The mission of St.Paul’s is to help a growing number of our neighbours to experience a growing relationship with God. To this end it is vitally important that we provide people with a safe space in which they can experience the care and support of Christian community in prayerful reflection and worship.
The immediate public health concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, and in particular the recent revelation of its arrival to New Brunswick, has prompted us at St.Paul’s to adopt important changes to our Sunday morning gatherings. The purpose of these changes is to allow us to continue to gather for prayer and worship in a way that reduces the risk of transmitting illness and alleviates people’s concerns about the spread of disease.
Morning Prayer in Place of Holy Communion (temporary)
During the H1N1 flu outbreak of 2009, a Bishop’s Directive (3.4), Administration of Holy Communion, was issued and has remained in place since then and carefully observed here at St.Paul’s. The directive is clear about procedures that must be followed in the preparation and administration of Communion to reduce the risk of transmitting disease, and it provides options for the administration of Communion that are intended to further alleviate people’s concerns about transmission (i.e. Communion in one kind, and Intinction).
Given the uncommonly heightened level of concern at this time and the fluidity of the situation concerning COVID-19 in particular, we have decided here at St.Paul’s to celebrate Morning Prayer in place of Holy Communion during our Sunday morning gatherings for the time being. We do look forward, however, to once again offering Holy Communion in the context of public worship as soon as the heightened level of concern surrounding the spread of COVID-19 in our province has been resolved. In addition, there will be a full review of the Bishop’s directive concerning the preparation and administration of Holy Communion by all those who are directly involved at St.Paul’s.
Sunday Morning Refreshments
Food is an important part of our fellowship at St.Paul’s and has been during our Sunday morning gatherings as well. The, once again, uncommonly heightened level of concern at this time caused by the spread of COVID-19 has prompted us to make the choice of refraining from sharing food as we gather for worship on Sunday morning for the time being. Coffee and tea will, however, continue to be very carefully prepared and provided, and the children in our Sunday School will be offered a small prepackaged snack after both they and their leaders have thoroughly sanitized their hands.
Passing the Peace
Each time we gather for worship we make a point of taking time in the service to directly wish one another God’s Peace and the Peace of Christ. This is a vitally important moment in our worship because it actively brings the reconciling love of God into our relationships with one another and, through us, out into the world. It’s common for people to exchange a physical sign of Christ’s peace as we speak words of peace to one another, such as shaking hands or even embracing. While it has always been an option for individuals to refrain from any form of physical touch during the Passing of the Peace, we at St.Paul’s have chosen, for the time being, to ask people to refrain from shaking hands or embracing during the Passing of the Peace as a way of further reducing the risk transmitting illness.
The current public health situation is still fluid and uncertain. As a result, we will continue to carefully monitor the advice coming from both the federal and provincial governments about this issue. Should it become evident that further steps need to be taken to uphold our commitment to the health and well being of our community further notice will be given.
Finally, and most importantly, we ask you to continue to pray for this situation and for all those who are being affected by it. To this end, we have included the prayer below, composed by Bishop David Edwards, to add to your own prayers as you feel led.
Thank you for your continued prayer and your support of the mission of St.Paul’s.
Gracious God thank you that you are over all, in all and through all. We lift our world before you as we face the advent of the COVID-19 virus. We pray for those who are suffering its effects, the medical personnel who are caring for them and those who are seeking a vaccine or cure. We are grateful for the lives of people who have died and pray for their families and friends in their bereavement. We ask that you enable us to know your love for all and give us your peace which passes all understanding. In the name of Christ.
It’s common to think of being “born again” as an experience reserved for people whose lives are obviously a mess, people who need a second chance to get their lives back together. But when Jesus says in John chapter 3 “You must be born again” he is talking to a man whose life is anything but a mess, and when we look more closely at what Jesus says to this man we see that being born again isn’t about us getting our lives back together. It’s about God doing something for us that only God can do to give us a whole new life, one that is so much fuller and freer than any life we could ever make for ourselves, no matter how accomplished we are.
“In Confirmation, a baptized Christian makes a mature commitment to Christ, and receives strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.”The Book of Common Prayer
Confirmation can be a very powerful experience in the life of a Christian and an important step in their ongoing journey of discipleship. In addition to affirming their commitment to Christ, those who are Confirmed also receive the confirmation of God’s promises to them as baptized followers of Jesus and members of his church.
A 6-session course of discernment and preparation will be offered to a group of candidates and potential candidates for Confirmation starting on Sunday, March 22nd, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at St.Paul’s Anglican Church, Hampton. These sessions, which will include dinner, have been scheduled to coincide with a visit to the parish by Bishop David Edwards on Sunday, May 10th during which he will offer Confirmation to those who have been duly prepared.
Led by Dan McMullen and David Turner, these pre-Confirmation sessions will focus on developing a deeper familiarity and engagement with the person, mission and spiritual practices of Jesus.
If you are interested in Confirmation but are unable to attend these Sunday evening sessions, please let us know. We would be very happy to explore alternative arrangements that would allow you to participate in this process of preparation and discernment.
For more information or to register, please contact Rev. David Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 832-3375
March 22nd Session 1 – Introduction
March 29th Session 2 – Jesus and the Bible
April 5th Session 3 – Jesus and the Law
April 19th Session 4 – Jesus and the New Life
April 26th Session 5 – Jesus and the Creeds
May 3rd Session 6 – Jesus and Prayer
Once again the people of St.Paul’s will be journeying through Holy Week to Easter with our sisters and brothers from from each of the Riverside Anglican Churches in the parishes of Bloomfield, Upham, and Apohaqui.
Please pay close attention to the locations of our Holy Week gatherings on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
Palm&Passion Sunday – April 5, St. Paul’s, Hampton
8:45am – Holy Communion
10:30am – Holy Communion with Children’s Program
Maundy Thursday – April 9, Christ Church, Bloomfield
6pm- Simple Supper (soup & bread)
7pm – Maundy Thursday Liturgy
Good Friday – April 10, St. Paul’s, Hampton
10am – Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion (includes Children’s Program)
Holy Saturday – April 11, Church of the Ascension, Apohaqui
7pm – Easter Vigil & Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows
Resurrection Sunday – April 12, St. Paul’s, Hampton
8:45am – Holy Communion
10:30am – Holy Communion with Children’s Program