Message From Father David- April 7-2020

Message at the beginning of Holy Week

Dear All,

Many thanks to everyone who joined in on Sunday.  And thank you for the feedback.  I will try to discover what the crackling on the microphone was.

Please find attached a copy of the letter that I mentioned at the Mass on Sunday.  It is from my bishop in England, Bp. Mark.  Although it is written in the context of a Britain which is going through a much more severe lock-down than we are (and probably having an earlier spring by the sounds of it!), I think it is still relevant.  More than this, I think it is uplifting and it really raised my spirits when I read it.  It is very much an encouragement to find the good.

Looking ahead to this week, by the time you read this I will have gone away for a couple of days.  Normally at some point in Lent I will take the inside of a week away as a mini-retreat to give myself time to think about the events around that first Easter.  As this year I have just two full days I will particularly be working on the liturgies for the Triduum.

On Maundy Thursday we normally focus in on the washing of feet,  and the idea of serving others being the bedrock of all Christian ministry.  Obviously we can not do that if it is just me and Thumper!  So instead I am trying to work out how I can celebrate a Mass that will help people meditate on the gift of the Eucharist.  This Mass will be at the later time of 8pm; the idea is that it will be our ‘vigil’.  We won’t be having a vigil on Easter Saturday night, so on Thursday I hope I can get people to take that evening as a launching pad for Good Friday, and indeed the whole Triduum.

On Good Friday we hope, in some way, to incorporate the idea of the Stations of the Cross into our 3pm service.  Again, I hope that this will be a time when, in words and images, we can prayerfully see the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice.

Easter Sunday morning is relatively easy for me… I think!  What I will try to do is have a joyous Mass when we will hear the news of the resurrection, see our new Easter Candle, and hopefully have some singing.

Just before writing this I was listening to a press conference by the government in Britain and all the reporters were asking what comes after the ‘lock-down’ and the current restrictions.  The answer the government spokesperson repeatedly gave was that he doesn’t want the focus to go on that just yet as it might distract people from the task at hand of overcoming the virus by social distancing and a vigilant attention to cleanliness of the hands.  Similarly for us as Christians, we are not yet at the end of Lent, we have yet to celebrate the Passion and death of Christ, but we do know what comes next in our liturgical cycle – the Resurrection of Christ!  Yet as we approach this great time I am conscious that in our daily lives we are still stuck in our “Long Good Friday” – as Bp. Mark describes it – for some while yet.  So as our faith in Easter helps us understand Lent, so in the same way our faith in the Kingdom must help us mould our understanding of our present – somewhat confusing – situation and enable us to look to the future with hope.

The rebuilding of our society after this pandemic will be an opportunity to build our world into a more compassionate society where we recognise that while the good and the great have their place, so too do all the other people whose efforts are so often overlooked.

While at a time of widespread illness we obviously think of our noble health workers, in this pandemic we have also become very aware of those who keep our supermarkets functioning, those who keep our water, electricity, internet and other vital services going, those who clean our buildings, and the myriad of other people who do jobs without which we would not be able to live the comfortable lives that we are blessed with.  And that is before the others who telephone us when we are alone, who run errands for those who can’t leave their homes, and the legions of people who just show kindness in so many ways.  These are equally indispensable and so need to be acknowledged and valued.

And an aspect of this strange time we are living through that interests me is how our ‘fallowing’ [as they are calling it in Britain], has given the environment a break from its usual onslaught of pollution from travel and heavy industry.  So my hope is that because of our love for all people, not just those we see every day, then the rebuilding fo our world after the pandemic must be a rebuilding of a greener world.

I believe that a society that has a greater sense of interconnectedness, which values the part that all people play, which emphasises the importance of being a good neighbour, and shows love for God’s creation will, without doubt be a society that takes us one step closer to the Kingdom of God.  And how do we gain the insights needed to guide our society towards the Kingdom?  By the power of the Holy Spirit which was poured out on his Church at Pentecost, but that is a good few weeks away, and as the government spokesperson said, we don’t want to get distracted by that just yet!

