LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
It has been said that a change is as good as a rest. Right now I am not sure that that is true. We have just heard that Rev. Nita has pushed her retirement forward to April and so we will have to speed up the business of looking for someone new. Needless to say we wish her a long and happy retirement and, as she says, she has only left the job, not the Parish or the Priesthood, and she will still be a part of our community. Also, recently, we noticed tell tale drops coming through the ceiling of the main church. Obviously a leak, although where exactly it is, is difficult to say. No one can remember when the roof was last fixed but it was a long time ago and the long and the short of it is that we need a new roof. It all comes down to money and time. We will need a lot of money and we need to find a roofing contractor who has time. We will get the leak patched as soon as someone can safely get onto the roof while we raise the money and look for a good contractor. In the meantime we carry on.
Looking on the bright side, Rev. Ruby has done an excellent job of filling in for Rev. Nita when she broke her leg (another unforeseen bump in the road – literally) and Rev. Julia, who is now helping in Bridgetown, is with us for the Compline services and is running a Bible study group with both Parishes.
It will soon be spring, and it will soon be Easter. Please join us for Easter services. With fresh flowers and maybe warmer and sunnier weather we have much to be thankful for.
A MESSAGE FROM REV. NITA
It has been an honour and a privilege and one of the high-lights of my ministry since my ordination in 2010 to be invited by you to be your rector. As I look back there are so many good memories of what we have achieved together, such as :
The establishment of a mission statement
The development of the Welcome Table
Experimenting with different worship styles
Changes to the seating in the church to better accommodate wheelchair
Installation of a hearing loop for those with hearing aids,
200th Anniversary Celebration of worship at St. Luke’s,
and so much more.
The years have not been without their challenges, but by far the monumental obstacle of how to confront Covid and how to adapt to the required changes was likely the biggest one we faced together. The experience of working through the difficulties of Covid did cause the suspension of in person worship, which in turn meant the cancellation of Christmas Eve and Easter Day worship services. These were difficult to accept, but on the positive side we did learn new technology which has made us stronger in the area of communication and will continue in the years ahead to be useful to the life of the parish. Another difficulty we faced is that during the heightened period of Covid our congregation shrunk significantly due to families moving away and to deaths. The circumstances of reduced membership is now being balanced out by the inclusion of new members, and it has directed the parish toward an initiative to seriously examine numerous ways of streamlining how the parish operates.
My decision to retire has been a long process of discernment and my unfortunate accident that resulted in a broken leg only heightened the reasons and it sped up the retirement date to April 30. I will miss terribly the ministry of acting as your rector, but will comfort myself by reflecting upon all that has been achieved by us which has strengthened us as disciples of Christ who share in the gospel of Christ. I will need to be absent from the parish for a period of time, but this will act as a catalyst to shine light on what I can do next as a member of the congregation and as a priest in supporting the parish. The future ahead will be exciting and rewarding as we all explore and discover the way forward. Jesus said, “Come and follow me,” so let us be the followers and disciples of Christ.
When you have been sitting in The beautiful town of Annapolis Royal for over 200 years, in all kinds of weather ,through winters and summers ;seen a few Hurricanes and many wind storms, your roof gets very worn out.
That is exactly what has happened to one of the town’s beautiful icons, St Luke’s Anglican Church. For 200 years the bell tower of this place of worship has stood out on St George Street,just across from Fort Anne. It has been a place of worship ever since King George gifted the town with the land to build a church. The Royal Charter and the Coat of Arms is seen just above the red front doors .
Worship has continued here for 200 years .The old building has seen hundreds of Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals .The walls almost echo with the lingering sounds of Hymns and the beautiful Stained Glass windows share with worshipers different stories from the life of Jesus.
Time and wear have taken their tole and the roof that has given shelter and refuge to so many over the years has sprung many leaks. It is time for us to step up and replace the roof.
This will be a monumental task ,but one that must be done . As inheritaters”. of this precious gift it is our responsibility to see the job done. Over the coming weeks and months you will see different projects being promoted by the congregation and friends of St.Luke’s in an effort to finance such an important task. We will be asking for your prayers and support as we work to restore the building we have been given by those who have gone on before.
When you see “Raise The Roof”, lend a hand. With God’s help and your support St Luke’s can enter the next 200 years of shared worship with a sound, water-tight roof.
