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Let's Stay Connected - e-newsletter - 03 June 2020

posted 4 Jun 2020, 13:43 by Gary van der Meer   [ updated 4 Jun 2020, 13:45 ]

Dear Friends, 
 
So much has changed in the 2 short weeks since the last e-newsletter.  

A lot of updates here!! 
Read below about: 
  • Supporting each other in this time of demonstrations across the US and the world by addressing racism
  • When will we be back in church?
  • The Diocese of Toronto has changed its policy on same-sex marriages
  • Shaping a Just Recovery in Davenport
  • Canada Helps Giving Challenge
  • Reflection: Church as Family and Church as the Jesus Movement
  • Visits to St. Anne's by the Bishop of Toronto, Andrew Asbil; and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Linda Nicholls
  • Plus poetry, music, prayers and the coordinates for worship this Sunday

WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY

Sunday, June 7 - Trinity Sunday
Visit by Bishop Andrew Asbil, Bishop of Toronto 
Bishop Asbil will be with us on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. and on Zoom at 2:00 p.m.

Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-2:4a; Matthew 28:16-20
Sermon: Bishop Andrew Asbil

--> Join us for the video uploaded to our YouTube Channel on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.  

--> Join us on Zoom as we continue our Sunday worship Service at 2:00 p.m.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82462957356
Meeting ID: 824 6295 7356
Password: Request by Email pastor@saintanne.ca

You are also welcome to join by phone:
        +1 647 558 0588 Canada
        +1 778 907 2071 Canada
        +1 438 809 7799 Canada
        +1 587 328 1099 Canada
        +1 647 374 4685 Canada

*We look forward to welcoming Archbishop Linda Nicholls on Sunday, June 14 - both on YouTube and on Zoom.

ST. ANNE'S VIDEOS
All the St. Anne's videos continue to be available for you to watch at any time. You will find them here:

REFLECTION

Two short weeks ago, we were talking about when the church might open for small groups. We talked about how to normalize, including a newsletter every 2 weeks instead of weekly. Everything seems different now.

We have seen protests around the world following the murder of George Floyd by police officers with the video showing again and again on television. We saw a Black man threatened by a white Canadian woman that she would lie to police that he was attacking her when he told her to put her dog on the leash outside the off-leash area in Central Park NYC - with the video showing again and again on television. We saw the US president use a bible as a prop for a photo-op in front of an Episcopal Church in DC after the parishioners had been tear-gassed to get out of the way. We saw the Canadian Prime Minister's awkward silence when asked to comment on developments in the United States. If you remember the impact of the constant repeat of 9/11 images of planes hitting buildings, you will recognize the pattern and the traumatization. 

All of this made for a significant Zoom Worship discussion this past Sunday. The Black members of our St. Anne's family shared fear and pain, reminding us that since we are family, all of us are affected and none of us can be bystanders. Now that we know, we are involved.

February 2 - Harriet Tubman - presented by KasheDance with Jessica Franklin & Randy Williams

Short months ago, in January and February, we did Black History Month with all our hearts. We said at the time that what we experienced and learned is not to be put on the shelf until next year. If we really are a Church Family, it must be part of our ongoing conscious awareness. At the time it was music, performance including dance, meals, guest speakers, and rich learning and reflection. 

February 9: Hearing the Black Experience of life in Canada: Andrew, Sharon, Jonathan

Current events are relentless now. We can't hide or distract ourselves.

I have often found that the best preparation for the next is doing the now with all our hearts. On Sunday, we talked about what we need now. Pray for the safety of the Black children of our St. Anne's Family, for the safety of all people of colour in our city, and pray for justice everywhere. Pray that all our eyes will be open to greater understanding. Pray that all our hearts will burn bright with love for each other expressed in word and action. Prayer in action in our church family means look out for each other; call and express your support for each other, and learn. 

