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Sunday, July 24th – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

All are welcome to attend in-person services. Entry is from the main doors on King Street East. Weather-permitting, coffee hour follows the ten o’clock service out in the Nativity Gardens behind the church.

Service Guidelines are available here.

Masks are not required, but with the current surge in COVID cases we do strongly recommend that you wear a high-quality medical mask for in-person attendance.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 9:45 am, and the service itself will begin at 10 am. You’ll be able to watch or re-watch it on YouTube at the same link at any later time.

Keep this order of service handy! In it, you’ll find the readings, the responses, and the hymns–all so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

The first reading this week is from the letter to the Colossians. Colossae was a city in the Roman province of Phrygia Pacatiana, and a significant city in Anatolia (modern Türkiye). The followers of Jesus in Colossae are encouraged to know that because they were buried with Christ in baptism, they are raised with him through faith. (Colossians 2.6–19)

The Courtyards of the Church of the Pater Noster, built on the location where Jesus is said to have taught the disciples the prayer we call “the Lord’s Prayer.”

This Sunday’s gospel passage begins with Jesus’s disciples asking him to teach them to pray–and him sharing the familiar words of what we now refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus goes on to reassure them that they will be heard as they continue to pray, and that God’s love will protect and care for them. (Luke 11.1–13)

Here are pictures of some of the plaques from around the Church of the Pater Noster, built on the Mount of Olives where Jesus is said to have taught the disciples to pray. They ones here–a small fraction of all the plaques at the church!–record the Lord’s Prayer in English, Greek, Latin, Cree, Ojibwe, Welsh, and German.

Sunday, May 15th — Fifth Sunday of Easter

All are welcome to attend in-person services. We no longer need attendees to preregister, and you will be able to choose where to sit. One side of the church still has some pews blocked off to support those who need to maintain physical distancing. All entry to the building is from the King Street East main doors.

Everyone–without exception–must wear a mask properly at all times while inside the building.

You can join the service, live or later, via YouTube. The live-stream will begin at 9:45 am, and the service itself will begin at 10am. You’ll still be able to watch or re-watch it on YouTube at the same link any time thereafter.

Keep this order of service handy! It has the readings, the responses, and hymn texts–so you can join in as fully as possible from afar.

Peter’s vision as described in Acts 11.

In our first reading, Peter reports to the Church in Jerusalem about his baptism of non-Jewish believers. He shares a vision given to him by God that God’s intention to love Gentiles as well as Jews is revealed in Jesus’ testimony. This vision leads to the authorizing of the mission to the Gentiles. (Acts 11.1–18)

Our second readings is from the Revelation to St. John. John’s vision shows us that in the resurrection the new age has dawned; God dwells with us already. We wait for the time when the tears that cloud our vision will be wiped away. Then we will see the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem. (Revelation 21.1–6)

Today’s gospel pericope takes us back to Maundy Thursday. After washing the disciples’ feet, predicting his betrayal, and then revealing his betrayer, Jesus speaks of his glorification on the cross. This deep complicated love of Jesus, even to death on the cross, will be the distinctive mark of Jesus’ community. (John 13.31–35)

Sundays and Seasons offers this reflection on the week’s readings:

Easter initiates a new day. It anticipates a new heaven and a new earth. The risen Christ is making all things new. In the mystery of holy baptism God has made new people of us. Today Jesus invites us to see everyone in a new light—through the lens of love.

Requiem Eucharist for Kath Dubecki

The requiem eucharist for Kath will be held on Saturday, 23 April at 10am.

The service will be live streamed, and the order of service is available here.

Kath Dubecki, O.N.

Kath was appointed to the Order of Niagara in 2017. This citation was read at her induction to the Order.

Kath’s dedication, commitment, and passion for the mission of the church have been unflagging over many years and even multiple communities. She has served as a warden, a lay delegate to Synod, a member of Synod Council, a chorister, and a member of parish councils. Of particular note at the Church of the Nativity is her role as one of the organizers of the parish’s community lunch program since its inception. Her perspicacity, warmth, determination and good humour and humility make her a joy-filled companion on the journey of discipleship.

Sunday, March 20 – Third Sunday in Lent

If you’d like to join in-person worship at the Nativity, please call the office to pre-register. We continue to maintain 2 meters of distance between different household groups. Masks must be worn properly at all times inside the building. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist will continue to be live-streamed each week.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining in from afar, keep this order of service handy so you can participate in the service! It has all the responses, the hymn texts, and special prayers you might choose to use while those attending in person receive the eucharist.

