Ngudradrekai grandmothers want to read their new Bibles to share the Gospel, their language and culture with their children and grandchildren (Photo Credit: BSTWN, July 2017)

This Sunday we will hear from the Rev. Dr. Paul McLean, minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada working with the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan on translation of the Bible into indigenous languages. It is indeed a wonderful part of the story of ‘God’s Living Active Word’, thanks be to God!

The Canadian Presbyterian Church was formative to the beginnings of the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in the 19th century (just look up the Rev. George Leslie Mackay!), and from the start there was a real commitment to the peoples of the island, including the peoples. It has been a ministry that has strengthened the spiritual and social lives of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan to this day. As Canadian Presbyterians, we have a lot to learn from our Taiwanese brothers and sisters in Christ.

And after the service, there is a potluck congregational dinner, with Paul showing some slides between courses. Please join us! There is a nursery offered for infants, and a programme for children during the service, if desired. And parking is free on the streets around (note that the time-of-day restrictions posted north of Queen do not apply on Sunday) and in the civic surface lot just off Queen behind the church.

Have a look at the Order of Service below if you wish, and please consider each of the announcements as a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service.

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This coming Tuesday, October 16, is World Food Day. It is a day when we celebrate the incredible abundance of God’s creation. It is also a day that calls us to prayer … a prayer that we might be part of a more equitable sharing of God’s abundance towards God’s realm of peace and justice. I love this image and pray it might become an image of my life, and our lives as Christians, reaching out in love, serving others. (See a prayer at the bottom of this page.)

This Sunday we will reflect upon the spiritual discipline (and delight) of giving. Our focus will be upon a paragraph from Paul’s second letter to the Christians of Corinth, in which he combines over and over ‘grace’ with ‘giving’ – giving is a response to the grace we have received, but in giving we also grow in grace.

If you are in the area, we would warmly welcome you to join us in Christian worship. Have a look at the Order of Service below, and consider each of the announcements a personal invitation to grow with us in Christian faith, community and service.

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A Prayer for World Food Day

God of honey and harvest,
of grain and grape
of ocean and orchard:
This harvest time may we both praise and pray;
praise you for the abundance
and pray that this harvest is not just shared,
but shared justly.

God of beehives and breadbaskets
of living webs and the weaving of life
of ecosystems and economy:
This harvest time may we both praise and pray
praise you for the wealth of the harvest
and pray that this harvest is not just a promise
but is full of promise for all.

God of bumble bees and blue whales,
evolution and environment,
ice-field and star-field:
This harvest time may we both praise and pray:
praise you for the sheer wonder of the world
and pray that this harvest is not about our wealth
but the wealth of our generosity

(Prayer of Commitment written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Mucky Paws. http://www.nkchurch.org.uk/index.php/)

I heard the phrase once, and it has remained with me ever since – a gift is never truly received until … the giver is thanked.

At the very centre of this Thanksgiving Weekend, we pause to acknowledge the great gifts we have received and lift up our thanks to God, the giver of life … the life known in the beauty and abundance of creation, the life each of us knows in body and spirit, and the life known in Jesus Christ. We will be singing some of the great hymns of this festive season. We will be celebrating the ‘eucharist’, which is literally ‘thanksgiving’ in the original Greek of the New Testament.

And we would warmly welcome you! A nursery for infants and a programme for children is available during the service. Ample free parking is available on the streets about (note that the time of day restrictions on Clergy north of Queen are not in force on Sunday) and in the city surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service. Consider each of the announcements a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service.

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I know ‘laughter’ and ‘Presbyterians’ are not words that are often paired together. But perhaps all the more reason to consider that humour might be a spiritual exercise of which we have been particularly negligent … Curious? Teasers: a) there is quite a bit of humour in Scripture, and b) might being able to laugh at ourselves, acknowledging our foibles and failings, not open a space that would allow God to be God?

This is also ‘Presbyterians Sharing Sunday’.

