"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

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Freedom Sunday

Human trafficking is the recruitment or movement of a person by deception or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. People are bought and sold for sexual exploitation, forced labour, street crime, domestic servitude, or even the sale of organs and human sacrifice.

“Human trafficking represents a global market in which people are the product and everyone has a price tag—an international conveyor belt of transactions and exchange with sophisticated trade routes and communications. It is a horrendous crime, one so awful that often people instinctively struggle to admit it exists.  Often society doesn’t listen, business doesn’t see, and governments don’t talk. The trafficked are often invisible, always powerless, and are put to work…

Different forms of human trafficking exist. Variants include enforced sex work; child sexual exploitation; enforced labour in dangerous or dirty jobs without pay; bonded labour wherein the “bond” or debt is exploited to ensure the victim is never able to repay, or where threats and abusive force is used to maintain control, as is often the case with migrant workers; involuntary domestic servitude in which victims are held against their will within the personal home of the exploiter through threats and the confiscation of identification documents, in which labour is unpaid and there are often other abuses; forced child labour; and child soldiers.” (From The Anglican Church of Canada website)

Freedom Sunday, February 21, 2021 (marking Human Trafficking Awareness Day, February 22) is a global movement of prayer, worship and action to address the crime of human trafficking. In particular, Freedom Sunday shines light on the inter-connections between human trafficking, labour exploitation, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and human rights violations, and sex slavery. For more information and resources please see The Anglican Church of Canada website, anglican.ca

A Service for the First Sunday of Lent – Feb 21, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us in a service for the first Sunday of Lent.

A Service for Ash Wednesday – Feb 17, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service for Ash Wednesday.

A Service for the Last Sunday After Epiphany – Feb 14, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service celebrating the last Sunday after Epiphany.

St. Helen’s and the Beginning of the Season of Lent

Shove Tuesday… Mardi Gras… Carnival…

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the solemn season of Lent.   It is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, which itself is a moveable feast based on the cycles of the moon. In 2021 Shrove Tuesday is on February 16th. The name “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“, the spiritual focus of the holy day which follows.

As this is the last day before the penitential season, related popular observances, such as indulging in rich food that one might give up in Lenten discipline for the next forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations. The term Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday” names this practice and suggests festivities of other kinds as well to celebrate a carnival day.  The day is marked with special foods and activities around the world. Meals featuring pancakes, originating as a way to use up leftover fats and meats before the time of fasting, became very popular in both home settings and as church suppers.  Sadly that wonderful community event will not happen for us at St. Helen’s in this Covid year.

After meeting(or perhaps over indulging!) our physical needs, addressing one’s spiritual state is the next order of business.  In preparation for Ash Wednesday, a Christian disciple is to devote time to self-examination, considering the sins of commission and omission of which they need to repent. The next step is to intentionally frame how one will ‘observe a holy Lent’: what changes will be realized, what amendments should be made, with God’s help.  These may be basic, like giving up alcohol for the season; or practical, such as making a donation to a worthy cause(St. Helen’s?) or to go online and improve one’s mind with a course or even virtual visiting of museums around the world for example.  The discipline may include a more concerted effort to read holy scripture or to spend time in prayer, giving thanks, or commit to a daily devotional (see “Of Water, Born” on our website beginning on Ash Wednesday).

On Shrove Tuesday often the clergy burn the palms from the previous Palm Sunday liturgy to make the ashes used on Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday we repent of personal sins and sins of the community, not limited to our own geographical area but rather, the acts of humanity that cause brokenness, in recent times as well as the past. Confession, and receiving absolution, means that we are ‘shriven’ and can enter in the season’s disciplines with ‘a clean heart’ and we will pray ‘Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”(see Psalm 51).

Enjoy pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (see Recipe below) and visit us online for the Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday, February 17!

Shrove Tuesday…Pancake Tuesday

Homemade Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 ¼ cups milk(or buttermilk)
1 beaten egg
3 Tablespoons melted butter, cooled (or olive oil, if you must)

In a large bowl, stir wet ingredients into dry. Scoop tablespoons of batter onto a lightly oiled frying pan, for any size you want. Brown on both sides and serve.  (Sometimes little ones seem ‘special’!)

Variations on a theme: Try adding one or more of the following…cinnamon, banana or other fruit (or serve warm apples, peaches, pears, pineapple on top); chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, granola. Or for a savoury take add to the batter…1/4 cup of pumpkin or squash puree, grated cheese, cooked  bacon, green onion, herbs. Garnish with fresh avocado, diced tomato, a poached or fried egg…serve with bacon, sausages, baked beans…

For both sweet and savoury versions…Top with warm maple syrup, spiced or plain, (although many of us also experienced corn syrup, honey or molasses, growing up); icing sugar, berries, granola, yogurt, lemon juice and flavoured sugar(lavender, vanilla, cinnamon);chocolate syrup, grated chocolate, sprinkles(Birthday Panckes?)

 Gluten free, alternate flours, dairy free, baking powder free, egg free pancake recipes are all online!

Left over batter?  Make crepes. Thin batter with milk. Using a small, lightly oiled non-stick pan, pour a couple of tablespoons of batter into middle of pan and swirl batter into a disc.  Throw out the first one(it hardly ever works!) Use rest of batter and store or freeze, with wax paper in between and wrapped well.  Fill crepes with a savoury filling (ie. leftover chicken or vegetables in a cream sauce or curried) or a sweet one(ie warm fruit(yes, canned or heated frozen is fine although you’ll want to drain or reduce the liquid.). Top with any of the above or use your creativity.  Enjoy!

Don’t like pancakes?  What about a pancake shaped omelette, or mac and cheese, or potato latkes or crab cake?

P.S. And Pancake mix is good too!

A Service for the Fifth Sunday After Epiphany – Feb 7, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service celebrating the fifth Sunday after Epiphany.

St. Helen’s Vestry Meeting

A Lenten letter will be mailed to St. Helen’s membership during the week of February 7th, communicating the information below:

Vestry is scheduled for Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 11 AM.  The worship for the day, including the Charge to the Parish, will be available in order for you to attend ‘church’ in advance.  The Annual Report will be on our website by February 21.  If you have questions about the reports please send them by e-mail to the church by February 27th: st.helen@on.aibn.com. To attend Vestry you will need to reserve your place by registering on the website (same as when we worshipped in-person last autumn) no later than noon on February 25th.  You will then receive a zoom invitation by e-mail. This year all Vestries across the Diocese will be virtual.  We have been advised to limit the meeting to only the elements required of Vestry and defer other subjects to our next Parish Council meeting in March.

A Service for the Fourth Sunday After Epiphany – Jan 31, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service celebrating the fourth Sunday after Epiphany.

St. Helen’s Virtual Art Fair

St. Helen’s Virtual Art Fair is now open for artists and sales until May 24, 2021.
Vist www.sthelensartfair.ca to view a wide variety of fine arts from local artists.
Look for Art Fair information and updates on participating artists on Facebook at @sthelensartfair

A Service for the Third Sunday After Epiphany – Jan 24, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service celebrating the third Sunday after Epiphany.

A Service for the Second Sunday After Epiphany – Jan 17, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service celebrating the second Sunday after Epiphany.

A Service for the Baptism of the Lord – Jan 10, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service celebrating the Baptism of the Lord

A Service for the Second Sunday After Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany – Jan 3, 2021

St. Helen’s Anglican Church community invites you to join with us for a service celebrating the Second Sunday After Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany

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