‘All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small … The ripe fruits in the garden, God made them, every one’.

This weekend of all weekends, we turn from our anxiety and our struggles to acknowledge the gifts we do enjoy, in life and in faith.

And acknowledging the gifts, we thank the Giver.

The doors of the sanctuary will be open for worship at 10:30 a.m. (Please see the post under ‘Special Events’ in the column to the right for the protocols and shape of the service). The service will also be live-streamed, active just after 10:20 a.m. with organ music for meditation, commencing with the Entry of the Scriptures at 10:30 a.m., found at https://youtu.be/muXgl4_gUZs

The Order of Service, music notes and announcements can be found at the end of this post.

Once the service has ended, a recording will be available on our channel shortly after the live-streaming has ended – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzEy41z3sqfRm8X_lLfKGUA 

Free parking is available Sunday mornings in the surface civic lot off Queen Street behind St. Andrew’s, and on the streets of the neighbourhood – please note that time-of-day restrictions north of Queen are not enforced on Sundays. For accessible entrance to the sanctuary, please use the ramp by the western-most door along Princess Street.

Download (PDF, 656KB)

 

Priscilla Williams, Lancaster PA www.glorygazing.com

This Sunday we begin our journey towards Easter, under the banner ‘Mending the Heart’. It is not easy for us to admit, but many of us are living with broken hearts … as we see others suffer, as we struggle in our own relationships, as we acknowledge our failures and yearn for a sense of purpose, as we witness creation itself being compromised. How good it is to be reminded that healing and renewal are possible, by the grace of God.

This morning we locate ‘mending the heart’ first and foremost in God. Our lives are renewed as we place our broken hearts within God’s great love known in Jesus. Healing and renewal is not found in being ‘holy’ (as in doing or believing certain things) but rather in being willing to be embraced within the great beating heart of the ‘Holy One’ (Mark 7:1-23).

I thought this painting by Priscilla Williams accompanies this gospel text perfectly. This artist of Lancaster PA has explained of her painting ‘Safe Place’ that the broken heart at the centre is shown to be held within God’s greater heart, and even while broken it bears some of the orange ‘glow’ of God’s life. God’s heart itself is located within three circles representing the triune community of love that God is, Father Son and Holy Spirit. And the strong diagonal lines behind speak of the strong, sovereign character of God, and God’s love. https://glorygazing.com/inspired-paintings/inspired-paintings-group-2/safe-place/ 

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join us this Sunday morning. Certified child care is offered during the service and a programme for young children also. 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 wheelchair lift inside the doors to St. Andrew’s Hall from the church parking lot mid way along Clergy Street, and hearing assist devices are available upon request from an usher. 

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.

Download (PDF, 521KB)

Next Sunday we will continue with ‘Mending the Heart: Accepting the Challenge to Change (Mark 7:24-30)

Vincent Van Gogh, 1890 – ‘The Fields’, said to be his last painting. ‘It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow’ (1 Cor 3:7)

This morning we pause our journey through the Gospel according to Mark to welcome the Rev. Prudence Neba of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon. Prudence has served nine years as Minister of Word and Sacrament, most recently as Associate Pastor to a congregation in Douala, responsible for up to 4000 people on a given Sunday. Prudence is completing her doctorate at Presbyterian College Montreal and McGill, and has travelled to share with us something of her perspectives on Christian faith and ministry.  And after the service, a lunch together in the church hall!

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join us. Certified child care is offered during the service and a programme for young children also. After the service a time of fellowship over tea or coffee, so please linger if you can and allow us to introduce ourselves more fully. 

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 wheelchair lift inside the doors to St. Andrew’s Hall from the church parking lot mid way along Clergy Street, and hearing assist devices are available upon request from an usher. 

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.

Download (PDF, 636KB)

Next Sunday, we will look at Mark 6:45-52 (and hold our AGM!)

The cover of a plaster sarcophagus in the catacombs of Rome circa 200’s A.D., with the inscription “Severa—may you live in God”

As I prepared to continue this series on the ‘journeys of grace’, I thought first of course of the journey of the magi, those ‘gentiles’ and ‘foreigners’ being led by a star to the Christ of God in that manger of Bethlehem. It is a story that speaks so movingly of the great embrace and sovereignty of the Holy One.

But then I saw this image of an early Christian tomb, and was struck by the presence of the man behind Mary and the Child. It is Balaam, the gentile and foreign diviner whom God raised up to speak to the King Balak of the Moabites. In one of his oracles, Balaam says ‘I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near – a star shall come out of Jacob’ (Numbers 24:17). On this sarcophagus lid, Balaam has been brought forward several centuries to stand by the Child of Bethlehem, and there he points to the star. Balaam now declares that this child is the Anointed One of God promised long.

What if we were to think of this scene anew, imagining that the star now represents Christ? If the star of old led the magi to the Christ Child, where might the Living Lord be leading us today? Where is Christ to be found in our lives, in this world?

If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join us on this Epiphany Sunday. Certified child care is offered during the service and a programme for young children also. 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 wheelchair lift inside the doors to St. Andrew’s Hall from the church parking lot mid way along Clergy Street, and hearing assist devices are available upon request from an usher.

Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below (just click the link to download), and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service.

And next week join us as we continue our journey as we ponder the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt.


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.

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