Chimes (August 30, 2020)


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Pentecost XIII

Lections: Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

Hymns: O Praise Ye the Lord v.1,2,4; O Spirit of the Living God v.1,4,5; We Hail Thee Now, O Jesus v.1,2,4; Guide Me, O Thou v.1,2,3

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Updates

Please check the following websites for regular updates on information related to the COVID 19 pandemic:

General Updates

  • On-Line Church Service: This Sunday, August 30, at 11 a.m., the Parishes of St. Michael and All Angels, St. Mary the Virgin, the Good Shepherd, and the Ascension are hosting morning prayer / BCP. Come and join us at You do not need to be on Facebook to view the live service.
  • Grass and Outdoor Painting:  The city of Mount Pearl has hired a summer student to mow grass and do light outdoor painting jobs. If you are interested in availing of this service you must be 60 years or older, own your own equipment and supplies and live in Mount Pearl. Please contact 748-6485 for further information.
  • Resurrection Reminders: Resurrection reminders will continue after Labor Day.
  • New Website and E-mail addresses for Church of the Ascension: The Ascension website was launched on Sunday, May 3. There are certain parts of the website that are under review/construction due to limited resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. We can now be found at Please visit us at this address for up-to-date information on church activities. Information regarding on-line services is available through the calendar on the new website. Here is a list of new e-mail addresses and helpful links you may find useful:
  • Historic Pictures of the Church: As many of you know, recently the Church of the Ascension has launched a new website. During the last month or so, a small group has been getting to together on-line to discuss the history of the Parish. We have reached a point where we have assembled considerable text on a number of issues but we do not have very much in the way of photographs. We would like as many of you as possible to dig deeply into your personal photo collections and search out pictures that you feel could add to the history of the Parish. You can forward electronic ones by email. Actual prints can be dropped off for scanning and we will return them to you unharmed. Please submit them to the Church Office over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, you may see some of them on our website down the road.
  • Outreach: This is a time for our faith community to come together to uplift each other. Please don’t forget to regularly check on your family, friends and neighbors. If you are in need of pastoral contact, or if you know of anyone who is struggling at this stressful time, please let one of the clergy know.
  • Food First NL: Food First NL works with communities in Newfoundland & Labrador to ensure everyone has access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food. Please visit their website at to find updates to NL Community Food Programs.
  • Clergy Contact During the COVID 19 Pandemic: As you are well aware, the church building has been closed for several months due to COVID-19. During this time, the clergy has aimed to make contact with all parishioners by way of e-mail or a phone call. However, due to the need of parish list updating you may not have been contacted. If you are one of those, would you please send your updated contact information to [email protected] or call the church office at 368-5693. Likewise, if you know of church friends/neighbors who have not been contacted and do not have access to e-mail, could you please ask them to call the church office to give their contact information as well.
  • Three Key Messages from Vestry: As August draws to a close, so many of us are preparing for autumn, and the changes and adjustments that are to be made for society, work and school during this period of Alert Level Two of the Covid19 pandemic. The vestry has met and prayerfully listened and discussed the options that are before the parish at this time with regard to our operations and functions. At this time, the vestry has made the following decisions:
    1. The parish will continue with the sharing in liturgical ministry of at this time, in order to foster increased fellowship, community, and care for the wider community within the four parishes. This will include Sunday worship, online Bible Study, and other weekly offerings of prayer and faith formation.
    2. The Vestry has read over the comprehensive document outlining the way in which parishes will have to adjust to the new normal of life in ministry and mission with Covid19 as offered by the Bishop and Diocese. This has been referred to a small working group, which has produced a document outlining the process for application to the diocese for our reopening.
    3. The parish has continued to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Grant through the diocese, and this has been approved. Since March (with the exception of the month of May) we have received 75% of wage costs of the salaries of our staff. This has improved our financial position, and enabled us to breathe a little better during this hard time. However, you may remember, the reason we have a stable financial position at this time is because we withdrew a $53,000 GIC in anticipation of any shortfall. To this date, we have used $24,500 of this money. It is the Vestry’s hope that we recover the bulk of this money and deposit it back in the GIC by year’s end if possible.
      Note carefully the items below:
      • The Vestry has approved of the interim report of the Parish Reopening Working Group, and has affirmed motion unanimously to make application to the diocese for the parish to reopen for worship beginning September 20, 2020. This worship will follow Provincial and Diocesan guidelines, and will be live-streamed for those that will not be able to attend. More information will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. This worship will not be at the regular 11:00 a.m. time, to incorporate the ongoing Transfiguration online worship.
      • The Vestry has unanimously approved of the purchase of equipment and technology in order to enable effective online worship from the Sanctuary. This will include a video camera and suitable audio-visual equipment. These will be capital costs that will come from a grant from the diocese, as well as from a portion of the GIC that was withdrawn in March. This will continue to assist the parish long after the reality of Covid19 has passed, for it will give us opportunity to be present to those that are shut-in, and care for more persons. This long term investment will assist the parish worship
      • Financial Update: Though it is affirmed that we will continue to receive federal funding for the time being, our adult givings are down by $15,000 from last year. This has affected our cash flow and if this continues, we will have to re-evaluate the delivery of ministry and mission in the parish.
        • 2020:
          • Revenue (to the End of July): 178,572
          • Expenses: (227,470)
          • Gain (Loss): (48,898)
        • 2019:
          • Revenue (to the End of July): 197,393
          • Expenses: (223,331)
          • Gain (Loss): (25,938)

