Our pre-Christmas Bazaar will take place on Saturday November 19 11am – 1:30pm. at the Blandford Community Center. Admission Free. Bake Table, Handiwork, Books and “New to You”. Lunch (soup or Chili with a roll and dessert, tea or coffee): $10.00 Sponsored by the St. Barnabas Ladies Guild
The twin feast days of All Saints and All Souls fall in the middle of the week this year. We will observe them as a part of our parish worship on Sunday November 6, 10am. at St. Barnabas in Blandford. This is an opportunity to remember those who have gone before us, to give thanks for their life and witness and to remember the love of God which sustains us in this life and beyond. Don’t forget to set your clocks back on Saturday night!
In-Person Services have resumed. Beginning April 03, 2022 until at least April 24 the following procedures will be in effect for worship & meetings in our parish:
There will be No contact tracing
Social/Physical Distancing is not required, however the first 4 rows of pews on the right side (facing the Chancel) will be reserved for those who still wish to distance.
Masks will be required at least for the month of April; after which we will reassess according to the Covid situation in the community & Province
The Communion rail will be used for Communion with 4 – 6 people at the rail depending on the building and the family/friend groupings. Anyone who for any reason wishes to receive communion at their pew will be accommodated.
Offerings will still be collected on the Plate at the door, but the plate will be brought to the altar at the Offering time.
On Palm/Passion Sunday (April 10) we will try out communion in the form of wine using individual cups (procedure will be explained at the service). If the trial is successful we will be using this method on Easter Sunday, and other designated occasions.
The sharing of the peace will continue to be done using signs & gestures rather than physical touch.
On Sunday, April 24 we will reassess these procedures to adjust and change them as we deem appropriate.
1. In-Person Services have resumed – February 06 – Revised March 27, 2022
2. This Sunday in the Parish of Blandford – Revised March 27, 2022
3. Rector’s Reflection – Revised March 27, 2022
4. Resuming Services together in an Indoor Worship Space – Revised January 30, 2022
6. How you can continue to Contribute to the Parish.
Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 27, 2022
The Parish of Blandford Worshiping at All Saints
Sunday Bulletin – Scroll Down.
Parish of Blandford
Aspotogan Peninsula, Municipality of Chester, Nova Scotia
Striving to be a Christian Community
of Worship, Welcome and Care.
If you know someone who cannot access this document on line, print it for them or pick one up at the rectory. Please Remember – if you are concerned about transmission of the virus on surfaces: Wash or sanitize your hands before handling the document. I will be doing so as I print them.
Contact Information: Telephone: (902)228-2761, Email: email@example.com, Website: parishofblandford.ca
Rector: Reverend Louis Quennelle, Rector, Phone: (902)521-5169, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Wardens: All Saints: Malcolm Boutilier (902)228-2961, St. Cuthbert: Ken Miller, (902)204-1000, Saint Barnabas: Claudia Zinck (902)228-2091
Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
Anglican Church of Canada
Collect: Eternal Lover of our wayward race, you open your arms to accept us even before we turn to meet your welcome; you invite us to forgiveness even before our hearts are softened to repentance. Hold before us the image of our humanity made new, so that we may live in Jesus Christ, your new creation. Amen. Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002), alt.
First Reading: A READING FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA. The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day. While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year. Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. Thanks be to God. JOSHUA 5:9-12
Psalm Refrain: You surround me with shouts of deliverance, O Lord.
Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away! Happy are they to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, and in whose spirit there is no guile! R
While I held my tongue, my bones withered away, because of my groaning all day long. For your hand was heavy upon me day and night; my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer. R
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and did not conceal my guilt. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin. R
Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in time of trouble; when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them. You are my hiding-place; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. R
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye. Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding; who must be fitted with bit and bridle, or else they will not stay near you.” R
Great are the tribulations of the wicked; but mercy embraces those who trust in the Lord. Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord; shout for joy, all who are true of heart. R PSALM 32
Second Reading: A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS. From now on, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church. Thanks be to God. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:16-21
Gospel: THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE. Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ. Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe – the best one – and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him! ‘Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'” The Gospel of Christ. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. LUKE 15:1-3, 11B-32
Prayers of the People: Let us offer prayers to the God whose loving care embraces each son and daughter in need, saying: Merciful God, hear our prayer.
