Upcoming Events

Honey & Locust

We are saying thanks and blessings to our well-loved E-Blast and re-branding it as "Honey & Locust".

St. John in the Wilderness ate locust and wild honey.  Just as it was sustenance for him, may this Honey & Locust also be sustenance for us a we journey in the Wilderness.

Father Shaun suggested the name based on these two gospel references:

*       Matthew 3:4  Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey
*       Mark 1:6  Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he at locusts and wild honey.

One aim is to get more news regarding the parish and you the parishioners into a brief update a couple of times a month...to give us sustenance as individuals and a community.

Thanks very much to Shirley MacKenzie, Sandra Fraser and Heather Holbrook for launching and publishing the E-Blast these last 2 or 3 years, you gave us a great foundation.

Holy Holy Holy Honey - Sweet Jesus Honey!

The Anglican Foundation of Canada Awarded 20 churches across Canada a 20/20 Vision grant for proposals that address the crisis of climate change...and we were blessed to receive one of them based on our proposal "Wilderness Pollinator Garden and Beehive" - Alleluia!

We will receive the maximum grant size of the program, $2,500, subject to filing expenses and reporting et cetera.  The garden will go behind the church on the north side of the lawn with the bees somewhere on the lawn subject to light, and other parameters.   You can see a sketch of the garden in the attached proposal which we submitted to the AFC in late March.  It is already in the schedule of Return the Landscape company for planting this summer.

Bob and Susan Halliday are the champions of the garden with Doug Winch and Haley Walker being the champions of the beehives.  Leslie Grieve is the champion of keeping this kid-friendly (the lawn is important for VBS-type events).  Turns out all of us have the same goals - how wonderful.  Thanks very much to the entire team who found the opportunity with the AFC, thought of and planned the garden/beehive project  (this is not your typical energy efficiency/waste reduction climate crises project) and spiritually brought us through understanding how it is very important to climate crisis of our planet which just under 8 billion of us live on along with all of God's creation.  Additional members, all bringing key contributions, are: Gord and Shirley MacKenzie,  Brian Fogg,  Dave Hains, Peter Langille, 
Deb Walker and Father Shaun Eaton.  Here is an excerpt from our proposal:

"St. John in the Wilderness is a 163-year-old parish in Bright's Grove (Sarnia) ON - it is older than Canada.  Our project is a pollinator garden. We will be planting the garden with native Ontario plants such as existed in the woodlands when our church was founded and will be complementing these native plants with beehives.  It will be in place of a section of lawn that was previously mowed.  The plants will be primarily from a local firm, Return the Landscape, which rescues wild plants from areas slated for development and propagates and grows them in a greenhouse in partnership with the nearby Aamjiwnaang First Nation.  Return the Landscape will be digging and planting the garden.  Many local lawns in Sarnia have been replaced with native plantings by this firm.

The replacement of lawn by a native pollinator garden will be a renewal of original Ontario habitat for bees, butterflies and other insects.  It will be renewing a piece of God's original creation.  We hope the garden can be used as a teaching tool for the summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) program. Children would be sent home with propagated plants from the garden rather than craft type takeaways.

The garden will require only some yearly hand-weeding and maintenance and some watering, in the beginning, an organic farmer in the parish will lead here. The congregation has two experienced beekeepers.  If approved, the planting of the garden will be in the summer of 2020.  Addendum 2 provides 2 schematic views of the garden.

We view the project as a renewal of creation and an example of how sustainable natural environments can be.  In appearance, we hope this will be a vision of Eden in southwestern Ontario and an inspiration to all who view it.  It will also show that there is an alternative to the use of fuel in repeated lawn-mowing". 

Thanks very much to Bishop Todd for a beautiful letter of support to the AFC for our proposal - his note is attached as well.

A Cheery Hello from the Altar Guild

Even though the congregation are not able to attend our church services in person, the Guild still have to make sure that the Altar is properly dressed and that the candles do not go out during the live streaming of the services which Fr Shaun and Fr Rishi are doing so beautifully.  So far the Altar has been in white for the six weeks of Easter, but this Sunday you will see it in red for the first Sunday of Pentecost. Each member of the Guild is on duty for a month at a time and May happens to be my month(Mavis). Setting up the Eucharist is the most important part of our work, something we are not able to do at this time. It will be wonderful when we can get back to doing it again.                                                       

Until then stay safe and strong                   .

Blessings from Mavis, Ann  Lyn, Sandra, Jean, Brenda and Leslie

Care of our Church Building and Yard

Brent Anderson continues to do his weekly walk around the church building as well as inside checks.  The south and west hall were power washed with more planned as time permits.  The perimeter of the lawn was raked and about 12 bags of leaves picked up as well as the branch pile removed.  The carpet in the hall entrance and the office have been cleaned.  Thanks, Brent.

Thanks also to the team of Jim and Marie Foubister, Doug Winch, Duncan Mann, Harry Chadwick, Jim Mayer and Durham Langille for volunteering for the gardening, hedge trimming and lawn mowing.  We are covered up until September 12 - if folks are interested in mowing/ being a back-up, just let Deb Walker know.   Ross Leckie, next door to our church will mow the back
and east side yards as he has done for the last 20 years or so - his young nephew Sean is taking over for him this summer.  Ross's parents were married in St. John in the Wilderness.  The property is looking loved.

