The Church of St. John the Divine

The 2nd Sunday of Advent

December 6, 2020

As people of God, we celebrate Christ in the heart of Victoria through joyful worship,
building inclusive community, and putting faith into action.

St. John’s acknowledges these ancestral lands of the Lekwungen speaking people.

We are an inclusive and affirming parish; the sacraments of the church (baptism, communion and marriage) are available to all people on equal terms. Christ welcomes you, and so do we.


Welcome to the Parish Church of St. John the Divine, Victoria. We are a community of faith in the Anglican Tradition, seeking to live lives of faith, hope and love as part of this community of Downtown Victoria. We are on a journey of learning to be a welcoming, inviting, inclusive and serving community which is open to all.

Our worship reflects our rootedness in the Anglican tradition, whilst drawing on liturgies that reflect the long history and heritage of our Christian faith. Please join in as you feel able, and enjoy the words, music and opportunity for prayer and to be a part of our community.


Worship in a time of COVID-19 : In these times when we must be careful in any gathering we have, appropriate protocols are in place. For the time being due to the instructions from the Provincial Health Officer we will be meeting virtually on Zoom. Please check our website on how to attend: or contact


We will continue to livestream the weekly service of Evensong.


We continue to share daily prayer online with a link on our website daily. 


Contacting Us: We are all learning ways to build community "at a distance." We are checking phone messages and answering emails. The main email for contact is: If you wish to receive prayer for yourself or for another, there will be members of our Healing Prayer group who will offer their prayers. Please contact: the church office at the above email address.


You are very welcome here. We don’t always get it right; please let us know when we do, and when we don’t. Please stay and be a part of our family, for however long you would like.



10:00 am Parish Eucharist

The congregation is invited to join in the responses and prayers marked in bold print.

Presider: The Venerable Alastair McCollum

Reader: Joel Durkovic

Gospel: Stephanie Wood


Sermon: Stephanie Wood

Intercessor: Lorraine Gates

Streaming Technician: Karen Coverett


The Gathering of the Community


Welcome to all who are gathering online.

Lighting of the Advent Candle

                   Loving God, you have called us to be your family and to celebrate our life together in worship.  We gather now in our church building, our homes and online to light the Advent candle.                                                                       

                   Blessed are you, loving God, creator of the Universe,

         All:     for you have made all things and your creation is sacred.

                   Gracious God, you proclaim your comfort to your people. Help us to hear and see and know that you are God. Help us to know that we are gathered into your arms and gently held. 

         All:     We are your people, the sheep of your flock.

                   As these Advent candles are lit, help us remember that we must turn our hearts to you. Help us to know that we must set aside our folly and embrace the message of your peace and love.

                   Blessed are you, loving God, creator of the Universe,

         All:     for you have made all things and your creation is sacred.     

The Collect of the Day

Silence is kept.

                        Almighty God, who sent your servant John the Baptist
to prepare your people to welcome the Messiah,
inspire us, the ministers and stewards of your truth,
to turn our disobedient hearts to you,
that when the Christ shall come again to be our judge,
we may stand with confidence before his glory;
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

All:             Amen.                                                                                                               




The Proclamation of the Word

                   Let us listen for the Word of God in Holy Scripture.

         All:     Amen.

The First Reading                                                                                         Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’

See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

                   Hear what the Spirit is saying.

         All:    Thanks be to God.




Psalm                                                                                                                85:1-2, 8-13

You have been gracious to our land, O Lord, you have restored the good
fortune of Jacob.

You have forgiven the iniquity of your people and blotted out all their sins.

I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his
faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.

Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, that his glory may
dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed
each other.

Truth shall spring up from the earth, and righteousness shall look down
from heaven.

The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, and our land will yield its increase.

Righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.

The Gospel                                                                                                        Mark 1:1-8

   Cantor:    Alleluia. Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight : and all flesh shall see the salvation of our Lord. Alleluia.

                        God is with you.

         All:    And also with you.

                   Here the Good news of Jesus Christ according to Mark.

         All:    Glory to you, O Christ.

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
   who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
   “Prepare the way of the Lord,
   make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

The Gospel of Christ.

         All:     Praise to you, O Christ.




