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 Changes at Prescott-Spencerville Pastoral Charge
How Should the Church Change?
miracle or a way that God has touched your life. When members share their experiences, their stories bind us to- gether as the body of Christ.
4. That we consider focusing on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the whole Trinity of God. Our churches have almost forgotten about the third person of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit. We would allow more intentionally the Word of God to touch our hearts and empower us to share our story through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where will the church be in 15 years if we do not share our faith with others today?
B) Outreach—reaching out into our community and beyond:
1. That we consider having a once- a-month outreach focus at some point during worship. We could collect food for the food bank; take up a special offering for PWS&D or some local organization.Thiswouldbeaninten- tional time to look beyond ourselves.
2. That we in Prescott begin to pray for and support the young people who are attending Youth for Christ. You can choose the name of one of the kids and pray for them and perhaps help them in other ways that we may iden- tify as time goes on.
3. That we look for other ways to reach out to our communities. Sug- gestions are most welcome.
C) Personal growth:
1. That we continue to promote members spending time each day reading the Bible. Getting God’s Word into our lives is an important part of being a Christian. You can use resources like Our Daily Bread or other guides to the Bible. Fifteen min- utes a day, preferably in the morn- ing, will keep you closer to God and
God’s truth.
2. That we continue to promote
members spending time each day in prayer. As one child said in response to why he prays: “God is my friend and friends like to know what is going on in their lives.”
3. That we, from time to time, form small groups to gather together for three or four weeks at a time and study specific areas of our faith. It could be based on a question that many members have always won- dered about from our faith. Why do you believe in God? What about the Holy Spirit? How do I know that I am saved and going to heaven?
As responses were submitted, it became clear that almost everyone wanted to become “nine o’clock in the morning” churches. Sessions then discussed and prayerfully se- lected two or three changes that would be implemented in the fall. Each congregation made specific changes that they thought would be in keeping with their worship and mission experience.
Some of the changes introduced are: Holy Communion 10 times a year on the first Sunday of the month, a fo- cus on missions one Sunday a month, joining for a time of prayer at the end of the service whenever the Holy Spir- it moves us to do so, focusing on a greater understanding and experience of the person of the Holy Spirit, and suppor ting the youth group led by Youth for Christ. The personal growth section was a given and, once we can, small groups will begin to meet.
It is wonderful to experience the leading of the Holy Spirit as we risked making changes in our church expe- rience during this time of dramatic change in our world.
Praise God!
times, and we loaded their pre-pack- aged grocery orders into their back seats or trunks. It was wonderful to see so many familiar sets of eyes above masks, and it was wonderful to be able to share comfort, care and joy with our neighbours, especially now.
 By the Rev. David Hooper,
St. Andrew’s and St. Andrew’s-Knox Presbyterian Churches in
Prescott and Spencerville, Ont.
The COVID-19 lockdown forced us Presbyterians to change. Change is not easily accepted among us, but churches closed and the familiar ser- vice of worship disappeared. Instead, we went online and attended church from home, even celebrating Holy Communion this way. This forced change was the seed to what hap- pened next at St. Andrew’s and St. Andrew’s-Knox Presbyterian Church- es in Prescott and Spencerville, Ont.
St. Andrew’s and St. Andrew’s- Knox joyfully (without singing) began to worship in our sanctuaries again on Sunday, June 28, 2020. During that first service, some ways of do- ingchurchdifferentlywerepresented. This was prompted by a quotation from an article in the Summer 2020 edition of this newspaper by the Rev. Ian Ross-McDonald, who challenged
us with this question: Do we want to be a “later that same day” church or a “nine o’clock in the morning” church? The difference, he suggests, is that “one unquestioningly repeats old pat- terns, risking paralysis and gloom, while the other is freed to make choic- es and embrace hopeful new ways of living.”
The challenge was put to both churches with examples of ways we could be different from how we were on March 15, 2020. These sugges- tions were to enable us to even more fully: “Love the Lord our God with all our hear ts, minds, souls and strength, and to love our neighbours as our- selves.” A survey was sent out to all members of the two churches with an oppor tunity to respond by email, phone or in writing.
A)Changesinworshipforour spiritual health and growth:
1. That we consider celebrating Holy Communion once a month. In our Protestant churches, we have not
St. Andrew’s-Knox Presbyterian Church in Spencerville, Ont.
put as much emphasis on the sac- ramental aspect of Christianity. Holy Communion is a uniquely Christian action that brings the presence of Je- susChristintoourmidstthroughthe bread and the cup. We are drawn into His presence in a way like none other.
2. That we consider praying togeth- er as a church in the place of the pas- toral prayer once a month. We would gather at the front of the sanctuary and ask for requests for prayer, and pray together. This does not mean that you must pray aloud. You are invited to if you wish. Just by being there you are participating. This is what we truly call the “fellowship of prayer.” It would be like having a short prayer meeting at the end of the service.
3. That we consider having Good News Repor ts once a month. This would give members the oppor tunity to share with the congregation what God is doing in their lives. It could be an answered prayer, an “Aha” mo- ment during worship, the voice of God speaking to you through scripture, a
 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Prescott, Ont.
Preserving Pumpkinfest 2020
     By the Rev. Anita Van Nest, Stamford Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Every year for the past 18 years, Stamford Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls, Ont., has held Pump- kinfest on the first Saturday in Octo- ber. Over the years it has changed in many ways, but it has always been an opportunity to offer hospitality and celebrate God’s abundance with our neighbours and community. What a
joyful festival of gathered friends it has been! But, of course, that gather- ing couldn’t happen this year.
A small group of members asked the question: Is there anything we can do to reach out into our community and let our neighbours know that we care for them and are praying for them during these most challenging times?
And so with that, “Preserving Pumpkinfest 2020” was envisioned.
It was hard to change our ways of thinking and doing this event after so
many wonderful years. We were de- termined not to promote any type of gathering, yet we wanted to keep all the joy of this beloved tradition.
We decided to offer pre-orders of a selection of comfort foods—soups, jams, meat pies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin loaves—and a children’s
activity kit. Some of these items were made in our church kitchen by small groups of physically distanced, masked volunteers, while others were made at home.
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, was our pick-up day. Cars drove up to our church doors at pre-designated

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