The "Family" word is one of many metaphors used to describe what a church congregation is. With these changed circumstances with coronavirus, it has been the right language for our time. But we can't stop there. Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the US branch of our wider Anglican family, the Episcopal Church, uses another phrase that we should get to know. He talks about the Jesus Movement. The Jesus Movement is Family in action doing what Jesus did.

Jesus loved. Jesus brought people together. Jesus told stories that reveal what the world is like and reveal what God is like. He challenged people. He comforted people and healed them. He overturned tables of unjust commerce. He sought out the ones who were marginalized and rejected. His suffering and death was a witness against injustice. The Jesus Movement was the people who caught the spark of his approach and continued to do it together. They loved and they challenged. They sought out the rejected. They brought people together. 

This has come down through history and the Jesus Movement is now us. We love. We seek out the ones who are hurting, marginalized, hungry, in need of healing. We tell stories that show what God is like. We tell stories Jesus told to reveal what the world is like. We bring people together. We bring together our St. Anne's family, plus our extended circle of friends, plus the neighbours, plus people of other religions or no religion - whoever will make common cause with us. 

Our St. Anne's Family is part of something much bigger - moving together for the transformation of this world as we know it towards what Jesus called the Kingdom of God. We are Family supporting each other and working together for transformation. We are the Jesus Movement.

Gary+
  
ANNOUNCEMENTS

Back in our Church Building? Not anytime soon. Our Bishops say not before the end of the summer. In the meantime, what are we to do? 

  • On whether to celebrate the Eucharist: Rev. Dr. Chris Brittain, Dean of Divinity and occasional preacher at St. Anne's, says we should not. He gives his reasons here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). Can it be the Eucharist when you're watching online and you have your own bread and wine in front of you? Chris Brittain shows this to be unworkable. "It would be one thing for Jesus to chat with the Samaritan woman over Skype; it is quite another thing for him to violate social boundaries by meeting directly with her at the well (John 4:4-26). Similarly, while the disciples of Jesus might find it curious that Jesus has Zacchaeus as a Facebook friend, they cannot misunderstand the message that is communicated when Jesus agrees to eat with this tax collector at his home (Luke 19:1-10). Virtual communion makes it easier to diminish such key dimensions of celebrations of the Eucharist than do in-person gatherings." Instead, focus on what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink…. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Matthew 6:25-26).
When we eat together online, it's not the Eucharist. It is a different (also ancient) tradition called an AGAPE MEAL, or more commonly, a "Love Feast". 

    • The Challenge of Singing: Peter Elliott, retired Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, reflects on the widely published report about COVID infections from a single choir practice at a church. The assessment is that even when we can be in our churches, singing is highly risky with aerosolized particles from the singer's mouth traveling up to 16 feet and lingering in buildings for a long period of time afterwards. "Increasingly there is a convergence of scientific evidence recommending the suspension of singing until there is a vaccine for COVID-19. Dr. Howard Leibrand, public health officer for Skagit County, Washington—where the March outbreak occurred—said, “I would recommend that until we get a vaccine, we don’t do congregational singing,” adding that it is “the safest recommendation.” 
    This is particularly heartbreaking in a church where people love to sing, and where we love to hear singing. As we have also learned, singing on Zoom isn't satisfying. Church is one of the last places in our culture where participatory singing is actually cultivated; so this will be hard for us. I'm all the more grateful to the singers in our worship videos. I want to be more comfortable my own voice when I'm singing alone. 
      • How to Worship when we cannot be in church: Here are some possible prayers - from Nadia Bolz-Weber 
        (with thanks to Hannah Johnston):
      And that when I water my plants and wash my dishes and take a shower may it be counted as remembering my baptism.

      And that when the tears come and my shoulders shake and my breathing falters, may it be counted as prayer.

      And that as I sit at that table in my apartment, and eat one more homemade meal, slowly, joyfully, with nothing else demanding my time or attention, may it be counted as communion.

