Updates from the Rector

By Barry Parker, Rector (Senior Pastor)

Posted on August 21, 2016

As the summer days are rapidly coming to a close and the heat wave continues unabated, it is time for a brief update. This fall promises to be an exciting season of ministry for us all at St. Paul’s.
Regardless that the thick stone walls of the large Church have retained so much heat over the course of weeks, the internal comfort of the worship space is now moderated by the massive 20-foot ceiling fans recently installed. The scaffolding is now removed and the immense cleanup continues.
We are launching two major formation initiatives in September: 
The Pilgrim course begins on Sunday, September 18 with two offerings: 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Pilgrim is designed to help us learn more about the Christian faith and how we can follow Jesus together. Topics covered include: Turning to Christ, The Lord’s Prayer, The Commandments, The Beatitudes and more. Each topic consists of six sessions and is designed to encourage prayerful exploration in small group discussion. There is freedom to participate in whatever way feels comfortable, whether sharing openly in conversation or pondering quietly in silence. All questions are welcome and no one will be put on the spot. I urge members of our congregation to seriously consider engaging in Pilgrim, a course that will bless you richly. For more information, or to register visit stpaulsbloor.org/pilgrim
On Thursday, September 22 at 6:30 p.m., the Alpha experience at St. Paul’s Bloor Street begins. Everyone has questions; questions about purpose, eternity and love. Alpha is a series of interactive sessions designed to explore questions about the Christian faith; “Is there more to life than this?”, “Who is Jesus?”, “Why and how do I pray?”, “How does God guide us?” The evening starts with a meal together and each session considers a different question. There is no pressure, no follow-up and no charge. This is an open, informal, and honest discussion with freedom to ask life’s big questions together. Alpha is intended for those with questions who have little or no Christian experience. Think about who you can invite. For members of St. Paul’s, you will still be able to get a taste of Alpha in our fall sermon series which follows the themes of the Alpha experience. For more information or to register visit stpaulsbloor.org/alpha.
September is a rejuvenated season for all aspects of our ministry. Everything is renewed with increasing opportunities to connect, engage, serve and experience. These vary from Children’s and Youth Ministries, to focussed outreach and serving streams, to small group ministry, to worship…and the list goes on. It promises to be an exciting autumn. Join us!