Prayer & Pastoral Care
Welcome to the prayer and pastoral care page of St. Mary’s Anglican Church. At St. Mary’s we have multiple opportunities to participate in prayer as well as multiple avenues for individuals to be supported in their prayer journey.
Our parish holds prayer meetings and pastoral support meetings in the church and in home groups too. We also have a prayer team that work on a rotation to ensure that members are always on duty each week to provide prayer support to any individuals who need it every Sunday. Within our service roster, we have services with prayers for healing (including the sacrament of anointing) on the first Sunday of every month during both our 8am and 10:30am Holy Eucharists.
St. Mary’s also has formal prayer lists and rosters for individuals to add names to, so that you or your loved one can be prayed for in their team of need. Please contact the office is you would like to add an individual to our: hospital or urgent need list, long-term care list, palliative care list or faithful departed list. Please feel free to call the office at 905-884-2227 at any time to add to or to update any of our prayer lists.
Anointing with oil is a healing ministry intended to be situated within the life and worship of a parish or faith community. In the Anglican tradition, people can turn to our rhythms of prayer and worship as they seek to draw more of God’s goodness and grace into their earthly journeys and struggles. Within the Anglican tradition we draw on the variety of Christian Sacraments, to help unite the faithful with God. We understand sacraments to be an outward and visible sign, of an inward and invisible grace. As an the act of a sacrament unfolds, within the words and actions we believe that (according to traditions and scripture) that God is at work in our body and spirit. For those who would like to be anointed or receive prayers of healing, we would invite you to join us on the first Sunday of each month at either our 8am or 10:30am Communion Services. At these monthly services, following the distribution of Holy Communion, attendees of the service are invited to gather at one of our anointing stations, where lay anointers (licensed by our Bishop) are there to offer prayer and anointing with holy oil. Should you be unable to attend services and are in a care facility or a hospital, please connect with the office and either our clergy or pastoral care team would be more than happy to visit and offer an anointing.
“Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the Church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14
When you become a part of St. Mary’s, you are part of our family. Does a family member of your’s cease to be a family member if they are unable to participate in family gatherings because of unforeseen circumstances? The answer is, of-course not! And so it is at St. Mary’s. If you are a member of St. Mary’s or an Anglican in Richmond Hill and are unable to attend services and would like to receive holy communion or have a pastoral visit, we are here for you! Please contact the office and one of our Clergy or a member of our Pastoral Care Team will be in touch to arrange a visit.
St. Mary’s has an active hospital ministry and has parish visitors connecting with those in the hospital every week. Mackenzie Health, the local Richmond Hill Hospital, formerly known as “York Central” Hospital has long be supported by our congregation. St. Mary’s provides a monthly Anglican Eucharist on the 3rd Sunday of every month for long-term residents of the continuing care wing, and we also visit patients to provide anointing, private communion or a pastoral visit. If you know of someone in need of a visit, please connect with our Pastoral Care coordinator Jan Mills or the office, and they would be glad to help.
PASTORAL CARE TEAM
When members of our St. Mary’s community are challenged by circumstances and unable to regularly attend worship or parish activities, the parish works to help connect these individuals with volunteers that are part of our ‘Pastoral Care Team.’ This group of volunteers are willing and able to connect with folks in an ongoing basis, to support and encourage parishioners in their walks of life, wherever that might be. Volunteers in this group are supported and guided by parish clergy and our lay pastoral associate Jan Mills. If you or someone you know may benefit from being on our roster, please speak to the office and we’d be happy to connect you to this parish resource.
PERSONAL PRAYER RESOURCES
For those individuals who are looking for guidance on ways to expand their opportunities for self guided prayer, or explore the resources that exist within the Anglican tradition, there are many options. You may wish to search online for some resources that guide you in areas you are wishing to grow in or you might want to use some of these online resources listed below.
Anglican Fellowship of Prayer (Canada) encourages and enables the ministry of prayer with resources and events.
Online Prayer Resources
Anglican Cycle of Prayer on the Anglican Communion’s website
Anglican-Lutheran Cycle of Prayer for Canada
Online lectionary from the Anglican Church of Canada
Oremus: daily prayer, liturgy, and hymns
At the front of St. Mary’s Church is our Old Baptistry, which has now become St. Mary’s Prayer Corner. Since our stone font has been placed at the entrance to the church to help highlight the depth and significance of baptism, we have in turn started to use our Baptistry with its’ beauty “Holy Spirit” window as a dedicated prayer space. Our modern window by Toronto artist, ‘Gerald Tooke’, provides a beautiful backdrop for those who would like to have some additional prayer following our Sunday Worship. Any individuals who join us on Sunday mornings and are feeling the need for additional prayers, please find your way to the prayer corner after the service, and members of our prayer team are available each week to support any in need of prayer. Individuals are welcome to use this corner for a personal time of prayer prior to our service or any time the church is open during the week.
From time to time St. Mary’s hosts prayer retreats at our church or we travel to other sites to participate in guided activities. Please check the parish newsletters and Sunday bulletins to keep updated on any upcoming events. In the times when no formal retreat opportunities are on the parish schedule, we would encourage members of our community to explore the retreat offerings at the Sisters of St. John the Divine Anglican Convent, which is about 15-20 minutes south of St. Mary’s, just off of Yonge Street. Please check the retreat offerings at the convent and sign-up as you find offerings that interest you. SSJD Convent Retreat Page
ST. MARY’S PRAYER GROUP
St. Mary’s has a group of individuals that take the prayer concerns of our parish, and commit to praying for those individuals on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. These individuals meet monthly in person to pray as a group and then commit to individually praying through the rest of the month. If you are interested in this type of prayer group or have a prayer request, please speak to our Prayer Group leader Barb Mann, or call the office.