Parish Vision Financial Appeal 2024

Financial Appeal/Vision for our Future Ministry-2024

Vision:  Our vision for our future growth and maintenance of parish ministry is based on a combination of developing and repurposing parish properties, parish finances and creating more opportunities for volunteers.

Parish Property:  To realign our use of church property from that of a perceived liability (ongoing costs of utilities & maintenance) to using parish property as a benefit and revenue source to support parish ministry.  This entails pursuing and retaining increased rental opportunities that increase parish revenue and serve the community including utilizing the parish hall, meeting rooms and rectory.

Parish Finances:  To provide opportunities for creative giving strategies and fund raising.

Opportunities to Volunteer:    At a time when we are welcoming and desire to welcome new members, we want to provide opportunities for meaningful involvement to volunteer in parish life that is fulfilling and rewarding.

Pandemic Realities:  We have not yet recovered the same use by the community of church facilities as before Covid. There is future potential that has not yet been realized.  Nor have we been able to re-engage all our traditional fund-raising activities.  We have also experienced the loss of some of our beloved members who passed away during this time and have been major contributors. 

Our future hope is to continue to pursue new rental opportunities of church facilities and creative fund-raising solutions that provide maximum benefit while avoiding member burnout.  We want to provide opportunities to volunteer that provide meaningful and rewarding involvement.  We also need parish members to review their parish contributions and to consider opportunities to increase their donations.

Our Request:  Give each according to their ability. 

Confidentiality:  The amount you donate or intend to give in the future is confidential.  Not everyone will be able to increase their giving or donate the same as someone else.  All donations are appreciated trusting you have given according to your ability.  If you are able, we are asking you to prayerfully consider increasing your regular donation using the following table as one possible guide.

If 2 members increase their yearly donation by the amount of$1,500.00Provides yearly increase in parish income of :$3,000.00
If 3 increase by$1,000.00Provides$3,000.00
If 4 increase by$   750.00Provides$3,000.00
If 8 increase by$   500.00Provides$4,000.00
If 28 increase by$   250.00Provides$7,000.00
Total Increase from all members  $20,000.00

Please mail your donation to one of the following addresses: 

Christ Anglican Church   St. John’s Anglican Church       St. Luke’s Anglican Ch.

PO Box 133                     1948 Sturgeon Rd                      178 Burnt River Rd.

Bobcaygeon, Ontario       Dunsford, Ontario                      Burnt River, Ontario

K0M 1A0                        K0M 1L0                                   K0M 1C0   

Easter Newsletter 2024

Easter Newsletter -March- 2024 -Archdeacon Bill Gray

Anglican Parish of Bobcaygeon, Dunsford & Burnt River

Faith is not Blind

Faith is not blind, particularly our faith in God.  Blind faith in something or someone for no good reason is even dangerous.   Blind faith can result in an allegiance to someone or something that is unwarranted and can even cause harm.  The followers of the infamous cult leader Jim Jones while living in Guyana were so blindly devoted to him, that upon his instructions they drank poison on Nov. 18, 1978, knowing it would harm them, which became known as the Jonestown Massacre. Their misguided self destruction was the result of extreme paranoia fostered by their cult leader Jim Jones and his promotion of unfounded conspiracy theories. Sound familiar with today? 

Nor is faith the same as certainty.  The companion of faith is doubt accompanied by a natural necessity to question and test our beliefs.   Faith is sound when based on good reason, perceived consequences that are comprehended and understood and the preponderance of the evidence. 

Our faith in one another is not based on certainty but rather a developed trust resulting from a preponderance of the evidence.   Our faith in our significant relationships and our significant others is not without basis.   But on some level, it requires a faith that can transform us beyond what we can absolutely know.  We cannot test love as if it was a laboratory experiment.  Our trust in such emotions as love are based on outward signs, gestures, and symbols that are indicators of what we perceive to be the other’s interior life, emotions and motives which are invisible.

The evidence upon which we rely for faith in God is our collective experience as well as our confidence in the reliability of the bible.  The entirety of scripture has a great variety of different books and literature including at various times poetry, hymns, allegories, symbols, metaphors, parables as well as history.   While not all biblical accounts are necessarily literally and factually true there is nevertheless truth about life and reliable insight and understanding regarding the truth about God in all of scripture.  I have also come to believe that the biblical record of the person and work of Jesus the Christ as well as other significant biblical figures are sufficiently supported by archeological evidence and other historical sources to have sufficient historical credibility as to be reliable and authentic.  The preponderance of the evidence and the testimony of reliable witnesses is that Jesus did indeed live, die and was resurrected from the dead.   Upon that we can rely.

I have also come to an understanding that science and faith are compatible, rather than antithetical as many would have us believe.  Faith in natural law as expressed by original scientists such as Sir Issac Newton was the result of his belief in the divine law giver and belief in God.  Religion gave birth to science and provided the platform for faith in scientific inquiry.  

Natural science provides some interesting pointers to God, resulting in the evidence that atheism is the least rational option.   Francis Collins, famous scientist, and geneticist from Cal Tech University, offers the following examples of scientific pointers to God.

