"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it but because, by it, I see everything else."
~ C.S. Lewis ~
Has now begun again for fall season
Fall Office Hours
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Tuesdays - Fridays
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9:00 am - 12 noon
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Rev. Jonathan Baird
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St. Paul's News…
Ever wondered how many people check our website? Maybe only a few people from St. Paul's? If so, you'll be surprised to hear that, in the last month, according to Google Analaytics, there were 583 hits on our website from 218 unique or individual visitors. 180 of these used a laptop or desktop with 38 using a tablet such as an iPad. 191 users were from Canada, 10 from the United States, 5 from the United Kingdom, 2 from Brazil and 2 from the Netherlands. Of the Canadian visitors, 140 came from Peterborough, 10 from Toronto, 8 from Kawartha Lakes, 4 from Ottawa and 3 from Thunder Bay. This all goes to show that our website is a wonderful way of reaching a very wide audience. Here you can find news about St. Paul's events, bulletins, announcements, newsletters, history, photographs and much more. What is most important, though, is your contribution. We are always pleased to have input and we invite you to send your contribution whether it be a letter, an article, a story of faith, photographs of church events, a blog or whatever. Don't hesitate to send your contribution or contact us through the Feedback section of our website.
Strathroy Cenotaph - William K Ferguson
Pilot Officer William Ferguson who gave his life in service of his country during the 2nd World War in 1943 is fondly remembered and honoured in Strathroy, Ontario, as well as Peterborough,Ontario, where he grew up. His name appears on the Cenotaph in Strathroy as well as in the virtual museum. Recently, John Sargeant, a project volunteer at the museum, sent us photographs and information regarding the way in which PO Ferguson is remembered in that community where his family lived after moving from Peterborough. Read more and see the photographs ...
For items you may have missed reading on the home page or elsewhere on our website, please check the Archives on menu above
A prayer meeting is being held from 9: 15 to 9:30 a.m. in the Guild Room every Sunday morning.
All are welcome! Stay for the full 15 minutes or come and go as you are able.
In Presbyterian News …
An unprecedented number of people around the world are suffering as a result of violent conflict.
While war has always been a part of human history the nature of armed conflict has changed. Civilians—in particular women and children, the elderly and those with disabilities—are often innocent victims and collateral damage in conflicts. Caught in the crossfire or fleeing from fighting, they endure displacement, hunger and unthinkable trauma.
Right now in South Sudan, Gaza, Syria and Iraq, almost 18 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
In places with many political and religious tensions, bombs and bullets continue to be used with devastating consequences. So many people of various faiths are dying and suffering.
Faith Leaders’ Statement on the Situation in Mosul, Iraq
We write as faith leaders in Canada deeply concerned about what is happening to religious minorities in the city of Mosul in Iraq, and in particular, the persecution of those who are Christian.
We condemn the threats directed to members of the ancient Christian communities and to other religious minorities in Mosul, threats made by the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The policies of ISIS are leading to an exodus of Christians from Mosul, forcing them to leave communities where their ancestors have lived for millennia. We stand with the Christian minority in Mosul Iraq at this time of great anxiety and fear. We hold them in our prayers. They will not be forgotten.
The PCC Laments the Loss of Life in Israel and Palestine
Canadians are greatly handicapped in comprehending and fathoming the complexity of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now reaching the dubious distinction of being, what the Globe and Mail has labelled, “the longest war the Jewish state has waged in Gaza.” From the peaceful nation in which we live, and from the pleasures of the summer months, Canadians, while listening to and watching daily reports of increasing numbers of deaths and immeasurable physical destruction, lack any immediate knowledge to understand the struggles of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples. ... Today, Canada is regarded as a nation of peace and opportunity. It is that peace and opportunity that all Canadians would pray for the peoples of Israel and of Palestine.
Hope in the Face of Death
Rev. Dr. Pamela McCarroll
Professor of Pastoral Theology
Knox College, Toronto.
In the book "Waiting at the Foot of the Cross", Rev. Dr. Pamela McCarroll writes: “We have been mastered by mastery and are blind to the severity of the crisis, despite the fact that the signs are everywhere around us.” The crisis she speaks of is “a consequence of living according to the false vision of the human as master.” This mindset has muddied the way we think about hope, which McCarroll says is found at the foot of the cross. That is, by giving up our desire to master the universe, to control each moment, to direct the future and then by placing ourselves at the foot of the cross, we open ourselves to God and the wonder that entails. It is a profound book; and the first of two. In the second, "The End of Hope", McCarroll shares five stories of people facing death and trauma, and how they, too place themselves at the feet of the crucified Christ. Read more from The Presbyterian Record ...
Do Denominations Have a Lifespan?
Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris
Moderator, 140th General Assembly
Individuals have a natural life span—nothingsurprising there. We are also becoming accustomed, with pain, to a parallel notion, that congregations have life spans. It may be time to ask whether denominations—in fact, our denomination—might have a life span also. Perhaps God uses a denomination in a certain place, at a certain time, for a certain purpose. If that time has passed and God’s purpose has been achieved, or has been abandoned by the people, the denomination not only will but should pass away. And no church growth strategies will keep that from happening. “The word of the Lord endures forever,” but maybe not denominations. Do I like the idea? Of course not, but given the statistics, we need at least to think about the possibility. Read more from The Presbyterian Record ...
Sunday Smile From St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Kitchener
Bible Characters Sent Home Early From Summer Camp
10. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – for disregarding fire safety rules;
9. Peter – for trying to walk on water without a personal flotation device;
8. Noah – for going a bit overboard on the boat construction badge;
7. Adam and Eve – for failing to wear shirts into the dining hall;
6. Samuel – for waking up his counselor just one too many times;
5. Jael (Story of Deborah in Judges) – for history’s most flagrant misuse of a tent peg;
4. Jonah – for neglecting to wash his clothes after spending three days in the belly of a whale;
3. Mary, sister of Martha – for shirking her responsibilities during cabin clean-up;
2. Daniel – for claiming once too often that he wouldn’t defile himself with camp food;
1. Moses – for calling down a plague of frogs on the girls’ camp across the lake.
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Christian Education Hall
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Join us for Coffee & Conversation
after the service
In Other News …
Catholic Television Station to Open Studio at Former Crystal Cathedral
An Alabama-based Catholic television station will be opening a new studio at the campus of the former Crystal Cathedral of Orange County, California. Eternal Word Television Network announced Thursday that they plan to have the studio at what is now Christ Cathedral, a Roman Catholic congregation under the Diocese of Orange. Ryan Lilyengren, director of Communications with the Diocese of Orange, told The Christian Post that the agreement between EWTN and Christ Cathedral was part of a "vision." "Part of Bishop Kevin Vann's vision for the cathedral campus is to share the vibrant and inspiring faith present within our Diocese and on the Christ Cathedral campus with the faithful around the world," said Lilyengren. "He shared this vision with Michael Warsaw, chairman and CEO of EWTN and they began to collaborate to make this vision a reality." Lilyengren also told CP that the "studio in the Tower of Hope will be completed and operational by the end of the year." Read more from The Christian Post ...
Iraq’s Christians: Robbed, Abandoned and Desperate to Survive
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Christians fled their ancestral homeland around Mosul this month after receiving an ultimatum with four unpalatable options: convert, pay punitive taxes, leave or die. However, Islamist militants robbed Christians of their money, passports and property, turning them into a sea of refugees with nowhere to go and fighting to survive. .... “They are stuck in the middle of a burning area,” said Father Felix Shabi, a chorbishop in the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle and a native of Mosul, who oversees the Holy Family Mission and Mar Abraham Church in Phoenix. He said his parish is deeply distressed about the suffering in their Church’s homeland. Many parishioners have friends or family caught in the exodus from Mosul. Read more from The National Catholic Register ...
Should Christians Go Vegetarian?
The debate on whether Christians have an obligation to follow a vegetarian, or at least meat-free, diet has been going on for centuries. Religions and their relationship with animals will be at the heart of the annual Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics Summer School, and one of the areas of debate will be faith and food. Most religions have some sort of dietary laws; the Old Testament, for example, lists food rules that are still followed by various religions. But the majority of Christians living in Britain today have health and economic concerns regarding their diet, rather than theological ponderings. Read more ....
Setting The Church on Fire
Rev. Lee Simpson
Mostly, when preachers use the phrase, "set the church on fire," they mean it figuratively: all eyes in the pews are set ablaze by the light of blessed inspiration while the collective congregational breath is held in anticipation of the next utterance from the pulpit. But that's not what I mean when I say that I have now set two sanctuaries on fire. This arsonist tendency emerged early in my worship career. It was an autumn Sunday in a suburban Toronto church. There were candles strategically placed on either side of a beautifully embroidered pulpit banner. In my novitiate preaching enthusiasm, I flung out an arm to make a pastoral point, knocking the flame into ancient velvet. Then whoosh! It all ended well, in that the church is still standing. And I learned the valuable lesson of choreographing arm movements within a slightly more controlled range. Read more from The United Church Observer ...
