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RETIREMENT ANNOUNCEMENT
After almost 20 years, Louise Sherry is retiring as secretary at St. John's.  Her last day in the office is December 3, after which she will take her much deserved holidays.  Louise's warm, 'down home' kindness has welcomed many visitors and parishioners over the years.  Because the pandemic restrictions make a customary reception or open-house a bit challenging, please consider a 'drive-by' in front of the parish hall between 10 -10:30 this Friday, December 3.  There isn't a formal start or procession, but do come by and wish Louise well.

ORDINATION ANNOUNCEMENT
Bishop Shane intends to ordain the Reverend Robert Sicard to the priesthood at Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa at 11am, Saturday, December 4.  All are welcome to attend the ordination in person at the Cathedral (proof of full vaccination and photo ID required) or virtually on the Cathedral's website.  Bob will assume the appointment of Incumbent (half-time) at Christ Church, Aylmer starting January 11, 2022.  Bob's last day in the parish will be Christmas Eve, and his last Sunday with us will be December 19, after which you are invited to greet Bob outside in front of the church following each service and wish him well.

PANDEMIC UPDATE
St. John's is continuing with its current policy of not requiring proof of vaccination to attend worship.  Physical distancing, capacity limits, the wearing of masks/face coverings, and the collection of contact tracing information remain in effect.    With some adjustment to seating arrangements, St. John's will be able to accommodate 120 people (30% of our capacity) while ensuring people maintain physical distance from one another.  These measures have held us in very good stead throughout the pandemic, and taking incremental steps to increase congregation capacity while ensuring safety seems to work well.  Should capacity limits become an issue, then we will revisit the option of introducing mandatory proof of vaccination.  Please note that for in-person studies, fellowship events, receptions etc. proof of vaccination and photo identification is required.

The emergency of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a concern, and information regarding its transmissibility and infectiveness is still coming through.  At this time, we remain in the Yellow stage of our diocesan In This Together Plan.  Senior diocesan leadership are following developments closely and will advise of any changes of protocols or directives.  Any changes to capacity limits or worship protocols will be shared with the congregation. 

RETURN OF THE COMMON CUP
Communion in both kinds is now available at St. John’s.  In order to maintain physical distancing between people, here’s how Communion at St. John’s will be offered: 
The Greeter will indicate when you may leave your pew. Please make your way up the centre aisle to the clergy at the chancel steps to receive the bread.  You may take off your mask to consume the bread as you step away.Make your way to the table at the side aisle where you may receive the wine.  The Communion assistant will say to you “The blood of Christ.” You may choose to pick up the chalice and drink from it, or simply bow your head in response if you do not wish to receive.  Please note that intinction (dipping the wafer into the wine) is not permitted.  If you do not wish to drink from the cup, please don’t just walk on by.  Pause, receive the words “The blood of Christ”, bow your head in response, or just pause, and then return to your pew.Once you drink from the chalice, place it back on the table and return to your pew via the side aisle, replacing your mask.  The Communion assistant will then wipe the rim and rotate it for the next recipient. Please sanitize your hands before you receive Communion, and then again after you return to your pew. 

The flow of people in the aisle will be controlled to minimize long waits in the aisles or at the Communion stations, so it all may take a bit longer.  That’s okay.  There is no need to rush up the aisle or hurry.  Let’s take our time, keep our distance and be intentional as we receive Communion.

It is important that you do what you feel is best for yourself and your loved ones. In the Anglican church, communicating in either kind, just bread or just wine, is considered full communion. You need not share the cup if the idea makes you uneasy. For information regarding the common cup and SARS-CoV-2 infection risk, please see the paper under the same title produced for all bishops in the Canadian Anglican Church by the Rev’d Michael Garner, Public Health Advisor to the Bishop of Ottawa. https://www.ottawa.anglican.ca/images/COVID-19/July-21-2021/Garner-Common-Cup-and-SARS-CoV-2_Infection-Risk-2021-07-15.pdf?type=file

CHRISTMAS LITURGIES AT ST. JOHN'S 
Sun Dec 19          4pm   Lessons & Carols for Christmas 
Fri Dec 24            4pm   Holy Eucharist & Carols with Children's story                             7pm   Holy Eucharist & Carols                             11pm Traditional Candlelight Midnight Mass 
Sat Dec 25           10am Holy Eucharist 
Sun Dec 26          9am* Holy Eucharist*Note - one service only on Dec 26. Capacity Limits are in effect for these services so please pre-register through the parish office for those you wish to attend.  This will help ensure that there is a spot for everyone.

COMMUNITY DINNER ON DELIVERY
Our next Community Dinner on Delivery will be on Sun Dec 19.  If you are able to help with meal prep in the days leading up to the weekend, please contact Virginia Willis at vawillis723@yahoo.com  If you are able to help deliver the afternoon of Dec 19, please contact Canon Catherine at catherine-ascah@ottawa.anglican.ca

ADVENT AT ST. JOHN'S
Sun Dec 5, 12 & 19 at 12noon: Advent Study Series.  Enjoy a simple soup & bread lunch in person and take in a virtual presentation by the monks of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge MA on the theme of Advent.  Capacity limits are in effect. Proof of vaccination will be required for this event each day.  Please contact the parish office if you wish to attend.  We will gather in the downstairs hall.

Sun Dec 12: Advent Spiral walk.  As the sunsets, come enjoy this contemplative walk along a lit spiral and invite the light of Christ into your Advent journey.  This is an outdoor event.  Come dressed for the weather, wear a mask and please physically distance.  No pre-registration required.   Suitable for all ages. 

Sun Dec 19 4pm:  A Service of Nine Lessons & Carols for Christmas.  Come and enjoy this classic liturgy of story and music which describes the grand sweep of God's creation to the new covenant begun with the incarnation of God in Jesus.  Pre-registration for this service is required.  Please contact the parish office if you wish to attend. 

SUNDAY SCHOOL HAS RESUMEDIn person Sunday School has resumed for the children.  You are welcome to bring your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews to St. John's at 10am on Sundays.  Enter into the lower hall via the ground-floor door facing George St. and sign in with Emily.  Parents/Guardians can then make their way upstairs to church.  At this time, children will remain in Sunday School for the duration of the service.

CHURCH TO RE-OPEN FOR QUIET PRAYER DURING THE WEEKThe church is available during office hours for those who wish to pray.  Access to the building is via the Parish Hall entrance on George St. from 9am - 12noon.  Proof of vaccination and photo ID is required to access the building for this purpose.