‘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*One can read on an archived page of the RMC website that ‘Copper Sunday is a tradition that began at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church circa 1880 when RMC Cadets would take handfuls of copper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.
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Fresco, Spoleto Cathedral, Italy
It is now a week after Jesus had appeared to the disciples as they were gathered in fear. Even after something as incredible as the Resurrection, they have gone back to ‘normal’, back to their homes, back to their work. Several are fishing. They have laboured all night, and it has been for naught. It all seems to be ‘same old, same old’. A voice is heard from the shore, encouraging them to try the net on the other side. The net is filled. And Peter, exclaiming ‘It is the Lord!’, jumps out of the boat and runs to the Risen Lord on the shore (John 21:1-14).
There is so much in this scene to wonder at and reflect upon. These days I find encouragement in the reminder that Jesus is at work in our ‘normal’, and continues to transform emptiness into fullness. And this Sunday, we will celebrate in particular how Jesus is at work, drawing women and men to his side and life. We welcome Fadi Sharaiha who will provide an update after the service on the growth of the gospel throughout the Middle East through SAT-7 https://sat7canada.org
If you are in the area, we warmly welcome you to join us. There is a nursery offered during the service, and a programme for children. Free parking is available in a surface city parking lot just behind the church off Queen Street and on the surrounding streets (the time-of-day restrictions on the streets north of Queen are not in effect on Sunday)
Have a look at the announcements, and join us in Christian worship, fellowship and service!
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The Doubt of Thomas by He Qi
Sent to a rural area and hard labour during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, He Qi came across a copy of Raphael’s Madonna and Child, and it changed his life. He went on to become a professor of Christian Art at Nanjing Theological Seminary, moving to the United States in 2004. I love the way the bold colours and simple lines of his work makes the gospel come alive. (Have a look at his website https://www.heqiart.com)
Here is the scene in which the risen Lord meets the doubting Thomas, with hands outstretched (John 20:24-29). They are hands about to embrace Thomas, and transform him. They are hands that bear the scars of the cross. There is much to consider in this scene, and, strange to say, much to celebrate. He Qi has written ‘We are living in a time where there is much violence. There is little peace. We need to listen to the voice of heaven’ – in this scene, the voice of heaven is speaking through those hands, those scarred hands, of the one who says ‘Peace be with you’.
Join us this Sunday in the worship of God. There is a nursery for infants, and a programme for young children. There is free parking on the streets around the church (the time-of-day restrictions on the streets north of Queen Street are not applicable on Sundays) and in the surface city lot just behind the church off Queen Street.
Have a look at the Order of Service, and the invitations to gather with us for study and service as well as worship!
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And here are the large print words to the hymns we’ll be singing – they are sermons in themselves …
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The Risen Christ Appears to His Disciples (John 20:19-23)
One of a series of windows from the Bolton Priory, England
Yes, the doors of St. Andrew’s will be open this morning! And where two or three are gathered, we shall praise our Living Lord in our midst.
But should this second wave of the freezing rain/hail storm keep you at home this morning, be sure to have a look at the planned Order of Service below and join us as you are able. After the Order of Service you will also find the words of the hymns, each of which is not just poetry but also a sermon in itself.
Whether in sanctuary or home, I invite you to hear anew the blessing of Jesus ‘Peace be with you’ (John 20:19-23).
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We begin this week considering the presence of the Risen Lord. We will hear again how a stranger joined two of Jesus’ disciples, as they walked away from Jerusalem towards Emmaus with all their hopes crushed at the cross. Our focus will be upon the meal they shared at the end of the day – and how they recognized the stranger as Jesus, raised from the dead … as he broke bread.
I love the way this painting brings that moment of presence and recognition alive. Ladislav Zaborsky was a Slovak painter (1921-2016). He was a high school teacher who, because of his religious activities, was imprisoned from 1953 to 1957, including five months in solitary confinement, during which he wrote thirty poems articulating conversations with God. Unable to return to teaching, he took up a career as book illustrator, painter and church artist. In this painting, I am drawn to contemplate a moment in time that points beyond to eternity, symbolized by the ethereal light of which Jesus, and the bread he breaks, is a part.
I look forward to celebrating the Lord’s Supper in the sanctuary. I look forward to concluding worship with the words of John of Damascus (c. 750 A.D.), celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus as THE ‘Passover of gladness’. And I look forward to meals-to-come beyond the sanctuary, when we will acknowledge our hunger, and come to know Jesus with us in those with whom we share the table.
We warmly invite you to join us. There is nursery for infants and a programme for young children during the service. There is free parking on the streets about (time of day restrictions are not in effect on the weekend) and in the city lots just behind the church off Queen Street. Have look at the Order of Service, and please consider each of the announcements within as a personal invitation to grow in Christian faith, community and service.
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