Ephesians 4:1-7, 13-16
“Growing Up Together”
A Sermon for the 75th Anniversary of the Canadian Council of Churches at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, Toronto
I am deeply honoured to be here tonight and to preach in this church at this celebration. A week ago I was in Hungary and Romania on a Moderator’s visit to the Reformed Churches there that are partners in mission with our Presbyterian Church in Canada. While in Budapest, we met a Korean pastor who is serving the one Korean-language congregation in the Reformed Church of Hungary. After a few minutes of getting to know each other, he felt comfortable enough to express his surprise at meeting the Canadian Presbyterian Moderator and discovering that the Moderator looked like this!
He said, “In Korea, our moderators are usually old men.” “Yes, I understand. In Canada that is often the case too.” And then the Hungarian Church’s ecumenical officer chimed in, noting that before our visit he had looked at the pictures of past moderators on our church’s website. He said, “It looks like the church went in a different direction this time.”
Well, I’m still kind of shocked that I am the Moderator this year. But I would like to think … Read more »
“The Fruit of the Spirit is KINDNESS”
When you think of kindness, what comes to mind? An encouraging note sent by a friend? A caring shoulder to cry on? Someone assisting you with a difficult task, or allowing you to have a break from your work when you are tired? Whatever you think about, it most likely includes a warm fuzzy feeling. Kindness just does that. No wonder it’s a fruit of the Spirit. When we’re kind, others get to experience that warmth, and whether they realize it or not they’re experiencing some of God’s character.
Over the years here at St. Andrew’s, I have come to know many of you as people who demonstrate kindness on a regular basis. Of course, there are ways in which the church programs encourage us all to grow in kindness. During one of the arts and crafts sessions at Vacation Bible School last week, our children made cards to distribute to elderly homebound people in the congregation.
Our refugee sponsorship program has encouraged many of us to give extra offerings and household items to make one family’s settlement in Canada possible. And all summer you’ve been bringing in fruit offerings every Sunday … Read more »
2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:13a
As we continue through our summer Sundays, we are following through the biblical stories about King David of Israel. I understand that Jim McKay, who filled in for me last week, preached about David and his affair with another man’s wife. And next week, Gerry Kraay will be picking up the next part of the story. Today’s reading from 2nd Samuel is not so much a time of action in David’s story as it is a moment of reflection in his life.
If you were at worship last Sunday, you will know that although David was a pretty good king, and a king who had received God’s blessing and approval, David was not always a good guy. In fact, last week we heard about what may have been the lowest point of his leadership as he had an affair with Bathsheba, another man’s wife. And then David used his political power to have her husband, Uriah, sent to the front of the battle lines where he would undoubtedly be killed. All this, so that David could take Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, to be his own wife.
It’s hard to imagine how David could believe … Read more »
Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie
Ephesians 4:25 — 5:2
John 6:35, 41-51
The day of a baptism is a wonderful day to reflect on and to celebrate the church — the family of God — the Body of Christ that we all belong to together. Today we are welcoming a new member of our big family. Grace Anne is joined to Christ and to all of us (to our congregation here at St. Andrew’s, and to the whole Christian church throughout the world).
I would love to be able to simply celebrate that… to say “Welcome Grace Anne, to this big, happy, healthy, wholesome family of God!” and let that be all that I say. But like most families, our Christian family is not always a happy place. Our family is prone to dysfunction. We often do recognize that we all belong to the same family, but we don’t always get along, or talk to each other, or act like we belong together. We’ve had lots of disagreements in our Christian family over the years, and lots of our members are still feeling angry or hurt or disappointed. Some have moved out. Others have given up on trying to get along, and mostly … Read more »
Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie
2 Samuel 11:26 – 12:13a
Back in February, I helped to lead an ecumenical retreat for women in ministry here in Saskatoon. The Eucharistic theme of our time together was taken from Henri Nouwen’s book, “Life of the Beloved”. We explored how our lives (as women in ministry) are taken, blessed, broken, and shared for the life of the world, as we participate in Christ’s own ministry today. As part of our time together, we decided that it would be both fun and meaningful to make bread. I had never made bread except using a bread machine, but some of the other women were at least occasional bread bakers, so we gave it a try.
We gathered in groups of 6 or 7 around tables in the dining room at Queen’s House, and took turns adding ingredients, mixing, kneading, sharing stories, and laughing a lot. And much to my surprise, our bread turned out both beautiful and delicious. We ate it together the next morning during our closing worship. It was an ecumenical “holy meal” with plenty of bread and wine to share as we celebrated our brief time together and began to think … Read more »