NEWS

June 13, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

“Arise, shine, for your light has come.”   

Isaiah 60: 1

I’d like to share a number of things with you…

Heaven Is Above” Parish Hall Re-roofing Project

Barring a long, torrential rainstorm (or a day which is so hot, the Dept. of Labour forbids outdoor work), the parish hall roofing project will be completed about the time you read this newsletter. While working on the roof, the contractor pointed out that it would be wise to re-roof a smaller section of the roof – those shingles needed to be replaced as well. The Property Committee, in consultation with the rector and wardens, agreed. A couple of very minor projects were done at the same time – fixing an ice dam on the Church building roof, replacing a piece of aluminum fascia board (where eavestroughs are mounted), etc.

 

We have not yet received the invoice from the roofer, but we anticipate the work will be $13 000 for the main roof, and just over $2000 for the extra work that was undertaken. Thanks in very large part to receiving the grant from the Anglican Foundation, the parish has the resources in the “Heaven Is Above” cookie jar, to pay for all the work. Thank you to Rob McDonald, and all those who contributed to the success of this project.

 

Greeting Cards

Do you want some classy quality cards to send a heart-felt note to someone special? Or would you like to receive a card like this? Of course you do! You are a classy quality person yourself!

Even better is when these are available for the very reasonable price of $20/ package. Not only are you a classy quality person, but you know how to get a shrewd deal as well!

St. Brice’s is taking orders for packages of ten cards with matching envelopes. Please see the sidebars for the two available designs, both of the Emmaus window (over the altar of St. Brice’s). These photographs were taken by David Lewis.

Proceeds over expenses go to St. Brice’s. To order a package or two or three, please contact the parish office, and we will make arrangements for you safely to receive your order.

Thank you David Lewis for your artistic and printing expertise.

 

Outdoor Services, Holy Communion

As I expect everyone knows by now, the provincial government lockdowns during the pandemic are gradually easing. Weather permitting, we are planning outdoor services in the back garden on Sunday, June 20 and 27, at 9am and 11am.

 

Parishioners will still be expected to provide their contact information in case we need to reach them, to wear masks, and to maintain a distance of at least two metres from people who are not members of your household. Refreshments after the services are not going to be offered at this time.

 

If it is raining on June 20 or 27, there will be no outdoor services that day.

 

Some people have already contacted the parish office to make other arrangements – principally, to be able to receive Holy Communion at home by receiving the consecrated elements from the reserved sacrament (please see the diocesan “Roadmap” for details — https://www.dioceseofalgoma.com/2021/06/04/roadmap-to-reopen-the-diocese-of-algoma/).

 

As well, we know that there are some parishioners who will not participate in public worship just yet. I believe we will be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to receive Holy Communion. However, to be sure, I recommend that you contact the parish office in advance (705-474-4005), indicating which service you plan to attend on June 20 and/ or 27. Contacting the parish office guarantees that there will be space for you. If you simply show up, there will likely be space for you, but you aren’t being promised a space, if we reach our capacity.

 

The parish Advisory Board will be “meeting” on June 24. Normally we combine to a 10am service throughout July and August. I want to consult with the Board whether or not we will combine our services this year. After the meeting, we will announce our plans on the parish website, and will be in touch with parishioners as well.

 

Vehicle with Six Seatbelts Sought

Most of you are familiar with Fardowsa Muhumed and her four children. This is the most recent refugee family which St. Brice’s has sponsored. There are still a few challenges – most especially, on-line school learning has not been an easy process for this family. However, they have come a long way. Fardowsa assembles drill bit pieces for the mining industry; she was recently recognized by her company for her diligence.

 

Fardowsa has decided that, with her children, she would like to visit Toronto. This will be her summer vacation. (They have not left North Bay since arriving in the city in December 2019.) She plans to leave after work on Friday, June 25. I have agreed to take them to Toronto, and show them some sights on Saturday. I will return Saturday evening. Fardowsa and the kids will be staying with some distant relatives on Friday and Saturday nights, returning Sunday afternoon.

 

I can’t take them to Toronto in my car, as six seatbelts are required. I have made a reservation to book a minivan for the weekend, although I know this will be expensive for Fardowsa. I’ll be driving close to 1000 km. In the event that anyone knows of a vehicle with 6+ seatbelts which will not be used for the weekend, and are comfortable with it being borrowed or traded with my car, please let me know.

 

ElderCare Submissions Sought

The Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario wants to have a very sharp focus on the need for Elder Care in Ontario. They are asking for submissions from parishes in all the Ontario dioceses. If you have a concern that you would like to raise, please go to the following link — https://www.dioceseofalgoma.com/2021/06/07/provincial-elder-care-working-group-needs-your-help-now/

       

The Archbishops’ Recent Pastoral Letter

I am sure we are all familiar with the tragic events with regard to the unmarked graves on the property of the former residential school in Kamloops, BC, and its wider implications. Archbishop Anne Germond also encourages everyone to read the pastoral letter she co-wrote with Archbishop Fred Hiltz, which can be found at https://www.dioceseofalgoma.com/2021/06/11/pastoral-letter-from-archbishops-germond-and-hiltz/

 

Knapsacks for the Homeless

 

A group of local churches has come together, with the aim of wanting to address the problem of homelessness in North Bay. They have begun an initiative to provide knapsacks with commonly-needed items (socks, toiletries, etc.). This initiative will conclude at the end of this month. If you would like to contribute for a knapsack, or toward the contents of a knapsack, please contact Diane McCaskill (dmmcaskill1@gmail.com).

 

 

 

A.C.W. Fellowship and Tea

The Anglican Church Women are planning an on-line gathering this coming Wednesday at noon – a time of Tea and Fellowship. Here is the information to join the meeting:

 

Topic: A.C.W. Meeting, June 2021

Time: June 16, 2021 12:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86394032994?pwd=Rm1sNHh5MDlreWdQaHpja201U2E5QT09

Meeting ID: 863 9403 2994

Passcode: 978717

 

Each participant is encouraged to wear a hat to the meeting.

 

One Agenda item during the meeting will be to talk about support for Alison and Brian Summersby (Alison is in the North Bay hospital, gradually recovering from a stroke). Another Agenda item will the exchange of simple recipes. As well, the A.C.W. has been asked to consider a donation to “Say Yes! To Kids.” Potential projects for the fall, such as an on-line auction or a Fall Lunch, will be considered during the September meeting.

 

Regarding the recipes to be shared, it would be helpful to prepare in advance, by having a typed copy of your favourite simple recipe on your computer or device. This will make it easier to share during the meeting.

 

Please bring a cup of tea, and perhaps a snack or a sweet, to the meeting. (If you prepare a sample of your recipe, this can give other people a chance to see what it looks like!)

 

Youth Survey

St. Brice’s is circulating a survey for youth who have had connections with St. Brice’s in the past. The idea is to get feedback, to improve our ministry with youth. If you know of youth who would like to contribute, who have not yet been contacted, please let me know at the parish office.

 

 

Sunday Morning Fellowship & Devotions

Here is the link for the Sunday morning gathering for this coming Sunday, 10:30am:

Topic: St. Brice’s, Sunday Morning, fellowship & devotions

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83150840765?pwd=MDJUYTFERzZIRktRdFlZWGdhSGg2Zz09

Meeting ID: 831 5084 0765

Passcode: 142215

 

If the weather is good, there will be outdoor services at St. Brice’s on June 20 and 27, 9am and 11am. If it is raining on either of those days, the same blue hyperlink will work on June 20 or June 27, at 10:30am.

 

 

Tuesday Evening Bible Studies Link

Here is the link for the Tuesday Evening Bible studies (7-8pm):

Topic:          Tuesday Evening Bible Studies

Time:           June 15, 2021 7:00 PM

        June 22, 2021 7:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81571216977?pwd=TlBFNnpZekZFSEpMbjB5bmpDUDFWZz09

Meeting ID: 815 7121 6977

Passcode: 374532

 

“Difference” Course

I am enjoying hosting the “Difference” Course – about Reconciliation, which is being offered on-line. There are two sessions left in the course. If the course is offered again, and if you were thinking of taking it but didn’t get around to it this time, I encourage you to join in the future.

 

         

Fr. Henri Nouwen

 

Many of us are familiar with the late Fr. Henri Nouwen, a popular devotional writer and Roman Catholic priest. For the 25th anniversary of his death, there was a recent conference with reflections and presentations. If you would like to listen to some of them, please contact the parish office (705-474-4005), and we will provide a link to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

God bless you all,

 

Peter Armstrong

 

 

May 30, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

Peter…to [those] who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance. (I Peter 1: 1-2)

 

I write this the day before Trinity Sunday 2021. Greetings! Who said there isn’t clear evidence of the teaching of the Trinity in the Bible (see above)?

