We can learn more about indigenous ministries at https://presbyterian.ca/canadian-ministries/indigenous-ministries/
At their monthly meeting last night, the Elders of St. Andrew’s Kingston agreed that it would be appropriate to re-open the sanctuary beginning this coming Sunday.
No member should feel obliged to attend worship in person while the pandemic is still among us – the service will be live-streamed at 10:30 a.m. and available after as a recording on the congregation’s YouTube channel.
But for any who may find it appropriate, the sanctuary will be opened in accordance with all public health guidelines. Only one door will be open (along Clergy Street by the cannon), up to the calculated 15% capacity of 75. The wearing of face masks and physical distancing will be required … and the only singing possible will be by the appointed cantor.
We thank God for bringing us thus far through the work of so many in our community and nation for good, and look forward to the full reunion to come – as we will sing this Sunday, ‘O God of Bethel … Through each perplexing path of life, our wandering footsteps guide’.
This was the week that the unmarked graves of 215 indigenous children were revealed at a residential school in Kamloops BC. These graves were of children aged 4-15 who were forcibly taken from their family, denied their community, language and culture. It is hard to fathom the suffering of those children, and the families who never saw their children again, without even the opportunity to bury them. It is hard to fathom the suffering of the children who survived, and the communities that had to deal with such generational loss. It is hard to fathom that this trauma was suffered by indigenous children, families and communities across this land known as Turtle Island.
The tolling of the bell was a personal gesture of solidarity in grief, acknowledgement of complicity, and commitment to reconciliation. You are invited to listen and enter into a time of reflection – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UUz7cPjDnUtMjPNvz1Bs6Yb-3-95CamU/view?usp=sharing
The Presbyterian Church in Canada has distributed additional resources for us to consider https://presbyterian.ca/2021/05/31/pcc-prays-for-the-lives-lost-at-kamloops-indian-residential-school/ and https://presbyterian.ca/2021/06/05/pcc-and-residential-schools/
Have a look at the list of services and announcements for the forthcoming weeks. Please consider each a personal invitation to join in Christian worship, community and service.
The format allows for printing double-sided as a trifold brochure.
In support of the recent provincial ‘stay at home’ mandate, the Elders of St. Andrew’s have decided it would best to suspend in-person worship until further notice.
This decision was made this week at the monthly Session meeting on April 12. Though provincial regulations allow for a continuing 15% capacity in the sanctuary, the Church received a letter from our local KFL&A Public Health ‘strongly recommending places of worship to conduct virtual services‘, and the Elders felt it responsible to heed this request. Services will be available online each Sunday from 10:20 a.m. and thereafter on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzEy41z3sqfRm8X_lLfKGUA
The Church Office will be closed at least until May 6. Telephone messages will be retrieved once a morning Tuesday to Thursday. Please feel free to contact our staff with the addresses below.
Even as we extend our prayers for all struggling during this time of pandemic, either in illness or in service, we continue in hope. I invite you to consider this reflection posted recently by the World Council of Churches …
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast’ was written in 1732 by the poet Alexander Pope. It captures the profound instinct that dark and difficult times will pass. To hope is to anticipate, even expect that better days will come. More recently, others have shared their wisdom on this theme. Take, for example, what Hellen Keller has said, ‘Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.’ Zig Ziglar said, ‘If there is hope in the future, there is literally power in the present.’ Nelson Mandela’s words are also timely, ‘May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.’ Hope is a bridge that helps us to journey from the difficulties and depravities of the present to a future that looks not only different but better.
Consequently, when hope is lessened or even destroyed, our spirits are crushed. Little wonder that hope is one of the central tenets of the Christian faith! For followers of Jesus Christ, “hope” is more than being optimistic or having a positive outlook on life. It is that and more, for our hope is anchored in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Our faith, therefore, leads us to affirm that what we hold to as hope enables us to see beyond the current calamities, even beyond the ‘sting’ of death and to maintain still that we are a ‘hope-filled’ Christian people.
In these times, Christian hope, though, also embraces other signs of hope which helps us keep hope alive during this pandemic. The flames of hope are ignited when we see scientists throughout the world, working together to create vaccines. Our hope in humanity is affirmed as we witness nations sharing knowledge and information to mitigate the pandemic, agreeing to quarantine and isolation to protect each other. Though there have been innumerable challenges and difficulties that have emerged since the start of the pandemic, there have also been many signs of hope that remind us that things will get better.
During this week of prayer, in all the varied expressions of lament, concern, intercession and gratitude, there has been a thread of hope, a confidence that God is with us. Our God, who suffers with his people, will continue to bring hope and healing. Paul’s prayer is our prayer that God, the source of hope, will fill us with joy, peace, and hope because we trust him. A hope that is rooted in God, not in outward circumstances. Hope that is expressed in what we do and say. God’s people serving him, bringing hope where there is poverty and suffering. This is our active participation in God’s mission, the Missio Dei.
God of hope,
our hearts overflow with gratitude for your abiding presence during these exceedingly difficult and troubled times.
May the flames of hope remain aglow among individuals, families,
communities and nations during the pandemic.
May our trust in you be affirmed, especially as we continue to navigate each day
the challenges that have confronted us.
Let all that we are wait quietly before you, O God, knowing that our hope is in you.
By your Spirit, may we be grounded in the hope that is proclaimed in your word:
you are our rock and salvation, our fortress where we will not be shaken.
We pray in the name of One who, by his resurrection,
has given us the hope of life eternal, Jesus the Christ, Amen.
Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United churches are joining together to sponsor a series of evenings of online study and discussion, led by the Rev. Dr. William Morrow. No prior knowledge of the Bible needed. Readings will be provided in advance. Without charge, but registration is requested to receive the Zoom link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/141532570729
And now for something different!
Tuesday Evenings February 16 – March 23, 7 p.m.
You are invited to explore the gospel known in Jesus Christ and the Bible … as developed in the themes and characters of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.
Grace – Valjean
Justice – Javert
Poverty – Fantine
Revolution – ‘Les Amis’
Love – Marius and Cosette
Hope – The Garden
It is not necessary to read the novel (considered one of the greatest, and longest!) or see a film rendition or the musical, but if you do wish to fill a quiet winter day before the study begins on Tuesday February 16, here are some options …
- there are several DVDs at the church office that can be borrowed for a day or two: just call in advance to reserve one for curb-side pick up Tuesday-Thursday 9 a.m.-noon and speak to Lori-Kim
- there are several free online versions available including …
– one on CBC TV and CBC Gem being screened right now on Sunday evenings https://gem.cbc.ca/season/les-miserables/season-1/3099f49b-9f91-44a4-95fd-a9eb0e738139,
– a 1978 film by Glenn Jordan https://tubitv.com/movies/560804/les-miserables?start=true
– a a 1937 radio series by Orson Wells https://archive.org/details/LesMiserables_201606/Episode+1+-+The+Bishop+(July+27%2C+1937).mp3
– a 1935 B&W film by Richard Boleslawski https://archive.org/details/Les_Miserables
- the 2012 musical is available on Netflix for those who subscribe
Tuesday Evenings February 16 – March 23, 7 p.m.
Contact Andrew for a link to the Zoom Sessions firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be following a study outline prepared by Matt Rawle, a United Methodist Church minister and international speaker ‘who loves to tell an old story in a new way’.