Lighting of the Advent Wreath

Lighting the Advent Wreath

First Candle – The Candle of Hope

The Patriarchs, Abraham, the Old Testament Ancestors of Jesus

Leader: May your hearts be filled with hope as you hear the promises God made to bless all the peoples on earth through Abraham, the father of our faith.
All: Thanks be to God

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, we will light a candle to remember the patriachs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ancestors of our faith.

Genesis Chapter 12:Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (NRSV)

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, God of our ancestors: to you be praise and glory for ever. You called the patriarchs to live by the light of faith and to journey in the hope of your promised fulfillment. May we be obedient to your call and be ready and watchful to receive your Christ, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path; for you are our light and our salvation. Blessed be God for ever.

A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright; A candle of Hope in December’s dark night. While angels sing blessings from heav’n’s starry sky
(The First Candle is lit.)

Let us pray: Lord Jesus we give thanks for our Father Abraham who by faith obeyed your call and became the father of many nations. Give us faith to listen to your voice that our hearts may be filled with the hope of our Lord Jesus. Amen.

Second Candle -The Candle of Peace

The prophets who foretold the birth of Jesus

Leader: May your hearts be filled with peace as you hear the words of the prophet Isaiah who told of one who would be born the Prince of Peace.
All: Thanks be to God

Last Sunday we lit the First Candle of Hope in our Advent Wreath, and celebrated the patriarchs. We light it again as we place our hope in Jesus the blessing of God for all nations.

Isaiah Chapter 9: For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually,and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (NRSV)

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, just and true: to you be praise and glory for ever. Of old you spoke by the mouth of your prophets, but in our days you speak through your Son, whom you have appointed the heir of all things. Grant us, your people, to walk in his light, that we may be found ready and watching when he comes again in glory and judgement; for you are our light and our salvation. Blessed be God for ever.

A candle is burning, a candle of Peace;
A candle to signal that conflict must cease.
For Jesus is coming to show us the way;
A message of Peace humbly laid in the hay.

(The First & Second Candle are lit.)

Let us pray: Lord God you spoke through your prophets and promised a kingdom of peace. We welcome you Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace and our hearts long for the establishment of your kingdom of justice and righteousness. Amen.

Third Candle – The Candle of Joy

John The Baptist

Leader: May your hearts be filled with God’s love towards all people as you consider the life of sacrifice and encouragement of John the Baptist.
All: Thanks be to God

Last Sunday we the lit the Candles of Hope and Peace.

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent and we light the Candle of Joy and remember John the Baptist.

Matthew Chapter 3: In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”(NRSV)

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, just and true: to you be praise and glory for ever. Your prophet John the Baptist was witness to the truth as a burning and shining light. May we your servants rejoice in his light, and so be led to witness to him who is the Lord of our coming kingdom, Jesus our Saviour and King of the ages. Blessed be God for ever.

A candle is burning, a candle of Joy; A candle to welcome brave Mary’s new boy. Our hearts fill with wonder and eyes light and glow As Joy brightens winter like sunshine on snow.
(The First & Second Candle are lit – and then the Pink Candle of Joy.)

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, your servant John the Baptist called people to prepare for your coming by caring for one another. Give us willing hearts to reach out to all people in need with your love and compassion. Amen.

Fourth Candle – The Candle of Love

Mary the Mother of Jesus

Leader: May your hearts be filled with love as you hear the song of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
All: Thanks be to God

Today we light the Fourth Candle of Advent, the Candle of Love, as we remember Mary the mother of Jesus.

Luke Chapter 1: And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’ (NRSV)

Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, merciful and gentle: to you be praise and glory for ever. Your light has shone in our darkened world through the child-bearing of blessed Mary; grant that we who have seen your glory may daily be renewed in your image and prepared like her for the coming of your Son, who is the Lord and Saviour of all. Blessed be God for ever.

A candle is burning, a candle of Love;A candle to point us to heaven above. A baby for Christmas, a wonderful birth; For Jesus is bringing God’s Love to our earth.

