Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the
mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they
saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And
Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven
and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and
make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I
have commanded you. And remember, I am with you
always, to the end of the age.’ Matthew 28.16-20
Dear Friends in Christ,
Alleluia, Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed, alleluia! May his grace and peace be with us.
In Matthew’s Gospel, the disciples encounter the risen Christ not locked away in a room (as in John’s
Gospel), or in the temple, or in the synagogue in Nazareth, but on a mountain road outside of town.
It is a reminder to us that we encounter Jesus in a variety of places. It is a reminder to us that even
when we encounter Jesus, some of us doubt, and regardless of where we find ourselves, Jesus is
with us always.
It has been ten weeks since we last gathered for public worship here at St. John’s. The buildings
remain closed in accordance with the Provincial government’s State of Emergency legislation and our
Diocesan directives. I have delayed writing to you as I had hoped there would be news to share
regarding returning to gathering together. I am sorry that I don’t have that news yet. On Friday,
May 15, our Metropolitan wrote on behalf of the Provincial House of Bishops to say that they are
taking a cautious and measured approach in their plan to reopen Anglican churches. A copy of that
letter is enclosed and is posted on St. John’s website. We will remain apart for awhile longer.
Some of you have been asking me: “When will the church be open again?”; “What will worship be
like?”; “Will there be Eucharist?” My answer to all of these is, “I don’t know.” But that is not a
reason to despair. All shall be well.
The Very Reverend Shane Parker, elected on March 14, will be consecrated and seated as the 10th
Bishop of Ottawa at 7pm on May 31 at Christ Church Cathedral. This service of consecration will
unfold under strict gathering limits and in full consultation with Public Health Officials while ensuring
canonical requirements are met. Because the service will not be open for the public to attend in
person due to the pandemic, the service will be livestreamed via the Diocesan website. Please pray
for Bishop-elect Parker and for our church communities as we navigate our new world in these
While the buildings (church and office) are closed, the work of the church continues. Here are just
some of the ministry initiatives and processes that are being undertaken during the lock-down:
Emily Duberville is using the St. John’s Sunday School Facebook platform to offer online
Members of the congregation make regular phone calls to parishioners. If you are not
receiving a call, please call the parish office and leave a message. We want to stay in touch.
Dawn Dunlop has recorded a series of praise songs that are available on YouTube and people
are welcome to sing along.
The “Meals-to-Go” program, co-ordinated by Virginia and Dan Willis and aided by volunteers
sees over 150 breakfast/lunch bags prepared and delivered in the community following Public
Health pandemic directives. This has been made possible through generous donations of
parishioners, friends, County emergency funding and donations from the private sector.
Sunday morning worship is offered on the St. John’s Facebook page via livestreaming at
10am (can be watched later as well) and is recorded for re-broadcast on Cogeco Cable the
following Sunday at 8am and 1pm.
Compline is livestreamed at 9pm every evening on the St. John’s Facebook page.
A short form of daily prayer is included with this mailing, along with a list of the daily bible
readings until the end of June.
I e-mail members of Parish Council twice a day with any news or updates from the Diocese
and I speak with the two wardens and treasurer at least once a week.
Parish Council has been meeting monthly via Zoom.
Updates are posted to our website and Facebook page.
Bob Mulrooney has been diligent in reporting our financial situation and is working with
Diocesan Financial Ministry personnel to navigate Government financial assistance for the notfor-profit sector. We have continued to pay our lay staff during the suspension of office hours
and public worship and to meet all of our financial obligations.
Pre-authorized remittance is available for those who wish to use automatic bank withdrawal
for their offerings. Offering envelopes may be mailed into the church office. Many thanks to
all who are continuing their financial support of St. John’s.
I come through the buildings each day to pick up mail and check for voicemail messages.
The Auction Committee made the difficult decision in March to postpone the annual Dinner
Auction to May of 2021. Their foresight proved wise as we now know that large public
gatherings are still not permitted.
The buildings and property are inspected regularly throughout the week to comply with
insurance directives and to ensure that everything is maintained.
After 23 years of looking after the flower bed by the church sign, Candy Barber has retired
her gardening trowel and has passed the mantle on to Bob Theoret.
A summary of the Diocesan COVID-19 Guidelines regarding church buildings are enclosed and the
full details are available at https://www.ottawa.anglican.ca/index.php/covid-19. Should you have
any questions, please feel free to contact myself, the wardens or any member of Parish Council.
I give thanks for your faithful support and witness as we continue to serve the world God loves, even
in these unusual times. We will surely come together again. Skilled scientists and researchers are
working tirelessly for treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19. They will prevail. As will we. Please
continue to pray for one another, for our church and for the all people. Be steadfast in faith and
joyful in hope, knowing that Jesus is with us always.
I remain your servant in Christ,
The Reverend Canon Catherine Ascah