Category Archives: Special Events

In support of the recent provincial ‘stay at home’ mandate, the Elders of St. Andrew’s have decided it would best to suspend in-person worship until further notice.
This decision was made this week at the monthly Session meeting on April 12. Though provincial regulations allow for a continuing 15% capacity in the sanctuary, the Church received a letter from our local KFL&A Public Health ‘strongly recommending places of worship to conduct virtual services‘, and the Elders felt it responsible to heed this request. Services will be available online each Sunday from 10:20 a.m. and thereafter on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzEy41z3sqfRm8X_lLfKGUA

The Church Office will be closed at least until May 6. Telephone messages will be retrieved once a morning Tuesday to Thursday. Please feel free to contact our staff with the addresses below.

Custodian – glenmercer@hotmail.com
Bookkeeper – candace@standrewskingston.org
Office – lorikim@standrewskingston.org
Minister – a.johnston@standrewskingston.org

We thank you for your understanding.

Even as we extend our prayers for all struggling during this time of pandemic, either in illness or in service, we continue in hope. I invite you to consider this reflection posted recently by the World Council of Churches …

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reflection

‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast’ was written in 1732 by the poet Alexander Pope. It captures the profound instinct that dark and difficult times will pass. To hope is to anticipate, even expect that better days will come. More recently, others have shared their wisdom on this theme. Take, for example, what Hellen Keller has said, ‘Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.’ Zig Ziglar said, ‘If there is hope in the future, there is literally power in the present.’ Nelson Mandela’s words are also timely, ‘May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.’ Hope is a bridge that helps us to journey from the difficulties and depravities of the present to a future that looks not only different but better.

Consequently, when hope is lessened or even destroyed, our spirits are crushed. Little wonder that hope is one of the central tenets of the Christian faith! For followers of Jesus Christ, “hope” is more than being optimistic or having a positive outlook on life. It is that and more, for our hope is anchored in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Our faith, therefore, leads us to affirm that what we hold to as hope enables us to see beyond the current calamities, even beyond the ‘sting’ of death and to maintain still that we are a ‘hope-filled’ Christian people.

In these times, Christian hope, though, also embraces other signs of hope which helps us keep hope alive during this pandemic. The flames of hope are ignited when we see scientists throughout the world, working together to create vaccines. Our hope in humanity is affirmed as we witness nations sharing knowledge and information to mitigate the pandemic, agreeing to quarantine and isolation to protect each other. Though there have been innumerable challenges and difficulties that have emerged since the start of the pandemic, there have also been many signs of hope that remind us that things will get better.

During this week of prayer, in all the varied expressions of lament, concern, intercession and gratitude, there has been a thread of hope, a confidence that God is with us. Our God, who suffers with his people, will continue to bring hope and healing. Paul’s prayer is our prayer that God, the source of hope, will fill us with joy, peace, and hope because we trust him. A hope that is rooted in God, not in outward circumstances. Hope that is expressed in what we do and say. God’s people serving him, bringing hope where there is poverty and suffering. This is our active participation in God’s mission, the Missio Dei.

Prayer 

God of hope,
our hearts overflow with gratitude for your abiding presence during these exceedingly difficult and troubled times.
May the flames of hope remain aglow among individuals, families,
communities and nations during the pandemic.
May our trust in you be affirmed, especially as we continue to navigate each day
the challenges that have confronted us.
Let all that we are wait quietly before you, O God, knowing that our hope is in you.
By your Spirit, may we be grounded in the hope that is proclaimed in your word:
you are our rock and salvation, our fortress where we will not be shaken.
We pray in the name of One who, by his resurrection,
has given us the hope of life eternal, Jesus the Christ, Amen.

https://www.oikoumene.org/resources/prayers/week-of-prayer-over-covid-19-day-6-prayers-of-hope

Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian and United churches are joining together to sponsor a series of evenings of online study and discussion, led by the Rev. Dr. William Morrow. No prior knowledge of the Bible needed. Readings will be provided in advance. Without charge, but registration is requested to receive the Zoom link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/141532570729 

http://www.stjameskingston.ca/lenten-series

And now for something different!
Tuesday Evenings February 16 – March 23, 7 p.m.

You are invited to explore the gospel known in Jesus Christ and the Bible … as developed in the themes and characters of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

Grace – Valjean
Justice – Javert
Poverty – Fantine
Revolution – ‘Les Amis’
Love – Marius and Cosette
Hope – The Garden

It is not necessary to read the novel (considered one of the greatest, and longest!) or see a film rendition or the musical, but if you do wish to fill a quiet winter day before the study begins on Tuesday February 16, here are some options …

Tuesday Evenings February 16 – March 23, 7 p.m.
Contact Andrew for a link to the Zoom Sessions a.johnston@standrewskingston.org

We will be following a study outline prepared by Matt Rawle, a United Methodist Church minister and international speaker ‘who loves to tell an old story in a new way’.


November 30th, 2020

And this year our fifth annual St. Andrew’s Day Social is online!

A thoroughly St.-Andrew’s-Church-Kingston offering with contributions from members of music, poetry, history, reflection and a wee bit of fun: including 

– readings of Burns and from the Glasgow Bible
– the landing of the Hector in Pictou New Scotland
– piano melodies of Scottish tunes
– the history of the saint Andrew
– reminiscences of St. Andrew’s Church Québec City
– the significance of bulbs planted around the church this autumn
– reflections on oatmeal and the Christian life
– a minister in a kilt and an organist hamming it up off the keyboard

Enjoy! Available at https://youtu.be/7hkPAbOikgY


 



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