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As we begin a new year, many blessings to you all!

We look forward to 2021 with hope for good health and recovery of body and spirit!

There is hope

And the wonder is
That there is hope still
Sparkling in the sky.
A star of wonder
A wonderful thing
There is hope which does not fade
Doesn’t recede into the distance
Like a shadow That you can never catch.
Hope is somehow grasp-able
And it comforts me
To remember that
This hope exists
In the darkness and
In the light
In the day and the night
Never fading. Never leaving us alone
Put your trust in me, it says
Cling on to hope
It is the rope which will not let you fall
Knots secure –tied fast
Against the tides and the rocks. Strong
Here is strength amid my weakness
Here is hope amid my hopelessness
Here is light amid my darkness
Here is love.

(Simon Cross)


In-Person Worship: Our Diocesan Response to the Provincial Lockdown

Please click here to read the letter from Bishop Shane regarding the Provincial lockdown that began on December 26th. You can find the latest version of the Diocesan COVID-19 plan here.

St. Luke's moved to the RED phase on December 26th, 2020, and in-person worship is now suspended.

This means that there will be no in-person services on January 3rd, January 10th, and January 17th, and this may well be extended.

Partnering, Collaborating and Sharing Resources
Bishop Shane has encouraged all clergy and parishes to partner, collaborate and share resources whenever possible, and especially as our pandemic response continues and intensifies with the current Provincial lockdown.

Some great news in that regard:

Rev. Victoria has been asked to be part of the Christ Church Cathedral livestream on Sunday mornings in January. She will share in various roles with the Cathedral clergy team: reading, leading prayers, preaching, and presiding. You are encouraged to connect to connect to the Cathedral livestream in January. (Please find the link below.)

Part of partnering, collaborating and sharing resources is identifying capabilities. Christ Church Cathedral is already well-equipped to livestream in terms of technical resources and expertise while St. Luke’s is not. It makes sense for St. Luke’s to join the Cathedral for online worship on a Sunday morning rather than expending energy and resources on our own. Things will not be one-sided this month, though, and St. Luke's will reciprocate with various resources and offerings.

In the last three years St. Luke’s has explored and developed St. Luke’s as a “Spiritual Hub” with art, poetry and musical offerings. Various online resources of this nature will be offered in January, and members of Christ Church Cathedral will be invited to access and share these resources as well. This include:
  • Virtual "Words and Music” with Rev. Victoria
  • Virtual musical offerings from our own Bob Jones
  • The Ottawa Poetry Bards offer their next Virtual Poetry Dive on January 19th; St. Luke's is grateful to be one of the beneficiaries of donations and looks forward to promoting this event
  • The St. Luke’s Virtual Gathering for a Service of the Word with Lectio divina will continue on Zoom through the month of January (and beyond) and all are welcome.

Stay tuned for updates and additional resources in the weeks ahead.


Sunday, January 3rd, 2020: The Epiphany of the Lord

Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalms 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12

Christ Church Cathedral Livestream - 10:30 a.m.


Epiphany is a Greek word meaning “manifestation, showing forth, revelation.” This feast proclaims our faith that in Jesus, God is revealed to all people — not just to an inner circle or a chosen few, but to all people, in all places, and throughout all time. Christians believe that in the person of Jesus we see who God is, and in the words and actions of Jesus we see God at work in the world. Epiphany marks a series of occasions at which Jesus was revealed to be God’s Son.The feast of Epiphany and the weeks that follow are a time when we reflect on several “manifestations” of Jesus, as he was recognized as the Messiah (or Christ) by many different people. We hear about Jesus’ baptism in the river Jordan by John the Baptist and the visit of the magi, or wise men, who followed the star to Bethlehem at Jesus’ birth. We share the amazement of the guests at the wedding party at Cana as Jesus performs his first miracle by turning water into fine wine. And at the end of the season we see Jesus’ glory shown to three of his disciples on the mountain as he is transfigured before them in a blaze of light.


A Service of the Word for Those at Home

The following service is offered for those setting aside time for prayer and reflection on Sunday morning.

A Service of the Word for Epiphany


A Virtual Musical Offering

Prelude: Chorale Fantasia on  ‘How Bright Appears the Morning Star  (Dieterich Buxtehude)
Hymn 622: How Bright Appears the Morning Star
Solo:  O God, We Long for Better Days  (sung by Anna Sharrett)
Postlude:  Chorale Fantasia on  ‘How Bright Appears the Morning Star’   (Dieterich Buxtehude)

