to the St. Barnabas Community
May 8, 2020
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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
the God of all Love continue to bless and guide our way.