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: mailbox@standrewsguelph.com. 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 (www.standrewsguelph.com) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/StAndrewsGuelph/). 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 (https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/novel-coronavirus-covid-19), the City of Guelph (https://guelph.ca/2020/03/city-of-guelph-responding-to-coronavirus/) and the Government of Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html). 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

Update on COVID-19 Response

I am providing a follow-up to yesterday’s messaging around COVID-19 and the intentional steps that we are taking to ensure that our members are safe, and that we are seeking to respond in compassionate and risk-informed preventative ways. Yesterday’s announcement that schools would be closed for a further two weeks after March Break certainly intensified people’s anxiety about this public health crisis. It seems that many workplaces are encouraging their employees to work from home and are postponing conferences and in person meetings. And we are watching images of long lines and bare shelves at our grocery stores. We are all concerned and are seeking to respond in the best way possible to prevent further spread of the virus and maintain a sense of calm.
To that end, having consulted with our Leadership, we will continue as outlined in yesterday’s messaging. We will plan to hold worship THIS Sunday unless advised by authorities otherwise. Please check our website (www.standrewsguelph.com) for information if we are required to close.
To prevent the spread of the virus, please as highlighted by WDG Public Health (https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/novel-coronavirus-covid-19):

  • If you have traveled to infected areas, limit your contact with others and stay home;
  • If you have any symptoms, stay home;
  • Wash your hands;
  • Don’t touch your face;
  • Keep your distance from others (1-2 metres);
  • Disinfect and clean surfaces regularly.

For St. Andrew’s, as noted yesterday, we will practice the following:

  1. We will interact with one another with smiles, bows and waves, and words. We will refrain from any physical contact like hugs or handshakes;
  2. We will not pass the Offering Plates but will encourage attendees to deposit their offering in the plates before and after;
  3. We will not have Communion until June 7 as scheduled;
  4. We will practice SOCIAL DISTANCING. We will sit 1 – 2 metres apart in the sanctuary. “Give Each Other Some Space!”

This morning, I’m adding that effective TODAY:

  • There will be NO Church School and Nursery;

and,

  • There will be NO Coffee Hour.

This change will be in place for three (3) weeks. It would be our intention to return to normal on Sunday April 5. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and make further decisions as we become more informed.
Our staff are taking extra precautions and ensuring that our building is being cleaned and sanitized regularly. We appreciate their diligence on this. 
So at this time, we are NOT cancelling worship or closing our building. We are following the guidelines and recommendations from our public health authorities and will continue to do so. We believe that those who use our building through the week will be doing the same for their groups. However, if you personally would rather not attend worship or programs or groups at St. Andrew’s for a time then please do what you need to do in order to feel comfortable.

Two final things: 

1. At Sunday worship, while I will be offering prayers related to the COVID-19 pandemic – it will not be the focus of my attention. In my opinion and experience, (especially with the 24 hour news cycle) we need to think about and set our minds on other things for a time. I look forward to sharing some more thoughts on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 6. The service and sermon are recorded on Sundays and will be posted on our website and the Facebook page in the days following;
and,
2. As we enter this period of ‘social distancing’ and isolation, it is REALLY IMPORTANT that we take extra steps to maintain contact with each other. I’d encourage you to call or email members of our congregation (and neighbours) to see how they are doing. Take the Church Directory out one day and perhaps call people whom you’ve never met before and just say that you go to St. Andrew’s too and you wanted to see how they were doing. Certainly, keep regularly in touch with those whom you do know well. It will be a welcome change from duct cleaners and Revenue Agency calls. Finally, some of our older members may need assistance – maybe they need groceries or supplies – please offer to help them if you are able.
We continue to be in prayer for all who are impacted by this situation. We will get through this together by making risk-informed decisions, taking appropriate precautions to limit the spread of the virus, and being kind and compassionate to each other as we do so. 
May God’s peace and patience rest upon us as we navigate the road ahead.


Grace and peace,

John 

Thursday Morning Bible Study – October 22 by ZOOM

We gather by ZOOM each Thursday at 10AM to discuss the Scripture reading for the Sunday coming… and often, many other things of a spiritual flavour. Join us. If you’d like to receive the link, please email revjohn[at]standrewsguelph[dot]com. Or subscribe to our regular emails below.

