We will be gathering outside, upon the grass and beneath the branches, to offer our weekly service of worship in ‘God’s cathedral’ (as Celtic Christians of old used to say) of creation.

Since we began this ‘tradition’, we have explored God’s Word for us by focusing each year on a different theme – ‘trees’, ‘birds’ and ‘garden’. This year we will consider how God speaks to us through the rivers of scripture and our lives – the rivers of Eden, of Babylon, of baptism, of the Holy Spirit. Our special guests will be choristers of the Tyendinaga Church Choir, whose contributions will include singing ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ in Mohawk.

If you are in the area, we would welcome you to join us. Have a look at the order of service below. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket if you wish, but chairs will also be available. During the service, the children will be invited to participate in a church ‘scavenger hunt’ led by Laura. And after the service a BBQ for all!

Hope you can join us.

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A new exhibition at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre of Queen’s University focuses upon the 50 years of amazing gifts by Alfred Bader, and features a painting by Luca Giordano, ‘Jacob’s Dream’.

Luca Giordano, Jacob’s Dream, around 1694-1700, oil on canvas. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 1988 (31-003)

This canvas prompted within me a return to the biblical story (Genesis 28:10-22) and a discovery of the various ways it has spoken to God’s people through the ages – a medieval riff upon the spiritual disciplines of ‘ascending’ into God’s presence; a Reformation emphasis upon the grace of God’s faithfulness to God’s promises; a subversive hope given to African-Americans enslaved; an assurance given to Alfred Bader himself when interred as an ‘enemy alien’ in this land; a reminder in a secular society that ‘Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it’. I wonder how this story speaks to you at this point along your journey?!

Join us if you are in the area – you would be welcome. There is a nursery with certified child care for infants, and a programme for young children during the service. There is free parking on the streets around and in the public surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the order of service, and the announcements … and join us!

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The Scottish theologian Thomas F. Torrance has called the Trinity ‘the fundamental grammar of God’. The phrase reminds me that the Trinity is not just the way we talk about God. The Trinity is the way God is.

The one God is a community, composed of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the classic words of the Scriptures and creeds. The one God is a community of love – the Lover, the Beloved and the Love itself that they share (as described by Jurgen Moltmann). And the love that this divine community is within itself … is a love that overflows from itself, known by human beings like us in divine acts of creation, salvation and inspiration.

Last Sunday we explored how the first act of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the creation of the Church, the drawing of women and men into community by which they could grow into the divine community that is God. This Sunday we will explore how the love that binds Christians together is by definition a love that also overflows, from the church into the lives of neighbours and nations.  The scriptural text for the sermon will be a passage that invokes all three ‘persons’ of the Trinity and describes the commission to mission – the Risen Lord saying to his friends ‘As the Father sent me, so I send you’, then breathing upon them the Holy Spirit (John 20:19-23).

We will be singing great hymns like ‘Thou whose almighty word’, ‘O Spirit of the living God’ and ‘Glory be to God the Father/Son/Spirit’, and the choir anthem will be Tchaikovsky’s ‘Cherubic Hymn’ with the well-known words ‘Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty, God in three Persons, blessed Trinity’.

If you are in the area this Sunday, please join us. We would warmly welcome you. There is a nursery for infants and a programme for children during the service. There is ample free parking in the public surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street and on neighbouring streets (time of day restrictions are not enforced on Sundays).

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Have a look at our congregational newsletter for the month. (It is meant to be folded into three, so you need a bit of imagination to understand its layout!) Please consider each announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service.

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Pentecost Sunday

If you are in the area, we warmly welcome you to join us as we celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit, bringing together the Church as the Living Body of the Living Lord … fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus … and today! There is a nursery for infants and a programme for young children offered during the service. Free parking is found along nearby streets and in a public surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street.

Have a look at the order of service. And consider each of the announcements of the following pages a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service!

Of particular note is the opening of the 143rd General Assembly this evening, 7 p.m. For further details, see the link in the Special Events section to the right.

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The Ascension of Christ by Salvador Dali, 1958

Some might still imagine the universe as a three storied structure, with heaven above, earth in the middle and hell below. Even so, I doubt I could find anyone who would say that space travel could ever bring us to heaven.

It is true that the Ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:1-11) definitely uses the language of ‘up’. Yet it strikes me as less a description of leaving and more a matter of completion. In the most profound way, I hear the ascension of Jesus as completing his incarnation. Jesus came amongst us and took our our human life to restore us to relationship with our God, here and now. Our God resides not apart from us but amongst us, which is the whole point of Pentecost. Home is not ‘up’ but here. With God. Thank God.

If you are in the area, you are warmly invited to join us in worship this Sunday. During the service a nursery is offered for infants and there is a programme for children. There is ample free parking available on the streets around (even where it states no parking during certain day time hours), and in the public surface lot behind the church on Queen Street west of Clergy. Have a look at the Order of Service, and the announcements, and join us!

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