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Calendar of Events and Special Notices and Announcements
are posted on this page - supplementary information might be found on other webpages, depending on the content.

Taxi Service for Sunday Worship
If you have already called the church office to add your name to the list for the service, you are welcome to call Red Top the Saturday before you would like to attend Sunday Worship.
The service is available for seniors and those with mobility issues and who would like a ride to church, but you are not obligated to use it every week if you already have a ride. 
If you would like your name added to the list for taxi service,
Please call Shainna in the church office at 519-822-4772.

Calendar of Events

What's Happening: 2018
Updated on an ongoing basis

Click on an event title to view event's details
Click on event title again to "close" event details

The church office will be closed on the March Break for March 12-14, 2018, but will be open March 15th and 16th, regular hours.

Character is not made in a crisis – it is only exhibited.
Robert Freeman


Special Announcements

Congregational Survey - be sure to fill out the Congregational Survey, either on paper (and deposit in the box near the Welcome Centre), or electronically by following the link
Please have every member of your family, young and old, fill it out.

Kiwanis Festival

Volunteers needed to "host" at St. Andrew's April 23-27.
Anyone who would like to help with the door and directing people around the church, please contact Virginia at

Doors Open 2018
is Saturday April 21, from 10 am - 4 pm
St. Andrew's is a host site in honour of our 190th anniversary.
We will need at least 12 volunteers. The positions are guides (I have 4), counters, greeters or sweeps. High school students can fill these roles. Any volunteer will be entitled to priority entrance to the other sites for the half of the day they are not at St. Andrew's.
If you are interested in helping, please contact Anne Holman at or 519 822-0153

Christmas Letter 2017
from Rev. John
Christmas is often wrapped in gift giving and exchanging gifts
can be a beautiful part of the season. As a community who seeks
to follow the One who gave us the gift of life,
we know that we have a lot to be grateful for.

Farm Fresh Eggs for sale
Some of you may have noticed the egg fridge at the Welcome Centre.
The Oskam family is supplying the fresh eggs from their farm. Eggs are available for purchase at $3 a dozen (there is a locked money box on the fridge) and a portion of the sales made from the eggs is then directed back to St. Andrew's.
This fridge is for egg sales only - please do not confuse it with the egg and cheese donations for Chalmers. Of course you can use the fridge to purchase eggs for Chalmers donations if you wish, but please make sure donations for Chalmers are placed in the fridge in the kitchen.

Rev. John Borthwick's Intermission

Download the full text of the 2-page letter (pdf)


Rejuvenate 190 Campaign - St. Andrew's Guelph - 2016 – 2018

Download the full text of the 2-page letter to the congregation (pdf)

In 2018, St. Andrew's Guelph will be celebrating its 190th year as a community of faith in the City of Guelph. As a part of our celebrations, we have launched a three-year campaign to raise $190,000 to restore our historic and picturesque sanctuary. If we exceed our goal, we will rejoice by sharing our good fortune with the wider community in some tangible way yet to be determined… so here's to raising more than we need to accomplish our goal!
September 2017 Update:
We are so delighted to be able to update everyone on our progress towards our goal of raising $190,000 by our 190th anniversary in April 2018 – you will see the thermometers are updated too – to date we have raised $52,171.95. When we add the monies that were made available through our designated funds, we now have raised $153,171.95. That reflects 80% progress towards our final goal. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your generosity is inspiring. We are waiting to hear how our project may be impacted by the steeple fire but are confident that we will meet any goal set before us. Praise God, together we've almost reached our goal! Thanks again for your support.
The Rejuvenate 190 Team (Bob Ireland – Honourary Campaign Chair, Troy Riddell, Ernie Kaethler, Brian and Kathleen Black, Lonny Howard, Gwen Gooyers, and Rev. John Borthwick)
- Read the online article posted April 26, 2017 at Guelph
St. Andrew's church raising funds for some much-needed TLC
- Read the online article posted May 4, 2017 at St. Andrew's church being restored for 190th anniversary of Guelph landmark


