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Summer has arrived, so it seems….


I know that many of you are relishing this incredible weather.  I’ve had lovely chats with church neighbours this past week as we celebrate sunshine and getting out in the garden.


Even as we wait for the current lockdown to end, I know we are all anticipating a summer that is not completely back to the ways we wish it could be.  I sincerely hope that each of you find time to refresh you soul and connect with others in a safe way.


Are we ever going to go back to church?!


YES!  And personally, I can’t wait!


Given that our sanctuary will be off limits while we paint and refinish floors in July, the wardens and I have decided that we won’t open up for in-house services until August.  Of course, we will only open up according to government restrictions at that time.  We certainly hope that we will be able to start up, even in a limited capacity, in-house worship.


Out of the office for June & July…


I have asked the wardens if I might combine my two weeks of educational leave with a month of vacation and an extra two weeks of unpaid leave this year.  They have granted me this request.  I will be away from the parish from June 1st to August 2nd.


My education leave, which we as priests are required to take on a yearly basis, will end up being a combination of my attending our “virtual” Clergy Conference the beginning of June and some much anticipated reading I’ve not had time to get to (for those of you who are curious, here are a couple of the books on my reading list for that time:  Richard Rohr “The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder”; Richard Beck “Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age”)


What’s in store this summer for the People of Ascension…


For the month of June we will have the pleasure of a visiting priest, The Reverend Michelle Jones.  Michelle finished her curacy this past year and continues as an Associate Priest at Christ Church in Brampton.  She will be recording services through the month of June, and if possible, hosting one or two “Priest on the Lawn” events.


Services will be posted with links to YouTube each week.


During the month of July, we will be in the throes of renovations to the sanctuary.  The floors will be getting some tender loving care that is long overdue and will be refinished.  The walls will be refreshed with a new coat of paint.  And, of course, our new chairs are due for delivery mid-July.


For these reasons, we have decided to give you opportunities to visit other churches virtually during this time.  We will be emailing out some resources for you, but know that you will also find your way to other communities to worship, pray and sing.  Maybe you should check out a parish from your past, or your childhood!


Throughout June and July the wardens will be updating you on pertinent matters through the website and the newsletter.


What about Pastoral Care & Emergencies?


Just because the priest is not in the office doesn’t mean that parish life and the needs of the parish stop!


If you have any particular needs, such as the following:

  • A prayer request for the prayers of the people
  • An emergency or critical issue and you’d like a pastoral call or visit
  • A death
  • You know of someone who would benefit from a call or a card for encouragement and support
  • Any other critical or pastoral concern


Please call our warden, Glynnice Avery, at: 905-985-3842 or email her at:


Glynnice will make sure that your concern or request gets to the right people who can help you or those you are concerned about.  We have a pastoral care team at the church, and The Reverend Mark Kinghan, the priest in Uxbridge, will also be available as needed.


Not to get ahead of ourselves, but with hopeful hearts as we look forward…


I know many of us are so looking forward to the next few months of warm weather.  We are also tentatively holding onto the hope that it will be safe to gather come late summer or early fall, even if some restrictions continue.


As we look towards that time, here are some of the things we HOPE we will be doing…


  • Return to in-house worship with Eucharist and special prayers of thanksgiving
  • Bible study - maybe on the lawn, then in the hall
  • St. John’s Blackstock Cemetery Decoration Day
  • Involvement in Refugee sponsorship with the Port Perry Refugee committee
  • And maybe…the beginning of our Sunday afternoon Family Service


I leave you with a prayer & a blessing for your summer journey.


God of hope and patience, sit with us in our waiting.  Fill our hearts with your Spirit so that we might always look forward with hope.  Teach us to be people of thanksgiving and gratitude and may that spirit in us be a blessing to our families and our communities.


And bless us all, with the holy and abiding love of the Trinity: God our Creator, Jesus our Friend, and the Holy Spirit, your abiding presence with us.  Amen.



Ruthanne +