- Sunrise! Sunset! How awesome is Creation!
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." Psalm 19
- According to the calendar, the first day of summer was last Saturday, June 20. The North Pole was at its maximum tilt toward the sun and our summer began. It is time for us to enjoy the warmth of the season and God's handiwork in nature - the beauty of the sunrise and sunset, the blossoming trees, the colorful array of flowers, etc. We can still follow all the health guidelines applicable to Level two while enjoying nature.
- Hopefully you were able to enjoy the lovely service last Sunday. This Sunday again at 11 a.m. the Parishes of St. Michael and All Angels, St. Mary the Virgin, the Good Shepherd, and the Ascension will be hosting Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. Join them at http://www.thetransmission.ca. (No need to be on Facebook to view the live service.)
- The new website for the Parish has been launched and can be found at ascensionnl.ca. It is still a work in progress. However, more pictures depicting the history of the Parish would be appreciated. Please have a search among your photo collection to see if you have any that the group would include. You can send them or drop them to the church office to be scanned (and returned to you) or you can forward electronic ones by email. Thanks for your anticipated help with this important project.
- Make sure you mark your calendars for the online Memorial Service that will take place on Sunday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the Anglican Cathedral. The service will be conducted by Reverend Robert Cooke, Rector of St. Mark's; Rev'd David, our Rector; Archdeacon Roger Whalen, Rector of the Cathedral; and our Bishop who will be giving the sermon and the blessing. It will be live-streamed from the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador Facebook page. It is hoped that this commemorative service will provide comfort for families and friends in honour of their loved ones that are interred in our cemeteries and for those who were unable to pay their respects at a funeral home or at the gravesite due to the state of emergency in January and the present pandemic.
- The latest update with respect to COVID-19 and church opening is found in the Bishop's pastoral letter which can be viewed via the Parish Facebook page, Rev'd David's Facebook page, or the Diocesan website.
- Please remember, as you check on your family, friends, and neighbours, if you learn of someone who is struggling during this time and would like pastoral contact, contact either Rev'd David or Rev'd Lynn. Also, if there is anyone you know who hasn't been contacted by the clergy since the church doors closed, please give their contact information to the church office (368-5693).
- Not sure if you are aware or not, but food donations are still greatly needed and appreciated, and can be dropped 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.
- Read the Greetings from the Sidespersons' Association: As we venture into the first weekend of summer, we are being given some extra freedom that we have not had for quite some time. It is important to remember that we have been relatively lucky thus far, but we need to stay vigilant with our social distancing, handwashing, etc. Hopefully, that will enable us to be able to gather, worship together, and enjoy our Christian fellowship. We would like to take this time to wish everyone a safe summer. Looking forward to seeing you all.
- Thursdays in Black continues each Thursday with Rev'd David. You all have the information by now via enews and the Chimes. Remember, it is lived streamed to the Parish of the Ascension Facebook page.
- Mrs. Kearley has written a wonderful thank you to those who have been involved in the music recordings for the live-streamed services that so many of us have enjoyed for the last few months. I am sure all listeners appreciated such lovely music. You can read the entire thank you in the Chimes which will be posted on the Parish Website as well as the Parish Facebook page.
- Special thanks to all those who continue to donate to the parish ministry during the Pandemic, either through the regular church envelopes, pre-authorized givings, or through Canada Helps.
- This will be my last enews until September. You will be kept informed of parish happenings through the Chimes which you will be receiving from the parish office each week. However, if Rev'd David, or Rev'd Lynn should need to make contact at some other time of the week, I will gladly pass on the information through enews.
- Three Key Messages from Vestry: This is the first time in a while that we have had three key messages from Vestry. It is not that the Vestry has not been meeting, it is that the focus of staff and clergy time has been in providing the liturgy and pastoral care in new and changing ways since the middle of March when the entire world entered into pandemic isolation. During this time, the Wardens and Clergy have been meeting every two weeks via zoom, and the Vestry has been meeting monthly to address life in the parish. To this end, updates have been changing and fluctuating as the province has changed alert levels. Most recently, the Bishop and diocese have offered a comprehensive document outlining the way in which parishes will have to adjust to the new normal of life in ministry and mission with Covid19. This was discussed with the wardens and treasurer, as well as with the entire Vestry. In addition, the parish has applied for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Grant through the diocese, and this has been approved. Since March 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 $30,000 of this money. It is the Vestry’s hope that we recover this money and deposit it back in the GIC by year’s end if possible. Also, there has been an ongoing conversation with the four parishes of the Ascension, the Good Shepherd, St. Mary the Virgin and St. Michael and All Angels about our ongoing mission and ministry through our online sharing of liturgies.
- Three items for the Chimes:
- The motion for the Transfiguration Mission has been accepted and forwarded to the Bishop, with support from the four parishes. The motion reads:‘Ministry for the Four Parishes – A Way Forward: Transfiguration Mission in the Archdeaconry of Avalon. A motion was proposed that the vestry of the Parish of the Ascension affirm their commitment to work with the parishes of the Good Shepherd, St. Mary the Virgin, and St. Michael and All Angels, and request the Bishop to redefine the missions to permit a single Mission of the Transfiguration comprising the parishes of the Ascension, Good Shepherd, St. Mary the Virgin and St. Michael and All Angels. The motion was discussed and was subsequently passed unanimously on a motion by Rosalind Williams and Randy Spurrell.’
- The Vestry continues to meet regularly: This is of great benefit as we provide listening ears to the concerns of the parish, as well as pastoral care, and essential decision making pieces for the parish as we continue to operate.
- Financial Update – even given the challenges of financial instability due to Covid19 restrictions, we find ourselves in a little better financial situation than we were in 2019:
- 2020 Revenue (to the End of May) 129,729
- Expenses (158,596)
- Gain(Loss) (28,867)
- 2019 Revenue (to the End of May) 141,347
- Expenses (171,243)
- Gain(Loss) (29,896)
- 2020 Revenue (to the End of May) 129,729
Have a great summer! Stay safe by following all the Health Department guidelines! I will be back in your mailbox in the fall
God Bless you all!
Jean (On behalf of the Ascension)