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Christianity 101, adapted for our ever-changing needs! Over the past few months, we have had requests for baptism and confirmation. We have also had newcomers asking about our approach to Christian faith at St. Anne's. This is for your questions, but also to encourage your curiosity to keep learning.
Christianity for Today includes 5 sessions (each offered three times to accommodate our busy schedules!), and a potluck meal as a concluding session. It starts in January and will conclude before Holy Week. Themes for the 5 Sessions:
Arriving: Once you realize you have arrived at a "stopping place" - like our church community - what are the first things you need to know? We'll cover the basics of bible and worship, and the importance of building community, as well as the big questions about God and Jesus.
Belonging: In our era, there is so much isolation. People move a lot. They sit with electronic devices to feel connected. Do we belong to the people who care about us? What about the people who have gone before us, and the wisdom they pass on from asking the same questions we ask? What does it mean to belong?
Behaving: What are the behaviours or practices of living the Christian journey? What about prayer? How important is it to attend worship? How does our faith inform our attitudes about politics and economics and the news of our world? What about fasting, giving money to poor people, talking about my beliefs?
Believing: Do I have to believe everything in the Bible? Do I have to agree with every pronouncement made by my church? Do I have to believe Jesus rose from the dead? We once thought you could tick the boxes despite your doubts and that meant you belong. The reality is that our beliefs are a moving target - evolving and changing with age, life experience, and our readiness to ask questions. Let's ask!
Awakening: Once we have covered the basics, what's next? How will we live? What does God ask of us, about our priorities with time we have. How will our world be different because we were here? Do we have a calling, a vocation, a contribution to make to life on earth?
Session 1: Arriving
Session 2: Belonging
Session 3: Behaving
Session 4: Believing
Session 5: Awakening
Wednesday Sessions: Skey Room, St. Anne's Parish Hall
Saturday Sessions: St. Anne's Ministry Centre, 276 Gladstone
Sunday Sessions: St. Anne's Ministry Centre, 276 Gladstone
Please register by contacting the Rev. Gary van der Meer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Effective immediately, St. Anne's now offers marriage to same-sex couples.
I trust you know about St. Anne's longstanding inclusive welcome. Indeed, since 2013, St. Anne's has been designated to offer same gender blessings. This came about at the request of our community following an extensive discernment and study process. This past summer, the Anglican Church of Canada debated same-sex marriage, and narrowly passed a motion to proceed.
Archbishop Colin Johnson has authorized a provisional guidelines allowing us to offer same-sex marriage. These guidelines will be in effect until 2019 when the Anglican Church of Canada will finalize its position on same-sex marriage. The Archbishop's Letter and the Pastoral Guidelines explain these details (see the attachments).
We will offer same-sex marriage using a special liturgy created by the Episcopal Church USA. It is a beautiful service of marriage, and it is available to all couples regardless of gender (I have heard people say they prefer it over our traditional marriage liturgy). I hope you will click the link and take time to read it.
I want to stress that we are called to kindness. Not all will welcome this development: some because it goes too far, some because it is not enough. We will meet people who are uncomfortable with same-sex marriage, and our inclusiveness should mean that we show kindness and respect regardless of whether we agree on this matter. Let's call it holy manners.
This is wonderful news for our community at St. Anne's, where we say we are Bringing the Community together for Good. Personally, I am delighted, especially as this has been such a long journey. I keep saying full inclusion of LGBTQ people can be compared to running a marathon, with water stations along the way to keep us running. We are getting there. We are in a new good place, though there is more to be done.
I hope you join with me in celebrating that St. Anne's now offers same-sex marriage.
With best wishes,
Join us for our monthly midweek worship service. It's 40 minutes: prayers, scripture, a short sermon, communion. Doors open at 10:00 for quiet prayer time. Coffee and cookies afterwards for those who want to linger. A great option if you were busy on the weekend, or to add a time to connect with God in the middle of the week.
