Worship: Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Please join us for Sunday Worship at 10:30am in the sanctuary
Sunday April 13th, 10:30am - Palm Sunday Palm Procession.
Thursday April 17th, 7:30pm - Maundy Thursday Communion Service/Tenebrae
Friday April 18th, 10:30am - Good Friday Service in the Sanctuary
Sunday April 20th, 6:00am - Easter Sunrise Service
Sunday April 20th, 10:30am - Easter Sunday Holy Communion Service in the Sanctuary
Coming up: Kids 4 Kids concert, Saturday April 26th, 7:00pm
$15 - regular price; $12 students and seniors
Proceeds go to benefit Sun Youth's children's programs.
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Minister: The Rev. John Forster B.A., M.Div., M.Th.
Director of Music: Margaret de Castro B.A., B.Music., M.Music, M.Ed
Chair of Session: Ramon Vicente
Vice Chair of Session: Lynne Dawson
Clerk of Session: Carolyn Walsh Dawson
The Application for April 13, 2014 - Palm Sunday
Commentary Matthew 21: 1-12 As Passover approaches Pontius Pilate leads a procession of Imperial Roman forces with their Calvary and foot soldiers into Jerusalem. They march in through the main gate, the Western Gate from their headquarters on the Mediterranean coast. They march in, in all their power and glory to reinforce the garrison on the Temple Mount. They march in as they do every year before the high festival of Passover, to strike fear and awe into the conquered people. Imagine the spectacle. Weapons, helmets, golden eagles mounted on poles. Imagine the sun, glinting on metal and gold. Hear the pounding of horse hooves, the marching of feet, the creaking of leather, the beating of drums. Imagine all this military spectacle, all this celebration of Empire. Now, imagine the surrounding, silent, non-responsive, crowd of on lookers. They know all too well who is in charge and what is really going on. Our Gospel story tells of another procession on that very same day, another triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but through the opposite gate, the lowly Easter Gate. Our Gospel story tells of another crowd and another kind of celebration. It is not big or powerful, or self-important, but Matthew’s version sure gets the crowd involved and gets everyone asking, “Who is this? What is going on here?” Commentary Matthew 21: 12-17 Empires old or new, secular or religious, use military might and some sort of divine judgement to control the p eople. At best they offer a costly peace through war to victory or a hard won salvation through some form of blood sacrifice. In each case, the false myth of redemptive violence is at work. The myth that killing always saves us in the end. But that is the lie behind all lies. Getting rid of those who oppose us flies in the face of the central, universal spiritual experience, which teaches us that we are all in this together. In fact, nothing is itself without everything else. If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes all of us to make up the world of human endeavour. On Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey as the antithesis to Roman military might, and as a corrective to the falsehood of redemptive violence. In Matthew’s version, he immediately enters the Temple, overturns the tables of the money changers, challenging the religious empire of blood sacrifice to cover our sins. Jesus challenges both kinds of empire, military and religious on the same day with the same purpose. Also, Matthew’s version has children streaming into the Temple, in celebration along with the blind and lame who are healed there by Jesus. Children and the handicapped were refused entry into the temple, but not anymore with Jesus’ kind of kingdom. Application for Today Friends it is not blood sacrifice that makes us and others whole. It is love’s sacrifice that makes us and others whole and holy. It is not spilt blood but allowing love. It is not just any love but the allowing love of Jesus, which the Spirit imparts. Let’s hold onto the Kingdom that Matthew’s Gospel reveals. Amen.
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MUCH to be Thankful For:
On September 6th, 1914, the first worship service was held in what we now know as Leslie Hall. We are planning to make 2014 a year to rejoice and to remember ... and you can help!
We all have our own special memories of our church life – whether that church is Dominion-Douglas, St. Andrew’s, St.Andrew’s – Dominion-Douglas or Erskine American. We are asking that you commit to paper a short memoir and send it to Felicitas at the office.
