St John’s live-streamed its first service on Sunday September 3.
For three years, services had been recorded live, and then edited offline before publishing to YouTube on Sunday evenings. With live-streaming, our internet-based congregation can join in as the worship service unfolds.
Installation of the equipment was made possible through a generous grant from the Tartan Foundation, following a budget approval by Parish Council. In addition to new cameras and controllers, a new sound mixer and computer were purchased to run the whole system. Steve Slovenz graciously built a console to hold all the new equipment, which has been installed in the back two pews. Our pre-existing sound equipment has been incorporated, necessitating moving everything to the back of the church. Microphones have been installed over the choir, and close to 500 feet of cabling were required to link everything together.
We thank the tireless efforts of Gary Dunfield and Cameron Finlay for making this dream a reality!
As before, recorded services are available to be viewed at any time through our YouTube channel. To date, four people have been trained on using the system, but more volunteers are welcome to join “the AV team” - just contact the Wardens.
June 25th marked the last choral Sunday until the choir resumes in September. The choir sang two anthems to mark the day - a setting of the Jubilate by Mozart, and the final benediction “Go Now in Peace” by Don Besig.
Following the service, the choir gathered for a pot luck lunch at the Finlays where “Non nobis Domine” was sung as the grace before the meal. Michelle thanked Linda Ellis, Elizabeth Browne and Ron & Patti Stuart - all recent departures from the choir - for their many years of faithful service to music at St John’s. We also celebrated John Whidden’s 80th birthday with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday!
New choristers are always welcome. Please contact Michelle Boyd. Also, check out our music page on this website!
On Monday, June 19th we had a Bring & Share lunch for our monthly ACW meeting. There was tea, coffee, a variety of snacks, and great conversations and fellowship! During the year, we meet every 3rd Monday of each month at noon. Although we are off for the Summer, we will resume meeting in September. We are committed to fellowship and good works - consider giving us a try!
- St. John's ACW
Find out more about what we do through the year.
Dr Beverley Cassidy, a geriatric psychiatrist and assistant professor with Dalhousie University Department of Psychiatry, was the guest speaker at the ACW-hosted noon time presentation of “Something Borrowed, Something Blue”.
In her presentation, Dr Cassidy reviewed for the audience of more than 40 people three particular areas around aging well, especially as it pertains to brain health: expected longevity in the 21st century; what new research in the field of neurobiology can tell us about brain health and aging well; and what can we learn from world cultures where people age optimally, especially so-called ‘Blue Zones’. Much to the surprise of most attendees, our genetics only account for about 25% of our longevity – the rest is influenced by where and how we live. Dr Cassidy showed how, at a cellular and even DNA level, healthy lifestyle choices can positively affect our longevity. She then looked at specific cultures around the world where people enjoy not only exceptional longevity, but live purposefully well into their 90s. Several factors can influence our brain health including a balanced diet with a heavy focus on plant-based choices, a sense of belonging where we care for (and are accountable to) one another, regular social interactions that promote healthy behaviours, and living a faith-based life.
Following her presentation, Dr Cassidy addressed many questions from the audience offering insight from her years of work with mood and cognitive disorders in later life. She expressed some very clear ideas about the connections between accessible public spaces, integrated living and optimal brain health. Those who attended received an entertaining, relevant and informative talk from a very engaging speaker.
Many thanks to Dr Cassidy and the ACW!
On Sunday May 7, a number of St. John’s parishioners walked for the Valley Hospice fundraiser. After registering at the Lion’s Centre in Kentville, we donned pink t-shirts, partook in hot dogs and heard about the hopes and dreams of this wonderful organization. A small yoga session was held to warm up muscles and to guide us into remembering those we have lost.
A good sized crowd headed off to walk either 3 or 5 km through the beauty of Miner’s Marsh. Upon completion of the walk, the sponsor, East Coast Refrigeration and Air Conditioning gave the grateful participants ice cream sandwiches.
Participating in this walk was a joy. St. John’s significant contribution has been well received!
Your Parish Council gathered together for a full day retreat on Friday May 5 at Manning Memorial Chapel on the campus of Acadia University. The day was facilitated by Susan Barthos, an expert in change management & corporate conflict resolution, and no stranger to St. John’s!
Council members shared deeply personal and heart-warming stories demonstrating the essence of St John’s. We looked at a recently published article on eight trends that are affecting churches in 2023, and discussed how St John’s aligns with them. Then we looked at ourselves, to determine our own strengths on your leadership team. And finally, we looked at the stresses that are been faced by St. John’s today, and what we may look like in the months and years to come. There is a lot of optimism and excitement on your Parish Council, and together we will chart a path forward to allow St John’s to continue to thrive locally and in the wider world.
On April 27 – 29, the Rector, along with Karen Padovani and Cameron & MaryEllen Finlay, attended the Vital Church Maritimes conference held in Truro. This annual conference had the theme of “Setting Sail” this year, noting that in 2023, Anglican churches in the Diocese were finally able to look forward into the future now that COVID was abating and full services, liturgical and otherwise, were resuming. The keynote speaker was the Rev Dr Dawn Davis, originally of Dartmouth and now of the Diocese of Huron in southwestern Ontario. We also had the pleasure of hearing from Stephen Doucet Campbell, a practicing psychologist who has recently relocated to Halifax, to speak on mental health issues at both a personal and community level arising from the pandemic. Shawn Branch, of our neighbouring Diocese of Fredericton was also a featured speaker, talking about the way the church is or is not impacting younger generations. We benefitted from having both Bishop Sandra and Bishop Ron participating, with Bishop Ron exploring his side line of emcee and comedian, decked out in foul weather gear!
Participants learned about Spiritual Growth, various forms of prayer, and the need to equip ourselves for the new journeys arising out of the COVID-era period. Change has been thrust upon us by the pandemic. We must choose to embrace the change and thrive. ‘Church’ as we knew it has been irrevocably changed forever, and we embark on a new journey with God and God’s people.
Holy Week at St John’s was marked with five in-person services. The observation of the Passion of Our Lord started on April 2 with a morning service marking both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. Starting with a procession of palms throughout the church involving the entire congregation, we then moved into a reading of the Passion using three readers. The choir offered three anthems appropriate for the day as we moved from exaltation to crucifixion.
A Service for Holy Saturday was offered online. Originally recorded in 2020, this service was devised by the Rev. Sandra Fyfe (now Bishop Sandra) and recorded remotely by various parishioners. Originally offered as audio only on SoundCloud, this was re-issued on YouTube to complete the Holy Week service offerings.