For the Church: that we who are baptised may be signs of God’s compassion, and welcome all sinners, among whom we number, with an embrace of love, and a place at the table. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
For this Family of the Parish of Blandford, that, we whose many failings have been so freely and frequently forgiven, may celebrate God’s goodness each day. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
For the leaders of the nations as they take counsel together: grant them compassion, courage, and wisdom to guide their choices, that the people of Ukraine may know the blessings of peace. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
That as we pray for the people of Ukraine, we may not forget the many other people all over the world who need prayers. May all be kept safe from the violence of war, find adequate shelter and food, and remain strong in the knowledge that God is with them. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
For all those whose work is dangerous, dirty, or looked down upon, and those who labour and yet are poor and hungry, that they may find places of welcome and refreshment, in our communities and churches. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
For all those in need of our prayers, especially those who struggle for physical, mental and spiritual health, that they may share in the generous banquet of God’s reconciling love. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
For those who mourn, remembering especially those who have lost loved ones in violence and war, that they may heartened in faith that their loved ones are part of the new creation, as God in Christ makes all things new. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
Gracious God, rich in mercy and pardon, hear our prayers, restore us now with the embrace of your compassion, and feed us at the paschal banquet of the Lamb, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Prayer After Communion: Giver of life, you enlighten all who come into the world. Fill our hearts with the splendour of your grace, that we may perfectly love you and worthily praise your holy name, through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
Our Life Continues in the Parish of Blandford
Next Sunday: April 03 – Service of Healing & Reconciliation, 10AM
Pastoral Presence during Uncertain Times: Rev. Louis is available by telephone or email anytime. He will in the Parish on Tuesday & Wednesday this week.
What is God calling us to Give? This year, perhaps, as our Lenten offering, we can help provide Humanitarian aid to the Ukraine or give extra help to our local Food Bank.
PWRDF supports Ukrainians forced to flee: To make a donation, go to pwrdf.org/give-today and click on Response in Ukraine. To donate by phone, call 416-822-9083 or leave a voice mail toll-free at 1-866-308-7973 and we will return your call. Cheques may be ,ailed to PWRDF, 80 Hayden, 3rd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 3G2. Please mark Ukraine in the memo field.
Bible Study: to be announced today.
Paschal Candle: The Parish has purchased a new Paschal candle for Easter. The cost is approximately $200. You may make a donation towards the cost of the candle in Thanksgiving for a special event or person in your life or in Memory of a special person in your life who has gone to God. Donations in excess to the cost of the candle will be given to the Chester Food Bank. All Thanksgivings and Memorials will be listed in the Easter Bulletin.
Diocesan Prayer Partner: King’s College Chapel
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: St. George’s, New Glasgow The Reverend Gary Sinclair, Priest-in-Charge, and Reverend Lee; Strait-Chedabucto, Nova Scotia The Reverend Susan Slater, Priest-in-Charge, and Reverend Leif Vaage St. James’, Melford St. Andrew’s, Mulgrave Holy Trinity, Port Hawkesbury.
Anglican/Lutheran Cycle of Praye: ACC The theological colleges and training programs within the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada: The Atlantic School of Theology, Montreal Diocesan Theological, College, and Queen’s College ELCIC The congregations of the Northwestern Ontario area of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod
Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 27, 2022
Truth & Reconciliation – Luke 15:1-3,11B-32
What is it like to forgive as God does? Today’s Collect says it for me: “you invite us to forgiveness even before our hearts are softened to repentance.”
Maybe I should leave things just like that – nice and simple. So if you remember nothing else from today’s preaching, remember today’s collect. Remember that God’s move to forgiveness is not dependent on our being sorry.
There is a lot of talk these days about truth and reconciliation – mainly with regards to the first peoples of this land. I would guess that these words bring a number of thoughts and emotions to you. One may very well be “Not again, I’m full up to here with that talk. Some may want to learn more. Some may not understand it at all and think they are just catch words that are used whenever somebody tries to talk about our relationship with first nations.
Today though, try to put as much of that out of your mind as possible, because truth and reconciliation are much broader ideas than just one issue, no matter how important that one issue may be. Then maybe we can return to the first nations truth and reconciliation with a fresh mind and some fresh ideas.
First of all Truth and Reconciliation are actually the beginning and the end of a process. They don’t represent the totality of what the process really is.