Click here to read Rev. John's Christmas Letter 2016
We wait in these dark times – for the light of the world to illuminate even our darkest of places. To bring hope to situations we thought lost. To bring restoration to places we thought broken beyond repair. That is what we wait for in this significant season. And that is what we celebrate on that Christmas morn that is coming…


The Jeff-a-Thon, October 16, was a wonderful success.
The rains held off to allow our walkers and runners the opportunity to be dry as they completed their laps on the grounds of Crieff Hills Community. St. Andrew's was well represented by Rick McRonald, Anne and Paul Pennock, Mary Rife, Peggy O'Kane, Susan Lucas, Lonny Howard, and Rev. John, Kate, Logan and Shannon Borthwick.
The event was very well organized and included opening and closing ceremonies. We began by remembering our friend, The Rev. Jeff Veenstra, and his passion for PWS&D, and the project in Malawi where our monies will be going. A bench provided by the generous sponsorship of the Presbytery of Waterloo-Wellington was dedicated in memory of Jeff and will become a permanent installation at Crieff. Following the 5km Run/Walk and the 10km Run, there was food and fellowship and games for children and adults.
At the closing ceremonies, Guy Smagghe, the Executive Director of PWS&D shared his delight in the success of this day and invited a guest from Malawi to address those gathered. She shared information about the maternal and child health programs going on in Malawi, and thanked those who raised funds, reminding us that we were a part of saving the lives of mothers and children in Malawi – all from just walking/running around a trail in the beautiful setting of Crieff Hills.
The final total was shared, and we celebrated that over $30,000 was raised.
St. Andrew's Guelph was not the winner of the highest donation… but I've been advised that we came a very close second with over $10,000 raised.
So Mary Rife's hair is safe… but we can celebrate that she came through with her promise to walk while pushing Peggy O'Kane in her wheelchair (not an easy task on gravel trails). Way to go, Mary!
Thank you again, St. Andrew's, for your generosity and willingness to share so freely of your gifts! You did Team St. Andrew's PROUD! Praise God.
Rev. John

St. Andrew's Refugee Support Committee has been working at breakneck speed to gather information and complete the paperwork necessary to bring a refugee family to Guelph as soon as possible. Our new government has also been putting the necessary services in place, and organizing transportation for thousands of refugees. The emails have been flying back and forth in huge numbers between the committee and Session, and things are starting to take shape. Now we are relying on you to do your part to raise funds and help with other arrangements to support a refugee family.
We need your help! Please don't leave the refugees out in the cold for another harsh winter.
Link to special Refugee Sponsorship webpage


Resource and Forum on Human Sexuality
(Posted January 2016) As you may be aware, our denomination is entering into a period of discernment around Human Sexuality. The Moderator of The Presbyterian Church in Canada has encouraged members of congregations to review and provide feedback on a resource that has been produced by our denomination entitled Body Mind and Soul. Responses need to be submitted in February 2016.
The resource can be found at our denominational website:
If you'd like a copy printed for yourself, please contact Shainna in the Church Office.
In addition, our Session would like to encourage those interested to attend a Forum on Human Sexuality that is being presented by the Presbytery of Hamilton in late January. Details are on a poster found at the Welcome Centre and were sent out via Prayers and Blessings recently. It looks like a full day and a very comprehensive line-up of speakers.
If there is enough interest, we may host some study sessions with the resource Body Mind and Soul. But since this is just the first of likely many resources from our Assembly, we may just leave this one with you and see what other opportunities arise.
May we continue to hold one another in prayer as we as a denomination consider Human Sexuality over the coming years. And may God's grace uphold us as we walk this journey together.
In Christ's service,
Rev. John


Walk/Run in support of PWS&D - October 16, 2016

St. Andrew's will skip participating in the 2016 Ride for Refuge and, instead, focus on the Walk/Run.

