School of Hard Knox; They never taught me this!

Hespeler, 21 January, 2018 © Scott McAndless Galatians 1:10, Isaiah 43:16-19, Psalm 91:1-16 B ack in October, as you will remember, we held a dream auction here at St. Andrew’s and we asked everyone to consider putting something up for auction – especially something that represented your own talents or hobbies. And so I decided to put up a sermon for auction. I, foolishly thinking that I could write a sermon about anything, said that the highest bidder would be able to order a sermon on the topic or with the title of their choice. I am here to tell you now that the winning bidder was Andy Cann and the day is today – which is my way of saying that, while you can absolutely blame me if you don’t like the content of today’s sermon, if you object to the topic, you can speak to Andy. (By the way, there was also a second place bid and Jean Godin has already named a topic for next month.)       So this is the title that Andy gave me for today’s sermon: School of Hard Knox; They never taught me …

What I am learning from preaching the Catechism

In 2004 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada commended a document prepared by the Church Doctrine Committee for use in churches. The document was called "A Catechism for Today," and it was an updated version of a kind of teaching tool, in the format of a series of questions with supplied answers, that has been used in churches since the time of the reformation.

You can download and read the Catechism for yourself by clicking here.

This year at St. Andrew's Hespeler, we were looking for a way to reconnect with some of the basic teachings of Christianity and of our tradition. Unfortunately, we increasingly find ourselves in a world where people, including practising Christians, are not familiar with some of the basic ideas that have been so important to the faith down through the centuries. So we decided that we would make use of "A Catechism for Today." throughout the year. The document is conveniently broken up into 52 readings so we are pl…

Is faith incompatible with science?

Hespeler, 14 January, 2018 © Scott McAndless Genesis 1:26-2:3, 2 Chronicles 4:2, Hebrews 11:1-3, Psalm 111:1-10 I n the third century before the birth of Christ, one of the most brilliant people on the face of the earth was Archimedes of Syracuse. An inventor, mathematician and scientist, he accomplished many great things. He is the guy who is famous for discovering a process for calculating the volume of something that so amazed him that he jumped out of his bath and went running through the city naked shouting “Eureka.” You know, typical genius behaviour.       One of Archimedes’ greatest contributions to science, however, didn’t really draw a crowd like that. He was the first person to calculate the value of pi to any degree of accuracy. Pi, as you may recall from your high school days, is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is an extremely important number – foundational to many fields of science including geometry and physics. It is also used constantly in…

Made for joy in knowing God

Hespeler, 7 January, 2018 © Scott McAndless John 16:20-22, Philippians 4:4-9, Psalm 40:1-9, 15-17 D id you know the oldest dog whose age was ever reliably recorded was an Australian Cattle Dog named “Bluey.” Bluey lived to the almost unthinkable age, for a dog of 29 years and five months. But here is the really surprising part. You might think that the reason why Bluey lived so long was because she was pampered and well cared-for, that she got nothing but the best of foods and medical treatment. But that is not true. She was, by all accounts a well-loved and fairly treated dog, but she hardly had an easy life. She spent 20 straight years of her long life working at an extremely difficult and physically demanding job, herding cattle.       Bluey was an exceptional animal, of course, but in some ways, it is not that surprising that a hard-working dog should be the longest living. I believe that if you made an extensive search through the statistics concerning dogs, you would find that i…


Hespeler, 31 December, 2017 © Scott McAndless Matthew 2:1-18, Isaiah 2:11-17, Isaiah 60:1-6 W e are used to hearing the Christmas story from certain viewpoints. We see it through Mary’s eyes or Joseph’s or maybe the shepherds. These are all valid ways to hear the story of the birth of the Messiah, of course, but sometimes it is not a bad idea to give a little bit of space to hear a dissenting voice. Not everyone was entirely happy with what happened that first Christmas. Why should the perspective of those people not be heard?       For example, what if I were to tell you that archeologists working in the Holy Land recently made a stunning discovery at the ancient site of the Herodium, a massive complex built by Herod the Great about five kilometres outside of Bethlehem as a luxurious palace and also, it is believed, to be his burial place. And let’s just say that somewhere in the depths of the ruins of the Herodium these archeologists found a huge cache of documents recorded on small c…

Episode 1.11 A Journey Reimagined

The 11th Episode of the Podcast "Retelling the Bible" and the final episode of the first season came out earlier today

During the first season of his podcast, storyteller, W. Scott McAndless is retelling the story of the nativity of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke, trying to help us to look beyond a literalistic interpretation and see how the author is using historical and biblical references. We hope this helps you to hear the story more as the author may have intended.

In this closing episode of the first season, our storyteller, W. Scott McAndless offers a new picture of Mary and Joseph walking down the road to Bethlehem given some new possibilities for understanding the journey that we have discovered in the first season of the podcast. Merry Christmas everyone!

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Christmas through Many Voices

The centrepiece of our service on December 17, 2017 was a fantastic musical presentation by our choir and musical ensembles called "Christmas Through Many Voices." It was amazing and I am so very thankful to everyone who made it happen and to our Music Director Corey Linforth. As a part of the program, I contributed a few musings from the perspectives of minor characters in the Christmas Story.Luke 1:26-27 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Some Reflections from the point of view of Gabriel: People think that I came to visit her all decked out in my full kit. You know, the wings, the glowing halo, the bleached white robes. I know that’s what people think; I have seen the pictures. But it really couldn’t be further from the truth and you’d realize it if you thought about it for a little bit. I was sent by God as a …