Truth is the starting point. Often facing the truth about anything is hard, especially if it’s the truth about how my actions have hurt others or even how my lack of actions may have also hurt them. Sometimes it’s the truth about our action or inaction as a group or community of people that comes into question. In these situations it’s often something that happened in the past and that we didn’t personally do. Take the slavery, oppression and racism which Canadians of African descent had to endure. I certainly have never owned a slave. I don’t think I have ever purposely oppressed a black person or acted in a racist fashion towards a black person, but there is no doubt in my mind that there are some benefits I enjoy as a white person that they do not. It is important to face the truth of the consequences of past actions and my part of the responsibility for making those right.
Truth must be the starting point, the first step. If my/our starting point is a lie or a making of excuses, then our fist step is in the wrong direction – and so will our second step be. Not recognizing truth can shove the possibility of reconciliation to another time in the future – even worse it can put a barrier in the road which stops reconciliation altogether.
Jesus said when he was being questioned by Pilate: What is Truth? It’s a legitimate question. Sometimes there is my truth, our truth or your truth. How do we figure out which one is right and which is mistaken. I never intend to hurt anyone when I tease them. I know, though, that there are times when I have hurt people unintentionally by that teasing. It can be tricky figuring out the truth in those situation because we can place our truth in our intentions and forget to look at the other’s truth, which is an actual hurt. Until we recognize that truth and the degree to which we are responsible for it, we can’t take the next step – Repentance.
Once the truth is acknowledged, once we understand and have faced that what happened is something we should be sorry for, we express that sorrow as repentance. Here is where being honestly sorry is so important. Often we trip up at this stage by being sorry the other person was hurt, but not recognizing that, at least in part, we are responsible for that hurt. Sometimes we express regret when what we are sorry about is actually the fact that we got caught. This is probably one of the ways we most often judge politicians or others in positions of power not to have true repentance. It is something, though, that we can be guilty of ourselves. Repentance must be a true reflection of what we actually feel and believe , otherwise this also can be a false step that will take us in the wrong direction – often of mistrust and an even harder job convincing someone when we repent the next time! When we truly repent, we are ready to accept forgiveness.
Until now it’s all been about us the next step is perhaps the most difficult. In forgiveness, who forgives who? Both sides of the relationship usually have some responsibility towards the other. For now though let’s concentrate on what we need forgiveness for, what it is that we are sorry for – mainly because WE DON’T HAVE CONTROL OVER SOMEONE ELSE, both their repentance, and their forgiveness.
Sometimes we have to start by forgiving ourselves, not beating up on ourselves, but move beyond this in our sorrow to say “Ok, I really screwed that one up, now let’s see what I can do to make it right and not do it again.” Sometimes in actions of a community over generations we also have to forgive those who came before us for what they did to put us in this position. They will answer or have answered to the justice of God for their own actions. We will answer for ours.
So now we move on to what we are sorry for, the things we think we need forgiveness for. The first thing we are asked to accept is that forgiveness is a gift. The power in forgiveness is in the one who grants it. This makes us vulnerable. Once we say we are sorry to someone, we can’t force them to forgive us. It is not due to us just because we ask for it. There is no timeline and no right to expect forgiveness! But once that forgiveness is given it must be acknowledged humbly. Reconciliation can begin.
In a sense, we are now on an equal footing to begin reconciliation. One has acknowledged their responsibility and their sorrow. The other has acknowledged that sorrow and forgiven. Things may still not be right. The little boy has not yet given back the money he stole from his sister to buy that candy. This might seem like a silly example, but it does get to the heart of reconciliation which is making things right.
What do we do about making things right? Sometimes one saying “I’m sorry.” and and the other saying I forgive you, along with a hug is all that is needed. Sometimes though, especially when past wrongs are still affecting those wronged, they must be set right. Then reconciliation continues with negotiation and building trust. It is a process, not an event. Sometimes wrongs are so bad that seeming to go overboard in making up for them is required. That is why at times numbers or percentages of certain groups are established in school enrollment, or more funds are given for group B than for group A. Sometimes it looks like someone is “jumping the queue”.
Physical reconciliation may be more easy and less time consuming than other forms of reconciliation. It may be easier to offer money or property in repentance than to make things right culturally or spiritually. Assuming that there is a just end to the war in the Ukraine, Russia may be forced to compensate for all the physical damage it has done. This will not, however be a true reconciliation until some attempt and success has been achieved in “making things right” between the peoples of the two countries. The death of loved ones, the destruction of lives’ work or of cultural treasures cannot be made up by a cold transaction of cash or property. This “non-physical” making things right is among the most difficult types of reconciliation.