‘Presbyterian’ takes its origin from the Greek word ‘presbyturos’, often translated ‘elder’ – Presbyterian describes not a theology as much as a governance, a church that is governed by ‘elders’. Each congregation is governed by elders, elected by the people – including the minister, the ‘teaching elder’. But it is also a governance by which individual congregations bind themselves together into regional presbyteries and a national assembly, with each greater body having authority over the individual members, acting like a corporate ‘bishop’. We believe we are stronger together than we can be apart, with different perspectives shared and greater resources pooled. Within this, in the Canadian context, this includes a financial commitment to extend our witness … through Presbyterians Sharing, congregations from coast to coast support three theological colleges; ministries on university campuses, with indigenous communities, in rural areas as well as new church developments; partnerships with churches around the world, and much more. Rebecca Wystma will share some of her experience at Canada Youth 2018, supported by Presbyterians Sharing.

If you are in the area, we hope you can join us. A nursery and programme for children are offered during the service. Parking is found free on the streets about, including a civic surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street (and note that the time-of-day restrictions on the streets north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays.) We would welcome the opportunity to introduce ourselves. Have a look at the Order of Service, the readings and the announcements.

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Jesus welcomes the children – Mark 10:13-16

In the 1970’s, pastors and theologians sojourned amongst the Mafa people of the Cameroon, West Africa, and after reading portions of the Gospels, asked them to enact what they heard. Photographs were taken of the dramatic creations. An accomplished local artist was commissioned to translate the photos into paintings. And the resulting seventy paintings were then used to share the gospel in other Mafa communities. It was a wonderful initiative, and has benefitted Christians of many cultures and nations since who ‘see’ Christ and the Christian way anew.

This morning is ‘Students’ Sunday’, and it is our pleasure to welcome the Rev. Oliver Kondeh Ndula to St. Andrew’s Kingston. Oliver is a minister of the Presbyterian Church in the Cameroon, and is one of the international students at Presbyterian College Montreal, completing his Masters of Sacred Theology this year. Oliver will share with us an African perspective upon the gospel.

Have a look at the order of service. It is found below in a format meant for printing, so may be difficult to follow in places as the pages will seem to jump around, but we hope you at least have an idea of who we are and what we are up to – if you are in the area, we hope you are able to join us. And there is even a congregational potluck lunch afterwards! (A nursery and programme for children is offered during the service. Parking is found free on the streets about, including a civic surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street – and note that the time-of-day restrictions on the streets north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays.) We would welcome the opportunity to introduce ourselves.

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Samaritan Woman Listening to Jesus (John 4: 7-26)
Rome, Catacomb Mural, 320 A.D.-350 A.D.

I like this most ancient painting that evokes the scene of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. It shows Jesus radically breaking accepted social conventions of his day, embodying the radical embrace by God of all humanity.

A Jew, Jesus is in the company of a Samaritan. As a male, he is conversing in public with a woman. The painter takes the scene even further, showing the Samaritan woman strongly upright in Jesus’ presence, of equal height, looking straight into his eyes. (I also love seeing a rendition of Jesus long before long hair and a beard became seemingly mandatory!)

In the stillness of the scene, I have the sense that the Samaritan woman is listening to Jesus. It is a wonderful scene to reflect upon for many reasons, and particularly this Sunday as we explore the spiritual discipline of listening. In anticipation, I pass on these words of Frederick Buechner, in his book Whistling In The Dark

Let us say that I can see you: you exist for me in space, which is where seeing happens. But let us say that I can not see you and only hear you, you exist for me not in space which is where seeing happens but in time, which is where hearing happens.
When I have only the sound of you to go by, I do not experience you as an object the way I would if you stood before me, something that I can walk around, inspect from all angles, more or less define. I experience you not objectively but intimately, more like the way I experience the beating of my own heart or the flow of my own thoughts, hearing you speak brings you to me by the most direct of all routes.

Listening to God, speaking through Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit, is a foundational way of growing intimately in relationship with God and for good … but it is a discipline!

Join us this Sunday morning in worship, including both praise and listening. Have a look at the Order of Service, and the announcements. We would welcome you warmly! (There is a nursery for infants and a programme for children offered during the service. There is free parking available in the city surface lot off Queen Street just behind the church, and on the streets around. Please note that the time of day restrictions on the streets north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays.)

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