Our ministry at St Thomas’s relaunched in late 2017 and has been striving to grow during the past year. The regular fellowship meeting starts at 5:00 p.m. every Monday.
First, we believe that “our heritage is our future” – that the traditional liturgy is our Anglican treasure. We have a basic catechism course consisting of 25 lessons to allow more Chinese to understand the liturgy and the theology underlying it. We have also translated the Anglican daily office and use it for weekly Bible study. I would like to highlight that the BCP low mass in Mandarin Chinese has been held in the St. Agnes Chapel since December. It is a milestone for us to become the first Chinese community to celebrate low mass in the BCP rite within the Diocese of Toronto.
Second, we use every opportunity to seek people for the church, proclaim our faith to them and bring them to know Jesus. We started a series of career counselling sessions for the youth, equipping them with Christian values for a future career. We organized different activities such as Canadian or Chinese traditional celebrations (Canada Day, Thanksgiving, Mid-Autumn Festival), a Toronto Island tour and a half-day campus tour. Last September, we were invited to Trinity College Chapel to join a bilingual Mass for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which attracted some international Chinese students. By doing it together, not only have we established our friendship but we have also built a sense of home for our fellowship members. We intend to further use postings around the university campus and to upload Mandarin Ministry information onto St Thomas’s website to attract more Chinese to join us.
Third, we are in partnership with other ministries here. For Saint Thomas’s 125th Anniversary event, for example, we worked with the wardens to do anything needed. We worked with the Friday Food Ministry to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and marginally housed. And we also helped with the Yard Sale.
As well as our regular Mandarin-speaking members, other parishioners who have an interest in Chinese culture have attended our Mandarin fellowship from time to time. I would like to thank Fr Mark for his great support and encouragement. I am also grateful for Fr Chris’s help, who regularly checks in with me and offers guidance. I also would like to thank every parishioner who is supporting us. Thanks be to God, we are united in one family. We continue to experience the presence and work of the Holy Spirit among us as we are in unity with the Anglican Communion, worshipping together and spreading God’s love to more Chinese who are studying, working and living in our community. Thank you!