A chorale fantasia is a type of large composition based on a chorale melody.  They first appeared in the 17th century in the works of North German composers such as Heinrich Scheidemann, Franz Tunder and Dieterich Buxtehude. Their works would treat each phrase of a chorale differently, thus becoming large, sectional compositions with elaborate development of the chorale melody. Buxtehude’s organ setting of Wie schön leuchtet der Morgensgtern’ (How Bright Appears the Morning Star) is divided into two sections.  The first section (today’s prelude) begins with the melody, in long notes, heard in the lowest voice on the trumpet stop.  The second section (today’s postlude), fugal in nature, uses a jig-like rhythm for most phrases of the chorale.
Perhaps the most famous German hymn associated with the season of Epiphany is How Bright Appears the Morning-Star (CP 622).  The melody of the hymn tune Wie schön leuchtet der Morgensgtern was composed by Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608).  Interestingly, three German chorales I have featured during the pandemic (A Mighty Fortress [October 25], Sleepers, Wake [November 29] and now How Bright Appears the Morning Star) all end with a descending scale!  The original German lyrics, also by Nicolai, bore the title A spiritual bridal song of the believing soul concerning Jesus Christ, her heavenly Bridegroom, founded on the 45th psalm of the prophet David.  It was first published in 1599 (seven stanzas of ten lines) and became a great favourite throughout Germany especially at weddings!  In 1766, Johann Schlegel wrote the hymn text Wie herrlich strahlt der Morgenstern and entitled it Longing after union with Jesus on the model of the old hymn ‘Wie schön leuchtet der Morgensgtern’.  What our hymn book has used is two verses of Schlegel’s hymn text, translated by Catherine Winkworth.
American hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn for Advent-Christmas  about the COVID-19 pandemic.  It can be sung to the music of Greensleeves.  O God, We Long for Better Days is a new hymn for use before and after Christmas. Churches are welcome to use it for free. Congregations may wish to share it with members who are staying at home and are granted permission to use it in online worship services.  We thank choir member Anna Sharrett for singing it.  Here is the text:

O God, we long for better days when we can be together,
to celebrate your love and grace in Jesus Christ our Savior.
We long for Silent Night in crowded pews, by candlelight.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.
We long to come and Deck the Halls this year — like many others.
Yet all around we hear the calls of countless, hurting neighbors.
This year, in quiet ways, we’ll pray and serve and fill our days.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.
We’ll still, with Christian Friends, Rejoice, by phone, or by our zooming.
We’ll ponder here:  What Child is This? — and seek A Rose, E’er Blooming.
We’ll love and serve and give; we’ll live as Christ taught us to live.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.
We long to feast and celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors.
Yet this can be our gift — to wait, until the times are better.
Still, Still, you give us joy — a love that death cannot destroy.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.
Tune: Traditional English melody (“What Child Is This?”)
Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.



Virtual Gathering 
11 a.m.

A Service of the Word with Lectio divina (Scripture Meditation) on the Gospel for Sunday.

Our Wednesday Virtual Gatherings resume on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021.

Click here for the Zoom link. Click here for the order of service.


We Remember in Prayer...

Our Parish
Our clergy, staff, and members of St. Luke's; participants and staff of St. Luke's Table in this unusual and challenging time
Those on Our Hearts
Brad, Inez, Ken, Sarah, Bryan W.; Heather S.; Kathleen; Lawson; all who suffer discrimination based on race; all who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; all those on our hearts.

Our Diocese
Shane, our Bishop; Church of the Epiphany, Gloucester and their Interim Priest-in- Charge, The Reverend Alana McCord.

Our Companion Diocese of Jerusalem
The clergy and people of St. Peter’s Church, Birzeit, West Bank.

The Anglican Church of Canada
The Most Reverend Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, and the staff of Indigenous Ministries; the Anglican Council of Indigenous People.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Bishop Michael Pryse, the people and rostered ministers of the Eastern Synod.

A Blessing for Equilibrium

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the music of laughter break through your soul.

As the wind wants to make everything dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the freedom of the monastery bell,
May clarity of mind make your eyes smile.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May a sense of irony give you perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May fear or worry never put you in chains.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
To hear in the distance the laughter of God.

(John O’Donohue)

Give - giving made simple

The generosity of all of you who have made the extra effort required at this time to continue your financial support is appreciated so very much. It is making all the difference. Thank you!

You can donate online through Canada Helps here
Church Offering Envelopes
This is the time of year when church offering envelopes would be available at the back of the church on a Sunday morning; these will be available when we return to in-person worship.

Please note that envelope numbers have
have changed if your previous number was over 40.  You can be in touch with Lynn Jones about this, either at  613-448-1647 or by email at

Many thanks for your continued support and generosity!
  Listening and learning in the deep winter forest and on our journey through the pandemic

Listening and learning in the deep winter forest and on our journey through the pandemic

A Message from our Bishop

I have spent many hours on snowshoes. When I was a young man, I would travel with friends for several days in the snow-laden forests of Algonquin Park, between stations where the train could drop us off and pick us up, by way of frozen creeks, rivers and lakes—and careful orienteering through the deep woods.

Read more


The world beckons me beyond wherever I am, and I want to see the intricate and the expansive… the acts of wonder that arise from Creator’s hand in everything. 

(Richard Wagamese)
The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.                         

(Willa Cather)
Our Community

St. Luke's Table has extended its hours to respond to need in the neighbourhood, and remains open, following strict safety protocols and procedures in the lockdown.

Please continue to keep St. Luke's Table staff and participants in your prayers.
Click on the image for news from SWCHC.
Our National Church
  The Anglican Church Welcomes You

Click here for the latest news from our National Church
The whole wide world is a cathedral;
I stand inside, the air is calm,
And from afar at times there reaches
        My ear the echo of a psalm.        

(Boris Pasternak)
More Information

Readings for Next Sunday

Baptism of the Lord, January 10th 2021

Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11 


Are you interested in looking at previous editions of the St. Luke's newsletters? Click here for the archives.
I know mountains because I have stood on precipices and breathed. I know prairies because I have lain on my back and been absorbed by the sky. I know ocean because I have immersed myself in it and felt the pull of its current. If I want to know life, I need to experience its wonder and breath it in with every breath…If I want to know faith, I need to surrender to it and feel it pulling me in its unseen direction.   

(Richard Wagamese)
Copyright © 2021 St. Luke's Anglican Church, Ottawa, ON, All rights reserved.

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