Summer Services – Our joint summer services with McKenzie and Trinity United Churches will begin on Sunday, 29 June. The theme this summer is “Things We Can Learn from Our Hymns”. Each week, we will focus on a particular hymn, learn the story behind its composition, and explore its message. The full schedule is as follows:
– 29 June First Beth K O come, o come, Emmanuel
– 6 July First Marg S Come, let us sing
– 13 July First Julie B Be present at our table, Lord
– 20 July McKenzie John Z What a friend we have in Jesus!
– 27 July McKenzie John Z When I survey the wondrous cross …
– 3 August McKenzie Beth K It’s a song of praise to the Maker
– 10 August Trinity Marg S Fairest Lord Jesus …
– 17 August Trinity Marg S Be thou my vision
– 24 August Trinity John Z Blessed be the tie that binds …
– 31 August – Back in our own buildings (Labor Day weekend)
World Refugee Day (June 20)
The crisis in Syria has resulted in one of the largest refugee movements in modern times. Presbyterian World Service & Development is responding with Canadian Foodgrains Bank to ensure people like Latif Anaoun are able to feed their families. Before the conflict, Latif owned a cosmetics shop, but when the fighting came too close, he fled Syria for Lebanon. The food vouchers he receives allow him to save money on food so he can pay his portion of rent on the tiny apartment he shares with his six-year-old son and 18 other people. Latif hopes that one day his son can enjoy peace – like he did, before the war. “When the bombings stop we will go back,” he says. In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, The Presbyterian Church in Canada is able to help sponsor Syrian refugees to resettle in Canada.
PWS&D responds to refugees
June 15 is Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost, a festival that celebrates and affirms the doctrine of the Trinity — the teaching that God is three “persons” (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in one.
This doctrine is not actually taught in the Bible; in fact the word “trinity” itself is not a biblical word. Rather, the doctrine arose in the early centuries of Church history, as people sought to answer the question “Who are God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in relation to each other?” Believe it or not, this is a question that was hotly debated in the early church, especially between the years 325 and 451. People debated about what exactly it means to say that Jesus is the “Son of God”. Likewise, people debated about the relationship between God and the Holy Spirit. Each viewpoint was supported by biblical references, and claimed to be the only correct viewpoint!
The issue was finally settled at the Council of Chalcedon in the year 451, when it was agreed that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit together are God — and one God, not three Gods. This teaching is reflected in the wording of the Nicene Creed (#578 in the Book of Praise). Notice that, although the Nicene Creed is structured in the same way as the Apostles’ Creed (#539), its wording is much longer, and much more detailed and precise.
Interestingly enough, the doctrine of the Trinity became such a basic part of Christian doctrine that it was not seriously challenged during the Reformation (1517-1648), and is still accepted by Christian churches of all denominations today.
The symbolic color for Trinity Sunday is white, signifying joy and celebration.
June 8 is Pentecost, the 4th of the 4 major festivals of the Christian Year (the others being Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter). Pentecost is the 50th and final day of the Easter Season. It was originally a Jewish festival, coming 50 days after Passover. “Pentecost” is the English form of the Greek word pentekostos, meaning “fiftieth”.
On Pentecost, we commemorate and celebrate God’s giving of the Holy Spirit to the disciples of Jesus, as described in Acts 2.1-41.
This event fulfilled promises that Jesus himself had made at the Last Supper (e.g. John 14.25-26), and prior to his Ascension (e.g. Acts 1.4-8). Previously, God had given the Holy Spirit only to particular leaders in the community of faith, but in the Pentecost event, he gave the Spirit to the entire community. The Spirit took Jesus’ place as the teacher and leader of Jesus’ disciples, and guided and equipped them to continue the ministry that Jesus had begun, as described in the rest of the Book of Acts.
We celebrate as well the fact that God continues to give the Holy Spirit to those who believe in Jesus today. The Spirit helps us know how God wants us to live, and to serve him. Through his influence and power, we can become the kind of people God wants us to be, and are equipped to do acts of service for God.
The symbolic color for Pentecost is red, symbolizing the tongues of fire that appeared to the disciples when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 2.3).