The Church of St. Peter
Worship, Loving God and Neighbour
At the heart of a Christian community is its worship of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In worship, we come to have an experience of God as the Holy One who nourishes us in the Word of scripture, in the Sacraments of the Church and in our relationships with one another and our community. Our worship does not end after Mass. It goes out from the church doors and out into our daily lives as we continue to worship God as we pray, play, work and fulfil God’s calling to us to build communities of compassion.
The Holy Eucharist
To do the work of God, we are spiritually fed and nourished through the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist (also known as The Mass, Holy Communion, Divine Liturgy or the Lord’s Supper) is the sacred meal of bread and wine given to us by Jesus. In the Eucharist we celebrate the life, death, resurrection and living presence of Jesus among us today. By all sharing in one bread and one cup at one Altar table, we are united to Jesus and to each another and are nourished to go out to be the people of God in our daily lives. The Eucharist is our food for our spiritual journey.
Our Liturgical Life
Throughout the year, we celebrate the life of Christ through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, The Three Great Days (Triduum), Easter – each with their own ancient traditions and profoundly moving ceremonies. In addition to our regular Sunday worship, we gather from time to time for other services such as the Anglican Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Saint’s Days, the Blessing of the Pets, Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Evening Prayer, Compline, All Souls Day Requiem Mass (remembering our departed) and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. As a family, we also celebrate those special times on our spiritual journey as we are Baptized, receive First Communion, get Confirmed, go to Confession, receive the Rite of Healing, get Married and finally when we are laid to rest at our Requiem Eucharist (funeral service). St. Peter’s style of modern Anglo Catholic worship draws from many sources (e.g. Anglican and Roman Catholic both ancient and modern, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran). While our worship from time to time can be rich in symbolism, our style can be best described as reverent, relevant and relaxed. People are encouraged to participate in as much or as little of our traditions and ritual as they are comfortable.
We are called by God not only to worship with our lips but also with our lives. This means that loving and caring for one another needs to be the natural extension of our love of God in worship. At St. Peter’s we work to embody this message by supporting each other and reconciling when our relationships break down.
Our sense of community is strengthened and we reconnect with each other as we gather weekly for Coffee Hour after Sunday Mass. We love a party! Throughout the year, parishioners’ milestones, BBQs, holy days, dinners, wine and cheeses and other celebrations gather us together where new friendships are made and old ones are strengthened.
Our understanding of community goes beyond ourselves. St. Peter’s strives to break down the barriers that divide us. We work hard to make our church a welcoming place for all people. Our love of God and neighbour is expressed in such ministries as our Cooking Club, Food Bank, Pride Day celebrations and the many ways we reach out to our local community and the world.
Outreach - Reaching Out
St. Peter’s Pantry Services: Food insecurity is a serious issue many of our neighbours have to deal with daily. St. Peter’s Food Bank assists hundreds of families and individuals on a weekly and monthly basis. St. Peter’s Cooking Club was created to teach our neighbours using our Food bank how to make healthy, creative and low cost meals. Donations of fresh and canned goods are also donated from St. Peter’s regularly to local men’s and women’s shelters, as well as at special times like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Save-A-Family Plan: St. Peter’s supports The Save-A-Family-Plan in India that works to empower families by promoting their participation in sanghams (community-based organizations) and enabling them to achieve economic independence so that they become self-reliant families and stronger members of the community. Through the Save-A-Family-Plan, St. Peter’s has been supporting a family in India since 2001. This is our second family. Our first supported family achieved their goal of becoming self-sufficient in 2007. Our family of a mother, father, two children and grandparents lives in the province of Kerala.
Proud Anglicans: St. Peter’s has reached out to the Durham LGBT community and is a member of Proud Anglicans which ensures our church is a welcoming, affirming, inclusive and safe place for the LGBT people, a community often discriminated and marginalized by churches, families and society. Our parish participates in Toronto and Durham Gay Pride Day celebrations and is on a local registry of gay-friendly organizations.
The Giving Tree: Every Christmas, St. Peter’s sponsors either a local family with children by providing a Christmas with presents and Christmas dinner for at-risk youths who are often overlooked during this time.
FaithWorks: This is our fund-raising program within the Diocese of Toronto. FaithWorks then gives grants to support social outreach programs within the Diocese of Toronto such as women and children shelters, refugee supports, homelessness, international relief and development.
Outreach Gifts: Each year all money donated to St. Peter’s Outreach Fund is given to a local charity or non-profit organization. Outreach gifts in the past have included The Refuge street youth centre, Oshawa Hospital Chaplaincy program, Denise House woman’s shelter and a summer camp for underprivileged children.
Pastoral Care: This is spiritual and emotional support offered by our parish priest and those trained in pastoral care. Pastoral care can include spiritual counselling and direction, hearing confession, hospital, nursing home and home visits and bringing Holy Communion and Anointing to the sick and dying.
Be Part of What We Do!
Everybody has gifts, interests and talents and we encourage you to let them shine at St. Peter’s! Whatever your interest is, talk to us and find out about participating in the many areas where your time and talent would be greatly appreciated.