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Beloved in Christ,

I’m writing this to you as rain pours outside my window—we sure have had some rainy days this past week!

We all know that line about April showers bringing May flowers, and I wonder if that isn’t a good metaphor for how we are feeling these days.  We know, we must hope that sunnier days are ahead—after all, we do believe those flowers will keep growing and the warm weather will come.  

In the same way, we know that COVID will break—we are seeing the impact of vaccinations in the UK and the US, and restrictions lifting in those places. But we also grieve the losses we are dealing with here in Canada, and we pray for our brothers and sisters in India who are facing an unprecedented COVID disaster.

Life is always a bittersweet experience—and God is faithful in it all.  We are experiencing just such a bittersweet time in our parish as we say goodbye to our beloved curate, The Rev. Benjamin Gillard.  

We are going to have a wonderful time on Sunday celebrating Benjamin with his favourite music, prayers, Rev. Nola Crewe from St. Monica’s reading the Gospel for us and a time of ZOOM coffee hour where you can say goodbye.  You have blessed him on his way with a beautiful chasuble, inscribed with love.  You can see a photo below of this—and thank you to the whole parish who so generously contributed to his leaving gift. It’s also so lovely that St. Monica’s contributed the matching stole!
I want to close my letter this week with my prayer for Benjamin which I will pray on Sunday but leave with you now:

Blessed are you, O God,
for you have created the wide and wonderful world in which we live.
We praise you for your constant care
for those who have trusted you in ages past,
who journeyed in faith to new lands of promise.
We trust that now you will hold Benjamin 
securely in your hands as he, too,
follows your call to a new chapter of his ministry.
May he take with him
a heart filled with your love and grace,
that those with whom he lives and works
may see in him the face of Jesus Christ.
Bless him that he may be a blessing.
Guide him to a new church home,
where he may continue to grow
in grace, in Spirit, and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, and remember—it may be rainy now, but warmer weather is coming!

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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