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FALL 2020
          By the Rev. Robert Royal, part of
the ministry team at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newmarket, Ont., along with the Rev. Laura Duggan
Since the early 1830s, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church has been a car- ing congregation that seeks to share, show and speak the love and joy of God in Newmarket, Ont., and the sur- rounding areas. Both our faith and civic communities are very impor- tant to us and, as such, we continue to support our multi-generational, multicultural, multi-denominational and interfaith community by way of the Newmarket Food Pantry, Loaves and Fishes project for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Inn from the Cold, Boarding Home Ministry and the
Prayer Shawl Pastoral Ministry. We also do meaningful outreach with all our friends and neighbours by way of telephone, social media, and now outdoor home or Lawn Chair Visits.
The idea for the Lawn Chair Min- istry came from a conversation I had with a friend when the COVID-19 pan- demic began to slam the door on all face-to-face social interactions. The question was posed, “How will you minister to the congregation?” With physical distancing a new and harsh reality, the only plausible solution for a face-to-face meeting seemed to be a phone conversation through the protection of a window or glass door. Hence the birth of the Lawn Chair Ministry. In those early days of Lawn Chair Visits, I sat outside and had a
phone chat with someone in their home. It is physical distancing at its best. Since the weather has warmed, my visits have been on driveways, front and back lawns, decks and patios, gazebos and Florida rooms. It continues to be a wonderful way to become better acquainted, solve all the world’s problems, share in a prayer and blessing, and even cel- ebrate Holy Communion when re- quested. To date, I have been on 30 Lawn Chair Visits with many more scheduled, and I thank all those I’ve visited for their warm hospitality.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
 Lawn Chair Ministry in Newmarket
                      Anxious for Nothing in Uxbridge
 By David Phillips, St. Andrew’s – Chalmers Presbyterian Church in Uxbridge, Ont.
For five weeks, three churches in Uxbridge, Ont., worked together to host an online Bible study. The par- ticipants were led by the Rev. Can- on Mark Kinghan (St. Paul’s Angli- can Church); the Rev. Karen Croxall (Trinity United Church) and David Phillips (St. Andrew’s – Chalmers Presbyterian Church). The study
was Max Lucado’s “Anxious for Nothing,” a five-session video Bible study based on Philippians 4:4–8. For each of the five weeks, there was a theme based on those vers- es. The sessions were: “Rejoice in the Lord Always” (Week One); “Let Your Gentleness Be Evident to All” (Week Two); “Present Your Requests to God” (Week Three); “The Peace of God Will Guard Your Heart” (Week Four); and “Meditate on These Things” (Week Five).
The purpose was to bring people together to offer support and to talk freely with one another about their concerns. Each week there was a short worship service prior to the video session, and then partici- pants broke into small groups for discussion. It was a time for us to talk, listen and reflect on the Bible passage among a small group of people. We shared concerns about loneliness and the inability to see family and friends during this time
of physical separation. People were anxious about COVID-19 and the most recent news about racism. But prayer helped us overcome our anxieties.
Participants felt strongly that this study took place at the right time in our lives and that the support we gave each other was very impor- tant.
What is next? We are looking at another series with the three churches in the fall.
   Resources for Congregations Related to COVID-19

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