Category Archives: Uncategorized

July 18th, 2021

Give it a rest!

Psalm 23: 1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.”
Mark 6: 31 “Jesus said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”

We all need rest. In the Old Testament, the very well-known Psalm 23 is about trusting in God as the shepherd of our lives, it is about the promise of eternal life, and it is about resting and restoring ourselves when we are weary. In the New Testament, we learn that Jesus and the disciples also needed rest and a chance to get away from the crowds who followed them. They needed to take the time to be renewed in body, mind, and soul.

Rest from our routines, from work, from stress, and from the busyness of life is necessary for our physical well-being, our mental and spiritual health, and for the benefit of our relationships with others. Rest may look different for everyone. Maybe rest for you is getting away in nature, having a nap, taking time for meditation and prayer, or turning off your technological devices. In these summer days, as we hope the pandemic is nearing the end, I encourage you to just ‘Give it a rest!” in whatever way that restores your body, mind, and soul.

Please join Knox Alliston, St. Andrew’s Mansfield, and Living Faith Baxter Presbyterian Churches for our ONLINE only worship service where we’ll rest in the presence of God, lift our hearts in prayer, and learn more about the hymns we sing.

Outdoor Fellowship at Knox

Come out on Wednesday July 21st at 10am with a lawn chair to enjoy some in-person fellowship. No need to register ahead and we’ll social distance as necessary. All welcome!

July 11th, 2021

Baker’s Dozen

John 6: 11 “Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.”

Have you ever been the recipient of a baker’s dozen? It is the welcome surprise of an extra donut or bun when you’ve ordered only a dozen. The practice of giving an extra loaf of bread dates back over 800 years when the trade of breadmaking was regulated in England.

The Bible tells a baker’s dozen kind of story when Jesus performed a sign, or miracle, with some bread and fish. People had gathered on a hillside to hear Jesus preach when they became hungry and there was not enough money to buy lunch for everyone. So, a young boy presented his basket of food to share. After Jesus prayed over the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, the skeptical disciples passed it around to the crowd and amazingly everyone had enough to eat. What began as a small, unlikely act of generosity became a huge unexpected act of abundance.

How can we also live our lives with the same kind of generosity? How can we share our gift of abundance with others? In these days, when many are in need, it might not take much for us to make a baker’s dozen for someone else.

This Sunday, Knox Presbyterian Church will gather virtually around the Communion table to give thanks for God’s abundance and we’ll also hear songs of praise that remind us of our call to share with others. Join us here for our ONLINE only worship service.

 

July 4th, 2021

Time for Justice

Amos 5: 24 “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

Throughout the ages, people have voiced their cry for justice in song. Songs of resistance became rallying cries for change during the Civil Right’s Movement. Over the years, celebrities have lent their voices to songs that bring attention to a need in the world like the Ethiopian famine in the 80’s. Even in the Bible, the book of Psalms includes expressions of fear and distress over injustice the people have experienced.

This week, as part of our hymn series, the focus will be on hymns of justice and peace that we sing in worship. Christian songwriters describe where justice is needed, they remind us of God’s call to care for others, and they encourage us to speak up and take action to make the world a better place.

Join us for worship on Sunday to praise, pray, and sing together.

June 27th, 2021

Glory Days

Isaiah 6: 3 “And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

In our online worship service over the next few weeks, we’ll be learning about some hymns and songs used in Christian worship. Music has always been a big part of worshipping God. The words used in hymns of praise tell the stories of Jesus, they proclaim what we believe, and they describe the divine. Glory is one word found in the Bible and in hymns that is often used to define God.

Glory is not a word we use often in casual conversation, but there are number of phrases we associate with glory. Crowning glory. In a blaze of glory. Into glory. The glory of love. Glory days. They all refer to something that is special, that deserves honour, and is worthy of praise. Throughout history, even in the midst of slavery, discrimination, and war, there has been literature, poetry and music that have called on and proclaimed a need for glory.

This week, we’ll hear the hymn, ‘Mine eyes have seen the glory’, with its well-known refrain: “Glory, glory, hallelujah, God’s truth is marching on.” The hymn was written in response to the Civil War in the U.S. and the need for justice, as well as proclaiming the power of God.

Join us on Sunday as we hear more about God’s glory and as we sing, pray, and worship together.

June 20th, 2021

Cross My Heart

Mark 8: 34 “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

There are different kinds of people we look up to these days. Leaders who get things done. Celebrities who entertain us. Sport stars who help our team win. Prosperous business owners whose products we buy. We may even try to be like them and wonder if we only work harder or smarter, we will be just as successful.

Jesus turned the world’s view of what was important and successful upside down when he modeled a new way of living and being together as human beings. When Jesus preached the good news of God’s presence in the world, it was with a call to recognize and reject those things in society that cause harm to one another. Instead of accepting and even participating in prejudice, injustice, and selfishness, Jesus showed a way of reconciliation, inclusion, and justice.

Our own ideas of success can be re-defined as we model the same values as Jesus. We can speak for those who have no voice, we can stand up for those who daily face acts of hatred based on their identity, and we can reject systems that belittle and demean others. When we work harder and smarter for the benefit of others, we are successful witnesses to the good news of God’s kingdom. Thanks be to God.

Knox Presbyterian Church will continue to worship ONLINE only for the next couple of months as we move closer to the time when in-person worship is safe again.

June 13th, 2021

Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Mark 4: 30-32 “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed… though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants.”

It’s that time of year again. The time when I decide what to plant in my garden and I find a package of zucchini seeds. I say, ‘I think we should plant two seeds.’ My husband says, ‘Don’t you think one is enough? Do you remember what happened last year and the year before and the year before that?’ Of course I do remember; we’ve had an over abundance of zucchini every year, some the size of a small child! It is always amazing to me how one tiny seed can produce a plant with vegetables that could feed a village.

