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St. Peter’s Church

There's a Place for You Here

Peace, friends.

Grace and peace to you.

On Monday, June 8th, Premier Ford announced that places of worship could re-open as part of Phase 2 of the provincial re-opening plan.

The St. Peter’s Board will heed the directive from Bishop Pryse (Bishop, Eastern Synod, ELCIC) who, in a pastoral letter on June 8, wrote “it is my strong recommendation that our synod’s congregations not contemplate initiating in-person worship experiences within our church buildings until the beginning of September at the earliest.” We know some will find this directive challenging. The Bishop continues, “for almost three months now we have been physically distancing from one another for the love of our neighbour. That same motivation needs to be paramount as we plan for the future.”

Your staff and board have already been diligently working on a COVID-19 Operational Plan, including for re-opening. There are many considerations to be thoughtfully and prayerfully made based on public health directives and a methodical approach is key.  Re-opening, for example, will entail new protocols, modified worship practices, and new ways of using the building and, ultimately, it is the safety of parishioners, staff, volunteers, guests, and those we serve that guides our decisions. This is an important way that we show our love of neighbour.

This is a challenging time, and one that we can continue to meet with “dexterity, generosity, and deep faithfulness.” Many of us are longing for the day when we can gather again at 49 Queen Street North in-person. We will keep you informed.

“May God continue to bless us with abundant gifts of hope, forbearance and patience as we navigate the significant decisions and choices that will need to be made going forward” says our Bishop. We couldn’t agree more.

Onward,

Pastor Mark

 

You can read the full text of Bishop Pryse’s Pastoral Letter here or at www.easternsynod.org

Peace, Friends

We are delighted to share with you the August 9 broadcast featuring inspirational music with special guests, trumpeters Larry Larson and Mary Jay, and organist Peter Nikiforuk, prayers including requests from across the country, readings, a message, and the celebration of Holy Communion.

Larry Larson has been Principal Trumpet of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 1993.  As a soloist with the KWS, Larry has premiered trumpet concertos of Canadian composers John Estacio and Scott Good, and has also performed in orchestras across Canada.  He released his first solo CD, “Divertissement,” of music for Trumpet & Harp with Lori Gemmell in 2010. Larry also enjoys an active studio career in Toronto on motion picture soundtracks and commercials. As leader of “Larry’s Jazz Guys,” he wears a different hat as leader of his own 4-6 piece jazz combo that performs across southern Ontario in various concert halls and clubs.

Mary Jay is a long-time member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and has played 24 seasons of musicals at the Stratford Festival. Mary loves the opportunities she gets to perform with her husband, Larry, as soloists and as an extra in the KW Symphony. Away from the trumpet Mary enjoys her weekly horse riding lessons, and her backyard garden is always blooming.  

In this time of world-wide crisis, while we cannot yet gather for in-person worship, we can hear the Word of God, share messages, music, reflections, and hold each other in prayer. We offer these worship elements for you to use this day or at your convenience; the timeline is listed below so you can jump to the pieces that are helpful for you.

Blessing on your worship!

 

0:00   BROADCAST INTRO

0:35   OPENING & SHOUTOUTS

3:25   MUSIC   Sound the Trumpet (Henry Purcell)

5:50   PRAYER 

6:23   READING   Jonah 2:1-9

8:04   MUSIC    My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord from 15 Antiphons (Marcel Dupre) 

11:52 READING    Psalm 85:8-13

12:49 MUSIC    Sinfonia No. 1 (Guiseppe Torelli)

16:35 GOSPEL    Matthew 14:22-33

18:19 TEACHING

References: Nancy Webb Stroud (In the Belly of the Whale; **N.B. framework & inspiration as noted); Jake Owensby (Looking for God in Messy Places); Descriptionari (Creative Writing Ideas); Lucinda Vardey, ed (God in All Words); Michael Hassell (Jazz Sunday Morning)

35:08 MUSIC    Adagio from Organ Sonata No. 1 (Felix Mendelssohn)

39:42 PRAYERS                                                    

42:22 MUSIC     Sonata in D minor  (Dieterich Buxtehude)

45:10 EUCHARIST

This communion liturgy has been crafted and adapted from a variety of sources and authors, and spans several denominations and continents. See: Bread and Wine Online (pmphillips); Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church: Eucharistic Prayer for the Global Pandemic (Rev Lane Cotton, Rev Juan Huertas); Scattered and Gathered (Simon Woodman); Evangelical Lutheran Worship; St. Bride’s Holy Communion (Miranda Threllfall-Holmes); Online Communion for Palm Sunday (Rev Maren C. Tirabassi)

50:07 MUSIC   Jesu, meine Freude (Johannes Krebs)

54:05 BENEDICTION & THANK YOU

54:42 MUSIC & EXTRO  Concerto for Two Trumpets, first movement  (Antonio Vivaldi)

LABYRINTH

St. Peter’s had planned to host a few public labyrinth walks in the coming months as a way to re-invite the community into the labyrinth space, and to revive labyrinth programming; due to social distancing, we have had to put the walks on hold for now.  However, this does not mean that we can’t take advantage of what the labyrinth has to offer, while we are staying close to home. Click Labyrinth in the navigation bar to find out more.

Church building closed

All programming & in-person worship suspended

Church building closed. All programming and in-person worship suspended.

 

Peace, friends.

This is a challenging time.