Everyone is welcome, so you can drop in! You do not have to be Anglican to participate in the Eucharist.
Please join us in the church, 270 Gladstone Ave. The church is accessible, with a wheelchair ramp and barrier free washroom.
Colonialism and the Expansion of Christianity beyond Europe, especially the Americas; Development of the Anglican Church of Canada, with comparison to Anglicanism around the world.
Presented by David Neelands, Dean of Divinity at Trinity College, and the Rev. Gary van der Meer, Pastor of St. Anne's.
Our 8th of 10 sessions to chronicle the spread of Christian faith through Europe to the British Isles, through the development of our Anglican tradition to the present day. There will be a special focus on justice issues especially with colonial expansion and continuing to Canada's current experience of the Truth & Reconciliation process.
Each evening includes the option of a light supper at 6:30 p.m. This is intended to make it easier if you are coming directly from work. We welcome potluck contributions to the meal. Suggestions: salad, cheese & bread, dessert, drinks.
The lecture begins at 7:30 - 2 parts with a short break between - given by the Rev. Canon David Neelands, Dean of Divinity at Trinity College, and the Rev. Gary van der Meer, Incumbent of St. Anne's. Each section includes slides to help you learn and think in pictures.
This is the third year for the St. Anne's lecture series. The first explored the development of the Bible. The second addressed the development of the early church and its theology through to the fourth century. Each evening is complete in itself, so don't hesitate to join us, even if you have not attended previous lectures. Visitors are welcome.
10-PART SERIES: HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY
Sept 14 - Lecture 1: Christianity expands to Britain - Romans & Celts. The continuing fascination with Celtic Christianity.
Oct 12 - Lecture 2: Christianity in Britain: Saxons, Danes & Normans.
Nov 9 - Lecture 3: The High Middle Ages - cathedrals, abbeys, shrines, pilgrimages.
Dec 7 - Lecture 4: Renaissance & Reformation in Continental Europe.
Jan 11 - Lecture 5: The Reformation reaches England. Part 1 - Chronology of what happened; Part 2 - changes in worship and theology.
Feb 8 - Lecture 6: Puritanism and the Restoration; Religion and Civil War in England and Scotland.
March 15 - Lecture 7: The Revivals: Evangelicals, Tractarians, and Christian Socialists.
April 5 - Lecture 8: Expansion of Christianity beyond Europe, especially the Americas; the Development of the Anglican Church of Canada, with comparison to Anglicanism around the world.
May 10 - Lecture 9: The Anglican Church of Canada: Origin of Residential Schools and their History; Foundation of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in Canada.
June 7 - Lecture 10: Sectarian Christianity in all its Diversity in English-speaking North America.
‘Messy Church’ is our way for families to be part of our church community in a relaxed inclusive setting built around fun, creativity, hospitality, and celebration. Each session includes time to run around and play, a story, a craft – and food. As our children say, "It's Church - but we can be messy."
Plan to join us in the Ministry Centre, 276 Gladstone Ave around 5:00. We start with playing. We introduce our theme and a special activity. We will bake bread and make soup together. Let us know if you can join us so we bake enough bread!
You are invited:
Messy Church dates (2017):
MESSY CHURCH FORMAT:
Please join us for our monthly Community Dinner. Come to eat, or come and help us prepare and serve the meal. We serve over 100 people the kind of Sunday dinner that we would like to have in our own homes. Christianity is about service, and this activity is one of the more pleasant ways to render it to those who need a little help from us. Do consider joining in through your presence, food, or cash donation.
HELP US PUT ON OUR COMMUNITY DINNER:
Everything happens on the lower floor of the Parish Hall. Please enter the hall through the glass doors on the north side of building, on the walkway between the Parish Hall (651 Dufferin Street) and St. Anne's Place (661 Dufferin Street).
UPCOMING COMMUNITY DINNER DATES - 2016-2017