On Sunday, June 19, St. James parishioners braved the heat to enjoy an outdoor youth service and picnic in the church back-yard. The youth did the readings and the prayers of the people, sang solos and duets, and, led by Music Director Steve Holowitz, played in the band along with noted London Trumpeter Paul Stevenson and percussionist Rob Larose.
Reverend Gary Nicolosi preached directly to the youth, challenging them to resist the trend, occurring in many countries, to exclude and reject various groups of people. He encouraged them to remember, as St. Paul said, that we are all one in Jesus. Hope for a peaceful and loving future is in their hands.
On their way back from Communion, parishioners wrote on little hand-shaped cut-outs the ways they will “be the hands of Jesus” over the summer. They then pasted these hand-leaves on a paper tree as witness to life in Christ and ongoing spiritual growth.
Following the service, we all enjoyed BBQ and potluck lunch under the shade of our beautiful trees in the back-yard.
On Sunday, May 29, 2016, St. James Westminster graciously hosted a Diocesan Confirmation Service, led by Bishop Bob Bennett with the assistance of The Venerable Sam Thomas, Archdeacon; The Reverend Canon Kevin George, Regional Dean; and The Reverend Dr. Gary Nicolosi, Rector of St. James.
A total of 25 youth and adults from eight parishes made their confirmation vows; two adults reaffirmed their baptismal vows. Clergy from each parish presented their candidates for confirmation.
From St. James, the candidates were: Carrie-Lee Connel-Gripp; Andreas Gripp; Brandon Ryan Czink; Liam Ibbot; Sean Ibbot; Rona Robbins; Duncan James William Sizeland; Gabriel Sizeland; and Matthew Smith. Shirley Diane Parke and Peggy Roffey reconfirmed their baptismal vows. Candidates from our sister Parishes: St. Aidan’s: Doug Wilson-Hodge, Morgan Sherlock; St. Andrew’s: Christopher Donald Vincenti Dustin, Mathew Donald Gillard; Ascension: Mauricio Alexander Rodrigues Hernandez; St. George’s: Skye Grace Wagenman, Elaina Anne Wagenman; St. John’s: Aurora Jane Licsik Hannay, Mark Allan Patrick Luxton, Risca Naw; St. Jude’s: Meghan Elizabeth Byloo; Julia Marie Margaret Davis, Kerry Lynn Oliver, Jared Thomas Smith, Liam Donovan Smith; St. Paul’s: Jordan Christopher Murray.
It was a moving service, made even more so by the music selected by Stephen Holowitz and sung by St. James’ choir, augmented by choir member from sister parishes. Members of each parish attended the service and enjoyed a reception afterwards, hosted by St. James’ tireless and dedicated Anglican Church Women.
The Rev. Dr. Gary Nicolosi recently announced his retirement from the ministry after 33 years, including 6 years of dedicated service to the people of St. James Westminster and to the Deanery of London as a whole. His last Sunday service will take place on June 26 during a 9:30am (single) service, followed by a celebration of his ministry in the Great Hall at St. James. All are welcome to join together to express your good wishes and prayers as Gary and Heather and Allison prepare for their move to Arizona.
To shepherd us through this transition, we are grateful for the appointment of a wise and experienced interim rector. As Warden Wendy Thorpe said on May 8, “The wardens are grateful to Sam Thomas, Archdeacon of London, for his enthusiastic support of St. James in arranging for a talented and experienced priest to serve as our interim minister.”
“The Venerable Nancy Adams, retired priest and current Archdeacon of Delaware, has agreed to join us as interim priest, for a period of up to one year, starting July 1, ” Warden Thorpe continued. “Nancy has served in parishes in the Diocese of Huron since her ordination, and was recently interim priest-in-charge at St. Paul’s Cathedral. She will introduce herself more fully to you in person and in print when she joins us. The wardens have confidence that Nancy’s time at St. James will be a blessing both to the parish and to her.”
Gary has moved us all forward in our understanding of church history, religious practices, and theology, and, by sharing his deep and abiding faith in Jesus, has taken us deeper into the truth of what it means to be a Christian.
On May 8, the London Ecumenical Refugee Committee, of which St. James is a part, welcomed Maw Taw, Mu Lay, and their 5 children, to London and to Canada. The family joined our Mothers’ Day Breakfast, were welcomed at our 10:30 service, and enjoyed sharing cake after the service.
LERC comprises The London Karen Association, First Baptist Church, St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, Colborne Street United Church, New St. James Presbyterian Church, Anglican Church of the Epiphany, the House Church of Maple View Retirement Home, and St. James Westminster.
Formed last year, LERC is already preparing to bring their second Karen family from a refugee camp in Thailand. Joyce Mitchell and Barb Robinson are St. James representatives on LERC.
Sunday, May 15 saw about 48 parishioners join together for delicious pot luck lunches, great conversation, and an opportunity to get to know one another better. Thanks to all who contributed to the meals and a special thanks to Kristie Clarke and Rob Cosh, Jennifer and Darren Meister, Natalie and Tim Tattersall, Wendy and John Thorpe, and Dawn Weir for opening their homes to fellow parishioners.
A team from St. James Westminster joined the Thames River Clean-up and London’s Clean and Green on April 23. It was a beautiful spring day as the group gathered at Carfrae Park to meet up with the organizers from the Old South Community Organization.
We donned our gloves, collected a bag, and set to work. We found lots of litter, glass, and even a broom. We also found used needles and other drug supplies, which were put in a “sharps” container and disposed of safely and properly. We had a great time contributing to our community, and the Thames River is just a bit cleaner because of our efforts.
Each week, you are invited to identify one of your favourite hymns. This week the hymn is “Holy, Holy, Holy!” submitted by Duncan Archibald.
Duncan Archibald: In elementary school, students were taught hymns to sing a few days before we had assemblies. “Holy Holy Holy” seemed a difficult hymn with words that didn’t rhyme and a slow slow melody. Why would they inflict that on us? But it stuck in my mind and the familiar words and melody have become something I look forward to singing now; it just keeps improving with age.