Letter from Peter
Dear Members and Adherents of St. Andrew’s

Last week, I submitted a letter of resignation to the church (and to the Presbytery).   Since the General Assembly enacted Remits B and C into church law, while allowing liberty of conscience, our Session has tried to work through our differences.  We made some good decisions and compromises resulting in a recent letter to the congregation.  However, over the past few weeks, I realize that I can no longer serve effectively as Lead Minister.  It’s been a difficult and trying time for all of us.  I thank the Session for their patience, encouragement and support.

In my letter to Session, my hope was to work with Session in choosing an appropriate ending date and to provide as smooth a transition as possible.  Session and I have agreed that my last day will be April 30, 2022.  This is perhaps longer than usual, but we consider it a friendly transition, allowing us to celebrate Easter together and allowing time to pass on duties and responsibilities.

I want to thank the congregation for accepting my family and I, over these past years.  Thank you for your friendship, kindness, compassion and faith.  I have learned and grown through being with you.  I hope to continue to serve the Lord in the future.  I know the congregation will do the same.

Throughout this time, let’s remember that God is Sovereign over our lives and our church.  God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  We can place our lives and our futures into God’s good, kind and capable hands.

In terms of planning, Session has appointed a Transition Team to work on next steps.  We have asked Presbytery to appoint an Interim Moderator in the near future.

If anyone would like to talk or discuss matters, my door is open.  I continue to pray for our church.

God bless.




Join us for worship this Sunday…
Online by our Youtube Channel (available starting at 9 am).

Or In-person with our In-Person Service at 10:30 am in the sanctuary.
(Requiring double vaccination, masks and social distancing)

This Sunday, Peter is speaking on “I Believe in the Church – The Big Picture” based on Colossians 1:1-14.  This is a wonderful passage that gives us a larger perspective of the church of Jesus Christ.  We hope you can join us!

You may access our service by telephone.  See near the bottom of this email for information.

Upcoming Sermons

Oct 10 – Thanksgiving (Luke 11:5-13)
Oct 17 – I Believe in the Church – The Big Picture (Colossians 1:1-14)
Oct 24 – I Believe in the Church – A Different Kingdom (Colossians 1:15-23)
Oct 31 – All Saints Day – All For One – Radical Hospitality (Genesis 43:31-34, Luke 19:1-10)
Nov 7  – Remembrance Day (John 15:12-17)
Nov 14 – I Believe in the Church – What Ministry is All About (Colossians 1:24-2:5)
Nov 21 –  Speaker: Rev. Dr. Catherine Clark
Nov 28 – St. Andrew’s Day – Advent – I Believe in the Church: Signs of Grace (Colossians 4:2-18)
Youth & Family News

October Church School Update
During their September meeting, The Bible Builders Church School Council discussed plans for online, hybrid, and in-person church school sessions.  Guided by the feedback of our parents, we decided to keep Storytime and Bible Builders Church School online for the month of October.  To find out more about our themes and discussions, please consult the church website under Bible Builders Church School or by clicking this link.

In the meantime, we are working on the logistics of a hybrid church school model.  This includes a request to the Board of Managers to increase the church internet capacity and consulting with Leading with Care to ensure we follow the health and safety protocols, along with leader/shepherd requirements.  We thank you for your understanding and will keep you updated as new information becomes available.

Christmas Presentation
It may seem too early to talk about Christmas and yet we wanted you to have the inside scoop.  Our 2021 Christmas Presentation is scheduled for Sunday, December 12th and it will be a pre-recorded event shown onscreen in the service and posted to our YouTube channel.  If you know now that you are available to take part, please send us a message to this email address standrewscs@gmail.com Also, if you wish to pass on the opportunity, let us know that too!




Giving Hope to Others

Ride for Refuge

Thanks to everyone who participated and donated to Team Lightning Bolt!  Over $4700 was raised to support Presbyterian World Service and Development and their food security programs.  Thanks to Thomas and Victoria for leading the way!

Evangel Hall Dinner – Can you help?

St Andrew’s is scheduled to serve dinner at Evangel Hall on Sunday, October 17, 2021.  There are still limitations in place to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and attendees.  There will be four people working in the kitchen to prepare a meal for 200 people (yes, numbers have gone up). All meals will be packed in takeout containers for distribution to those waiting outside. Approximately 22 people will be allowed to dine-in however, and they will also get a takeout container.

We are looking for 1-2 people who will help transfer the packed dinners from the kitchen to the take out area and/or the dining room and to aid in any ad hoc tasks. Arrival time for this would be 4-4:30pm at Evangel Hall.
If you are interested, please contact Lynda Skeoch at lskeoch2@gmail.com or call 905-294-6582.
Thanks for your support of this ministry.

Evangel Hall – Sandwiches

Thank you to John Hazlewood for making the delivery of sandwiches and clothing in September.
Evangel Hall is now accepting adult clothing…  they are most in need of: new underwear, long johns, rain/spring jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, pants, shorts, running shoes, tents, sleeping bags, large sturdy backpacks.

