Rector's Update

By Barry Parker, Rector (Senior Pastor)

Posted on November 17, 2016

It is still unseasonably warm as I write this. We are enjoying the last gasps of warm weather. We know winter is on the way. So too is Christmas. There are some things to share about the next season at St. Paul’s Bloor Street as we head toward Christmas.

• The great season of Advent begins on Sunday, November 27. This is a four week period where the Church prepares for the birth of Jesus. Our theme this year is “The King is coming!” Yet, you might ask: “So what? What does it matter?” Join us and find out more.

• Advent annual events include our Children’s Ministry Christmas Pageant (December 11) and our Lessons & Carols services (December 18).

• Our annual Advent Ask begins on November 27. You will see more information beginning with this week’s What’s Happening. There will be a three pronged approach—the gifts of goods (new this year—a Reverse Advent Calendar), money (Bikes for Girls—a very exciting initiative!) and time (serving at our annual Christmas Day Lunch). Stay tuned for more information.

• Click here for the list of our Christmas services. Why not invite a friend, a family member or a colleague to one of our services. This promises to be a wonderful season of celebration.

• Due to both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on a Sunday, we will have only one service at 11 a.m. on both December 25 and January 1.

• Both the Alpha experience and the Pilgrim course have been great formative experiences this Fall season. The Pilgrim course re-starts Sunday, January 8 and the Alpha experience on Wednesday, January 18. More information can be found on our Programs and Courses page.

For centuries the Christian Church has been very intentional about this season of preparation—Advent. It has gone so far as to see great arguments as to when it is ‘allowable’ to sing Christmas hymns. That is in stark contrast to the Malls where Christmas music seems to begin the day after Canadian Thanksgiving. Regardless, we need now more than ever to practice preparation. Many of us are feeling over-extended at a number of levels and some overwhelmed. In a world with such political upheaval, extremism, economic instability and violence—hearing and experiencing what the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings brings to our world will be a balm for your soul, a blessing in your life. Take the time to join us in this Advent season and over Christmas. Your life will thank you.