Celebration At Transfiguration….
We worship with creativity, commitment, enthusiasm and inclusivity. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate, including our children and youth. The 8:30 a.m. Sunday service, with an average attendance of 13 uses traditional language and follows the Book of Alternative Services. This is a quiet meditative service without music. The 10:30 a.m. Sunday service, with an average attendance of 82, also uses The Book of Alternative Services, following the contemporary language liturgy. On occasion, we use other formats including a Celtic Liturgy.
There is a regular Sunday Children’s Programme, during the 10:30 service, which operates on a “theme” rotation basis. Members of the congregation assist our Christian Education Co-ordinator in leading the various workshops. There is also a supervised Nursery offered at the 10:30 service, as well as for many other special functions. Parishioners enjoy the coffee and fellowship time following all of our worship services.
There is also a Wednesday morning Eucharistic celebration in the chapel with an average attendance of 15 to 17 people who participate in and enjoy a lively discussion of the daily scripture readings.
During Advent our creative juices begin to flow. The season opens with a traditional plainsong version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel and closes with a reggae version of that same hymn as we dance our way to Christmas. The Advent Candle is lit each Sunday by a delightful mixture of adults and children. Creative exploration of Advent themes are engaged as we joyfully await the birth of our Saviour. On Advent Four the entire congregation participates in the Trimming of the Greens decorating our parish home for Christmas.
The Feast of the Transfiguration is a time for celebrating our life together as a parish family. We sing the hymn A Moment in Time which was written by one of our resident composers and features the words “Here in this place, I see God’s face wreathed in the smiles of hello.” We celebrated our first service in our renovated facility on Transfiguration Sunday 2014, with Bishop Michael Bird presiding. And because we like to eat, there is always cake!
Holy Week observation is a hallmark of our parish. From Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday, a theme is explored that draws us deeply into the death and resurrection of Jesus. Stories and monologues shared by members of our parish are interwoven with the scripture readings and visual and dramatic arts are used to bring the theme life. Our Good Friday service draws many from outside of the parish year after year. Holy Week ends with a joyous Easter service celebrating the resurrection. Bring a bell to ring during the Gloria and sway to the ragtime version of Christ is Atonement.
St. Francis’ Day is celebrated by the Blessing of Pets at both of our Sunday services. We are a parish of animal lovers and on this day our sanctuary is filled with dogs, cats, fish, turtles, rodents of all sorts, chickens and even a quail. As each creature is blessed a ribbon is placed on their collar or crate. Homemade dog and cat treats are available for all pets attending and for those who are more comfortable at home. No Feast of St. Francis would be complete without singing: All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir.
Remembrance Day we honour those who gave their lives in service. Our veterans lay a wreaths, photographs of our loved ones who served are projected on the screens and the choir sings In Flanders Fields. A joint effort, between a parishioner and our music director, created a beautiful original composition These Colours Don’t Run, in honour of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and W.O. Patrice Vincent.
Earth Day falls on April 22 but we celebrate it on the nearest Sunday. God calls us to be stewards of creation loving and caring for this beautiful and amazing plant which is our island home. Every year we incorporate the designated theme into our worship. This is the day we kick off our community garden, blessing seeds and starting the plants. Last year, we blessed and planted fruit trees that were added to our community garden. This year, our children and youth engaged the congregation in an activity to learn how to recycle correctly. After the service we gathered outside to enjoy our bagged lunches together and to play croquet, horseshoes, skipping, and ball hockey in the parking lot.
World Food Day focuses on issues related to food and food security. Every year we have a major food drive to support our local food banks. This important date falls just after our National Thanksgiving when many of us eat too much while other people in our own community experience hunger and depend on food banks to make ends meet. If you can, bring a can!
The parish has identified music as an integral part of worship, an offering of praise as meaningful as prayer. Seeking fresh ways to reflect the lections of the day has led to an eclectic musical mix. Spanning plainsong to jazz, selections are chosen from North American, Celtic and World music.
While two resident composers create music that is especially meaningful to our parish, sometimes their music is enjoyed in the wider church. Our main instrument is a Yamaha keyboard often accompanied by guitar, bass, whistle and percussion. A variety of other instruments appear on occasion including harp and violin. The choir, which averages 15 to 18 members, leads the congregation in song and offers an anthem during communion. They are a joyful bunch always ready to welcome new voices to join in making a joyful noise.