Weekly Word

In Scripture this week we read of the shepherd Moses encountering a phenomenon, a burning shrub that is not being consumed. In this observation, Moses pauses to take a closer look, and encounters the Holy One, who demands he show reverence by taking off his shoes, and challenges Moses to respond with action to the oppression of the Israelite people.

Moses has escaped slavery already, and is living out a new life in the land of Midian. His life is secure. He has a wife and family. No one knows of the murder he has committed, and there is the sense that he doesn’t wish to return to Egypt, and to face the challenges of his former life.

The Holy One reveals the Holy Name, YHWH, or ‘I AM THAT I AM’ this further encourages and challenges Moses to face his fear and return.

I wonder how persons in this day and age respond to the presence of the Holy One in our midst. Do we ignore phenomena, do we ignore the demand the Holy One offers for us to show reverence to the Creator, to all of creation? Do we respond in concern to the plight of marginalized and oppressed peoples? Do we face the demons of our past, and bring hope, reconciliation, and healing by admitting wrongs, taking action to break cycles of systematic oppression?

These are the things I ponder as I lament the tragedy present in North American society. There is privilege, oppression, power, personal gain, politics, racism, sexism, poverty and the neglect to honour neighbour, stranger, family, and friend. Not one of us is immune to the presence of systemic evil as found in the aspects of privilege, racism, sexism and oppression. Like Moses, we need to be confronted by the Holy One, own up to the wrongs and brokenness in our lives, and take steps to free ourselves and the entire society of the wrong present in the world.

This week so many respond in prayer and action to the horrors we see in the news and in social media. May this prayer, may this action reveal the Holy One, and begin a process of healing for the entire world.



  • Donations to Ministry: If you are interested in continuing to donate to the parish ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a variety of ways for you to do so.
    • Church Envelopes: You may still use your envelopes during this time. You may drop them in the mailbox at the main entrance of the church or you can put your givings in the mail.
    • Pre-authorized Givings: You can have your givings automatically deducted on a schedule that works for you. If you are interested in setting up pre-authorized givings, please contact the church office at 368-5693.
    • Canada Helps: You can sign up to make donations to Canada Helps through our parish website.
    • Food Bank Donations: The need for food donations is still great. If you are able to donate to the food bank, we ask that you drop your donation directly to St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank at either St. Peter’s Parish Hall on Ashford Drive or Mary Queen of the World on Topsail Road. All donations are gratefully appreciated.

Prayers of the People

Leader: Brothers and sisters in the faith, from the nations of the earth God has called forth one people to be the sign of the unity intended for all humankind.
Let us offer our prayers for the church and for its mission in the world, saying: Lord, hear our prayer.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For the people of the earth, that where there is strife and division, the gift of peace may be the reward of all who work for justice, let us pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For the church of Jesus Christ, that where there is weakness, health may be restored, and where there is division, unity may be nourished, let us pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For all the leaders in the church; remembering in our prayers today our Bishop Geoffrey, the Parishes of Salvage and Seal Cove – their leaders and people, our metropolitan-elect David, Primate Linda, Justin of Canterbury, and the United Church of South India. We pray that where there is jealousy or distrust, a spirit of forgiveness and compassion may nurture humble service, let us pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For all who are called to preach the gospel, that in the presence of fear and anxiety the message of hope may be proclaimed courageously and effectively, let us pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For all missionaries in foreign lands, that when faced with hardship and testing, they may be strengthened in their mission by the Spirit of God, let us pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: For our communities and families, that where there is misunderstanding or discord, we may receive the grace to forgive and so rejoice in the peace of Christ, let us pray to the Lord.
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: God of unity and peace, in baptism you have made us one people in the body of your Son. Hear us, as with one voice we offer you these prayers in the name of Jesus, who is Lord forever and ever.
All: Amen.

