On September 30 we invited our neighbours to bring their pets to receive a blessing. Dogs are enthusiastic participants, but cats and birds sometimes are less willing to leave the comfort of home. Some visitors brought pictures of their pets for a blessing - and as a reminder of how much animals enrich our lives.
While many of us enjoy festive meals with family and friends, others aren’t always so lucky. We will provide a Thanksgiving dinner at the usual location, St. Thomas Church, Huron Street on Monday, October 8 for our regular guests at 6:00 pm. The traditional turkey and dessert will be provided by others, but SMM has been asked to provide the other fixings - mashed or roast potatoes, vegetables and cranberry sauce. Please join us if you are free to help.
A packed cathedral witnessed a moving liturgy on September 29, where Andrew Asbil became a bishop who will succeed Archbishop Johnson in 2019. Guests assembled starting at 9:00 am for a mid morning service with lively participation from choirs and ensembles from the Cathedral and Church of the Redeemer, where Andrew has served in recent years.
From a smudging ceremony and acknowlegment that we were on ancient first nations territory, to the long entry procession of diocesan clergy - from music offerings of spirituals, folk songs traditional hymns, a Messiaen motet and even U2 - from the Gospel read in Mandarin, to an an inspiring sermon by the Primate from the presentation, including Andrew’s children, parents, clergy and lay friends, to the consecration itself - from the clothing and gifts - a pectoral cross from his parents, a ring from St. James Cathedral, a crozier belonging to the late Bishop Terry Finlay, and other gifts - and then from Andrew’s thanks and exhortation for all of us to be ready to row the boat ashore on the Feast of St. Michael - and finally to the scores of people waiting to shake hands of the newest bishop in our midst. A great day.
Photos: Michael Hudson ODT
Alana McCord has played an important role at SMM for several years. When her father retired from the Diocese of Niagara, her mother Patricia Harton McCord, rejoined the parish and returned to the Gallery Choir, which had launched her professional singing career many years earlier. The entire family became involved in the life of the parish and both Fr. Robert and Alana have played strong continuing roles since Patricia’s death in 2011.
Thus we were delighted to hear of Alana’s becoming a deacon heading for the priesthood with a posting to the Diocese of Ottawa, but sad to see her go. She leaves a large gap in parish life as a contributor in many areas - Sunday school and summer camp teacher, community dinner volunteer, adult formation teacher and parish warden - all combined with doctoral studies at the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College.
Alana was made deacon by Bishop John Chapman at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa on September 13, 2018. She will become Associate Curate in the Parish of Epiphany, Gloucester. We wish her well and know that she will contribute much to this congregation in one of Canada’s newest cities. Before this appointment beginning on October 1, we we pleased that Alana could preside at the SMM’s 11:00 mass as deacon for her first time.
Friday found us getting ready to perform for our families in the afternoon. The previous day we had heard the final story about Daniel in the Lion's Den - the most exciting part of his adventure - and we enjoyed hearing some of the drama. We join it at an exciting point
When it came time for crafts, there was a surprise. While the plan was to make Babylonian tablets with ancient writing, something had gone wrong with the recipe. But the results were perhaps more pleasing than expected - Babylonian Slime!
After lunch and a rehearsal the families arrived. What they witnessed was a review of the whole week - movement, sounds and stories culminating in the climax of the drama when the campers themselves became the inhabitants of the lion's den. A great week!
Things speeded up on Thursday morning as we prepared for a demonstration for parents to happen the next day. We started with the usual round of movement and music, story and snacks. We had to complete our finishing school sessions and craft projects as well as participate in morning soccer.
Originally we were scheduled for a Planetarium visit since we knew the Babylonians placed a lot of emphasis on the stars. But when they cancelled, we regrouped and visited Christie Pits to play Babylonian Games. Relays, where participants had to change costume before they could complete the next run were a good challenge.
So was the tug of war:
After a few spins around it was time for . . . . .