, in that word interpreted and proclaimed in preaching, and in the word inwardly digested, by faith, in each person.

Keep praying!  Keep calling each other! Our building is closed - but our church is open and alive! We are the Church.


PS Please send in your suggestions for next week's newsletter.

The Rev. Canon Gary van der Meer
Incumbent - St. Anne's Anglican Church
Interfaith Officer - Anglican Diocese of Toronto

Invitation to Worship Online: Sunday, March 22, 2020

posted 22 Mar 2020, 05:35 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 22 Mar 2020, 06:50 ]

Online Worship - 22 March 2020

Welcome to Online Sunday Worship at St. Anne's! 

On Saturday, a few of us came together in the church to prepare this short video. It includes music, prayers, scripture reading and discussion. The video includes announcements and some beautiful scenes of the church interior.

**A few technical challenges making this video. If you have difficulty hearing on your phone, try it on your computer. If you are using an older phone or ipad, try this abbreviated version instead:

After you have watched the video, you're invited to continue to worship with us at 2:00 p.m. on Zoom.

Please join us for an online video conference call this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. 
Meeting ID: 583 633 559
Password: 034445
Dial in Phone Number: +1 647 374 4685

Our Zoom conversation is an opportunity for us to check in and visit. The morning worship video will be our starting point for a discussion of the reading. We will also pray for those in need and thank God for the blessings of this week.

Please see the attached Sunday Worship document. 
It includes opening responsive prayers, the scripture passage in a verse by verse format for ease of discussion, and the words for the hymn Amazing Grace, which as you will see, takes inspiration from the scripture John 9:1-41. 

**See the Download Link below**

Going forward: 
Weekly Worship Video: 
See the weekly worship video uploaded to our YouTube channel by Sunday morning 10:30 a.m.

Weekly Zoom Call:
We invite you to continue in worship with us by joining our weekly Zoom call. Coordinates will be posted here each week.

If you would like to help us create the video or if you have ideas, please let me know!


Let's Stay Connected - Wednesday, March 17, 2020

posted 17 Mar 2020, 10:26 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 21 Mar 2020, 19:26 ]

Hi and Happy St. Patrick's Day. 
How are you doing with social distancing? Here are a few things to help you stay connected: 

Some Good News: 
We went ahead with our monthly Community Dinner on Sunday. It was our first Takeout Meal and we served 65 meals, plus meals for 12 volunteers, and 10 for our neighbours at Workman Arts. We had a great time keeping our social distance while helping! 

If we need to do it this way again next month, we will be ready. Let me know if you would like to help. 
Worship Services:
All worship services are cancelled. I waited on the steps on Sunday at 10:00 in case anyone didn't get the message - Looks like everyone knows! 

Our bishops have encouraged us to experiment with online worship. Please tell me what you would like: Music, Sermon/Reflection, or maybe a call-in time with questions? Over the coming weeks we are going to experiment. If you'd like to help, let me know. This is a learning curve for us.

Our first online St. Anne's worship service will be this coming Sunday at our regular worship time, 10:30 a.m. 

Information about COVID-19:
There are so many updates, maybe you want to switch off. Here's one that I found particularly helpful about how social distancing works:

Photos to Enjoy:
I am so grateful for our photographers at St. Anne's! Looking forward to sharing some favourites in the weeks ahead.

If you like pictures, check out the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, our Anglican "family" in Scotland. See a new prayer picture every week for personal meditation time.
A Hymn for Today:
Today, my favourite is "Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise." This version on Youtube includes the words (...don't look if you dislike royal weddings):
Tell me your favourite...

A Prayer for Today:

O God it is morning, the dawning of a new day. We know not what possibilities or adventures lie ahead. Help us not to be afraid, so that in all our doings we may meet the uncertain with courage, the unknown with hope, and the fearful with faith.

Grant that we may not be overcome by adversity but overcome adversity with your love.

Give us to know that what will be will be, and what is not to be is not be. Comfort us in our disappointments and surround us in our triumphs. All shall be well. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Please continue to pray for each other. Call each other. And keep in touch - if you would like to chat, you will see my number below.

Let's Stay Connected,


The Rev. Canon Gary van der Meer
Incumbent - St. Anne's Anglican Church
Interfaith Officer - Anglican Diocese of Toronto

270 Gladstone Ave, Toronto  M6J 3L6
church (416) 536-3160  
pastoral care emergencies (416) 455-2609

Online Worship Today - Sunday, March 15, 2020

posted 15 Mar 2020, 05:22 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 15 Mar 2020, 16:58 ]

The Woman at the Well - Gospel of John Chapter 4

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ gives the water of eternal life, may we always thirst for you, the spring of life and source of goodness; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Please join us for worship - even though we cannot be physically together - we hope these resources will help you to pray today.
  • See the program for today's worship attached below. It includes the readings and prayers for the 3rd Sunday in Lent. 

  • We hope you enjoy today's video (above). We are delighted to feature Louise Simos' retelling of today's gospel for children. Louise is a former Ministry Intern at St. Anne's, and now serves at St. Peter's Anglican Church, Erindale, in Mississauga.
Try the following live streaming worship services:
  • Sunday Prayers: Bishop Susan Bell of the Diocese of Niagara. 
    Sunday, 10:00 a.m.

  • Online Morning Prayer: Bishop Andrew Asbil of the Diocese of Toronto at St. James' Cathedral. Sunday, 11:00 a.m.

  • Holy Eucharist: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at the Washington National Cathedral. 
    Sunday, 11:00 a.m.
St. Anne's begins live streaming worship next Sunday, March 22!

1-10 of 16