My prayer is that by the end of this Easter season, that is, by Pentecost we will be together again, so that as an assembly standing side-by-side we will welcome the Holy Spirit anew in to our lives to enable us to build a better world.

I didn’t mean to do a mini-sermon!  So I will conclude with the times for the services this week:

Maundy Thursday:

Thursday 8pm

Join Zoom Meeting –

https://zoom.us/j/980432003

Meeting ID: 980 432 003

Good Friday:

Friday 3pm

Join Zoom Meeting –

https://zoom.us/j/550484616

Meeting ID: 550 484 616

Easter Day:

Sunday 9am

Join Zoom Meeting –

https://zoom.us/j/779732834

Meeting ID: 779 732 834

You can join all these meetings fifteen minutes before the service starts.  Do feel free to share the link below with others, but again for security reasons, we ask you not to post it on social media or where it can be seen by people generally on the web.

Don’t forget the ringing of the bells in Fernie and in Sparwood at 7pm this Wednesday.  We ring them at that time as our way of recognising and thanking all those front line workers who are keeping our communities going at the moment.  This is more than just our church, through the good offices of the Mayors of Fernie and Sparwood we hope it will be an event that the wider community also recognises and can share.

I do hope that you too can give a bit of time, and some focus to, the particular point we have got to in the liturgical year.  It is worth being still for a short while and contemplating the whole pattern of  this week:  Christ giving us the Eucharist, then the giving of His life on the Cross, His time in the tomb and then His rising to new and everlasting life.

With a promise of prayers from our daily Mass for your wellbeing,

Fr. David

P.S.

As we go to press I have just heard that the mother of Bp. Mark, my bishop in Britain, is very ill with coronavirus.  So please can you say a prayer for Maura as well as all the others who are ill with this virus.  Thanks, and I will pass on to Bp. Mark that we are praying for his mother.Message at the beginning of Holy WeekMessage at the beginning of Holy Week

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Father David Invites you to Celebrate Mass Online for Palm Sunday/ Passion Sunday- April 5-2020

Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday

Fr. David writes:  The one thing that sticks out in my mind about this week is the number of people who are in isolation who have been making videos or being inventive in different ways.  From a couple who made themselves look – very convincingly – like a horse and rider, to a family miming their favourite vacation activities.  This says to me people are trying to fill their time!  Indeed I got an e-mail from a priest this week which said, “Having more time on my hands I am working on new recipes…” and I thought, ‘What!  More time on your hands?’  This is not what I have been experiencing!  I won’t say that life is busier for me, more that it involves a lot of new and different things which seem to take longer, so I am certainly as busy as I was before.  Therefore this is the only contribution I can make to the silly pictures collection:

image0 (3)

But if you do have time on your hands, then I hope that this coming week – Holy Week – you will be able to give some of that time to focus on Christ and the events in Jerusalem that we will be remembering.

One of the main tasks I have in the next few days is to look at our Holy Week liturgies and try to workout what will work well for a Zoom broadcast.  I am hoping to do something for Maundy Thursday evening, when we will look at the institution of the Eucharist; something for Good Friday at 3pm when we will obviously focus on Christ’s passion; and on Easter Sunday morning at 9am a celebration of the Resurrection.  I am hoping that the diocese will provide a broadcast for the Easter Vigil, and I might leave it to them to attempt that!

But to this Sunday.  This weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday which is technically called, “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord”.  I have already blessed our palms.  Indeed, standing a long way apart, Rev. Andrea – from Christ Church Anglican Church and Knox United Church – and myself together blessed all the palms for the different churches we cover in the valley.  Bp. Gregory has asked that priests don’t distribute palms until after the current situation has ended, thus I won’t be running around giving them out.  As our palms are fresh palms, there is the danger that they might rot if tied together in bunches, accordingly they have been spread out on tables in the halls of our three churches to dry.

This means that on Sunday at the broadcast we will focus in on the Gospel which is the reading of the Passion from Matthew, which I will do as a monologue.

