Home Worship – March 29, 2020

I invite you to start your time of worship this morning by reading Psalm 130 out loud.

If having some worship music would be helpful, you can click or tap on the links to the some of the hymns and songs we had planned for worship this week

The Gospel Readings for today are: Matthew 26:17-19, 26-30 & John 13:1-20

The Message is based on Acts 10:34-43

Family Worship Time

Message: “Sharing the Good News Today”

Closing Prayer

If you want to dig a bit deeper into the themes from today’s message you can click the link to the study guide. You can also order or download a copy of the The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight at Amazon or Indigo.ca Today’s message draws on chapters 9 & 10 of Scot’s book.

Session 5 – Sharing the Good News Today

If you would like a phone call in the coming week or need some assistance with getting groceries or other necessities, please write me an email or give me a call at the number below. If you would like your name, or the name of someone you care about included in our prayers (or simply prayed for by myself or the elders) please let me know that as well.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.

 

Best,

John

Mar 26 – Midweek Message

Hi Everyone,

I pray that you’re all doing well this week as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here is a link to a midweek message (at some point I should probably give it a name – suggestions are welcome). I hope you find some encouragement in it.

In the message I talk about a couple more things that we can do to help some our neighbours who are having particular difficulty through this current crisis. Both are as simple as buying a few more items the next time you go do your weekly grocery shopping. As always this applies to those of us who are able to do so.
The food bank at Ancaster Community Services (ACS) is running low on a number of items. Here is what they need:
ACS Needs - Mar 26, 2020.png
One other group in our city that is in tremendous need are those who are homeless and street affected. Our friend Roger Boyd who runs Men’s Street Ministry sent out an emergency video message yesterday on his Facebook page that you can find here when you scroll down: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012176952905 or you can find a link to it on the St. Andrew’s Facebook page:
The short version is that many of the food programs that homeless people rely on have had to scale down or close because of the COVID-19 measures. Roger says, “I used to say that in Hamilton you might freeze to death, but you’ll never starve. But that’s no longer the case.” You can find Roger’s contact information at www.menstreetministry.ca/ to find out what he needs and arrange to drop off food (though canned tuna and other items for sandwiches are always welcome). In his message Roger informs us that his team are taking appropriate precautions when handing out food right now, by staying in their trailer and passing out meals in bags.

Home Worship – Sunday March 22, 2020

Good Morning Everyone,

I invite you to start your time of worship this morning by reading Psalm 16 out loud. It’s a prayer of hope and thankfulness in the midst of trouble. Verses 8-11 of this Psalm also point to Jesus (see the Apostle Peter’s message in Acts 2:22-36)

If having some worship music would be helpful, you can click or tap on the links to the some of the hymns and songs we had planned for worship this week

The Gospel Reading for today is Luke 19:1-10

The Message is based on Acts 3:1-26 (with a focus on verses 12-26)

This week I have prepared

A Short Family Time and Prayer (5 minutes)

A Full Message and Prayer – “The Good News Shared” (in two parts – 23 minutes)

If you want to dig a bit deeper into the themes from today’s message you can use the study guide below. You can also order or download a copy of the The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight at Amazon or Indigo.ca . Today’s message draws on chapters 7 & 8 of Scot’s book.

Study Guide – Session 4 – The Good News Shared

If you would like a phone call in the coming week or need some assistance with getting groceries or other necessities, please email me at revjohnread@gmail.com or call the church office 905-648-6024. If you would like your name, or the name of someone you care about included in our prayers (or simply prayed for by myself or the elders) please let me know that as well.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.

 

Best,

John

 

Update on Response to COVID-19

As the situation has developed the Session (leadership) of St. Andrew’s has taken further steps going forward.  Look here for updates as things continue to develop or in your email.

Sunday Worship:

We will not be gathering for worship at the church building until the week of April 6 at the earliest. If publicly funded schools reopen that week, we will do the same – however, there is the real possibility that school closures could be extended. Session will be monitoring communications from public health officials and respond accordingly.

We will be offering online worship services. Starting this Sunday (March 22) there will be a video service available at 10:30am.  You will be able to find the YouTube video here, and there will also be a message with a link sent to everyone on our email list at 10:20am. We encourage you to set apart our usual worship time, and we will provide additional resources for you to worship at home.