In the Bible, Jesus told a story about how God’s kingdom will grow like the tiniest seed into a great plant. Like a seed planted in the ground, God’s kingdom begins with hope, hope in the good God has planned for the world. Next, just as a young seedling takes root in the soil, God’s kingdom is established with patience as evidence of the love and compassion of God is seen. Finally, the flourishing healthy plant provides a harvest just as God’s kingdom values of peace, grace, and joy are known and shared with the whole world.

If you want to know what God’s kingdom is like, take a look in the garden. It begins as the smallest seed of hope and grows to an overflowing harvest of love. By the way, there are two good-sized, healthy zucchini plants sprouting in my garden. Thanks be to God.

Please join Knox Presbyterian Church as we worship together.

June 6th, 2021

Different Kettle of Fish

Mark 1:17 “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.”

Chumming, Spinning, Jigging, Trolling. You may know that each of those words are fishing terms. If you love fishing, you will be dusting off your rod, reel, hooks, and lures, as the summer fishing season begins. Maybe you fish from the shore or maybe you go out on a boat or maybe you stand in a river. For some people, fishing is a solitary activity, for others it’s a hobby shared with family, and for others it’s a good excuse to get together with friends. No matter how or with who it’s done, the ultimate goal of fishing is to catch fish.

Jesus had just begun his ministry and he called some men, who fished for a living, to follow him and fish for people instead. I don’t know what my reaction would have been, but those fishermen immediately dropped everything and followed Jesus. Together, they travelled to towns and villages preaching good news about God’s kingdom of love, peace, hope, and grace. They turned upside down ideas about caring for others, forgiveness, and justice. They were called to reel in a different kettle of fish and that’s what they did.

Through worship (even online), fellowship, and service to others, Christians today answer that same call of Jesus to fish for people. They invite others into a relationship with God, to experience the new life that Jesus made known in his life, death, and resurrection, to know the presence of the Holy Spirit, and to be part of the church, the Body of Christ. Happy Fishing!!

PCC Prays for the Lives Lost at Kamloops Indian Residential School | The Presbyterian Church in Canada

Rainbow Communion: Special LGBTQI Listening Committee | The Presbyterian Church in Canada

Please join us as we pray, sing, and praise God together at our ONLINE only worship service this Sunday.

May 30th, 2021

Don’t Stop Me Now!

Acts 2: 4 “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…”

As this second year of the pandemic drags on, with a small glimmer of hope on the horizon, we’ve gotten used to doing things in a different way. Shopping, schooling, working, and going to church are just some of the activities that we’ve adapted to. Online church has become the norm and has the advantage of being available while we are staying safely at home and allows for some creative video production. However, it has been a big loss not to worship God together and to fellowship together. There have been times in this isolating year that it might have felt like God was not present, that we were enduring everything on our own. In the Bible, we learn that we are never alone because God gave an advocate, a guide, a helper in the Holy Spirit.

In the season of Pentecost, Christians celebrate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. Fifty days after Easter, the first followers of Jesus gathered together where a rush of wind was felt and tongues of fire were seen and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. People of faith throughout the ages have experienced the Holy Spirit in prayer and worship, as a sense of conviction or conscience, and as feeling of peace and love. God’s Spirit is never constrained by walls or hindered by circumstances. Today, it is reassuring to know that nothing can stop the Holy Spirit from entering our lives, not a pandemic or isolation or resistance or even unbelief. Thanks be to God.

Join us here for a time of prayer, singing, and praising God at our ONLINE only service this Sunday.

May 23rd, 2021

Serving: A Way Out of No Way

Joshua 24: 15 “… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.” What does it mean to serve? There are a number of definitions that include: serving in the military or in a government position, working as a server in a restaurant or retail setting, being served a court document, or serving a ball in tennis. The biblical idea of serving is about giving your energy, resources, and your heart to love and care for God and for others.

For the last number of weeks, we’ve heard how God provided a way out of no way by saving, blessing, protecting, delivering, and consecrating people who were in difficult situations. As they found their way to new life and opportunities, their response was to serve God and to serve others. For us today, serving is just as important. Looking beyond our own troubles and recognizing that everyone has their challenges, helps us to take that first step to helping and serving. For Christians, serving God means serving others in the same way Jesus did. It requires a choice and a commitment and, as MLK Jr. went on to say about service; “You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Join Knox Presbyterian Church this Sunday as our series “A Way Out of No Way” concludes with a call to service. Our ONLINE only worship services can be found here.

May 16th, 2021

Consecrating: A Way Out of No Way

Exodus 19: 4-5 “I lifted you up on eagles’ wings and brought you to me. So now, if you faithfully obey me and stay true to my covenant, you will be my most precious possession out of all the peoples, since the whole earth belongs to me.”

Now what?! How often have you worked to achieve a goal only to be left wondering, now what? What comes next? In the Bible, the Israelites were feeling unsettled and worried about the future after they were rescued from slavery, led to freedom, and began a journey through the wilderness. Yes, God had blessed them, protected them, and delivered them, but now they faced a new reality and they were unsure how to live their new life. So, God gave them another way out of no way to live together and thrive. In a classic scene from ‘The Ten Commandments’ movie, we see Moses coming down the mountain with the ten rules for living written on stone tablets.

God consecrated, or made holy, the commandments as an answer to the question ‘what now?’. Do not kill, steal, or lie, honour all your relationships, and worship God, only are the commandments that allowed the people to live together in freedom. For people of faith today, following these rules still allows us to live together as a community in a safe and healthy way.

We will continue our series A Way Out of No Way with the story of God’s gift of the Ten Commandments and how they guide our way today. Join us here!