      • June is Pride Month. No parade, but there are other developments: 
      Parade: The absence of the parade has turned people's attention to the reason for a parade at all. George Takei - Sulu from Star Trek and a public LGBTQ commentator, pointed out that the month is now about business, tourism and partying. Remember what it's really about. He put it this way: "LGBTs: You cannot remain silent today and celebrate Pride month tomorrow. Stonewall was a protest that became a riot because of persistent police brutality against our community. We must stand today with our black brothers and sisters. #BlackLivesMatter"
      • Same-Sex Marriage: The Anglican Diocese of Toronto released its new policy on Same-Sex Marriage on Sunday, May 31. In summary, the "Local Option" by which parishes such as St. Anne's are designated to provide same-sex marriage no longer applies. Any priest may marry any couple that is legally permitted to be married regardless of the parish. The same restrictions as for a opposite sex couples (one member must be baptized, couple has done marriage preparation, couple has a pastoral relationship with the priest - implying active involvement in worship). 

      Further: Any priest licensed by the Bishop of Toronto is permitted:
      a. to teach and uphold a theology of marriage that requires the couple to be of opposite genders, or
      b. to teach and uphold a theology of marriage that does not require the couple to be of opposite genders.

      And further: No cleric is obligated to marry a couple that compromises their theological perspective on marriage. But clergy and laity are to respect the reality of a diversity of views on marriage in the Diocese of Toronto.

      The actual marriage ceremony permitted for same-sex couples is included in the appendix of the new Marriage Policy.


      • Shaping a Just Recovery in Davenport - Thursday, June 11, 7:00-8:15 p.m. 
      St. Anne's Anglican Church is delighted to partner with Green Wave West and the Davenport Mutual Aid Network to host a community conversation about what a #JustRecovery from COVID-19 might look like. Our online exploration, hosted on the Zoom platform, will include three panelists who will share their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic to date and also their thoughts about opportunities to make our community more resilient (i.e. green, just, equitable) in the long-term.
       
      The panelists are:
      1. Vivian Recollet, leader of the Niwiin Wendaanamak (Four Winds) Indigenous Health and Wellness Program at the Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre
      2. Richard Steinecke, Past Chair, Oasis Dufferin Community Centre
      3. Claire-Helene Heese-Boutin, Co-ordinator of Community Development, West Neighbourhood House
       
      The conversation will be moderated by Peter Gorman, Chair of Social Justice & Advocacy at St. Anne's Anglican Church. There will be an opportunity for participant input via poll questions and the chat function of Zoom.
      * GET YOUR TICKETS HERE *

      The Zoom meeting link will be sent to all registered participants 48 hours before the event. There is no charge to participate in this community event. Please register to attend through the Eventbrite ticket link below and help us spread the word by inviting others to join in the conversation!  More Information Here.
      Thursday, June 11, 7:00 to 8:15 p.m.


      • Order your Masks for the Safety of Others
      You are welcome to join in on a bulk order for cloth masks, organized by Angela Forbes for the St. Anne's Music and Drama Society and for any of us who need masks. Masks are $7-8 each including shipping (approximate until masks arrive). You can see what they look like here. Order them using the Google Form or by getting in touch with Angela Forbes at angelaf.stannes@gmail.com.


      • Supporting St. Anne's through Canada Helps
      Every $1 donated to St. Anne's in June using our Canada Helps online giving form earns us a chance to win a $20,000 donation (minimum $3 donation required). The challenge begins June 1, 2020 at midnight Newfoundland Daylight Time (NDT) and ends on June 30, 2020 at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).  The Grand Prize Draw is on Canada Day, July 1, 2020! Thank you to everyone currently supporting our shared ministry of Bringing the Community together for Good (via Canada Helps and in other ways) and thanks in advance to everyone who makes a donation via Canada Helps in June as part of the Great Canadian Giving Challenge
      SUBMISSIONS

      --> From Merlin Homer - A song by Gregory Porter: 1960 What?  
      This is a 2011 song with many views of Detroit and a timely message about what is happening in Minnesota and now around the world.