-by Peggy Jean Thomas, March 30, 2014 My life at Erskine United Church, I remember: 1. That the sanctuary had been at an angle 45% clockwise from the present alignment which was the result of the renovation that followed the arrival of the American congregation. 2. The choir gowns had been black and everything up front took place behind a big brass rail. 3. That the Sunday School rooms opened off a badminton court and could be closed with pull-down roller doors. 4. That during the renovation we worshipped in Victoria Hall and that Christmas morning our family sat in the balcony. After the union of congregations Erskine United and American, I was older and my memories were different – such as going down town on the streetcar for the 9:30 a.m. Young People’s Service and week-day evenings for Junior Young People’s meetings. We put on plays and once I was the back end of a horse in some production on the stage. I also remember an exchange visit to Newport, Vermont.
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THE ERSKINE BROTHERS As punishment for failing to obey the Act of Uniformity, passed by the English Parliament in 1662, the Reverend Henry Erskine (1624-1696), a Scottish minister, was imprisoned. This law not only dictated the form of public prayers, administration of sacraments, and other rites of the Established Church of England, it also required Episcopal ordination for all ministers. Holding religious assemblies outside the Church of England, was also punishable by a fine and, in some cases, a jail term. After his release “by the king's indulgence” in 1685, Henry Erskine, by now in poor health and aging, was permitted to continue his ministry. He had married twice, and his two distinguished sons, Ebenezer and Ralph, were born to his second wife, Margaret Halcro. The activities of Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754), also a minister, led to the establishment of the Secession Church, formed by dissenters from the Church of Scotland. After studying at the University of Edinburgh he was ordained in 1703. He married Alison Turpie, the couple living in Portmoak for twenty-eight years and afterwards moving to Sterling. Some time before this, at the General Assembly of 1722, a group of men including Ebenezer had been rebuked for defending the doctrines contained in the book The Marrow of Modern Divinity by Edward Fisher. Filled with quotations from the great reformer, Martin Luther, and from the Puritans, this book emphasizes biblical and evangelical doctrines and sanctification by grace rather than by the law. Then in 1733, a sermon preached by Ebenezer Erskine on Lay Patronage, having to do with the freedom of congregations to elect their own pastor, led to new accusations being levelled against him. He was forced to appeal to the General Assembly, but it supported his accusers. With others he was suspended and afterwards, in protest, the group formed a separate church court, under the name, Associate Presbytery. In 1739, they were summoned to appear before the General Assembly, but as they did not acknowledge its authority, they did not attend. They were deposed by the Church of Scotland the next year. In the following years a large number of people joined their communion. The Associate Presbytery remained united until 1747, when a division took place over how the church should respond to a new oath required of all burgesses. Erskine joined with the “burgher” section, becoming their professor of theology. He continued to preach to a large and influential congregation in Stirling until his death. He was a very popular preacher and a man of considerable force of character. He was noted for acting on principle with honesty and courage. In 1820 the burgher and anti-burgher sections of the Secession Church were reunited, followed, in 1847, by their union with the relief synod, as the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Ralph Erskine (1685-1752), Ebenezer Erskine's younger brother, a clergyman as well, perhaps lacked some of the intensity of his brother yet Robert Mackenzie says of him that he was “. . . gentler, more ideal, more mystical than his brother, fond of music and proficient on the violin.” Ralph, who graduated Master of Arts in 1704 from Edinburgh University was not one of the original Seceders of 1733 although he had been closely associated with his brother's stand on several controversies. However in 1740 when he was finally deposed by the General Assembly, he threw in his lot with Ebenezer and the Associate Presbytery. In 1711 he had been appointed as Minister of the Second Charge at the famous Dunfermline Abbey and in 1716 he became Minister of the First Charge of that Church. That he was a scholar and a theologian of considerable ability can be shown by the fact that his collected works in ten volumes passed through many editions. In Montreal, the Erskine Presbyterian Church, after forming a congregation in 1832, took its name from the famous brothers. By 1934, when its members amalgamated with those of the American Presbyterian Church (formed in 1823), Erskine and American Church was established. In more recent times (2004) a further merger with St. Andrew's – Dominion Douglas marked the beginning of Mountainside United.
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