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Dear friends in Christ,

What a great parking lot party we had on Sunday! I want to thank Lo Cook for her great work in putting together those loot bags, and to Pat and Jim Murray for the cool treats.  Big thanks to Eugene and Katya Park for the gift of honey—a perfect reminder of our own John the Baptist’s favourite food!

As I write this, Pride Weekend has just wrapped up in Toronto.  The big parade actually used to be a protest when it first started 40 years, when members of Toronto’s LGBT community marched against police raids that were happening in the Church & Wellesley area, now known as the Village.  

Gay Anglicans were asking for inclusion in the church for even longer than that, and still today many feel like they are left out, and left behind.  Today, priests can be open about who they are and we also have women clergy (like your very own!:) but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t silence, suffering and harm felt by our LGBTQ2SI+ siblings in Christ.  Our Diocesan Bishop Andrew Asbil just issued an apology to the community at St. James Cathedral, and you can watch this here.

In more recent times, Pride Weekend has been an occasion of joy and celebration.  And as I said on our ZOOM Worship on Sunday, God celebrates in our uniqueness, all of us beautifully created in the image of God.  There is no room in the all-embracing arms of our God for judgement, just love.  Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle, author of the amazing book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, and founder of the LA-based gang rehabilitation organization Homeboys Industries, writes this:

"God would seem to be too occupied in being unable to take Her eyes off of us to spend any time raising an eyebrow in disapproval.” 

For those of us who can get down on ourselves, or feel less than, this is an important message to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest.  Let’s all take our summer rest and refreshment time to see ourselves as God sees us—with love, acceptance and approval.  

Speaking of summer rest, I will be away from the parish from July 2-10.  The office will also be closed, with Edward on holiday from July 5-9.  Our summer student Lo Cook will be available for pastoral care, and you can her reach by email here or by phone at (321) 287-9968.  The Rev. Dr. Harold Shepherd will preach at ZOOM worship at 9am this Sunday, and he will preach and celebrate at the 10:30 Holy Eucharist Livestream.  

Don’t forget to send in your photographs of where you are worshipping from this summer—I know I will be doing just that on Sunday!  It’s part of our #summerworshipchallenge.

And if you would like to join Lo in our “Doors Open for Prayer” on Fridays in July between 12:30 and 2pm, reach out to her—she would love to have you help her!  This is a terrific missional project for our community.

I give thanks to God for each one of you—uniquely created as His children,
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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