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           A memorial to a friend lost too soon.
A Response to Grief
Submit your questions to
Answered by the Rev. Ian Ross- McDonald, General Secretary of the Life and Mission Agency
What do the letters “IHS” mean that are written on the hangings in front of the pulpit in our church?
Various explanations circulate about what the letters “IHS” mean. However, it is generally held that IHS is an ab- breviation formed from the first three or first two letters and last letter of Je- sus’ name in Greek
My husband converted from being a Catholic to be a Christian when we got married. Why didn’t the minister baptize him?
The Roman Catholic Church is a branch of the Christian church and its members are Christians. One of the gifts of the ecumenical movement through the history of the church is
that most churches recognize the baptism of other denominational tra- ditions. When people choose to leave the branch of the church they grew up in and join another denomination, they are not normally baptized a sec- ond time because they have already been initiated into the household of God, joined to the body of Christ, the church, and united with Christ in his death and resurrection by virtue of their baptism.
What quorum is required at meet- ings in the church?
Quorum is the minimum number of members of a body that must be present at any meeting for it to com- petently transact business and make decisions. The question has various answers.
Congregational meetings have no set number or percentage of mem- bers required to be present in or- der to proceed. Three members of the Board of Managers constitute a
quorum. The moderator and 25% of ruling elders on the Session, or two elders (whichever is greater), consti- tutes quorum for the Session. Quo- rum for a presbytery is defined as the moderator (or acting moderator) and two other members, one of whom is a minister. The General Assembly and synods have more complex ways of calculating quorum, which can be read about in the Book of Forms at
Where no quorum is specified (e.g., in the case of most commit- tees of congregations, presbyteries and the General Assembly), it means there is no minimum number of peo- ple required to be present in order to proceed. However, as in a choir—it is possible to sing with two or three peo- ple, but you miss the benefit of other voices. A committee may always de- cide to adjourn and meet again when more people can attend, if those who are present are concerned about the size of the gathering.
Kincardine, Knox (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
North Yarmouth, St. James
(part-time or student minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Point Edward Presbyterian, Point Edward (half-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Windsor, University Community Church (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
Woodstock, Knox (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
The Rev. Thomas G. Vais
Toronto, Ont.
Deceased September 20, 2020
The Rev. Dr. William James Adamson Etobicoke, Ont.
Deceased August 29, 2020
The Rev. Andrew Turnbull
Barrie, Ont.
Deceased July 22, 2020
Beverly Ann Gellatly
Burlington, Ont.
Deceased March 25, 2020
By Vivian Ketchum, originating
from Wauzhushk Onigum Nation of Northern Ontario and now a member of Place of Hope Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg, Man., and Life and Mission Agency Committee member
My heart aches tonight. For a group of strangers that I have gotten to know over the past few weeks.
It began one evening when I felt the need to buy supper supplies for my neighbour in the next building to mine. He was a youth that I saw coming and going. An occasional greeting shared between us in pass- ing. I didn’t understand that strong urge to buy food for a total stranger, but I went to the store to buy the required food. I figured the answer would come in time.
The next evening, I saw the youth pacing back and forth in front of his place. The youth looked very upset as I headed over with the food that I bought for him. I knew about his friend who was stabbed outside his place. As I gave him the food, the youth told me his friend passed away that evening. I understood why I felt the need to buy the food. A way to help the troubled youth with his loss. We talked about what happened and how he was feeling.
That gift of food opened a door to a group of youth over the next couple of weeks. Youth involved in the system. Homeless youth. Involved in gangs. Troubled youth that had lost a dear friend of their circle. Youth that had lit- tle to no support with their grief.
My young neighbour who I gave the food to had set up a little memo- rial outside where his friend passed away. This was where the circle of youth came by to remember their friend. They didn’t come in the day- time, but late at night. Out of the cor- ners of darkness. That first night, I sat outside my back stairwell to try to comfort the youth that dropped by the memorial. I had food to share with them. One youth that was sitting by my back steps thought I was go- ing to ask him to leave. I told him that I had a cup of hot soup for him and his girlfriend—which surprised him. This was very late at night and in a bad area of the city. I felt safe as I sat surrounded by my Smudge bowl and Bible. I had a bowl of Smudge go- ing as I sat on the stairwell. The two youth asked if they could Smudge with me. I was glad to and was sur- prised when I was asked to say the Lord’s Prayer. I prayed with them. Smudged with them. More came and stood by the memorial. I held one boy in my arms as he wept over the loss of his friend.
I felt totally safe. Protected. I com- forted the little ones, as I now like to call those troubled youth. Even weeks later, I still talk to those youth as they come by the area. Oddly, I don’t know their names, just the histories of their lives. So similar to my own story as a youth. My heart aches for them as they struggle to find their way with their grief. I am grateful for being able to help them in that first week.
To see all pulpit vacancies, visit
Fredericton, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – Atlantic Provinces
Duncan, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – British Columbia
Bramalea, North Bramalea (full-time minister) – Central, Northeastern Ontario & Bermuda (CNEOB)
Kingston, St. John’s & Seeley’s Bay, Sand Hill (full-time minister, 2-point charge) – CNEOB
Kitchener, St. Andrew’s (full-time minister) – CNEOB
Lakefield, St. Andrew’s and Lakehurst, Knox (60%-time minister) – CNEOB
Madoc, St. Peter’s (full-time minister) – CNEOB
Port Perry, St. John’s (40%-time minister) – CNEOB
Scarborough, Guildwood Community (full-time minister) – CNEOB
Montreal, The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (full-time Associate Minister for Community Connections and Care) – Quebec & Eastern Ontario
Fonthill, Kirk on the Hill (full-time minister) – Southwestern Ontario
 Read all full obituaries online at
The Rev. James Bruce Robertson
Wolfville, N.S.
Deceased November 3, 2020
The Rev. Young Tain Cho
Vancouver, B.C.
Deceased October 19, 2020
The Rev. Christine Shaw
Winnipeg, Man.
Deceased October 18, 2020
Margaret Ellen May Nutt
Toronto, Ont.
Deceased October 14, 2020
The Rev. Iris Ford
Parksville, B.C.
Deceased September 28, 2020
The Rev. Gerald Sarcen
Ottawa, Ont.
Deceased September 27, 2020
The Rev. Kenrick Keshwah
Scarborough, Ont.
Deceased September 26, 2020
The Rev. Dr. David
Laurence Mawhinney Lunenburg, N.S.
Deceased September 15, 2020

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