(The First Three Candles are lit & then the last Purple Candle.)

Let us pray: All: Alleluia, alleluia. Mary Mother of Jesus, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Alleluia!

Christmas Day

The Last Candle – The Birth of Christ (White Candle)
Jesus is born on Christmas Day

Leader: Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord
All: Thanks be to God

Today is Christmas Day the day on which we celebrate the gift to us of the birth of Jesus and recall the hope we have in Christ. Today we light again the Candles of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy.

(Each candle will be lit as the reader speaks)
First Candle – We speak of hope – because God keeps his promises to us.
Second Candle – We work for peace – because Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace’ and he calls his children to work for peace in his name.
Third Candle – We show love – because Jesus gave everything for us and led us to know the forgiveness of God.
Fourth Candle – We share joy – because the Holy Spirit fills our hearts and minds with the presence the God
Last Candle – Now we light our last candle to remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ which we celebrate this Christmas Day.

We honour Messiah with Christ candle’s flame Our Christmas Eve  candles glad tidings proclaim O Come all ye faithful rejoice on this night. As God comes among us the Christian’s true light.
(Light the white Christ Candle now.)

God our Father, today the Saviour is born and those who live in darkness are seeing a great light. Help us, who greet the birth of Christ with joy, to live in the light of your Son and to share the good news of your love. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the light who has come into the world. Amen.

Let us pray. Holy God you left the glory of heaven to take upon yourself our fragile humanity. You came to us in love and yet we denied you room and you were laid in a manger. We have lit candles of hope, peace, love and joy, may these virtues shine brightly in our lives as we welcome you into our hearts this Christmas. Amen.

Recent Posts

1. Lighting the Advent Wreath – Posted November 27

2. Christmas  Schedule 2020 – Updated November 29

3. Worship in our Buildings – relaxing of COVID 19 Restrictiuons – The Plan – July o4  Revised July 25

4. Resuming Services together in an Indoor Worship Space  – July 04  Revised July 25

5. This Sunday in the Parish of Blandford  -Revised November 27

6.  Rector’s Reflection – November 29

7. How you can continue to Contribute to the Parish.

Christmas Schedule 2020

We welcome you For Christmas 2020

This is the CORRECT schedule

December 20 – 2pm – Blandford Community Center: The Christmas Story in Scripture & Song – A Family Christmas Celebration Outdoors 

(To be confirmed – weather permitting – storm date – December 23, 2pm)

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December 24, 4pm – Saint Barnabas, Blandford

Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist

Limited seating due to Covid 19 restrictions. Please Call Bev McDonald at (902)228-2603 to register if you wish to join us for this celebration.

* * * * *

December 27, 10am – All Saints, Bayswater

Christmas Day Holy Eucharist

All Welcome! A Christmas Celebration for those unable to join us Christmas Eve. (Limited seating. Please Call Bev McDonald at (902)228-2603 to register if you wish to join us for this celebration.)

* * * * *

All services will follow Nova Scotia Covid 19 Guidelines

Rector’s Reflection

The First Sunday of Advent

Rector’s Reflection

Sunday,

November 29, 2020

It seems to me that the themes for the Advent Sundays are particularly important this year: Hope, Peace, Joy & Love. 2020 has been a year when these were very often missing from our lives. While we recognize this about us and about this year – I just have to throw into our ‘thought pot’ , that for many millions what we consider a bad year could be either just ‘par for the course’ or in many cases actually an improvement over what they normally experience. Hope for us and for all these others in our world is particularly important. It is the starting point for our lives – and the starting point for our year. Today also we reflect on the role of the patriarchs (and let’s include the matriarchs – since they were as much a part of the story as the guys). They lived their lives in the the hope of God’s promises. Remembering them today is a good match for the theme of hope.

