Optimistic For Old Time Christmas Revival

Louise Smith

As I sit in front of my laptop with my fingers fidgeting on the keyboard, I find myself lost in thought regarding the diversion our journey in life has taken these last twenty months. 

Here at St. John the Evangelist Church, and indeed all other neighbouring places of worship, distancing and mask wearing still prevails. However, our record in Newfoundland of keeping COVID-19 somewhat under control can be primarily attributed to the professionalism of Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, and the consequent respect shown to her judgement by all.

With so many restrictions on our church activities, a big congratulations is also in order to Mrs. Emily Rowe, editor of Anglican Life magazine, for allowing us to continue submitting parish news without interruption during this perplexing period. It also keeps us up to date on what other parishes are accomplishing while restricted. 

Since my last report, we have been successful in taking on the adventure of a fall fair on November 6th. But unlike years previous to 2019, in house food was not included in our project. 

Encouraged by the response and consequence of that venture, our team initiated a plan for a three-course stuffed chicken breast dinner as a take-out. 

At the time of planning, we could only speculate on the given date of November 20th, which depended on the COVID-19 situation. 

However, everything went off smoothly and on time, with no surprises. 

We hope that before Christmas, it may be safe to eliminate or at least be less stringent with regards to social distancing, as our entertaining team is looking forward to resuming the traditional Holly Tea in December, after a hiatus. 

Most individuals or groups can boast, whether big or small, of some semblance of a Christmas tradition. Random House dictionary describes it as a custom so long continued that it has almost the force of a law. 

Twelve years ago, the ACW ladies of St. John the Evangelist in Topsail, decided as part of our Christmas celebrations, to host a special tea party, served on our best china and befitting a king. After all, despite the commercialization of Christmas in the secular world, Advent is still all about the anticipation of the birth of the greatest king that ever lived. 

As a gesture of a good will and fellowship we extended invitations outside the confines of our own parish family, and the response to that outreach was overwhelming. As a result, the festivity known as our Holly Tea was born, and enjoyed each year up to 2019. 

We look forward to its resumption this year of 2021.
The accompanying photo portrays the original group of our “Holly Tea Ladies” of 2009. 

“The hope we have is an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast.”

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