Save the Date – June 7th!

On the afternoon of June 7th, 2020, join us in the Nativity Gardens for their formal blessing by Bishop Susan Bell!

Construction of the Nativity Gardens begins this fall. This new space, to be shared by the parish and all the communities in East Hamilton, will provide fabulous opportunities for community building and fellowship. We are deeply grateful to the Anglican Foundation of Canada, to the Diocese of Niagara through the diocesan WOW Grant program, and to the City of Hamilton for their support of this new project through Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla.

aflogo Diocesan Coat of Arms hamlogo

Join us for the Nativity Gardens Launch Party and Blessing!

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Going to the Polls

I’ve taken my son with me each and every time I’ve voted in his lifetime–municipally, provincially, and federally. What’s struck me the last few times he’s accompanied me to the polls is how insightful his questions are and how deeply he thinks about some of the issues. It’s exciting to be part of helping him to become an informed and engaged citizen!

One of the hardest things about the election period is making sense of how our faith shapes our response to the campaigns. My commitment to Jesus means I feel the need to ask some particular questions of candidates and party leaders: not as some shibboleth or litmus test that they need to get right, but to see how they make decisions–and particularly how they care for the dignity and well-being of all Canadians as individuals as well as Canada as a community. I think of these questions as a work of discernment: where is God leading us? How do I share in caring for my fellow Canadians? These are matters of faith, and my responses are grounded in the promises I’ve made in the baptismal covenant.

The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) has issued a helpful guide entitled Justice, and Only Justice, Shall You Pursue. It offers background information to some critical topics that face Canadians, together with suggested questions we might ask candidates. It also has resources for ways we can learn more about those topics and get involved beyond the campaign period. The 2019 focal points include refugees, peace and disarmament, climate, reconciliation, poverty, palliative care, religious freedom, sexual exploitation, and public health care.

I encourage you to check out the CCC’s guide. It’s a great starting point for conversations that the Anglican Church of Canada has been part of for many years, and that we as Canadians need to be part of as we desire–and work for–a better country.

– Matthew

Circle of Love, Support, and Solidarity

Let’s show our support for our Muslim neighbours!

Our major celebrations of worship each week as Christians typically happen on Sunday mornings, as we celebrate the good news of the resurrection. Our friends, neighbours, and fellow citizens who are Muslim gather on Fridays, just after mid-day for their principal service, called صلاة الجمعة‎ — ṣalāt al-jumu‘ah.

Last Friday as they gathered for prayers at the Linwood Islamic Centre and the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, many worshippers were shot. At least fifty men, women, and children as young as three years of age, were killed while they prayed.

As the Muslim community of Hamilton meets for jumu’ah this Friday, we are invited to be part of forming a circle of love, support, and solidarity outside mosques. We’ll stand together in witness to the power of love over hate, sharing the love we meet in Jesus Christ, and responding to our baptismal promise to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being!

  • Friday, March 22nd
  • outside the Mountain Mosque (1545 Stone Church Rd E, Hamilton), gathered with fellow Christians, followers of Judaism, and other concerned citizens
  • jumu’ah begins at 1:30 and finishes around 2:30

Christmas Traditions

Even as we prepare to celebrate God making God’s home with us, the God we meet in Jesus Christ, we all have important personal traditions. For many, it’s a special feast; for others, travelling; still others can’t imagine Christmas without a particular carol.

Some folk need to watch Elf or Alister Sim in Scrooge (… or the better one, where Kermit plays Bob Cratchit…). There are all kinds of stories that help us appreciate even more deeply the good news we hear in Luke’s gospel.

One favourite is a story by Stuart McLean, called “Dave Cooks the Turkey.” It’s in McLean’s Home from the Vinyl Cafe: A Year of Stories collection.

From now through twelfth night, enjoy our rector reading “Dave Cooks the Turkey” at the link below. Whatever your traditions, may your Christmas be full of rejoicing: Christ comes into our midst, and draws us into God’s loving embrace. Happy Christmas!

Dave Cooks the Turkey by Stuart McLean

 

Bells for Peace

Bell

On July 28, 1914, the First World War began. On August 4th, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, bringing the then Dominion of Canada into the war. Speaking with a friend the night before, the British Foreign Secretary—Sir Edward Grey—remarked that “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
The threat of aerial bombardments and shelling meant that the nights grew much darker, as opposing forces tried to prevent their enemies from knowing just where they were. Some of the normal joyous sounds of city and village life also quieted so as not to declare their location, and the ringing of church bells ceased.
This year’s Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the first World War. A century ago, communities spontaneously celebrated with the ringing of bells that had long been silent during the war. Relieved and rejoicing, people around the world began to see the dawn of hope.
To mark the centenary of the end of the World War I, the Royal Canadian Legion has invited Churches and places of Worship with bells to ring them one hundred times, beginning at sunset on November 11th.
Please gather with us on November 11, on the front porch of the church as we join in the Legion’s Bells for Peace initiative. We’ll meet at 4:30, and all present will be able to join in the ringing of our bell as we mark the anniversary. To remember is to work for peace.

April 15th Services Cancelled

Snow StormIce Storm Causes Unsafe Roads,
Cancelled Services

Due to this weekend’s massive winter storm with significant amounts of freezing rain and high winds, all services at the Church of the Nativity are cancelled on April 15, 2018.

We join with Anglicans throughout the Diocese of Niagara in praying:
Creator God,
be present as this storm moves through our cities and towns;
warm our hearts with acts of loving kindness;
and watch over those working to keep us safe;
through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Ecumenical Worship in Lent

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity may have concluded yesterday, but here in East Hamilton we’re gearing up for the most visible expression of that unity in our community. For thirty-two years now, parishes of multiple denominations have gathered together on the Wednesday nights in Lent for worship and social time. Whether we start with food and then worship or vice versa, folk from Faith Lutheran, Holy Cross Roman Catholic, Pioneer Memorial United and St. Columba Presbyterian, and the Church of the Nativity have welcomed others from the neighbourhood as we prepare with joy to celebrate Easter! We move from one community’s normal place of worship to the next on successive Wednesdays. The priest or minister from the host community presides at the service, and one from somewhere else offers a reflection.

Each year, a theme ties the services together; this year, our focus is Journey Toward the Cross. We’ll tell the stories of significant moments in the life of Jesus that offer a glimpse of what God’s overwhelming love will look like in the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Together we’ll hear about Anna and Simeon meeting the Messiah, and offering prophecies; about Jesus and God’s message being rejected in Jesus’ hometown; about the disciple Peter recognizing who Jesus is–and also not getting what that good news means; and about Jesus chasing from the temple all who try to limit everyone’s access to God.

Below this post, you’ll find a list of the service locations on the four nights of the series. We hope that they’ll feed you as together we prepare with joy to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and the new life God offers in the fullness of God’s love!

Date Location Speaker
February 21 Holy Cross The Reverend Tim Kennedy
February 28 St. Columba & Pioneer Pastor Merz
March 7 Church of the Nativity Father Marijan
March 14 Faith Lutheran The Reverend Canon David Linn
Representatives of faith communities in Hamilton light candles as part of an ecumenical service during Lent 2017.

Representatives of faith communities in Hamilton light candles as part of an ecumenical service during Lent 2017. Photo (c) William Pleydon.