1.The fact that there is something instead of nothing (no reason that should inevitably be)

2. Wigner, Nobel Laureate in physics, argues that the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics (also physics and chemistry) in describing nature points to a finely tuned universe indicating a grand designer or creator that exists beyond space and time.  (John 1, in the beginning was the Logos, and there was nothing made that was made without the Logos)

3. John Lennox-the Big Bang (a singularity or force) verifies the universe was created.

4. There is no reason to believe that random selection can produce the precise tuning of the physical constants in the universe (gravity) -why didn’t big bang result rather in a big crunch, rather than in the improbability of our existence.  Evolution may account for the agency of reproduction but does not account for the origins, agent or meaning of the universe.

5. Moral Law – there is something called right, and something called wrong. Natural selection resulting in what’s best for the survival of the tribe or community does not explain radical altruism which are truly sacrificial acts of human nobility.  True sacrifice cannot be explained in terms of what’s good for the community who share your DNA thus ruining the re-productive fitness opportunity theory.   (Oscar Schindler, Mother Teresa, Jesus Christ, etc.)   Therefore, the risen Christ and biblical morality provides the only rational basis for moral law.    

Holy Week and Easter In Person Public Worship Services:

Palm/Passion Sunday-March 24/24- St. John’s Dunsford 9:15 am, Christ Church Bob-11 am.

Good Friday Parish Service– March 29/24-Christ Church, Bobcaygeon, 11 am.

Easter Sunday-March 31/24- St. John’s Dunsford 9:15 am, Christ Church Bob-11 am.

Please use the enclosed Easter envelope to support our church’s ministry to our community. Donations can be made using this envelope and brought in person during public services of worship or mailed to the following addresses for each parish congregation.  Donations can also be made online by using e-transfer or Canada Helps. Please follow the directions that can be found on our parish website.

Christmas Newsletter 2023

A Christmas Card to You from Archdeacon Bill

“A Child Shows Us How to Love Jesus”

Christmas is best seen through a child’s eyes.  They radiate the wonder, joy, and excitement that the promise of this season holds for us.  They often lead the way in demonstrating how we show our love for Jesus. 

Did you know that the sparkling, coloured balls we hang on our Christmas Trees are symbols of love for Jesus? Well, there is a lovely “Legend” about “The Little Juggler” which you and your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, nieces and nephews may enjoy.

The Little Boy stood across the road, watching person after person come around the corner and went in to see the baby Jesus.  He noticed that each person who went in was carrying a gift.  The little Boy decided that all those who went in to see the Christ child were showing their love for Him through their adoration and gift. The Little Boy felt sad.  He wanted to go inside and kneel before the tiny Babe, say his prayer, and leave a gift.  He even imagined how the Baby would smile at him when he laid his present beside the crib.  But the little Boy had nothing to take.

All of a sudden, the Little Boy’s hand touched his favorite playthings in his pocket: three round sparkling balls which were very precious to him.  He loved to toss them in the air and catch them again.  “I’ll go in and juggle for the Baby,” he thought excitedly.  He skipped across the road and into the dimly lit room.  As soon as his eyes were used to the darkness, he politely pushed his way through the people until he stood beside the Baby’s crib.  Then he began to juggle the brightly coloured balls.  They seemed to sparkle mysteriously in the dim room.  He knew that he had never juggled so well before.  The baby Jesus smiled! All the people stood back to watch and clap.  They had never seen a little boy juggle quite so well.  And they remembered it for a long time-they even told their grandchildren about it !

The little boy whispered to the mother, Mary, “I wanted to bring him a gift and please him, too, but I didn’t have anything to give.  “Your juggling is a gift of love, “the mother whispered back.  “The best gifts are the gifts of our hands.”. 

And that is why we hang shiny, sparkling, coloured balls on our Christmas tree every year. Why not take time in this busy season to tell this story to your children, grandchildren, etc., especially when they help in the annual decorating of the family Christmas tree.  Perhaps you could provide some special coloured balls for hanging.

Children show us how to love Jesus.  But children aren’t always easy and can be quite difficult.  Recently our granddaughter Audrey engaged in one of her many temper tantrums when she was deprived of a toy, she wanted to take home with her from day care.  She threw a fit and would not co-operate with being placed in her car seat, scream crying the whole time and thrashing about.   Sometime later, after settling and playing contentedly at home, she got up unexpectedly and without cause stood before her mother taking both her mother’s arms in her hands.  She looked her mother squarely in the eye and declared, “I am so sorry Mommy.”  “Whatever for?” her mother inquired, caught off-guard.  “For the car”, she said with a three-year-old vocabulary. And they hugged in a way that expressed that absolution had been sought and realized.  If a child can show so us how to love then surely we as adults can learn the way to express our love to Jesus. 

May you find your way of how to love Jesus by realizing the blessings found in the Nativity of our Lord when He was yet a child. 

Merry Christmas,

Archdeacon Bill and Ruth Gray and family.

(This story is based on “Sparkling Balls of Love” written by Patti Carlisle in her booklet “Living Christian Traditions” which first appeared as a series of articles in her column “For Children’s Sake” in the Huron Church News, Anglican Diocese of Huron, London, Ontario. 1990-1991.)