 

I hope you are all doing well. I want to tell you about several things…

 

Resuming Celebrations of Holy Communion

 

Parish clergy received a notice from Archbishop Germond earlier this week, about the resumption of regular in-person worship and celebrations of Holy Communion. As long as new infections of the COVID-19 virus keep diminishing, she is proposing that in-person worship services resume, on Sunday, June 20. The diocesan office will provide further directions this coming Friday.

 

It is likely that directions will include points like this:

 

  • We will be limited to small groups gathering (if gathering outside, slightly larger groups might be permitted)

  • People will be required to keep a minimum physical distance from one another

  • Participants will need to wear masks, when not actually receiving Communion

  • People will need to provide some contact information (name, phone)

  • Parishes will need to make hand sanitizers, etc., available

  • We will not be physically touching during the “Exchange of the Peace”

  • There will not be refreshments after the worship services

  • At least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination will be strongly encouraged, if not required.

 

I recognize that some people are eager to return, while others are hesitant at this time. I know as well that some people are more inclined to the traditional Book of Common Prayer, others the Book of Alternative Services, and so forth. I don’t yet know our maximum allowed capacity. For those who want to gather at this time, I encourage you to organize small groups, and to keep the parish office informed. I want to be able to be able to offer Communion as soon as it is permitted.

 

If, for example, I end up celebrating Holy Communion a number of times on June 20, I think it is unrealistic to expect volunteer musicians to be at every service. So, I can’t make any assurances at this time whether or not there will be music; and if so, of what style.

 

“Heaven Is Above” Parish Hall Re-roofing Project

I am very pleased to let you know that our $6500 grant application to the Anglican Foundation of Canada has been accepted. I received the award letter yesterday, and will include a copy with this newsletter.

 

The parish hall roof work will likely begin on June 7.

There are a couple of minor roofing projects which need to be done (repairing an ice dam, re-attaching a piece of eaves-troughing and a facia board). The Advisory Board hopes to entice the workers to take on these tasks for free, by offering them muffins. If you would like to make a batch of muffins for a good cause, please contact the parish office.

 

 

“Say Yes! To Kids. Seeds of Hope for the Diocese of Algoma”

The Anglican Foundation is promoting a special initiative this year for children’s and youth ministries in Canada. The Diocese of Algoma has selected the Teen Lunch Program for St. Brice’s to be highlighted.

 

Who benefits from this? The Anglican Foundation gets attention. The diocesan website gets more “traffic.” Some children’s ministries benefit financially.

 

If you want to contribute financially to children’s ministries in general through the Anglican Foundation, go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-anglican-foundation-of-canada/p2p/say-yes-to-kids/team/algomas-seeds-of-hope-team-says-yes-to-kids/

 

The Teen Lunch Program might be (but it is not guaranteed) to be beneficiary. If you want to support only the Teen Lunch Program, it is best to make a donation directly to St. Brice’s.

 

Uncomfortable Questions

In the last newsletter I proposed a “stump the rector” hard questions time. Because of a potential time conflict, I am postponing this week, to Sunday, June 6, 4pm. Can you think of a devilishly hard question for me to answer?

 

Here are the coordinates, to join on-line:

Topic: “Stump the Rector”

Time: June 6, 2021 4:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81321612721?pwd=VXlxeGN6MHJUR0tlOERTMnVIaWlZdz09

Meeting ID: 813 2161 2721

Passcode: 890479

 

 

Financial Update

 

During this past month, while we were not gathering for worship, our deficit increased. As of a few days ago, our deficit (costs greater than income for 2021) sits at $10 509. On April 30, our deficit was $7931. We sincerely appreciate all support.

 

         

Spiritual Development/ Fellowship

I am pleased to be hosting the current “Difference” course, about reconciliation, which started this past Wednesday. As well, a number of parishioners and I will be participating in a webinar this coming Thursday.

 

I want to remind people of the regular Tuesday evening Bible Studies. Here are the coordinates:

Topic: Tuesday Evenings Bible Studies

Time: Every week on Tuesday evening, until Jun 22, 2021, 4 occurrences, 7pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81571216977?pwd=TlBFNnpZekZFSEpMbjB5bmpDUDFWZz09

Meeting ID: 815 7121 6977

Passcode: 374532

 

As well, we continue to meet on Sunday mornings, 10:30am, for Fellowship and Devotions:

Topic: St. Brice’s, Sunday Mornings, fellowship & devotions

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83150840765?pwd=MDJUYTFERzZIRktRdFlZWGdhSGg2Zz09

Meeting ID: 831 5084 0765

Passcode: 142215

 

Youth for Christ

 

A young woman, Aimee Garbutt, met me this past week. She is leading a ministry called “Youth for Christ,” which wants to engage particularly with young people in the North Bay area. Our prayers are welcome. If you would like to volunteer with this organization (either working directly with kids, or to be on the Board), or if you wish to contribute financially, please call (705) 494-0033, or email nipissing@yfc.ca

 

 

Mowing St. Brice’s Lawn

 

If you are willing to take a turn mowing St. Brice’s lawn this summer, please contact the parish office.

 

 

 

 

 

Greeting Cards

In a world of emails, tweets, emojis and bills, who doesn’t enjoy receiving a thoughtful card in the mail from someone who cares about us? We are planning to offer quality St. Brice’s greeting cards (envelope size 4.25 by 5.5 inches). We expect that the cards will be available later in June with matching envelopes, at a cost of $20 for a group of ten. (Once expenses are paid, the parish receives the income.) If you would like to order a group or two of cards, please contact the parish office at (705) 474-4005.

 

Youth Survey

 

This week we are sending out a survey for young people who have had connections with St. Brice’s. The aim is to further develop our ministries in this area. We encourage responses.

 

 

 

 

God bless you all,

 

Peter Armstrong

 

May 16, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

 

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come.

Song 2: 10-12a

 

 

There are several more things I want to share with you today…

 

In-person Sunday Re-openings – Not Yet

I had hoped to be able to write that there would be in-person Sunday morning services for Pentecost Sunday. However, it’s clear that we will have to wait for a few more Sundays. As soon as we can gather safely, I will certainly let you know.

 

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. That’s one thing we can all do, to be able to see one another in person again soon. (If you have doubts about the vaccine, please view the video on the St. Brice’s website – just click on the “COVID-19 Information” banner.)

 

A number of parishioners continue to work quietly behind the scenes. I want to express “thank you” to the parishioners who are preparing a wonderful initiative on their own for Pentecost Sunday. See what comes… 😊

  

“Difference”

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has made “reconciliation” a priority in his ministry. There is an opportunity to learn and practice “reconciliation,” which I think will be quite exciting.

 

Above all else, Christians believe we are reconciled with God through Jesus Christ’s self-giving death (Romans 5: 10).

 

Many Christians think of “reconciliation” in a sacramental way – of speaking privately with a priest for assurance of forgiveness. (See the Anglican BCP, p. 581; BAS p. 167.) As we say, “All may, none must, some should.”

 

Part of family life, and parish life, and events in communities (I’m thinking of the current conflict between Jews and Muslims in Israel and Palestine as I write this), means there are often conflicts which need reconciliation.

 

God can use you and me to be reconcilers – to be Christians who make a substantial difference for healing in the world.

 

My wife Nancy and I will be offering a short on-line course about reconciliation, called “Difference,” on Wednesday nights between May 26 and June 23, beginning at 7:30pm. I strongly encourage you to come and check it out. Please leave a message at the parish office (705-474-4005), or with Nancy or me.

 

If you want to check out a little more about it, see https://difference.rln.global/run-the-course

 

Additions to Website

 

In consultation with the Spiritual Development Committee, we are planning to add a tab to the parish website, to help people who know nothing about St. Brice’s, or other churches, learn more about us. One proposed part will be something like, “I’ve always wondered about, but have been scared to ask…” No genuine question will be too silly or too complex to ask. Feel free to send in ideas or questions…

 

 

 

Uncomfortable Questions

I realize that I enjoy hearing people’s questions or comments. I hope I can help by giving a reply. In a previous parish, we had a “stump the rector” time, when people were encouraged to ask me questions. Let’s try it here, on Trinity Sunday (May 30, 4pm). Get a cup or tea or a cold drink, a comfortable chair, and your laptop or device. (Sorry; this can only work with people with internet at this time.) See if you can think of a devilishly hard question for me to answer! Details how to join will be circulated to parishioners whose email addresses we have, around May 27.