Ascension Prayer Cycle: Andrea, Aubrey, Audrey, Barbara, Baxter, Bill, Brenda, Brian, Brittany, Brandon, Carl, Charlie, Christina, Cindy, Clarence, Claude, David, Debra, Delilah, Dennis, Don, Donna, Dot, Dulcie, Edgar, Edith, Elaine, Elizabeth, Erin, Finnley, Frederick, Flo, George, Georgina, Gerry, Gilbert, Gordon, Harry, Herb, Ike, Ina, Jack, Jason, Jenny, John, Josephine, Junior, Kevin, Kim, Laura, Leo, Leonie, Lori, Madeline, Marina, Marion, Maurice, Maxine, Maxwell, Melissa, Melvin, Nancy, Pam, Phyllis, Randell, Rodney, Roland, Ruby, Ruth, Rita, Scott, Sean, Stan, Stephen, Tina, Todd, Valerie, Verna and Wayne.


Author and Giver of all good things,
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us in all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. AMEN

A Reading from the Book of Exodus

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up." When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." He said further, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, "I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" He said, "I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain." But Moses said to God, "If I come to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." He said further, "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, 'The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations." Exodus 3:1-15

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God


REFRAIN The Lord has always been mindful of his covenant.

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him, and speak of all his marvellous works. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. R

Search for the Lord and his strength; continually seek his face. R

Remember the marvels he has done, his wonders and the judgements of his mouth, O offspring of Abraham his servant, O children of Jacob his chosen. R

Israel came into Egypt, and Jacob became a sojourner in the land of Ham. The Lord made his people exceedingly fruitful; he made them stronger than their enemies; whose heart he turned, so that they hated his people, and dealt unjustly with his servants.

He sent Moses his servant, and Aaron whom he had chosen. Hallelujah!R

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45C

A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:9-21

Reader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God

Reader: The Lord be with you
People: And also with you

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

People: Glory to You, Lord Jesus Christ

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Matthew 16:21-28

Reader: The Gospel of Christ
People: Praise to you Lord, Jesus Christ.

Prayer over the Gifts

Merciful God, receive all we offer you this day.
Give us grace to love one another
that your love may be made perfect in us.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

Prayer after Communion

Almighty God, you renew us at your table with the
bread of life. May your holy food strengthen us in love
and help us to serve you in each other.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

A Letter From our Bishop

Dear Friends,

First of all, on behalf of my family, Kathy and myself, I want to thank everyone for their kind and thoughtful words over the past weeks as we said good-bye to my father and welcomed our first grandchild. With all that has happened in such a short period of time, I feel that the landscape of my life has been reshaped in ways that I cannot yet measure. I will cherish the thoughtfulness of so many who reached out.

On August 9 I became a grandfather as my son, Adam, and his wife, Magdalena, in London England welcomed their first child, Josefina Kathleen. Josefina, whose name resonates in two languages – English and her mother's native Czech – has arrived bringing great joy to her parents and their families in Newfoundland and the Czech Republic. We had planned to be in London for her birth, however, the continuing threat of COVID-19 prevented that. Travelling to the UK these days (with a 14-day quarantine required both ways – 28 days total!) requires considerable planning because a full month will be lost in isolation. The blessing I had hoped to give Josefina in person had to be sent to her long-distance: “Welcome to this world, Baby Josefina. May your journey be long and peaceful and filled with wonder. And may God be with you each and every day.” A Newfoundland baptism is planned for next year.

But my joy in Josefina’s arrival is just a little bit tempered by my sorrow in losing my dear father on August 3, just six days before her birth. In a coincidence that I find incredible, Magda lost her own grandfather, Standa, just five days before Adam lost his. Truly, In the midst of life we are in death, and in the midst of death we are in life. In a very profound way, the entire cycle of life has unfolded in my family this month and, as I wrote earlier, I am not yet able to get the measure of all that has happened.

My father died in his 99th year after a life that witnessed most of the 20th Century and a significant chunk of the 21st but nobody could have predicted the nature of his final days. Although he had been declining gradually, until recently he remained active and alert. That began to change suddenly in March when the pandemic was declared. So much that kept him going was no longer available to him like visits from family and friends, drives in the car, meals out, church services, and other social events. Hillcrest Estates, where he lived his final nine years and where he also died provided wonderful care to him but after March his decline was noticeable day by day through his window. Our efforts to make video calls with him were actually distressing for Dad and we were only able to visit him in person when he was declared palliative in his last week of life. I guess I will always wonder what might have been had COVID-19 not come our way because I suspect that my father's death was hastened by the impact of his enforced isolation. He may not have died from COVID-19 but I believe his life was brought short because of it. Dad kept a diary for most of his life but abruptly stopped writing completely on March 30 with a final, stark two-word entry: “Pandemic on.”