Pastoral Care:

Pastoral Care will continue for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. Indeed, we will be deepening our care for each other at this time, especially for those who are isolated at home. The Session and members of the pastoral care team are developing a telephone ministry to regularly check in with members of our congregation. Care and communication will also continue through email, card ministry, and prayer for our church family (especially for seniors, whether in their own homes or retirement homes).

We are offering assistance to anyone who needs help obtaining groceries and other essentials. If you are self-isolating, or are in an at risk group and staying home to safe guard your health and need someone of pick up groceries and household essentials for you please call the church office (905-648-6024) or email standrewsancaster@gmail.com. Amber, our office administrator will be working from home for the duration of the current situation but will be checking phone messages and email regularly. We will then arrange for one of the elders, or another member of the congregation to get in touch with you.

Pastoral Care is also the ministry of the whole congregation. Please take time to call and check in with other members of the church who may be isolated or in need of support through this time. If you would like an up to date telephone directory, please let me know and I will send you one by email.

Christian Education:

We’re looking at options to provide families with some educational resources and activities in the coming weeks.

Mar 19 – Midweek Message

I’ve prepared a mid-week devotional message reflecting on the week and offering some suggestions for how we can try to make the best of the situation with God’s help.

While those in healthcare and government are working more right now, and some others are still working something like a normal week (even if it’s from home), many of us have more time on our hands (even if a lot of it is being spent with our kids or grandkids). Here are some thoughts on how we can be at peace with this new situation, and make good use of the time.

A couple of resources I mention in the video are N. T. Wright’s For Everyone commentary series. Wright combines a casual easy reading style, personal stories and excellent scholarship. It breaks each book of the New Testament into short sections that can be read in a few minutes and includes his own accessible translation from the original Greek. You can get them easily in paperback or in e-book form.

Since one of the practices I’ve encouraged for Lent is to read the Gospels, let me recommend in particular Mark for Everyone (Amazon | Indigo) and Matthew for Everyone (Amazon | Indigo). I swear that I’m not getting a kick back from the publisher – I just think these are really helpful guides for anyone who wants to get into the Bible.

As I mention in the video, I have three copies of Mark for Everyone in my office, so if you’d like to borrow one just send me a message and I’ll drop it off in your mailbox.

You can also find great online Bible study resources from the Bible Project https://bibleproject.com/ You can take some time to explore or go right to their videos for the Gospels or the Psalms:

The Gospel of Mark

The Gospel of Matthew

How to read the Psalms

Online Worship this Week:

In talking to some of you on the phone, or over email you’ve shared some of the concerns that this current situation has raised for you. If there’s anything you’d like me to include in the prayers for our home worship video this week let me know. Alternately if there’s something you’d like prayed for privately, I’m happy to do that as well.

I’ll be sending you an email with a link to the Home Worship Video at 10:20am on Sunday morning. And now that I’ve got some practice posting videos to YouTube, you’ll have that email in your inbox on time (God willing). I’ll also be posting the YouTube video on our website, if you just want to go there at 10:30.

Until then, take care, be safe and trust that God will see us through this.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. John Read

Home Worship Service for Sunday March 15

Good Morning Everyone,

I invite you to start your time of worship today by reading Psalm 72 out loud.

This prayer of King David expresses the hopes people had for God’s promised Messiah and the transformation he would bring to the world.

If having some worship music would be helpful, you can click or tap on the links to the some of the hymns and songs we had planned for worship this week

Fairest Lord Jesus #375 –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o_2A94jsEA

Great Things (by Phil Wickham) –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4CY3nf1Mvw

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing #374 –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv_tmmnrJpM

The Gospel Reading for today is Matthew 11:2-15

Here is a link to my Message for the day and a prayer for our church and community:

 

If you want to dig a bit deeper into the themes from today’s message you can use the study guide (click the link below). You can also order or download a copy of the The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight at Amazon or Indigo.ca Today’s message draws on chapters 7 & 8 of Scot’s book.

Session 3 – The Good News of Jesus

If you would like a phone call in the coming week, or need some assistance with getting groceries or other necessities, please write me an email (revjohnread@gmail.com) or call the church office 905-648-6024.

The elders and I have now met, and we’ll have a message detailing our plans for the coming weeks out to you by Tuesday afternoon.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.

