Rector's Update

By Barry Parker, Rector (Senior Pastor)

Posted on September 22, 2016

We are off to an exciting start to this new ministry season. Here are a few updates on what is unfolding this Fall at St. Paul’s Bloor Street…
• We had over 800 people for our Welcome Sunday on September 11.
• On Saturday, September 17, St. Paul’s hosted a large gathering of delegates from the Diocese of Toronto for the election of three new assistant Bishops. The Rev. Jenny Andison, formerly an Associate Priest here at St. Paul’s, was elected as one of those Bishops. We accommodated almost 700 people from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with refreshments, lunch and dinner. A number of parishioners and all of our staff served this large gathering with humility, grace and genuine hospitality. My heartfelt thanks to all of our folks who poured themselves into that big day! 
• Last Sunday, September 18th, there were issues with parking and accessibility to the Church due to Open Streets Toronto. We are working with the organizers for simple and helpful solutions.
• The Pilgrim course got off to a great start last Sunday. There are a number of folks willing to engage in this opportunity to learn how to live out their faith in everyday life. Pilgrim is a wonderful opportunity to grow in faith as it focusses on Jesus Christ, flows from the Scriptures, draws deeply on the Christian tradition and honours the Anglican way and its many streams. It’s not too late to participate. Pilgrim runs Sundays at 10:45 and 12:15. You can find more information at
• The Alpha experience began Thursday, September 22 and a number registered to bring their questions and freely explore the basics of the Christian faith. Our Fall sermon series is also tracking with the questions Alpha explores: Is there More to Life than this? Who is Jesus? How can I have faith? And many more core questions. Do you know someone who is ready to ask important questions about faith? It is not too late for them to register online at
• Our 174th Annual General Meeting (Vestry Meeting) is coming up on Sunday, October 16 at 12:30 p.m. This meeting will cover the business of the Church past, present and future. As well, we will explore together the theme of meeting the changes and challenges of 2016 in a 175 year old Church. This promises to be a wonderful opportunity to thank God for all of the blessings and see what lies ahead for St. Paul’s. I hope you will join us.
• Bishop Stephen Andrews, the new Principal of Wycliffe College, has been appointed as an Honorary Assistant at St. Paul’s. It is a privilege to serve with Stephen and he will be of great benefit to our ministry here. 
• We are in a discernment phase as we reset our Outreach Ministries. Our annual Thanksgiving food drive for the Daily Bread Food bank has started. Our challenge? To repeatedly fill those large baskets in the Atrium! English as a Second Language (ESL) Café starts Monday, October 3. We will host, in Regent Park, the Cornerstone dinner on Saturday, October 29. Stay tuned for more opportunities to reach out to our community. For more information regarding Outreach contact Sandra Seaborn, Associate Priest.
• In the interests of saving paper, we are encouraging the congregation to download the next week’s bulletin at We also have a new Wi-Fi Network in the Sanctuary called “Sitting_with_Jesus”. The password is “StPaulsAlpha”.
• Sunday, September 25 at 3 p.m. we return with our 2016 Organ Recitals. These free one-hour concerts provide an opportunity to listen to wonderful music and reflect on God. Ian Sadler will be our guest organist. 
• Finally, this Sunday, September 25 is Ministry Fair. We are, as a community, one body with many parts. This will give you an opportunity to explore where you fit. How can your gifts, talents and passions serve to strengthen our community as we seek to follow Jesus. There are four areas: Worshipping Together, Learning Together, Serving Each Other, and Serving the Community. Each area has multiple places and spaces for your active participation. 
St. Paul’s Bloor Street is an exciting and dynamic community of pilgrims seeking to follow Jesus, serve others and bless our world. Please join us to worship, learn and serve.