Today at St. Andrew’s we celebrated our 173rd anniversary.
Our faith community dates back to September 1843, when a group of Presbyterians began worshipping together. Our sanctuary, located kitty-corner from Barrie Public Library’s downtown branch, opened on Feb. 15, 1883. Before that, we met in the Wesleyan Methodist chapel and then our own, first building, a frame church built on the north side of Collier Street at Clapperton Street.
But the church is not a building; it is a people.
Why? Because Jesus is all about sharing His love with people. Wherever He went, He shared and He cared. He ultimately went to the cross for us – but He rose again and He lives forever.
We celebrated the contributions of those who have been with us a long time – including two 60-year-members and those who have joined us just recently – and all of us in-between. Having such diversity of people is an incredible gift and as, hopefully, life returns to “normal”, we can share our gifts even more and celebrate God’s steadfast love for us.
Our choir began practising for the first time today; we welcome new voices with new explorations of music with Yesi, our music director. In her short time with us, she has literally helped the bells ring out – with our children’s and youth hand bell choirs. A praise team will also be forming, with the first practice before the service next Sunday. Music has always been such an important part of life at St. Andrew’s and it’s incredibly exciting to see our music program grow again, after pandemic restrictions.
(As we look back, we remember the choir from 2020, just before the pandemic hit.)
The voices – the basses, tenors, altos and sopranos – add so much to our service. It will be exciting to see what other musical talents – and instruments – join our praise team, and add to the Casavant organ and piano. But instruments don’t make music; people do.
Sharing God’s steadfast love is done by each of us, in the small moments, as we share our talents or simple words of encouragement and hope.
We saw that today, in our Gospel reading, John 21:1-19, when Jesus lights a fire to cook fish for breakfast for the disciples, who were fishing. He encouraged them and gave advice – and as a result, their nets were filled. It is in the simple, everyday moments that God’s love can break through the clouds and warm us.
We feed one another as we listen, as we share and as we encourage each other to face the day. Join us and discover what God, you and us can do together.