Through the power of the Holy Spirit, St John’s is called to be a parish community that worships and lives for God, constantly growing in our relationship to Jesus Christ and one another, caring about and helping our neighbours near and far; and sharing experiences of prayer, sacraments, learning, witness, outreach and fellowship.
We are called to be a welcoming and inviting community, where the diverse gifts of all are identified and respected and used for the common good.
This past year was the 19th year that the St John’s bridge group has been getting together. In the first year there were seven pairs playing. Of these, only 2 pairs, Henry and Leonore Sawatzky and Valerie and Howard Mansfield continue to play along with Edna West, Katie Seymour and Ann Pollak.
This year, meeting at one another’s homes, 11 pairs participated. The bridge group offers the beginner or more experienced player an opportunity to play in the relaxed atmosphere and company of friends from the St John’s family The annual fee is $15 dollars per person This amount is used specifically to offset the cost of the annual banquet and prizes. Any surplus funds remaining at the end of the year are donated to St John’s.
The annual closing banquet was held this year in September when we had the opportunity to hold a short general meeting, distribute prizes and enjoy a catered dinner. At the meeting it was decided that future closing banquets are to be held on the first Saturday in June. Many thanks once again to Harvey and Kitty Cocks for handling the finances and for assisting at the banquet.
The season starts in September, so if you are interested in playing next season please contact either Hans or Marietta Stenman.
St John’s is known as the Church with the open door. Many who come through our doors catch the spirit of the parish, and decide to make it their spiritual home. ALL are welcome to participate in our various ministries, and to become part of our family.
The process of being recognized as a newcomer is to fill out a card, this is then given to the Rector. After the Rector has reviewed it and made contact it is given to the Newcomers Coordinator so that a committee member can make contact with the person with a phone call and or a visit. Once each year, the new members who have joined in that calendar year are invited to a lunch to meet each other and some long-standing members of the parish in an informal way.
We also enjoy many opportunities to socialize and to celebrate special events during the year. St Johnians are wonderful bakers and cooks, and are always ready to respond to the need for food! These are great occasions for community-building and we thank everyone who generously contributes to such events. We have also compiled a list of caterers who can be called upon, if required. This list is available in the Church office.
Special thanks to everyone in the congregation for passing on the “Good News” of St John’s, for making newcomers welcome and for providing goodies when asked!
Every Tuesday from September to June some twelve to twenty people gather around the tables in the Parish Hall for food and fellowship. From 5:30 to 7:00 they participate in a brief litany, the sharing of personal news, and a simple supper of soup, bread, cheese, and sometimes a special dessert. Creating warm camaraderie is uppermost. These are people who, for the most part, live alone. Few have family members nearby, so they create for themselves a familial sort of mutual caring. About half of the present group attend St John’s, but all share connection to the church.
Soup, and the occasional celebratory meal, is generously provided by St John’s members who simply sign up on a schedule posted in the hall. Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts have in the past been provided by members, and the group makes of those meals the special events others enjoy with their families.
The current coordinating service is provided by Daphne Strange, Karen Berg, Mary Ellen Herbert and Maura Beecher. Until her transfer, Naomi Kabugi performed the priestly services, a responsibility now carried by Dana Fisher and Caitlin Beck.
The Fellowship group consisting of men and women (usually 20-25 in number, some of whom are not able to attend other church services) join in on a celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the third Thursday of each month at 2:00pm, except during the summer.
After the service, the group retires to the Parish Hall to share valuable fellowship time and also partake in yummy refreshments provided by eager volunteers who take on the added tasks of cleaning crew, driving people to and from their individual residences and last but not least, maintaining vital telephone links with these Parishioners. This group has been an active ministry for well over thirty years and welcomes newcomers as our parish motto states, “The Church with the Open Door”. To this end, in the past year, we have invited seniors from St. Theresa’s and Knox Presbyterian and Somerset Gardens to join us and they have done so with great enthusiasm.
During the year, we highlight various themes such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day. We provide special delicacies, e.g., green mint bars, great tea sandwiches, cookies and squares. Santa’s helpers come at Christmas and as an added bonus, our church organist, Gordon Johnston, exhibits his fine talent on the harp as part of our March St. Patrick’s theme. A happy time is shared by all.
Thanks are due to all who assist us – the clergy, The Rev. Dr Dana Fisher and The Rev. Naomi Kabugi, for their dedication and leadership throughout the year and the many volunteers listed below who telephone, drive, prepare refreshments and assist in other ways. Cathy Hannah is assisted by Arline Bellinger and Dorothy Berg in organizing these events and their work is vital to the success of Thursday Fellowship. Active volunteers are Marietta Stenman, Phyllis Beach, Phil and Shirley Conquer, Ron Hannah, Virginia Hill, Pat McClenahan, John Nesbitt, Beverlee Bewley, Melodie Conlon, Ann Pollak, Connie Snelgrove and Edna West.
God bless you one and all!