Instead, St. Andrew's is participating in and supporting the
Walk/Run in support of PWS&D
in Rev. Jeff Veenstra's memory.
Date: Sunday, October 16th, 2016.
Venue: Crieff Hills Community.
Click here for details



  Ride for Refuge fundraiser happened again on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015.

It was wonderful to have a large group representing St. Andrew's and friends join our team Steeplechase to help raise funds for three charities:
1) Welcome In Drop-In Centre (Sister Christine), Guelph
2) Chalmers Community Services Centre, Guelph and
3) Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D), an international relief and aid unit within the national Presbyterian Church in Canada

The Steeplechase team raised funds as a single group effort. Ride for Refuge sent a cheque for the monies raised by Steeplechase to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Guelph. Thanks to your support, Steeplechase-St. Andrew's raised and sent $672.75 to each of these 3 recipients:
PWSD, Sister Christine's Welcome In Drop-In Centre and Chalmers Community Services Centre.

Online donations closed October 21, 2015.

Thank you!
On behalf of your Steeplechase team,
Mary Visser Kerr
St. Andrew's Team "Steeplechase" Ride Co-ordinator for the 2015 Ride for Refuge

P.S. You can follow the RIDE on Facebook here!
Note: The Ride for Refuge is operated under the charitable oversight of Blue Sea Philanthropy, (BSP), a registered Canadian charity (public foundation, 819882655RR0001)

Photos of Steeplechase team 2015
LtoR: Edmund Bauer, John E. Kerr, Knolly Toolsie, Michael Weiss and Mary Visser Kerr. Missing from photo: Rick McRonald and Deborah Phibbs

Clack Family: Craig, Colleen
and daughters Leah and Grace

Wilfred Ferwerda and
daughter Maija Ferwerda

Michael Weiss and Knolly Toolsie



In Flanders Fields at 100 (IFF 100)

  • May 3 1915 - John McCrae wrote "In Flanders Fields" which we recognize in today's (May 3) service.
  • His home, McCrae House Museum, reopens this week (May 4-8, 2015).
  • Lecture by Dr. Deb Nash-Chambers about his life held at KNOX on Tuesday, May 5 at 7:30. This was sponsored by GHS (Guelph Historical Society).
  • Guelph's statue was unveiled June 25 at the Civic Museum (its twin was unveiled May 3, in Ottawa).
  • And on August 2 we hosted the Kirking Service as part of the IFF 100 events.


Pre-Summer Letter 2015 from Rev. John
Download the letter (pdf)

Chalmers Challenge Update:
During the month of May, the people of St. Andrew's donated 266 pounds of food. That brings our five-month total to 832 pounds or 41% of our goal for 2015. We will need to average 167 pounds of food per month for the next 7 months in order to achieve our goal. We are improving!
In addition there were cash donations of $60 and 53 guests received diapers.
St. Andrew's is helping Chalmers to make a real difference in the lives of those in need.
For more information, contact Sarah Dermer at 519-822-8778 or email

Poverty Elimination:
The Guelph and Wellington Task Force on Poverty Elimination has published its 2014 report to the community and action plan for 2015. It can be found at
If you do not have access on-line, please see Rick McRonald about getting a hard copy of the report.

Presbytery of Waterloo-Wellington – Day for Visioning Invitation
The Presbytery of Waterloo-Wellington invites all 10,086 Presbyterian
members and adherents under pastoral care across 32 congregations
to a Day for Visioning on Saturday, May 2, 2015,
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

at Gale Presbyterian Church in Elmira, Ontario.
Click here for more information


Easter Letter 2015 from Rev. John
Download the letter (pdf)

Chalmers Challenge Final Report for 2014:
The final numbers are in and here they are: During the month of December, the people of St. Andrew's donated 263 pounds of food to CCSC. Our total for 2014 is therefore 2118 pounds which represents 177% of our goal for the year. Praise the Lord! During December you also donated $30.00 in cash and 35 guests received diapers supplied under our CORE commitment