Earlier this week, as I was beginning my preparations to speak about hope the radio was on. The program “Ideas” was playing in the background. As I listened, I was surprised to hear that what they were actually discussing hope. It was one of those moments when God breaks into our everyday life. I took that as a sign that my plan to speak to you about hope was what God really wanted me to do. As I listened to what the host and her guest were saying about it, at one point they began discussing the story from the ancient Greek myths that we know as “Pandora’s Box”. Some of you may know it – some probably don’t. So, in our reflection on hope, maybe we should begin with this story. I’ll read a version of it that I found on line. The set up for the story is that Zeus, King of the Gods is really miffed at two humans, brothers who have stolen fire from the gods. He sets out to get back at them one of their wives. That’s Pandora. So the story continues:

Zeus,…, gave Pandora a wedding gift of a beautiful box. There was one very, very important condition however, that she must never open the box. Pandora was very curious about the contents of the box but she had promised that she would never open it.

All she could think about was; what could be in the box? She could not understand why someone would send her a box if she could not see what was in it. It seemed to make no sense at all to her and she could think of nothing else but of opening the box and unlocking its secrets. This was just what Zeus had planned.

Finally, Pandora could stand it no longer. When she knew Epimetheus (he’s the husband) was out of sight, she crept up to the box, took the huge key off the high shelf, fitted it carefully into the lock and turned it. But, at the last moment, she felt a pang of guilt, imagined how angry her husband would be and quickly locked the box again without opening the lid and put the key back where she had found it. Three more times she did this until, at last, she knew she had to look inside or she would go completely mad!

She took the key, slid it into the lock and turned it. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and slowly lifted the lid of the box. She opened her eyes and looked into the box, expecting to see fine silks, gowns or gold bracelets and necklaces or even piles of gold coins.

But there was no gleam of gold or treasure. There were no shining bracelets and not one beautiful dress! The look of excitement on her face quickly turned to one of disappointment and then horror. For Zeus had packed the box full of all the terrible evils he could think of. Out of the box poured disease and poverty. Out came misery, out came death, out came sadness – all shaped like tiny buzzing moths.

The creatures stung Pandora over and over again and she slammed the lid shut. Epimetheus ran into the room to see why she was crying in pain. Pandora could still hear a voice calling to her from the box, pleading with her to be let out. Epimetheus agreed that nothing inside the box could be worse than the horrors that had already been released, so they opened the lid once more.

All that remained in the box was Hope. It fluttered from the box like a beautiful dragonfly, touching the wounds created by the evil creatures, and healing them. Even though Pandora had released pain and suffering upon the world, she had also allowed Hope to follow them.

It seems to me that this Greek understanding of hope is a double edged sword – although hope releases us from the despair of the pain and suffering in the world, it can be like a drug which allows us to think we are escaping from misery, while in reality nothing has changed – its all still out there!

After the story, the host and her guest move on to explore the notion that hope does not have to be this pale and sometimes deceptive thing, it can be active and strong. The difference between these 2 notions of hope can be described by saying a different word after it: ‘hope that’ or ‘hope to’. Passive hope is “hope that” … hope that this pandemic will soon be over, hope that world hunger will end, hope that we won’t get hit by a hurricane, hope that the fights and anger in our family will end, hope that Jesus Christ will come again to make every thing good. This kind of hope changes nothing. Often it is the very thing that ensures nothing ever will happen. It lets us sit and wait for something to happen, for someone else to do something.

The active and strong kind of hope is the “hope to” – hope to help bring this pandemic to an end by how we act, hope to end world hunger by donating to world food programs, hope to avoid the disaster of a hurricane by preparing our homes making sure we have emergency supplies and equipment, hope to end family strife by being the one to make the first step to end it, hope to bring Jesus Christ to earth by being his face and hands in how we live and what we do.

So what about Christian hope. The hope we think about when we light the Advent wreath today? Is there anything different about it? Is it passive or active? Christian hope will certainly always contain some aspects of passive hope, that hope of Pandora’s box which can be almost a curse. The Bible, in general and the Patriarchs today in particular can point us to some essential things about Hope in our Christian context. In the reading from Isaiah today, the passive ‘hope that’ “we know we’ve been bad, but remember who you are and take pity on us God.” is emphasized. Abram & Sarah though, through their lives make their hope in God’s promise a starting point to how they live. “Leave your country and your home for the land I will show you” God says to them in Genesis 12:1. So they pick up their family and belongings and go where God leads them. They place their hope in God by DOING something.

