Beloved and belonging


Already the new year is a week old and perhaps some of our resolutions are being tested or tossed.

But one resolution that we can keep each day, remind ourselves of throughout each day, is the miracle that the Son of God took on human form, became one of us and chose to explore the struggles we face.

It is an incredible miracle and Christmas, Epiphany (when the Zoroastrian priests and scientists followed the star to Jesus) are just the beginning. How appropriate that each new year is so young as this spiritual-human, divine-.mankind journey begins.

This week, Rev. Joanne explored the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist commented that surely Jesus should baptize him, rather than he baptize Jesus. Was this baptism as recorded in Matthew 3:3-17 really necessary? Indeed, because it is part of the human journey. It is a milestone on the road. It also affirmed and stressed Jesus joining you and me as one of our kind. Listen to our worship this week and explore this more at

But that’s not all! Through baptism, the Holy Spirit creates community.


Community creates belonging.

And belonging is important. It is more than inclusion; it offers support in the face of struggle, comfort in the grim times.

At St. Andrew’s, we have worked through the years to help create a more caring Barrie. It was more than a quarter of a century ago when we first opened our doors in the winter to those sleeping outside. That fledgling program expanded to other churches, created partnerships as it became Out of the Cold, and matured into a shelter program now administered by the David Busby Street Centre.

Before the Salvation Army offered lunch on Sundays at its Bayside Mission on lower Bayfield Street, St. Andrew’s ran a soup kitchen Sunday afternoons. Working alongside the Bayside Mission to help people was an incredible opportunity to help others. Now, the Bayside Mission Centre offers soup and much more at lunch on Sundays.

This winter, we started our Little Winter Warmers Tree.

It’s a little tree on the corner of Owen and Worsley streets. It’s a little tree that’s having an impact. More than 250 items pegged in zippered plastic bags and available to any passerby who needs a bit of warmth. Just as important as the physical warmth, however, is the unspoken message that “You belong.”

Perhaps an individual has mittens, but their mitts were worn and had holes. On the tree, they find new ones that will serve them better in these cold, damp days.

As the drizzle dampens spirits, it also dampens mitts and hats. One gal was so happy she could have a pair of warm dry mitts.

This is where you can join us in helping better our community.

Join us in stocking the tree. The need for these items is steady, just as pedestrian traffic passes along this corner – whether it is someone in a long Service Canada line-up who’s seeking help in finding a job, someone taking their child to the library and the child has lost a mitten, someone who seeks shelter in the library as respite from the cold or a professional walking to City Hall or the  courthouse.

Each of us is coming from a different place, and we meet up on the journey. Hearing and seeing that we all belong is incredibly inspiring for the gift giver and the unknown recipient.

Join us in continuing to help with this important community project. Go pick up a little bit of winter warmth that you like and share it.

Say “you belong” with a pair of mittens, a toque, a scarf or socks. Drop your donations off at our office weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.