So what about today’s Gospel parable about the Prodigal Son, the Good Son and the Forgiving Father. You’re probably ahead of me here. It is one of Jesus’ primary stories of reconciliation from:
- the squandering of the gift by the younger son – which is the wrong done to the father, to
- the recognition of the Truth – ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, to
- Repentance: I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” to
- Forgiveness & Reconciliation: But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe – the best one – and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’
Here Jesus uses the father to show us the forgiveness we can expect from God, He also shows us what true repentance looks like in the prodigal son. What he does not show us though is the resolution to the problem of reconciliation between the father and the older Son and the older son and his brother. The hurts that are involved there are emotional and spiritual hurts. Searching for that truth, coming to terms and expressing sorrow, the asking for and giving of forgiveness, and the hopeful reconciliation among all of them may not be so simple to sort out. It may take time. It may take patience, and it certainly will take love.
Like our own lives and our own hurts to others and from others it is sometimes complicated and something which takes effort and commitment. Oh well, the younger brother had to spend some time in the pig sty before he came to terms with the truth, so maybe we have a chance too.
Parish of Blandford
Revision July 25 in Light of new Public Health Directives Effective July 31
All those participating in the service will be required to wear masks at all times. See Link: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Faith-based-gatherings-guidelines.pdf
Worship in our Buildings – relaxing of COVID 19 Restrictions
June 23. 2020
Prior to gathering for worship:
Planning group: Bev & Curtis McDonald, Jackie Cleveland, Alfred Gates, Ken Miller, Louis Quennelle
Where do we gather: In order to accommodate as many as possible with physical distancing, until this is no longer necessary, we propose that all services be in Saint Barnabas.
Proposed time line:
Cleaning and sanitizing in the church prior to resuming services to be completed by early in the week following July 05 (Alfred will put together a team to do this.)
Measuring and marking out space in building for safe physical distancing and welcoming as many people as possible (Week of July 6-11).
Sunday July 12 – information and run through for those who will be ministering as greeters/ushers inside and outside.
Sunday July 19 – Service of Morning Prayer
Identifying and obtaining supplies required:1 box of 50 disposable face masks and 4 bottles X 750ml of alcohol based sanitizer have been purchased. Still needed – pumps (like liquid soap pumps) for dispensing sanitizer. Possibly towels for use in wiping down high contact areas.
Plan for Gathering Safely for Worship:
Preparation in advance:
Cleaning – as above
Making physical adjustments to space as necessary – chairs for ushers one near door one near Baptistry.
Gathering for Worship:
Identifying and preparing individuals as greeters/ushers: 3 each Sunday. We will need an absolute minimum of 6 (ideally 10-12 trained) of these people to prepared to perform these ministries so that no one person has to be on duty every week. Those who volunteer can choose to volunteer for any one of or all these ministries:
Outdoor greeter: Will welcome people, explain the process of entering the building, assist them in maintaining physical distancing while they wait to enter and distribute masks if they are needed. After the service begins will sit near the door to greet and assist any late arrivals.
After service will encourage worshippers to move away from the door to allow others to leave safely.
Indoor Greeter: Will welcome, point out offertory plate, Food Bank Donation box, distribute bulletin, answer any questions and and ensure people wait for usher to show them to their pew. Check the names of parish members on list provided as they enter. Ask for name and contact information from visitors for contact tracing purposes in case of Covid outbreak.
After service will assist people in leaving the building, allowing the doorway to clear for safe distancing.
Usher : will welcome & assist people in getting to their pew – to the extent possible accommodating their preferences in where they will sit, explain as needed the physical distancing requirements, pointing out taped markers which will help them to maintain the physical distancing.
After service will assist people in leaving in an orderly way, ensuring that there is not a build up of people near the exit.
These persons will wear gloves and masks as they may not be able to maintain physical distance of six feet from members of the congregation at all times.
Readers: Those proclaiming Scripture & leading in prayers will do so standing at their place.
Informing the congregation in advance: Document welcoming people back to our worship space and explaining how we will gather will be prepared by July 10 weekend and available by email, website and print with the weekly bulletin. It will also be used to help to prepare the greeters/ushers for the first services.
Members of the assembly will be encouraged to sit with members of their immediate family or bubble group to maximize the number of people we can welcome to worship. All will stay at their place for the entire service. If someone needs to leave for any reason, when possible, they will indicate their intention to the greeters/ushers. In case of emergency – falls, fainting, etc. The Usher should attend first, if possible, as they will be gloved and masked. In any emergency First Aid principles apply – the idea is to prevent further injury and to get help. Although avoiding possible transmission of COVID is still important, it is secondary to the emergency.
