Church of the Incarnation

Sunday Service, May 31, 2020

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All Sunday Services have been suspended until further notice.
We continue in the Easter season.

Today we celebrate Pentecost, when God sent the Holy Spirit. This is the birth of the Church. The presence of the Spirit is exciting, humbling and hope-giving. Learn more in this week's service.

The link to our service for Pentecost is

Thank you for joining us as we offer ourselves to God with thanks and praise.

The link to our service for Ascension Sunday (also the Seventh Sunday of Easter) is
The risen Jesus gives us the gift of the Paraklete (Holy Spirit) to help us live and love as Christ's own. Learn more in this week's service.
The link to our service for the Sixth Sunday of Easter is
The risen Jesus gives us resurrection-powered hope. Learn more about Jesus' gift of hope in this week's service.The link to our service for the Fifth Sunday of Easter is
The living Jesus enables us to become fully alive. Learn more in this week's service.
The link to our service for the Fourth Sunday of Easter is

To access our YouTube channel and all services that have been uploaded, the link is

Nothing can separate us from God's love. Nothing can keep us from worshiping the Lord.

God's Peace,


Please read the following letters:

29 April 2020
The Lord is good to those who wait for the Lord, to the soul that seeks the Lord.
[Lamentations 3:25]

Dear Incarnation Family:

How are you doing?

I've seen a number of you at our weekly Curbside Blessing and Prayer [Sundays 10:00-11:00 a.m.], and others of you in our Bible study via ZOOM [Sundays 0:00-9:45 a.m.]. Still others I have spoken with by phone. I would like to know how everyone is doing. Please let me know.

As we join the month of May, patience has become a sought-after virtue. The surreal has replaced the real. Some adjustments we've readily made, while others resist taking root. How can we get on with our lives in our altered landscape? How can we cultivate patience, allowing us to focus on truly living?

The scripture verse above was penned by someone in exile, lamenting the loss of life as she knew it. In giving vent to these feelings, she began to see the bigger picture, the greater reality: God is in control and God is here with us. God, who is good, gives us what we need.

The writer encourages us to wait for the Lord and seek the Lord. We can do this by talking to God throughout the day, honestly sharing our thoughts. We can acknowledge that God alone is greater than all else and loves us with a powerful love. Nothing, not even disease and death, can separate us from God's love [Romans 8:38,39].

We also can wait for God and seek God by being thankful and allowing God to comfort and strengthen us even in the midst of the storm. In one psalm of the Bible the writer notes that many people were focused exclusively on circumstances. The psalmist responds, You [God] have put more joy in my heart than they have when things are going great [Psalm 4:6,7].

The psalmist's concluding thought: I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety [v8].

May we wait on the Lord and seek the Lord, receiving all the good the Lord offers. Amen


22 April 2020

Be still and know that I am God.... [Psalm 46:10]

Dear Incarnation Family:

Now in the latter part of April, there is no end in sight for our new norm. COVID-19 continues to grab the headlines, and for good reason. People are dying, others are battling the virus, relationships are broken, dreams are smashed. Expectations are changing. Toronto and much of the world remains in the storm, with not even a hint of blue sky in sight.

What now? As humans, we are highly adaptable creatures. Most of us can adapt for the short-term, while a longer-term play is more challenging. You may be feeling impatient, isolated and depressed. All of this can produce anxiety.

Where can we turn? The Jesus of Easter, whose love is power, says, Turn to me: Come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy loads, and I will refresh you [Matthew 11:28]. Please do not mistake this for a casual invitation. It is a plea from the One who gave everything to free us from our wrongs and brokenness. Jesus gave his life and conquered Death to see us through this life and, joined to him, into the world one day set right.

Jesus wants us to be real with him, expressing our thoughts and emotions. We can be real, just like those who composed psalms (songs) in the Bible. As the psalmists are real with God, often we see them move from discouragement to hope. Anxiety, fear and discouragement are natural when we lose sight of God. Yet when God re-enters the scene, perspective changes. Circumstances may not change, but we do. God gives us what we need.

A few words from the psalmists:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble [Ps 46:1]

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble [Ps 9:9]

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer [Ps 18:2]

May we proclaim with the psalmist: Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord [Ps 31:24]

The peace of the Lord be always with you

Community Life: April 3
April 3,- April 16, 2020
This Sunday (April 5) is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Through Lent (which began February 26), we have joined Jesus as he journeyed to Jerusalem. Now he enters Jerusalem to a crowd laying their coats and branches on the road.
Jesus invites us to continue our journey with him, through the cross to Easter, and beyond. One way to do this is by taking a few minutes each day during Holy Week to read a short passage of scripture and be still in God's presence. If you don't have a Bible readily available, you can access scripture online via or Both sites are excellent and offer many translations. I most often read from RSV, ESV, NASB and NRSV (the latter is used for our Sunday services). The Message is a paraphrase of the Bible that I find helpful as an additional reference.
Palm Sunday Matthew 21:1-16
Monday John 12:1-11
Tuesday John 12:20-36
Wednesday John 13:21-32
Maundy Thursday John 13:1-17, 31-35
Good Friday John 18:1 -19: 42 (Passion story)
Easter Vigil Matthew 28:1-10
We will offer a reflection guide for Maundy Thursday through Easter Vigil. Please check our YouTube channel for short video reflections beginning Maundy Thursday. The link is
We are invited to join Bishop Andrew for online services from The Cathedral Church of St. James at .

Church of the Incarnation - To know Christ and to make Him known
... with physical distancing
richard+ will be in Incarnation's parking lot this Sunday (April 5) from 0900 - 1100am to offer drive-through prayer. Physical distancing and other health protocols will be observed. You don't even have to get out of your car!
You can also pick-up a palm cross at the same time. Both gates will be open.
Our own Joan Boms and Flo Blanchard were determined that everyone who wants a palm cross will receive one. They trudged on, even knowing that they would have to wear masks and surgical gloves. Joan and Flo made over 100 crosses and placed each one in its own plastic bag!
Some bagged crosses will be taped to our front door at Incarnation.
You can receive a palm cross by coming to Drive-Through Prayer on Sunday morning (April 5) [see above] or by coming to Incarnation at your convenience and taking one from the front door.
THANKS to Joan
and Flo
for their efforts!
 Second Story
Some of you have offered to pick-up groceries or prescriptions for those who cannot get out. Others have offered to be part of the phone tree - calling parishioners who don't have email, so that everyone stays connected and informed.
We are also looking for those willing on occasion to deliver pastoral letters and Sunday programs to parishioners in your geographic area.
Please call Sharon in the office [416.221.7516] or email Sharon at if you are willing to serve in any of these capacities.

Our church building remains closed pursuant to health require-ments. We have reduced janitorial services, yet basics cleaning and disinfecting continues. Please pray for an end to the pandemic and for us again to be able to worship together at Incarnation.
Please let richard+ know if you have a prayer request or other pastoral need. You may call the office [416.221.7516] or email richard [].
We at Incarnation, along with the Anglican Dio-cese of Toronto, are mindful of everyone's health. We support and have implemented measures promulgated by our health offi-cials, as well as Bishop Andrew's directives.
Please consider your well-being and that of oth-ers. This is a time to exercise an over-abundance of caution. Better safe than sorry.
Dean Treasure, elected in our most recent vestry, has re-signed as People's Senior Warden. Dean cites family and work responsibilities as preventing him from giving to Incarnation all that is necessary in this difficult season. richard+ noted that Dean dove in to the role with eager-ness and energy. We are grateful to Dean for his efforts.
Dean't successor is to be elected by a special vestry. In light of the State of Emergency and our inability to meet, richard has appointed Earle Armstrong as People's Sen-ior Warden. Earle has agreed to serve through the emer-gency, until such time as a special vestry can occur. Earle's head is probably spinning, as he just resigned this leadership position after seven (7) years of service. Earle brings a wealth of information and experience (back) to the mix. Even more, Earle has an active commitment to Jesus and concern for all parishioners. richard+ is grate-ful for Earle and his servant attitude.
We welcome Earle to the Leadership Team of wardens:
Senior Wardens: Deb Simpson and Earle Armstrong
Junior Wardens: Doris Puddington and John

31 March 2020

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord [Zechariah 4:6]Dear Incarnation Family:In our new world of physical distancing, we seek ways to stay socially connected. One notable
opportunity is through our worship as a faith community. We continue to offer online services, along with online Bible study (Sundays at 0930). Our Lenten book study also has gone online (Wednesdays at noon).Holy Week begins this Sunday (5 April), which is Palm Sunday. Joan Boms and Flo Blanchard are
making palm crosses, while wearing medical gloves. We continue to prepare Holy Week services, which
will be offered online. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday invite us to join Jesus in
the most momentous of all weeks. Perhaps you have not previously taken in some or any of these special services. Online services, prompted by the pandemic protocols, are a great opportunity to experience more of the significance of Holy Week.There are other ways to connect with one another. We can pick up the phone or send notes via either Canada Post or email. We can connect with and support our
church through giving of our time, talent and treasure. Please let us know if you are available to assist with calling parishioners who do not have email access. We want everyone to stay informed. Perhaps you have technology expertise and can assist with our online services and studies. Please let us know if you have a webcam that we may borrow. We need a webcam for online Bible studies, devotionals and leaders' meetings. Financial giving is another way to connect. Giving not only keeps the church going, but also helps us as givers to feel connected. Please continue to give as you are able (it's not the amount that matters, but the practice). Let us continue to look to God to guide and help us. Let
us pray for one another, especially thevulnerable and those risking their lives to help others.
Father, may the world come to know more of you and your glory, revealed through Jesus Christ our
Lord. Connect us by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, Amen.

God's Peace. richard+

13 March 2020

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [John 14:27]

Dear Incarnation Family:

We are in a remarkable time, with the reality of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This global pandemic is triggering many emotions, including sorrow, compassion, anxiety and fear. Many people have been directly affected, while others are working to contain the virus.

Bishop Andrew Asbil, our Diocesan bishop, has directed that all parishes temporarily suspend corporate worship. Effective immediately, we will not hold services or other meetings at Incarnation. This includes Sunday services and other parish events. This extreme, unusual action is in cooperation with the efforts of public health officials. I will continue to offer pastoral care. Please let me know if you have a pastoral need.

As your Priest-in-Charge, I and your wardens will continue to closely monitor the situation and act with everyone's health and safety in mind. We are especially mindful of the most vulnerable among us. We will keep you informed of ongoing developments from the Diocese.

As your spiritual leader, I encourage you to set aside time for worship, including prayer and scripture reading. I will provide you with resources, including those online. Our comfort is the Lord, who is in control and is merciful and compassionate. As Jesus reminds us, something greater is here: he is present in power and love by the Holy Spirit.

Grant us Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure,; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [Collect, Episcopal Church]

God's Peace.