From the Deacon’s Bench - December, 2020

Have you considered how the Old Testament prophets would get all fired up and then go out to blast God’s people for their failures? Think of Ezekiel, “Alas, for all the vile abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.” Then of course there was Jeremiah, “Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They have held fast to deceit, they have refused to return. I have given heed and listened, but they do not speak honestly; no one repents of wickedness, saying, “What have I done!” Take a look at Hosea and Joel. All of these prophets were quick to condemn and point out how the failure of the people of Israel to follow God’s teachings, to take care of the poor and the widow, led to disaster. Mind you, God kept forgiving them. But the judgment component was pretty severe and the language used made that clear.

I can’t help but think that those passages made up some pretty good fire and brimstone material to use in sermons. I’ve never been the fire and brimstone type, I think. I thought that the point was to guide people to God’s love. You don’t get to love by fear, regardless of what David may have thought in some of the Psalms. We have learned that obeying by fear isn’t the same as following by love. I’m not sure my great-grandfather would have agreed. He was a Baptist circuit preacher. My grandfather gave me some of his books and they contained some of that fire and brimstone stuff. While I never met him, I guess I just assume he would have used some of those materials in his homilies in the same way that I use Joan Chittister and Richard Rohr. If you don’t repent, then you spend eternity in the place with all the fires! I wonder if that was effective in preaching to Canadians in January during a snow storm?

The problem with working from home and socially isolating is that sometimes your mind wanders too far. During this pandemic, I have thought more and more I wish I could be more like the old prophets. I want to condemn all the naysayers and conspiracy theorists and the government leaders around the globe who haven’t taken the pandemic seriously. I wonder why the earth hasn’t opened up and swallowed all those anti-maskers attending rallies in our communities for their lack of concern for the vulnerable. I have mourned the hundreds of thousands of people who have died due to the disease whose lives appear to mean little to “those people”.

But then I push myself back to where I am supposed to be; obeying due to fear isn’t the same as following by love. There have been many who have seen the impact on the poor and vulnerable. The vulnerable haven’t always been the poor because not all of those elderly or others who have died were poor. They were vulnerable due to other reasons. Many people have cared. Whether they know it or not, they have been a part of God’s love as they have brought to life the parable of the Good Samaritan. We can’t just pass by on our way to where we want to go this time. The need is too great. At least pray for them all; including the naysayers and conspiracy theorists. After all, they will get to know us by our love.


Outreach at St. Anne's

In 2019 we continued to gather gifts of backpacks and supplies in September and warm hats, socks, mitts etc during Advent for Christmas distribution at the local school. We also participated again in the creation of a number of Shoeboxes for women living in shelters here in London with several teams of parishioners also serving meals at Inn Out of the Cold in St Thomas. At the encouragement of the ACW financial gifts were made to Merrymount ($1000) and El Sistema South London ($1000). The Hostess group raised funds so that we could contribute to the work of Life Spin ($500) and Inn Out of the Cold ($300), as well as collecting egg cartons for the Daily Bread at St Paul’s. A further gift was made to Inn Out of the Cold ($200) to further their work.

Combined with funds raised by the children of the parish at the Spring Sale and the Bazaar, we were able to make a $350 gift to the PWRDF purchasing, one cow, a goat, seeds for farmers, and 40 chickens for distribution to those living in Africa in very difficult circumstances. These gifts will change their lives. In addition to this, after a number of years, we were able to send $4,050 to the PWRDF towards a Cuban Water project.

In addition to this, items not sold from the Spring, sale were donated to Mission Services for families in need. As well books were donated to CPRI for their fundraisers. The Library raised funds to send cards to those at Parkwood and support their programs (see Library report for more details about this) with a certain percentage of the funds raised by the sidespeople’s Pancake Dinner also going to Outreach.

Our heavenly pie ladies (and some gentlemen, numbering 20 or so) not only made pies to support the church, but also hosted the two Seniors’ Luncheons that took place each year, as well as making pies available from time to time for pastoral support, and inviting some of our young friends from Northview over to learn the fine art of pie-making.

The ladies of the prayer shawl ministry kept knitting, creating shawls that would surround the recipients with love and prayers; and Laurie H. continued to organize and send the Bales north to Indigenous communities twice a year. Collections were made for St Monica’s house and blankets were crafted for the London Children’s Hospital Trauma Unit.

We made space for the VON to hold their twice-weekly exercises for seniors as well as providing a room for an ALANON group’s weekly meetings. We also hosted two separate Tuesday evening groups for Ability Through Drumming classes. The badminton group also continued to meet regularly in our Parish Hall.

We had hoped that we might manage to connect to Habitat for Humanity in 2019 and to host a community lunch, however, these initiatives did not take place.

In 2019, we hosted a Blanket Exercise and were pleased to have 29 people join us for this event.20190730CourageForFreedom

Also, 14 members of the congregation attended a public rally in July to learn more about what can be done to decrease human trafficking. It was both informational and inspiring.

We were pleased in 2019 to have raised $4,050 in support of Water Filtration systems in Cuba, as initiated by our deacon Ken B. As well through supporting a visit to our pollination garden, we did provide students at our local public school with opportunities to learn more about the pollination garden and how it helps to safeguard the integrity of creation.

We were able to connect to our local school and to provide for them a gift in the amount of $500 towards the purchase of equipment to support children’s learning about sustaining the earth.

We were able to invite students to our pollination garden to share with them how these kind of gardens support butterflies and bees in their pollinating efforts. There are additional funds left for the beautification of the gardens.

PWRDF is an important outreach arm of the Diocese of Huron

St. Paul's Daily Bread Program, a registered charity, is an ecumenical social service provider supported by over 50 London and area churches of various denominations, a number of service and fraternal organizations and hundreds of caring individuals on a regular ongoing basis. The Daily Bread Program is available to anyone need in the community who is in need and is one of the few agencies in London that offers emergency financial assistance in crisis situations pertaining to shelter and/or utilities cut off as funds permit.

Anglican Church Women (ACW) - The Bale
St. Anne's gathers donations of suitable, gently used washable clothing, sheets and towels and toiletries and sends them to the northern Diocese of Keewatin for the many individuals, families, communities and programs (safe shelters, rehab, and hospital) who rely on several agencies for support. The Diocese of Keewatin includes 45 parishes in the central region of Canada straddling the border of the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario and comprising over 900,000 sq kilometres.

St. Anne’s Library/Resource CentreLibrary

Our library is a resource that is beyond books. In addition to fiction and non-fiction books that are suitable for all ages there are DVDs, royalty magazines, diocesan newspapers from across Canada (donated by Bishop Nigel) and a few CDs. New Christian fiction include Amish romance and Canadian historical events. The non-fiction authors such as our Indigenous writers often highlight race, education and social class. Another recent addition is I Shall Not Hate A Gaza Doctor's Journey. We welcome visitors from the Byron community to share our resources.

The library is also a collection hub for donations to the ACW Bales, Monica Place and the Huron Church Camp. The 11th annual Christmas cards for the Parkwood veterans sales will begin in late October.

There will be approximately 130 original cards taken to the Parkwood Institute residents in time for Christmas. There is also a wide selection of original recycled greeting cards (eg. birthday, sympathy) for sale at only $2.00 each. The original cards are also donated to to the ACW card ministry that Laurie Hawkins takes to the residents of Country Terrace. Come and see the creativity of the two library ladies CJ and Joy P. When our materials are no longer needed they are donated to various outreach programs including the CPRI book sale, Mission Thrift Store, London Library Store, area retirement and care homes.

Come and visit your library on Sunday and Monday mornings. Home deliveries can also be happily arranged. Contact Louise K.

Bishop Nigel’s Book Reviews: Heroes and Heretics
The book Heroes and Heretics is just one of the books from a series called “The Hinges of History” by Thomas Cahill. The other title that is best known is How the Irish Saved Civilization which focuses on the critical role of the Irish monastic communities in safeguarding classical knowledge. Put simply their location was remote enough that they were not destroyed be the Barbarian waves of the early Dark Ages.

As the series title implies the author’s focus is on pivotal moments in European history. Sometimes the emphasis is on institutions, or broad movements, but in the book “Heroes and Heretics”, which is his latest book and historically the closest to the present, the focus is on key individuals. The period of time is the renaissance and the reformation, i.e. primarily the 1500s and moving into the 1600s. If you have an interest in the broad outlines of history, with a strong emphasis on religious history, this volume, as well as his previous works will probably suit you. He writes in a clear fashion, is very informative, and proposes some interesting theories about European development without getting bogged down in an overly academic style. He makes frequent use of side panels to include further information without restricting the flow of the narrative. He also includes a number of colour and black and white plates to illustrate the points he is making. This is especially valuable when he discusses the changes happening in the world of Art and the significance of those changes.

If you are looking for the best place to start, I would recommend How the Irish Saved Civilization which is the most standalone of the volumes. There are three in the series that are grouped together as “The making of the Ancient World”; The Gifts of the Jews, Desire of the Everlasting Hills and Sailing the Wine Dark Sea. There are two volumes in the grouping “The Making of the Modern World”; Mysteries of the Middle Ages and Heretics and Heroes with an additional volume planned to complete the grouping.

