All posts by knoxalliston

April 18th, 2021

A Way Out of No Way

Genesis 9: 12-13 “God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

Have you ever been in a maze, wondering if you’ll ever find your way out? You know that there is an exit, but you just keep turning from corner to corner into dead ends that start to look the same. Sometimes in life, there are situations that feel like there is no way out. Maybe it’s the loss of a job, a challenging relationship, a goal that seems unreachable, or a pandemic that is causing yet another lockdown and closure of schools.

The phrase “A way out of no way” imagines possibilities and solutions that require inventive and creative thinking. For Christians, it is through trust in God that we find ways out of ‘no way out’ kinds of situations. Whether it’s with forgiveness to reconcile relationships, with hope to get through a pandemic, with compassion to bear grief, with joy to envision new possibilities, or with love to overcome isolation, people of faith trust that God will direct their path and lead them to “A way out of no way”.

Join us this Sunday and the coming weeks, as we consider some well-known stories from the Bible where people learn to trust that God has “A Way Out of No Way”. We begin with the story of Noah and the Ark and a sign of God’ promise, the rainbow. Our services are found here.

April 11th, 2021

Kindred Spirits

Psalm 133: 1 “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”

If you are a fan of author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, you know about kindred spirits. Young Anne Shirley and Diana Barry formed a bond of friendship, a life-line to endure challenges and to share joys. Kindred spirits are those people in our lives who share common interests, beliefs, attitudes, and concerns. It’s not that we have everything in common, but in our differences, we have found common ground.

A description, in the book of Acts of the first followers of Jesus, said they were of one heart and soul. They shared with each other, took care of each other, and worshiped God together. Their common belief in the resurrected Christ brought them together as kindred spirits. Today, in our diverse world, even Christians sometimes have trouble finding common ground. In this Easter season, let us join our spirits together in celebration of the Risen Lord who overcame death to bring new life. Thanks be to God.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to worship ONLINE only. On Sunday, April 11th, we will enjoy our annual Camp Sunday to remember how important the Christian camping experience is for young people. Our weekly service can be found at here.

Easter Sunday 2021

Edging into Easter

John 20: 18 “Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”.

‘Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!’ This is the joyous chorus Christians across the world sing out at Easter. Whether that chorus is heard at sunrise, in churches, or virtually at home, the truth remains that Jesus rose from the dead. When Mary Magdalene told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, it was only the beginning. As they came to understand that the powers of sin and death were overcome by the resurrection of Jesus, they began to spread the good news. But, on the that first Easter morning, they were still in a state of wonder, confusion, and hope. They were still edging their way into Easter.

We can probably relate to that feeling. The pandemic is not over, even though we see an end in sight. The vaccine roll-out has begun, but has a way to go. We are getting closer to getting back to normal, but we are not there yet. Despite everything we’ve gone through over the year, we move forward in hope. For people of faith, it’s a belief in the Risen Christ and the new life he brings that keeps us edging into Easter with hope, so that we too can say “I have seen the Lord”. Thanks be to God.

 

Good Friday 2021

Good Friday: Stations of the Cross

The joy of Easter Sunday is even richer when we observe the sorrow of Good Friday.
Join with ministry leaders from throughout
our region for an online worship experience, taking time to visit
the Stations of the Cross through scripture, prayer, music, and reflection.

Palm Sunday 2021

Palm Sunday: Holy, Wholly

Mark 11: 9 “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Two years ago, we marched around the church sanctuary waving our palm branches and singing Hosanna. Last year at this time, we began worshipping online and this year, as we face a third wave of the pandemic, we continue to worship virtually. Everything about this year has been unexpected and not the what we had planned or hoped for. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to shouts of Hosanna, the people expected him to be their Saviour, to lead them into a new future. He was their Saviour and he did lead them into a new future, but not in the way they planned or even hoped for. Instead, for the whole world, Jesus died so that we could have new life and healing in unexpected ways.

As we come to the end of our series Holy Vessels: A Lenten Season of Recovery, I pray that you have found it helpful to consider the ways we are in need of healing and the ways we can be healed. We have acknowledged that we have lost much over the year and that it was not what we expected, but at the same time we can be proud of our resilience and ability to take care of each other even when we couldn’t be together. Let us look to the future with hope and embrace the new life offered through Jesus.

Looking ahead to Holy Week, our recorded Good Friday service with a number of churches in our region participating, will be available on our website at 10am on April 2n and our Easter Sunday service will be available at 9am on April 4th. Please join us this Sunday at 11am as we sing, pray, and praise God as Knox Presbyterian Church continues to worship ONLINE only.

March 21st, 2021

Lent 5: Restoration

Matthew 8: 27 “They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

In this season of recovery, we’ve looked at our physical, mental, and community health, but we also need to look at our environmental health. Often, we don’t see the connection to our environment and the planet where we live, to the other aspects of our health. The reality is that our environmental health affects our lives just as profoundly. Severe weather has the power to change lives, from a drought that affects food production to an ice storm that cuts off the electricity. Emissions from our industries destroy delicate ecosystems and pollute the air. Overuse of resources put our planet and ourselves at risk.

