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My dear friends in Christ,

This past week, our Ministry Team went out to a patio for lunch!  It was the first time that all of us had been able to break bread and have a time of fellowship together since we formed our new team.  We had so much fun and shared our joy in serving God’s people at St. John’s together.
Being on a patio like that felt like summer!  And so I imagine that many of you, like me, are planning your summer vacation time.  We all need time to get away—to enjoy rest and re-creation.  It’s how God fills up our tank for the season ahead.

And a key part of being refreshed comes from our worship of God.  Just because we get away, doesn’t mean we have to “get away” from the God who is the source of our life and being.  In fact, I find that it’s when I try to “get a break” from God or from a worshipping community, that I can start to feel out of sorts and disconnected from the key thing that gives me life.

I love what Jesus says in this paraphrase of Matthew’s Gospel:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)

This summer, whether you are doing a staycation or physically leaving town, we are encouraging each other in our parish to keep worshipping together.  Part of the Holy Spirit’s work during COVD is keeping us connected through ZOOM and Livestream Worship, so we want to see you joining us from wherever you happen to be!

If you can take a picture on your phone, or write an email telling us where you are worshipping from, we will collect all of that and share it with each other.  It’s so encouraging!  I invite each one of you this summer to write into our church office with “I’m joining St. John’s from….” and you fill in the blank:  my front porch, my backyard, the cottage, a different province or city—or my cool air-conditioned living room!

Worship takes place 52 weeks a year—because God is with us all the time and He never leaves us or forsakes us.  

Church doesn’t stop in the summer—in fact, going to Sunday morning services during the summer is one of my favourite things to do during a non-COVID year.  I love the summertime feeling, seeing everyone coming in relaxed sundresses and shorts, and we make the service really move along in a light and joyful way.  Plus, lemonade outside is an extra blessing!

So that’s what I look forward to experiencing with you next summer.  But as for this summer, I’m really excited to see your emails and photos of where you are doing Church.  It’s a #summerworshipchallenge!

Finally, please mark your calendars for Sunday June 27 when we mark the birthday of St. John the Baptist.  To mark this big day, often known as our “Patronal Festival”,  we invite you all to come to ZOOM Family Worship at 9am or join the Livestream at 10:30 and then drive by or stroll into our parking lot between 11:30 and 12:30 for Communion and a birthday party loot bag:)  

We look forward to this final parking lot fellowship event before we reopen our church building in September!

See you on Sunday from wherever you happen to be worshipping from.

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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