Dear Friends:

Last week, I returned from a retreat at an Anglican monastery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I hope you will appreciate knowing more about the nuns and monks who welcome guests to their convents and monasteries for times of retreat and prayer.

My visit was a real change of pace: four worship services every day with a special focus on chanting the psalms. At first, I felt impatient because the chanting seemed so slow. I came to appreciate that I live a fast life. Now, I'm back in the "fast life" of St John's with a fresh appreciation for rest, for time to pray and think, and for being around other people who are praying.


The closest retreat setting for us in Ottawa is the Sisterhood of St John the Divine in Toronto. While they rebuild their convent guest residence, the sisters are bringing their spiritual life to us. We look forward to welcoming Sister Elizabeth Ann to St John’s this Sunday. I hope you appreciate her perspective on living your life in the presence of God.


Hope to see you this Sunday, 8:00 AM and 10:15 AM.




ABOVE: Sister Elizabeth Ann is preaching at St John's this coming Sunday. Find out more about the Sisterhood of St John the Divine HERE.

BELOW: Monastery of the Society of St John the Divine in Cambridge Massachusetts. That's my bicycle as I stop to enjoy the flowers. Find out more about their guesthouse and retreats HERE.

SCRIPTURES – Sunday, April 28 – Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8

SCRIPTURES - Sunday, May 5 - Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 10:44-48, Psalm 98, 1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17


Worship recordings include prayers, readings, a sermon, and music.

Fourth Sunday of Easter - April 21, 2024

Third Sunday of Easter - April 14, 2024

Second Sunday of Easter - April 7, 2024

Easter Sunday - March 31, 2024

Find all St John's Worship Recordings HERE


Karen will be ordained at Christ Church Cathedral on Sunday, May 26, 4:00 PM. You are welcome to attend.

Photos with thanks: Patrick Joe


This week we updated our email addresses for the church. Please note the following:


Parish Administrator:

Director of Music:


Community Thrift Shop:

Indigenous Engagement Coordinator:

Please note that you will start to get bouncebacks if you keep using the former email addresses. Update your contact list!



Pictures from the Vernissage (Grand Opening). Notice the beautiful feel of the space during worship surrounded by so much beauty.

God has created us in God’s image. No wonder we are creators...

Stop by during gallery hours and buy a painting!

PHOTOS: With thanks Barb Dransch & Gary van der Meer


Osiyo Nigadv, Hello everyone!


The smudge bundle, including our feather, has been moved to the front entrance of the church.


Some may already know that smudging is a sacred and spiritual practice for many First Nations and Métis communities. Smudging burns traditional medicines (sage, sweetgrass, cedar, and/or tobacco) in an abalone shell with smoke rising up to the Creator. (Each Nation may have differing beliefs for participating in this ceremony).

The smudge bundle is available for dry smudge. Rub some of the medicines between your hands. Place the rubbed medicines in the shell. Bring your hands bearing the scent of the medicines to your face and body.


Smudging is performed by mindfully setting your intentions with a smudge prayer. It is a purification and cleansing ceremony that works against negative beliefs and thoughts from a person or a place. It is a vital ceremony for many original peoples during traditional ceremonies or gatherings. Here is an example of a smudge prayer below.

Please remember May 5th is National MMIWG2S Awareness Day, also known as Red Dress Day. May 5th honours the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, 2-spirit, and gender-diverse people in Canada by encouraging learning and building awareness to end violence against people in these groups. 




Kimberly Johnson

St John's Indigenous Engagement Coordinator



Sunday, April 28

  • Sister Elizabeth Ann of the Sisters of St John the Divine. Visit and Guest Sermon.

Sunday, May 5

  • Red Dress Day honours the memories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Canada. Métis artist Jaime Black helped inspire the red dress movement, where red dresses are hung from windows and trees to represent the pain and loss felt by loved ones and survivors. The Altar colours will be changed to red and you are invited to wear red in solidarity.

  • Newcomer Welcome Lunch. You're invited to stay for lunch following the 10:15 service. If you are new (or feel like you are new), we invite you to join us in the Parish Hall at noon. In addition to lunch, we hope you will enjoy meeting each other and learning about ways to get involved and participate at St John's.

Wednesday, May 22 and Saturday, May 25

  • Elgin Street Community Conversations. St John's and The Well - Belong Ottawa are inviting neighbours and local businesses on Elgin Street from Lisgar to Gilmour Streets to join us for an Open House presentation about the programs of St John's and The Well. The conversations will be hosted in the Parish Hall, followed by a tour of the lower-level church and Belong Ottawa programs.

Sunday, May 26

  • Confirmation Service with Bishop Shane Parker. The service includes a special presentation of African singing and dance. Sunday 10:15 AM.

  • Ordination of Karen McBride. Christ Church Cathedral, 4 PM.

Saturday, June 1

  • Doors Open Ottawa. St John's is part of the event - volunteer hosts are invited.

Sunday, June 2

  • Summer Worship Schedule begins. Combined worship service at 9:30 a.m. We return to regular hours on September 8 - 8:00 & 10:15 AM.

Saturday, June 8

  • Safety Training Session for Clergy, Wardens, Staff, Greeter-Sidespersons, Community Shop Volunteers, and other interested participants. Belong Ottawa will help the St John's community engage with people who are street-involved or homeless. Six-hour session presenting aspects of Non-Violent Crisis Intervention.

Saturday, June 22

  • Indigenous Medicine Walk. St John's welcomes Grandmother Louella Tobias for a reflective walk with teachings at Mud Lake. This event coincides with the Summer Solstice and National Indigenous People's Day.

Our Parish

Prayers for those in leadership roles: Gary, Allen, Christina, Pat, Karen, Barb, Kimberly, Kerry, Jesse, Monica, Barb, Jeff, Marianne, and all who minister at St John's. Those in need of our prayers: Robin, Diana, Sarah.

Our Diocese

  • Shane, our Bishop; Anne, our Metropolitan; Linda, our Primate.
  • Staff at Ascension House.
  • St. Barnabas, Deep River and The Venerable Patrick Stephens.
  • Members of the Licensed Lay Readers’ Association and their warden, The Rev Canon Bob Albert.

Anglican Church of Canada

  • The Most Rev. Anne Germond, Bishop, the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Assisting Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, Episcopal Administrator, and the clergy and people of the Diocese of Moosonee.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

  • The congregations of the Winnipeg area of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod.

The Anglican Communion - Pray for Anglicans Worldwide

  • The Church of Bangladesh.


  • The flowers are given to the glory of God and in loving memory of Marietta and Hans Stenman by Lannie Mitchell and Gay Richardson.

Parish Prayer Group

If you wish to have someone prayed for send an email to:

A Time of Prayer - Living God, we thank you that through the resurrection of Jesus our lives and ministries are transformed. Give us humble and obedient hearts, that we may receive what you have made known to us. May we be bold in serving you and bringing your Good News to our communities. Help us to share of ourselves and our possessions with one another and especially with people in need. Amen.






 154 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0H8


The Reverend Canon Gary van der Meer, Rector

The Reverend Canon Allen Box, Honorary Assistant 

The Reverend Canon Pat Johnston, Honorary Assistant

The Reverend Christina Guest, Honorary Assistant

Karen McBride, Ministry Intern

Barbara Hallam-Price, Interim Music Director

Kimberly Johnson, Indigenous Engagement Coordinator  

Barbara Dransch, Rector’s Warden

Marianne Harkema, Deputy Rector's Warden

Monica Patten, People's Warden 

Jeff Biggs, Deputy People's Warden

Pat Fisher, Parish Council Chair

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