While Toronto is currently mired in cold and snow, this is the time of year when working parents have to think about providing care and activities for their kids at the end of the summer. We offer a one week camp at the end of August and you can find out more about it here.
Our Boot Drive has ended—we collected 21 pairs!
Many, many thanks to those who gave.
We will be running it again next winter (beginning in November) so if you weren't able to contribute this year, please bear it in mind when you are sorting through your winter gear at the beginning of spring this year.
Next year we are hoping to collect even more boots!
Why do we collect boots?
Winter is very hard on people who live marginally. Decent cold-weather footwear is expensive, and often other needs take precedence. But cold wet feet lead to frostbite and circulation problems that can make getting around even harder for people whose lives are already difficult. Every year, we try to help by gathering together lots of boots, especially in men's sizes, to take to a social services agency that can distribute them to people who need them. For the past few years we have run a Boot Drive (and a concurrent Sock Drive for warm wool socks) beginning in early November and ending on Epiphany (6 January).
Why do we run the Boot Drive until Epiphany (instead of Christmas)?
The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the moment when the magi recognized Christ as the light of the world, and they brought gifts to honour him. We, as Christians, are called to recognize Christ in every person, even - especially - those who are most lost and broken. The boots that are brought to the Boot Drive are gifts we bring to the Christ Child. The photo accompanying this post shows this year’s boot collection placed in front of our altar, because, like the collection we take up on Sunday to support the various ministries of our parish, we bring them before God as an offering before sending them out to those who need them.
Pray, my brothers and sisters, that this, my sacrifice and yours, may acceptable to God the Father almighty. And pray, also, that these small gifts may be a sign of hope and love, and that they may be a source of warmth to ease the chill of winter for those who receive them.
Christmas eve wouldn’t be the same without a pageant and our late afternoon service did not disappoint. While those attending sang carols that tell the story, some of our smallest parishioners - joined by a few children and adults brought the story to life to a new script thoughtfully prepared by Viola Lang. We enjoyed both action and moments of quiet and reflection.
The night before Advent begins, families gather to assemble an Advent wreath to take home. We provide the forms, the greenery, the candles and the decorations. The participants enjoy a light supper and then get down to work. The creations are always inspiring. The smallest partiicipants were challenged by the wreath making process - but not by catching bubbles, as you can see below.
We know the importance of sacred music in worship - it’s not just about performances in concert halls by professional and community choirs, excellent as many are - but it has a home and a context. It’s nice to see this publication taking note of that.
This year on November 11th, will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War.
At the setting of the sun across the nation, churches, legions and other buildings which contain bells, including the Parliament Hill carillon will toll one hundred times just as the bells spontaneously rang in 1918 across the world with the news: "The war is over. It’s time to come home." The government of Canada along with Legion Branches have initiated "Bells for Peace" - this time with a different message: "We will remember them."
This powerful sound symbolizing peace from coast to coast will allow Canadian an opportunity to stop, remember and feel the joy that the of war brought after so much and destruction. It will also be a reflection of the deep respect and honour we hold for the Veterans and almost 66,000 Canadians who were killed in service and the more then 172,000 wounded during the First World War. The "Bells of Peace" also provides an opportunity to remember and pay tribute for all those men and women who continue to defend the peace and freedom of our country which we enjoy today.
Though, Canadians are familiar with the traditional two minutes of silence at 11a.m. on Remembrance Day, the choice of sunset for the "Bells of Peace" has special significance: In Laurence Binyon’s Ode of Remembrance — which is recited at all Remembrance day ceremonies — it is a time to reflect.
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
On Sunday November 11, Remembrance day at sundown (in Toronto) - 4:56 p.m. the bell of Saint Mary Magdalene will join with 100's of bells across the city, province and country in the "Bells of Peace."