At St. Paul’s we have programs designed for the needs of our members and community.As we reminisce about the past, we realize that the role of the parish priest certainly has changed. The cherished image that we once had of the country vicar riding his bicycle around the village and stopping by to visit and drink tea is no longer accurate. However, the human need for intimacy and belonging will never change. St. Paul’s prides itself on being a place where people are valued and supported in times of joy and pain. Part of the mission and ministry of the Christian Church is to provide healing and care. How that happens is now a shared responsibility of the entire community.

In the Anglican Church we believe that liturgy forms us and grounds us. Prayers for the Dying are offered at the time of death by the Incumbent and Rev. Debbie assumes responsibility for our Funeral Ministry. In 2014, Rev Debbie trained and Bishop Fenty, our Area Bishop, licensed those with the gifts of compassion and fidelity to be Pastoral Visitors. The Pastoral Visitors meet monthly for supervision and on-going education. Our theology of the Body of Christ is enfleshed as trained and supervised visitors offer support to those in need. Ron Chatten, Phyllis Crews, Barbara Hughes, Helen Punshon, Mike Sindrey, April Chaston and Doris Sproul form caring relationships with those with on-going and long-term needs. They not only do friendly visiting, but can visit the hospital and take the reserve sacrament to those who cannot participate in the Sunday morning liturgy.

Parish Honorary Assistant Rev Joanne Bennett organizes visits to our shut-in parishioners at Christmas and Easter. Along with Rev. Debbie, Rev. Joanne also visits the hospital. As well, Rev. Joanne provides a monthly Holy Communion Service at the IOOF for St. Paul’s parish members.

Betty Shubert coordinates our Prayer Chain. Those who request it are upheld in prayer each day by a team of people for a two week period. This ministry is especially comforting for those who have medical emergencies or family crises. You may contact Betty directly or speak with Rev. Debbie. Confidentiality is strictly maintained.

Healing Services have been well attended and are a significant part of our pastoral care ministry. Periodically we hold services for an individual who has requested such or offer an opportunity for any and all who want prayers for healing to receive them. Mimi Price joins Anita Farmer as our Parish Lay Anointers to assist the Incumbent on these occasions. The weekly bulletin provides the details.

St. Paul’s Prayer Shawl Ministry – “Angel’s Wings”

Helen Punshon and The Prayer Shawl Ministry continues to be a major piece in our caring for each other. Please read more about this significant program……

Prayer shawls are handmade gifts of well wishes, into which blessings and intentions have been lovingly stitched with prayers for the recipient, offering comfort and warmth of a different kind. After completion, they are blessed and then presented to the recipient.  It is with the hope that they will provide comfort, warmth, healing, strength and courage when draped around the recipient; much like being embraced by the loving wings of an Angel. Prayer shawls are given for many reasons . . . to those who are struggling with challenges in their lives whether physical or emotional . . . someone being ill, the loss of a job, a mother fleeing with her children from an abusive situation, the death of a loved one, when someone’s partner has been sent away to war and also to celebrate happy occasions like a marriage, the birth of a baby, going off to college/university, a new home.  In all situations, the Prayer Shawl is there to say . . . we support you and want to provide you with something tangible to hold onto and always remember that you are not alone .Prayer shawls can be knitted, crocheted or quilted.  It is up to the shawl’s creator to decide on the colour and style they wish to make.

I would like to invite you to join our Prayer Shawl Ministry.  We meet once a month on a Wednesday morning for a couple of hours for coffee and fellowship.  The rest of the time you would just knit/crochet/sew on your own.  there are no quotas and all skill levels are welcome.  If you don’t want to do the actual construction of shawls, you can definitely help out in your own way by donating yarn (preferably washable and of a bulkier gauge) or you can also donate to the St. Paul’s Prayer Shawl Ministry so that we can purchase yard for the shawls.  Any and all assistance in getting this much needed program off the ground is greatly appreciated.  Contact Helen Punshon through the St. Paul’s office for more information.