This week’s text is: Matthew 22: 34 – 46

Worship by ZOOM – Sunday October 18, 2020

Order of Service – Sunday October 18, 2020 @ 10:30AM

We continue our live broadcast from the Sanctuary this morning. We remain closed to public worship. Rev. John, Fred, and our Tech Team are present this morning along with our musical guest, Isaac Muth and Catharine Johnston reading Scripture.

Prelude – Meditation on tune: ‘O Waly, Waly’ (violin: Isaac Muth)

Introit – “God reveal your presence”  (arr. J. Neander)

Call to Worship

Hymn – “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (v. 1 – 3, 5)

Opening Prayer

Scripture Reading – Matthew 22: 15 – 22 (NRSV)

Sermon: “The Coin Toss”

Offering – You can still mail cheques to:

St. Andrew’s Guelph, 161 Norfolk Street, Guelph, ON N1H 4J8

Or you can donate to St. Andrew’s through CanadaHelps

Donate to St. Andrew’s via Canada Helps here:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/128975471RR0001-st-andrews-presbyterian-church/

You are also invited to sign up for Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR). Instead of using offering envelopes or giving online, you can set up a regular donation through your financial institution. To learn more, click here.

Presbyterians Sharing is how we support our denomination as a whole. Your gifts the variety of missions and ministries that The Presbyterian Church in Canada supports throughout Canada. It also ensures that we are well resources by our National Office staff.

If you are able, the MOCC would encourage you to consider donating to Presbyterians Sharing. You can do so here: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2428
(Make sure that you indicate that you are from St. Andrew’s Guelph on the online form in order for it to count towards our commitment)

Or you can make a donation directly to Presbyterians Sharing through St. Andrew’s Guelph. Please mark your donation: Presbyterians Sharing.

We are making a difference TOGETHER.

If you’d like to make a donation to Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D) you can do so here:

https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2463

If you’d like to support TODAY’s Ecumenical Campus Ministry’s Pilgrimage Day, here’s the link to do so:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-university-of-guelph-ecumenical-campus-ministry/campaign/ecm-pilgrimage-day/

Special Musical Interlude – “Adagio” (Sonata #1 in g) (J.S. Bach) (Violin: Isaac Muth)

Prayers of the People

Hymn – “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer”

Benediction

Postlude – “Cwm Rhondda” (arr. P. Manz)

Thursday Morning Bible Study – October 15

We gather by ZOOM each Thursday at 10AM to discuss the Scripture reading for the Sunday coming… and often, many other things of a spiritual flavour. Join us. If you’d like to receive the link, please email revjohn[at]standrewsguelph[dot]com. Or subscribe to our regular emails below.

This week’s text is: Matthew 22: 15 – 22

Worship by ZOOM – Sunday October 11, 2020 (Thanksgiving Sunday)

Order of Service – Sunday October 11, 2020 @ 10:30AM

We continue our live broadcast from the Sanctuary this morning. We remain closed to public worship. Only Rev. John, Fred, and our Tech Team are present this morning.

Today, we are celebrating Thanksgiving Sunday. Fred, our Director of Music, will be sharing an organ solo entitled “Variations on ‘Old 100th'”. He explains that it is a reflection on the Doxology for Thanksgiving: “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

Prelude – Hymns of Thanksgiving (arr. A. Whitworth)

Introit – “For the beauty of the earth” (Plainsong)

Call to Worship

Hymn – “Come, ye thankful people, come” (v. 1, 2, & 4)

Opening Prayer

Scripture Reading – Matthew 22: 1 – 14 (NRSV)

Sermon: “A Wedding Robe”

Offering – You can still mail cheques to:

St. Andrew’s Guelph, 161 Norfolk Street, Guelph, ON N1H 4J8

Or you can donate to St. Andrew’s through CanadaHelps

Donate to St. Andrew’s via Canada Helps here:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/128975471RR0001-st-andrews-presbyterian-church/

You are also invited to sign up for Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR). Instead of using offering envelopes or giving online, you can set up a regular donation through your financial institution. To learn more, click here.

