On November 25th approximately 150 people gathered online, as part of the London Deanery Advent series event held on Zoom. There was participation from a variety of cities and provinces all across Canada and beyond, as we connected to hear the Advent reflections of the Rev’d Nadia Bolz-Weber. Rev’d Bolz-Weber offers a frequently unique perspective on ministry, discipleship and our response to God’s call in our life based on her experience as a church planter and Lutheran pastor to marginalized communities with which she has worked. After a thirty-minute presentation, we were sent off into smaller groups with questions related to her comments on the first two readings of Advent from the Gospel of Mark.
Commenting on how often the writings of the Gospel-writer Mark’s time was apocalyptic in nature (i.e. speaking of a complete destruction of the world as we know it), the images created by chaos and destruction were actually not meant to engender fear in the young church, but rather quite the opposite. Writings of this kind were specifically designed to bring comfort in a time of crisis, assuring their readers within the young church that even amongst destruction of all kinds, God is still alive and active in the world.
In our own circumstance, while the changes and adaptations asked of us because of the presence of Covid-19 over the past nine or so months could not reasonably be called apocalyptic in a stick sense, it would be fair to say that the presence of a pandemic within our midst has undoubtedly shook many of the structures, practices and freedoms that we had to date taken for granted. Rev’d Bolz-Weber encouraged us to make use of these kind of times to examine within ourselves what it is that makes us afraid while at the same time affirming God’s presence with us throughout it all. Are we open to the truth that is revealed in ways and under circumstances that are less than ideal? What are these truths and how do/can they shape who we are as individuals and as a community?
Moving on to discuss the offer of baptism for the forgiveness of sins made by John the Baptist in the reading for the second week of Advent (December 6th), Rev’d Bolt-Weber noted that there were many present who were not discouraged by a conversation about repentance, but rather saw within it freedom, mercy and a second chance. When we give up on looking for solutions in other places, we reach out for Jesus. Rev’d Bolz-Weber would conclude this portion of her talk by encouraging us, during these preparatory days of Advent, to name those things that we are holding on to so tightly, that they prevents us from being able to grasp whatever God has for us next.
A lot to think about, and I suppose, just as it should be as we open our hearts and our minds to the transformative power of God’s Spirit working in us.
Welcome to the website for the congregation of St. Anne's (Byron), an active Anglican (Episcopal) congregation in the western part of London, Ontario. Reverend Canon Valerie Kenyon is our priest. We extend a warm welcome to all visitors, and those looking for a new church home, being blessed with visitors on a regular basis. Our church and parish hall are both wheelchair accessible.
Check out our events calendar to see what is happening in the coming weeks!
As you explore St. Anne’s website you will get a glimpse of the lives and activities of people who make up the family of God at St. Anne’s. There are many more whose names are not recorded here but whose memory is cherished, whose lives have shaped our lives and whose hard work and love of Christ built a foundation stronger than the foundation laid over a century and a half ago with field stones and mortar from surrounding farm land, a foundation that is held together by its cornerstone – Jesus Christ. We are not a perfect family; we are a real family who daily put our lives in the hands of a perfect God, who continually conforms us into Christ’s likeness.
Along with Anglicans around the globe, we at St. Anne’s hold the traditional faith of Christians through the ages. We look back with thanksgiving for blessings received and we look ahead with joy, wondering what new song we are to sing unto the Lord. (Psalm 144:9) The holy friendship we share with God and one another makes us a family and the ministry to which every person you see here and beyond these pages is called, leads us into joyful service of the community in which we live. Our work is simple, to worship God, build a relationship with His Son and love one another as Christ has loved us. (John 15:12)
To get the most out of this website, check our Events Calendar for the list of activites and then consider our other menu items such as Church Seasons. Look for updates and current news on our Outreach and Faith and Worship pages.
Did you know that you could donate online to St. Anne's? Whether making a one-time donation or scheduling regular monthly ones, your donation can be made via the CanadaHelps website.
Help St. Anne's raise money by buying cash/gift cards at www.fundscrip.com.
Buy a cash/gift card to any number of participating businesses through St. Anne's and the church receives a commission on your purchase. For less than $1 in postage for online orders, the card comes right to your mailbox. To order online, go to www.fundscrip.com and use code 5MW25S. Payment must be made at the time of purchase.