 

eTransfers

 

Many of us on-line banking these days. I’ve been asked to remind you that you can make donations to St. Brice’s by eTransfers. The email address is: deposits@stbriceschurch.com. Please specify on the “Memo” section if you want the donation sent to a particular ministry.

 

 

The Good Samaritan Corner

St. Brice’s is one of a number of local churches who want to address the issue of “homelessness” in North Bay. We are invited to view their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/compassionatecommitteeofnorthbay

 

 

God bless you all,

 

Peter Armstrong

 

May 2, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

Philip said to [Jesus], “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” John 14: 8

 

On certain days in the Church year, we’re invited to remember apostles and others whose lives overflowed with their faith in Christ. Today (May 1) happens to be the day we remember Philip, a disciple who – though he sometimes fumbled – wanted everyone to be close to the Lord Jesus.

 

 

 

There are several things I want to share with you today…

 

 

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

 

 

Webinars

Although we are restricted from being able to meet in person during the pandemic, there are a number of on-line courses and teaching opportunities being provided over the internet. Most of them are free, and a lot of them are very worthwhile. Last night (Friday evening), for instance, I watched a presentation about the Anglican Reformation, co-hosted by our former bishop, Stephen Andrews.

 

You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in ancient Hebrew to be able to enjoy these learning opportunities. They are intended to be open to anyone who is curious and available.

 

Here are a few opportunities which have passed before my desk in the last week or so:

 

  

 

  • The Anglican Church of Canada has produced a free on-line book, reflections about ministry during a pandemic. Our current archbishop, the Most Rev. Anne Germond, is one of the contributors, along with various authors across the Anglican spectrum – see https://www.anglican.ca/faith/ministry/pandemic-times/

 

  • My colleague Derek Neal has circulated a message about history courses being offered this summer at Nipissing University here in North Bay about indigenous history. (There is a cost for these courses.) For example, this course is about encounters between indigenous and non-indigenous people in this area in the 1700’s: https://events.eply.com/HIST3306CanadasForgottenWar3362107

 

 

Reconciliation

Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, has a particular interest in the Christian ministry of “reconciliation.” We know that humankind is reconciled with God through Jesus Christ. We are called to be agents of reconciliation in our local communities.

 

Justin and his “team” have put together a 5-week course about reconciliation (about 90 minutes for each session). I am quite intrigued by this. I will be meeting with the Spiritual Development Committee this coming Friday, and I expect we will talk about whether or not to offer this course at St. Brice’s, or for the Deanery. I will keep you informed.

 

 

IN-PERSON WORSHIP

 

 

Sunday Worship

 

When will we resume worshipping together on Sunday mornings at St. Brice’s?

 

The short answer is: Right now, I do not know. It really depends on (1) how many people get vaccinated; (2) how well as a community we undertake safe practices like hand-washing, wearing masks, and limiting our travel and mixing with others; (3) the variants and spread of the virus.

 

I note that Sunday, May 23, is Pentecost Sunday – one of the minimum 3 times/ year when Anglicans are expected to receive communion unless there are exceptional circumstances. Pentecost Sunday is when we remember the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ. It is sometimes called the “birthday of the Church.” My sincere hope is that we could meet this Sunday – although I stress, we cannot announce an opening date at this point.

 

Even when we do re-open, that does not mean that we will be hugging and having coffee hour right away. Our numbers will likely be limited. I am not planning to have combined services in the immediate future – if we have more services each Sunday, the greater the likelihood that no one will be turned away because we are too full.

 

 

GROUPS

 

 

Anglican Church Women

 

St. Brice’s A.C.W. group met on-line a couple of weeks ago.

 

The diocesan A.C.W. Annual Conference will be held on-line on May 27, from 9:15-3pm. Information about registration and the Agenda can be found at https://www.dioceseofalgoma.com/ministries/anglican-church-women-acw/

 

If anyone needs help registering, please contact the parish office.

 

St. Brice’s A.C.W. is planning to have a Tea and Fellowship among its members on Wednesday, June 16 at noon. There are plans to wear hats, have cake and sweets, and to share favourite recipes. (Please contact the parish office if you would like help joining.)

 

The St. Brice’s A.C.W. will meet again on Wednesday, September 15, and will be looking at offering a fund-raising event for missions. This could include an on-line auction, a Fall Tea later in the autumn, or other initiatives.

 

Compassion Committee

 

Along with several other local churches, St. Brice’s participates in the Compassion Committee, which seeks to address “homelessness” in North Bay. Diane McCaskill is our representative. At their last meeting, it was identified there is a need for socks. These can be dropped off at The Gathering Place, 1181 Cassells St (or, leave them at St. Brice’s, and I will see they are delivered)

 

 

 

FINANCES

 

 

Financial Update

 

Here is an update of our current finances (as of April 30, 2021) for the general fund:

Income:       $43,588

Expenses:   $51,569

Deficit:         $7,981

 

During the current pandemic, health experts are concerned when there is an upward trend of infections, like an arc bending up on a graph over time. In the same kind of way, our deficit to the end of March 2021 was about the same as it was to the end of March 2020, but the Treasurer and the Advisory Board are a little concerned that the deficit trended up this past month – April 2021.

 

We aren’t quite sure why this is so. Our expenses are slightly down, but our income from donations is down more. The Envelope Secretary does not see any pattern in the reduced

 

 

offerings last month. We wonder if some parishioners contributed to the parish hall re-roofing project, rather than to general income. We also wonder if St. Brice’s is a little less on people’s “radar” when we aren’t gathering in person for worship.

 

Our ministry and outreach continue. I acknowledge that being in a pandemic “lockdown” in the springtime is no fun, and I really miss seeing so many of you in person. I am proud of how people at St. Brice’s are continuing to do God’s work in somewhat difficult circumstances. Prayer, commitment of time and energy by volunteers, financial resources, and above all, God’s grace, are all ways to move God’s work forward.

 

The Board and the Finance Committee are taking reasonable steps to be good stewards of what is entrusted to our care. Mid-summer tends historically to be a somewhat lean time for parish income. If you’re in a position to contribute to St. Brice’s, and if you’ve been meaning to contribute, we deeply appreciate whatever people can offer.

 

 

E-Transfers

 

Many of us now do on-line banking, and use e-transfers as a way to transfer money from our bank account, safely and very quickly, to another bank account. It’s a way to pay our hydro bill, or send a gift to family members, or whatever.

We’re pleased to let you know that it’s now possible to contribute to St. Brice’s using on-line banking. It’s set up for auto-deposit — this means no questions or passwords are required. The email address to send these donations is: deposits@stbriceschurch.com

 

There is no cost to the parish to receive these deposits. Most banks do not charge any fees for e-transfers, but donors ought to check with their own banking institution, as there might be a nominal fee for these electronic transactions.

 

When someone is making a donation by e-transfer, they need to designate where they want their donation to go in the “Memo” section, if they want to support a particular ministry.  Here is an example: Take Home Meals, $20; General Fund, $50; Food Bank, $30. (If people do not specify where they want their donation to go, it will automatically be directed to the General Fund, which gives the Treasurer the most flexibility in how best to steward the donation.)

 

If there are e-transfer donors who don’t already donate to the church, they will need to include their name, address, phone number and where their donation is designated in the “Memo” section of the e-transfer.

 

 

Greeting Cards

 

This past week I was writing some “thank you” cards, and ran out of them. It got me thinking that in a previous parish, they made their own greeting cards with a photograph of some the stained-glass windows on the front cover. Perhaps there are some folks who would send cards, who would like a set from St. Brice’s. This could also be a modest fundraiser.

 

He is not someone who blows his own horn, so I’ll do it for him: Many of us are unaware that parishioner David Lewis is an accomplished professional photographer. He recently took pictures of St. Brice’s windows for our insurer. Please see an example of his work, nearby. There are other accomplished photographers at St. Brice’s: Per Furst (who took photos for our website), Sepideh Ghods-Mirhaidari, and Barb Bonenfant’s nature photographs posted in Facebook come to mind.

 

We are currently exploring different options to find the most reasonable print option which still provides quality work. We will keep you posted!

 

ON-GOING MINISTRIES

 

 

Behind the Scenes Ministries

 

I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the “behind-the-scenes” ministries which continue at St. Brice’s, even during the current pandemic:

 

  • Food Bank: This has continued throughout the pandemic, although we are passing out food at the door, rather than hosting people to have fellowship in the parish hall.

 

  • Teen Lunch Program: We cannot provide meals to groups of teenagers in our hall, but Bill Burton has been delivering snacks weekly to the school (staff see they are distributed to the students). As well, a group of volunteers continues to meet regularly for devotions and to pray for this ministry.

