Word from Reverend Patrick Wheeler

Blessing of the Bikes in Westmount

Before going on holiday, Rev. Wheeler wrote a note to the St. Matthias’ community.  He talks about the warm welcome he received and on the concerted effort to get Sunday school up and running, a new Pastoral Visitors team and our Growth, Understanding and Ministry grant from the Diocese of Montréal among other things.

He will be away all month of July and Sunday Service will be lead by retired Archbishop Bruce Stavert at 9:30 am.

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26 June, 2015

I write this letter to you on the verge of what is promised to be a warm and sunny summer. I wish you all wonderful time of relaxation and refreshment. I will be on vacation during the month of July and Archbishop Bruce will be returning to us to fill in.

I am grateful for the very warm welcome I have received since I arrived at St. Matthias’ in March. It has been wonderful getting to know you in the sharing of your stories. I also share your excitement for this community’s future. St. Matthias’ has an important role to play in the building of God’s kingdom, not just within our church walls, but also within the larger community where there are endless opportunities to make our contribution count. I have set up a “visioning” committee which will meet regularly to look at ways to do this.

We will be looking at ways to increase our “footprint” in the community through weekday in-church activities such as a Matins or Eucharist service, lunches, Bible study, a book club, social justice oriented activities, and Christian education.

A Pastoral Visitors team is in the process of being set up in order to expand the Church’s important task in ministering to the sick and shut-ins.

We have been very fortunate in being awarded a G.U.M. (Growth, Understanding and Ministry) grant from the Diocese of Montreal which will support a program to train and mentor four young potential singers in the musical side of Anglican liturgy while also undertaking projects in ministry and outreach in the community.

As we embark on our new exciting journey together, we do so mindful of the challenges we face as a community. Our church building is very beautiful and sacred to us, but is also a very old structure and as such is beginning to show its age. The furnace has already failed us this past winter, and we are forced to replace it entirely. The roof continues to deteriorate as is evident from the interior of the church where we see peeling paint and cracked walls. Many of the beautiful stained glass windows are in need of bracing and external repair to keep them from falling in.

Our current income is not sufficient to maintain these repairs along with the staffing requirements to run the parish. I feel strongly however that we can overcome these difficulties by working together as a community. I am asking you to help by continuing to send your contributions throughout the summer, as this is always a difficult time to make ends meet with so many people away at their summer homes or traveling. We will be embarking upon a capital campaign shortly – details to follow!

I ask also that you continue to pray for St. Matthias’, for its well-being and its mission. May God continue to shape this church according to His will and we into His people.

Have a blessed summer,

Father Patrick