Our next Sandwich delivery will be on the fourth Wednesday of the month: Oct 27.  Bring them on that day from 8:30 am to 9:30 am to the back (east) door of the church.  Thank you to the many who contribute to this ministry!


Markham Food Bank

Most needed food items:
cookies, hot cereal, jam, canned salmon, instant  oatmeal, evaporated milk, vegetarian  soup
canned kidney beans, sidekick pasta or rice pouches, can mixed vegetables

Feel free to drop off your non-perishable donation at grocery stores or fire halls.  Or consider an online donation through Canada Helps – Markham Food Bank




Church Family News

Do you have any news or prayer requests to share with the St. Andrew’s church family?  Please let Peter know about it. (You can reply to this email)




Church Events


Bazaar News

Switched on Seniors

October 21st
Lorne Smith – Markham’s Official Historian

October 28th
Renata Richardson – Healthy cooking for seniors

November 4th
Andy Kovacs – Philanthropy rocks!

November 11th
AMICA Unionville – Virtual exercise class

Thursdays at 11 am – Click on this link​​ to join!  
Get all of the Switched On news at www.switchedonseniors.com

Click here for the latest Switched on Seniors Newsletter

Sat Nov 13 and 20: Pastoral Care Workshop

Join us for… A Series of Two Workshops on Pastoral Care with Rev. Dr. Ian Clark

Pastoral Care is the heart of the life of the Church. It is the Congregation expressing care and concern for each other. It is not a specific professional skill or activity, rather it is the very human activity expressed and lived by people in community with each other in a world created and blessed by God.

The first workshop focuses on identifying types of situations, the scope of concerns, and extent of need for Pastoral Care in the congregation.

The second workshop explores the nature and content of any contact, interaction–or a simple pastoral visit. How comfort, and concern might appropriately be addressed. Some of the “do’s and don’ts”–the avoidance of promises and hopes that cannot be fulfilled–the role of sharing scripture and prayer–confidentiality and responsibility etc.

First Workshop: Sat Nov 13 at 10 -11:30 am in the Scott Room
Second Workshop: Sat Nov 20 at 10-11:30 am in the Scott Room

Sign up here (https://pastoralcareworkshop.rsvpify.com/)

There are plenty of masks available at the church.  They are $5.00 each and can be found outside Peter’s office.  If you need assistance, please call your elder or call Jean Port at 905 294 7966. Currently, the funds raised are being credited to the Iona Quilters Holding Account.

Thank you for your ongoing support.
Flowers in the Sanctuary


Tues Oct 26: Online prayer meeting

Join us for an online prayer meeting.
We welcome you… if you love to pray or if you simply want to observe.  It will be good to meet and pray together.

Peter Ma is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Prayer Group
Time: Oct 26, 2021  1:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting here  or call in:
1. Call one of these local phone numbers for Zoom:  647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588
2. When asked, type in the meeting ID:  835 6150 2210 #
3. Skip participant ID by pressing #
4. Enter password: 4736 #


Giving to St. Andrews

Thank you for your offerings even during this time.  Our church has ongoing bills and obligations, but we also have the privilege to give offering to God.  Here are ways to give:

1. Interac E-Transfer

Send an e-transfer to givetostandrews@gmail.com with your contact information in the optional message so we can issue a tax receipt to you.  (More info: http://standrews-markham.ca/give/)

2. Cheque
Mail to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 143 Main Street North, Markham ON, L3P 1Y2
For your convenience, post-dated cheques are also accepted.

Another possibility is Pre-Authorized Remittance, which allows for a monthly withdrawal from your bank account.  Ask Velma or Peter for more information.


The Church Office is Closed – but we are here to help!

If you need help or information, please call 905-294-4736 and dial extension 221 for Velma, or 223 for Peter.  Or, email Velma at standrews1 @ bellnet.ca or Peter at pma535 @ gmail.com (remove spaces).  Office hours are not regular, so please leave a message if there is no answer.


Small Group Bible Studies

We have a Small Group Bible Study meeting on Wednesday evenings by Zoom video.  If you are interested in studying the Bible in a friendly and welcoming environment, let Peter know.
Church Newsletter

Our Communicator Newsletter for Fall 2021 is available: Click here to download
Thanks to Cyntra Seebaransingh.

Access our worship service by telephone

(for those who don’t have Internet access)

Connect by telephone on Sunday at 10:30 am (a little earlier is better).
It’s a local phone call to Zoom conferencing, along with a meeting id and password.

1. Call one of these local phone numbers for Zoom:  647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588
2. When asked, type in the meeting ID:  786 2061 5001 #
3. Skip participant ID by pressing #
4. Enter password: 4736 #

This will be the same information each Sunday at 10:30 am.
Please consider passing this information on to anyone who might benefit.