Music during the service: Will be instrumental (organ, guitar, etc.) or singing by soloists. Anyone singing will be seated in the front right pew (facing the chancel) for the service and sing from that corner to the right of the pulpit facing the congregation.
(When Service includes Communion
preparation of the altar before service
procedures for Eucharistic prayer at the Altar
procedures for distributing/receiving communion.
Our first 2 services, at least, will be Morning prayer. The Rector with the planning group will work out detailed procedures as per directives from Archbishop Ron Cutler, Public Health and the limitations of our space.)
Contact Tracing Names and contact information of those worshipping will be kept in case of COVID spread. These will be kept in the parish office and only shared with Public Health if necessary to assist in contact tracing.
Feedback from congregation is welcome in helping us to streamline procedures to make our services prayerful, joyful, and safe.
Parish of Blandford
July 2020 – Revised January 30, 2022
Protocols for Resuming Services
- Physical distancing of 6FT (2M) is required (bubble groups are allowed of a maximum of 10 people)
- Sanitize your hands as you enter the building.
- Name and contact information will be recorded for possible tracing purposes (Especially now that the province does not do tracing, it is important for us to do our own so we can advise people of any Covid contacts they may have had. Any one who has been to a service within 14 days and has tested positive for Covid 19 is asked to contact the parish so that we can advise others that they have had a possible contact – the identity of the contact will not be revealed.)
- Masks are required at all times (properly worn sealing the mouth and nose as tightly as possible – triple layer masks are preferable or double masking.)
- Gathering size is limited to 25% of the building’s capacity or 50 people, whichever is less. (For our buildings: 42 at Saint Barnabas and 22 at All Saints.)
- Proof of vaccination is not required for Regular Worship Services.
Resuming Services together in an Indoor Worship Space.
Due to the space restrictions of 6 feet (2 meters) physical distancing, for the time being, services will be held in Saint Barnabas only to allow for as many people as possible to worship together.
How we can worship together while following Public Health Measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19?
This is not just “back to normal”!
In the same way as our lives have changed permanently – or at least long term temporarily when we go to the Grocery Store, the Doctor or pretty much anywhere else, our gathering in Christian Community for worship on Sundays will also change as we resume our common worship indoors. The procedures and safety measures implemented are for EVERYONE’S safety & health. We not only pray, but we do everything within our power to ensure that our worship will not become a way that this virus is spread. In order to do that, we not only need the procedures in place, we also need the co-operation of everyone who comes together for worship.
Should I (WE) even come to church?
If you are in any way unsure
if you feel your health is in danger
if you feel ill in any way –
If you are unable to wear a mask through the entire service. (as of July 31)
you should not come to common worship. You are part of our community. We will continue to have the services available by email or in bulletin form and can continue to pray together with our parish at your home. We are called together to pray, but we can pray together no matter where we are. God will understand whatever you decide is best for you.
What can I expect if I come to our morning service:
Before you get there the church will have been cleaned. There will be Sanitizer available for your hands & towels if you want to wipe down your pew as you enter it and when you leave it. Please Note: The cleaning of the church and using the towels are additional safety precautions since we will only have one service each week and the virus, if it is present, will not live on surfaces for 7 days.
Outside: After parking as you walk to the church building, please maintain physical distancing. You will be greeted & welcomed by a member of our parish wearing mask and gloves. Please follow this person’s instructions in how and when to enter the church.
Beginning July 31 all members those worshiping together inside the church building are required to wear a mask throughout the service . (Revised from: Since physical distancing of 6 feet (2 meters) is not possible when entering and leaving the building, you will be asked to wear a mask AT LEAST while entering and leaving the building. We strongly encourage that you wear the mask during the entire service if possible. Disposable masks will be available from the person who greets you outdoors if you do not have your own.)
Inside the church as you enter you will be welcomed by another greeter who will let you know where you can leave your offering for the Parish or money for the Chester Food Bank if you wish. (No food donations in church for the time being please.)
They will also give you a service bulletin if you did not print your own off from the email which will continue to be sent.
Your name will be checked off on a copy of the parish list for contact information in case someone who attends our service ever contracts the virus. (If someone is visiting with you they will be asked for their name and contact information for contact tracing as well.)
Please wait at the entrance until an usher comes to show you to your seat.
