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From Deacon Evelyn Butler

Dear Mother Alexandra, Members and Former Members St John’s West Toronto, Family and Friends

Thank you for organizing, contributing to and attending the celebration of the 10th year anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate. The celebration was truly more than I could have imagined.

Thank you for the thoughtful gift, a print of I and the Village by Marc Chagall. The painting displays the mutual relationships between humans, animals and plants; God’s wonderful Creation. From a passing comment of my fondness for the painting, Mother Alexandra selected this meaningful gift. Her thoughtfulness reflects the care and attention she has given all of us. Throughout her appointment, we have all been blessed by her.

Mother Alexandra also graciously invited the Rev. Samantha Caravan, our former priest, to be the Presiding Celebrant. It was a pleasure and very moving for me to participate with Samantha in the Celebration of Holy Eucharist. Thank you Samantha.

I also extend my deep appreciation to the Rev. Bob Shantz for his thoughtful and caring sermon. Through the years Bob has taught me much and his presence has enriched my faith journey.

Thank you John Stevenson and Ali Rutty for playing the lovely music and singing my favourite hymns. I also thank Mabel-Anne Waters, Susan Rynasko, Carrie Cardwell and John Spragge for their participation in the liturgy.

Throughout this time as your deacon, my faith has deepened because the community of St John’s West Toronto demonstrated what God needs from us: to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8).

In the bulletin for the 2014 ordination service I noted:

My community of St. John’s West Toronto has been a significant part of my life since 1987. I am honored and humbled to be a deacon for our parish and thank you for inviting me to serve you. As well, I extend my appreciation to Samantha, our incumbent, for her exceptional support, guidance and caring as I prepare for this role and indeed for this day. Throughout my discernment and candidacy, Bill, my husband, has lovingly and steadfastly supported me. (Of course Samantha and Bill continued to support me).

To that statement, I add my appreciation to Mother Alexandra for her exceptional support, guidance and care as we served the good people of St John’s and our neighbourhood. It has been an honour.

As I continue my faith journey in other places, I will hold this celebration of the 10th anniversary of my ordination as a special memory of love and caring by a special community. I give thanks for the many blessings I have received from St John’s West Toronto.

Yours in Christ


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