 

  • Bible Studies: There are a number of Bible studies which parishioners participate in. The Tuesday evening Bible study continues on-line, starting at 7pm.

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81571216977?pwd=TlBFNnpZekZFSEpMbjB5bmpDUDFWZz09

Meeting ID: 815 7121 6977

Passcode: 374532

 

  • Take Home Meals: These have continued throughout the pandemic, although meals are delivered rather than people picking up their meals in the parish hall. As well, to conform to the diocesan requirements since late last year, people who are in a position to do so have been making donations rather than fixed amounts for their orders. While many have continued to respond generously, not all meals have been paid for. As well, orders overall have lessened in the past few months.

 

The menu for June 1st delivery will include:

Beef Stroganoff

Chicken Dinner Casserole

Carrot Cake Bars

 

 

If you’d like to receive a copy of a menu order, please contact: stbricestakehomemeals@gmail.com

 

  • Refugee Sponsorship: Although our legal commitment to support our latest refugee family ended in early December 2020, the family still occasionally needs support. Thank you to Craig Ivany, for instance, for replacing a kitchen faucet. As well, 4 children learning school on-line at home on their own while they are still learning basic English reading and writing skills is not easy. Thank you to Rune Othin for his tutoring.

  • Messy Church: Although we cannot gather at St. Brice’s, monthly deliveries to Messy Church participants has continued through most months of the pandemic.

 

 

PROPERTY

 

 

“Heaven Is Above” Parish Hall Re-roofing Project

 

The work is scheduled to begin at the end of May. We wait with anticipation, to see if our application to the Anglican Foundation is successful. The Board which awards grants and loans will be meeting on May 20, and we ought to hear a short time after that.

I will be attending (on-line) the Anglican Foundation’s Annual General Meeting on May 19. If anyone else would like to attend, please let me know, and I will see you are included with the invitation.

 

 

Mowing

 

The Property Committee met recently to look at what work needs to be done on the property. On the whole, St. Brice’s property is in good repair. There are several small jobs, which Rob McDonald and Dennis King are looking after (thank you!).

Fay Ivany is planning to circulate a list for volunteers to mow the lawn this summer, as has been done in the past. This job typically takes less than half an hour each time.

 

 

 

New Exterior Sign

 

In 2016, Vestry decided to undertake 3 projects not included in the budget, but as funding comes in. In order: (1), a commercial dishwasher (done); (2), a new exterior sign, to promote worship services and events; (3), replacement for the LCD projector on a box to display the lyrics and liturgy for some services.

The Advisory Board, with guidance from Brian Summersby and Sheldon Richard, agreed on the design and size of a new exterior sign in late 2016, and agreed which contractor would build and install the sign. We will see what happens after the parish hall is re-roofed, but we might have the resources to install a new exterior sign later this year. Brian Summersby has kindly agreed to contact the contractor about costs, as some time has gone by, and to make inquiries about the costs of an LED option in place of hand-placed vinyl letters.

 

 

Recording/ Internet

 

For those who want to join us, each Sunday morning at 10:30am a small group meets for fellowship and devotions. Here is the link to join us, from May 2-16:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83150840765?

pwd= MDJUYTFERzZIRktRdFlZWGdhSGg2Zz09

Meeting ID: 831 5084 0765

Passcode: 142215

 

Some of us are aware that St. Brice’s switched internet service providers from Bell to COGECO this past November. More recently, our capacity has been upgraded, both in speed and range. We expect that the internet will be able to be used in the Church building and the parish hall as well. If you use your cell phone or other devices at St. Brice’s and would like a copy of the current password, please contact the parish office.

 

I understand there are two systems in the same router on this property. For older devices, there is a regular network which is adequate in parts of the building; it is most suitable for things like email which are not downloading a big quantity of data. For newer devices, there is also a 5G network, which is much faster and has a better range. (“5G” shows up in the user name when your device is searching for a network.) Thank you to Colin Campbell and others for shepherding this project.

 

Camp Temiskaming

 

The Deanery Camp, Camp Temiskaming, will not be able to offer children’s camps this summer. However, significant on-going costs continue. (St. Brice’s will be making a donation in June.) Carrie Birtch is undertaking an initiative, a “Bake-less Bake Sale,” to benefit Camp T. I’m not able to paste the poster into this letter, but will include it as a separate attachment. Please consider supporting this ministry.

 

 

PERSONAL

 

Vacation

My wife Nancy and I will be on vacation, God willing, from June 29 to July 29. Layreaders will be taking services of Morning Prayer on July 4 and 18. The Ven. Marie Loewen will celebrate on July 11; the Rev. Dr. Derek Neal will celebrate on July 25. In the event of a pastoral emergency during my absence, please contact the Rev. Marie.

 

 

God bless you all,

 

Peter Armstrong

 

March 28, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

“We have this hope as an anchor [God’s promises through Jesus]

to the soul, strong and secure.”  Hebrews 6: 19a

 

“We Have This Hope As an Anchor”

All the parishes where I previously served were alongside or very near the seacoast, so the image of our faith being an anchor – a huge, solid weight, for the protection and well-being of the entire ship – is a powerful image for me. Although our world is somewhat chaotic right now — although we don’t know exactly how soon or in what way the pandemic will be resolved — our God is all-powerful and unchanging. We can have confidence and security through him.

 

 “Hope” today is often used in a tentative way (“I hope the rain will stop this afternoon”). But for the New Testament writers – not to mention Jesus Christ himself! – our hope in the Lord is strong and secure, and will see us through.

 

On Easter weekend, we will be focusing particularly on Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. We share in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Anglican burial offices (which obviously focus on our resurrection) proclaim that we have “a sure and certain hope.”  It is in light of this sure and certain hope that I write to you today.

 

When Will In-person Worship Resume on Sunday Mornings?

Well, that’s the million dollar question! Of course, we need to practice a very high degree of safe hygienic practices, not only for ourselves, but for others. That’s simply living out the two Great Commandments of Jesus (to love God, and to love others).

 

I had very much hoped that in-person worship at St. Brice’s would resume on Palm Sunday. However, the decision of Archbishop Anne, in consultation with the diocesan executive, was to postpone this. I cannot give an exact date at this time. I can tell you that the Archbishop has invited parish clergy to a meeting in the beginning of the Easter season, and when to re-open the parishes will be on the Agenda. I hope that I can communicate a re-opening date, as soon as that meeting concludes.

 

I take very seriously that as a servant of Jesus Christ, it’s my duty to offer opportunities for worship for everyone (not just people who have good computer connections), and to provide Holy Communion. I want to encourage you and to reassure you of my care for you, the flock, under our great Good Shepherd.

 

Vaccine Video

I will cheerfully receive whatever vaccine is offered to me. This is a vital part of the health strategy for all of us. I know there are parishioners who are “vaccine hesitant.” I encourage you to view the message I recorded, which is on the “COVID-19” banner on St. Brice’s website.

 

 

Contrasting Jesus and Judas – in the Old Testament

Many of us find parts of the Old Testament confusing, and would like to be equipped to understand it better. A bright young colleague of mine, Jeff Boldt, is hosting a webinar, about the Lord Jesus and the traitor Judas in the Old Testament. It will be offered very soon – Saturday, March 27, 1pm local time. If you would like to check it out, please go to the Anglican Communion Alliance website www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/anglican-communion-alliance-inc/events/two-shepherds-aca-webinar

 

Movie: I Can Only Imagine

Also this weekend – Sunday, March 28, 7pm – some of us are gathering to discuss a movie: I Can Only Imagine. Everyone is welcome.

 

This is a link to watch for free on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/1QOuhojQGfo

 

To rent or buy this movie, go to:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/i-can-only-imagine/8d6kgwxp5mt3?activetab=pivot%maoverviewtab

This movie is also on Netflix right now. People who wish can sign up for a free trial, and cancel after the free trial. 

 

Here is the link to join in the discussion, March 28, 7pm (please hold on to these coordinates, so you can find them easily):

 

Topic: Movie Discussion: “I Can Only Imagine”

Time: March 28, 2021 7:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88525826039?pwd=QlFvQitwcFhqb0N1cFJtUXNqRlIxdz09

Meeting ID: 885 2582 6039

Passcode: 659789

 

 

On-line Services

Of course, there are a wide variety of on-line worship services being offered, within the diocese, and around the world.  Diocesan and Deanery services in this upcoming week:

  • Luke’s Cathedral in The Soo is offering a Palm Sunday service on its Facebook page.

  • The Archbishop is offering devotions periodically morning and evening on her Facebook page.

