Sunday, December 20th, 2020
The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Readings:  2 SAMUEL 7:1-11, 16; PSALM 89:1-4, 19-26; ROMANS 16:25-27; LUKE 1:26-38


In-Person Worship: Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

We have carefully mapped out appropriately distanced seating, and while we are allowed to have 50 people for in-person worship, St. Luke's can safely seat 35-40, depending on how those are registered are "bubbled".

At the time of writing this newsletter, we have 20 registered, so there are still spaces available. You may register by filling out this
form. Please feel free to be in touch with Rev. Victoria if you have questions.

Pre-Registration for Christmas Services

Blue Christmas Service - Sunday, December 20th at 3 p.m.: Register here.

Christmas Eve - Thursday, December 24th at 5 p.m.: Register here.

Friday, December 25th at 10 a.m.: Register here.

Sunday, December 27th, 2020: Register here.

Many thanks to the Reverend Canon Christine Piper for filling in for Rev. Victoria on December 27th. Please note that registration for December 27th will close on December 25th. If you're planning to attend registering sooner rather than later is helpful!

A Service of the Word

Click here for a service of the word, including this week's readings and a written reflection by Rev. Victoria. It is offered for those setting apart a time of prayer at home on a Sunday morning. Remember that those gathering at St. Luke’s for in-person worship are holding those at home in our hearts.


Today's Music

Prelude:   Prelude on  ‘Lo, How a Rose’  (Johannes Brahms)
Hymn: 96 Creator of the Stars of Night
Postlude:  Creator of the Stars of Night  (J. S. Bach)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) composed for the organ only sporadically or as part of larger choral and instrumental works in his subsequent career. During the final year of his life, however, he returned to pure organ composition with a set of eleven chorale preludes (Opus 122, the final opus)—though many of these are thought to have been revisions of earlier works. 
Lo, How a Rose is the 8th in the collection. Brahms treats the melody in an ornamented fashion, but unlike Bach and Buxtehude, the melody isn’t soloed out on a different keyboard.
Bach’s Orgelbüchlein is a collection of 46 preludes for the liturgical year, of which the first four are for Advent.  Today’s postlude is the fourth of those four chorale preludes. The melody is heard in the soprano voice and is based on the ancient Advent melody Conditor alme siderum (which can be found at CP 96). So, the obvious choice for our closing hymn is CP 96 Creator of the Stars of Night!

Click here for Sunday's bulletin for in-person worship.

Here is a list of virtual services in the Diocese of Ottawa

Travel virtually to share prayer and worship experiences across Canada and around the world!

During this time of physical isolation, take the opportunity to visit other places and share in daily and weekly prayers and reflections



A Liturgy of the Word with Lectio divina

Wednesdays at 11 a.m. on Zoom

Please note that we will continue to meet on Zoom on Wednesdays for the foreseeable future. Please check this space each week for updates and additional information.

We will meet on Wednesday, December 23rd on Zoom, but not on Wednesday, December 30th. Our Wednesday Zoom services will resume on January 6th, 2021.

You'll find the Zoom link and order of service in Tuesday's newsletter this week.


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; all who suffer discrimination based on race; all who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; all those on our hearts.
Heather Stecher remains in hospital, and is not doing well. Please keep Heather and her family in your prayers, and feel free to be in touch with Rev. Victoria with questions or for more information.

Our Diocese
 The Rt. Reverend Shane Parker, The Venerable Linda Hill, The Reverend Canon Dr. Peter John Hobbs, Sanjay Grover, Carol Sinclair, Jane Scanlon, Heidi Pizzuto, Joyce Couvrette, Lilian Asiimwe, Heidi Fawcett, Bill Gilbert, Kiran T Otto, Sandra Purdyand Glenn Lockwood
The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC)
Linda, our Primate; Anne, our Metropolitan;
The Rev. Dr. Eileen Scully, Director, and the staff of Faith, Worship, and Ministry; Sheilagh McGlynn, Youth Ministries Animator; the Rev. Canon Dr. Scott Sharman, Animator for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELCIC)
Susan, Presiding Bishop;  Rev. Paul Gehrs, Assistant to the National Bishop,Justiceand Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations; Gretchen Peterson, Assistant to the National Bishop, Youthand Leadership

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

Christmas Gifts for St. Luke’s Table

Gifts cards at Christmas are a highlight for many at St. Luke's Table. This year, you are invited to purchase $10 gift cards from McDonald's, Giant Tiger, Tim Horton's and Shopper's Drug Mart. Getting the cards to St. Luke's is a little more challenging than in previous years, and it is probably best to send them in by mail. You may also make a monetary contribution for the purchase of gift cards. Your generosity is very much appreciated and thank you to those who have already sent in cards! Please feel free to be in touch with Rev. Victoria if you have questions.

Christmas Flowers

You may make a donation for Christmas flowers using the envelopes in the Narthex at in-person worship, or through CanadaHelps. If you would like to offer flowers in memory of a loved one, please email name(s) to Rev. Victoria.

A Construction Update
More pictures of progress in the basement!


A "Blue Christmas" Service at St. Luke's

"Blue Christmas" is a gentle, contemplative liturgy for those who are carrying pain or loss in the Christmas season. St. Luke's will offer this service on Sunday, December 20th, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Click here to do that.

A Virtual Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk

Click here for the St. Luke's Virtual Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk. Filming and editing by Annabel and Evan Scott. Piano accompaniment by Rev. Victoria. Heartfelt thanks to Susan Kehoe for set-up and leading, and to our Labyrinth walkers Kathleen and Phil!


As Christmas draws closer, many of us will find ourselves feeling worried or anxious about what Christmas will be like as we continue our pandemic response. Reverend Victoria is available by phone (613-698-6083) or Zoom to listen, talk, and pray with you.