You might not get your “usual” pew. Due to physical distancing requirements not all pews will be available. An usher will show you to your seat and will try to accommodate your request for where you will be during the service. We encourage people in the same family or the same “group bubble” to arrive together and sit together, if possible, so that there will be room for everyone.
Once you are in your pew, please stay there for the entire service. Please participate in the prayers and responses as usual. Unfortunately, because of the additional distance needed to stop communication of the virus while singing, there will be no congregational singing at this time during our services. A sign of peace will be suggested which respects the Public Health requirements.
If you need to leave at any time, you may of course do so. Please remember to continue to wear your mask and maintain physical distancing, where possible, as you leave.
At the end of the service please wait until the usher indicates that you may leave. This is to help in maintaining physical distancing. The rector will not greet you as you leave. If you are among the first to leave, please move away from the door so that others may also safely leave.
The Greeters & Ushers are providing a ministry of WELCOME and SAFETY for us all. Please respect their requests and each other. We have waited a long time to come back together. Let us celebrate WELL and SAFELY. Smiles, nods and hellos are welcome – and very much a part of our Christian calling.
Our first 2 or 3 services will be Morning Prayer in order to help keep things simpler as we get used to these new procedures. Additional information will be available when we meet for Holy Eucharist (Communion) once again.
As we prepare for this next part of our Christian journey. Let us thank God that we are safe. Let us pray to God for those who are ill and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones. Finally, let us remember that whether we gather in buildings, in open spaces, or in spirit, we will be recognized as followers of Jesus by the love we have for one another and for all!
This we pray in the name of Jesus our Brother and Redeemer. Amen.
You can continue to contribute to the parish in any of these ways:
Your contribution may be dropped off at the home of Brian & Anne Stott (5480 – Hwy #329).
On Line Banking: If you use on line banking, you may now deposit money directly to the Parish of Blandford Chequing Account. Simply send the donation to the following email address – email@example.com. This email address is linked to the parish account. The money will automatically be deposited to the parish account. If you have a parish envelope linked to your name, please include the envelope number in the message section. Your donation will be registered with that envelope number. If you do not have a parish envelope, you can indicate if you wish to register the donation to a particular church for accounting purposes only. If you do not indicate a particular church, the donation will be registered to the Parish of Blandford. Your particular financial institution may require additional security steps. Please follow the procedures as they indicate.
Pre Authorized Remittance: The Diocese offers the opportunity for you to make financial offerings to your parish directly from your bank account. If you want more information on this process and how to sign up for it, please contact Tammy Cummins – firstname.lastname@example.org If you do not have an email and wish to speak to Tammy about this option – with your permission, Rev. Louis will forward your phone number to her & she will call you.
Parish of Blandford.
Parish Ministry During COVID19 Corona Virus Outbreak
- All parish Liturgical services, group studies & meetings are cancelled until AT LEAST Palm Sunday, April 05.
- Notification will be given by or before Friday April 3 concerning Palm Sunday & Holy Week services.
- Reverend Louis will be available Friday afternoons from 1 – 5pm at the rectory and as needed on an ‘on call’ basis. (Email: email@example.com, Phone: 902-521-5169)
- If you wish to meet with Rev. Louis individually, that is certainly possible. Personal meeting procedures will follow the most Current Public Health Guidelines.
- The Sunday Bulletin with the week’s Scripture Readings, Parish News, Prayer Intentions, and a weekly Reflection from Rev. Louis will be available as of 5PM, Fridays in the Porch at the Rectory (#4821 – Hwy 329) and on the parish website (parishofblandford.ca). It will also be sent out to the regular email list.
- Copies of Archbishop Ron Cutler’s latest letter will be in the Rectory Porch.
- As you may remember, some services were cancelled earlier this winter and attendance at others was reduced by poor road conditions. As a consequence of these cancellations, parish contributions are down significantly for the first two months of the year. With at least 2 more weeks’ services cancelled, this is likely to continue for the month of March . Please remember that whether services happen on Sunday or not, most parish expenses do not change. Your contribution is important to the continued ministries of our parish. You can drop off your contribution to the Home of Brian and Anne Stott, at the Rectory or to one of our Parish wardens.
- If you have any neighbours, friends, or family members in the parish who do not have internet access please pass on this information to them and ask them if they would like any of these items dropped off at their home.
God Bless you and keep you all safe and healthy during this difficult time.
Rector, Parish of Blandford