Because our lives are interconnected with our natural world, we have a responsibility to care for our planet and to be proactive in its healing. Christians believe that God is the author of creation, so that makes us partners with the divine to care for and restore the world to a place of sustainability for all life. As we work together for the health of our environment, our physical, mental, and community health improves as well.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to offer ONLINE worship services only. Please join us this Sunday as we gather virtually for a time of prayer, music, and worship.

March 14th, 2021


Lent 4: Different Pictures

Matthew 9: 21-22 “For the woman said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.”

‘Sometimes you just have to get creative.’ We say that when we have an unusual problem to solve or when we need to think outside the box. Humans beings are unique for their creative pursuits including art, music, science, technology, and literature. We use our intellect, all five of our senses, and even our hearts and souls to be creative. In this time of pandemic, we’ve either been too weary to enjoy the things we used to do that got our creativity flowing or we’ve had to put our creativity in overdrive to adapt to new ways of communicating, working, and being together when we’ve had to be apart.

As we hit the one year anniversary of the pandemic, we need to be ready and willing to be creative as we look to the future. We need to consider what feeds our souls, what fills our hearts, what gives us purpose, and what we have faith in. A life of faith isn’t about concrete facts or measurable outcomes, but creativity and a hopeful belief in God who is present with us even now. The people in the Bible who sought healing from Jesus had creative, life-giving faith that relied on hope when all seemed hopeless, and they were healed. Thanks be to God.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to offer ONLINE worship services only. Please join us as we gather virtually for a time of prayer, music, and worship.

March 7th, 2021

 

Lent 3: Stories

Matthew 9:31 “But they went out and spread the word about him throughout that whole region.”

In the Bible, when someone was healed by Jesus, sometimes he told them not to tell anyone about it. More often than not, they couldn’t stay silent. They needed to tell their stories and to spread the good news of their encounter with Jesus, the healer. Human beings are storytellers. The stories of our past, present, and future are the foundation of who we are; they reveal the joys and challenges of living.

On the 3rd Sunday of Lent, we will consider how being able to tell our stories is important to our mental health. As much as we might deny it, there is still a stigma around mental illness. You can’t see it the same way you can see the scars of surgery, and no one questions an x-ray of a broken leg. But, a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, or another mental illness is often hidden and doesn’t get the same kind of care and compassion.

To begin a journey of healing, we all must be free to tell our stories related to our mental health, and be willing to listen. Real empathy and understanding happens only when the truth is told. Back in January, the Bell Let’s Talk initiative encouraged people to talk about their mental health. It doesn’t end with that one day, it is an ongoing road to recovery that is shaped by the stories we tell. For Christians, the storytelling begins with the healing stories of Jesus.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to offer ONLINE worship services only. Please join us this Sunday as we gather virtually for a time of prayer, music, and worship.

 

February 28th, 2021

Lent 2 – Safe Keeping

Matthew 8: 5-7 “When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

In the Bible, the healing stories of Jesus were one way of teaching people who Jesus was. They show a world where all people are included and welcomed because Jesus meant for anyone and everyone to be part of the community.

This past year, we’ve had to re-think what it means to be a community. The definition of community is a social unit that has things in common, but we know it’s a lot more than that. Our communities are made up of the people who we connect with, who support us, and who we support. Our communities are the places where we live, work, go to school, and make safe for all people. In these days of social isolation, our communities have extended online, and we’ve had to be creative in the ways we support and care for each other.

The Coldest Night of the Year Walk in support of the Alliston Out of the Cold program happened last weekend, sort of. Instead of everyone walking together in a group on one night, as we did just before the pandemic began last year, walkers chose when to walk in smaller, safely distanced groups or as individuals. But, no matter how people participated, it was a community effort. People worked together to support a very worthy cause; the care of the most vulnerable in our community. Christians are, as we all are, called to ensure the safe keeping of our whole community, which is a lot wider than we think.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to offer ONLINE worship services only. Please join us this Sunday as we gather virtually for a time of prayer, music, and worship.

February 21st, 2021

Holy Vessels: A Lenten Season of Recovery

“He healed everyone who was sick.” Matthew 8: 16

This week begins the season of Lent, the time in the Christian year leading up to the celebration of Easter. Traditionally, people give up something for Lent in remembrance and thanksgiving for the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice. I don’t know about you, but I think this past year, we have already given up so much. We’ve given up time with loved ones, celebrating special days together, our regular routines, worshiping in our church buildings, and so much more. We know it has been necessary to keep us safe, but that doesn’t take away the reality of how much we have lost.

This Lenten season, we need to recover from loneliness, isolation, fear and anxiety. Over the next 6 weeks, we will study the healing stories of Jesus as we see how God can take what is broken and make it whole again. We will consider our physical, mental, community, economic, and environmental health as Jesus reaches out to touch and remind us that we are all worthy of new life in the midst of hopelessness.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to offer ONLINE worship services only. Please join us this Sunday as we gather here virtually for a time of prayer, music, and worship.