 

Best,

John

Mar 15 – Worship Service Cancelled

It is with a heavy heart that Session has decided to cancel our Sunday worship service for tomorrow, March 15. The public, government and church response to COVID-19 has continued to progress rapidly over the last 24 hours. In light of these developments, the most responsible decision is for St. Andrew’s to cancel our service as well.
Over the past few days we have been investigating options for video recording and live-streaming a version of our service so that we can still worship together on Sundays even if we are physically separate in our own homes.
Session will have something in place for next Sunday, but in the mean time Rev. Read will be preparing a short video message with a devotion and time of prayer that you can watch during our regular time of worship tomorrow.  A message will be sent out to the congregational email list  at 10:00am tomorrow morning which will contain a link to this video message, the Bible readings for the day, and some other worship resources. This message will also be posted here on the church website.
The Session will also be meeting for prayer and discernment during our regular 10:30am worship time. We will be discussing how we can provide care and spiritual support the members of our congregation during this time, and continue to be salt and light in our community. Session will continue to provide updates and news as the public health situation continues to develop.
Though we will not be physically together tomorrow morning we will still be united through our Lord Jesus and by his Spirit. The Lord is still risen, God still reigns and Sunday is his day, no matter what is going in this world and in our lives.
May you know his grace and peace always,
Rev. John Read

Mar 18 – Let’s Do Lunch Cancelled

As noted in our response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 we have cancelled our Let’s Do Lunch gathering that was scheduled for Wednesday March 18. Please pass this message along to others who normally attend this event.

The Session of St. Andrew’s will be monitoring the public health situation over the coming weeks and determine whether or not to hold Let’s Do Lunch in April.

Responding to Concerns Surrounding Coronavirus COVID-19 – Updated

In response to the recent news about the coronavirus (COVID-19), our prayers to God are for those who are ill with this virus and for those who care for them, especially in countries that have been most affected. We also pray for health and frontline workers as they face their daily tasks. And we remember those communities and businesses that have been affected and any facing discrimination as a result of the circulation of the virus.

Public Health officials tell us that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to any virus. General prevention measures include:

  • Get your flu shot if you have not already received one.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay home if you have influenza/respiratory virus symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, trouble breathing).
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Currently, the risk of getting COVID-19 in Canada remains low for the general population.  But as the last few days have shown the situation can quickly change. Everyone should use their best judgement on how to minimize risk, especially for those who are most vulnerable:

  • aged 65 and over,
  • with compromised immune systems,
  • with underlying medical conditions.

If you’re rejoining us after travelling abroad, please review the suggested guidelines on the federal government’s website https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices which has the most up-to-date information for returning travellers.

Sunday Worship

  • Worship has been cancelled for Sunday March 15. Session (the Minister and elders) will be meeting to determine our next steps as a congregation in light of the public health situation. We will keep you informed in the coming days and weeks by email and here on the church website.

Other Church Events

  • Let’s Do Lunch is cancelled next Wednesday March 18. We will continue to monitor the public health situation over the next few weeks before making a decision about the April Let’s Do Lunch.
    • Please pass along the news to any friends from outside the congregation who normally attend Let’s Do Lunch.
  • We are also cancelling our Children’s Choir rehearsals and Messy Church gatherings until classes resume at Ontario Public Schools. Current plans are for schools to reopen on April 5.

Going Forward

The Government of Canada provides updates as well as other health safety practices and resources at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html. Information about the current status of the situation in Ontario is available on the Ministry of Health website at www.ontario.ca/coronavirus. It’s important to ensure that you are using credible sources of information like these to get your information about COVID-19.

Feb 29 – Next Messy Church Gathering

Saturday February 29  is our next Messy Church gathering (from 10:00am to Noon). Messy Church is way to open the door to families of all kinds who aren’t connected to a church, but would like to explore faith together with others. The basic idea is that people don’t have to have it ‘all together’ in order to come to church (to learn more go to: https://www.messychurch.org.uk/). Everyone can come exactly as they are.

It’s for all ages together (kids, parents, grandparents and other family) and involves crafts, a meal and a short time of informal worship. We’re now running Messy Church monthly, so if you can’t make it this time you’ll have another chance on Saturday March 28.