A message from Emilie – Sunday in-person services suspended

Beloved parishioners, friends in Christ,

I am sorry to announce that we will be suspending the celebration of the Eucharist in our church site for the next two weeks, and maybe more. This is because of the rapid increase in Covid–19 cases in the metro Vancouver region. We don’t wish to take any risks with our parishioners. Dr. Bonnie Henry has advised a two week pause in how we do things, in order to stem the rate of infections, and I, in discussions with your church leaders, feel like we have to do our part. It has been so lovely to see one another again, even occasionally for the past few months, but let’s take this pause and rest and reflect. We know that the first disciples faced every kind of challenge and difficulty. We can do this. It is hard and sad and lonely. I miss seeing you all. I miss giving you hugs. I miss laughing and chatting, and sharing coffee hour and all of the rest. I miss singing. 

But remember — we were made for these times. Our faith tells us that we will never be left alone, we belong to the One God who made us and who loves us every day of our lives.

We will be recording a reduced service both weeks, and posting it for all to see. Please catch the service.

If any one has any kind of need, if you are lonely, or having a particularly hard time — or even if you just want to chat — PLEASE PHONE ME! Sometimes people say they’re sorry to bother me, when we spend a bit of time together. Are you kidding? There is nothing that matters more to me than staying connected. My cell number is 778 773 2342. 

Here is a note from the BC Centre for Disease Control:

A reminder to all: these measures are not forever, but they are very important for now, to protect the health of everyone in the community and in the province. There will be a time when we can all come together again.

So stay strong, stay calm, stay healthy. Know that you are blessed, and loved. Emilie

November is Stewardship Month


Hi Friends,

These have been challenging and confusing days, but it has been good to connect with one another, in any old way possible, and to remember how much love there is in our community at St. Barnabas.

Our Church Committee works hard to keep this beautiful church going: we remind one another often – We are Christ’s heart and Christ’s hand in this corner of creation. So what are we going to do?

If all of creation belongs to God, if everything on earth is God’s, then we are called to be stewards of this precious place. To be a steward is to be a trusted servant.

Specifically here at St. Barnabas – what has God entrusted to us? And how can we acknowledge this by our generous giving?

Our church depends on its members to support our many projects, our life in community, our buildings, our priest, everything that we do depends on YOU!

So that is why this year we are asking you to let us know (confidentially) how much support we can count on, as we build our annual budget for 2021.

Thank so much for your generosity, and your love.

We are grateful for your presence with us – in whatever way you feel safe and comfortable. We are grateful for your never-ending prayers for all of us. We are grateful for your financial donations. Christ be our light!

Every blessing,   Emilie


Envelope giving:  This is the traditional way of donating. Maureen Shirley is our envelope secretary, and she will be handing out boxes of envelopes this month. You can give your donation as often as you wish, in the basket at the entranceway to church.

Donate by e-transfer: You can make a donation directly to our bank through an e-transfer. We will track your donation, and provide you with a tax receipt at year end. More information: http://stbarnabasparish.ca/make-a-donation/

Automatic withdrawal or credit card payments: This is an easy way of regular giving. We can set you up with an automatic withdrawal or credit card payment. If you wish to give a regular donation this way, please see Martha or Emilie to set it up.

We will be organizing a special fundraising campaign for our redevelopment project in January. This will be your opportunity to share in this exciting time in our parish.

Sunday Services in our Church resuming July 5th

July 2, 2020

Beloved Friends,

We are back! Slowly, slowly, as the church and provincial leadership allows, we will be opening up the church for worship on Sunday mornings.

We will be practicing all safety measures strictly, including sanitization and physical distancing. The wearing of masks is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory. In order to have everyone fit safely in church we have split the congregation into two groups, A and B. And we will be inviting you to come every other week. We will let you know if you are in group A or B. (After a month or so we may mix up the groups, so we can see other parishioners – kind of like five-minute dating!).

Please remember that all services will continue to be recorded and will be posted on our Facebook page, on our website, www.stbarnabasparish.ca, and on our YouTube channel.

Here are the Sundays each group can attend (through to August 23rd):

Group A                     Group B

July 5                          July 12

July 19                       July 26

August 2                    August 9

August 16                  August 23

So this is what to expect:

  • You will receive a phone call and an email inviting you to church on alternate Sundays.
  • We will be celebrating Morning Prayer, until the Diocese gives us permission to have Eucharist.
  • Sadly, no singing in church for a while.
  • We will joyously celebrate our community life and faith together with music, prayer, scripture, silence and reflection on God’s word.
  • We won’t be congregating in clumps of people: no exchange of Peace, no coffee hour, no chatting at the church door. We will be welcoming families, or people who have already expanded their “bubble” to sit together.
  • Hand sanitizer and masks will be available at the church door.
  • The collection plate will be at the entryway to church to receive your gifts.
  • We will continue to pray for the whole world as we struggle to be safe and stay connected during this pandemic.
  • The MOST important thing of all is staying safe. The next most important thing is to stay connected. Every single member of our congregation, from oldest to youngest, from every tradition and history is part of our great big family. This is a time for compassion and patience.
  • Thanks to the church leaders who have kept St. Barnabas going, for these many, many decades, since 1891. We are a strong group, and we are known for our loving kindness visible to all. Let’s continue to show that!

I can hardly wait to see you!    Emilie

Letter from our priest Emilie Smith

Letter to the St. Barnabas Community

May 8, 2020

Beloved Friends, 

Good Heavens! These days are like no others — we keep saying over and over again. Never before have so many people of the earth shuddered to such a screeching halt. Never before have we stopped so many things at once, and watched and wondered, grieved and even found new ways to celebrate.

When Archbishop Melissa told us, well over a month ago, that all church services would need to be cancelled, I couldn’t believe it. How on earth could we do that? And then, the truth sank in, deeper and deeper. We watched as the first countries were consumed in a tidal wave of illness, and then it began its creep across the whole world.

I feel many things: sorrow at the losses so many have experienced, relief that we live in Canada, where public health, science and social equality matter, concern for how or what “normal” will ever be again, anxiety while trying to figure out how to care for the most vulnerable in our communities. I know that we all share some version or another of these things. I know as well that deeper than all of this, our faith must sustain us. We believe, beneath and beyond all things, that we belong to the God who made us. We know that Jesus Christ, our brother and our friend, came to show us the path to love. We know that the Spirit, the Comforter, will never leave us alone. And so, we go on.

What does it mean to be church? As we read these days stories from the Acts of the Apostles, I wonder what it meant to be church in those early days? Nothing was secure, nothing was stable. The first Christians (who didn’t call themselves that — they were followers of The Way) must have struggled with many things: sorrow, concern, anxiety. Yet we hear again and again how they found sustenance in their lives together, in what they knew about Jesus. They committed themselves — despite real hardships — this week we will hear the horrifying story of the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr — to a way of being where love and concern for all was always greater than every suffering.

So — in practical terms. What are we, the people of St. Barnabas, going to do? Continue to worship, continue to engage in pastoral care, continue to celebrate, continue to love one another! Here are some ways you can connect with what is happening.


  • Our main Sunday services are being pre-recorded, and posted to our website at stbarnabasparish.ca, or on our facebook page. You can watch this at any time, and it will include songs, prayers, the readings for the week, a sermon, and spiritual Eucharist.
  • We are doing our midweek Wednesday service as Morning Prayer via Zoom. Martha is sending out the link every week. Please contact us if you wish to join.
  • Sacred Singing Circle is happening twice a month now, second and last Sundays. The Second Sunday is via Facebook Live, and the last Sunday is a Zoom circle.
  • Children’s Church. With our friends from Shiloh United. Join our Zoom gathering at 10am Sundays. As for all ZOOM meetings, you must receive the link to join in. We really encourage all families to be a part of this important connecting.