The Door is Open - Malcolm Welland, is available on Thursdays at 11:00 am here at St. Andrew's. Malcolm is a professional psychotherapist. If you'd like to talk to him about personal or spiritual issues he would be happy to meet with you. Everything is kept completely confidential.
You can contact him directly by email at:

Skills Required: Do you or someone you know have skills/talent with computer graphics? From time-to-time, various committees or groups within St. Andrew's have need of a poster to advertise a program or event but, they don't have the skill necessary to produce one.
It would help if they had a list of names of folks who would be prepared to help out with this sort of project.
If this is something that you could do, please contact Jennifer Marett or Rick McRonald.

Click here to read Rev. John's Summer 2014 Letter
If this letter is any indication – this coming year at St. Andrew's Guelph
looks to be 'doubly' good bursting with opportunities to grow deeper
in our relationship with God and each other.

St. Andrew's Gardens, John McCrae and "In Flanders Fields" Anniversary:
The John McCrae Commemorative committee will be recognizing the 100th anniversary of "In Flanders Fields" in 2015.
St. Andrew's will be involved on many occasions since it was the McCrae family church. With that in mind we wanted the gardens at the front to have poppies blooming in part of the garden. On May 8, John and Anne Holman planted about 60 poppies in 3 areas of the gardens - at the 1832 cairn, to the left and right of the steps. We ask that those areas not be overplanted by other gardeners - all of us are volunteers for the same goal.
From Anne Holman (June 2014): Notice all the beautiful red geraniums at the front of the church! Thanks to Rodger Tschanz who donated the 95 geraniums and 5 coleus, and to the planters (and weeders), Mary and Jim Rife, John and Anne Holman, the gardens are full! Thanks also to Mary and Jim for removing, redesigning, and replanting the flower bed closest to the office.

Guaranteed Annual Income
(Posted January 18, 2014) There are many initiatives aimed at eliminating poverty in our country and community. Through Rev. John we have learned of Bridges out of Poverty and the Circles initiative. The Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination is facilitating discussion with respect to a "living wage" in our region. Another initiative (driven by St. James the Apostle Church and supported by CORE and Chalmers Community Services Centre) is a guaranteed annual income.
In connection with the latter, a letter has been prepared for interested citizens to send to their elected representatives requesting that they support the implementation of a guaranteed annual income. You can download the letter (click here) from this St. Andrew's website or ask a member of the MOCC for a copy.
All you need to do is fill in your name and address and that of your MP and mail it (no postage required).
For more information on the whole topic of addressing poverty, following are several web references:
Bridges out of Poverty:
Circles Guelph-Wellington:
Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination:
Guaranteed Liveable Income:

NEW! Partnership Between St. Andrew's
and Two Rivers Church in Downtown Guelph

Late in 2013 the Mission and Outreach Coordinating Committee and Session of St. Andrew's decided to partner with Two Rivers Church for missions in our downtown neighbourhood of Guelph. Two Rivers Church (TRC), a new congregation in the Presbytery of Waterloo-Wellington, is a community of about 20 people from diverse backgrounds and faith experiences.
There are several from the younger generation who are searching for something authentic, organic, mysterious and local along with others who are exploring spiritual memories or moving forward from negative experiences. One of things they have in common is the recognition that the traditional church, for whatever reason, is not central to their spiritual journey. But the great thing is... St. Andrew's can still be part of their journey! Fred Ferwerda will be the liaison between St. Andrew's and TRC to foster mutual benefits and report on activities, blessings and challenges.
Watch for information in the bulletin, Prayers and Blessings and on the bulletin boards.
Check out the Two Rivers website ( for more information.


Rev. John Borthwick's Christmas Letter 2013

Celebrating the Christmas season under the theme of
"CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING: Family. Friends. Familiar. Fun."

Click here for the entire letter

Rev. John Borthwick's Letter October 2013

We have hit the ground running as we enter October.