This week, we’ll hear Isaiah sharing God’s invitation to draw close to our God, who provides all that we need. (Isaiah 55.1-9). We’ll also hear Jesus share a parable about patience and nurturing–even when the recipients of our care seemingly aren’t bearing fruit. (Luke 13.1-9)

March 13, 2022 – Second Sunday in Lent

If you’d like to join in-person worship at the Nativity, please call the office to pre-register. We continue to maintain 2 meters of distance between different household groups. Masks must be worn properly at all times inside the building. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist will continue to be live-streamed each week.

Pen & Ink sketch: A mother draws five children into an embrace.

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

If you’re joining in from afar, keep this order of service handy so you can participate in the service! It has all the responses, the hymn texts, and special prayers you might choose to use while those attending in person receive the eucharist.

Did you know? clip art

Have you ever noticed that the church refers to these first days of the week as “Sundays IN Lent”? Throughout these forty days, it’s always “in”, rather than “of.” Sundays aren’t actually counted as part of the 40 days of Lent! Every Sunday is a sort of mini-Easter: we always celebrate the good news of God’s decisive act in the resurrection of Jesus–bringing us into new life.

Black and white graphic of a hen gathering her chicks under her wing.

On this second Sunday in Lent, we hear in the Hebrew Scriptures of the covenant God makes with Abraham. God promises that Abraham will have innumerable descendants and a homeland for their flourishing (Genesis 15.1–12, 17–18). The gospel story has a warning to Jesus–and a challenging response to both the danger he’s warned about, and God’s desire for a better future (Luke 13.31-35). Sundays and Seasons offers a powerful reminder about God’s hopes for us in their reflection for this Sunday:

Though we sometimes doubt and often resist God’s desire to protect and save us, our God persists. In holy baptism, God’s people have been called and gathered into a God-initiated relationship that will endure. Lent provides the church with a time and a tradition in which to seek God’s face again. Lent provides another occasion to behold the God of our salvation in the face of the Blessed One who “comes in the name of the Lord.”

6 March 2022 – First Sunday in Lent

We have resumed in-person services! If you would like to join in worship in-person, please call the office to pre-register, as we are continuing to maintain 2 metres of distance between household groups attending. Masks must be worn at all times in the building. Our 10 o’clock Eucharist will continue to be live-streamed each week.

Nativity's main altar, dressed on Ash Wednesday for Lent

You can join in worshipping on Sunday, live or later, via YouTube! We’ll continue to offer a welcome at about 9:45, followed by some prelude music. The service will begin at 10 am. The service will be posted to YouTube, and you can use the same link to join in later.

To join in the responses and to sing along with the hymns, you’ll want to keep the order of service handy!

The order of service posted online includes some prayers you may wish to use to participate in spiritual communion while those attending in person receive the Eucharist. This may be the first time you’re hearing about spiritual communion: the idea is that earnestly desiring to participate in the Eucharist and praying is to receive spiritually what you are not able to receive physically at this time. There are three prayers in the online order of service on page 14 to support you as you worship from afar.

On the first Sunday of Lent, we normally sing the Great Litany in procession, wrapping the gathered community in prayer. The procession is a symbol of our status as God’s pilgrim people, restless until we find our rest in God. Because of Covid precautions, we’re omitting the procession this year–but the words of the litany are still a powerful entry point to the season of Lent. We approach God, offer our penitence, and seek God’s support in every aspect of our individual and communal lives.

Jesus is tempted – Matthew 4:1-11

We hear in the Hebrew Scripture readings in Lent about God’s abundant provision for us. This week, we’ll hear about how God’s people are instructed to offer their thanks upon coming into the promised land (Deuteronomy 26.1–11). In the gospel pericope, we’ll hear about Jesus fasting in the wilderness for forty days, and his response to temptation (Luke 4.1-13).

Encouraging words are shared with us in this week’s reflection from Sundays and Seasons:

These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues, to receive the gifts of God’s grace, to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus, and to resist temptation at every turn. This is no small pilgrimage on which we have just embarked. It is a struggle Jesus knew. It is a struggle Jesus shares. The nearness of the Lord, in bread and wine, water and word, will uphold and sustain us.

The “Jesus is Tempted” image sourced from Art in the Christian Tradition a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library in Nashville, TN. JESUS MAFA. Jesus is tempted – Matthew 4:1-11 https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48312 [retrieved March 3, 2022]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).

Sunday, 27 February 2022 – Last Sunday after the Epiphany

A pen & ink sketch of Jesus, transfigured by God's glory on Mount Tabor.