  • In this Deanery, the weekly services will continue to be offered on Sunday mornings (available on St. Brice’s website).

  • This coming week, Holy Week, there will be a quiet on-line evening service of Compline on Tuesday evening, led by one of the clergy, and a service of Evening Prayer (led by a layreader in the Deanery) on Thursday evening.

 

However, I’d really like to focus on Easter weekend.

 

  • Maundy Thursday

  • Good Friday (Meditation on Jesus’ Seven Last Words on the Cross)

  • Easter Eve

  • Easter Morning

To access these services, go to the St. Brice’s website, Worship tab: https://www.stbriceschurch.com/wordpress/?page_id=258

 

Good Friday, North Bay ecumenical service

St. Brice’s is one of a number of local churches who work together to offer a worship service on Good Friday (this year, April 2). Information about how to attend is shown on the banner below. This worship time is intended particularly for people who might not presently consider themselves Christians, but who want to consider the claims of Christ.

 

 

Office Coordinator

Parishioners know that we have been advertising for the position of an office coordinator. I’m very pleased to let you know that Diane McCaskill will be taking this position. This coming week, Diane will be in the office on Thursday afternoon, 1:30-3:30pm. The following week and thereafter, Diane will customarily be in the office on Tuesday afternoons, 1:30-3:30pm, and Thursday mornings, 10:00am-noon.

 

Stained Glass Windows

In consultation with our broker, the Advisory Board has decided to insure the Church’s stained glass windows separately this year (the premium will be about $150 more). We are exploring getting exterior coverings to protect some or all of these windows, and will reassess this coverage early in 2021. This is part of a larger project to ensure that our insurance coverage is adequate but not excessive for all of the property and contents.

Youth Outreach

I sincerely have much to be grateful for while serving at St. Brice’s. I think it’s fair to write, though, that most of us who are active in parish life are on the mature side of 29 years of age. I would like to strengthen our ministry among youth and young adults. I have been giving this some thought. At the Board meeting last night, we proposed undertaking some on-line consultation, to help better understand what people’s needs are, and how we might better engage with these needs. I will keep you posted as this initiative progresses.

 

Parish Hall Re-roofing Project

We are enormously grateful for people’s generous response in contributing to the job of re-roofing the parish hall. We expect that this job will be done at the end of May or early June. What has been contributed financially exceeds the costs to get the job done. Our plan is wait until we receive and pay the bill. Then, as we previously committed, the remainder of the donations will be shared equally among other property needs and missions which the parish supports.

 

 

Financial Update

While there were a lot of wonderful donations for the parish hall roof, overall donations to our regular ministry and mission items diminished this past month. We respectfully ask parishioners to stop donating toward the parish hall roof project, and to direct our donations towards the general fund. (Costs such as my stipend or the hydro bill aren’t as dramatic as seeing a new roof, but are still needed to do the Lord’s work in North Bay.)

 

 

 

These newsletters are brief summaries of what is taking place. You continue to be in my prayers regularly, and I am grateful for your prayers as well. To God be all the glory! I very much look forward to seeing as many of you as I can, in person, in the near future.

 

In Christ,

 

Peter Armstrong

March 14, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

“Incline your ear, and come to me;

Hear, that your soul may live;

And I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

My steadfast, sure love for David.”                   

Isaiah 55: 3

 

 

I am writing this on a blustery, but sunny, early spring afternoon. Among all the difficult news this past year about COVID-19, I thought it would be suitable to begin this newsletter with a prophecy of encouragement and hope, from Isaiah 55 (see above).

 

There are several things I want to update you about…

 

Parish Hall Re-roofing Project: “Heaven Is Above”

As you likely know, St. Brice’s applied to the Anglican Foundation for a grant to help pay for the parish hall re-roofing project. I was very pleased to receive a message earlier this week that the diocesan executive has recommended the project to be submitted from this diocese – the last step before it is considered by the Board of the Anglican Foundation, which will meet in a few weeks. We also received a very nice personal note from Archbishop Anne (who, by the way, is an Anglican Foundation board member), expressing appreciation for a well put-together application. Thank you to Rob McDonald, and all those who helped put together the application.

 

Thank you to everyone who was able to contribute financially toward this project. We have exceeded our financial goal. The treasurer suggests we direct offerings for St. Brice’s to the general ministry fund.

 

We earlier agreed that money raised for this project beyond what was needed would be shared equally between other property projects, and missions. I expect we’ll plan this out further at the upcoming St. Brice’s Advisory Board meeting.

 

 

Sunday Worship: Still On Hold

Based on an earlier message from the diocesan office, I was hoping that our regular Sunday worship services would resume on Sunday, March 25 (Palm Sunday). Diocesan clergy received a message this past Monday that, due to continued concerns about possible virus transmission during the pandemic, there won’t be our regular in-person Holy Week services this year. (The diocesan executive has decided not to choose a hoped-for reopening date, because they don’t want to get people’s hopes up, if the re-opening date has to be postponed again.)  While I understand why this decision was made, I’m really disappointed. I have reached out to the executive archdeacon; I hope to get clarification about the re-opening criteria. (If I receive it, I will certainly pass it on to you.)

 

Meanwhile, a number of on-line options continue. Most of these can be found on the St. Brice’s website [https://www.stbriceschurch.com/wordpress/ — under the tabs for “Lent” and “Worship;” see also the links on St. Brice’s Facebook page]. As well, many of these services are posted on the Temiskaming Deanery youtube channel :

  • I expect the Sunday morning Deanery services will continue,

  • At St. Brice’s, we continue to offer a fellowship time on Sunday mornings at 10:30am, concluding with short devotions

Topic: Sunday Morning Gatherings, 10:30am Sundays until March 21 inclusive.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89743902369?pwd=Z1pKMXBUdndsT2NYVEFjWmtMTTlRUT09

Meeting ID: 897 4390 2369

Passcode: 725658

  • Throughout Lent, clergy offer weekly services of Compline from the Book of Common Prayer, available each Tuesday evening,

  • Throughout Lent, layreaders offer weekly brief services of Evening Prayer, available each Thursday evening,

  • The Rev. Marie Loewen offers weekly reflections each Saturday morning in Lent [March 13: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUkez49t7Uo ]

  • Archbishop Anne Germond offers brief services during Lent on her Facebook page, on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, available about 7:15am and later,

  • Devotional material continues to be posted periodically on St. Brice’s web-site.

I know there are parishioners who “watch” services on Quebec, the U.S., England, and probably elsewhere. I know that on-line options don’t work for everyone, but I’m sincerely doing the best I can to provide worship resources for people during our present circumstances.

 

 

Ecumenical: Good Friday Gathering

St. Brice’s is one of a number of local churches who work together to offer a worship service on Good Friday (this year, April 2). Information about how to attend is shown on the banner above. This worship time is intended particularly for people who might not presently consider themselves Christians, but who want to consider the claims of Christ.

 

The Steering Committee is working hard to publicize this event in the local community, but really, the most effective way to invite people who are “un-churched” is for someone – you! — to invite them. Please prayerfully consider who you might be led to invite — someone you know who does not seem to have faith in their life right now, who you can invite to this event. Don’t worry about the response – that’s up to the other person, and God; not us. Our responsibility is to invite, simply and naturally (John 1: 46b).

 

It is also helpful if you promote this worship service on your own social media platforms.

 

St. Brice’s: Good Friday Gathering

A quiet, meditative on-line Good Friday service is going to be offered on Good Friday, led primarily by a number of laypeople at St. Brice’s. It is a combination of music and seven meditations, based on Jesus Christ’s “Seven Last Words on the Cross.”

 

 

Liturgical Resources from Spring 2020, Diocese of Algoma

For those of us who are more liturgically inclined, there are a number of worship services on the diocesan website, intended to be used in the home:

 

  • Agape service for use in the home

  • Solemn Intercession with Meditation on the Cross

  • Easter Vigil

  • Easter morning.

 

(These are from 2020.) Please go to:

https://www.dioceseofalgoma.com/2020/03/31/diocesan-rites-for-the-paschal-triduum-april-9-12-2020/  

 

Movie: I Can Only Imagine

This past Sunday, some parishioners gathered on-line to discuss the movie called The War Room. A week from this coming Sunday – Sunday, March 28, 7pm – we are gathering again to discuss another movie: I Can Only Imagine. Everyone is welcome.

 

This is a link to watch for free on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/1QOuhojQGfo

 

To rent or buy this movie, go to:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/i-can-only-imagine/8d6kgwxp5mt3?activetab=pivot%maoverviewtab

This movie is also on Netflix right now. People who wish can sign up for a free trial, and cancel after the free trial. 

 

Here is the link to join in the discussion, March 28, 7pm (please hold on to these coordinates, so you can find them easily in a week’s time):

 

Topic: Movie Discussion: “I Can Only Imagine”

Time: March 28, 2021 7:00 PM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88525826039?pwd=QlFvQitwcFhqb0N1cFJtUXNqRlIxdz09

Meeting ID: 885 2582 6039

Passcode: 659789

 

 

Vaccine

I encourage you to receive the vaccine when it becomes available to you. I know that some folks are hesitant, because of mixed reports about the vaccines which are available. You might want to view this video which I put together: https://youtu.be/jp6ofG_qi0c

 

 

 

 

Office Co-ordinator

Parishioners who attended the recent Vestry (annual meeting) know that we have been making plans to hire a part-time co-ordinator for the parish office. The Board has come up with a careful hiring process. We have advertised within St. Brice’s, and also several other local churches in North Bay. The deadline for applications is this coming Monday. We will keep you informed as this ministry unfolds.

 

 

 

Compassionate Care

Diane McCaskill is the St. Brice’s representative on an ecumenical committee: Compassionate Care. The aim is for committee members to learn more about the local problem of Homelessness, and what steps can be taken to relieve it. This group has been working very diligently.

 

Along with some other local churches in North Bay, we will be sharing information occasionally about needs and resources. Here is an excerpt about some current needs:

 

The Good Samaritan Corner

The Compassionate Committee for the Homeless in North Bay recognize that the homeless have urgent needs.  If you would like to help but unsure what to donate or whom to donate to, please consider the following:

 

North Bay Food Bank (1016 Fisher St., 705-495-3290) is currently looking for toiletries, baby supplies, and individual food servings (ideal are pull tabs for easy access).

 

Education and Awareness

Did you know that when you donate items to Rebuilt Resources, the homeless and near homeless benefit?  Donations of used items allow Rebuilt Resources to offer low income and homeless people clothing and furniture at no cost.  For more information, please contact Rebuilt Resources at (705) 497-7878; 1356 Regina St.

 

Health Inspection

St. Brice’s kitchen was inspected yesterday by a local health inspector. People will be pleased to know that we passed with flying colours. Thank you to all the people who look after the kitchen, and who have been contributing to keeping St. Brice’s clean and tidy, especially at this time.

Time Change: Spring Forward

Please remember there is a time change this weekend: “Spring forward.”

 

 

 

 

God bless you all,

 

Peter Armstrong

February 28, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” II Peter 1: 2

 

 

I hope you’re well. You remain, as always, in my prayers.

 

There are a number of things I want to share with you…

 

When Will Regular Sunday Morning Worship Resume?

The million dollar question we all have is, “When will regular Sunday morning worship resume?”

As of this writing, we plan to meet on Sunday, March 28, at 9am and 11am. This happens to be Palm Sunday (also called, The Sunday of the Passion), the beginning of Holy Week.

 

We might not call this “regular” Sunday worship, though. Unless I were to have 2 broken legs, 2 broken arms, severe laryngitis, COVID-19, and be tied down with a freighter anchor, I will be there!! But I do not expect everyone will flood back at once. Rather, as people feel safe, or receive the vaccine, I expect more people will gradually return to in-person worship.

 

Of course, having regular Sunday worship also depends on the pandemic being under control in our area. If the health unit forbids in-person worship, for example, we won’t be gathering on March 28.

 

Presuming we are allowed to gather, here are the tentative plans for Holy Week:

 

I expect to discuss Holy Week in further detail with members of the Spiritual Development Committee, and will confirm details in a future newsletter. Please note that, even if we are allowed to gather in person, we might not undertake some Holy Week traditions (like foot-washing, or the Palm Sunday processionals).

 

Vaccine Recording

Some of us are eager to receive a vaccine; others are hesitant, or have read things in social media questioning the use of vaccines. This is a question about how can we evaluate what is true, and what is misleading. I have prepared a short video about this. I hope that it will posted on the St. Brice’s website soon. Feel free to view this, or share it with anyone in the community who might have questions about getting vaccinated.

 

           

Observing the Season of Lent

 

The B.A.S. Ash Wednesday Exhortation summarizes it well:

 

Lent is a time to prepare for [the Easter] celebration

and to renew our life in the paschal mystery…

I invite you therefore, in the name of the Lord,

to observe a holy Lent

by self-examination, penitence, prayer,

fasting, and almsgiving,

and by reading and meditating on the word of God.

 

The on-line weekly Deanery services continue, and can be found on the St. Brice’s website at:

https://www.stbriceschurch.com/wordpress/?page_id=258

 

The on-line weekly Fellowship Gatherings (which end with short devotions) can be accessed at:

Topic: Sunday Morning Gatherings

Time: February 28-March 21, 2021 10:30 AM

 

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

 

Archbishop Anne Germond is offering “sun-rise” services on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, through her Facebook page, beginning at 7:15am.

 

During Lent, short late evening services (“Compline”) are offered on Tuesdays by the clergy, using the Book of Common Prayer. (I led the service last Tuesday, February 23.) These might be available through the St. Brice’s website in the future, but can also be accessed through the St. Mary Magdalene’s (Sturgeon Falls) youtube channel. Deanery layreaders are offering short services of Evening Prayer on Thursdays, using the Book of Alternative Services. (Bill and Anne Burton are leading the service this coming Thursday, March 4.) The Evening Prayer services can be accessed the same way.

 

There are also plans to offer an ecumenical Good Friday service on-line, accessed through Youtube, Facebook, and the local COGECO television station. Several St. Brice’s parishioners have contributed to this. The theme this year is “Hope,” and the hosts particularly want to encourage people who are exploring or considering the claims of the gospel to view the program. Please invite un-churched friends.

 

Lenten devotional resources continue to be printed (for those who do not have access to the internet, but want them) and are posted on the parish webpage – such as the Henri Noewen daily devotions:

https://www.stbriceschurch.com/wordpress/?page_id=4157

Parishioners are encouraged to watch The War Room, a movie directed by Alex Kendrick. There will be an on-line discussion about the movie next weekend. Please join us, using the link below (keep a copy of this handy):

 

Topic: Discussion: “The War Room” Movie

Time: Sunday, March 7, 2021 7:00 PM

 

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

 

If you need a DVD copy of the movie to be able to view it, please contact the parish office right away.

 

Layreaders especially are warmly invited to participate in the “Lenten Quiet Morning” on March 20. However, I understand other laity may attend too, if they choose:

 

Dear Lay Readers

of the

Dioceses of Algoma and Moosonee

You are invited to attend

A Lenten Quiet Morning

on

Saturday March 20th, 2021

9am to Noon

Led by Archbishop Anne Germond

Reflections on:

“The Body Language of Jesus through Holy Week:

Servant, Prayer, Saviour, Son”

Please email Liz Hamel to register at

adminassistant@dioceseofalgoma.com

 

           

World Day of Prayer Service

The annual World Day of Prayer Service, held on the first Friday in March each year, is being hosted on-line by Calvin Presbyterian Church this year:

 

Below is the information you need for your congregation to join us.

This year’s service has been done as a video with the introduction by the writing country, Vanuatu, and their service led by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. It is well done.

Everyone can join service either via computer, smart phone or tablet or by home phone.

Please forward this email to any who might be interested in joining us for this special service.

Please encourage folks to join the service at 1:45B p.m. so we can begin the actual service at 2:00 p.m.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With thanks for the body of Christ,

Rev. Frances Savill

Calvin Presbyterian Church, North Bay

 

Topic: World Day of Prayer

Time: Mar 5, 2021 01:45 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

To join by computer, tablet or smart phone use the link provided:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82805543849?pwd=ZTVQaGhuMEZGUExHV3REbFhrQW5XZz09

Meeting ID: 828 0554 3849

Passcode: 030521

 

To join using your home phone call:

Call:   +1 647 374 4685  

Meeting ID: 828 0554 3849#

Participant: #

Passcode: 030521#

         

Round Table on Homelessness

 

The Catholic Women’s League of North Bay has recently formed a “round table” to address the challenge of homelessness in North Bay. The St. Brice’s representative is Diane McCaskill. Please speak to Diane for further information or support for this initiative.

 

           

Keep in Touch

I want to express my appreciation to those involved with the informal networks to keep in touch with each other while we are isolated during the pandemic. Please consider calling people outside your circle of friends, and if you are feeling lonely, please do not remain in isolation. We would be pleased to talk with you. Some local health resources can be found at the following website: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19

 

           

 

Update on the Parish Hall Re-roofing Project: “Heaven Is Above”

 

This project is moving forward. The contract is being awarded to Steve Watson, of All Heights Roofing from Sturgeon Falls. This bid came in at just under $13 000, including taxes. The work is planned be done the last week of May, and we expect it will be completed within four days.

 

We submitted an application to the Anglican Foundation to pay for 50% of the job. The Deanery officials have already provided their support for the project. Next, we are reasonably confident of a recommendation from the diocesan executive at their meeting on March 9-10. It will then be forwarded to the Anglican Foundation board at their meeting in April.

 

                  

 

Office Coordinator

Parishioners who attended the Vestry (annual meeting) last week know that we are planning to hire a part-time office coordinator at St. Brice’s. Following input from the Vestry, and having consulted other parishes and the diocesan office, the Advisory Board is advertising for a candidate to be hired for four hours/ week, at the rate of $20/ hour. Half of that time is to be while the rector is in the office. This job will be offered as a one-year contract.

 

The ideal candidate has the following traits and competencies:

  • Answer telephone & deal with queries

  • Respond to email messages & file significant email messages so they can intuitively be found later

  • Is competent in Microsoft Office software

  • Can contribute to weekly PowerPoint presentations

  • Ensure volunteer roster are kept up to date

  • Prepare any special bulletins

  • Keep track of, and ordering, seasonal material (such as palm crosses, etc.)

  • Be flexible and creative, as tasks will vary from day to day

  • Be a friendly, effective presence, who reflects the ethos of St. Brice’s

  • Be willing to work with a high degree of independence, but who is also be an effective communicator

  • Other duties as assigned.

 

The successful candidate will need to undergo a Criminal Record Check needed, and swear to observe appropriate confidentiality. The office coordinator is accountable to the rector and the wardens.

 

The Board has considered carefully how best to proceed with the hiring process. We will first be advertising “in house” in St. Brice’s and in neighbouring local churches, before advertising the position publicly (if this is needed). There will be two steps to the hiring process: First, three lay people will review the resume(s). Then, two wardens and the rector will interview the candidate(s).

 

The deadline for submitting a resume is 15 March. Candidates are encouraged, but not required, to submit their resumes and a covering letter on line, to: stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca. Submissions will also be accepted in the parish mailbox.

 

Of course, an Office Coordinator will help with the administration of the parish. But that’s not all. We are investing carefully for our future. We hope that hiring someone will free me somewhat to invest in pastoral care and evangelization. However (as I have said before), I cannot do it alone. We are all called collectively to offer our gifts, to build up the Church, and to advance the kingdom of God.

 

Financial Update

 

Monthly income is typically down in the months of January, July and August. We are sincerely grateful to all those who were in a position to contribute to the parish hall re-roofing project. We appreciate all contributions which can be made for our ministry and outreach work.

 

           

 

What I Can Promise – and What I Cannot

Someone asked me the other day when I thought the pandemic might be over in North Bay. I cannot answer that. (Some questions are, as they say, “above my pay scale.”) I understand completely people’s longing for the pandemic to be over, and I want the same myself. No Christian can be promised a life without any trouble – in fact, sometimes we might have troubles because we are Christians!

There are, though, some things I can promise: I can promise that you are loved, more than you will ever know or ever to be able to comprehend, by the God of the universe, who has revealed himself to humanity by his Son Jesus Christ, in the power of his Holy Spirit. Even more, in the community of the Church family, in our own bumbling, beautiful way, we are learning together how to love like the Lord Jesus. I can promise that, though you might feel lonely, you are never really alone. I can promise you that death is not the end. I can promise that the flashes of beauty, the relief of forgiveness and the peace which passes understanding are not temporary, but point ahead to God’s coming kingdom in which there will be no more tears, or pain, or death, or sorrow. I can promise that in some amazing way, we will be reunited in Christ as the communion of saints, a great city made up of people both known and unknown to us. I can promise that pandemics are not the end of the story.

 

George Herbert, d. 1633

 

I happen to be writing this parish newsletter on the anniversary of the death of George Herbert, who is my favourite Anglican poet. The Rev. Herbert served briefly and quietly in a rural parish in western England in the early 1600’s. His devotion to his Lord, Jesus Christ, and his utter commitment to care for his parishioners as their local shepherd, are remarkable, and I think, very beautiful. He died relatively young. Here is a stanza of praise from a hymn he wrote, “King of Glory, King of Peace:”

 

          

  Seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise thee;

            In my heart, through not in heaven, I can raise thee.

            Small it is, in this poor short, to enroll thee,

            E’en eternity’s too short to extol thee.

 

God bless you all,

 

Peter Armstrong

February 14, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

“[Discipline] yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12: 11b

 

I hope you are well. Here is an update of several important matters for you.

 

2021 Annual Vestry Meeting

We hope you will join us for the upcoming Vestry meeting. It will be held on-line, beginning 20 February, 1pm (people can sign in any time after 12:45pm). Here is the information you need:

 

Topic: St. Brice’s Vestry Meeting — General

Time: Feb 20, 2021 1:00 PM

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

 

If you do not have access to the internet, but have free long-distance phone calling for Ontario, you can join the meeting by calling: 647-558-0588.

 

 

If you would like to join us, but aren’t sure how, there are parishioners who will coach you through the process. However, please leave a message at the parish office if you’d like help.

 

 

        Sunday Worship

In-person Sunday worship will not be held until Sunday, March 28 (Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week).

 

If you are able to access the internet, the following resources are available:

 

 

Topic: Sunday Morning Gatherings

Time: February 14, 2021 10:30 AM

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

 

If you are not able to access the internet, please contact the parish office (705-474-4005) for resources.

 

            Season of Lent

The season of Lent begins this year on 17 February (Ash Wednesday).

 

 

  1. New copies of The Daily Bread devotional have arrived. Please contact the parish office if you want a copy.

  2. We will be providing short daily devotions called Renewed for Life by Henri Nouwen

  3. Movie buffs are encouraged to watch the movie The War Room – it’s not what you might think! – and join us for an on-line discussion on 7 March, 7pm. Another movie for consideration: I Can Only Imagine. (Where is the theme of redemption here?)

  4. For those who want to go somewhat more in-depth this Lent, consider Paul: A Biography, by N. T. Wright (Harper Collins, 2018).

 

Pastoral Care

Thank you to the parishioners who are reaching out to call people during this time of isolation. Nonetheless, if you feel isolated, or if you think someone else might feel isolated, please pick up the phone and call. We always need one another, but perhaps particularly so at this time.

 

Parish Hall Roof Update

Parishioners who were unable to participate in the meeting on February 6, copies of the Minutes are available on the parish website, or by contacting the parish office (705-474-4005). We are pleased with how things are progressing – we received a very competitive bid from another contractor, and the application to the Anglican Foundation is progressing well. Thank you to the parishioners who have been in a position to be able contribute financially to this project.

 

God bless! Peter Armstrong

 

 

February 7, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

And all things should be done decently and in order.” (I Corinthians 14: 40)

 

Thank you to all those who were able to participate in the special Vestry meeting earlier this afternoon. Here are several follow-up points:

 

Income Tax Receipts

 

2020 Income Tax receipts will be available to pick up when the St. Brice’s Food Bank is open, this coming Thursday from 9:00-10:30am. If this is not a time which will work for you, please contact the parish office and we will make other arrangements.

 

 

Parish Hall Re-roofing Project

 

The following motion was passed today:

 

BE IT RESOLVED

  • That the Property Committee be charged with re-roofing the parish hall roof with shingles this summer,

  • And that an Application to the Anglican Foundation be undertaken with our full support;

  • And that any excess income from the congregation be directed to be used equally between other property projects and the mission work of the congregation.

We expect the cost of the roofing job will be about $15 000, and we are applying to the Anglican Foundation for a grant to pay for half the expenses. There is almost $3000 in the Building Fund. This means we need to raise elsewhere $4500 (or $12 000 if we do not get the planned-for grant). We need to submit the Anglican Foundation grant application by the end of next week (the sooner, the better).

 

 

If you are in receipt of an income, and if you are in a position to be able to help, would you consider making a donation or a pledge to pay for the new parish hall roof in 2021? We hope that people will make an offering (or make a pledge for a future offering), before we submit the grant application.

 

If you want to make a pledge of a future donation, please contact the treasurer (Don Bonenfant), the envelope secretary (Fay Ivany) or myself, in writing, some time within the next ten days.

