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.

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OR 

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


Click on the link below to hear the interview of Sandi Dodds on CKWS News. 

‘It’s just like your family’: Kingston’s The Mess Studio 10 years old and going strong

Let’s talk about “The Mess.”

That’s the name of an art-based program in downtown Kingston, designed for those affected by poverty, addiction, mental and physical health issues. On Tuesday, The Mess officially celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Sandi Dodds is the executive director and co-founder.

“We’re called The Mess Studio because life can definitely be messy and so can art,” Dodds said.

The Art of Hanging Art

And according to Dodds, if you keep working on it and persevere — in both life and art — something beautiful will result. And that’s been the case as The Mess celebrates a decade on the Limestone City scene.

The initiative, which is run out of the basement of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in the downtown area, is a place where art and relationships come alive, Dodds says.

“We are diverse and inclusive but at the heart of The Mess are people that are struggling with physical or mental health, addition, poverty, loneliness,” Dodds explained.

“We qualify that only to say please come out. Don’t let anything stop you from being a part of our community, we want to remove all stigmas.”

Sharon Walker has been a part of The Mess for seven years now. She enjoys producing art, and she also enjoys the atmosphere where she does it.

“It’s really a great place to come and meet new people and it’s just like your family,” Walker said. “That’s what it is.”

Dodds and co-founder Mechele te Brake have taken something from humble beginnings to what it is today, and Dodds says they had no idea that they’d go two to 150 people.

The Mess has spent the past seven years at St. Andrews, all rent-free. The non-profit organization is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Article by:

James B. Janknegt – Used with permission   www.bcartfarm.com

I attended the annual Kingston Interfaith Community potluck dinner at the City Hall last night. Ten different faith communities of the city (with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church representing the Christian community this year) presented contributions in word, song and dance from their faith traditions around this year’s theme of ‘hope’. I was moved how deep sincerity was matched with mutual respect, as we shared spiritual dimensions of hope.

As Christians our hope is rooted in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the promise that what God began in the earthly ministry of Jesus God will complete for the good of all who follow him, indeed for all humanity … the holy city, a new heaven and new earth, the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom or Reign of God is the focus of Jesus in the parables we will hear this Sunday … with an emphasis upon the assurance that our faithful acts of service as small mustard seeds can be grown by God into something wonderfully lively and life-giving for others (Mark 4:30-32). Isn’t this an inspiring painting by artist James B. Janknegt? Do you notice the ‘Seed’ store on the left side of the town? I wonder to what that might be referring?!

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. And this Sunday all are invited to linger afterwards for a congregational potluck!

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

Download (PDF, 528KB)

Join us next Sunday as we continue our journey through the Gospel According to Mark, hearing how Jesus stilled a storm (Mark 4:35-41).

Mother Canada Mourning Her Dead (Vimy – Walter Allard)

As Canadians we do not ‘celebrate’ Remembrance Day, we observe it. We do not glorify war and violence, but with solemnity and silence we remember the terrible costs and consequences of war … and pledge to work all the harder for peace between the nations.

To the pulpit of St. Andrew’s this Sunday we welcome The Rev. Major Charles Deogratias, Base Senior Chaplain, CFB Kingston, who comes with a very personal message about life and faith in the midst of conflict and violence. Charles is originally from Rwanda in Central Africa, and grew up in a refugee camp in western Tanzania. He attended the East Africa School of Theology in Nairobi Kenya, and continued his theological studies in the United States and at Knox College Toronto. Charles has served as minister of Elmvale Presbyterian Church ON for five years, and as chaplain in the Canadian Forces for 19 years (including Bases Gagetown, Valcartier, St. Jean, twice deployed to Afghanistan, and most recently with US navy chaplains in Norfolk Virginia.

 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

Download (PDF, 373KB)

Join us next Sunday as we continue our journey through the Gospel According to Mark, and Jesus’ assurance of the growth of God’s kingdom of peace and justice (Mark 4:26-32). And all are invited to linger afterwards for a congregational potluck!

Healing of the Paralytic by John Armstrong (1893-1973)

I came upon this painting by the English artist John Armstrong, and it jumped out at me immediately … or rather, I jumped into it immediately. There is something about the perspective that opens up new dimensions, new understandings.

At the centre of the canvas we see the paralyzed man, with Jesus by his side, as we see in every artistic re-creation of this scene (Mark 2:1-12). It is only natural and right that we focus upon that man – we know nothing about him but his need of healing from his paralysis, and we identify with him.

But looking down upon the scene as if from above, what strikes me even more are the four friends, straining to lower their ill friend into the presence of Jesus. We know nothing of them but their determination to bring their friend to know the embrace of Jesus. Might our call as Christians be to identify with those four friends, and bring our world to our God for healing and new life?

Join us as we continue our journey through the Gospel according to Mark.

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, 312KB)


Our journey through the Gospel according to Mark will continue next week with Mark 2:13-22