2021 Lenten Meditations: “God so loved the world”
Each week in Lent, we will be joined by members of the staff of the Life and Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  Listen to the YouTube video that will be available on the St. Andrew’s website Wednesdays from noon, between February 24 and March 24 and then join in conversation with the speaker live via zoom on the following Thursdays at noon.  We will hear about and talk about some of the engaging work of the church in Canada and around the world.  To join the Thursday conversations, please be in touch with Rev. Faris at b.faris@standrewstoronto.org
Feb 24:    Rev. Tim Purvis, Associate Secretary, Ministry & Church Vocation  –  “To Hear the Voice of God” 
In the story of Samuel’s call (1 Samuel 3:1-10), God’s love for the world is shown in the way God speaks to the Samuels of each new generation and calls them to servant leadership; and also in the way God uses the Elis of the previous generation to guide them in faith formation and to discern, prepare, and support them in their calling.
Rev. Tim Purvis is an ordained minister in The Presbyterian Church in Canada who has served in four pastoral charges, the most recent being the Westview/Faith pastoral charge in the Presbytery of East Toronto. In September of 2019 he began his current position at the national church office as Associate Secretary, Ministry and Church Vocations.  A Myers-Briggs introvert-intuitive, he enjoys reading, poetry, music, and the beauty of nature.
March 3:    Rev. Dr. Blair Bertrand,  Mission Staff with International Ministries  –  “When Loving Hurts”
” Do power differences distort love so much that it is an impossibility? When we reach out across boundaries, whether person-to-person or culture-to-culture, can we do so with any hope of actually loving the other? Our current cultural climate largely despairs of that possibility. As we move towards the cross of Good Friday, how can we see God’s love on Golgotha?
The Rev. Dr. Blair D. Bertrand currently serves as a missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He serves as a Lecturer at Zomba Theological College and an Educational Consultant with Theological Education by Extension Malawi, both with the PCC’s long term partner the Church of Central Africa (Presbyterian). For the time being he does his work from home in Ottawa and will return to Malawi when feasible.

March 10: Dr. Allyson Carr, Associate Secretary, Justice Ministries    – “Doves in the Temple? Jesus flips some tables” 

Please click here to watch on Youtube

Passages where Jesus is described clearing the Temple are often difficult to interpret, when we are not used to seeing images of Jesus being angry or using physical force. In this sermon, we will look at Mark’s telling of Jesus driving merchants out of the Temple, along with why Jesus says he does it, to better understand how his actions here speak also of God’s love.

Dr. Allyson Carr is the Associate Secretary of Justice Ministries. Justice has been a passion of hers from her youth, but she first began to study it while working on a project that looked at the relation between people’s understanding of their faith and their understanding of what justice means. She is looking forward to the Spring, when she will hopefully be able to return to walking the shore of Lake Ontario.

March 17: Rev. Glynis Williams, Associate Secretary, International Ministries  –  “Lent in the Time of Pandemic”

Please click here to watch on Youtube

Starting with Jesus’ declaration as the light of the world, we will see how following Jesus can lead us out of darkness and fear, into the light of life.  With illustrations from global partners, Malawi, Nepal and Lebanon,  stories of insight, love and courage, which we Presbyterians are a part of, will be shared.

Rev. Glynis Williams is the Associate Secretary of International Ministries connecting with global mission partners in 30 countries on four continents. Prior to this work, she worked as the Director of a refugee ministry, supported by the Presbyterian Church in Canada.

March 24: Carragh Erhardt, Program Coordinator, Sexuality & Inclusion   – “Clothed in Christ” 
In Galatians 3:28, Paul wrote “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Likely used in the baptismal formula of the early church, what does this passage say about God’s love? How might it be helpful to us today as the church discerns the roles of LGBTQI people in our ministry?

Carragh Erhardt is the Program Coordinator, Sexuality and Inclusion with the national office of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, serving as a resource person for ministries within the denomination as they seek to become more welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQI+ people. Previously, Carragh served the church through her work with Justice Ministries, with a focus on supporting healing and reconciliation initiatives and Indigenous rights advocacy. Carragh is a relationship builder and enjoys facilitating creative, engaging, and meaningful conversations on challenging issues as they relate to the church.

Advent Meditation Series

The 2020 Advent Meditation Series

“Incarnation: Of Bodies and Viruses”

with the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Athanasiadis – December 2, 9 and 16

Part 1

Part 2 – “Why Human?  Why Body?”

Part 3 – “Embodiment and the Pandemic”