Following the address there will be a pause for silence.

Affirmation of Faith

                   With the whole church,

         All:    we affirm that we are made in God’s image,
befriended by Christ, empowered by the Spirit.

                   With people everywhere,

         All:    we affirm God’s goodness at the heart of humanity
planted more deeply than all that is wrong.

                   With all creation,

         All:    we celebrate the miracle and wonder of life;
the unfolding purposes of God,
forever at work in ourselves and the world.

                                                                                                                 Iona Abbey Worship Book

Prayers of the People

Please note that those who have asked for our prayers are listed at the end of the leaflet.

The Peace

                   The peace of Christ be with you.

         All:     And also with you.

All may offer their neighbour a sign of peace.


The Celebration of the Eucharist

Hymn during the Offertory (CP 100) Psalm 42

                   Comfort, comfort ye my people;
       speak ye peace: thus says your God.
Comfort those who sit in darkness
       bowed beneath oppression’s load;
              speak ye to Jerusalem
              of the peace that waits for them:
       tell her that her sins I cover,
       and her warfare now is over.

                   Hark! The herald’s voice is calling
       in the desert far and near,
calling us to new repentance
       since the reign of God is here.
              Oh, the warning call obey!
              Now prepare for Christ a way;
       let the valleys rise to meet him
       and the hills bow down to greet him.

                   Make ye straight what long was crooked;
       make the rougher places plain.
Let your hearts be true and humble
       as befits Messiah’s reign.
              For the glory of the Lord
              now o’er earth is shed abroad,
       and all flesh shall see the token
       that God’s Word is never broken.

                                           Text: Is. 40:1-5; para. Johannes G. Olearius (1611-1684); tr. Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878), alt.

The Prayer over the Gifts

In the name of all of us gathered, near and far, we present these our gifts to God.  Let us pray:

                   God our strength,
we are nothing without you.
Receive all we offer you this day
as you sustain us with your mercy;
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

         All:     Amen.


As we prepare to celebrate this Eucharist, we remember that we are the people of God. Near or far we are gathered together by the love of Christ. We remember that we are incorporated into the body of Christ. We join together in this celebration of our union in Christ.


                   Let us pray.

                   Thanks be to you,

         All:    Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits you have given us, and all that you have borne for us. In our sharing in this Eucharist, in Church or at home, we ask you to come spiritually into our hearts. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.






The Great Thanksgiving Liturgy of the Islands and Inlets – Prayer C

                   God is here.

         All:    The Spirit is with us.

                   Lift up your hearts and minds.

         All:    We lift them to God.

                   Let us give thanks to God the Creator.

         All:    It is right to give our thanks and praise.

                   Blessed are you, gracious God,
creator of heaven and earth;
we give you thanks and praise
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who in the fullness of time came among us in our flesh
and opened to us the way of salvation.
Now we watch for the day when he will come again
in power and great triumph to judge this world,
that we, without shame or fear,
may rejoice to behold his appearing.

                   Therefore, we praise you,
joining our voices with angels and archangels
and with all the company of heaven,
who for ever sing this hymn
to proclaim the glory of your name.

Sanctus (CP 722)

                   Holy, holy, holy Lord,
Lord God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full,
full of your glory.
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna,
hosanna in the highest.

                   Blessčd is he who comes,
who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna,
hosanna in the highest.

                   To you be glory, almighty God,
because on the night before he died,
Jesus took bread,
when he had given thanks,
he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said:
Take, eat, this is my body
which is given for you; do this to remember me.

                   After supper he took the cup;
when he had given thanks,
he gave it to them and said:
Drink this all of you,
This is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you;
do this to remember me.
Great is the mystery of faith.

       All:     Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

                   Recalling Christ’s death and resurrection,
we ask you to accept this, our sacrifice of praise.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine
that we may be fed with the body and blood of your Son.
When all of creation groans, unite us in Christ
and give us your hope
that we might be strengthened to do your work,
as your body in the world.
Through Christ our Redeemer, in the power of the Spirit,
all praise and glory be yours, Almighty God, now and forever.

         All:     Amen.

