Family Home Worship – August 30, 2020

Here are all your resources for our first week with the Big God Project. The Family Worship video will continue to be available starting at 9:00am on Sunday mornings.

Today’s Question

“What is your (total, for sure, no question, absolute, one-hundred-percent, yes, indeed) Favourite Story?”

You can just ask the question together as a family or have your kids fill out the colouring sheet. If you send along your answers by 12:00 noon on Saturday, they will be included in the Family Worship Video (which is recorded on Saturday afternoons). And if your kids want to share their colouring sheets, take a photo and they’ll also be included.

Question Sheet Week 1

The Big God Theme

“The Bible is God’s Big Story”

Family Worship Video – Available 9:00am Sunday Morning

Crafts, Discussion and Other Activities

This week it’s assembling a Big God Journal. If you would like one delivered to your house any time this fall just email Jen at  See the attached lesson file for more details or watch the how-to craft video. What you’ll find is simpler and more straightforward than what you were getting with our old curriculum.



As this is brand new to us at St. Andrew’s please let me know how we can make our family worship and learning resources the best and most helpful they can be.




Introducing the Big God Project!

We are exited to be introducing the Big God Project here at St. Andrew’s as a way to teach the Bible as God’s Big Story for all ages. The Big God Project launches this Sunday August 30.  In the video above Rev. John Read takes a few minutes to talk about this great locally produced worship and learning curriculum that we’ll be working through in the coming church year.

To learn even more, check out our service this Sunday or go to:

Home Worship – Sunday August 23, 2020

Our Home Worship service for Sunday August 23 will go live on YouTube at 10:30am. If you aren’t able to join us live, a recording will be available Sunday afternoon. The words to the songs in the service will be on the screen.

The service will also be available by telephone for those without internet access. If you or someone you know would like information for how to join us by telephone please email by 9:00am Sunday, or call the church office during the week (905-648-6024).

Order of Worship

Gathering Music

 Family Worship Video – “Bricks and Blocks” (available at 9:00am)

Worship Livestream –

Starts at 10:30am

Recorded Version

Call to Worship – Psalm 37:3-6, 23-24 (NRSV)

Opening Prayer

Hymn – “Be Thou My Vision” #461

Old Testament Reading – Isaiah 50:4-9 (NIV)

Gospel Reading – Matthew 16:21-28 (NIV)

Message – “Rocks and Stumbling Blocks”

Hymn – “Will You Come and Follow Me” #634

Closing Prayer & Blessing



    • Sunday Worship:  Worship on August 30 will be by YouTube Livestream. Worship on September 6 will be a Zoom Communion service. Our services will continue to be online (and telephone) only through to the end of September.
    • Planning for In-Person Worship: In the coming weeks we will be finalizing our health and safety plans, with Sunday October 4th as our target date for a return to in person services. This date has the benefit of giving us 4 weeks to assess how the reopening of schools will affect the public health situation. A letter will be sent to the congregation at the start of September containing the full details of our reopening plans and some questions for feedback. The elders will follow this up with a phone call to every household. Your responses to this letter and telephone survey will help us finalize our plans for October.
    • New Family Worship & Learning Program! Starting, next Sunday August 30, St. Andrew’s will be launching The Big God Project ( for our Family Worship Time. This curriculum combines worship and learning resources that can be used by the whole family. It includes a beautiful video telling of Bible stories, fun games, online resources for crafts and discussion all tied together by a weekly theme that will link adult and children’s learning each Sunday. This resource has been developed locally in Hamilton at Family Church of Heritage Green in partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Canada. If you want to get an idea what this will look like you can check out the Family Time portion of any service on Family Church’s YouTube Channel.


If you would like a phone call in the coming week or need some assistance, 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.


Grace and Peace,


Home Worship – Sunday August 16, 2020

Tomorrow is the 11th Sunday after Pentecost. Our Home Worship service will go live on YouTube at 10:30am. If you aren’t able to join us live, a recording will be available Sunday afternoon. The words to the songs in the service will be on the screen.

Order of Service

Gathering Music

All hail the power of Jesus’ name #363

Your Name is Power – Rend Collective

Family Worship Video – “Who Am I?” (available at 9:00am)

Worship Livestream Starts at 10:30am

Call to Worship – Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8 (NRSV)

Song – “In Christ Alone”

Opening Prayer

Old Testament Reading – Isaiah 51:1-6

Gospel Reading – Matthew 16:13-20

Message – “Who do you say I am?”

