Parish Leadership Team
The Parish Leadership Team (Alain-Michel, Drina, James and Philip) has continued to work hard on behalf of the parish during this season of physical separation. Please do pray for them as they have to negotiate this unprecedented time with all its challenges and opportunities.
Outside of St Paul’s, Drina performs an essential function at the BC Supreme Court, where she works, and is one of the people referred to as an "obvious hero" in Alain-Michel’s last sermon. James, on the other hand, has just finished his Bachelor of Music degree (Congratulations James!) and has been helping Dale Pleven with some much needed renovations in our church hall that has involved picking up online orders from Ikea to painting the women’s washroom and making trips to Home Depot for other supplies.
For his part, Alain-Michel has had to pivot from teaching in the classroom at UBC to providing his courses online and grade a LOT of academic papers and still provide thoughtful sermons and reflections for us. We are so grateful to them for all they do to serve St Paul’s.
In addition, to leading worship, gatherings online via Zoom and pastoral conversations, Philip has hosted various support meetings, played an active role as a member of Diocesan Council and continued his weekly mentoring conversations to support the Rector of St John’s, Squamish.
In addition to the renovations in the women’s washroom, the kitchen has also seen significant work which should finally deal with the smell of gas and the units have been repainted by Dale. Mascall Dance are completing their move away from St Paul’s to a new base in East Van. Their departure will also give us a chance to make some repairs to the Labyrinth and repurpose the office they occupied.
Another unsung hero is Jack Wood who has continued to process payments in and out and monitor our financial health. Thank you to those who have started or continued to give to the work and ministry of the parish. As you can imagine our rental and investment income has taken a significant hit and 2020 will be challenging for us so anything you can give is greatly appreciated. We should note that the Diocese provides much needed financial assistance, including paying for Philip’s salary for two months.
Our dedicated Advocates, led by Ellen, continue to provide (a more limited) service by telephone and email. At the moment, there is a spike of tax queries, but taking those out there is still 7-8 consultations a day.
Planning to reopen:
Some of you may be aware that the Archbishop has given permission for parishes to develop plans for a return to ‘in person’ worship and this will span two Phases and is meant to introduce a gradual process to regular ‘in person’ gatherings.
- The earliest date for commencing ‘in person’ worship is June 14, but it is not anticipated that St Paul’s will start then (indeed, it is unlikely many parishes will) – our target is June 28, if our plans are approved by Archbishop and the appointed officers.
- The Church Committee will meet next week to consider the plans that are being put together by the Leadership Team in dialogue with the Archbishop’s office.
- We know that the initial services will be very different from what we are used to – we will be maintaining physical distance, there will be limited numbers, no congregational singing and initially no Eucharist. However, we hope that we can offer something that is uplifting for those who wish to gather physically, while respecting many will not wish to for a while yet.
- We will be continuing with our online services as well.
- Although the end of June is when we expect to start some form of ‘in person’ worship – plans for opening up the Advocacy Office and Labyrinth will be later in the year. This is a stage by stage process and we need to take our time in doing it.
- WE NEED YOUR HELP – what we do need to know, to plan for services, is how many people definitely plan on coming to church on a Sunday when we start to reopen, who might and who will definitely not until there is a vaccine or similar. Maria is organising a poll and we would value your early participation.
We hope this update will help you feel more connected with what is going on at St Paul’s.
Alain-Michel, Drina, James and Philip