This Sunday service is on-line only. We resume in-person services on Ash Wednesday (March 2nd at 10 am), and next Sunday (March 6th). Worshippers wanting to attend in person are asked to call the office and pre-register. The 10 o’clock service will continue to be live-streamed.

Coptic Icon of the Transfiguration
Coptic Icon of the Transfiguration

You can join in our Sunday service, live or later, via YouTube! The stream will begin there at about 9:45, with a welcome and some prelude music. The service itself will begin at 10 am. As always, you’ll be able to use the same link to watch the service later, if you can’t join in live.

To join in the responses and to sing along with the hymn of the day, you’ll want to keep the order of service handy!

This Sunday is the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. (Ash Wednesday is this coming week, and so Lent begins.)

Each year on this Last Sunday after the Epiphany, we hear a gospel passage describing the Transfiguration of Our Lord–the time on the top of Mount Tabor when Jesus’s face changes its appearance, his clothes are suddenly dazzling white, and a couple of disciples see Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah. This year we hear the story as Luke relates it. (Luke 9.28-36). Paired with it this week is the story from the book of Exodus about how Moses’s face shines after he comes into God’s presence on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34.29-35).

Sundays and Seasons offers this reflection on this week’s reading:

Witnesses to the glory of God in the face of Jesus reflect that glory in the world. It was true for Moses. It was doubtless true for Peter, James, and John. We pray that it will be true of all of us who see God’s glory in the word and in the supper and who are being “transformed into the same image” by God’s Spirit.

Sunday, 20 February 2022 – 7th Sunday after the Epiphany

This Sunday and next remain on-line only as caution during the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan to resume in-person services on Ash Wednesday (March 2nd). The principal Sunday service will continue to be streamed.

You can join in our Sunday service, live or later, via YouTube! The stream will begin there at about 9:45, with a welcome and some prelude music. The service itself will begin at 10 am. As always, you’ll be able to use the same link to watch the service later, if you can’t join in live.

Everything you’ll need to join the responses and to sing along with the hymn of the day can be found in the order of service, so you’ll want to keep it handy!

This is the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany. Paul continues to preach passionately to the Corinthians about being joined to the resurrection of Jesus for eternal life (1 Cor 15.35-38, 42-50), and Jesus continues to preach what we often call the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6.27-38). Jesus invites us to a new kind of life, marked by love, blessing, forgiveness, generosity, and trust–not just to one another but to outsiders and even to enemies.

Here’s what Sundays and Seasons offers about this week’s theme:

Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Joseph lives it in Egypt. [The lesson we omit from the Hebrew scriptures this week is Genesis 45.3-11,15.] Jesus preaches it in the gospel. The Spirit guides us into merciful lives with the power of forgiveness to reconcile what is fractured and divided. Such merciful living is the baptismal blessing of having put on Christ. It is the gift of the life-giving Spirit. It is a reflection of God’s glory revealed in Christ.

We’re excited to plan for the resumption of in-person services in March. Our annual vestry meeting will be held at 11:30 after church this Sunday (February 20th); please be in touch with the office if you haven’t received details about how to attend via email.

(Our cover image is “Love Your Enemies,” from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=58810 [retrieved February 17, 2022]. Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boojee/2929823056/. We use it under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.)

Annual Vestry Meeting – February 20th @ 11:30

Would you believe that we hold our annual vestry meeting every year? Really! We met last year virtually, using the Zoom platform. The nice thing about Zoom is that it allows people to participate either by using a computing device or by a telephone. We’ll be using Zoom again this year. An email will be sent out to all parishioners we have email addresses for early in the week of February 13th with a link to the meeting and instructions for how to connect. Please make sure to send the office a note if you want to confirm your email address with us! Alternatively, if you need information about how to connect to the meeting using your telephone, please leave a message on the office voicemail and our Parish Administrator will respond with details.

Our Annual Vestry Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 20th, at 11:30am (EDT) using Zoom.

Canon 4 of our diocese spells out what the annual Vestry meeting is for: to receive the accounts of the previous year, to elect and appoint Churchwardens and Lay Representatives, and for the transaction of other business connected with the temporalities of the Church.

What does that actually mean in terms of our business? This year we’ll:

  • review our agenda
  • review and approve the minutes of last year
  • elect and appoint wardens and members of Parish Council
  • approve the Financial Statements for 2021
  • look at the budget, and commend it
  • give authority to the wardens for some actions they may need to take

Vestry also gives us a chance to pause, and to reflect on what last year was like. It helps us to retell our story, and to recommit ourselves to God’s presence in our lives and the life of the world.

We recommend that you read the Vestry Report before the meeting. Please share any questions that occur to you in advance with either Matthew or Laura, so that we can be prepared to respond.