      1960 what? 1960 who?
      1960 what? 1960 who?
      19, hey! The motor city is burning, that ain't right
      1960 what? 1960 who?
      1960 what? 1960 who?
      19, hey! The motor city is burning, y'all, that ain't right
      There was a man, voice of the people
      Standing on the balcony, of the Loraine Motel
      Shots rang out, yes it was a gun
      He was the only one, to fall down y'all
      That ain't right, then his people screamed
      Ain't no need for sunlight! (Ain't no need for sunlight)
      Ain't no need for moon light! (Ain't no need for moon light)
      Ain't no need for street light (ain't no need for street light)
      'Cause it's burning really bright (burning real bright)
      Some folks say we gonna fight (gonna fight)
      'Cause this here thing just ain't right (ain't right)
      Watch here on YouTube

      --> From Sharon Walter - The Arrest
      A Documentary on the Psychological Impact of being Arrested. "This gripping documentary by journalist and filmmaker Martin Himel (Undercover in ISIS), follows several Ontarians whose lives have been shattered by their wrongful arrests. Facing job loss and rejection of employment applications, social stigma, housing denial, and in some of the worst cases, an inability to adopt, foster or work with children, their lives will never be the same." Learn to walk in others' shoes:
      TVO Documentary: The Arrest

      --> From Hannah Johnston - How to Respond to What is Happening
      --> From Gary van der Meer - On becoming more informed; What to say... Learning how to talk, advocate, and be active allies
      • Sermon by Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA at Washington National Cathedral
      Printed Text
      Video on YouTube
      • Trevor Noah On George Floyd, Amy Cooper & Racism In Society
      Video on YouTube
      • Shola Richards, You Asked, I Answered: 7 Difficult Questions About Racism
      Article in Scary Mommy

      How do we get better at listening - and better at talking, answering, advocating? All seven of these questions are essential. I am going to start with this one since I have tried to answer it more than once already: What do you say to someone who insists "All Lives Matter" when I say "Black Lives Matter"?

      And the answer is:
      "Let me put it this way: if I broke my ankle playing basketball, and I went to the doctor for medical attention, and his response to my pain was, “ALL bones matter” and then sent me home, that would be pretty dismissive (if not, outright malpractice) right?

      Yes, my ribs, my wrist and my skull all matter—that’s obvious. But right now? It’s my effing ankle that’s broken and in need of immediate attention. This is not the time to bring up any other bones, because at this moment, only one bone is in crisis.

      I know that some people learn concepts easier through metaphors, and this is the best I can do at the moment.

      But putting the metaphor aside, here’s the bottom line: all lives can’t matter until black lives matter."


      I'm practicing saying it in my own words. It's going to come up again - I know it...



      --> From Bishop Jenny Andison - Pastoral Letter on Racism
      ... As the Bishop of the most racially diverse part of the Diocese of Toronto, I
      join you in lament over the denial of the full humanity of all God's people, and will continue to work
      with you to ensure that all people can find hope and mercy in our churches and our neighbourhoods...Read the Letter here

      REST IN PEACE
      We have just learned of the death of Rick Arnold, a member of our church family residing at St. Anne's Place. Details to follow.
      May his soul and the souls of all the departed rest in peace.

      PRAYER
      Please note that we will be sharing new prayers on Zoom this Sunday in light of current events. 

      I want to thank Jessica Franklin for the idea of additional prayers. Some of you have submitted prayers; please send me more, even if it is not your habit to join us on Zoom.

      This particular prayer comes from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church USA.

      A Prayer for the Power of the Spirit among the People of God
      God of all power and love,
      we give thanks for your unfailing presence
      and the hope you provide in times of uncertainty and loss.
      Send your Holy Spirit to enkindle in us your holy fire.
      Revive us to live as Christ’s body in the world:
      a people who pray, worship, learn,
      break bread, share life, heal neighbors,
      bear good news, seek justice, rest and grow in the Spirit.
      Wherever and however we gather,
      unite us in common prayer and send us in common mission,
      that we and the whole creation might be restored and renewed,
      through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

      Gary+



      PS Back to every week after this, so much to cover for a 2-week period...