I hope that you all had a good Easter, or at least the best you could have given the Ontario Government restrictions. For Nancy and I, it wasn’t quite what we had planned, but it worked out. I have requested that the Wardens and I meet on a regular basis, every month prior to our Vestry meeting. This allows us to be transparent with one another, allows us the ability to keep each other informed on parish concerns and be able to quickly deal with them.
As some of you may be aware, our church services are being broadcasted on Facebook on Sundays. We are very impressed with the response to our Facebook ministry. The statistics show that we are getting more viewers than we had coming to church. It begs the question: What role will our online ministry play in our ministry once we resume some sense of normalcy? Churches have found that online ministry has been able to reach out to shut-ins or people we have hurt. It gives them a way to re-enter the church and we have seen a younger generation engaging with the church. What this says to me is that the world is hungry for the word of Jesus, and that we may have found a way to reach the world. I would ask that you pray that we find what the role of the online ministry will play here at St. Peter’s as we continue to journey.
This last year for many as been difficult for many reasons. One difficulty is the issue of financial giving. People have found that they can get around this either through electronic offerings or by mailing their offerings. Some churches have had safe drop-offs, where you bring your offering to the church at a designated time, when someone would be there to collect it. The Wardens and I thought that this might be something that we would try out at St. Peter’s. Unfortunately, with our current restrictions, I believe that an offering drop-off would put us in violation of the restrictions. We would like to thank you for your faithful support during these difficult times of Covid19.
Starting a new ministry during a pandemic is proving to be somewhat difficult. Nancy and I anxiously await the time when we can meet everyone face to face, and get to know the congregation. In the meantime, I plan to begin calling everyone on the parish list, a few calls at a time, and introducing myself.
At our last Warden’s meeting, we agreed that it was important to keep the parish updated to what was happening in the church.
Lenten and Easter Message
February 28, 2021
I am writing my Easter message at the beginning of our Lenten journey. As we journey towards
Easter this year we do with anticipation that our Easter celebration will be much of a more
normal experience than last year. The anticipation in 2020 was that we would be back to church
by Easter. How wrong we were! This year as we begin our journey to Easter, we do so with far
greater hope that our Easter will be normal, or somewhat close to it.
As we journey to Easter we need to remember the experience of the stuck toboggan on the hill
because it wasn’t waxed. In some ways, that’s like our journey to Easter this year. The theme for
the sermon on The Transfiguration of our Lord Sunday, was that of Jesus not leaving the
disciples on the mountain with Him safe and secure. He took them down to the world. The Easter
message is clear; - we are to “Go and Tell” that we have seen the risen Lord. As Jesus instructed
Mary; Go and Tell His brother! The message of Go and Tell is not easy this year. COVID has
changed the world. People’s lives have changed in values and they have a different aspect in
viewing life. To me, people are seeing more value in family life rather than making wealth.
St. Peter`s Kirkland Lake is embracing the message of Easter ``To Go and Tell`` with a new
Rector who might not do things as they have always done. The Parish of Sussex embraces the
Easter message with the task of reflecting how have we lived up to the message of ``Going and
Telling``. The Parish will be reflecting on what has worked, what do want to continue, what are
the gifts of a new rector in order to continue proclaiming the Easter message of "Going and Telling".
Let’s face it – there are days where we just don’t want the toboggan to be waxed. We want to
stay stuck! I am telling you, God is waxing it, so enter the world . Yes, we’re going to hit a few
bumps, but hitting a few bumps along the way makes the ride more thrilling!
I wish you all a good Lent and joyous Easter.
Yours in the ministry we share,
Rev. Canon Tom Stradwick+