This morning I noticed the snowdrops against the limestone of St. Andrew’s. Being plants that wait not for spring to flower, they have been symbols of strong hope for many through the centuries.

These snowdrops greeted me with gospel assurance as I joined John and family to record a brief time of praise and prayer in the sanctuary, as a witness of strong hope in this time of challenge. We pray you will join us and join together in Christian worship (with thanks to Jeremy, Meghan, Danielle, Margaret, Greg and special thanks to Christopher and John for offering this gift to us).

A few updates on congregational life conclude this post.

Podcast ––Andrews-Presbyterian-Church-Kingston—March-21–2020-ebp2pa/a-a1o9hcv

Video –

Script –

Notes from the Director of Music

It has always been my hope that providing a bit more information about the music presented at St. Andrew’s services will add to its understanding, appreciation and impact. And so with this the first recorded presentation, as a substitute for an actual service, I felt compelled to tell you a bit more about the music.
In 1535, a German hymn book printed a hymn with a text by Lazarus Spengler about Adam’s fall and the resultant redemption by Jesus Christ. A tune which had its origin in a secular song sung by the soldiers at the Battle of Pavia, was provided for the text and first appeared in the Gesangbuch of 1536. Durch Adam’s Fall ist ganz verderbt has inspired composers like Telemann and Buxtehude to make arrangements. Franz William Zachau (1663-1727) was the teacher of G. F. Handel and composed a little chorale prelude based on the tune. The original tune followed by Zachau’s piece are presented as a Prelude. Yesterday, March 21, was the 335th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, born in the same year as Handel. We can often look a little deeper into Bach’s music and find some musical patterns which are based on the text. In his chorale prelude based on Durch Adam’s Fall , Adam’s fall is represented by a recurring falling interval in the pedal part. A translation of the first verse appeared in a Moravian Hymn Book of 1826:

When Adam fell, the frame entire
 Of nature was infected;
The source whence came the poison dire
Was not to be corrected,
The lust accurs’d, indulg’d at first,
Brought death as its production’
But God’s free grace hath sav’d our race
From mis’ry and destruction.

The motet which we were able to do with our little group of singers, was probably composed by Richard Farrant (1530-1580) but other composers such as Christopher Tye have been credited. The beautiful text comes from a prayer book of 1566. The text is as follows:

Lord, for Thy tender mercies sake, lay not our sins to our charge,
But forgive that is past, and give us grace to amend our sinful lives,
To decline from sin and incline to virtue,
That we may walk with a perfect heart
Before Thee now and evermore.

We put together this little service with some sadness that you could not be with us. This is a challenging and I am sure a lonely time for many of you and I hope that this recording will be of some help and comfort.

Recording the tower bells
Recording the music and prayers inside

If you would like to subscribe to future posts on this webpage, please provide your email address in the box of the right hand column of this page, under ‘Subscribe via Email’.
Beginning tomorrow, a daily email will be sent, sharing thoughts by various members of the congregation. If you would like to receive this, please send your request with your name, entitled ‘Daily Thoughts’, to

– all congregational and community group activities within the St. Andrew’s facilities have been suspended until further notice
– the interior plastering and painting of the sanctuary around the tower doors is now complete!
– the Kingston Lionhearts are now distributing packaged dinners seven evenings a week in Skeleton Park, 6-7 p.m.
– two youth of the congregation have delivered groceries within the congregation: if you would find this helpful, contact 
– a member of the congregation who works for Canadian Blood Services mentions that the response to a call for donors this week has been amazing!

We are not sure what form the next Sunday contribution will take, but stay tuned!

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.


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

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!

There are also study sheet available online and for printing …


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)


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

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:

~~St. Andrew’s Autumn DVD and Discussion~~

Tuesday evenings November 5-26, 7-8:30 p.m. in St. Andrew’s Hall.

The most recent contribution by N.T. Wright of the University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland ‘There is a great difference between being acquainted with the New Testament, and understanding it’.

A great opportunity to consider anew the scriptures that introduce he who is ‘The Word’.

All welcome!

The Rev. Dr. William Morrow, School of Religion, Queen’s University
The Irving and Regina Rosen Public Lecture Series
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 5:30pm
Reception to follow
Admission Free ~~ Everybody Welcome ~~
The University Club, 168 Stuart Street, Kingston, ON