ANNOUNCEMENTS – 6 & 7 January 2018

Upcoming Events
For an up-to-date list of what’s happening at SMM
please visit our homepage.

(** indicates a new or updated item!)

Scripture readings for this Sunday – Baptism of the Lord
Genesis 1:1–5; Acts 19:1–7; Mark 1:4–11

Scripture readings for next Sunday – Epiphany II
1 Samuel 3:1–20; 1 Corinthians 6:12–20; John 1:43–51

Our Parish Community

** Guest Preacher at Epiphany: This Saturday we welcome Fr Pearce Carefoote as our preacher. An honorary assistant priest at St James’ Cathedral, Fr Carefoote also serves the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto as the Interim Head of Rare Books and Special Collections, Mediaeval manuscripts, Incunabula, and early books. He is the author of Forbidden Fruit: Banned, Censored, and Challenged Books from Dante to Harry Potter.

** We have a new theological joining us this Sunday! James Leatch is a Master of Divinity student at Trinity College.

The Choirs of SMM are holding a reunion on 18 February 2018 as part of our marking of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Healey Willan. They will sing Evensong & Benediction that afternoon at 4.30 after rehearsing in advance with Giles Bryant – himselff a Willan chorister. All parishioners are invited to attend the Evensong and reception. We can also use your assistance in spreading the word among choristers and your friends. Choristers can register at Eventbrite/ SMM Chorister Reunion (no charge) to help us prepare appropriately for setup and the post-concert reception. For further information, please contact norahbolton@gmail.com.

Willan Concert: Friday, 16 February 2018, 8.00 pm. A concert to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Healey Willan, who served SMM as its organist and director of music from 1921 until his death. Put it in your calendars!

SMM Singers: All are welcome to join the SMM Singers in their musical offering at the 9.30 am Sung Eucharist. We rehearse at 9.00 am every Sunday morning and are always delighted to welcome new voices and instrumentalists.

Flowers: There are lots of Sundays when we need flowers for the church! If you are interested in giving flowers, please fill out one of the forms under the roster in Hiscocks Hall, and either put it in the offering plate, or return it to Carolyn McIntire Smyth or to the Parish Office.

We’re looking for teams to help out with the coffee hours on Sundays. We would like to arrange for 4 or more groups to handle the 2 coffee hours every Sunday. If you would like to be part of a team of people (2–4) to set up and clean up please speak to a member of the Hospitality Committee. There would be help in learning the ropes! And the “old hands” would be around on a regular basis. Please give this your utmost consideration. This is a wonderful way to meet your fellow parishioners and to serve in a meaningful way in our community. For more information, email hospitality@stmarymagdalene.ca. There is also a sign-up sheet beside the kitchen door – please make use of it!

Spiritual Growth for Adults

The Wednesday Morning Discussion Group meets from 11.00 am to noon following the 10.00 am Mass. We are currently reading The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr. Newcomers are always welcome. For more information, please contact Fr David.

Centering Prayer Group: Join us every Thursday from 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm to learn and practice this form of Christian meditation. We gather for prayer in the lounge at 6.00 pm, followed by discussion. This fall we are reading The Heart of Centering Prayer by the Rev’d Cynthia Bourgeault. Anyone is welcome to join – we will give support for prayer practice and the text. For more information please speak with Mary Catherine Doyle.

Lenten Retreat: The annual Lenten Retreat at St John’s Convent will be held from 4.00 pm on Friday, 9 March, until 2.00 pm on Sunday, 11 March. The retreat will be led by Sister Elizabeth, the Reverend Mother of the Sisterhood of St John the Divine. The cost this year will be $220.00 per person, which includes simple accommodation and meals. There are thirteen spots available. If you would like to reserve your spot, please provide a $75.00 non-refundable deposit to Fr David with cash or a cheque payable to “SMM Discretionary Fund” (subsidies are available). For more information, please speak with Fr David.

Positive Space

When I’m asked to describe SMM to someone outside the parish, my response is always to focus on the deep and wonderful diversity of this Christian community. Our diversity includes (and is not limited to) theological and liturgical points of view, age, race, culture, sexual identity and orientation and socioeconomic status. I believe it is this diversity which makes us who we are: strong, quirky, committed, engaged, vibrant, opinionated, faithful. Recently the parish Advisory Board, after several conversations, decided that we would identify SMM as “positive space”, and you may have noticed that positive space symbols are now visible on our doors and signs. Identifying ourselves as “positive space” means that we are committed to the creation of an environment that welcomes sexual and gender diversity, that we are ready to respond supportively to people of all sexual orientations or gender identities, and also prepared to challenge discriminatory language and stereotypical talk. I am proud that SMM has taken this step, and ask you to join me and others in making this so. David+

Spiritual Growth for Children & Youth

** Epiphany Faith at Home: “Chalking the door” is a way to celebrate and literally mark the occasion of the Epiphany and God’s blessing of our lives and home. It is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in our home and lives. With time the chalk will fade. As it does we let the meaning of the symbols written sink into the depths of our heart and be manifest in our words and actions. Chalk was blessed at Saturday’s Epiphany Mass and can be found at the back of the church. How to Chalk One’s Home: A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk blessed during the Epiphany liturgy and write above the home’s entryway, 20 + C + M + B + 18. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross, and 20 and 18 indicate the year.

Sunday School in Epiphany: Epiphany marks the beginning of the season of manifestation or recognition. The event we recognize at Epiphany is the Magi’s visit, but throughout this season we will also hear stories of Jesus’ baptism, many healing stories, and his transfiguration. In Sunday school we will be focusing on the Gospel stories each Sunday as we seek to better recognize and understand Jesus and his mission in the world.

** Saturday, 27 January, 5.00–8.00 pm: All Ages Games Night! Join us for some fun! This is a drop-in program to play games, socialize and eat! Board games, a ping pong tournament, foosball, cards and more! Pizza, snacks and drinks will be sold for a small cost.

SMM Calendars

SMM Calendars are now available! $5.00 each. See Veronica Allen, or contact the Parish Office.

Outreach & Social Justice

Community Dinner Outreach: Our next Dinner will be on Friday, 5 January, at St Thomas’, Huron Street.If you can help with rich comfort food like scalloped potatoes, chicken, ham, or beef, vegetarian dishes, and casseroles, or with set up or clean up, please contact Brian Clarke at b.clarke@utoronto.ca or Joan Porter at porter.joanm@gmail.com. Financial contributions are always welcomed. Please mark “Community Dinner” on your envelope.

O’Neill Centre Nursing Home: Our ministry at the O’Neill Centre continues Tuesday, 23 January, at 2.30 pm. Please consider joining this ministry of sacrament and presence. For more information, please speak to Fr David.

MURP Updates

An update on our next sponsorship, which began on 29 November, when a family of four from Syria (via Malaysia) arrived at Pearson airport: We have found a comfortable temporary apartment for the family, and have secured a permanent apartment for 1 February. We are doing very well for donations of furniture and household goods … thank you all. What we do have need of still are children’s car seats, ones suitable for a 5- and 8-year old. There might also be miscellaneous small things for their permanent home that we have not thought of. If you would like to help, one thing that would be very useful would be gift cards to Canadian Tire, Walmart, or any other such place, in any amount. The purchase would be eligible for a tax receipt. As always, thanks for your support.

Become a regular donor!

The ministry of this parish costs about $1,400 per day. To find out more about offering envelopes or about pre-authorized monthly giving (bank transfer/credit card), please contact the parish office at 416-531-7955 x 2 or office@stmarymagdalene.ca.

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