The author describes his intent as telling the story of the Western world as the story of the great gift-givers and a recounting of those essential moments when everything was at stake. It was at these times of crisis that the great gift-givers provided for transition, for transformation and even for transfiguration.

Call the office @ 471-0800 or Louise.

Child and Youth Ministry Update

Sunday School Videos

Easter Resources for Families and Children

St. Anne's Resources - links to books recorded on YouTube as well as songs to sing and even a little bit of Ukulele sing-along for those who are missing their Sunday Ukulele lessons.

Our Ministry includes: Sunday School and occasional youth activities.

We hold Sunday School most Sundays during the school year (there is no Sunday School offered on Sundays where the Monday following is a holiday). We continue to average approximately 4-10 children each Sunday, with as high as 12 on some Sundays. For the past year we have had a dedicated group of volunteers: Jeff W., Jean G., Jessica B. and Janet S. and Sharon P. We take four-week blocks in groups of two adults each Sunday so that we meet Safe Church guidelines. Reverend Val has a Children’s Focus at the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Service.

Supporting this ministry can be done in a variety of ways and does not necessarily mean you need to “teach” Sunday School. Curriculum supports are provided that follow the lectern schedules so that what the children are discussing is the same things the adults are considering.
Opportunities to service in this ministry are always needed. If you are interested please speak to Rev’d Val.

Childcare Programme at St Anne’s
At the beginning of September we welcomed into our St Anne’s community two energetic young women into our newly revitalized Childcare Programme being offered every Sunday morning for infants to four year olds. Below you will find in their own words a little bit about who they are. As you meet them please extend a warm St Anne’s welcome to them. Val+

From Emma
Hello! My name is Emma and I am 19 years old. I am a student of Brescia University College at Western enrolled in Health sciences. I plan to graduate with a minor in Food and Nutrition to one day work in the healthcare field. My interests also include; swimming, kayaking, camping, and fitness.

I have lived in London with my family for most of my life. My grandfather, Micheal J., has been a member of St Anne's for more than 50 years. I have enjoyed being involved, and volunteering, at St Anne's over the years and am now comfortable with the church and hall facilities.

Additionally, in the summers of 2018 and 2019 I have run a STEM camp at St Anne's. My role as the Camp Director means I am responsible for the successful operation of the STEM Camp location and includes being responsible for all staff and large groups of kids ages 4-12. Making a connection with the families and playing a meaningful role in children's development has been amazing.
I am excited to start this new journey as a Nursery Coordinator for St. Anne’s and am looking forward to meeting everyone!

From Taylor
My name is Taylor and I am a 19 year old university student studying psychology at King's University College at Western. My long term goal for the future is to become a Child Life Specialist, a pediatric health care professional who works with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability. I have been working for STEM camp for two summers at St. Anne’s church alongside the other nursery coordinator, Emma Bobier and love the environment there! I have experience working with children of all ages in volunteering at elementary schools and babysitting from a young age. At home in London, I live with my mom and dad along with my 15 year old brother and my energetic labrador retriever, Lily. I would describe myself as a very organized and positive person. Some things I enjoy are: outdoor activities such as skiing and swimming and I also enjoy shopping and travelling. I am very excited for this opportunity and I am looking forward to working with you and your family!

Youth Server’s Guild at St. Anne’s
We would love to welcome you!
Youth are invited and encouraged to join the Servers' Guild here at St. Anne's. Our servers are wonderful – they help us worship well assisting the clergy in the leadership of the service at our 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. services every Sunday, and on special occasions during the church year. Servers sit near the altar, presenting the holy bread, water and wine, they prepare and clear altars, carry the cross, light the candles, lead the procession, receive the offertory – we love our servers and thank them for their ministry!
Youth at least 11 years old who have their First Holy Communion and been trained and apprentice for one to two months with the rector and head server,

What are others saying? Here is a small sample for today's culture:

  • Consider your faith and commitment to God with My Hope videos. Personal stories about the impact of faith from well-known and everyday people.
  • has lots of great resources for younger children, from art to stories
  • Bible Gateway is a great resource for anyone who wants to know anything about the Bible. It includes many english translations and many texts from other languages as well.
  • links to online resources to answer faith question for today's culture. Ask a question or chat online if you need to talk.
  • Busted Halo is a site created by the Paulist Youth Ministries in New York that contains lots of current affairs commentary. Consider the Trivia Inferno game.
  • Huron Church Camp has lots of activities for youth of all ages. Visit their site to see camp details and how you can contribute by volunteering or providing supplies or assistance.
  • Trailblazing - a course of study for youth ministers and those working part-time with youth groups. Created through the National Youth Initiatives Team and Huron University College's faculty of theology.

