Category Archives: Special Events

Extract of a congregational letter from the Session of St. Andrew’s, distributed Thursday June 11:

            On Monday evening, the Elders of St. Andrew’s gathered (thanks to Zoom) for their stated monthly meeting. One of the major topics was to be a study of the Guidelines for Re-Opening Church Buildings published recently by the Presbyterian Church in Canada
https://presbyterian.ca/2020/05/29/session-resource-on-re-opening-church-buildings/.
It just so happened that it was also the day that the Ontario government announced the possibility for places of worship in certain regions to open, subject to certain restrictions of attendance and physical distancing at all times (though promised guidelines for spiritual leaders have not been received at time of writing).

            After prayerful discussion and discernment, the Elders agreed a) that St. Andrew’s continue to offer online worship opportunities at least well into the foreseeable future, and b) that church leadership work through the quieter weeks of summer and the Minister’s vacation to prepare for a return to worship in the sanctuary in September.

            Behind these decisions were two considerations. One consideration is that it will be some time before a vaccine for COVID-19 is available, and until that time there will be members who will not and perhaps should not physically gather for worship … hence the continuation of online worship opportunities. The other considerations revolve around the fact that public health guidelines are still evolving … and even now these all point to the fact that though our sanctuary may be unchanged, the way we are present in it will be very changed, and will need significant preparation. From what we understand at this point, it is not just a matter of roping off ‘buffer’ pews, but also designating directions for use of doors and aisles, no fellowship times before or after worship, sanitizing washrooms and furniture, and even perhaps restrictions on singing.

            While some of us may feel this planning and these precautions are excessive, we are asked to consider that they are undertaken out of care for the more vulnerable among us. In this spirit, the Elders felt it best to plan for the beginning of a new congregational year in September with the assurance that we have taken full advantage of evolving guidelines and competence.

            And to provide a different perspective completely, Lori-Kim has shared some humour about the Post-Pandemic Church from Ireland … https://youtu.be/fIfItkvCVfA?fbclid=IwAR3brDAlQ2aInuucMjnpPqYfihvYI0whUpTp-AGeu5719PNnbMtlCSHEKCo


General Assembly

This annual gathering of representatives from across our denomination scheduled for the first week of June has been cancelled, and is now scheduled to meet the first week of June 2021. The various committee reports (from Church Doctrine to Mission) that were to be presented this summer are now ‘interim reports’ and can be read here: https://presbyterian.ca/gao/ga2020/

A Video Conversation 
Our Moderator, the Rev. Amanda Currie, shares reflections on this season of faith and life in conversation with the Rev. Jennifer Cameron of St. Columba Church Belleville (who preached at St. Andrew’s last year)
https://youtu.be/oi3HT7-WDTo

Presbyterian World Service and Development is responding to the COVID-19 crisis in the name of Christ. 
Watering a garden of hope in South Sudan https://presbyterian.ca/pwsd/2020/05/14/watering-a-garden-of-hope-in-south-sudan/
A five minute video update presented by Executive Director Guy Smagghe, https://presbyterian.ca/pwsd/2020/05/21/covid-19-update/

On the Fifth Anniversary of the TRC’s 94 Calls To Action
A reflection on what has been understood and accomplished, and what is outstanding:
https://presbyterian.ca/2020/05/25/five-years-of-the-trcs-calls-to-action/

A Letter Encouraging Consideration of Guaranteed Basic Income
On May 14 the Moderator sent a letter to the Prime Minister concerning a Basic Income Guarantee. It can be read here

Download (PDF, 205KB)

I find it hard not to join with you in worship of God this morning.

This hour of prayer and of praise at the beginning of every week is for me far more than an appreciation of the beauty of the sanctuary or the care of community, far more than part of a personal routine or professional responsibility. For me, this is a time when assurance and joy are renewed within me.

But this morning I am reminded that my hope is not in the sanctuary or even in a service of worship, but in God, and in God alone. I remember how Martin Luther, during a time of trial, of plague and war, paraphrased Psalm 46 ‘A mighty fortress is my God, a refuge never failing, our helper sure amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.’ 

Even as I long for a return to our joining in worship together here at St. Andrew’s, I shall use this morning as an occasion to allow words of Scripture shared by our Moderator below to settle deeper and fuller than ever before, and I invite you to join with me …

In Christian trust and hope, 
Andrew

A Message and Prayer from the Moderator re. COVID-19

As the world struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, our congregations and communities strive to adjust to the rapidly changing circumstances, taking precautions to ensure that people are safe, and caring for one another in faithful and creative ways.

As we began the Season of Lent a few weeks ago, we reflected on Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness and the struggles he experienced. We also may feel like this is a wilderness time—a time of challenges and uncertainty. Even as we take good care to reduce the risk of transmission, we are invited to place our trust and hope in God who is with us and will help us.

The Lenten psalms provide inspiration for this prayer:

“O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O Come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.” (Psalm 95:1-7)

Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for your presence with your children through the anxiety of the COVID-19 situation.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff- they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Thank you for wise leadership and health authorities that guide us in making good decisions for our communities.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

Thank you for doctors, nurses, medical researchers and technicians, and all those who are working to care for the sick and develop treatments for this illness.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

Thank you for cleaning staff and caregivers and volunteers, and all who are working to keep our environments clean and safe.

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).

Thank you for pastors, elders, neighbours, and friends who are working to care for those who are vulnerable, alone or afraid.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:5–6).

Thank you for the peace and comfort that comes from knowing that we are not alone. God, grant us patience as we wait; grant us courage as we serve you and care for one another; grant us hope as we trust in you for the future.

O [People], hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem” (Psalm 130:7).

Amen.

—The Rev. Amanda Currie
Moderator of the 2019 General Assembly

The Rev. Amanda Currie

 

 

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/

 

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.


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:

 
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