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Beloved in Christ,

Well, this has been a week.  We read with deep sadness and horror about the discovery of those 215 young Indigenous children found at the site of the residential school at Kamloops.  Lord, have mercy.  And while we are grateful for those Indigenous Anglicans who continue to walk alongside us in communion, these kinds of discoveries are deeply traumatizing and may force many survivors to relive what they went through.  

Christ, have mercy.

But we have an opportunity in front of us with this: to grieve and to learn.  We grieve our collective responsibility as settlers and the shame we feel as Anglicans, who along with other Christian denominations participated in the Residential School system.  And we learn: what happened, how it happened and what we can do moving forward to ensure this kind of atrocity doesn’t happen again.  Lord, have mercy.

To that end, it is a great blessing that our wonderful Primate (the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada) Linda Nicholls will be joining our livestream worship service this Sunday at 10:30am.  Archbishop Linda will preach and celebrate the Eucharist, and it will be so helpful to hear her words of wisdom and guidance.  I was a delegate at General Synod in 2019 when we elected Linda as our Primate, and so it brings me such great joy to be able to welcome her to our parish.  I invite you also to read her statement this week addressing the 215 children and our collective Anglican call to human dignity.  You can read that here.

I also want to send a gentle reminder please to sign up for memorial flowers.  My beloved bothers and sisters, your priest is going to run out of deceased relatives to honour with flowers after another week or so, so please help us in signing up!  We are having many visitors with our livestream and so these flowers both remember the saints who have gone before us, but also beautify our gorgeous church!  Please email or call Edward to sign up for this.

I want to close my pastoral email to you with a prayer from the National Church that we said together this past week at our weekly Spirit of Invitation gathering.  I invite you to pray it at home as we grieve and learn from the latest tragedy that the First Nations community is now dealing with.

Jesus, who showed us how Love is meant to live in the world, call us again out of denial and into truth, out of despair and into hope. Spur us to action in the places where systems of injustice prevail. 
Provoke us to speak out against racism, discrimination, climate injustice and all that stands between us and the good, just, beautiful life you designed for us together. 
Be our strength when weak, our courage when afraid, our light in dark places.
Holy Spirit, in the unimaginable pain of this loss, when all words fail, hear and hold our groans too deep for words as we see and honour the anguish of families left without the life, love and laughter each child represents.
Be present with us in the myriad of emotions that the release of these names may bring - sadness, anger, relief, confusion, fear. Guard also the hearts and minds of survivors as they are faced again with memories of their own trauma and suffering.  Amen.

May our hearts always be broken at the things that break the heart of God and may God’s peace cover us all,

Copyright © 2021 St. John the Baptist Norway Anglican Church, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
St. John the Baptist Norway Anglican Church
470 Woodbine Avenue 
Toronto, ON M4E 2H6

Our church office hours:
Monday to Friday
9 AM - 1 PM

(416) 691-4560

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St. John's Norway · 470 Woodbine Ave · Toronto, ON M4E 2H6 · Canada

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