Your Parish Council has asked the Treasurer to report to the congregation more regularly on the Parish finances, particularly St Luke’s. Salaries, fuel oil ($1500 a month on the budget plan) and our monthly ‘fee’ to the Diocese (also known as allotment) comprise the majority of our monthly expenses. Although costs continue to rise, our monthly income (offerings) stays about the same and this requires us to drawdown our investments to pay the bills. We are at the point if something is not done, we could be out of money in less than 10 years.
On top of these monthly recurring bills, are the capital expenses to maintain the Church building itself and this year we have a big expense coming - a new roof is needed. A committee has formed to recommend the best way forward - what type of roof will it be? What grants might we get? Could we switch to solar and eliminate our dependency on oil? How will we fund raise ? What does all of this cost?
While fund raising will help us over some bumps, it will not sustain us long term. We must be open to change and become part of the change. While we don’t know the way forward yet, we know with God’s help, all is possible, we will find a way, and we will be stronger.
P.A.R. or Pre-Authorized Remittance is an easy way to manage your church giving. You agree to give a set amount which is automatically deducted from your Bank Account or Credit Card either on the 1st or 15th of each month. This way you do not have to think about it, the Parish knows what it’s income will be and so can budget more realistically and the cost of envelopes is eliminated.
If you are interested Jeanne Fox will be pleased to guide you through the process. You can cancel or change the amount at any time.
PLEASE CONSIDER THIS OPTION
Rev. Nita is retiring on April 30th. We wish her a happy and fulfilling retirement. She has said that she will still be part of our church community when the time is right. In the meantime we must look for both a new Minister and people to lead us in worship while we look. We will remember Rev. Nita for her bubbly sense of humour, her down to earth ministry and the fact that she is the first full time woman Minister that we have had in our Parish. We will remember what she started with services like Jesus in Jeans, with outreach to the community especially the Foodbank, with a lovely New Years Levee and we will remember especially her patience and caring when we were struggling through the Covid years. Happy retirement and see you soon.
We are delighted to learn that Rev. Julia Ford will be our interim Priest until we find a new Rector.
The Roof of the main church has a leak. There is a committee formed to oversee repairs. At the moment we are waiting for the weather to make it possible to look for the leak and put in a temporary patch.
After that a contractor will be hired after several tenders have been considered. We must make the decision as to whether we chose a shingled or steel roof. We do not know at this time if there is damage to the wood. We are also considering solar panels, etc. and it would to wise to include the possibility of these in whatever roofing we install.
Next we will seek grants for as much of the cost as possible. We will emphasize that this is an active church both for our congregation and for the wider community, a heritage building and a visible landmark in Annapolis Royal.
We will then fund raise, fund raise, fund raise, without burning out our workers. This has already started as you will see below. I cannot emphasize too much that we can no longer rely on our capital investments. All ideas welcome.
We have been holding our regular Sunday worship in the hall because we were spending too much money on oil by heating the whole church. We hope to return to the church by Easter. The Hall has been a good location but we will be happy to use the church again.
For a few months there was an early service at 8.30 each Sunday but this has now been discontinued. However, if you would prefer to receive communion by drinking from the chalice this will be available at the 10,00 am. service after those who prefer the wafer and the drop of wine, so that there is no cross over. Also, please note that gluten free wafers are available by request.
If you would like to give flowers at Easter in memory of a loved one please contact Judy Dickinson. Deadline is April 2nd.
Our Parish A.G.M. was held recently. Thank to Warden, Krista Wright for chairing the meeting and to the Church Guild for providing soup and goodies. . There was general concern about the state of our finances. Please stay in touch. We need everyone to help.
Thank you to those who put their names forward to stand on Parish Council.
Wardens: Krista Wright, Eric Hiscock and Brent Fewster.
Treasurer: Wendy Rickards
Secretary: Pauline Lowern
Members at Large: Brenda Nimmo, Jeanne Fox, Judy Dickinson, Deanna Oliver, Ann Denny, Jessica and Michael Dyment.
St. Anne’s Camp: Ann Denny and Heidi Fewster
We have a new communications committee of Jenn Smith and Heidi Fewster. There is also a finance committee and a roof committee.
STAY IN TOUCH!
All things come of thee. Oh, Lord, and of thine own have we given thee!
Almighty God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess: grant us grace that we may honour thee with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty.
Because we believe that all things come from God, we fully and thoughtfully make decisions which give back to God, a generous portion of our accumulated wealth, resources, and blessings to support God’s work now and in the future.