Karl and Mavis Schmid worked together to build little shelves to hold and protect our new WiFi routers.  Built by Karl from oak from Karl's shop.  A picture of Mavis and Karl is attached - Thank you K&M!

Young Durham Langille - Running a Small Business This Summer

One of our young parishioners, Durham Langille, just finished his first year in the Engineering program at Guelph University.  Back in January he decided to earn his next year's tuition and expenses via leading a College Pro franchise - he and his team clean windows, eaves-troughs and siding. Blessings to you, Durham, on behalf of us all....it is fantastic to see a budding young entrepreneur in our church.  Durham was baptized in St. John in the Wilderness. If any parishioners want to contact Durham, you can text or call 519-328-7524.

Church Services and Sunday School

Reverends Shaun Eaton and Rishi Sativihari continue doing a great job on our 10:30 am Live Facebook services each Sunday morning

Brenden Fraser and Ken Walker post music on our Facebook site to go along with the service. Reverend Shaun also distributes his sermons via e-mail; in addition, they are posted on our website at
<http://www.stjohninthewilderness.com/www.stjohninthewilderness.com and on our Facebook page.

Leslie Grieve and Deb Walker continue to mail Sunday School lessons out to 22 children in our congregation, thanks to Leslie and Bruce Grieve for covering the printing and mailing costs.  Leslie prepared a craft for Pentecost and Lyn Kid, Leslie and Deb Walker delivered the craft this week to the children's homes for this Sunday (colourful Bristol board headbands with Holy Spirit flames made from each child's hand traced on construction paper - a favourite of Deb's). It is a joy when we get a picture of our kids at Home-Sunday-School - though we look forward to getting back to our church hall at some point!

Note that our Facebook page has a privacy setting which does not allow sharing of posts beyond the page.  In addition, members are screened by our FB administrators (Peter Langille, Shaun Eaton, Ken Walker, Haley Walker) - this helps to protect the privacy of all our parishioners in our FB, including our kids, when their parents post their pictures.

Covid-19 Church Building Status Update

St. John in the Wilderness continues to be vigilant in following the re-opening plan following the COVID-9 shutdown. While the Province of

Ontario has allowed some businesses and services to re-open, church services in church buildings is not one of them. You may have heard that church services are being allowed where people can remain in their cars and participate in a "drive in" style of service. At this stage St. John in the Wilderness' Executive Committee believe our parking lot is not set up to allow for such a service. We continue to follow the direction of Church House and Bishop Todd in how we move forward to re-opening.  And the Executive Committee of St. John in the Wilderness discusses the situation at
every meeting.  We hope many of you participate in and find meaningful the regular Sunday services with Frs. Shaun and Rishi on Facebook live, which will continue while the physical church closure continues.  We also are assessing tools such as Zoom to help our church flock commune.  We are taking small steps, for example a small group of 4 of us are meeting at the church to discuss the church, rather than meeting on Zoom as we did previously.

Treasurer's Comments

Thanks to everyone for your continuing financial contributions, either through PAP, cheques or E-transfer (Interac). This support allows us to meet all our ongoing financial commitments and is greatly appreciated. Thanks again from Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer Dave Hains and Brian Fogg.

Father Shaun's Corner

During this Covid-19 pandemic I've noticed how easily it is to become overtaken by fear - fear of becoming sick, fear of others not taking appropriate precautions, fear of not having enough of what we need like toilet paper, and fear of a world that doesn't seem safe.  A really good antidote to fear is gratitude and thanksgiving.

It seems like such a simple concept, yet it also seems to be something that we, as human beings, aren't always good at doing. Even our prayers tend to focus more on what we need and want, rather than giving thanks. I wonder if perhaps this focus keeps us always wanting more; without giving thanks, we are missing the peace of God, which is promised to us in Paul's letter to
the Philippians.

"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:6-7

Perhaps that is the invitation for us all during this pandemic?  Maybe our invitation is to spend some time in prayerful reflection of all the things that we can be thankful for?

For myself, some of the things I am most grateful for include a roof over head and food in the pantry, a walk in the sunshine with Rishi, planting flowers in the garden, a conversation with a friend full of laughter; all for obvious reasons. Less obviously: I am thankful for the frustrations that offer me a chance to develop patience, for the challenges that encourage personal growth, and most of all, for the moments where my heart is open and my mind is quiet enough that I can see the glimpses of grace that God is sending into my life.

It is in these moments that I am intentionally stopping to give thanks to God, to acknowledge that I have all that I need, most of what I want, and an abundant share in the promised peace of God - all of which exceeds well beyond anything I can ask or imagine.

May this time of being physically distanced from one another be a time of giving thanks, of delighting in love, of walking in peace.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Shaun+

Yours in faith,

Heather Holbrook, Peter Langille and Deb Walker

Secretary and Wardens

St. John in the Wilderness Church

Church webpage:  <http://stjohninthewilderness.com/>

Church Facebook Group: St John in the Wilderness Anglican Church, Bright's
Grove, ON

Church E-Mail:  <mailto:stjohninthewildernesschurch@gmail.com>

Church E-transfer E-Mail:  <mailto:stjohnitwdonation@cogeco.net>

Church Telephone: 519-869-2403

Reverend Shaun Eaton

2896 Old Lakeshore Road

Bright's Grove, ON, N0N 1C0

© Ken Walker 2012