Drummond Hill Newsletter, June 22, 2022
Wednesday Meditation (Luke 13: 18,19)
He said therefore, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
Kingdom of God, what is it like? In the time of Jesus people had very keen interest in it. Today, not so much. Most people in Canada are pretty content. Canada is filled with people who feel blessed and are happy, according to a survey of the world measuring people’s happiness. When we are so content and are feeling fine about how we are in this world other than occasional discomfort that comes from health or personal issues. It is hard to wait for the kingdom of God.
As long as Christians could remember, much of the sharing of the Gospel was based on being a better solution to what people faced. In the sinful world, the Gospel was directed to sinners. The message was that sinners could find redemption in Jesus Christ. In very poor and destitute situations, Christianity was offered as a way to God’s kingdom where there would be no hungry and desperate people. When terrible illnesses hit, people were offered full health in the kingdom of God. This is why, even today, people turn to churches when they face difficulties in life. People are known to attend church when they are in crisis.
Jesus describes God’s kingdom using this simple imagery of a tree. When the tree is full of its leaves, it provides home for birds. God’s kingdom is described as a home for anyone who seeks to find home. It is a welcoming as well as restful place. This is where lives flourish: babies are born, nurtured, and given a place to rest each night. It is a place of comfort and safety.
A church has always tried to be a glimpse of God’s kingdom in the world. In early times, a local church was where people fled to from invading enemies. This understanding of safety and comfort brings many people to churches still in their time of troubles. As a church Drummond Hill is continuing to be and will carry on as a place where people will find God’s kingdom like safety, nurturing, hospitality, and comfort. This task of being a place where people can experience what God’s kingdom is like takes faith, hope, and love in ways that require our full commitment to Christ. This is not easy and cannot be done by a hard working few. It beckons all of us to be servants of Christ as we serve all who come to us.
New Direction: A congregational meeting, June 26
With the decision to downsize, a new journey begins
The results for downsizing are in.
It should be noted that some of those who voted “No” expressed that they were “Yes” for downsizing, but they voted “No” because the discussion prior to voting mentioned demolishing the manse, hall and education wing without cost analysis and considering other possible options for downsizing.
It should be emphasised clearly that this vote was taken simply for downsizing. We have not voted on anything else. As a minister I did float an idea about what could be done, including possible demolitions of manse, hall, etc. However, the session simply asked for the permission to downsize. With this vote, a new journey begins.
Now, the session will appoint a small group of those interested in planning how to downsize. Then, this group will begin to figure out options and ways to downsize. The plan will include financial costs of each option. The report will be made to the congregation and the congregation will decide on which option to take. Anyone interested in participating in this group for downsizing can let an elder or minister know.
We are extremely excited about moving forward in this new direction to carry out Christ’s ministry here.
Drummond Hill 3.0
A different way of thinking what a new church can be
“Follow me, the Master said…”
Who knew that God takes us to a totally new direction? Of course, we did suspect that something had to give. We could not simply stay the same without any changes.
Many of us remember how Sunday School was full in the days when the Rev. McKeown was a minister, how the church began to have two worship services during the time of the Rev. Hastings, and fairly constant decline as Sunday School kids grew up, followed by steady decline of membership.
What we have forgotten is how Drummond Hill had a mission in Downtown Niagara Falls, and had a student from Knox College come and work every weekend, how WMS used to bring mission speakers from as far as Kingston in the late 1890s and early 1900s until just a few years ago. WMS presented a guest speaker who was the first indigenous minister to be ordained in The Presbyterian Church in Canada in the early part of the 2nd decade of the 21st century as part of the work of reconciliation with the indigenous people.
How, then, do we serve God and each other? By being part of life-giving worship, that is. Through worship, we experience God’s presence with us in a way that we can understand. Praising God is what we are called to do. In praise, we lift up our joyful voices in songs that give God glory. Through prayers, we enter into a conversation with God. We become part of the eternal conversation during worship as we listen and offer ourselves to God. God’s Word is read, because as we listen, the Word becomes flesh and dwell among us. It is the Word that nurtures, feeds and grows us as the New Creation. By God’s Word we become God’s people, glorifying and enjoying God.
Could we not do all these without downsizing? Yes, we could have chosen to remain the same, but we would not be good stewards of what God entrusted us with in terms of facilities, resources, and community to love and give hope in faith. If we choose not to downsize, then, we will be burdened with maintenance and required repairs, taking away our energy, resources, and focus on God alone.
Tea Tasting is tomorrow, Thursday, June 30 at 1:30 pm.
Don’t forget Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays!
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.