Each Sunday morning we acknowledge that we gather on traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. This Sunday, in anticipation of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, we will hear the story of Turtle Island and consider our own understandings of creation … and its care.

During the prayers of thanksgiving and intercession, I will include the words of Art Solomon, an Anishinaabe elder (1914-1997):

O Sacred One, look at our brokenness.
We know that in all creation, only the human family
has strayed from the Sacred Way.
We know that we are the ones who are divided
and we are the ones who must come back together
to walk the Sacred Way.
O Sacred One, teach us love, compassion, and honour
that we may heal the earth and heal each other.

And after the service, to conclude our 200th anniversary year, some of us will walk two blocks over to McBurney (Skeleton) Park and stand for a moment before the only gravestone remaining in the former cemetery, that of the first minister of St. Andrew’s Kingston, the Rev. John Barclay, who arrived from Scotland Christmas Day 1821 and died of fever 30 years of age September 26, 1826.

If you are in the area, please join us. During the service there is offered a nursery for infants and a programme for young children. There is free parking in the city surface lot behind the church off Queen Street, and on neighbouring streets (the time of day restrictions north of Queen are not applicable on Sundays).

And have a look at our Order of Service, and the announcements – please consider each a personal invitation to grow in Christian faith, study and service.

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One might presume that our corporate worship of God begins with the Call To Worship, but I would suggest that it begins prior, as we rise together and stand in silence … not for the choir, not for the Minister, but as the Order of Service notes, for The Entry of the Bible.

This has been a distinctive of the Presbyterian tradition since the Reformation. One of the hallmarks of the Reformed tradition is the extremely high view accorded to the Bible.

It is also a particular view of the Bible.

We do not worship the Bible … but God (Father Son and Holy Spirit) who always stands beyond the Bible, who has given us the Bible as a sure means by which approach God and God’s will for humanity.

We understand the Bible to be the Word of God … as the Holy Spirit takes the words on the page and speaks to us through them of the Living Christ and Great Creator

We take the Bible seriously … understanding that it contains God’s word to God’s people over many different contexts and generations, and we rely upon the Holy Spirit to assist us in understanding what is of a certain time, and what are the overarching themes of enduring relevance and imperative for us today.

We are not literalists, taking a phrase and demanding unthinking acceptance, but pour over the whole Bible, and allow historians, scientists and theologians to assist us in understanding original contexts for appropriate contemporary application.

This dynamic demands a great deal of personal responsibility and makes for a great deal of discussion and even debate, but we keep the Bible at the centre of our life together, praying that we remain open to God speaking to us through it.

This morning the sermon will celebrate one of the great overarching themes of the Bible, the theme of ‘covenant’, God’s promise to not just create but also to care and commit, and God’s call for us to be a covenant people.

If you are in the area, please join us. Have a look at the Order of Service to have an idea what to expect. There is nursery for infants and a programme for children during the service. There is free parking in the city surface lot off Queen Street just behind the church, and on neighbouring streets (time-of-day restrictions north of Queen are not applicable on Sunday).

Have a look at the announcements on subsequent pages and consider each one a personal invitation to grow in Christian worship, study and fellowship. You would be welcome!

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Have a look at our monthly newsletter. Its format may be a bit strange, due to the fact that it is meant to be distributed as a three-fold paper document. But we pray you will consider each announcement a personal invitation.

 

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This morning we ponder the great mystery of the Trinity.

The Scottish Reformed theologian, Thomas F. Torrance, has written that ‘The doctrine of the Trinity is the central dogma of Christian theology, the fundamental grammar of our knowledge of God’ (Trinitarian Perspectives). But what does the Trinity say about God?

I have been reflecting upon the great fifteenth century icon of Andrei Rublev, entitled ‘The Trinity’, the most famous Russian icon of all time. On the surface it depicts the three angels who met with Abraham by the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 8:1-18), but was clearly intended by the artist as a way for us to enter into contemplation of God’s own character.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the three ‘persons’ of God are shown forming a circle of communication, a community of relationship. Jurgen Moltmann, the German Reformed theologian has claimed that if scripture states that ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:16), God is also known to be a community of love, comprised of the Lover, the Beloved, and the Love that they share. It is a relationship of life, it is a life-giving relationship. It is out of this Holy Community that there came creation and humanity. It is from this that there comes salvation and inspiration.

This morning we will, with joy, be formally welcoming new members into our congregation. What a blessing that it is also Trinity Sunday. We are reminded that in the church we are given the opportunity to not only ponder but also participate in and even practise Holy Community!

If you are in the area and can join us, please join us. There is a nursery for infants and a programme for young children during the service, if so desired. There is ample free parking in the city surface lot on Queen Street just behind the church and on the streets around. (The time of day restrictions on the streets north of Queen are not enforced on Sundays.) There is even a monthly congregational pot luck lunch after the service this Sunday.

Have a look at the Order of Service, and the announcements … we would warmly welcome you!

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‘Family’ is a foundational dimension of our lives as humans and as Christians.

When we hear the word ‘family’, we tend to have a very definite idea of its importance and even its shape. It was very interesting to search through the Book of Praise this week for hymns that mention our families – not many! Even the Bible itself does not provide a very long list of regular, well-functioning families, at least not according to our contemporary definitions.

This morning we will consider another concept of family, the ‘family (or household) of God’, and perhaps glean some perspective upon the contours and experiences of our families of blood. The words from the pulpit will then be enacted as we gather around the Lord’s Table for Holy Communion, like a family gathering for a meal.

You are invited to join us – we will warmly welcome you. There is a nursery for infants, and a programme for young children, during the service if desired. There is free parking on the city streets about (time of day restrictions north of Queen are not enforced on the weekend) and in the city surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service. Also peruse the announcements and please consider each a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, study and service.

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It is Ascension Sunday, when we remember how Jesus ascended and took the fullness of the human experience into the very nature of God. This is also Copper Sunday* and we will welcome officer-cadets of the Royal Military College. The sanctuary of St. Andrew’s includes a window dedicated in December 1919 bearing the coat of arms of RMC. I have spent time this week pondering what connections there might be between the Ascension of Christ and the Christian life and the exhortation ‘Truth, Duty, Valour’.

Curious? If you are in the area, please join us – you will be warmly welcomed. There is a nursery for infants and a programme for young children during the service. There is free parking on the streets around and in the city surface lot just behind the church.

Have a look at the Order of Service below, and consider each of the announcements a personal invitation to join us in worship, fellowship and service.

*One can read on an archived page of the RMC website that ‘Copper Sunday is a tradition that began at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church circa 1880 when RMC Cadets would take handfuls of copper pennies and throw them towards the offering plate to make as much noise as they could.

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Have a look at our monthly newsletter. Its format may be a bit strange, due to the fact that it is meant to be distributed as a three-fold paper document. But we pray you will consider each announcement a personal invitation.

Download (PDF, 444KB)