facilities_great_hall

The following was written by Rev. Will Ingram, a few years ago, in an article in the congregational newsletter, “The Catalyst???.

 

A few years ago, I had a remarkable conversation with a young woman who, though having grown up in the Presbyterian Church, was attending a church that embraced a more relaxed approach to worship. She stated that she had never understood why Presbyterians seemed to ‘always do things the same way’ in their worship services.

 

I asked her if anyone had ever explored the ‘movement’ of Presbyterian worship with her.   We talked for close to half an hour about the structure of worship, and at the end, she said that she wished that she had been able to have such a conversation long before.  I don’t know if she went back to her Presbyterian congregation, but she certainly expressed a greater degree of understanding about what was happening.   Since then, I have sometimes lamented that we do not often talk about the way that we worship – and why.

 

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul commends his readers to do everything, in their worship, ‘decently and in order’ (yes, this phrase proves that Paul was, in fact, a Presbyterian!).

 

Paul was trying to encourage his readers not to allow the excesses and dis-orderliness which were plaguing their community to undermine their life together at worship.    But the way that we worship is about more than some static (or stately) order.  Rather, one of the reasons why I deeply appreciate Presbyterian worship is that, in its best sense, it mirrors the soul in its relationship with God.  This movement is often described as a ‘four-fold’ structure – we gather; we hear God’s Word; we respond to God’s Word; and we are sent into the world.

 

We Gather

 

We begin by being called to worship. This often includes a reading from Scripture which invites us into the worship of God.  A hymn is often sung as a part of this time of being called and gathered.  Theologically, this is quite appropriate.  After all, to be called to worship – rather than raising ourselves into that experience – serves as a wonderful reminder that God calls to us before we call out to God.

 

As we ponder God’s call to us, however, we experience a deepened awareness of our sins. Words of adoration lead into words of confession, which is followed by an assurance of pardon (it is important to remember that these words of pardon are an assurance of the offer of forgiveness from God — not from the minister!) The first movement of this four-fold structure, therefore, is that of being gathered – by being called, convicted and forgiven by God – so that we can move into a renewed relationship.

 

We Hear God’s Word

 

This relationship is renewed in the second movement of worship — that of hearing God’s Word. We hear God’s Word as we read and listen to Scripture, as we are blessed by the wonders of music, and as we hear the sermon. In the Presbyterian tradition, great preaching is not about the eloquence – or lack thereof – of the preacher. Rather, it is about the faithful interpretation of the Scriptures.

 

The duty of the preacher is to seek to ‘build bridges’ between the lives of the congregation and the texts of Scripture. When that happens, we begin to realize that the preached Word is using the written Word to point us toward the Living Word — who is Jesus Christ.

 

We Respond to God’s Word

 

The third movement is the act of responding to God’s Word. We respond in a number of different ways. At St. Andrew’s, the creed is often stated following the sermon, which offers a wonderful way to respond to God’s Word through the confession of our faith. Creeds, when properly understood, are not meant to be ‘litmus tests’ of dogmatic allegiance. Rather, they are meant to be expressions of the church’s understanding of the mysteries of God’s grace and work in the world.

 

The celebration of Communion is another one of the most important ways that we respond to Christ, by sharing bread and wine – as a response to his invitation to remember him. When Communion is not celebrated, the prayers of thanksgiving and intercession serve as a way of responding – and giving thanks – to God.

 

Another one of the ways that we respond to God, in worship, is through our tithes and offerings. In offering the first-fruits of our daily labours during the act of worship, we are reminding ourselves — and demonstrating — that every dimension of our lives is a part of our Christian discipleship.

 

We are Sent into the World

 

The fourth movement is that of being sent out. We often sing a hymn which invites us to ponder our calling to go into the world as a people of faith. This hymn is followed by a charge and a benediction. In the name of Christ, and with the blessing of God, we are sent into the world to further the work of peace, justice, compassion and holiness.

 

Once we understand this overarching ‘structure’ of liturgy, it becomes obvious that such a structure is not limited to a particular style of worship. In fact, regardless of the style of worship or musical genre, this basic four-fold structure mirrors the soul’s encounter with God. Both as individuals, and as a community, God calls and gathers us; God strengthens and feeds us; God invites us to respond in faith; and God sends us into the world.

 

The act of worship, therefore, is more than simply a nice pastime that we participate in from time to time. It is meant to shape our lives, to inspire us, to guide us and to remind us, on a regular basis, of who and whose we are.

 

Upcoming Events

    Friday Noontime Recitals - Season Line-up

    2018-11-16
    12:00pm
    78 Simcoe Street

    It is time for Friday Noontime Recitals

    Friday Noontime Recitals - Season Line-up

    Friday, Nov 16, 2018 - Wednesday, Nov 30, 2050

    Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

    It is time for Friday Noontime Recitals once again! Music at St. Andrew’s is delighted to announce our line-up of artists for the fall season. Come and bring friends to hear great performances each Friday at 12:10 pm. Admission is free, with voluntary donations at the door. November 16 - Warren Nicholson, guitar November 23 - Jean-Luc Therrien, piano, Jean-Samuel Bez, violin November 30 - Tristan Savella, piano
    Thumbnail Image

    Location


    St. Andrew\'s Church
    78 Simcoe Street
    Toronto, ON M5J 1W9

    Event Fees:


    A Christmas Carol

    Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 -

    Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

    Enjoy a FREE evening of joyous seasonal music and dramatic readings from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Historic St. Andrew’s Church, decked with garlands, lanterns and candles will provide an atmospheric setting for Dickens’ Victorian tale. Bringing Ebenezer Scrooge and other unforgettable characters to life will be a talented cast of readers. They are: Michael Enright, host of CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition, classical music educator Rick Phillips, soprano Neema Bickersteth, tenor Joe Angelo and St. Andrew’s member Indra Narayansingh. The program will include musical interludes and audience singalongs. Free gingerbread cookies and hot apple cider will be available afterwards. Admission is free, but please heed Mr. Dicken’s seasonal message. Help others by donating to St. Andrew’s Out of the Cold program.

    Location


    St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
    187 King St West
    Toronto, Ontario M5J1W9

    Event Fees:


    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series - Lights. Camera. Success!

    Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 -

    Time: 7:00pm - 9:30pm

    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series.Lights. Camera. Success!Join TV and film producer Miranda de Pencler (Anne with an E) in a panel discussion on the development of film and television in Canada. Award-winning journalist and TV series creator Amy Cameron (Mary Kills People) and Gemini-winning screenwriter Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) will join Miranda as they talk about their careers in the rapidly changing entertainment industry.Showtime: Wednesday, December 5 at 7pmTickets $20 online or at the door. Student price $10.Buy tickets online at:https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-andrews-heart-of-the-city-speakers-series-lights-camera-success-tickets-52365695204
    Thumbnail Image

    Location


    St. Andrew\\\\\\\'s Church
    73 Simcoe St
    Toronto, ON M5J 1W9

    Event Fees:


    A Christmas Carol

    2018-12-1
    7:00pm
    187 King St West

    Enjoy a FREE evening of joyous se...

    Friday Noontime Recitals - Season Line-up

    Friday, Nov 16, 2018 - Wednesday, Nov 30, 2050

    Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

    It is time for Friday Noontime Recitals once again! Music at St. Andrew’s is delighted to announce our line-up of artists for the fall season. Come and bring friends to hear great performances each Friday at 12:10 pm. Admission is free, with voluntary donations at the door. November 16 - Warren Nicholson, guitar November 23 - Jean-Luc Therrien, piano, Jean-Samuel Bez, violin November 30 - Tristan Savella, piano
    Thumbnail Image

    Location


    St. Andrew\'s Church
    78 Simcoe Street
    Toronto, ON M5J 1W9

    Event Fees:


    A Christmas Carol

    Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 -

    Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

    Enjoy a FREE evening of joyous seasonal music and dramatic readings from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Historic St. Andrew’s Church, decked with garlands, lanterns and candles will provide an atmospheric setting for Dickens’ Victorian tale. Bringing Ebenezer Scrooge and other unforgettable characters to life will be a talented cast of readers. They are: Michael Enright, host of CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition, classical music educator Rick Phillips, soprano Neema Bickersteth, tenor Joe Angelo and St. Andrew’s member Indra Narayansingh. The program will include musical interludes and audience singalongs. Free gingerbread cookies and hot apple cider will be available afterwards. Admission is free, but please heed Mr. Dicken’s seasonal message. Help others by donating to St. Andrew’s Out of the Cold program.

    Location


    St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
    187 King St West
    Toronto, Ontario M5J1W9

    Event Fees:


    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series - Lights. Camera. Success!

    Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 -

    Time: 7:00pm - 9:30pm

    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series.Lights. Camera. Success!Join TV and film producer Miranda de Pencler (Anne with an E) in a panel discussion on the development of film and television in Canada. Award-winning journalist and TV series creator Amy Cameron (Mary Kills People) and Gemini-winning screenwriter Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) will join Miranda as they talk about their careers in the rapidly changing entertainment industry.Showtime: Wednesday, December 5 at 7pmTickets $20 online or at the door. Student price $10.Buy tickets online at:https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-andrews-heart-of-the-city-speakers-series-lights-camera-success-tickets-52365695204
    Thumbnail Image

    Location


    St. Andrew\\\\\\\'s Church
    73 Simcoe St
    Toronto, ON M5J 1W9

    Event Fees:


    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series

    2018-12-5
    7:00pm
    73 Simcoe St

    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series. ...

    Friday Noontime Recitals - Season Line-up

    Friday, Nov 16, 2018 - Wednesday, Nov 30, 2050

    Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

    It is time for Friday Noontime Recitals once again! Music at St. Andrew’s is delighted to announce our line-up of artists for the fall season. Come and bring friends to hear great performances each Friday at 12:10 pm. Admission is free, with voluntary donations at the door.   November 16 - Warren Nicholson, guitar   November 23 - Jean-Luc Therrien, piano, Jean-Samuel Bez, violin   November 30 - Tristan Savella, piano
    Thumbnail Image

    Location


    St. Andrew\'s Church
    78 Simcoe Street
    Toronto, ON M5J 1W9

    Event Fees:


    A Christmas Carol

    Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 -

    Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

    Enjoy a FREE evening of joyous seasonal music and dramatic readings from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Historic St. Andrew’s Church, decked with garlands, lanterns and candles will provide an atmospheric setting for Dickens’ Victorian tale. Bringing Ebenezer Scrooge and other unforgettable characters to life will be a talented cast of readers. They are: Michael Enright, host of CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition, classical music educator Rick Phillips, soprano Neema Bickersteth, tenor Joe Angelo and St. Andrew’s member Indra Narayansingh. The program will include musical interludes and audience singalongs. Free gingerbread cookies and hot apple cider will be available afterwards. Admission is free, but please heed Mr. Dicken’s seasonal message. Help others by donating to St. Andrew’s Out of the Cold program.

    Location


    St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
    187 King St West
    Toronto, Ontario M5J1W9

    Event Fees:


    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series - Lights. Camera. Success!

    Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 -

    Time: 7:00pm - 9:30pm

    St. Andrew's Heart of the City Speakers Series. Lights. Camera. Success! Join TV and film producer Miranda de Pencler (Anne with an E) in a panel discussion on the development of film and television in Canada. Award-winning journalist and TV series creator Amy Cameron (Mary Kills People) and Gemini-winning screenwriter Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) will join Miranda as they talk about their careers in the rapidly changing entertainment industry. Showtime: Wednesday, December 5 at 7pm Tickets $20 online or at the door. Student price $10. Buy tickets online at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/st-andrews-heart-of-the-city-speakers-series-lights-camera-success-tickets-52365695204
    Thumbnail Image

    Location


    St. Andrew\\\\\\\'s Church
    73 Simcoe St
    Toronto, ON M5J 1W9

    Event Fees: