Page 18 - Presbyterian Connection
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Seniors’ Program in Markham Alleviates Loneliness
   By Victoria Banfield, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Markham, Ont.
“Switched on Seniors,” the re- cently launched program for sen- iors at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Markham, Ont., has celebrated a long-awaited mile- stone. It’s goodbye Zoom and hello real people!
Not only has the program fi- nally been able to function almost as originally planned pre-Covid, but after just a few face-to-face meetings the event has already gone to the dogs!
Recently, the Switched on Sen- iors group was excited to wel- come to their Thursday meeting some local therapy dogs. Seen
in this picture is therapy dog Tilly, who has been working at the local hospital and long-term care facili- ties in Markham where she and her friend Max are always very happy to welcome visitors.
The meeting revealed just how much pets and therapy dogs in particular contribute to the well-being and mental health of hospital patients, and especially seniors in long-term care facilities where the weekly visits are much anticipated.
One of the core values for the Switched on Seniors group is to help alleviate loneliness and isola- tion within the senior population, through regular meetings and so- cial interaction, and so it is always good to get some canine help.
  Celebrating 200 Years in Prescott
 Congregation members at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Prescott, Ont.
In 1822, a frame church was built on land that was granted by Susannah Jessup, widow of Lieutenant Edward Jessup. With an increase in membership and plans for a railway pass- ing through Prescott, this new church soon became too small. A new and bigger stone church was then constructed and dedi- cated in 1850. The new church had a seating capacity of 397 and records show that in 1863 the average number of people who attended church was 380.
Unfortunately, on January 31, 1892, fire destroyed the church building and the manse. Many of the members of the congregation
were tradesmen, so it did not take long before the present church was rebuilt. The present building and pipe organ were dedicated in 1893.
The church’s Christian Educa- tion Building was added in the early 1960’s and the old base- ment was upgraded and named Boyd Hall after the first Presbyte- rian minister.
The people of St. Andrew’s have experienced a rich history of sharing their faith and service with the surrounding commu- nity. With our eyes fixed on Jesus we will continue to be a beacon of light and truth in a world that needs Jesus so desperately.
By David Hooper, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Prescott, Ont.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Prescott celebrated their 200th Anniversary on May 8. Although the actual anniversary date was two years ago, celebrations were put on hold at that time due to the pandemic. In 1920, the 100th anniversary celebration of the church was also put on hold due to the Spanish flu.
There were two celebrations of worship. At 11:00 a.m., former minister the Rev. Ian MacLean was the guest preacher. The Rev. MacLean was the minister at St. Andrew’s from 1997 to 2018.
The Rev. Nick Vandermey was the guest preacher for the afternoon service at 3:00. Reverend Vander- mey was minister at St. Andrew’s from 1975 to 1996. Representa- tives from Seaway-Glengarry Presbytery and the Synod of Quebec and Eastern Ontario were also part of the celebration. The moderator sent a video message to the congregation. Refresh- ments and fellowship followed each service.
At the morning service, Don- aldson MacLeod read the Lord’s prayer and the 23rd Psalm in Gaelic; and at the afternoon ser- vice, Rob Miller led us in to wor- ship with bagpipes playing.
The morning service was cel-
ebrated as close as possible to a service in 1820—no organ music, Psalms were sung while seated, the congregation stood during the prayers and opening Psalm led by a precentor.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church has a long and rich histo- ry. The congregation was formed in 1820. Prior to this, Presbyteri- an services were held at Fort Wel- lington, mainly for the soldiers.
The first Presbyterian minister of this newly formed congrega- tion in 1820 was Reverend Rob- ert Boyd, M.A., from Northern Ireland. The services were held in a stone schoolhouse. The Rev. Boyd taught school during the week and preached on Sundays.
Pictured (left to right): the Rev. Nick Vandermey, Ruth Pollock (Moderator of Presbytery), the Rev. David Hooper, the Rev. Shahrazad Kandalaft (Moderator of Synod), the Rev. Ian MacLean.

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