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

Two of the three stages of this year’s ‘Storefront’ fringe festival have opened at St. Andrew’s! Have a look at the line up. Of particular interest in the line up may be ‘Josiah Henson’ and ‘Life Support’.

The festival website can be found at https://www.theatrekingston.com

Tulips painted by Karine Gabrini,
sent to Anne-Marie for Mother’s Day

This is a season of grace in so many ways, and it is the tulip on which my sermon thoughts focus this month of May. Last century there arose a brief overview of a classic Reformed understanding of God’s grace known by the acronym TULIP – and this week I continue with an exploration of ‘I’, representing ‘irresistible grace’.

The ‘grace’ part refers to God’s initiative in offering salvation, the ‘irresistible’ part refers to the assurance that God overcomes all human resistance to living this salvation – it is a perspective that can relieve Christians of any doubts about their salvation and allow us to live with the joy and strength born of assurance.

If you are in the area, we warmly welcome you to join us this Sunday.

During the service there is offered a nursery for infants and a programme for young children if desired. 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. There is a wheel chair lift available in the doors of the church closest to the manse (the courtyard is entered from the driveway half way along the St. Andrew’s block of Clergy Street) and a wheelchair ramp is available by ramp and door along Princess Street.

If you have any questions, please call the church office Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, or email anne@standrewskingston.org Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below – the formatting is a bit off on screen, but I hope it is still helpful.

Download (DOCX, 130KB)

 

Painting by Piero della Francesca, 1448-50

I love how the visual arts can help me appreciate new dimensions of the gospel. Take this classic painting by Piero della Francesca, voted in a 2005 poll ‘Greatest Paintings in Britain’ to ninth place! Perhaps it is the sense of time-standing-still that captivates our eyes and interest in our hyper-active contemporary lives.

This scene is so important and inspiring that it is recorded in all four gospels of the New Testament. The baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River is the moment the public ministry of Jesus begins, a ministry that would continue through healing and preaching and embracing, even through crucifixion to resurrection and ascension.

What intrigues me is the tentativeness of John as he baptizes Jesus – look at the awkward position of John’s one leg and hand. Even more intriguing are the reactions of the three women/angels to the side of Jesus – they look perturbed, disturbed, even shocked. And the question confronts me … why this tentativeness, why this shock?

I know the answer may not only help me to better understand the baptism of Jesus, but my own. I look forward to this Sunday and the exploration of these questions.

If you are in the area, we would welcome you to join in the worship of God. Have a look at the Order of Service below (and the announcements – please consider each a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service), and some additional information about the service that follows.

Download (PDF, 458KB)

During the service there is offered a nursery for infants and a programme for young children if desired. 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. There is a wheel chair lift available in the doors of the church closest to the manse (the courtyard is entered from the driveway half way along the St. Andrew’s block of Clergy Street) and a wheelchair ramp is available through doors along Princess Street. If you have any other questions, please call the church office Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, or email anne@standrewskingston.org