Self Isolating with Wisdom – 31 Days with Proverbs

Today, I’m inviting you to join me on a 31 day journey of Self Isolation with Wisdom – the wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs. Starting today and over the next 31 days, I’d like to encourage you to read a chapter from Proverbs each day. For those of you who would like more of a challenge, I’ve also included a reading plan that would take you through the Book of Psalms AND Proverbs in 31 days. Occasionally in our regular e-mails, you will see reminders and quotes from the daily readings to keep you on track.

I’ve included this great and simple overview of the Book of Proverbs from the British and Foreign Bible Society who a few years back produced these resources for their Bible Book Club. I hope it helps give you context for this rich book of wisdom literature attributed to King Solomon. Here’s the link:

And if you’d like to try something a little more challenging – here’s the reading plan for reading both The Book of Psalms AND Proverbs in 31 Days.

I look forward to walking in the path of wisdom with you these 31 days.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” ~ Proverbs 1.7

St. Andrew’s WENT ZOOM – March 29, 2020

We had our SECOND ZOOM worship experience on Sunday with over 50 participants. Rev. John offered another spiritual practice for us to consider – Visio Divina (Divine Seeing). By using a photo, image, or just by looking around, one can seek to connect with the Divine and one’s deeper stirrings. Here’s the service if you want to review it again or watch for the first time:

St. Andrew’s Guelph Worship Experience – March 29, 2020

St. Andrew’s Goes ZOOM – Sunday March 29

We are looking forward to our SECOND ZOOM Worship experience. This week, I’ll be guiding us through the spiritual practice Visio Divina – adding to your spiritual toolkit during these challenging times.

For those of you joining us by phone on Sunday, here’s the picture that we will be focusing on.

As we did last week, I’ll be starting the ZOOM gathering at 10AM so that folks can have some informal connection and get acquainted with the technology.

At 10:30AM, we will begin our worship time and the recording so that we can post it at our YouTube Channel on Tuesday morning. You are welcome to re-watch it and pass it along to others who might find it meaningful.

Following worship (shortly after 11AM), we will keep the meeting open for another time of informal connection and then say our goodbyes for another week.

Here are the details of how to get connected on Sunday Morning. Remember you can either click the link below from your computer or device… or you can call one of the numbers below to join by phone. Video is optional – just remember if it is on… we can see you and everything behind you. 😉

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 201 343 581

One tap mobile
+17789072071,,201343581# Canada
+14388097799,,201343581# Canada

Dial by your location
        +1 778 907 2071 Canada
        +1 438 809 7799 Canada
        +1 587 328 1099 Canada
        +1 647 374 4685 Canada
        +1 647 558 0588 Canada
Meeting ID: 201 343 581

See you on Sunday Morning!

Thursday Morning Bible Study – March 26 at 10AM

Looking forward to our SECOND Thursday Morning Bible Study by ZOOM.

Join us by clicking on the link below or calling one of the numbers.

Our Text for this week is Matthew 7: 13 – 29. See you then, Rev. John.

Topic: Thursday Morning Bible Study
Time: Mar 26, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 237 749 381

One tap mobile
+17789072071,,237749381# Canada
+14388097799,,237749381# Canada

Dial by your location
        +1 778 907 2071 Canada
        +1 438 809 7799 Canada
        +1 587 328 1099 Canada
        +1 647 374 4685 Canada
        +1 647 558 0588 Canada
Meeting ID: 237 749 381

St. Andrew’s Goes ZOOM – Sunday March 22, 2020

Well, we had our FIRST EVER virtual worship service in our almost 200 year history. Around 50 people joined us on Sunday at 10:30AM from their homes to share in an unique worship experience. I broadcasted from my Office at St. Andrew’s. We were able to record it and are delighted to share the YouTube link with you: 

I talked about the ancient practice of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading). You can find a link to a brief primer on the practice here:

Thanks for joining us… or connecting with us via YouTube this week. Feel free to leave us a comment on the video to encourage us as we serve in this new way. Special thanks to Peter Devries for co-hosting with me and taking care of any technical issues along the way.

Check back on our website, Facebook page, or our regular emails (subscribe below if you are not receiving them) to keep up to date with what’s happening at St. Andrew’s Guelph.

UPDATE: Friday March 20

Reminder: There will be NO Worship Services at St. Andrew’s on Sunday March 22 and March 29. Please continue to check our website, these emails, our Facebook Page and CJOY/Magic 106.1 for any future cancellations.

In Person worship might be cancelled but we can still worship TOGETHER (at a distance)! 

Join us on Sunday at 10:30AM using Zoom – 
for a LIVE worship experience with ME (Rev. John). It will be simple but worshipful and you will have the opportunity to interact on the comments section of the site. Using Zoom allows us to record the service so that we can send it in the days that follow to those who weren’t able to join us. 

To join us on ZOOM, simply click on the link below or call one of the numbers to hear the Service:

Topic: Sunday Morning Worship @ St. Andrew’s Guelph
Time: Mar 22, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 956 852 340

One tap mobile
+14388097799,,956852340# Canada
+15873281099,,956852340# Canada

Dial by your location
        +1 438 809 7799 Canada
        +1 587 328 1099 Canada
        +1 647 374 4685 Canada
        +1 647 558 0588 Canada
        +1 778 907 2071 Canada
Meeting ID: 956 852 340

The plan will be that I will open the meeting at 10AM. You can join then and connect with folks and learn how to use the platform. Peter Devries will be helping me – monitoring the chat for technical issues, and recording the worship service portion, etc.

