Worship Services in-person starting Ash Wednesday.
Starting with two services on Ash Wednesday, March 2, in-person worship will resume at St. Simon’s. The Ash Wednesday services will be at 9:30am and 7:30pm. If you are planning on attending please pre-register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 1pm Tuesday, March 1. Sunday in-person worship will resume on March 6 with one service at 9:30am, and you must register for that service by 5pm on Saturday March 5.
All the COVID precautions for in-person worship put in place last fall will continue, i.e. everyone must wear a face mask, practice social distancing, communion by wafer only, screening prior to entering the church, pre-registration, and volunteers and clergy must all have two COVID vaccines and a booster shot.
For those who are unable or do not feel comfortable attending in-person worship, we will continue to record the services and post them to YouTube. You can view last Wednesday’s service by Clicking Here .
Vestry Meeting Last Saturday
Our annual Vestry Meeting was held online, last Saturday with 32 parishioners attending, from three different countries! (Canada, the USA, and Mexico). Thanks to all who joined in! The reports are available by clicking:
All motions were passed. There are two changes to Parish Council. Dianne Thévenin is our new treasurer, and Judy Tong is the new Rector’s Warden. The search continues for a Chair of Stewardship and Deputy Warden. Fr Malcolm thanked both Stuart Penny, who served as Treasurer, and Jennifer MacKenzie, who served as Rector’s Warden, for their dedication in an unprecedented time in our, and indeed the world’s history.
Christian Education – Lent Madness
This Lenten season, there is a fun opportunity to learn about some of the saints who have served God in the past. It is called Lent Madness. Modeled on the annual United States NCAA university basketball championship tournament (March Madness), the folks at Lent Madness have selected 32 saints and placed them in a tournament bracket. Each weekday in Lent, starting on Thursday March 3, 2022, there is a “game” between two of the saints. On game day, people (i.e. you) go to the Lent Madness web site, read an article about each saint in that game and vote for a winner. The winner moves on to the next round. The final game takes place on Wednesday April 13, and the winner of that game gets the Golden Halo!
If you are interested, check out the Lent Madness website: Click Here. You can subscribe to the contest to get emails prompting you to play every day, by looking for GET LENT MADNESS BY EMAIL on the web site, and signing up.
Frontline Outreach Walk
This Saturday you can support Frontline Outreach’s Fundraiser by either joining the Coldest Night of the Year team (St. Simon’s Zealots) or providing financial support. Just click on this link, St. Simon’s Team, scroll down to find St. Simon’s Zealots, and then join our team. All the money raised goes to support Frontline Outreach You can sign up and do your own 2 km walk or get a couple of friends to walk with you, or just donate.
Our Parish Admin., Chris McCoy, is facing challenges to arrange childcare. Once we resume regular office hours and in person worship, Chris will be in the office three hours per day (tentatively 10am to 1pm) Monday to Friday. His three year old son, Haven, will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall, so this is a temporary need.
If you know of any childcare provider with space for a three year old – or if you would be interested in taking this on for about a six month commitment – please contact Chris by phone, (905)-845-8351 and leave a message, or email email@example.com
World Day of Prayer
World Day of Prayer is March 12 this year. Women’s Inter Church Council of Canada is planning an online service and you can read about it by clicking here. There is a resources tab where you can read about it and download their material.
You might already know this, but just in case:
This week someone asked: “Why do we give something up (or take something on) for Lent?” and Fr Malcolm responded:
“Lent is the period immediately preceding Easter. In the early Church, it was also the time that converts (the catechumens) were prepared for Baptism at the Easter Vigil. Very early on, it became the custom for those who were already Baptized to journey along with the catechumens. Modeled on Jesus time of trial in the desert, Lent is forty days – although there is some variation among Christians about how that is calculated. For Anglicans, and most of the Western Church, Lent is the six and a half week period immediately preceding Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday, which constitutes forty days not including the Sundays.
Fasting has long been a spiritual discipline for Christians and for the followers of many other faiths, and Lent is often described as the Great Fast. In some places this has meant complete abstinence from food during daylight hours. For some it has meant merely refraining from meat, or alcohol, or other foods. In the Greek Orthodox Church it is still an expectation that married persons would refrain from sexual relations during Lent. In the modern era, it is more common for people to fast in a more symbolic way, by giving up some particular thing like chocolate or alcohol.
Lent isn’t the only time of fasting during the year. Some Orthodox Churches follow a very complex calendar of fasting days where one might refrain from various things on various days. Many Anglicans and Roman Catholics will fast before receiving the Sacrament. The Book of Common Prayer sets the following Days of Fasting, Abstinence, and Solemn Prayer:
Major Fast Days:
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday;
Days of Abstinence:
All the Fridays of the Year except Christmas and the Epiphany;
The Forty Days of Lent;
Days of Solemn Prayer:
The Ember Days at the four seasons, being the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Third Sunday in Advent, the First Sunday in Lent, the Day of Pentecost, and Holy Cross Day:
The Rogation Days, being the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Holy Thursday or the Ascension of Our Lord.
Giving something up can be a challenge, but for some people, it doesn’t feel like challenge enough. Therefore, many people will take on an additional discipline for Lent, such as adding further reading or study to their usual spiritual activities. That is why parishes will often have special Christian Education programming during Lent. Taking something on is also a useful alternative for people who, for reasons of health, are unable to fast by giving something up.
The thing about giving things up or taking things on for Lent, is that the practice really needs to be rooted and grounded in prayer.
Otherwise it’s just a diet!”
This is a regular feature where you ask a question about something we do as Anglicans or at St. Simon’s that you don’t understand. (And you can ask it anonymously by saying – please don’t say who asked this!) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helping Our Four-legged Friends
St. Simon’s has a reputation of helping those in need. How about also reaching out during Lent to help our four-legged, furry friends! The Oakville Humane Society needs old towels, blankets, and yes….even fur items to line the animal cages in their facility. Can you help? These items can be dropped off at the church any Sunday, starting March 6. They can also be dropped off at the church office during the week by arranging a convenient time with Chris, our Parish Administrator.
There will be two black, labelled collection bins in the Narthex all through Lent to receive your donations. The Community Cluster members will transport all donations to the facility. Our furry ”best friends” will thank you!