Click here for the entire letter

Rev. John Borthwick's Letter August 2013

I'm excited to tell you what we have in store
this fall at St. Andrew's.
I sense that we will have a fun season of ministry together
whether in worship or learning or caring for one another.

Click here for the entire letter

ST. ANDREW'S "DOORS OPEN" - April 27, 2013
Thank You to all the volunteers who helped make Doors Open at St. Andrew's a great success last weekend! Our wonderful volunteers were: Margaret B., Nicki G., Mari & Ian M., Julia, Catharine, Virginia, Sharon D., Clara M., Sandy T., John H., Bill McK, Fred G.  & Colleen C. for the music.  Our visitors loved everything about this site and remarked on its history, our music, and our guides, greeters and archivists.
A big thank you to coordinators of the Getting Ahead Program, who have graciously volunteered their time to make our beautiful Sanctuary sparkle for the Doors Open Guelph this weekend.

May 19, 2013: The MOCC would like to thank the members of the congregation for their generous donation of pennies for Presbyterian World Service and Development, and the Youth Group for their hard work in rolling (and rolling!) the large quantity of pennies we received. A total of $226 was collected for PWS&D!

May 19, 2013: The ladies of the Women's Missionary Society would like to thank everyone for their donation of toiletries for Evangel Hall. In true St. Andrew's fashion, once again you showed how generous a church family you are. You exceeded the challenge to donate 100 items to honour Evangel Hall's 100th Anniversary. The week before our Mission Awareness Sunday Service, 511 items were sorted and packed for Anne-Marie Morris to take back to Evangel Hall. More donations arrived the Sunday of our Mission Awareness Service.  Thank you everyone for your support and generosity.

Easter Letter 2013
from Rev. John Borthwick

The good news of Easter reminds us that
no matter how bleak life may look around us
– a new dawn is breaking through.
A new day will come.
A tomb is not the final answer
– life, abundant life, is always
God's final word in the face of sin and death.

Click here for the entire letter


Accessible Drop Off on Norfolk Street
Until the official signage is placed, we would encourage those who are dropping off people who need assistance into worship to move their cars to allow for others to use the same access point instead of using it as a parking space. If you need help with your passengers, please enter the main doors and request that the greeters find someone to assist you. Together we can ensure that St. Andrew's is accessible to all. Thank you for your understanding.

Flowers for the Sanctuary
There is a flower tribute poster on the welcome board.  If you wish to place flowers in the Sanctuary in memory of a loved one, please sign the poster.

Our St. Andrew's Community
• Celebrate with our St. Andrew's community •
Many in our St. Andrew's - Guelph congregation have friends and family members involved in special events or who have achieved special recognition, both locally and elsewhere. Here's your opportunity to share and celebrate the good news.

Welcome to… "KA-CHURCHIE"
Added April 30, 2016: The fundraising committee has expanded the Ka-Churchie board which is located in the church hall. Members of the church, who have businesses and/or services to offer, please contact a member of the fundraising team to see how you can offer your services and donate of the portion of the proceeds to support of St Andrews Church.

One of the of the more interesting small fund raising suggestions to come out of discussions in recent months was a "Church Kijiji"....... a system whereby individuals could post articles they might otherwise offer for sale, and make them available instead, in exchange for a donation to St. Andrew's.

Well, the FUNraising committee has finally got this up and running!

There is a bulletin board in the Church Hall at the far end, near the Suffolk Street entrance.
There are 2 different sections to this bulletin board.

There is a "FOR SALE" section and another for "WANTED" items.

This board is available to St. Andrew's congregation to post items they wish to sell and donate the proceeds to St. Andrew's Church.




All you have to do is fill out a cue card with your name, contact information, description of item and the amount that you wish to sell the item for.

Attach a Photo - things will sell faster!

Please post your cue card under the "FOR SALE" section.

It is up to you and the prospective buyer to arrange to come to you and look at your item.

On a regular basis, an update will be posted on
Prayers and Blessings to help you sell these items.