It is obvious, from this newsletter, that we need more money. Some difficult decisions will have to be made in the near future. However, maybe it is time that we took stock of what we are really doing as a church. I believe that we can be stronger for it.
In the meantime, there are a number of fundraising events planned. These will not solve the whole problem but they will help and also they will be chance for parishioners and friends of our Parish to show that they care. Also we hope they will be fun. We have to remember that we all have limited time and money and strength to give, so the fundraisers will try to reflect this. These are a few things that are planned. There will be more!
BAKE SALE by the Church Guild. This will around Easter. Date to be confirmed shortly. We will be asking members of the Parish to bake for us, to do what you can do and not feel pressured but feel involved.
SING-A-LONG MESSIAH. Heidi will be leading the singing of different parts of Handel’s Messiah from 4.00 – 5.30, on April 30th in St. Luke’s Church. . You can sing, with or without practice, although practice is better, and will be held every Friday at 4.00 pm in the Hall for an hour. Music can be provided. Also you can just listen and enjoy. Admission by donation.
DINNER THEATRE. The Drama Group has offered to put on a murder mystery in our Hall on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15. It is written by Colleen Rowland and all I know is that it is set on a Cruise Ship. There will also be a delicious dinner. Times, prices, etc to be confirmed.
I’m back! I know I have been away for a few months but now I am back in my favourite spot.
It has been a busy, sad and strange time in my wee mousie life. So many changes have happened since I last sent my tiny friends a message. My dear friend Rosie has gone away She was finding her life here a bit too difficult and so she found a safe spot to build a new nest and snuggle in somewhere that made her feel safe and secure.
This meant I was alone in my church but I was happy remembering the many adventures I had shared with Rosie . I had my very own safe spot and enjoyed the decorations that filled the church over Christmas.
THEN..... it started to rain inside the church and I was almost deafened by the noise the water made as it came down from high above me. I could hear it raining outside ;that has happened often before but never did it come inside! The “Boss Lady” and her helpers came with huge shiny pots and the noise got even louder as the drops fell into the containers. My little mouse ears ached from the sound and I began to think I needed to find somewhere drier to nest .
The next thing I knew , the church got colder and colder and the humans stopped coming in to keep me company. No more beautiful music either! Now I knew it was time to relocate!
I ventured down the ramp into the big room the humans call the Hall. And I could tell they had moved too!!! It was cosy and warm in the hall .The beautiful Altar was there with the candles and pretty pots of red flowers .The chairs were in rows and I could tell there had been some snacks too because I was able to find a few delicious crumbs to enjoy.
I have heard the humans saying a new roof or at least a new covering of shingles will be needed . I am sure , with God’s help’ this can be done. I will look forward to returning to my favourite hiding spot in the church. In the mean time I will snuggle down in the hall, listen to the beautiful music and hope lots of crumbs drop at snack time.
BAD JOKES TO CHEER YOU UP
We all need to laugh sometimes.
A preacher went to see a member of the community and invited him to come to Church on Sunday morning. The man was a producer of fine peach brandy and told the preacher he would love to attend his Church IF the Pastor would drink some of his brandy and admit doing so in front of the congregation. The preacher agreed and drank up. Sunday morning came and the man came to Church. The preacher recognized him from the pulpit and said: "I see Mr. Johnson is here with us this morning. I want to thank him publicly for his hospitality this week and especially for the peaches he gave me and the spirit in which they were given."
After starting a new diet I altered my drive to work to avoid passing my favorite bakery. I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and as I approached, there in the window were a host of chocolates, donuts, and cheesecakes.
I felt this was no accident, so I prayed … “Lord, it’s up to You. If You want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery.” And sure enough, on the eighth time around the block, there it was! God is so good!
DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
Check inside Parish Matters for details and in the announcements for changes.
Tuesdsay, March 14, 21, 28 at 11:00 AM. Lenten Bible Study with Rev. Julia. Questions you would like to ask God, if you could. Lively discussion.
Sunday, April 30 at 3:00 PM. Sing-Along Messiah
Maundy Thursday April 6 at 7:15 PM - A commemoration of Christ's last supper with his disciples where he washed their feet.
Good Friday April 7 at 10:00 AM - A holy remembrance of Christ's crucifixion
Easter Sunday, April 9 at 10:00 AM - Traditional Service to celebrate Christ's Resurrection
Friday July 14 and Saturday July 15 - Dinner Theatre. Come and enjoy good food and a fun performance by the Drama Group. Money for the roof!