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!

Download (PDF, 432KB)

And here are the large print words to the hymns we’ll be singing – they are sermons in themselves …

Download (PDF, 198KB)

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).

Download (PDF, 500KB)

Download (PDF, 200KB)

 

Ladislav Zaborsky

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.

Download (PDF, 459KB)

 

 

 

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 (DOCX, 603KB)

Sunrise over Lake Ontario Park, Kingston

Easter Song by George Herbert (1593-1633)

I got me flowers to straw Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st Thy sweets along with Thee.

The sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, and th’ East perfume,
If they should offer to contest
With Thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

Easter Morn!
I love the way Herbert reminds us that ‘there is but one, and that one ever’ – that Easter is the one day of wonder, of joy, of life abundant and eternal, upon within which all our days are lived as Christians.

Two opportunities to celebrate.

6:30 a.m. at Lake Ontario Park (the pavilion, near the car park). A brief time together of singing and praying and communion and waiting … and then, with the sunrise at 6:50 a.m., a joyous declaration of the Resurrection of our Lord. SonRise!

10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. We hear again the gospel how Jesus defeated the hold of sin and death upon us, freeing us for life full now and the other side of the grave. Have a look at the Order of Service, and join the great chorus of Easter praise (This year you are invited to bring a plant or bouquet – for a pop-up flower display of colour and joy! After the service you can bring it to a neighbour or family member.)

Download (PDF, 403KB)

There will be ample and free parking along the city streets and lots around the church – the time-of-day restrictions are not in effect today. During the service there is a nursery offered for infants and a programme also for young children.

 

 

We warmly welcome you to join us, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United congregations together, as we gather to enter into the Passion of our Lord ‘for us and our salvation’ through gospel stories and hymns of the ages. 

Download (PDF, 534KB)

You are invited to linger for a time of fellowship after the service, and a bowl of soup made by members of the participating congregations.

(There is a wheelchair/stair lift at a door from the church courtyard, accessible from Clergy Street between Queen and Princess Streets. Drop offs only this morning however, no parking in the courtyard.)

As this is a statutory holiday, parking is free in city streets and lots. And all time-of-day restrictions are not in effect! Unfortunately there are no buses running Good Friday, so be sure to offer those you know a ride.

This morning we are reminded that, as Christians, we are called to be residents of ‘Mercy Street’, distributors and recipients of the mercy of God known in Jesus Christ – ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy’ (Matthew 5:7).

I think it was the American Presbyterian author, Fredrick Buchner, who has written that, if grace is receiving good that is not deserved, mercy is not receiving the evil we do deserve.

I think of Shakespeare’s description of mercy as an attribute of God in The Merchant of Venice from the mouth of Portia:

The quality of mercy is not strained, 
It dropped as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown …
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

It is an attribute of God, seen most fully in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for us, and is to be seen in Christians like you and me. This is our high and holy calling … for the sake of family, neighbours and strangers, for our own sakes (after all, it is the merciful who receive God’s mercy!), and to the glory of God.

Join us if you are in the area – you would be very welcome. During the service a nursery for infants and a programme for children is offered. There is ample free parking available in the lot behind the church off Queen Street and along the streets around – disregard the posted time of day restrictions as they do not apply on Sundays. And have a look at the order of service below, along with the announcements, each of which you may take as a personal invitation to grow in Christian faith, study and community.

Download (PDF, 472KB)