Older and Wiser
Is it possible that the church — mirroring society in general — is wasting a key natural resource? At least one significant segment of the population seems to think so, and its view is supported by a recent study from the University of Waterloo. The resource is wisdom. And the demographic cohort traditionally dubbed wise — the elders — believe that they indeed have grown in wisdom over their long years, but that the rest of society is squandering this resource. It’s a challenging issue, partly because even a definition of wisdom is somewhat elusive, and partly because this slippery concept is difficult to examine scientifically. So it’s hard to know if the idea that wisdom increases with age is demonstrable. Igor Grossmann, an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, has taken on the challenge, conducting studies specifically related to wisdom and aging. His findings? To reduce years of work to a few sentences: in North America, yes — people tend to become wiser as they age. His goal is to understand the processes that enable people to think and act wisely. “I explore how age, psychological distance and social orientation influence emotion regulation, reasoning, well-being and wisdom — integrating these processes in a broad socio-cultural context.” His research method is to study people’s decision-making in “meaningful real-world situations.” But first, what exactly is wisdom? Read more from The United Church Observer ...
Stories of Faith …
The Power of Public Opinion
NEW YORK — The U.S. pastor who took it upon himself to fly to Sudan to meet with and pray for imprisoned persecuted Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim was among those celebrating her freedom Thursday. He credited the 27-year-old married mother's release to the outcry of people from around the world who were captivated by her steadfast Christian witness in the face of impending death. "Praise God for that," Pastor William Devlin told The Christian Post in response to Ibrahim's early morning flight out of Sudan, where she had been held imprisoned for nearly one year. Devlin returned to New York City on July 20 after a week-long trip to Sudan, where he says he spent an hour and a half with Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani and their two children.
"I think it was really the outcry of people from around the world," added Pastor Devlin, commenting on what he thought led to Ibrahim's release just days after his visit with her at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. Indeed, the young woman's case resonated with many around the world and many were moved to petition for her release. One such petition, published on Change.org had more than one million supporters. Read more from The Christian Post ...
Buzz Aldrin on Communion in Space
For several weeks prior to the scheduled lift-off of Apollo 11 back in July, 1969, the pastor of our church, Dean Woodruff, and I had been struggling to find the right symbol for the first lunar landing.
We wanted to express our feeling that what man was doing in this mission transcended electronics and computers and rockets.
Dean often speaks at our church, Webster Presbyterian, just outside of Houston, about the many meanings of the communion service.
"One of the principal symbols," Dean says, "is that God reveals Himself in the common elements of everyday life." Traditionally, these elements are bread and wine–common foods in Bible days and typical products of man’s labor.
One day while I was at Cape Kennedy working with the sophisticated tools of the space effort, it occurred to me that these tools were the typical elements of life today.
I wondered if it might be possible to take communion on the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing Himself there too, as man reached out into the universe. For there are many of us in the NASA program who do trust that what we are doing is part of God’s eternal plan for man.
I spoke with Dean about the idea as soon as I returned home, and he was enthusiastic. Read more from Guideposts Magazine ....
God Works in Mysterious Ways - Even At A Funeral
By Becky Dingle
Consumed by my loss, I didn't notice the hardness of the pew where I sat. I was at the funeral of my dearest friend -- my mother. She finally had lost her long battle with cancer. The hurt was so intense, I found it hard to breathe at times. Always supportive, Mother clapped loudest at my school plays, held a box of tissues while listening to my first heartbreak, comforted me at my father's death, encouraged me in college, and prayed for me my entire life. When mother's illness was diagnosed, my sister had a new baby and my brother had recently married his childhood sweetheart, so it fell on me, the 27-year-old middle child without entanglements, to take care of her.
I counted it an honor. "What now, Lord?" I asked sitting in church. My life stretched out before me as an empty abyss. My brother sat stoically with his face toward the cross while clutching his wife's hand. My sister sat slumped against her husband's shoulder, his arms around her as she cradled their child. All so deeply grieving, no one noticed I sat alone. My place had been with our mother, preparing her meals, helping her walk, taking her to the doctor, seeing to her medication, reading the Bible together.
Now she was with the Lord. My work was finished, and I was alone. I heard a door open and slam shut at the back of the church. Quick footsteps hurried along the carpeted floor. An exasperated young man looked around briefly and then sat next to me. He folded his hands and placed them on his lap. His eyes were brimming with tears. He began to sniffle. "I'm late," he explained, though no explanation was necessary.. Read more from Inspirational Stories....
Canadian To Play Goliath
The tallest man in Canada, 7'8 tall Jerry Sokolosky, has been chosen to play Philistine warrior Goliath in the upcoming "David and Goliath" movie. Director Tim Chey explained that the filmmakers did not want to use a CGI imitation for the part.
"Jerry was a tremendous blessing," Chey said in a press release. "We didn't want to create a CGI imitation like 'The Incredible Hulk' and so our casting directors set out to find the biggest guy and he's very big." The $50 million biblical epic, set for an early 2015 nationwide theater release, wrapped up principal photography in North Africa and in studios in London earlier in July, and is currently in post-production in Los Angeles.