On-line Regular Vestry Meeting

 

The second St. Brice’s Vestry meeting for 2021 will take place two weeks’ from now, on Saturday, 20 February 2021, starting at 1pm. The ban on large gatherings may be relaxed by this time. If so, this meeting will be a hybrid of an in-person and on-line gathering. Parishioners are still encouraged to meet on-line. People who are unable to meet on-line can gather in the parish hall, still observing the social distancing directions, and wearing masks. This meeting will include adoption of reports, and other regular business.

 

(If the current lockdown is extended through 20 February, this meeting will be on-line only.)

 

Here is the information to join this meeting on-line:

 

Topic: St. Brice’s Vestry Meeting — General

Time: Feb 20, 2021 1:00 PM

If you do not have access to the internet, but have free long-distance phone calling for Ontario, you can join the meeting by calling: 647-558-0588. 

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

 

 

God bless, in Christ’s love,

 

Peter Armstrong

P.S. If you want to join us for on-line fellowship and a short devotion tomorrow (Sunday morning

Topic: Sunday Morning Gatherings

Time: February 6, 2021 10:30AM

Please click on this link:

Zoom 

Meeting ID: 876 8214 6646

Passcode: 928819

January 24, 2021

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

As we know, the regular pattern of Sunday morning worship has been disrupted, due to the current pandemic. The regular Vestry (annual meeting), which had previously been scheduled for 7 February, has been postponed. After consultation with the parish wardens and members of the Spiritual Development Committee, I propose that two meetings take place.

 

Notice of First Vestry Meeting: Saturday, 6 February

 

The first St. Brice’s Vestry meeting for 2021 will take place during the current lockdown. It will take place using the Zoom on-line platform, on Saturday, 6 February 2021, starting at 1pm (you can sign in any time after 12:40pm). This is a special Vestry meeting, to address property matters (particularly the parish hall roof), and our intent to apply to the Anglican Foundation for financial support.

 

Here is the information to join the meeting on-line:

 

Topic: St. Brice’s Vestry Meeting — Property

Time: Feb 6, 2021 1:00 PM

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

 

 

Directions to Join the Meeting 

If you would like to participate, but are unused to using the Zoom platform, there are parishioners who are willing to coach you. Please contact the parish office by the end of this month if you would like help.

 

If you do not have access to the internet, but have free long distance phone calling for Ontario, you can join the meeting by calling: 647-558-0588.

 

If you would like to participate in the meeting, but cannot use the internet (not “don’t want to,” but “can’t”), and if you can’t afford the long-distance charges to call by phone, please contact the parish office by the end of this month, and we will try to make arrangements for you.

 

Notice of Second Vestry Meeting: Saturday, 20 February

 

The second St. Brice’s Vestry meeting for 2021 will take place two weeks’ later, on Saturday, 20 February 2021, starting at 1pm. The ban on large gatherings may be relaxed by this time. If so, this meeting will be a hybrid of an in-person and on-line gathering. Parishioners are still encouraged to meet on-line. People who are unable to meet on-line can gather in the parish hall, still observing the social distancing directions, and wearing masks. This meeting will include adoption of reports, and other regular business.

 

If the current lockdown is extended through 20 February, this meeting will be on-line only.

 

Here is the information to join this meeting on-line:

 

Topic: St. Brice’s Vestry Meeting — General

Time: Feb 20, 2021 1:00 PM

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

Reminder of Regular Sunday Morning Fellowship & Devotional Gatherings

 

Topic: Sunday Morning Gatherings

Time:

Jan 24, 2021 10:30 AM

Every week on Sun, 4 occurrences

Jan 24, 2021 10:30 AM

Jan 31, 2021 10:30 AM

Feb 7, 2021 10:30 AM

Feb 14, 2021 10:30 AM

 

For security reasons, the hyperlink and passcode are not posted,

please contact the parish office for both at stbrices.northbay@yahoo.ca

God bless,

 

Peter Armstrong

 

P.S.

Please keep track of this message, so you can easily retrieve it and join the scheduled gatherings. Thank you!

January 17, 2021

 

Dear Friends,

 

I want to remind everyone that our regular in-person Sunday worship, and our Vestry (annual meeting) is postponed during this period of the pandemic. We will provide plenty of notice about when we can come together in person again.

 

You might be interested in reading the recent pastoral letter from Archbishop Anne Germond, accessible at: www.dioceseofalgoma.com

If you, or someone you care about, is in distress at this time, you might want to view some video resources, produced by a group associated with a large Presbyterian Church in New York City: www.counseling.redeemer.com

 

On Sunday, January 10th, I sent a Zoom invitation to gather on Sunday morning, January 17th, at 10:30am, to everyone whose email addresses we have (for security reasons, the coordinates are not posted on the parish website). Please feel free to join us for a brief period of fellowship and devotion.

 

Please also remember the Deanery on-line services and other resources, which are
posted on the parish website.

In Christ’s love,

Peter Armstrong

January 10, 2021

 

Dear Freinds,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

II Corinthians 1: 2

There are a number of points I want to share with you… This information is also on video and audio recordings, which I expect will be available on the St. Brice’s website and Facebook page.

 

We had planned to resume in-person Sunday morning worship on 24 January, but due to the present health restrictions, this will be postponed until 31 January, at 9am and 11am. (If there are longer closures, this will be announced.)

We plan to hold the Vestry (Annual Meeting) on Sunday, February 7, 1pm. This will be a mixture of in-person and an on-line format. Information about how to join on-line will be sent around the end of this month; we encourage you to join us. If you are responsible for an Annual Report, reports are due no later than 25 January. The sooner the reports are turned in, the easier it is for the office workers.

 

Overall, our Financial Status is quite good: We ended the year with $6374.50 more than when we started on 1 January last year. We should note, however, that we received $10 330.09, as a result of the diocese applying for a federal wage grant. As well, the Tuesday Meals fundraiser brought in about $7000 after expenses.

Please consider using the Electronic Offering Program, if you aren’t already. If arranging to transfer money automatically once a month from your account to St. Brice’s puts you in a difficult position, consider using that option on a twice-a-month basis. We will also be circulating 2021 envelope boxes for people who use them.

Nonetheless, given that there were no Sunday services for about five and a half months in 2020, and given that some parishioners have been affected by job losses, we have lots of reasons to be grateful.

 

Roof: The parish hall roof needs to replaced, once the weather allows. We are still getting price quotations, and hope to have a fuller report for the Vestry. We plan to apply for a grant from the Anglican Foundation, to help substantially with the costs. Our grant is strengthened if we have some money set aside for this purpose. Only three Anglican Foundation grants are granted from each diocese each year, so it’s in our interest to submit our application very soon. If you’re able to contribute to the roof work, along with your regular offerings, please do so.

 

Office Help: The Advisory Board is bringing a proposal to the Vestry to have some paid help in the office. Please give this thoughtful consideration and prayer.

 

Parish Photo Directory: Once the pandemic ends, we plan to publish a Parish Photo Directory this year. There will be no cost to the parish for this.

 

Homelessness: There will be a meeting this coming Tuesday, organized among a group of churches in North Bay, to consider how we might better address the issue of “homelessness” in the city. They are looking for a representative from St. Brice’s. If you are interested in this matter, please contact the parish office.

 

Tuesday Meals: These have been scaled back for early January and February, partly to give the volunteers a rest, partly because of the pandemic. We are grateful that several new volunteers have offered themselves for this ministry.

 

On behalf of St. Brice’s, I want to express our

thanks and appreciation to Tara King,

who looks after the St. Brice’s website,

and who has been doing a lot of posting during this pandemic.

Thank you for what you do, Tara!

 

Lent begins early this year – February 17. Please remember to ask for copies of Our Daily Bread, if you use this devotional. For anyone who wants something more in-depth, consider getting a book about the apostle Paul (appropriately called Paul), by Bishop N. T. (“Tom”) Wright. There is a series called “Anglicans Reading the Bible,” with me speaking, which might be of interest to folks. More information will be posted in the weeks ahead.

 

 

 

God bless, in Christ’s love,

Peter Armstrong

 

A General Intercession

 

Remember, Lord, your people bowed before you, and those who are absent through age, sickness, or any other cause. Care for the infants, guide the young, support the aged, inspire the faint-hearted, and bring the wandering to your fold. Journey with the travellers, encourage the oppressed, defend the widows, deliver the captives, heal the sick. Strengthen all who are in tribulation, necessity, or distress. Remember for good those who love us, and those who hate us, and those who have asked us, unworthy as we are, to pray for them. Remember especially, Lord, those whom we have forgotten. For you are the Helper of the helpless, the Saviour of the lost, the Refuge of the wanderer, the Healer of the sick. You know the need of all and have heard each prayer: save us in your merciful loving-kindness and eternal love;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.