O God,
you are our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult. (Psalm 46)

In this time of wars, and rumours of wars, and threats of wars,
we place our trust in you, O God.
And we pray for peace.
For peace in the world and for peace in the hearts of your people.

In this time of violence, and terror, and political upheaval,
we cling to you for courage and hope, O God.
And we pray for compassion.
For compassion for our friends and compassion for our enemies.

In this time of fires, and floods, and one natural disaster after another,
we look to you for help and strength, O God.
And we pray for healing.
For the healing of the Earth and the healing of your people.

Give wisdom to those who govern the nations of the world,
and guide them to work for peace with justice for all.
Give courage to those who are working to help others in need,
and ensure that they have all the resources that they require.
Give comfort to those whose hearts, lives, and communities are broken,
and sustain them with your love until they can see hope for the future once again.

We pray for people around the world, especially those in Australia and Iran;
Yemen and Venezuela, Hong Kong and Lebanon; Syria, the United States and Canada.

We pray for every place where your children are at war, in danger, in hunger, or in grief.
We pray for those who are seeking you or doubting your presence.

With the psalmist, we remember and trust
that you make wars cease to the end of the earth;
you break the bow, and shatter the spear; you burn the shields with fire.

You say to us: “Be still and know that I am God!”
And so we pray: Still our hearts, O God, and calm our fears.
Use our prayers and our lives, our gifts and our acts of service
to touch this hurting world with your love and healing.

O God, you are our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Amen.

—The Rev. Amanda Currie, Moderator of the 2019 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (www.presbyterian.ca)

William Kurelek

Carols, readings and candlelight!

And also another wonderful painting of William Kurelek, inviting us to make the birth of Christ real in our cities, in our lives. Notice how the infant reaches out to the one homeless beneath the Parliament Buildings at the heart of our nation …

Have a look at the Order of Service and if you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join us. (The document is set up to have a fold in the middle, with the second page being therefore the first … but I am sure you will figure that out!) There is ample parking available in the city surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street, and along the streets adjacent, particularly north of Queen Street.

Download (PDF, 167KB)

And next Sunday morning, 10:30 a.m., we will hear again the beautiful Song of Simeon as he holds the Christ Child (Luke 2:22-40).

An hour of God’s promises in scripture and God’s worship in music, lead by the Choir of St. Andrew’s. A time to be still, to reflect, to be renewed. If you are in the area, we warmly invite 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. And after the service, please linger for an informal congregational lunch in St. Andrew’s Hall – it is potluck so bring something if you can … but your presence will be the best contribution! 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

Download (PDF, 557KB)

And join us on Sunday December 22, 10:30 a.m. for a service for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, which will include a contribution by the children and youth of the congregation.

A good group of the St. Andrew’s congregation are following daily Advent devotions by Old Testament scholar Walter Bruggemann. The theme explored is how as Christians, knowing the promises and providence of God, we have been freed and called to live with strength and generosity in care of neighbour and service of God’s kingdom.

Did you know that there are fellow Presbyterians reading the same devotions from coast to coast with us? If you are interested, join the Facebook group, follow the conversations, and even join in if so inclined!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2397226327195079/

There are also study sheet available online and for printing …

https://presbyterian.ca/canadian-ministries/presbyterians-read/

 

Here in Kingston it is a beautiful snowy winter day. We have procured a mini shovel with which to greet our one year old grandson when he arrives next week – he has work to do!

It is a season when we can be overwhelmed by all the work that is ours. It is not just the shovelling or the preparations for the gatherings of friends and family that can fill these weeks. We are all aware also of the work that is ours as neighbours and global citizens – from advocating for the unhoused in these winter days when the city shelters are full, to exploring ways we can encourage a transition into a culture and an economy that will respect this world sufficiently to leave it intact for the next generation (and to the glory of God). It can be overwhelming.

It is exactly at a time like this that Christian faith comes to the fore. Many of us in the Presbyterian Church in Canada are joining together in reading daily devotions by Walter Bruggemann, ‘Celebrating Abundance’. The emphasis is on rejecting the contemporary emphasis on ‘scarcity’ and living into the ‘abundance’ of God’s promises and provision for us and for all. As I turned the pages this past week, I thought about how Bruggemann once said to a group of ministers … ‘Few of our people imagine God to be an active character in the story of their lives’.

We may believe in God, but we treat God as somewhat detached and passive, involved perhaps just at the end of lives, on the periphery between this world and another. Generations of God’s people before us have thought of God very differently. They declared that God does things, that God is constantly at work among us, for good …

 

Corby Eisbacher

This sense of wonder and joy that God is at work is what Mary and Elizabeth share when they meet. Mary makes clear that it is not just the child growing in her womb that God is working, but a new humanity and new world through that child/Christ. We can hear her she sing to this day … ‘God has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts and put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree. God has filled the hungry will good things and the rich God has sent empty away’ (Luke 1:46-55) and so much more. God is at work, and in that work of God we find assurance and strength … to work with God. 

That big shovel belongs to God. That little shovel is mine and ours.

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. 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

Download (PDF, 489KB)

Join us next Sunday as we continue our journey to Christmas and light the third candle of Advent during a service of Lessons and Carols led by the choir of St. Andrew’s.

Marilyn McLean and the Kingston Street Mission

BELOW: Read about ‘Street Mum‘ and the Kingston Street Mission that has a home here at St. Andrew’s Church.

Download (PDF, 499KB)

OR 

Click here to read about ‘Street Mum‘ as it appears on kingstonist.com.