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ANGLICAN CHURCHES IN ONTARIO TO REMAIN CLOSED FOR SUMMER WORSHIP
(until at least September). Click here for the full story. "Regardless of where the Government of Ontario is with its reopening plan, Anglican churches will not be reopening for the next three months."

Join us for our Tuesday Bible Study five part series. It is entitled "Exploring Prayer". In this first session, Archbishop Justin Welby and Canon Tanner explore "What is Prayer?" You'll find it on our Bible Study page. Click here.

THURSDAY MORNINGS FROM 10:00am to noon, a warden will be on hand at the church to receive your offering and, if you are able, a food donation for the Agincourt Food Services. Social distancing and all Health Canada protocols are being observed. Please notice that the start time WAS 9:00am, but has now been shifted to 10:00am. 

Message from Elizabeth Campbell and Carol Hicks (May 24, 2020)
A very big thank you to those who have made a donation to help buy plants for the gardens along the front walk of the church. We now have sufficient funds for a nice selection of summer annuals, which Elizabeth will be buying this Friday. Leftover money will be used in the fall to buy more spring bulbs (daffodils, tulips, etc.). 

The summer annuals will be planted Saturday May 30 beginning at 3 PM, weather permitting. Help with this task is always much appreciated, but requirements for physical distancing this spring mean that only 2 other people can be present at any time. To avoid a situation where too many people show up at once, we are therefore requesting that anyone who wants to help phone Elizabeth in advance at (905)479-5014. Thank you in advance for your understanding of this unusual situation.

Good Financial News from Bishop Asbil! (May 22, 2020)
As a measure of financial support for the ministries of the Diocese of Toronto in this time of crisis, Diocesan Council announced a Jubilee. Congregations were relieved from having to bear the expense of clergy payroll and allotment for the months of April and May. When Diocesan Council granted the relief on March 26, it was financed by borrowing money pledged against two vacant properties that will likely be sold to pay for the cost of the Jubilee, which is approximately $3.6 million. After the Council meeting in March, the government announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program (CEWS) that provides a rebate of up to 75% of the costs of an employee’s wages, to a maximum amount. It is estimated that a total rebate of $1.65 million can be achieved for the months of March, April, and May for the combined clergy and diocesan payroll.

In light of this government support, we are delighted to announce that at the May 14 meeting of the Executive Board and Trusts Committee, the Jubilee for parish payments for allotment and clergy costs was extended to include the month of June. 

Bishop's Thoughts on the Guidance We'll Receive When we Re-Enter the Church Building (May 20, 2020):
Q: We are looking forward to re-entry after COVID-19. Will there be any communication to the incumbents and churchwardens about how re-entry has to be handled?

A: With the Ontario government moving society into "Phase One" of a gradual re-opening of the province, we too are hopeful about the eventual return to our usual gatherings and activities, especially corporate worship. We will of course wait for the green light from the health authorities before permitting any re-entry activities. When that happens, however, we will have clear guidelines in place for safely re-engaging. The College of Bishops is in weekly contact with the Provincial House of Bishops so that plans are coordinated across the whole Church, and various diocesan groups, including staff, the Regional Deans and the Bishop's Committee on Healing Ministries have been working on practical guidelines for the Diocese of Toronto. These will be shared as soon as we know what is permitted.

"LOONIE TOONIE" HYMN. As you know, during the closure of the church building we are posting worship videos each week.  I'd like to include a "Loonie Toonie" hymn selection each Sunday, so I need your help. Just click here and let me know what you would like to hear in the service and I will make sure it is included either the following Sunday or as soon as possible. (It all depends how many requests I receive.) And don't forget to tell us why you made that choice! Canon Richard

CHURCH GARDEN
Good news! It will be possible to have a garden at the church this summer, as the government has announced garden centres can be open. If you are interested in making a small donation to help buy annuals/flowers to plant in the church garden, you can drop it off on Thursday mornings when you bring your collection. Please put such donations in a separate envelope marked "Church garden". A date for a planting party, with proper physical distancing, will be chosen and publicized later.  Elizabeth

LETTER FROM OUR CHURCHWARDENS (April 9, 2020)

Hello Everyone,
The wardens’ team would like to touch base with you and provide you with some important updates as we continue to self-isolate during the Covid 19 crisis. We hope that you and your family are staying safe and well.

Bishop Andrew Asbil has announced a Diocesan Jubilee in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. It states:
“As a family, and in response to this time of great crisis, I can announce that the Diocese of Toronto is proclaiming a Jubilee – a time of generosity and forgiveness. For the months of April and May 2020, parishes will not be required to pay their allotment to the Diocese or to pay the costs of clergy remuneration (stipend, housing and associated benefits). It is my hope that this measure will alleviate the financial pressure that many of our parishes are under, freeing them up to carry out their ministry and to prepare for the days when their doors will open again.”

This is good news for us and will certainly help us to continue to meet our obligations without going further into debt. Since we are unsure of the duration of this crisis, we encourage you to continue to regularly bring in your offerings to ensure that we continue to stay afloat. We thank you for taking the time to do so.

In our last correspondence we informed you that we were working on alternative methods for you to give your offerings. One of those methods is up and running and can be accessed through the Donate Now link on our website. You can also access it at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/47386 . Although this is not our preferred method for you to use, it is available for those who feel comfortable using it to make their one-time only or monthly donations via credit card or PayPal.  

You can also now send your donation by e-transfer to stmichael@rogers.com. If you choose to use this method, you should send the answer to the security question by text message to 647-696-4212. Please do not send the security question answer to the same destination email address as the e-transfer. Also, in the text message, be sure to clearly identify yourself and the e-transfer that you are referring to so that a match can be made, and don’t choose a security answer that is easy to guess, ie. It should not contain your name, address or phone number.

We are continuing to work on providing Preauthorized Withdrawal as another option; however, given the current situation, responses from the bank are slow as they are operating with a skeletal staff.

This will be our first Easter not worshipping in our church building and, for many of us; it will seem a little strange. While we are separated in body, we will continue to stay connected in spirit through the services available by way of social media provided by Canon Richard. Please continue to keep well by staying at home or, observing social distancing when you are out. We look forward to the time when we can meet together again at St. Michael’s.
Your Wardens' Team


*** AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM OUR WARDENS TO ALL PARISHIONERS. ***  (Click on the blue lettering.)

SUNDAY, March 15, 2020 - SUSPENSION OF PUBLIC WORSHIP

Friday, March 13, 2020
10:45pm
 
Dear fellow members of St. Michael’s,
 
We were instructed this evening (March 13th) by our Metropolitan Bishop, Anne, and our Diocesan Bishop, Andrew, to suspend all public worship starting this Sunday, and until further notice. This would include any meetings or gatherings scheduled to be held at the church for other reasons.
 
We are entering into new territory. I’m not sure that this has ever happened before in Canadian Church history. But we have a strong and loving community at St. Michael’s and I know we shall find creative ways to journey through this challenge together. Orville Brathwaite and I are already planning to send the Sunday morning services with sermons and Bible Studies you on WhatsApp and by email. All of these videos are available on our website at www.smta.ca. Also, check in on our new FaceBook page and leave a comment. It can also be accessed through our website.
 
Should you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at 416-454-6081. My email is rctanner@rogers.com. Also, please let me know directly should you have a pastoral need during this period of time. The building may close down, but I shall be available when and as you need me.
 
God already has the route mapped out for us in the days ahead and Jesus will accompany us every step of the way. We just need to keep our eyes fixed on him.
 
Blessings in Christ,
 
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Richard Tanner

PS See below to understand at a glance why we are refraining from gathering in groups and implementing other measures at this time.

 

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