November 2018 / Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
All Are Welcome at St. Andrew's
by Patricia Boyes and Monica McClure
A pastoral patch of land nestled in the midst of the bustling city of Scarborough is home to a thriving three-hundred-plus member Christian congregation, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. The church’s mission has been to share God’s love in this country-like setting for over two hundred years. The first church building was erected in 1819 on land donated by David Thomson, who settled here from Scotland in 1799; it lies adjacent to Thomson Park.
Seventeen pastors have been called to St. Andrew’s beginning with the Rev. William Jenkins, and including both the current pastor, Duncan Cameron, and the first associate pastor, Monica McClure.
St. Andrew’s is known for its excellent preaching, its warm welcome and its programs for all ages. Two services on Sunday morning provide a diverse music program and programming for Kid’s Church and Youth Group. Next spring the church will host an “Alpha program” where one can explore life, faith and God in an informal, friendly environment. There are also a variety of social activities, often revolving around food, such as Burns’ Night and St. Patrick’s night. The Pastoral Care program maintains contact with those unable to attend worship services; it supports families in caregiving, and those who are grieving. The Pastoral Care luncheons include a Communion Service, food, fun and fellowship.
St. Andrew’s is pleased to support the work of Evangel Hall, an inner-city mission in downtown Toronto. This Mission works with the marginalized and homeless. St. Andrew’s is also actively supporting the Pikangikum infrastructure project, which provides indoor plumbing for homes in this remote First Nation Community. During the Syrian refugee crisis, churches in this Presbytery including St. Andrew’s, sponsored 5 families to come to Canada and give continuing support through the LinC program for Syrian refugees.
This year St. Andrew’s celebrated its Bicentennial with many special events. The kick-off service in September 2017 was modeled on an early 1800’s outdoor church service and many people came in period costume. Food and fellowship followed to the delight of everyone.
The year-end banquet was like a grand homecoming, bringing people with past connections together for great fellowship. The highlight of the culminating bicentennial worship service on June 10th, 2018 was the presentation of a specially commissioned anthem “We Will Share Your Love, Oh Lord.” For those looking for a Christian faith-based community to belong to, all are welcome at St. Andrew’s!