December 2017

Dear good people of St. Stephen’s,


              What are your plans for Christmas? That’s something we ask each other as we look ahead. I was trying to figure out why Christmas feels different every year and then I had a blinding flash of the obvious – December 25 occurs on a different day of the week every seven years. There’s something about Christmas that is special and important and different each year.


              At St. Stephen’s – ‘The Little White Church on Home St’ – we’re celebrating 65 years of ministry and mission in our neighbourhood and beyond. If you’ve driven by recently you’ll see the construction taking place for the addition to our community hall which we hope to have finished in April. It’s exciting for us as a parish to be adding more room to our facilities so we can accommodate more community groups and our growing parish activities.


              So what are your plans for Christmas? At St. Stephen’s we are planning for our Advent and Christmas celebrations. We hope you’ll come as often as you can to hear the timeless story of God’s coming to us in human form as we in the church have told it for centuries in words and music


              So what are your plans for Christmas? I hope you will be able to be with others – family or friends. May I also suggest that your plans include some time with God? And I hope you will take an opportunity to think once again about the gift of Christ, the Light of the world, into these dark days and challenging times. The Prince of Peace comes with a message of hope and healing to satisfy our longing and our loves. In the words of the last verse of my favourite Christmas carol:


              O holy Child of Bethlehem
              Descend to us, we pray
              Cast out our sin and enter in
              Be born to us today
              We hear the Christmas angels
              The great glad tidings tell
              O come to us, abide with us
              Our Lord Emmanuel.


              At St. Stephen’s, we offer a warm welcome to all, no matter who you are. We invite you to come and share in our Christmas celebrations and thanksgivings with music and word and fellowship and acceptance.


                                                    Grace and peace be yours this Christmas and always.

                                                                       The Rev. Dr. Tim Elliott, Interim priest