The awe that Jacqueline feels as she looks up into the space that is the sanctuary of St. Andrew’s Kingston is exactly the awe that I believe God wants for every one of us to feel about our lives.

This Sunday morning we will hear Jesus tell a parable that is all too familiar … literally. We hear him speak about the seed (the gospel) being sown in different sorts of soils (Mark 4:1-9). How easy it is to be overwhelmed by a fear that we are inadequate recipients, unable to nurture the gift of faith. But what if Jesus’ point is not the first three soils but the fourth … when God plants faith in the lives of Christians, God grows the gospel to harvest in those lives, with abundance?

What assurance! Even more awesome than a great and beautiful sanctuary to a child!!

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. REMEMBER THE TIME CHANGE – AN EXTRA HOUR! Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street. This morning we will also be celebrating the Lord’s Supper, to which are welcome ‘all who love the Lord a little, and yearn to love him more’.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email

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Join us next Sunday for a Service of Worship that will include a special time of Remembrance.

Albrecht Dürer,1512

Albrecht Dürer, 1512
The National Gallery of Canada

It is Reformation Sunday. It is good to look back and thank God for the reformation of the Church, for the return of … the Bible to the people, the singing God’s praise to the congregation, grace and sovereignty to God and God alone. I look forward to the hymn of Martin Luther ‘A mighty fortress is our God’ and joining in the prayer of John Calvin ‘I greet thee, who my Redeemer art’.

But I know this Sunday also challenges me with the truth that the Church is to ‘reformed and always reforming’. Yes, there are dimensions of Christian faith that are eternally valid. But how they are experienced and communicated change from one generation to another, from one context to another. And these changes must not only be acknowledged, but welcomed.

As we continue to journey through the Gospel according to Mark, we arrive at a scene in which Jesus speaks of overcoming ‘a strong man’ (Mark 3:20-27) and plundering his possessions. If this strong man were the Evil One, then it would be humanity that was in bondage. If Jesus has broken in and released us, how do we live this new and gracious freedom in our generation and culture? 

Albrecht Dürer engraved this scene in 1512, just five years after Martin Luther began his service of Christ in the Church. It shows Christ ‘harrowing hell’, liberating God’s people who had died before his life, death and resurrection. I have enjoyed meditating upon this print with relation to this parable of Jesus early in his ministry. After all, is the resurrection life something lived only the other side of the grave? Is freedom not a particular way of life now as well as from the ultimate hold of death?

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. With great joy we will be welcoming new members. And after the service, if you have time to linger, have a seat at our monthly congregational lunch and allow us the opportunity to introduce ourselves.

Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email anne@standrewskingston.org

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Join us next Sunday, November 3, for the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

 

Jesus Christ heals man with withered hand, 14th century mosaic, Kariye Camii Church, Istanbul, Turkey

We are journeying through the Gospel according to Mark, and the scene we reach this morning (Mark 3:1-6) has given me much to ponder. The more I have opened myself to this scene, the more my prayer has become that this congregation might be known more as ‘The Church of the Outstretched Arm’ than ‘St. Andrew’s’! I look forward to sharing my thoughts …

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. With great joy we will be welcoming new members. And after the service, if you have time to linger, have a seat at our monthly congregational lunch and allow us the opportunity to introduce ourselves.

Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email anne@standrewskingston.org

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Next Sunday Mark 3:20-30

As portrayed by Van Gogh (‘Harvest’ 1889), the field of grain is so full of movement, it feels alive!  Harvest time is indeed a welcome reminder of the how God is active through all the seasons of the year … for life.  

It is good to gather and just say ‘thank you’ – thank you for the gift of life (for which one of us choses to be born?), thank you for the gift of sojourning in this corner of creation (for which one of us placed the rivers and lakes in their courses and the planted the forests upon the rock?), thank you for the gift of living in this city (enjoying schools and hospitals we did not build, festivals and parks we did not plan), thank you for the gift of salvation (for which one of us even asked for, much less merited, the loving and eternal embrace of God in Jesus Christ?).

I remember when worshipping with Christians of the Church of North India (Amkhut and Jobat) being struck how every prayer by any individual in any context began with the words ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you’. This Sunday I shall take up this chorus of thanksgiving, and warmly invite you to join me, and us, at St. Andrew’s.

We are journeying through the Gospel according to Mark, and arrive at a scene that begins with the disciples plucking grain in a field of harvest on the Sabbath, and continues with Jesus evoking the time that David took bread reserved for the Holy One and the priest to satisfy the hunger of his men (Mark 2:23-28). We will explore how both dimensions of this scene might speak to our Thanksgiving.

Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email anne@standrewskingston.org

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Next Sunday, we will be formally receiving new members, and exploring Mark 3:1-6).

Feast in the House of Levi – Paulo Veronese 1573

As we journey through the Gospel according to Mark, we arrive at the scene that would have shocked all who participated (Mark 2:13-22). Jesus called Levi a hated tax collector to his side, and then invited himself in to a banquet in Levi’s house with a host of folk despised and disparaged in the day. How determined Jesus was to break down barriers, and extend the embrace of God to all! 

This Sunday we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. And there is an added gift provided by this rendition of the scene in Levi’s house by Veronese. The above image is just a portion of a monumental work, measuring roughly 5X12 metres, created for the dining hall of the Dominican monastery of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (see below). The interesting backstory is that Veronese was commissioned to paint the ‘Last Supper of Jesus Christ with His Disciples in the House of Simon’, but the artist was hauled in front of the Inquisition on charges of heresy – he had included buffoons and dwarfs and hated German (and Lutheran!) soldiers. Instead of complying with the demands for changing the painting, Veronese just changed the title, now referring to the feast of Levi! But was he not right on in terms of the deepest meaning of the Sacrament, that God’s transformative love known in Jesus Christ is for all … even for me and you?

Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email anne@standrewskingston.org

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And next Sunday, join us for Thanksgiving … to God!

                                       Lorenzo Veneziano, c. 1370

Mark relates an amazing scene. Jesus’ first act of public ministry is the calling of individuals to his side – ‘follow me’ (Mark 1:17). What is amazing is that Andrew and Simon, then James and John, heard and heeded.

I love this painting by Veneziano, showing Jesus on the shore with footprints behind in the sand, arms outstretched and hands open in invitation. Simon continues to fish for an instant. But look at Andrew! His face is serious, he is leaning at such a strange angle, almost as if an invisible force-field is drawing his towards Jesus. And maybe that is the point.

I remember how Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship about this scene, this call of Jesus that day to those individuals, and to so many others since. How could the call of Jesus evoke such obedience? The story is a stumbling block for reason, and it is no wonder that frantic attempts have been made to separate the two events (call and following) … Something must have happened in between, some psychological or historical event’… but no … ‘This encounter is a testimony to the absolute, direct and unaccountable authority of Jesus’. They heed the call because it is Jesus who speaks. They had no idea what they were in for, but they knew truly and deeply that they needed to follow this voice. Such are the dynamics of faith, then and now.

Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email anne@standrewskingston.org


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Our journey through the Gospel according to Mark will continue next week with Mark 2:1-12.

This morning we conclude our summer series of services focusing upon the wonderful stained glass windows of the St. Andrew’s sanctuary. And how appropriate that, with the beginning of a new school year, we will gaze upon perhaps the loveliest of all gospel scenes, when Jesus declares ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs’ (Matthew 19: 14). Lovely indeed, but also radical. It is a scene that speaks about children, but to all of us, and does so with challenge and with promise.

We warmly welcome you to join us. Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email anne@standrewskingston.org

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p.s. be sure to look at The Days of September for information about forthcoming services and events at St. Andrew’s