Algoma Deanery Week of October 31, 2022

Good day,

Events & Worship Services Upcoming:

Tuesday, November 1st, 7pm at Emmaus: All Saints’ Day worship service with The Rev. Bruce McLeish presiding. If you are not in the Sault or nervous about COVID, please join the Zoom worship service at 7pm with The Ven. Dr. Jay Koyle and The Rev. Susan Koyle. The Zoom invitation will be sent out tomorrow morning. 

Wednesday, November 2nd, 7pm at Holy Trinity, St. Joseph Island: All Souls’ Day worship service. Come join us for this quiet and spiritual commemoration of those we love but see no longer.  

Christmas Mug Campaign: ongoing until Sunday, November 13.  If you have gently used Christmas mugs hanging out in your cupboard – or elsewhere – please donate them to be filled with toiletries for the men of our communities struggling to make ends meet.  If you would like to donate toiletries as well, that’d be awesome. We need toothbrushes & paste, razors, soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo…We are also collecting warm men’s socks, hats, mitts, and gloves. If your church is not doing a collection, you can drop them off at 14 Forest Ave in the Sault or email me to make arrangements. Thank you!!

Christ Church Fundraising Dinner: Friday, November 18th @ 5:30 PM.  Our Baked Ham dinner is by reservation/ticket only and there are a limited number of seats available.  Cost of a reservation/ticket is $25.00 and can be purchased from me  (Bonnie) or Laura Avery.  I can be reached by email or phone 705-779-2858 and Laura can be reached by email or phone 705-254-2477. 
The menu for the dinner includes:Appetizer–Deviled EggsSalad—TossedMain Course— Baked Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, BakedBeans, Homemade Dinner RollsDessert—Crushed Pineapple CakeTea or Coffee

A reminder about All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day: these are very different calendar observances in our church that mustn’t be combined and, in the case of All Saints’ Day, shouldn’t be observed on the Sunday following November 1st if you haven’t also observed it on the actual day. Please see below for more information.

A Liturgical Note For You:  Why do we bow so much during our worship services and who or what are we bowing to? 

A lot of church-going Christians do not know what this bowing is all about. They think they are bowing to the cross when, actually, we bow to the altar. Why do we do this? It is a sign of reverence and respect for God.  Although we understand that God’s presence is within us and among us, we specifically acknowledge the altar. This stems from a very ancient custom that began even before the Temple was built. The Hebrew people knew that God’s presence was with them because they had the Ark of the Covenant.  The lid of the Ark was elaborately designed and known as the Mercy Seat and it was from here that God spoke to Moses.  The Ark was kept in the Tabernacle behind a curtain in an area known as the Holy of Holies. The Ark was in a direct line from the entrance to the Tabernacle, behind the larger altar and smaller incense altar.  No one could enter the Tabernacle or approach an altar without also being in front of the Ark where God’s presence was presiding.  

When we do not bow to the altar: There is a time during each service of the Holy Eucharist when we do not bow to the altar. At the completion of the Great Thanksgiving (the Eucharistic Prayer), the bread and wine has become the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ…his presence, in other words. And so, as the presbyter and Eucharistic Assistants are going along the communion rail, or into the congregation with the consecrated elements, they do not acknowledge the altar with a bow since they have with them the presence of the Lord.  The reverence and respect for Christ is also seen throughout the worship service as many people will acknowledge, with a bow, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This stems from Paul’s letter to the Philippians which says that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bend. 

As always, there is more to be said, but I will leave it there for now. 

For Your Devotions:

Monday, October 31st is the commemoration of the Saints of the Reformation Era.  Today we remember all those – Anglicans and Roman Catholics – who were painfully executed in the name of the Church during the Reformation Era. We remember with humility and repentance as both sides, believing their side to be “right”, did what should not have been done. The link here is a Church of England site and so the date is not the same as ours but the information is good:

Tuesday, November 1st is the Principle Feast of All Saints’ Day.Since this is a Principle Feast it can be celebrated on the Sunday following November 1 in addition to being observed on its fixed date. This is also one of the four Principle Feasts named by our Church as the days on which baptisms should take place. It would therefore be highly appropriate to renew baptismal vows on this day even if no baptisms are taking place.  This is the day we celebrate all of the saints of the Christian Church – known and unknown – who have died and now rest with God. This day has been celebrated in different forms and on different dates since at least the 4th century. Of course, in medieval England this day was called “All Hallows” and so its eve was “All Hallows’ Eve” from which we get Halloween. For more info:

Wednesday, November 2nd is the memorial known as the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed.  This is very different from All Saints’ Day and is not a Principal Feast and thus does not get celebrated on the Sunday. (In fact, if Nov.2 fell on a Sunday, this memorial would be moved to a different day of the week). This is the day we pray for our dead loved ones. It was based on the idea that prayer could help dead loved ones more hastily pass through purgatory into heaven. This sparked controversy in the Church – for one thing, many scholars argue that the concept of purgatory is not supported by Scripture –  and so this day was not liturgically celebrated until the Middle Ages. Here is what the website at the other end of the link says: “Whether or not one should pray for the dead is one of the great arguments which divide Christians. Appalled by the abuse of indulgences in the Church of his day, Martin Luther rejected the concept of purgatory. Yet prayer for a loved one is, for the believer, a way of erasing any distance, even death. In prayer we stand in God’s presence in the company of someone we love, even if that person has gone before us into death.”

Thursday, November 3rd is the commemoration of Richard Hooker, Priest and Teacher of the Faith who died in 1600.  Hooker was an English theologian and most definitely one of my main Anglican heroes. His writings played a massive role in shaping what we know as ‘Anglicanism.’ One of my favourite quotations of his addresses those who believe that, if Scripture doesn’t say it, it must be prohibited. Here is Hooker’s response: “It is no more disgrace for scripture to have left a number of…things free to be ordered at the discretion of the Church, than for nature to have left it unto the wit of [people] to devise [their] own attire.” Please read more about this formative figure here:

November 4th is the memorial of The Saints of the Old Testament.  Today we remember that our faith did not begin with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem but with Abraham and Sarah long before. The Roman Martyrology has a long list of those considered “saints” of the Old Testament which may sound odd in our ears because we never refer to them as saints…people like Moses, Elijah and King David.  You may wonder at calling some of them saints – Moses killed a man, David took another man’s wife. Living a life according to the will of God is what they all have in common. If you would like to read a bit more, see page 334 here:

In the hope of Christ,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s