What We Offer2018StAnnesCemeterysm

Founded circa 1832 and incorporated as an Anglican Cemetery in 1853, St. Anne’s Cemetery has a long history of serving the Byron community. St. Anne’s Anglican Cemetery is an active cemetery registered with the Cemeteries Branch of the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs, Toronto. Sales of full size and cremation only graves are limited to the active members of St. Anne’s Vestry or, on approval, their immediate family. There are 700 graves in total in the cemetery with approximately 70 available sites left.

Each year the cemetery board and the church hold a Cemetery Memorial Service on the first Sunday in May. At this service family, friends and parishioners have the opportunity to remember the members of St. Anne’s and the community who have been interred at St. Anne’s Cemetery over the past year, and also to remember other family members or friends who have passed.
St. Anne’s Cemetery Board is pleased to announce that the first phase of the columbarium project is now complete.

St. Anne’s Cemetery Notice to Parishioners

St. Anne’s Cemetery is a closed cemetery offering interment rights only to the Parishioners of St. Anne’s Anglican Church (Byron). The interment options and their cost are:

  • Full size grave (very limited availability): $ 1,200.00 (one full size casket or several urns)
  • In ground cremation grave: $ 750.00 (up to three cremation urns)
  • Columbarium Niche: Niche prices range from $ 900.00 to $ 1,200.00
    (Space in a niche is designed for up to two cremation urns not taller than 30 cm (11 ½”)
  • Scattering Garden: $400

For information on purchasing interment rights please contact Peter Hawkins, 519-472-3262 or e-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Many parishioners also take the opportunity to advance plan their service particulars as well. If you are interested in speaking to Rev’d Val about this, please get in touch with her directly at 519-854-9998.

Ocemeterygate 300pix2008ur commitment:
It is the purpose and goal of the cemetery board and the church to provide a reverent, peaceful and relaxing environment for parishioners and visitors to enjoy.

pdf Interments as of December 2019.pdf
For pictures of headstones, please visit the CanadaGenWeb Cemetery Project.

pdfSt Annes Cemetery Bylaws 2012.pdf

Anglican Church Women (ACW)

St. Anne’s Social Service Groups Report
Cards Needed: It has been my pleasure continuing the card ministry of Lillian Dunlop and many others for the women and men at Country Terrace Nursing Home in Komoka. Birthday wishes are delivered monthly and Christmas greetings will go to all residents in December. Your donations of cards are needed on an ongoing basis. Many of us receive packages of greeting cards in the mail from charitable organizations that we cannot use. These cards are most welcome. Cards may be left at the church library or office

Fall Bale: We will once again be collecting items of warm, washable, practical clothing for men, women and children during the month of October. Our fall donations will be sent to Kenora in north-western Ontario. A large bin will be located outside of the library in the Parish Hall for your donations. Please call Laurie H. if you have any questions or would like to have your items picked up.

With thanks,
Laurie H., Social Services Group Convenor

ACW 2019 Recurring Events
Mondays – 9:30 A.M. Badminton Group in Parish Hall
Mondays – 9:30 A.M. Quilting in Quilter’s Room
Tuesdays – 9 - 12 Heavenly Pies in Kitchen
Wednesdays – 9 – 12 Heavenly Pies Kitchen and Parish Hall

Some Easter Reflections
The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence. Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.
-Clarence W. Hall
Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.
-Martin Luther
Sometimes Prayers don't change situations, but they change our attitude towards situations and give us hope which changes our entire life
Lord, let me be a mirror made clean and bright by your forgiveness, and held up by your glory, that I may reflect your life and love to those for whom I pray.
-Archbishop George Appleton

St. Anne’s Parish Hostess Group needs your help please!
The Parish Hostess Group has provided a service of Hospitality to parishioners, their families and to their friends for 60 years. In that time they have also supported St. Anne’s financially. Now due to several factors the Hostess Group is in need of your HELP and would benefit from your working support. We are always happy to welcome you – female and male.

The Parish Hostess Group is called upon for coffee hours after the 9:30 a.m. service of worship. The group is called upon for Deacon’s and Clergy meetings, Funerals and special events such as Birthdays and Anniversaries. They also provide lunch for the annual meeting for St. Anne’s Sidespersons ministry.

Please give some serious consideration to this plea for help. We would like to continue to provide our Ministry to St. Anne’s. Express your interest to Carolyn M. or any other active members in the group. Thank You!

The ACW executive for the 2019 year: Mary Jane V., Vikki S.

©2020 St. Anne's Anglican Church Byron. All rights reserved.