Back to the Future


By Barry Parker, Rector (Senior Minister)

Posted on October 18, 2017

Research on the link between gratitude and health has been growing in recent years. In publications like Harvard Medical School (“In Praise of Gratitude”) and Psychology Today (“7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude”)—the healthful benefits of giving thanks and living a life of gratitude are real. Secular science is seeing thanksgiving as a critical health indicator.

Christians have known and understood this fundamental faith issue long before research began. The Bible is full of examples and exhortations that followers of Jesus are to be a people of gratitude—first to God and then for the blessings we have received at his hand.

On Sunday, October 22nd, the congregation of St. Paul’s will gather for the 175th consecutive annual meeting to give thanks. Some call it an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and others a Vestry, an Anglican term meaning “a meeting of the members of a parish to transact the official business of the parish.” Not only is this a long-term remarkable event in this transient and changing world, but most importantly, we gather for a singular purpose—to give thanks.

God has richly blessed St. Paul’s Bloor Street with an abundance of material resources—our buildings as well as financial resources. Supremely though, God has blessed this parish in our 175-year witness with people—faithful, serving, committed people of faith. God has blessed us with you!

This AGM promises to be so much more than reports and financial statements. On Sunday we will go back to the future. We will see in what ways God has blessed and challenged us through understanding the temporal and material aspects of the last year of ministry. We will also lean into the future as we discern what God has laid out for us in the next season of ministry.

One of the purposes for gathering in this way as the people of God, is to gain a perspective on the health of our church. We do this, as the old saying goes, with an attitude of gratitude.

Join us Sunday, October 22 at 12:15 p.m. in Cody Hall for a gathering of practical thanksgiving. See you there!