Hymn – “The Church’s One Foundation” #479 vs. 1,2&5

Closing Prayer & Blessing



    • Sunday Worship up to Labour Day: Worship on August 23 and August 30 will be by YouTube Livestream. Worship on September 6 will be a Zoom Communion service. All of these services will also be available by local telephone call. If you or someone you know would like the telephone number and access instructions please send me an email or call me at the number below.
    • Update on plans for In-Person Worship Services: The Reopening Taskforce continues to do its work, but it has submitted preliminary recommendations to Session. Look for an update on our plans for a return to in-person worship later this week.

If you would like a phone call in the coming week or need some assistance, please write to or call 905-648-6024.


Grace and Peace,


Livestreamed Worship Resumes Sunday August 16

After a mid-summer break, St. Andrew’s is back to Livestreamed Worship this week. Our Home Service will go live on YouTube this Sunday August 16 at 10:30am (though you can join early at 10:25). It will also be available by telephone for those without internet. We’ll be taking a break from our Zoom Coffee hour until September, but feel free to say hello in the YouTube live chat.

The YouTube link to the Livestream, an order of service and the Family Worship video will be posted here and on our Facebook page Saturday evening. Music this week will be led by Bob Marshall. If you aren’t able to join us live, a recording of the service will be available Sunday afternoon.

Home Worship – Sunday August 2, 2020

Good Afternoon Everyone

Welcome to our Home Worship service for August 2. Today was the celebration of Communion, which we held by Zoom video conference. Below is a recording of the service as well as our Family Worship Video.

Gathering Songs

You can listen to these songs to prepare yourself for worship:


Family Worship Time

Home Worship Video – “Seeing the Signs”


    • Worship on Sunday August 9 will be led by Rev. Dr. Dong-Ha Kim. This will be another Zoom Worship service. The church office will email you the Zoom link on the Saturday afternoon ahead of time.
    • Worship for the rest of August on to Labour Day weekend will return to the pattern of Live-Streamed services on YouTube most weeks, and a Zoom Communion service on the first Sunday of the month.
    • Planning for a Return to In-Person Worship: The Reopening Taskforce has begun meeting and will be submitting recommendations to Session for the return to in-person worship when it meets again on Wednesday August 12. This will include a target date for our first in-person Sunday, as well as a plan for safety measures. We are be encouraged by the low case numbers across the province and within the Hamilton region, but all plans will depend on how the public health situation continues to develop in the coming weeks.



Zoom Communion This Sunday

St. Andrew’s Sunday Worship is back from our mid-summer break. This Sunday August 2, we will be worshiping by Zoom video conference at 10:30am. Our service will include the celebration of communion, and live music.

If you aren’t on St. Andrew’s email list and would like to join our service please send an email to by 9:00am Sunday. If you aren’t able to join us live, the service up to the celebration of communion will be recorded and posted to YouTube by the early afternoon.

Initial Response to Provincial Reopening Plan for Churches

Many, if not most of you, may have heard that the province of Ontario will be allowing houses of worship to reopen across the province at 30% capacity as of  Friday June 12. This applies across the province including regions like the City of Hamilton that have not yet progressed to Stage 2 of the Ontario Government’s reopening plan. This news comes much earlier than expected as other provinces have only allowed churches to reopen for worship in later stages of their reopening plans.

While this is encouraging news, the Session of St. Andrew’s will be taking a cautious approach to restarting our in-person worship service, and the building will not be open for worship this week. There are a few reasons for this:

    • The Presbytery of Hamilton has asked that congregations refrain from reopening for worship until the Presbytery determines that it is safe to do so. The Session will not reopen the church building for in-person worship until we have Presbytery approval to do so
    • Hamilton has not yet transitioned to Stage 2 of the reopening. Session believes that restarting worship before Hamilton is at least in Stage 2 would be unwise and unsafe.
    • The initial announcement from the Government of Ontario mentioned that additional guidelines for houses of worship will be forthcoming and we cannot plan for reopening until we see these guidelines.
    • Reopening will take thorough planning and preparation, such as the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment, establishing cleaning and safety procedures and a broad consultation with the congregation. This will take time and cannot be rushed.

The top priority for Session is the safety of all members of the St. Andrew’s family as well as the safety of any guests who might join us for worship. We will be meeting again this coming Tuesday June 16 to discuss our next steps, and after that we will need to consult with the congregation before we make a final decision about when to reopen for in-person worship services. Therefore, it will likely be a few weeks before we come to a final decision.

In all things we trust that the Lord is guiding us into his will and desires the good of his church and everyone who is a part of it. You remain in our payers as we continue to make our way through this pandemic together. In times like these we are reminded of the fact that the church is first and foremost a community of people held together by the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know.

Yours in Christ’s Service,

The Session

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 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 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