A New Approach to Our 160th Anniversary

Photo from the parish’s Facebook page
Photo from the parish’s Facebook page

St. John the Evangelist, Topsail

When I was a young girl growing up within the warmth and security of our family home, I often heard my mother use the idiom, “It’s an ill wind that blows no good.” MacMillan dictionary describes it as a self evident truth. But it takes many life experiences to fully comprehend the significant message that this proverb conveys; not least among them is our fellowship at the church service Sunday morning November 22nd.

Here at St. John the Evangelist, it has always been customary to celebrate each red letter day on the church calendar—sometimes it was just sharing a cup of tea in the basement after service, and sometimes it was joining in fellowship for a three course meal. 

Now, we’ve all been cognizant these last eight months of the need to compromise. But since this year marks the 160th anniversary of the church’s origin, we have been dodging the development of the coronavirus all year long, with the hope of a respite.

But as we have journeyed through the uncertainty these past months, which have ultimately lead us closer toward the end of 2020, it has become a realization that social distancing still prevails. And as a consequence of the current restrictions, Rev’d Jolene chose an alternative approach to the celebration of this milestone by making it an integral part of the Sunday worship. 

She guided us on a trip depicting its progression through the decades; encompassing its roots, growth, and history, while tabulating the measurement in weeks, months, and years. 

Photo by Philip Gavell
Photo by Philip Gavell

We were honoured to have Archdeacon Sam Rose, our Diocesan Administrator, as a guest priest. Archdeacon Sam delivered a message of congratulations on our perseverance.

As an added bonus in making this celebration more special, was the presence of Rev’d Tibbo. At 90 years old he approached the altar while still displaying his jovial prowess; at the same time, sharing memories of his eight years with us in the 70’s and early 80’s.

We also received best wishes from Rev’d Collett who succeeded Rev’d Tibbo.

Messages were also sent and acknowledged from Rev’d Bill Bellamy and Rev’d Wayne Parsons. 

So despite our initial disappointment with the cancelling of our regular celebration because of the coronavirus, the expertise of Rev’d Jolene’s delivery, the presence of Archdeacon Sam Rose, the reminiscence of former priests, and the applause of  the congregation, all combined to make our 160th anniversary celebrations very meaningful.

Sometimes good things can fall apart
So that better things can fall together.
It’s an ill wind that blows no good.

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