 The Disciple’s Prayer                                                                                                      

                   As Christ taught his friends, and longing for the new life of God’s reign,
let us pray:

         All:     Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,    on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,    
now and forever. Amen.


The Breaking of the Bread

                   God of promise,
you prepare a banquet for us in your kingdom.

         All:     Happy are those who are called
to the supper of the Lamb.

The Communion

                   The gifts of God for the people of God.

         All:     Thanks be to God.


Hymn during communion (CP 103) Winchester New

                   On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings.

                   Then cleansed be every breast from sin;
make straight the way for God within.
Prepare we in our hearts a home,
where such a mighty guest may come.

                   For thou art our salvation, Lord,
our refuge, and our great reward;
without thy grace we waste away,
like flowers that wither and decay.

                   To heal the sick stretch out thine hand,
and bid the fallen sinner stand;
shine forth, and let thy light restore
earth’s own true loveliness once more.

                   All praise, eternal Son, to thee
whose advent doth thy people free,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Text: Charles Coffin (1676-1749); tr. John Chandler (1806-1876), alt.


Following the Communion there will be a pause for silence.

The Commissioning of the Community

                   One body are we.

         All:    For, though we are in many places, we spiritually share one bread.



Prayer after Communion

                   Faithful God,
we thank you for feeding us with this heavenly banquet.
Help us always to hear the prophet’s call
to turn our hearts to you;
in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.

         All:     Amen.



                        Let us go in peace to love and serve our living God.

         All:    Thanks be to God. Amen.



Please stay and join us for our Zoom Coffee Hour.


Readings for December 13th – The 3rd Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 As the exiles begin to return home from Babylon there is much to rebuild, but the prophet reminds them that God’s salvation is not about bricks and mortar but about justice, kindness, and generosity.   
Psalm 126 Remembered joy gives hope: what God did before, God can do again.   
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday.  Joy comes not from circumstances but from the experience of God’s strengthening.   
John 1:6-8, 19-28 John the Baptizer is at the centre of the preparatory action for God’s coming. 




Every Sunday – sung by a small ensemble of Choral Scholars

Evensong is a contemplative, musical and prayerful liturgy, ideally suited to the end of the week and the close of day, and to this current time when we have been asked to avoid congregational singing, but still long for the depth and beauty of a choral liturgy.


Evensong will be livestreamed on the church Facebook page and available via the website


The following people have asked for our prayers.
Please keep them in mind as you go through your week.

·        Hagos, Tsigay & family

·        Anne

·        Harriet

·        Philip & Lisa

·        Rhoda

·        Silvana Carr

·        Carolyn

·        Nicholas

·        Patrick

·        Alan

·        Derek

·        John

·        Linda

·        Helen

·        David & Pat

·        Gary

·        Liz

·        Lorraine

·        Richard

·        Merle

·        Marion

·        Blanche




The Anglican Church of St. John the Divine


·         People’s Warden:  Joan Huzar

·         Associate Warden:  Lorraine Gates
Envelope Secretary:  Jim Harlick

·         Rector’s Warden: Michael King

·         Associate Warden: Karen Coverett

·         Treasurer:  David Buckman

Parish Council

·         Susan Bansgrove

·         Carol Denton

·         Marguerite Heppell

·         Penny Holt

·         Erin Kelly

Synod Delegates

Karen Coverett, Joel Hefty, Bill Huzar, Joan Huzar


Staff Supporting the Ministry of St. John’s

·         Rector:  The Ven. Alastair McCollum

·         Associate Priest:  The Rev’d Canon Kevin Arndt

·         Associate Priest: The Rev’d Bill Tarter

·         Deacon:  The Rev’d Patrick Sibley

·         Curate: Stephanie Wood

·         Director of Music:  David Stratkauskas

·         Family Ministry Coordinator:  Ruth MacIntosh

·         Parish Administrator:  Carol-Ann Zenger

Honorary Assistants

·         The Rev’d Derek Dunwoody

·         The Rev’d Canon Andrew Gates

·         The Rev’d Jane Reid

Contact Us

·         1611 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC  V8W  2L5      

·         Tel. 250-383-7169

·         Fax 250-381-3573

· or for urgent calls only, use 778-678-6873




·         e-mail: