Church of the Incarnation

Community Newsletters

Nov 2020 Pastoral Letter

November 11, 2020

Dear Incarnation Family,

I have been able to talk to most of you either on the phone, over zoom, or in person. As a newcomer to your parish, I am deeply heartened to hear about how you are caring for one another with regular phone calls, discussions and check ins. This is the work of Christ’s disciples!

We are entering into the eighth month of COVID altered life, not just for Christians, but for the whole world. This pandemic has thrown off our routines, our expectations, our roles, and our ways of doing things. And while we are struggling to adapt - all of us with different challenges and/or opportunities - we are also having to practice, or perhaps even to learn some of the basic spiritual virtues: patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control and humility. The Scriptures are filled with people just like you and I, often in trying circumstances, out of which God forms us as his disciples if we are willing to allow him to transform our hearts and so our thoughts.

While our circumstances are challenging, Scripturally and historically, difficult times are precisely when people are thrown back not on our own ways, but in dependence upon God. The Scriptures and the Church’s reception and living out of them through time suggest that now more than ever we have an opportunity to seek God more deeply and to clear out those things that prevent us from encountering him and allowing ourselves to be transformed by him. COVID has created for me, and possibly for you, a great sense of uncertainty about so many things, not just practical things like, when will I be able to go into a store without a mask or meet with friends or family, or have people over to my home, but things like, do I really have a deep and abiding relationship with God? How can we grapple with the pain, anguish, loss, confusion, and fear so often a part of these uncertain times? By reminding ourselves foremost of this: Nothing can separate us from the love of God who came into the world for us. We are his. He has bound us to him in his Son Jesus Christ and by his Spirit, he constantly pulls us back to him.

As we take time to examine our lives before God, let us also remember that the work and ministry of Christ does require financial investment. Although our future is uncertain at this time, your leadership team is working hard to ensure that you as Christ’s disciples have a place and community within which to worship. We are also seeking new ways of connecting with you, and hopefully, ways that we can connect with new folks in this community who can help to build up and diversify our church. In light of this work both now and into the future, we ask you to prayerfully consider ways you can financially contribute to the ministry of this church even if you are not comfortable or cannot attend in person worship. To that end, we have three ways of contributing: 1. Mailing in a cheque; 2. Getting set up with the church’s preauthorized remittance (PAR) program; 3. Etranfering funds. If you are interested in the latter two, please contact the church office.

Finally, please know that we are praying for you and if you cannot attend service in person, our services are being livestreamed at 10am on Sundays and are recorded and posted to the Incarnation Toronto YouTube channel.

Yours in Christ,
The Reverend Dr. Leigh Silcox

  • Deb Simpson
  • John Kane
  • Earle Armstrong

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” - Romans 38-39

“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” - Mark 12:43-44

Sept 2020 Pastoral Letter

October 13, 2020

Dear Parishioners of Incarnation,

I begin my letter to you with two verses from Scripture that have always provided me with the greatest assurance to persevere in and with hope through the most challenging times of my life: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” - Romans 8:38-39.

These last six months where we haven’t been able to gather together for worship, prayer, and fellowship, and where of course we have lived through economic, social and political upheavals, have certainly been challenging for me as a priest, as I would imagine they have been for all of you. At times I’ve felt sad, and even empty. I have wondered, what’s next? When will things go back to normal? What will happen to our churches and to The Church?

But as I have read Scripture each day, as I have read Morning and Evening Prayer, I am reminded that so many of God’s own people have experienced similar circumstances: various plagues (throughout history and of course as we find in the Book of Exodus), even experiences of severe economic devastation (Exodus 7:14-12:26), food shortages (Exodus), political and social turmoil (Judges, Kings, the Prophets), and individual loss (Job, Paul, Jesus Christ himself); the Scriptures and the Church’s own history, are filled with these circumstances and the ways God’s people and that God himself responds. To find God not standing far off from his people, but right in the midst of them, as I read Scripture and Christian writing through the last 2000 years, well this has given me assurance that I am not alone; that in Christ Jesus I, along with you, his people, are bound to him through his Holy Spirit (John 14:11-14).

What now(?) was a central question for me, as I would imagine it is for you too. The starting place for us as Christians cannot be mere recourse to ‘the practical,’ even if this is too is important. That would be to let go of the greatest gift we have: God revealing himself to us and with us, given to us in the Scriptures. What is God doing with us in the middle of this plague is a question we should be asking as challenging as it might be to think of God’s involvement here. But it is to these books of Scripture; to this living Word of life, that we are called to seek our way forward. As your new priest-in-charge, I look forward first, to meeting and getting to know you, and second to using some of the ways of the past, but also exploring with you, new ways of ‘soaking’ (Psalm 62:1-2) ourselves in the ‘honey’ of Scripture (Exodus 3:8; Leviticus 20:24) of receiving the “living water” that is Jesus Christ himself written in them (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Blessings to you in our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Reverend Leigh Silcox

A poetic reflection from Incarnation parishioner, Olivia Lee, on Philippians 2:5-13:

                **REFLECTIONS**
            (During the Sunday sermon
       at Church of the Incarnation, Toronto)

                   Mirrored crucifix
            reflects the church, safely held
      in the Saviour's physical outline as worshipers
              come and go, groping their way
             through an age-old wilderness 
                    challenge to
              survival with no known exit 
            and not knowing how to get there

                    But Jesus knew
                  where he was going
             and how he would get there---inconceivable 
                 to those who followed---
             a pathway dreaded yet willingly
                      embraced
                  to hold in his care
                those willing to trust.



     "For God is the one who, for his good purposes,
      works in you" .
     Philippians 2:13
  "I am confident and unafraid.
 My strength and my courage is the Lord."
        Isaiah 12:2
 "Behold I am doing something new"
       Isaiah 43:19

Vimy Bell

March 2, 2008

Veterans’s website features our a photo of the church’s Vimy Bell….

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