Sunday, March 19, 2017

Signs of Spring

I think we can all agree that it has been a long cold winter. And so , on this crisp sunny Sunday morning , it was a delight to see the clusters of beautiful flowers in bloom outside our Church. 


Monday, March 13, 2017

Fireside Songs

Yesterday afternoon, we were treated to a beautiful concert by three very talented musicians who are members of our Church. 'Fireside Songs', which took place in the Church following the Family Service , was very well attended , and the fireplace added to the special closeness created by Ali, Len and Marcia. 

The program included a delightful collection of Celtic tunes , played on the Hammer Dulcimer , Mandolin, Harmonica and Cello. Len's solo on the Harmonica was particularly beautiful and we couldn't help but sing gently along to his rendition of  'White Cliffs of Dover '.

During the final song , we were all invited to sing along . We then had a much closer look at the Hammer Dulcimer which was so expertly played by Ali.

What a treat it was ! Thanks so much.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Ash Wednesday March 1st

Wednesday March 1st , we celebrated our Ash Wednesday Eucharist at 10 o'clock . There was a good turn  out. Perhaps it was coincidental that March 1st was also St David's Day. 

Thank you to Fr Michael for providing us with insights to the Christianity practised by St David , the Patron Saint of Wales. Fr Michael commented that considering the fact that St David lived in the 6th Century , his Christian outlook was in very many ways quite modern , and very relevant to us today. 

During the course of the Eucharistic Service we experienced the Imposition of Ashes , and this is where I begin to digress : 

This week at Glenamady Church in Galway  Ireland , the Priest took a novel approach to Ash Wednesday.

They designed a drive-thru service for the Imposition of Ashes to remind people , and to help them think of Lent. 

As for me , I think I'll give this practice a miss. I'm just as happy to make my way up to the altar rail, quietly and reverently, for my imposition of ashes ! Let's say that this is my own personal protest against the relentless march of the consumer society.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday's Pancake Dinner was very successful again this year with about 50 people enjoying a meal of delicious blueberry pancakes and sausages , prepared by members of St John's Men's Guild.
Thanks so much to all who worked so hard to make this a great night !

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Bishop's Visit February 25 and 26th

                      Saturday February 25th  A Visioning Workshop

A heartfelt thank you to Bishop Logan for leading us through a Visioning workshop on Saturday February 25th. And a big thank you to those members of our Parish who turned out and participated in the workshop. The general feeling was that it was a worthwhile experience. 

It has been said that a nation without vision will surely perish , and I would venture to say that the same holds true of the church; a church without vision will likewise perish.
It is good to know where we are going and to have confidence in the path we have chosen.

Our task on Saturday was to take a good look at ourselves and our Parish , as well as the community which we serve. We were encouraged to consider our strengths and weaknesses , and at the same time ask ourselves how might we become better equipped to strengthen our Parish, and effectively serve it, as well as conveying the Good News to the community which we are part of. 

We were encouraged and challenged throughout our workshop experience to ask ourselves : how can we bring our vision to fruition in our Parish , and become a renewed people?

Will it come by the renewing of our hearts and minds ? 
Will it come by the renewing of our spirits? 
As a church family we are encouraged to think about these things and as we enter the season of Lent, perhaps this would be a good time to begin our journey.
Let us watch therefore and look out for evidence of God's hand at work as our vision unfolds.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Helping Our North Island Communities

Rev. Alastair Hunting , who regularly attends our Wednesday morning service at St John's was actively involved with the Courtenay food bank for several years. Since he became ordained , his duties have taken him to the North Island communities of Alert Bay and Port Hardy , and there also , his commitment to the work of the food bank has been rekindled.

Last month , Rev. Alastair made an appeal to our congregation to donate much needed food items to the communities he serves , and so far he has had a good response . 

Should you be interested, food can be left in regular grocery bags in the Narthex , and there Alastair with make a regular pickup.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Special Moment

Another important task for me today was to replenish the suet in the little bird feeder which hangs from our cherry tree in the back garden.

To get to the cherry tree, I had to clear the way just enough for me to be able to walk through the snow covered grass. I made sure that the ladder was securely in place before climbing up to reach the little feeder suspending from one of the branches. 

As soon as I had hung up the new block of suet , I heard a faint fluttering sound to my right , and then realized it was the sound of a tiny bird which had come to see what was going on. It was alone , and so as not to frighten it , I decided to remain very still on the step ladder. 

To my surprise , the little bird came within inches of me and started pecking away at the fresh suet. It didn't stay long , but long enough to make it one of those special moments that touches and gladdens the heart.