Merry Christmas everyone, from St. Andrew’s Anglican Church serving the BLT.
We wanted to take this opportunity to update everyone with respect to Christmas Eve services at St. Andrew’s.
On December 21, 2021 our Premier and Chief Medical Officer of Health provided an update on Covid-19 in the province and introduced modified restrictions effective Wednesday, December 22 at 6:00 am.
Although Public Health guidelines have reduced faith based gatherings to 25% capacity with physical distancing, St. Andrew’s has made the decision to cancel in person worship and offer a virtual service for Christmas Eve.
A video service will be posted to our website (blthanglicans.ca) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/St-Andrews-Anglican-Church-BLT-1446542448917293) on Christmas Eve. We hope that you can take some time on Christmas Eve/ Day to join us virtually.
For the second year in a row, we are in a very different time. We are all so familiar with being six feet from someone we would much rather hug. We are reminded of differences, such as when we come to the altar rail to receive the communion wafer, but not the wine. When a Christmas carol is played and our voices almost can’t hold back from singing. But we hold back.
That’s the feeling that has overshadowed so much the past few months and years. Holding back. But what if we were to also seek to look at Christmas as a time of opening our arms to everyone, and to the world instead? In missing people we love, we are more aware of all forms of missing. Loved ones who have passed away or family staying home for safety, or those suffering from loneliness and isolation.
We are more aware than ever of what is happening to others in the world, from people migrating away from climate change affected places, conflict and war, to those trying to survive poverty, persecution, or exploitation.
We are more aware of those who are hit the hardest in a pandemic, from entire countries like the US, India, Brazil, Turkey, Iran … so many … to those we know personally in our communities who are immune compromised, have lost jobs, struggle with extreme inflation of costs for rent, are homeless, or don’t know where the money will come from for groceries this month.
If we feel held back or have to hold back in all the restrictions and limitations of our time, we are, if anything, people whose hearts and minds also hold so much more than just two years ago.
And so our story goes, God sent one child into the world. Who lived a life of fully opening arms, heart and mind to everyone and everything? Our walk is the same. Whether we meet the birth of Jesus in church, at home in our bubble, in how we support community, neighbour, or world … let Christmas birth in you more passion, love, empathy, awareness, and imagination in how to bring goodness to it all. Let arms, heart and mind be open to it all.
May God’s peace be with you,
The Rev’d Mark Pretty
NOTE: Anyone who is able and wishes to make a Christmas offering can do so by dropping it off to our Treasurer, Keith Fraser (93 Fraser Road) or mailing it to St. Andrew’s Church (2553 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Timberlea, NS, B3T 1H1). Thank you for your continued support.