When's the Best Time for you for Virtual Story-Telling Time in January?
As a way of staying connected during this time, we are replacing this fall's St. Luke's Virtual Social Hour with St. Luke's Virtual Story-Telling Time.  We would like to find a time and day that works for more people.  To find out more about the idea, click here.  We warmly invite you to participate in the Virtual Story-Telling Time whenever you can as a story-teller or a listener.  Here's a link to a survey to find out what time works best for most, and whose story you'd like to hear, and whether you're open to sharing your story.  Please complete this survey by December 27 at 5 PM (  Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you there. 

Heather Mallett and Anne Wright


Would you like to connect with another member of the community but aren’t sure how to reach them? Contact Helen Cathcart at, or leave a message on the church answering machine and we’ll make the connection.
We can get through this together!

Each week of Advent, stones painted with Advent symbols will be available at St. Luke's, St. Martin's, All Saints, and Julian of Norwich and the four parishes will hold each other in prayer. This is offered as a tangible reminder that  even as we continue our pandemic response and cannot all join together in person, we can join together in prayer and devotion. The prayer will be included at in-person worship and in the newsletter. The stones will be handled carefully, with pandemic safety protocols in mind.


Star of Wonder, Star of Night!
As Christmas approaches, sky gazers will be treated to a celestial wonder that hasn’t been seen so clearly since 1226 — a “Christmas star”! Click here to read more.

Blessing for the Longest Night

All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.

It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.

You will know
the moment of its
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.

So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

—Jan Richardson
from The Cure for Sorrow

This is our great covenant: To dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.

(James Vila Blake)
This kingdom of God life is not a matter of waking up each morning with a list of chores or an agenda to be tended to, left on our bedside table by the Holy Spirit for us while we slept. We wake up already immersed in a large story of creation and covenant, of Israel and Jesus, the story of Jesus and the stories that Jesus told. We let ourselves be formed by these formative stories, and especially as we listen to the stories that Jesus tells, get a feel for the way he does it, the way he talks, the way he treats people, the Jesus way.                   

(Eugene H. Peterson)
Our Community

St. Luke's Table has extended its hours to respond to need in the neighbourhood, and is now open Monday to Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

St. Luke's Table continues to operate upstairs as construction is now underway downstairs! Lunch is still being served at Tom Brown Arena, but is also available at St. Luke's. This saves many of our neighbours from having to make their way along to the arena. St. Luke's Table has been serving  between 35-50 breakfasts each day, and seeing an average of 80 people for lunch. Meals are kept on hand and heated up for those who are hungry in the afternoon and evening.

Please continue to keep St. Luke's Table staff and participants in your prayers.
Click on the image for news from SWCHC.

God of justice and of joy
I hold before you my neighbourhood
The people who live in the dwellings around me I pray for my neighbours
Those I like and those I struggle to like
Keep them safe and strengthen them for the days ahead
Reveal to me ways to serve my neighbourhood in the midst of this crisis
Help engender community spirit among my neighbours
That through this difficulty we might all help to co-create
A resilient neighbourhood
Empowered by love of neighbour and of stranger

(Tim Watson)
Our Diocese

Click here to read all COVID related news from our Diocese. Updates are posted on Wednesdays.

New Weekly Podcast
Saturdays, Online

Bishop Shane is exploring and conversing his way across the Diocese! Tune in each Saturday to see where he is and what is happening around our vast and exciting Diocese.
Slideshow image

A service of Lessons & Carols for Christmas was first developed in 1880 by Bishop Edward Benson of Truro (who eventually became the Archbishop of Canterbury). A later adaptation by King’s College, Cambridge, became widely known. Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa has further adapted this iconic Christmas liturgy, using readings and carols to narrate the story of God’s loving purpose in creation, from the Spirit of God, which moved over the waters at the beginning of time, and the covenant God made with humankind, to the abandonment of that covenant and the hope-filled promise of humankind’s redemption by the Holy Child of Bethlehem. The lessons are read by individuals from the Cathedral’s diverse community. The service is offered by Christ Church Cathedral as a gesture of peace and goodwill to the people of the Nation’s Capital.

A service of Lessons and Carols will be held at 4pm Sunday December 20. Join us either in-person or online by following our podcast at

Pre-registration is required for in-person attendance and can be requested by contacting the office by email at or by phone at 613.236.9149.

Our National Church
  The Anglican Church Welcomes You

Click here for the latest news from our National Church


Lessons and Carols: From Coast to Coast to Coast

The service of Lessons and Carols is one of the most widely-anticipated and well-known events during Advent. And yet, many may not experience this event locally, due to a number of physical worship spaces being temporarily closed due to public health protocols related to the pandemic. Anticipating this potential reality, General Synod has worked with Anglican cathedrals across Canada to offer a special, national service of Lessons and Carols this Advent season, and to help us all prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Click on the image to watch on YouTube.



Are you interested in looking at previous editions of the St. Luke's newsletters? Click here for the archives.

St. Luke's Anglican Church
760 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON
K1R 6P9

Pastoral Emergencies 613-698-6083
Incumbent: The Reverend Victoria Scott 613-698-6083 or
Honorary Assistant: The Reverend Canon Christine Piper
Organist & Choir Director: Robert Jones 613-220-3420 or
Rector’s Warden: John Price 613-724-3846 or
People’s Warden: Anne Wright 613-791-5494 or
Deputy Wardens: Sarah Whitehead 613-240-9736 or
and Helen Cathcart 613-228-1411 or
Treasurer: Susan Reid 613-832-2755 or
Offering envelopes/PAR: Lynn Jones 613-448-1647 or
Church Office:

Executive Director: Rachel Robinson 613-238-4193 or
Copyright © 2020 St. Luke's Anglican Church, Ottawa, ON, All rights reserved.

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