At 10:30AM, I will start the worship service. You are welcome to join at that time. It will be an annotated service, informal, with prayers, Scripture, an adapted sermon and a blessing. 

After the service, at about 11AM, I will remain on and allow for any further social connections to occur through video, speech or chat.

Don’t forget your favourite beverage – you are at home after all!

You can choose if you want to be seen through video or not, it isn’t necessary. You can also choose to simply call in using the phone and listen in that way by calling one of the numbers listed in the ZOOM invitation. We are experimenting here and will try our best to provide some Spiritual refreshment for the week that was. Hope to be with you on Sunday morning.

In addition, our friends in Christ – Two Rivers Church – are encouraging their community to share an adapted “Daily Office” for prayer. They are committing to pray throughout the day a set prayer (as the ancient church did and still occurs in some Christian communities). Here’s a link to their website that outlines the times of day and the prayers that are set for each time. May we gain strength and courage in the knowledge that we are united in prayer throughout the day. You can find it here:

See you on Sunday at 10ish… 1030 for our worship service on ZOOM.

Grace and peace,

Experiment #1: Thursday Morning Bible Study by Zoom

Our First Experiment – Thursday Morning Bible Study on Zoom
I’ve signed up for a FREE Zoom account – it allows 40 minute online meetings with up to 100 people. 
So THIS Thursday at 10AM, join me and maybe 100 people (ha!) for our FIRST ever St. Andrew’s Guelph Thursday Morning Bible Study. Let’s play with this amazing technology together. Be sure to use your computer – you can choose to use the video option or not. Here’s the invitation and the link below.

John Borthwick is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Thursday Morning Bible StudyTime: Mar 19, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting

You will need to click on this link around 10AM or slightly before. And then we will dig into the Scripture for the day.

We will be talking about Matthew 6:19 – 7:12.

Here’s a link to the text:
And just to say, this was the text that I was scheduled to speak on this coming week! The Spirit moves in mysterious ways.
Stay connected (at a distance), calm and healthy.

Grace and peace, John.

UPDATE – Worship Cancelled for March 22 and March 29 (COVID-19)

Good morning all,

Thank you for your calm and measured response to the crisis we are all facing at this time. I have appreciated your messages of support and encouragement as well as your offers to assist those in need in the coming weeks. There was a modest crowd in attendance at our worship service on Sunday who followed all the appropriate precautions and maintained social distance. The solidarity demonstrated by our congregation is inspirational. Now, I ask for that same solidarity as we take the next best step based on the information we have at the moment.

EFFECTIVE TODAY (Monday March 16), we will CANCEL worship services scheduled to be held on March 22 and March 29. It is our hope that we may be able to worship together again on Sunday April 5 (Palm Sunday). However, we will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed if today’s decision needs to be extended.

In addition, the Board of Managers has decided that (1) the church building is closed to outside groups and (2) the church building remain open for use by staff for their on-going duties. At this point, most of our outside groups have cancelled or postponed their gatherings for the time being anyway. 

With regard to St. Andrew’s activities, this decision means that there will be NO Choir practices or Thursday Morning Bible Study during this period. The Lenten Seminar scheduled for March 28 will also be POSTPONED.

I reiterate my encouragement to reach out to each other and staying connected. To that end, Shainna will be checking messages and be available during this time Tuesday through Friday from 930AM – 1130AM. If you are able to assist others, do let Shainna know. And if you are in need of assistance (picking up groceries, prescriptions, etc), please call Shainna so that she can put you in contact with someone who has offered to assist. The Church Office phone number is: (519) 822-4772 or via email: Obviously, this is not an emergency service – if you need immediate assistance please contact the appropriate services.

I will be working on offering some spiritual content and connection via our website ( and Facebook page ( Below is the video of the message that I delivered on Sunday related to our response to COVID-19. I’m looking forward to the chance to experiment a little with this technology. I hope you will enjoy it as we play!  

Message from Rev. John Borthwick regarding COVID-19 and our response (turned into a second sermon)

Thanks again for your support as we make these decisions for the sake of our members and the wider community. It is important for us to do our part to #FlattentheCurve as we are being encouraged by the Health authorities.

Keep informed but not overwhelmed. Do keep up to date through the WDG Public Health website (, the City of Guelph ( and the Government of Canada ( Check in on these sources regularly but again, not obsessively. Take time to do something else – get outside, watch a favourite show/movie, read a book – The Bible (you’ve got time!), sit quietly, call a friend, paint, create, clean up… lots to do!

Stay connected (at a distance) and stay healthy.Continue to be kind and compassionate to one another.We will get through this together with God’s help.

Grace and peace, John.

Rev. John Borthwick Minister | St. Andrew’s Guelph

Service From March 15th, 2020

Introit / Hymn 61 / Prayer of Confession / Assurance of Forgiveness / Psalm 95, Dramatic Reading of Matthew 6: 1-18 / Hymn 660  / Message: “Your Secret Life” / Hymn 638 / Offertory / Offertory Prayer / Opportunities in the Life of St. Andrew’s / Prayers of the People / The Lord’s Prayer / Hymn 685 / Benediction

This week’s homework…

Decide whether you’d like to experiment with giving to

the poor, fasting, or praying in secret.

But don’t tell anyone!