Pastoral Care:

  • These are strange times. If you need prayers or just to connect, Emilie is available for phone conversations. Please contact her on her cell: 778 773 2342
  • Thanks to a generous donation from the Vancouver Foundation, and to the tower of work done by the Venerable Mavis Brownlee, City Councillor Chuck Puchmayr and many others, we are able to hand out 80 Emergency Grab and Go bags weekly. Please please let your friends and family members know, and come yourself to this new program, Fridays at 10am, in the St. Barnabas’ courtyard.

Social Time:

One of the things we miss the most about being together is social time. We have launched a “Zoom Coffee Hour”. We will begin this on Sunday, May 17th.  Join us after that on Sundays from 11 – 12noon. We will send out the link, so get in touch with us.

Marvellous News:

In this time of trial, we have been deeply blessed by the offering of the Venerable Mavis Brownlee to stay with us as an Honorary Assistant. We are delighted and look forward to maintaining a strong friendship with Mavis, who has meant so much to St. Barnabas over the years. As soon as they are able, Mavis and her husband, Graeme, will be returning to attend to their vineyard in Quebec. But they will return to us in the fall. We raise our hands in thanks to Mavis!

Financial Support for the Parish:

We still need your support. Though our daily and weekly operations have ceased for now in the normal way, we are still paying our expenses, of course. We rely on your continuing generosity, and love for our precious community. Please mail your cheques to St. Barnabas, or wonderfully, you can now make a donation to our church by e transfer. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open your online banking account, select e-transfer. Add St. Barnabas as a payee. Our email address is stbarna@telus.net.

2. Select e transfer and select St. Barnabas as the recipient.

3. Enter the amount you would like to donate.

4. It is important to put your full name and email address in the message box so that we can send you a tax receipt at the end of the year.

That, friends, is quite a list! As you can see we are still very busy, and we thank you for your prayers. Know that you are each and every one of you in my prayers every day.

May the God of all Love continue to bless and guide our way.


Online Services for Holy Week

Maundy Thursday – our service with The Venerable Mavis Brownlee will be posted on our Facebook page and here on our website on Thursday at 6pm.

Good Friday – Caitlin Beck will be hosting a Stations of the Cross Service on Facebook beginning at 11am.

Easter Sunday – our service with The Venerable Mavis Brownlee will be posted on our Facebook page and here on our website on Sunday at 10am.

Check out our YouTube Channel any time to watch all services.

Friday Letter, January 17, 2020

“There he is, the Lamb of God!”

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I pray that this week you were able to stay warm and dry, that you weren’t stuck in the white stuff, or pushing your car out of a snow bank. It almost always snows in Vancouver, at least once a year. But somehow we seem to forget, and it catches us by surprise. I am looking out this morning to a real winter wonderland. The sun is shining brightly on the heaps of snow in our church courtyard, the walkways have been shovelled and salted, and then shovelled and salted again – and again. We work hard to make sure this place stays open, so that our neighbours can come in out of the cold. This week we had our regular food cupboard, and our community meal. Now the community choir is raising the roof over in the sanctuary. The show is going on!

This coming Sunday we will be marking and remembering the Second Sunday of the Epiphany. We will sink deeper into our story of faith, and wonder with the disciples, what does it mean to follow Jesus? What does it mean to take this commitment to heart and the live our lives as if all Jesus taught was true? What would it mean to love our neighbours, to set the prisoners free? What would it mean to live in right relationship with the earth, and the creatures of the earth? There is much trouble and strife around us: we mourn with the families who lost loved ones in the terrible air crash, we mourn with the people of Australia, watching their beloved forests burn. My heart broke when I heard that there may be no more koala bears living in the wild. Dear Lord! What are we to do?

This Sunday’s reading from the prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are God’s own from before we were born. As God has sent the prophet to preach truth to the people, we are invited to live boldly. To be unafraid. To recognize the work of God all over the world: in peace, in restoration, in reconciliation. This is our moment, our time here on Earth. Let us pray:

Do not, O LORD, withhold your mercy from me; let your steadfast love and your faithfulness keep me safe forever.