Having said that, we do hope to do some improvements to the broadcast this week.  The most common feedback we got last week was that when we opened all the mics so people could do the responses there was just noise!  So this week we will look for a family – hopefully with more than one generation in it – who will do the responses loud and clearly, and we will only open their mic.  In this way we will still get the sense of a community gathered electronically, but it will be easier for people to join in with this one set of voices.

Additionally we have a new camera, which hopefully will give a slightly better quality video picture.  And as I write I am also working on the sound to see if I can improve that also.  We also hope to have some people reading from there homes, and in this way to start including each of the parishes.  We are, of course, looking for volunteers for reading and other contributions.

Finally, I would point you towards something that is happening in Fernie and Sparwood next Wednesday at 7pm.  We are going to be ringing the church bells at that time as our way of recognising and thanking all those front line workers who are keeping our communities going at the moment.

I do hope that you are keeping well, and very particularly, I do hope that you will be able to make this coming week a ‘holy week’ in some way or other.  Do feel free to share the link below with others, but for security reasons, we ask you not to post it on social media or where it can be seen by people generally on the web.

With a promise of prayers from our daily Mass,

Fr. David

Fr. David is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Palm Sunday Mass

Date and Time: Sunday 5th April at 09:00 AM Mountain Time

(You can join from 8:45am on Sunday and the Mass will start at 9am)

Join Zoom Meeting

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/739161210

Meeting ID: 739 161 210

 

Anyone wishing to receive information via email, please send your email address to Barb Anderson at barb.anderson14@gmail.com. All email addresses will remain confidential and additional information as we receive it will be sent to those who have provided their email addresses.

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Update from the Bishop- March 31-2020 and a Revised SAG Form for Church Donations

Update from the Bishop- March 31-2020

revised Universal SAG Form for Church Donations

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Message from Father David- March 28-2020

Dear All,

Firstly, very many thanks to all those who joined in the Mass last Sunday via Zoom.  Particular thanks to those who helped others through the ‘chat’ feature, it showed real community.  You should have already received the link to next Sunday’s Mass, but if not, it is at the end of this email.

Last Sunday to get a good, clear and steady picture and sound we ‘hardwired’ the computer into the internet (rather than using wifi).  This meant we could only go as far from the internet connection as our longest wire, so we ended up celebrating Mass on the secretary’s office desk.  The good news is that we now have a much longer wire and we have set up a chapel in the Family Centre in Fernie which is a bit more dignified and I will be able to stand to celebrate Mass.

There are very many features that Zoom gives us, but on the first attempt I was trying to make it simple and not to make any technical mistakes.  Hopefully we can start using some of the other features over time, particularly the feature that lets others join in with the readings and alike.  This coming week I will try to remember to pause after each response because on some of your connections there is up to a five-second delay, so I will give everyone time to respond.  Thus, if I stop for a few seconds and just wait, this is why!  All this is very new to many of us, so we can progress slowly.

Last Sunday we had 76 links.  As many links were couples or families, this means we probably had well over 100 people taking part.  We can now connect with up to 500 computers at the same time, so do feel free to share the link below with family and friends.  There are many Masses currently available on the internet, but I hope by joining us you will get a more personal experience.

We are also looking to see if we can somehow have a bell rung at the consecration, and there are a few other refinements we will try, all in the hope of helping those at home to really feel as connected as they can to the celebration.

And, just to remind you,  I am celebrating Mass everyday and at that Mass I hold all the parishioners in my prayers.

Fr. David

Fr. David John is inviting you to join him for Sunday Mass.

Topic: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Date & Time: Sunday 29th March 2020 at 08:45 AM Mountain Time
(The Mass will start at 9am, but you can join the broadcast up to 15 minutes before that.)

To join in with the Mass just click on the link below on Sunday morning:

 

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Sunday Mass March 29-2020- Please Join Father David Online- 8:45 AM

Fr. David John is inviting you to join him for Sunday Mass.

Topic: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Time: Sunday 29th March 2020 at 08:45 AM Mountain Time

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 967 007 627

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