The ecumenical monastic community of Taizé is based in France, but has outreach all over the world. On their website is an article which reflects on Christian hope. It summarizes well how Christian hope shares much of the universal definitions of hope and also how it might be different or go beyond hope outside of our faith in God. The article certainly stresses that it is the active “muscular” hope that Jewish and Christian traditions see, or at least should see, as the true hope. Hope is putting our trust in God’s promise – “The source of hope is in God, a God who simply loves us and can do nothing else, a God who never stops seeking us.” Christian hope looks to the future, but it is more about today. It is about God’s promise now. In the past, Christians have often emphasized hope in the future – like the heaven we all ‘hope that’ we will go to.

The article says: “If God is good and never changes his attitude nor forsakes us, then whatever difficulties may arise—if the world we see is far from justice, peace, solidarity and compassion—for believers (us) this is not the definitive situation. From their faith in God, believers draw the expectation of a world according to God’s will or, to put it another way, according to God’s love.” My addition to this: then as Christians our hope is “hope to” begin to change the world we live in by bringing as much of this justice, peace, solidarity & compassion to it as we are able. This was the hope that Jesus gave us. This is the hope that is the root of all our Christmas celebrations around God keeping promises, God coming to be with us, God coming to be one of us. Whether we are alone isolated by pandemic, or surrounded by crowds – this does not change.

Again from the Taizé article : Hoping, then, means first of all discovering in the depths of the present a Life that leads forward and that nothing is able to stop. It also means welcoming this Life by a yes spoken by our whole being. As we embark on this Life, we are lead to create signs of a different future here and now, in the midst of the difficulties of the world, seeds of renewal that will bear fruit when the time comes.”

In closing, I want to leave you with an image of hope that stirred and lifted my heart when I heard it this week. There have been times in the last few months, and there are times now when what is happening around the world, around me and inside me that have been overwhelming and threaten to sink my boat. I’m sure there will continue to be those times in the future. I know that in this I am not alone. This image, though, lifted my spirit and added another level to my understanding of hope. I hope it has meaning for you too.

In a radio interview, I heard a minister from BC speaking about how she would stand alone in front of a camera today and light the first candle on the Advent wreath. She also admitted that, not being able to worship with her parish family, she would have to work hard to stop the tears as she lit the candle. But then she added something I found to be profound. She asked: Do you know why the Candle of Hope is the first to be lit on the Advent wreath? Her answer: It’s because HOPE is the only light light that can stand alone against the darkness. AMEN.

Acknowledgements: “Ideas” hosted by Nahlah Ayed on CBC Radio, The Taizé Community, https://www.taize.fr/en_article343.html.

 

This Sunday in the Parish of Blandford

The First Sunday of Advent

November 29

The Parish of Blandford Worshiping at Saint Barnabas – Holy Eucharist

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: ministry@parishofblandford.ca, Website: parishofblandford.ca

Rector: Reverend Louis Quennelle, Rector, Phone: (902)521-5169, E-mail: louisq@eastlink.ca

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

The First Sunday of Advent – Holy Eucharist

Lighting of the Advent Wreath: See Pamphlet new post

Collect: Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility, that on the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Reading: A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH. O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence – as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil – to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people. The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. ISAIAH 64:1-9

Psalm Refrain: Show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.

Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim. In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up your strength and come to help us. Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. R

O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angered despite the prayers of your people? You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have given them bowls of tears to drink. R

You have made us the derision of our neighbours, and our enemies laugh us to scorn. Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. R
Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man you have made so strong for yourself. And so will we never turn away from you; give us life, that we may call upon your name. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. R PSALM 80:1-7, 16-18

Second Reading: A READING FROM THE FIRST LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind – just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you – so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:3-9

Gospel: THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO MARK. Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “In those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” The Gospel of Christ. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. MARK 13:24-37

Prayers of the People: Let us be alert and keep awake for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we offer our prayers to God who stirs up strength and comes to help us, saying: Restore us, O God of hosts.

