Hello St. Mary’s!

Today is the end of school for many students on this island; and graduation (virtual) for many disappointed grade 12’s. Our hearts go out to them.

Responding to my reflection in the last Update, Jerry shared this quote.    


Today I found this letter in my inbox and it is too good not to share. From Br. Nicholas Bartoli of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) with some very helpful thoughts on peace and trauma. I hope you enjoy:

These are momentous, stressful times we live in. It may seem that around every corner there’s something to be fearful, angry, or distraught over. Our minds may habitually return to the last article we read, or video we watched, or podcast we listened to. We may feel compelled to stay up-to-date on the latest news, out of a sense of duty, from a powerful curiosity, or a need to be on top of what’s going on so as to feel safe and prepared. And all of this takes a toll on us.

Psychologists have long studied what is called vicarious trauma or vicarious traumatization. This kind of trauma arises not from a first-hand experience of a traumatic event, but from witnessing such an event. Such vicarious trauma has often been seen in professionals who work in fields where witnessing traumatic events or interacting with trauma survivors is common. However, it’s now known that vicarious trauma can also affect those who are regularly exposed to traumatic events in the media. Constant exposure to traumatic events in media has been shown to cause anxiety, difficulties in coping, immense fear, and feelings of hopelessness. This is especially true for those of us who have a history of trauma ourselves or just happen to be particularly sensitive.

Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers,” and as children of God that is our calling. Being a peacemaker, which is so needed in these tumultuous times, begins with being at peace ourselves. A big fan of the beatitudes himself, Gandhi once said that “there is no way to peace, peace is the way.” And Martin Luther King Jr. told us to “be the peace you wish to see in the world.” In other words, one of the very best gifts we can offer a troubled world is letting ourselves rest in God’s presence, resting in the Peace and Joy of Christ.

If you feel yourself caught up in a cycle of fear, anger, and despair, as you digest all the latest news of a world and people in crisis, you owe it to yourself and the world to be kind to yourself, and take a break. And even Jesus needed to be alone every now and then, so you know you’re in good company. In a world inundated with news 24-hours a day, here are some helpful tips on being a peacemaker, beginning with making inner peace:

  • Set limits on the consumption of news media, videos, etc.  Consider taking a Sabbath from all kinds of media, for a day or even longer.
  • If you have trouble setting limits, put notes on the devices you use reminding yourself to ask “Is what I’m doing now nourishing for my soul?”
  • Practice noticing patterns in your thoughts and feelings around consuming traumatic news, and take a break when needed.
  • Make a list of things that bring you hope, peace, and joy, and practice them.
  • If you feel called to do something, then do something! Consider even the smallest gestures that could turn hopelessness and anxiety into action.
  • Make time for silent prayer, and practice letting God take on the cares of the world while you rest in God’s presence.

Remember, your greatest contribution to God’s Kingdom is to cultivate the Kingdom within. Stay informed in moderation, be kind to yourself, and be the Peace and Joy of Christ the world so needs.

Peace and Be Well,
Br. Nicholas Bartoli

I am going on holidays for the month of July. I am looking forward to the move into our tiny home and making it cozy and easy to move around in. In my absence, in case of a pastoral emergency, please call your People’s Warden, Val Davies. She will access the needed clerical support for you. Other concerns can be directed to the Rector’s Warden, Elaine Cowan.

It will be pretty much business as usual for the month. You will get an email with a link to the Sunday sermon by 9am each Sunday and once a week you will receive one of these Updates – written by one of your fellow parishioners! I’m grateful and excited to see what will be offered! Thank you to those who have stepped up to keep you inspired and informed.

KAT continues to work in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from home on Mondays and Thursdays. She will get back to you when you email or call.    

Here are your Scripture readings for the month of July:

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - July 5, 2020
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67,   Zechariah 9:9-12,   Rom 7:15-25a,   Matt 11:16-19, 25-30

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - July 12, 2020
Genesis 25:19-34,    Isaiah 55:10-13,     Rom 8:1-11,    Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - July 19, 2020
Genesis 28:10-19a,  Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19,    Rom 8:12-25,   Matt 13:24-30, 36-43

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - July 26, 2020
Genesis 29:15-28,   1 Kings 3:5-12,    Rom 8:26-39,    Matt 13:31-33, 44-52

Here are the July birthdays and anniversaries  

July 1  - Barbara K        
1 – Julie W        
3 – Heather U        
4 – Harry C         
8 – Trefor W       
10 – Val D       
16 – Jerry F        
18 – Arlene O’B        
24 – Anniversary – Jean and David R       
24 – Bill G       
28 – Malcolm K       
31 – Anniversary – Bev and Clive O    

Another shipment to Kagera, Tanzania is on its way in the near future. The Tumaini crafters have filled a pallet which contains 287 Izzy Dolls, 293 dresses, 180 Personal Care Kits for girls, 207 sweaters, 60 blankets, 277 toques, 53 pairs of boys' pants, 66 boys' shirts, 72 T-shirts, and firefighter's gear. Please pray for the safe arrival of all these much needed supplies, and for all the people who will benefit.