If you are seeking an item, please place your cue card
under the "WANTED" section.

Once the item is sold, donate the proceeds to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church either:
* via the offering plate, or
* via the office, with attention to the Treasurer.

After an item is sold or bought,
please remove your cue card posting from the board
to keep this board as up to date as possible.

We see this as a GREAT way to 'lighten' or 'enhance' your abode!
If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Nicol.


Photo Slideshow from "Love Your Bike"
A community cycling festival held Saturday, June 20, 2015
at St. Andrew's

Mayor’s Awards
Mayor Karen Farbridge has recognized Guelph citizens Doug Grove and Virginia Gillham for their outstanding volunteer contributions, presenting them with Mayor's Awards at the annual Awards of Excellence gala on June 28, 2012.
Mayor Karen Farbridge has recognized Guelph citizens Doug Grove and Virginia Gillham for their outstanding volunteer contributions, presenting them with Mayor's Awards at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce's annual Awards of Excellence gala.  Doug Grove is a longstanding volunteer at Guelph Museums, River Run Centre, Canadian Council for the Blind, and Canadian National Institute for the Blind; he has also helped shape accessibility policies and programs at the City of Guelph and Guelph General Hospital.

Virginia Gillham is a founding member and chair of the Friends of the Public Library, a volunteer and board member with the Guelph Youth Music Centre and a host of other local organizations, and a volunteer and mentor to young skaters in the Guelph Figure Skating Club. She currently serves on the nominating committee of the Guelph Chapter of the Federation of University Women, and is also Board Chair and church librarian at St. Andrew's Church in Guelph.
Mayor Farbridge presented Doug and Virginia with pen-and-ink drawings by local artist Wayne Forest, depicting the new and old City Halls. "It is one of the great privileges of being mayor to recognize outstanding citizens who are making a difference," said Mayor Farbridge. "Congratulations to Doug and Virginia, two of the unsung heroes of our community."

Ride for Refuge 2011 - October 2
Ride for Refuge

Thanks to all who participated in any way in the RIDE this year.
It is amazing that we raised  over $4,200.00 – especially since we didn’t start working on the project until September!

We will be back in 2012 and we already have 4 more riders:  Peter McCaskell (yes, Peter will ride for St. Andrew's in 2012), Charlie Toth, John Kerr and Fred Gingrich.

Photo - left to right: Team St. Andrew's 2011:
Michael Weiss, Knolly Toolsie, Fred Ferwerda, Rick McRonald and Courtney McRonald

Rev. John dyes his hair blond as St. Andrew's meets goal for raising funds -- October 18, 2009 at Pax Glen Camp, Glen Morris, Ontario




If we raise
$5,000 as a congregation,
I will go
blonde . . .


Photo credits:
Janet Dalgleish

St. Andrew's Group
I want to thank you so much for your generous support of the Presbytery’s One Campaign for PWS&D Afghanistan. Your contributions to the cause were
overwhelming and I can say for certain that you have made your mark among the Presbyterian churches in our Presbytery. Not only did we 'beat' our challengers financially but we also showed up in significant numbers to the event. Thanks again, I'm so proud and honoured to be able to say that St. Andrew's is 'a place to call home.' And you know… I think I am having more fun since the colour change.
Rev. John Borthwick
View the pdf file:
40 under 40 Awards: 2008 featuring Rev. John Borthwick and highlighting the 2009 Habitat for Humanity "Faith Build"

• Get involved in our St. Andrew's community •
Post announcements for special programs and concerts, and community events. Here are opportunities to enjoy a new activity, a concert or special event.

My Neighbour’s House is built in 2009!
Together with other faith communities, we met our goal and built the house that faith built!
The dedication ceremony for the house - the home - on Johnston Street, Guelph, was held on Saturday, December 12, 2009 and the family has moved in.
St. Andrew's members and friends have shown what it means to be
"a place to call home".
Link to the page dedicated to this project

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