Today we pray especially for Sandra, our bishop elect who will be consecrated tomorrow at All Saints Cathedral. May her ministry as our Bishop be guided by Gd’s Holy Spirit. In this time of waiting, may she may discover God’s touch and God’s love in all whom she serves. Restore us, O God of hosts.

For this family of the Parish of Blandford, that as we are enriched by God’s gifts, so may we wait upon God and be attentive to the opportunities of each day. Restore us, O God of hosts.

For peace and justice in all places of violence, neglect, famine, persecution, and indifference. Restore us, O God of hosts.

For all who have wandered from their relationship with God, that the memories and hopes of this season will open the doorway to God who loves them. Restore us, O God of hosts.

For all those in any anguish of body, mind, and spirit, remembering especially those in our families and communities in greatest need, that they may continue to see the light of God’s countenance, and be saved. Restore us, O God of hosts.

We pray for all who have died and those who mourn them, May those in grief live in hope and learn to rejoice in the knowledge that their loved ones have been called into fellowship with Christ, by the God who is faithful. Restore us, O God of hosts.Creator God, tear open the heavens and come down! Hear our prayers and keep us faithful, alert to your presence, and blameless in our witness until the dawning of the day of our Savior Jesus Christ. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts: God of love and power, your word stirs within us the expectation of the coming of your Son. Accept all we offer you this day, and sustain us with your promise of eternal life. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer After Communion: God for whom we wait, you have fed us with the bread of eternal life. Keep us ever watchful, that we may be ready to stand before the Son of man. We ask this in the name of Christ the Lord. Amen.

Our Life Continues in the Parish of Blandford

Consecration of The Rev. Sandra Fyfe as Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island: Monday, November 30th at 7:00 pm. All are invited to join online in the celebration of our new ministry together with Bishop Sandra. Information on how and where to join can be found on our diocesan website: https://www.nspeidiocese.ca/news/news-alert-consecration-of-bishop-elect-sandra-fyfe-online-viewing-only

Continued Parish Contact During COVID 19 Restrictions: We are still updating our list of the people who we know do not have internet. If you know of anyone who should be on that list, please call and leave their name and number on the parish phone or email Rev. Louis. If their name is not on the list, it will be added on.

Bible Study & Reflection: There will be no Bible Study this week.

Pastoral Presence during Uncertain Times: Rev. Louis will be working from home this week.

Food Bank Donations: A small donation box is be available at the service for Monetary Donations ONLY to the Chester Food Bank. No food donations will be accepted at this time. If you wish to make food donations, please do so as you have done since the beginning of Covid 19 restrictions.

How you can continue to contribute to the parish at this time: Checkout our website (parishofblandford.ca) or contact Rev. Louis for different options available.

Diocesan Prayer Partner: King’s College Chapel

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Amherst, Nova Scotia: The Reverend William Ferrey and Allie,The Reverend Charlotte Ross, Associate Parish Priest, Christ Church, Amherst,Church of the Good Shepherd, Tignish; Parrsboro Shore, Nova Scotia: The Rev. Dr. Brian Spence, St. George’s, Parrsboro, St. Mark’s, Moose River, Christ Church, Parrsboro Road, Holy Trinity, Fox River

Anglican/Lutheran Cycle of Prayer: ACC: Bishop Susan Bell, the clergy and people of the Diocese of Niagara; ELCIC: The dean, council, and congregations of the Winnipeg Central and North Areas of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod

Worship in our Buildings – relaxing of COVID 19 Restrictions – The Plan

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:

  1. Planning group: Bev & Curtis McDonald, Jackie Cleveland, Alfred Gates, Ken Miller, Louis Quennelle

  2. 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.

  3. Proposed time line:

    1. 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.)

    2. Measuring and marking out space in building for safe physical distancing and welcoming as many people as possible (Week of July 6-11).

