I am returning from a time away. Béatrice and I spent wonderful days away with our family, and visiting her gathered family – we were sixteen in all. Now I return to my church family. I look forward to the congregational year ahead, beginning in a few short weeks with the 200th anniversary celebrations.

More immediately I look forward to completing our summer exploration of Paul’s letter to the Philippians … and us. This Sunday the focus is upon his declaration ‘I press on’ (Philippians 3:10 4:1). The amazing thing is that Paul, imprisoned and isolated as he is, makes this declaration not out of grim duty but with great joy. The point he makes for us as Christians is that, however full our heritage, we need to allow the future to shape our lives. In Jesus Christ we know what lies ahead for us by the grace of God, and it is that which provides lives now with strength and joy. ‘Press on’ is less an exhortation to discipline than an encouragement to turn on the power that flows from the Holy One into our lives!

If you are in the area, we warmly welcome you to join us. Have a look at the Order of Service below. There is ample free parking on the streets around the church, and in the public surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street. During the service there is a nursery offered for infants and young children.

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Summer! As the rivers sparkle in the sun, as the markets fill with produce of garden and field, as friends visit or are visited, these are days in which gratitude arises spontaneously and deeply. We warmly welcome you to gather with us to give thanks … to God, ‘the Lord who provides’. The Rev. Nancy Hancock will be leading worship. A nursery for infants and young children is offered during the service. Have a look at the Order of Service below, and join us!

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‘The Three Servants’ by JESUS MAFA – A Christian community in the Cameroon

If you are in the Kingston area, we would welcome you to join us in the worship of God. Our preacher this morning is the Rev. Dr. Karen Bach. Karen was the first Ecumenical Chaplain of the University of Toronto, and has also served as Director of the Evergreen Centre of the Yonge Street Mission, focusing upon additional pastoral services for young people on the streets of Toronto. The sermon theme is ‘Wise Investing in 2017′ based on Jesus’ parable of three servants from Matthew 25:13-40. Another special guest is violinist Doug Handforth. During the service a nursery is offered for infants and preschoolers. Have a look at the Order of Service below, and please join us!

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We concluded our July study evenings listening to a TED talk about the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of Rome. It was fascinating. Curator Elizabeth Lev reminded how radically Michelangelo re-interpreted the Christian gospel with this art. Dispensing with the usual custom of setting biblical stories in a contemporary, 15th century Italian context, Michelangelo presented the human beings in a timelessly accessible manner, without clothes or scenery at all! Which is why, perhaps, 5 million 21st century human beings make the pilgrimage to see this ceiling every year. It speaks strong and deep across the ages. I would encourage you to take in the lecture yourself – https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_lev_the_unheard_story_of_the_sistine_chapel

In the scene above, Adam lies languid – robust in physique but obviously without much energy or spirit, reclining, with his arm hanging limp upon his knee. The artist draws us into the expectation of that instant, when the Man receives the divine touch that makes life meaningful and deeply interesting. (And notice that Eve is not an after-thought of the Holy One, a mere help mate of the Man, but already fully formed and held lovingly in the other divine arm!)

As Christians, a scene like this leads us to think about the transformation of human life by the ‘touch’ of Christ. As we continue through Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we arrive this Sunday at his wonderful declaration ‘I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord’ (Philippians 3: 8). Knowing Christ transforms life, and even death.

Have a look at the order of service below, and join us if you are in the area!

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These warm and wonderful days of summer we continue our journey through Paul’s letter to the Philippians with our Minister. The words this morning are of great encouragement (Philippians 2:1-18). There is a healing and a hope waiting for us to explore (further) and enjoy (more fully) … in Christ. This is not a matter of achievement or accomplishment, but is all gift … of God. ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you’ (Philippians 2:12-13).

There is assurance but also exhortation in this passage of Paul’s letter. As I was preparing my words for the sermon this Sunday, I remembered a parable told by William Barclay. It focused on a child who chose to continue playing in a small sand box when the joys of an entire ocean beach were just steps away. The Scottish Presbyterian Bible commentator was pointing to the fact that so many Christians seem to become content with what they know and resist growing into faithful maturity, perhaps with struggle but for good. Not one of us can be satisfied with anything less than the fullness of life promised, the salvation of God.

Since May, a group of Queen’s students associated with InterVarsity Fellowship have been living in the heritage manse of St. Andrew’s, creating an intentional missional community at the corner of Princess and Clergy. This morning Deirdre and Alix will be with us, and share some of their hopes and prayers.

Have a look at the order of service below, and if you are in the area, you would be welcome to join us in the worship of God. A sanctuary of beauty. Classic hymns of praise. A time of reflection and renewal. Even some special music from the St. Andrew’s recorder class! There is ample parking on the streets around, and in the public surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street. And during the service there is a supervised nursery for infants and young children.

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Have a look at our congregational newsletter for the month. (It is meant to be folded into three, so you need a bit of imagination to understand its layout!) Please consider each announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service.

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