Although Kathy and I were with Dad when he died it was so sad that my brothers and my sister were unable to be there due to pandemic restrictions. Dad’s final days were lived in the company of one or two persons at a time instead of the circle of family members that he deserved. We are a railway family and we all grew up in railway housing, and in an e-mail to my siblings just twenty minutes before Dad passed, I had this to say: “… I think [Dad’s] train is pulling into the station very soon ... I have had final prayers … and blessed him for his next journey. His bags are packed now, and he is waiting on the platform for that heavenly conductor to say, ‘All Aboard!’ If you listen closely here, you can even hear the train whistle in the distance ...”

August has been a time of ending and beginning, beginning and ending for me. And so, on the theme of journeys ending and journeys beginning, I have decided to start another journey of my own and retire as Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador by the end of this year. With the complexities of changing COVID-19 restrictions and the possibility of a “second wave” I do hope that date gives the diocese time to plan.

I have advised The Most Reverend David Edwards, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, of my intention and I have directed the Chancellor of the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, Canon Brad Wicks Q.C., in consultation with the Episcopal Commissary and Diocesan Executive Officer, Archdeacon Sam Rose, and the Diocesan Executive Committee to begin the constitutional process leading toward an Electoral Synod on Saturday, November 28.

I am grateful for the journey we have made together over the past seven years and I am grateful for my 33 years in ordained ministry since my ordination to the diaconate on September 6, 1987. The four synods we shared since I became bishop in 2014 – You are the Body of Christ, The Church has Left the Building, The Future of the Church and the Church of the Future, …and the Greatest of these is Love… – have each built upon the one before it as we took stock of all that we have inherited as Anglicans and made decisions toward becoming a more missional community. We have convened important conferences on Mission, Ministry to Children, and our place in the wider social fabric (Faith in the Public Square). New partnerships have been formed and space provided in our diocese for Home Again Furniture Bank, the Safe Harbour Outreach Program, and Roots of Empathy among others. We have also done tremendous work with refugees. In all things we discovered new ways of being the church in the world.

I thank the members of our church for the privilege of serving as your bishop since my Consecration on January 17, 2014. Although my departure may be coming earlier than many expected, this is now my seventh year as bishop (and my eleventh at Synod Office if I include my earlier years as Diocesan Executive Officer) and it was my initial intention that this episcopacy not exceed five years. The new missional work we have all been doing recently and the particular work we have done together over the past six months of a pandemic required a little extra time. Our recent guiding document – Many Members, One Body – that continues to evolve will help to equip us for the days ahead. The fact that many of our churches are reopening to public worship this fall affirms for me that now is a good time to announce my retirement.

I ask your prayers for the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador as it takes counsel for its future and discerns with the Holy Spirit who its next bishop will be.

With my every blessing, +Geoffrey


O Praise Ye the Lord

O praise ye the Lord! Give praise in the height;
rejoice in God’s word, ye angels of light;
ye heavens, adore him by whom ye were made,
and worship before him in brightness arrayed.

O praise ye the Lord! Praise him upon earth;
in tuneful accord, give thanks for new birth;
praise God who hath brought you all grace from above,
praise God who hath taught you the pathways of love.

O praise ye the Lord! Thanksgiving and song
be ever outpoured all ages along:
for love in creation, for heaven restored,
for grace of salvation, O praise ye the Lord!

O Spirit of the Living God

O Spirit of the living God,
In all the fullness of thy grace,
Wherever human foot hath trod,
Descend on our rebellious race.

O Spirit of the Lord, prepare
all the round earth its God to meet;
breathe thou abroad like morning air,
till hearts of stone begin to beat.

Baptize the nations; far and nigh
The triumphs of the cross record;
The name of Jesus glorify,
Till every kindred call him Lord.

We Hail Thee Now, O Jesus

We hail thee now, O Jesus:
thy presence here we own,
though sight and touch have failed us,
and faith perceives alone.

Thy love has veiled thy glory
and hid thy power divine,
in mercy to our weakness,
beneath an earthly sign.

We hail thee now, O Jesus:
in silence hast thou come,
for all the hosts of heaven
with wonderment are dumb --
so great the condescension,
so marvellous the love,
which for our sakes, O Saviour,
have drawn thee from above.

We hail thee now, O Jesus:
for death is ever near,
and in thy presence only
its terrors disappear.
Dwell with us, living Saviour,
and guide us through the night,
till shadows end in glory.
and faith be lost in sight.

Guide Me, O Thou

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou are mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield,
be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell's Destruction,
land me safe on Canaan's side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever give to thee,
I will ever give to thee.

Anglian Church of Canada One Licence #733242-A Book of Alternative Services The Taizé Community Book of Common Praise GIA Publications Wee Worship Book The Iona Community CCLI License # 1733318Resources for Chimes from the above sources