    3. Sunday July 12 – information and run through for those who will be ministering as greeters/ushers inside and outside.

    4. Sunday July 19 – Service of Morning Prayer

  4. 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:

  1. Preparation in advance:

    1. Cleaning – as above

    2. Making physical adjustments to space as necessary – chairs for ushers one near door one near Baptistry.

  2. Gathering for Worship:

    1. 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:

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

    2. Readers: Those proclaiming Scripture & leading in prayers will do so standing at their place.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. (When Service includes Communion

      1. preparation of the altar before service

      2. procedures for Eucharistic prayer at the Altar

      3. 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.)

Record Keeping:

  1. 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.

Reviewing Procedures:

  1. Feedback from congregation is welcome in helping us to streamline procedures to make our services prayerful, joyful, and safe.

Resuming Services together in an Indoor Worship Space

Parish of Blandford

July 2020 – Revised July 25

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?

  1. 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.

  2. Should I (WE) even come to church?

    1. If you are in any way unsure

    2. if you feel your health is in danger

    3. if you feel ill in any way –

    4. 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.

  3. What can I expect if I come to our morning service:

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.)

    4. 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.)

    5. Please wait at the entrance until an usher comes to show you to your seat.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

How you can continue to contribute to the parish at this time

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 – treasurer@parishofblandford.ca. 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 – tcummins@nspei.ca 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 Ministries during COVID19 Outbreak

Parish of Blandford.

Parish Ministry During COVID19 Corona Virus Outbreak

  1. All parish Liturgical services, group studies & meetings are cancelled until AT LEAST Palm Sunday, April 05.
  2. Notification will be given by or before Friday April 3 concerning  Palm Sunday & Holy Week services.
  3. Reverend Louis will be available Friday afternoons from 1 – 5pm at the rectory and as needed on an ‘on call’ basis. (Email: ministry@parishofblandford.ca, Phone: 902-521-5169)
  4. If you wish to meet with Rev. Louis individually, that is certainly possible.  Personal meeting procedures will follow the most Current Public Health Guidelines.
  5. 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.
  6. Copies of Archbishop Ron Cutler’s latest letter will be in the Rectory Porch.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Louis +

Rector, Parish of Blandford

Doctrine of Discovery – Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts

Truth & Reconciliation, another beginning –Postponed Until Further Notice

For more than three decades, the Anglican Church of Canada has been on a journey of listening, truth-telling, repentance and healing with Indigenous Peoples, both within and outside the church. There is an urgent need for further healing and justice-seeking across the land, and we all have a role to play. (From the introduction to The Reconciliation Toolkit on the Anglican Church of Canada website)

The Parish of Blandford hopes to provide the opportunity for us to begin to study and reflect on the “Truth” part of Truth & Reconciliation using the documentary film:

Doctrine of Discovery, Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts

Doctrine of Discovery, Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts” is a challenging, truthful documentary. It is meant to educate people on the Doctrine and create an awareness of its legacy. We will reflect on this documentary using a prepared study guide in order to allow us an opportunity to discuss and ask questions about the subject of the video. At the first session, the video will be viewed in its entirety (67 minutes) and then broken down into discussion and reflection by chapter at the following sessions. If there are topics which stimulate more discussion and require more time, we will not rush through just to cover the material for that evening. If necessary additional sessions will be scheduled for after Easter.

Prayer and scripture that speaks to the concerns which are raised by the documentary will be included as part of the study. The message is important and will give understanding to the current state of Indigenous affairs on Turtle Island or North America. Understanding the Doctrine of Discovery and its manifestations are important as we strive for reconciliation.

The video was produced by the Rev. Canon Virginia “Ginny” Doctor, Mohawk from the Six Nations and the indigenous ministries coordinator for the Anglican Church of Canada. It is presented from a Christian perspective in the Anglican Tradition but is for anyone.

When: To Be Announced AFTER COVID19 restrictions have been lifted.                           Where: Parish Rectory

Please contact Rev. Louis by phone at 902-228-2761 or by email at ministry@parishofblandford.ca if you are interested in participating.