As we approach the end of the year and begin counting down the days to Christmas, please take a moment to consider our Advent Stewardship Appeal. You can read the letter from our wardens here.
Each of our Advent newsletters we will feature a testimonial from one of St. John's faithful supporters why it is important to them to support the parish financially.
Dr. Jim Crummey
What St. John’s means to me and why I personally support its mission.
When we joined St. John’s in 1983 it was facing closure if it didn’t turn itself around and start to grow. A situation not unlike the one we find ourselves today. The parish courageously made some radical changes and began to grow.
I value the liturgy at St. John’s, Anglican, contemporary, inclusive, and prayerful. I value the variety of music we have had.
Our social justice focus is important to me, our Day Care, our support of Four Villages, marriage equality. Although St. John’s is a marginal parish in some respects, it has always reached out to the marginalized.
I value the colours in our sanctuary, above all the process and the courage it took to bring the change about.
More recently, I value our communications team, and how we have been able to adapt to life online, Zoom and social media.
Finally, our clergy have always been important to me, and we have been blessed with many outstanding Priests in the 39 years I’ve been here. Their guidance and support has meant a lot to me.
I am more than happy to support the Advent Appeal for Ministry.
Dr. Allison MacDuffee and People's Warden, John Spragge
When I see the glowing stained glass of St. John’s, when I enjoy the garden in summer, and gather with friends old and new for worship, I am grateful for St. John’s Anglican Church West Toronto and its important role in my life. I am glad John and I can support St. John’s financially because we value and treasure the liturgy, music, friendships, and memorable special events. We are also glad to support the Church’s important outreach programmes through the parish, Faithworks, and the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.
Without community, we are powerless. Without a circle of friends, we are emptied in our leisure and devoured by work. Without a purpose and a vision, we are bereft of direction and hope. Without a circle of love to arise from, we have no way to learn to love, and when we turn outward, as the scripture commands us, to a suffering world, we go with empty hands and untaught minds.
We need community. Community, in practice, requires place. In this place, we have stood by one another as our personal journeys went through dark and desolate places. From this place, people have been sent with the ritual as old as the apostles, the laying on of hands and blessing, to take on the hardest of tasks.
The Christian Church began as a revolution of love, a call to live fearlessly, love both widely and deeply, and join with God to bend the arc of creation to justice, to mercy, to healing. St. John’s answers that call with doors open without condition, to the poor, to people of every race and nation, to people with disabilities, to Gay men and Lesbians, Queer, Transgender and gender diverse people.
This place, this community, is precious, and its work is not done. If there is any book in the Bible that truly has an end, that book is not Acts, for the Acts of the Apostles never end. There is always a stranger to welcome, a meal to serve and a bed to provide, a spirit to comfort. This is hard work. We will not finish it, but by the Grace of God we have in this place a community. This vision is worth our support. It calls to our hearts.
I encourage you to support St. John’s Anglican Church through the weekly giving and through the Advent Appeal as you are able.
Allison MacDuffee and John Spragge
To me, St. John’s embodies Jesus’ commandment to “Love One Another”. We are a small, but mighty, progressive Christian community. I am proud of our commitment to social justice issues such as marriage equality, support for the LGBTQ2S and BIPOC siblings and environmental stewardship. And we have done and are doing some wonderful outreach initiatives, such as participation in the Breakfast at St. Stephen’s program, meeting and feeding hundreds of highschool students at The Space, feeding hungry students at the new breakfast program, gathering food donations at the weekly food drop and semi-annual food drives and stuffing Christmas gift bags for isolated seniors. On a personal level, I feel a strong sense of belonging in this community. I have benefitted from the spiritual, emotional and practical support I have received from clergy and fellow members.
We have an inclusive and welcoming liturgy, in which many members can and do participate in roles. We have additional opportunities for worship and education beyond Sunday morning services. And we are blessed with the leadership of our interim priest, Mother Alexandra.
Help us to maintain and grow our community so that we can continue to spread God’s love in the world. I ask you to prayerfully decide to contribute as much as you can to the Advent Appeal. If you haven’t already, please consider signing onto PAR and making an increase to your regular giving.
When we joined the parish of St John's in 1987,
we were looking for a church that would provide a good experience for our children and enrich our own spiritual journey. We found that and much more. It became our community. Its many activities supported our growth. Sunday school became a regular part of our lives. I became a Sunday school teacher.
Social justice issues were also very important. Our parish supported same sex blessings and motions at Synod to become a more inclusive church. We welcomed several families with special needs.
One of our biggest accomplishments was the development of the Early Enrichment Daycare to support our community. It allowed the church basement to be renovated. It provided much needed revenue. It provided quality daycare to the community.
The Christmas Carol presentations as part of the CBC charity fundraising brought us together to share the festive season with our neighbours.
We were able to support several refugee families on their journey to a better life. Social activities were also a big part of our parish life. Galas and dances, Guess who's coming to dinner events, and supper club, charmed and sustained us. Gardening at St John's became a big part of my life when I retired from teaching.
Joining the parish at St John's helped us become more caring people sensitive to the needs of others in our community. St John's has enriched our lives and our community. I hope it will continue to do so in the future. This is why this community is so important to me. I am happy to support St John's Advent financially. I hope you too will consider supporting our Advent Appeal.