Presbyterians Sharing is how we support our denomination as a whole. Your gifts the variety of missions and ministries that The Presbyterian Church in Canada supports throughout Canada. It also ensures that we are well resources by our National Office staff. St. Andrew’s has committed to $30,000 for 2020 (a commitment we have made for several years now which exceeds what the Presbytery requests of us). Your generosity is exemplary. To date, St. Andrew’s has received approximately $12,000. We know that there is still time to meet our goal.

If you are able, the MOCC would encourage you to consider donating to Presbyterians Sharing. You can do so here: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2428
(Make sure that you indicate that you are from St. Andrew’s Guelph on the online form in order for it to count towards our commitment)

Or you can make a donation directly to Presbyterians Sharing through St. Andrew’s Guelph. Please mark your donation: Presbyterians Sharing.

We are making a difference TOGETHER.

If you’d like to make a donation to Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D) you can do so here:

https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2463

If you’d like to support the Ecumenical Campus Ministry’s Pilgrimage Day, here’s the link to do so:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-university-of-guelph-ecumenical-campus-ministry/campaign/ecm-pilgrimage-day/

Special Musical Interlude – “Variations on ‘Old 100th'” (arr. D. Bedard)

Prayers of the People

Hymn – “Now thank we all our God”

Benediction

Postlude – “Now thank we all our God” (from Cantata #79)

Thursday Morning Bible Study – October 8

We gather by ZOOM each Thursday at 10AM to discuss the Scripture reading for the Sunday coming… and often, many other things of a spiritual flavour. Join us. If you’d like to receive the link, please email revjohn[at]standrewsguelph[dot]com. Or subscribe to our regular emails below.

This week’s text is: Matthew 22: 1 – 14

Worship by ZOOM – Sunday October 4 (Worldwide Communion Sunday)

Order of Service – Sunday October 4, 2020 @ 10:30AM

We continue our live broadcast from the Sanctuary this morning. We remain closed to public worship. Only Rev. John, Fred, and our Tech Team are present this morning.

Today, we are celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Before the service begins, you are encouraged to have at the ready a bread and beverage like substance (no judgement) so that you can share in this joyous meal that our LORD provides. The ordinary becomes holy in this meal we share together virtually.

Prelude – Chorale Prelude on “Rhosymedre” (arr. R. Vaughan Williams)

Introit – “O Taste and See” (F.E.W. Gingrich)

Call to Worship

Hymn – “Hail, our once-rejected Jesus”

Opening Prayer

Scripture Reading – Matthew 21: 33 – 46 (NRSV)

Sermon: “Those Wretches”

Offering – You can still mail cheques to:

St. Andrew’s Guelph, 161 Norfolk Street, Guelph, ON N1H 4J8

Or you can donate to St. Andrew’s through CanadaHelps

Donate to St. Andrew’s via Canada Helps here:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/128975471RR0001-st-andrews-presbyterian-church/

You are also invited to sign up for Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR). Instead of using offering envelopes or giving online, you can set up a regular donation through your financial institution. To learn more, click here.

Presbyterians Sharing is how we support our denomination as a whole. Your gifts the variety of missions and ministries that The Presbyterian Church in Canada supports throughout Canada. It also ensures that we are well resources by our National Office staff. St. Andrew’s has committed to $30,000 for 2020 (a commitment we have made for several years now which exceeds what the Presbytery requests of us). Your generosity is exemplary. To date, St. Andrew’s has received approximately $12,000. We know that there is still time to meet our goal.

If you are able, the MOCC would encourage you to consider donating to Presbyterians Sharing. You can do so here: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2428
(Make sure that you indicate that you are from St. Andrew’s Guelph on the online form in order for it to count towards our commitment)

Or you can make a donation directly to Presbyterians Sharing through St. Andrew’s Guelph. Please mark your donation: Presbyterians Sharing.

We are making a difference TOGETHER.

If you’d like to make a donation to Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D) you can do so here:

https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2463

CIBC Run for the Cure 2020 (Virtual) – TODAY

Thank you for your generous support of our Run participants this year. We hope to share some pictures through the week and next Sunday. St. Andrew’s Guelph and Knox Guelph will join together again next year as “Presbyterians on the Run”!

