Slideshow image

Icon: Utmost Humiliation

The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the festival; all her gates are desolate; (Lamentations 1:4 ESV)

Dear friends,

These are challenging and extraordinary times; and we lament the harsh reality that we will be unable to come to the festival of Easter together in-person at our beautiful church of St. James, Caledon East.

But as Christians we know and proclaim that we have not been abandoned in the of desolation of this pandemic: God's Son Jesus Christ lived among us in this troubled world; He experienced our human fears and anxieties; He suffered and died as one of us; and He rose again from the dead to bring healing, wholeness and hope for all time. 

That we might be renewed in His healing, wholeness and hope, I invite you to join us for Holy Week 2020, our journey with Jesus from Palm Sunday (5 April) through to Easter Sunday (12 April).

During Holy Week, we enter into the events of Jesus Christ's last days in real-time. Although the historical events of His life occurred once for all time some 2000 years ago and cannot be repeated, there is a very real sense in which we are swept up into the saving mysteries of His suffering, death and resurrection. As we read and listen to the Passion narratives in the Gospels, we can see ourselves in the crowd and hear our own voices. We mourn and lament with the women of Jerusalem; we identify with Simon of Cyrene as He bears the cross of Christ. We die to our old selves - our attachments, fears and false hopes; our sin, guilt and shame - and we rise with Christ to newness of life.

Though we are unable to gather together in-person to observe Holy Week this year, I invite you to join us virtually through our various online services. Please visit our Events page for a complete list of service times and information. Throughout the week, we will be using three different forms of online communication: Facebook Livestream, Zoom and GoToMeeting. The schedule is as follows:

  • Palm Sunday - Facebook Livestream
  • Maundy Thursday - GoToMeeting
  • Good Friday (with Caledon East United Church) - Zoom
  • Easter Vigil - Facebook Livestream
  • Easter Sunday - GoToMeeting

All of our services over the past month have been broadcast over Facebook Livestream and recorded for on-demand viewing afterwards. I hope you have enjoyed not only watching these services, but also praying along with us by accessing the link to the liturgy from Common Worship: Daily Prayer.

While a livestreamed service is relatively simple to film and view, the disadvantage is that it is only a one-way method of communication. You can see Amy and I, but we can't see you - and we can't all see one another at once.

Zoom and GoToMeeting are a little more complicated to use, but they will allow us to see each other face-to-face, which the New Testament tells us is essential to the Christian life (3 John 14). Using these video conference technologies will be a new experience for all of us, myself included.

On Good Friday, we will join together with our friends at Caledon East United Church and the service will be hosted by their minister, the Rev. Ross Leckie on his Zoom account. Details on how to access the service are forthcoming.

On Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday, we will be using GoToMeeting thanks to Neil Price-Jones, who has generously offered us the use of his account.

Maundy Thursday will be an opportunity to test-run GoToMeeting in preparation for Easter Sunday. Undoubtedly there will be wrinkles to iron out and kinks to be worked through. So if you plan to join us on Easter Sunday, I strongly encourage you to be with us on Maundy Thursday as well. You'll be able to practice using GoToMeeting, which will be especially helpful if you have never used video conference technology before. Full details on how to access these services on GoToMeeting are now available on the event page for each service: click here for Maundy Thursday; and click here for Easter Sunday.

You will need a computer, tablet or smartphone to participate in face-to-face meeting with others. If you will be using a tablet or smartphone, please download the GoToMeeting app. Participants can also call-in to the meeting using a regular telephone. This is an ideal option for those who do not have internet access. I would greatly appreciate your assistance in helping me to inform such people that they can call-in to the service and participate by listening and speaking. Please also give them the phone number and access code, which you can find on the event page for each service. Together we can ensure that no one is excluded from our Easter celebration.

To be sure, Holy Week in the year of Our Lord 2020 will be one like we have never before experienced. We join in the lament of the Psalmist who, like us, was unable to worship together in-person with the people of God: When I remember these things, I pour out my soul, for I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise (Psalm 42:4 NKJV).

But through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can also echo the Psalmist's great self-reminder of hope: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:11 ESV)

In resurrection hope,



Comments for this post are now off.