People and governments across the world are taking unprecedented steps to contain COVID-19 — companies and offices are altering work environments or shutting down entirely, borders have closed, and strict quarantine measures have been introduced in entire countries. Our own Region of Waterloo community has introduced significant measures that many will find difficult noting that “everyone in Waterloo Region can help to protect our most vulnerable.”

We continue to adapt our ministry and operations as St. Peter’s and the wider community implement practices designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and we want to take a moment to say thank you for your patience and goodwill.

I am proud that the St. Peter’s Community continues to rise to the occasion of ministering in a shifting landscape, putting the health of the community first, and doing its part to flatten the curve. As a reminder, this includes:

  1. Not leaving your home if you are sick, have a cough, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea or other symptoms of viral illness. Except if you have been advised to do so to seek medical care.
  2. Practicing good hand hygiene – wash your hands with soap and water for 25 seconds, using plenty of friction and rinse and dry well with disposable towels.
  3. Avoiding touching your eyes and face – this prevents germs from entering your body through eyes, mouth and nose and causing infection.
  4. Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve; use a disposable tissue to blow your nose and throw it in the garbage immediately after use (do not keep it in your pocket or sleeve for use later on!!)
  5. Particularly now, practicing physical distancing, if you have to go out. Physical distancing means maintaining distance from others (two arms’ length or 2 meters).

These very basic practices are very effective in reducing the amount of illness that circulates in our communities and represent the best way for everyone to participate in controlling the spread of viral illness. Should you find yourself with symptoms of illness, and are concerned, please contact your health care provider by phone for assessment and further instruction.

As you know, we have suspended all St. Peter’s gatherings for the foreseeable future. While challenging, we hope that as a community we can stay strong and supportive of one another. Our Bishops recently noted that “this is an excellent opportunity for the whole community to engage in ministering to each other.”

But it will mean a different rhythm of life and reaching out and connecting with others in different ways than normal. Just as our friendly visitors will reach out to those they visit by telephone, and as a renewed telephone trees continue to emerge, we encourage you to do the same. Be in touch with people – particularly those who you think might need or appreciate a check-in – either by telephone, email, Facetime/Skype/Zoom, or social media; while different, these are still good ways of being community with and for one another. And pray for one another. And more, as our Bishops urge: “please continue to be vigilant in your prayerful support of those who are ill and those who are most fully engaged in the public health efforts that are underway across the country and around the world.”

People matter…this has not changed.

The Board Leadership would also like to remind the St. Peter’s community that for the foreseeable future, St. Peter’s building access will be limited to specific personnel. The Church Building remains closed to the public, as well as congregational members; this includes those that have pass cards.  (Please reach out via 519-745-4705 or info@stpeterskw.ca if you have any questions).

Additionally, St. Peter’s relies almost entirely upon the donations and generosity of individuals for its many and varied ministries and programs. To try and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions we would like to remind you that you can still support St. Peter’s financially in a number of ways: mailing in your offering, donating through www.stpeterskw.ca (click the donate button in the top right hand corner) or even signing up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR).

We will continue to creatively attend to spirit and soul in any way that we can.

At home worship resources (prayers, readings, etc) and teaching videos, for those weeks when we are not broadcasting on CTV, will be offered via the eMessenger.

At this juncture, television broadcasts in a live format will go ahead in the empty church and we would like to invite you to submit prayer requests (i.e. names to be lifted up…by first name and location only) to pastormark@stpeterskw.ca and we will include as many as possible in the broadcasts.

While worship will look and feel a little different, the broadcasts will include music, prayers from across the country, readings, a message, and will air

Sunday August 9 & August 23 at 10AM EDT via CTV

Bell Fibe: 201/1201  Bell Satellite: 584, 1505

Rogers Cable: 12/109/518  Shaw Direct: 67/369

*Local listings across the province and country may vary

Additionally, on those weeks when St. Peter’s is not broadcasting, I would encourage you to check out the Sunday worship broadcast from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church on CTV at 10AM or the radio broadcast from St Matthew’s Lutheran Church on Faith FM on Sundays at 11AM.

Again, please know that at St. Peter’s, we have everyone’s health in mind and are following direction from Public Health sources to ensure that we are doing our best to safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone in the St. Peter’s community as well as in the larger community around us.

Should you feel (mentally) stressed, or find yourself in need of supportive conversation, please feel free to contact Pastor Mark at 519-591-1551.

We will keep you informed, offering updates, in the coming days.

“May God grant us generous gifts of courage, faith, and compassion” say our Bishops.  We couldn’t agree more.

Onward,

Pastor Mark

For more information: https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/health-and-wellness/2019-novel-coronavirus.aspx

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Rev. Mark Ehlebracht
Pastor

Mark became St. Peter's pastor in 2009 and the dress code at church has never been the same. Mark is a creative catalyst at St. Peter’s, which can be fun at times... Click image to see more.

Dr. Peter Nikiforuk
Director of Music

Peter Nikiforuk is a native of Brantford, Ontario, where he received his early musical training with Nan and Markwell Perry. Over the years, he has studied with John Tuttle, Robert Baker,... Click image to see more.

David Roth
Parish Administrator

David graduated from the Management and Administration Program of The Canadian Institute of Management and Administration at the University of Waterloo in 1988... Click image to see more.

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In a letter to the church, ELCIC National, Synod Bishops acknowledge, "racism is within us and within our communities." The leaders call on all members to commit to doing the hard work and change our ways of thinking and our actions that demean and hurt: https://www.elcic.ca/news.cfm?article=570