Prayers of the People

Hymn – “To God be the Glory” (original text)

The Sacrament of Holy Communion

This part of the service will include responses. They will appear on the screen. Our Communion music comes from “Exultate – A Liturgical Suite”.

Hymn – “Bread of the World”

Sung “Gloria

Benediction

Postlude – “Go, it is the dismissal” (Exultate – A Liturgical Suite) (C. Phillips)

Thursday Morning Bible Study – October 1

We gather by ZOOM each Thursday at 10AM to discuss the Scripture reading for the Sunday coming… and often, many other things of a spiritual flavour. Join us. If you’d like to receive the link, please email revjohn[at]standrewsguelph[dot]com. Or subscribe to our regular emails below.

This week’s text is: Matthew 21: 33 – 46

Worship by ZOOM – Sunday September 27, 2020 (Presbyterians Sharing Sunday)

Order of Service – Sunday September 27, 2020 @ 10:30AM

We continue our live broadcast from the Sanctuary this morning. We remain closed to public worship. Only Rev. John, Fred, our Tech Team, and our trainee Screeners will be in the Sanctuary.

Prelude – Chorale Prelude on “Slane” arr. G. Young

Call to Worship

Hymn – “What a friend we have in Jesus” (v. 1 )

Opening Prayer

Scripture Reading – Matthew 21: 23 – 32 (NRSV)

Sermon: “I Will Not”

Offering – You can still mail cheques to:

St. Andrew’s Guelph, 161 Norfolk Street, Guelph, ON N1H 4J8

Or you can donate to St. Andrew’s through CanadaHelps

Donate to St. Andrew’s via Canada Helps here:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/128975471RR0001-st-andrews-presbyterian-church/

You are also invited to sign up for Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR). Instead of using offering envelopes or giving online, you can set up a regular donation through your financial institution. To learn more, click here.

Presbyterians Sharing is how we support our denomination as a whole. Your gifts the variety of missions and ministries that The Presbyterian Church in Canada supports throughout Canada. It also ensures that we are well resources by our National Office staff. St. Andrew’s has committed to $30,000 for 2020 (a commitment we have made for several years now which exceeds what the Presbytery requests of us). Your generosity is exemplary. To date, St. Andrew’s has received approximately $12,000. We know that there is still time to meet our goal.

If you are able, the MOCC would encourage you to consider donating to Presbyterians Sharing. You can do so here: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2428
(Make sure that you indicate that you are from St. Andrew’s Guelph on the online form in order for it to count towards our commitment)

Or you can make a donation directly to Presbyterians Sharing through St. Andrew’s Guelph. Please mark your donation: Presbyterians Sharing.

We are making a difference TOGETHER.

Here’s a video celebrating the work and witness of Presbyterians Sharing.

If you’d like to make a donation to Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D) you can do so here:

https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=2034&AID=2463

CIBC Run for the Cure 2020 (Virtual) – October 4, 2020

We are encouraging our members and friends to support the RUN this year individually. If you are interested in supporting this year’s Run for the Cure, you can register here:

https://support.cancer.ca/site/TR/RunfortheCure/RFTC_NW_odd_?fr_id=27270&pg=entry&s_locale=en_CA

St. Andrew’s Guelph and Knox Guelph will join together again next year as “Presbyterians on the Run”!

Special Musical Interlude – Variations on “God is so good” (Bells of St. Andrew’s) arr. F.E.W. Gingrich

Prayers of the People

Hymn – “Go now in peace” (v. 1 & 2) (Handbells & Organ)

Benediction

Postlude – Prelude in Classic Style (arr. G. Young)

Thursday Morning Bible Study – September 24, 2020 at 10:30AM

This week’s Scripture Reading is: Matthew 21: 23 – 32.

Check the “Tuesday This Week” Chimp for sign in details.

If you’d like to join us on Thursday Morning and would like to have the details too, please email Rev. John at revjohn[at]standrewsguelph[dot]com. Or subscribe below to get our regular “Chimps” (congregational emails).