Here you can see Pentecost reflection and prayer from pastor Grietins in Latvian:
You are also invited to join our online worhsip services with LELBĀL and St. Andrews in Latvian.
(For more information see the Latvian homepage https://www.stjohnslatvian.ca/latviesu/sakums)
Listen to the second installment of pastor Girts Grietins podcast about Apologetics. How do we find our way among different religions and beliefs?
Holly Week meditation with pastor Ģirts Grietiņš.
Let us join Palm Sunday's video worship service presented by pastors and musicians of Canada.
Take a look at this Sunday's new video
You are welcome to listen to pastor Ģirts Grietiņš audio reading from C.S. Lewis "Mere Christianity" (in Latvian).
We are delighted to be able to offer the opportunity after many long months to meet together to worship at 200 Balmoral Ave. However, given the realities of our current situation with Covid-19, there are new practices that we are required to adopt.
Please read the following carefully. This are based on directions from the Eastern Synod.
Please note: we will aim to live-stream worship to ensure that our vulnerable members are able to participate in worship in the safety of their own homes.
Please contact the church office for details on how to do so.
Before you come:
Please remain in your seat unless you are coming up to receive communion.
Christian apologist and pastor Timothy Keller talks about “costly forgiveness”.
Why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t God just forgive us? This is what many ask, but now we can see that no one “just” forgives,
if the evil is serious. Forgiveness means bearing the cost instead of making the wrongdoer do it, so you can reach out in love to
seek your enemy’s renewal and change.
Forgiveness means absorbing the debt of the sin yourself. Everyone who forgives great evil goes through a death into
resurrection, and experiences nails, blood, sweat, and tears.
Should it surprise us, then, that when God determined to forgive us rather than punish us for all the ways we have wronged him
and one another, that he went to the Cross in the person of Jesus Christ and died there? As German theologian Dietrich
Bonhoeffer says, everyone who forgives someone bears the other ’s sins.
On the Cross we see God doing visibly and cosmically what every human being must do to forgive someone, though on an
infinitely greater scale. Human forgiveness works this way because we unavoidably reflect the image of our Creator. That is why
we should not be surprised that if we sense that the only way to triumph over evil is to go through the suffering of forgiveness,
that this would be far more true of God, whose just passion to defeat evil and loving desire to forgive others are both infinitely
greater than ours.
It is crucial at this point to remember that the Christian faith has always understood that Jesus Christ is God. God did not, then,
inflict pain on someone else, but rather on the Cross absorbed the pain, violence, and evil of the world into himself. Therefore
the God of the Bible is not like the primitive deities who demanded our blood for their wrath to be appeased. Rather, this is a God
who becomes human and offers his own lifeblood in order to honor moral justice and merciful love so that someday he can
destroy all evil without destroying us.
That is why He has died for us.
You have the opportunity to purchase select paintings from St. John's inventory of art and support the roof fund. Paintings and prices can be viewed on the walls of the lower hall. Please contact the church office if you are interested, 416-921-3327.
Guidelines concerning coronavirus.
At our service:
Greeters will not be offering to shake hands. A friendly smile and acknowledgement greeting will continue to be given!
Please refrain from shaking hands during the sharing of the peace. The words alone or a nod can convey the message.
People experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, especially a fever, should stay home and avoid contact with others until symptoms cease.
Communion assistants will continue to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing items for communion and afterwards as well as the communion vessels.
Our pastor will bless the common cup. There will be no intinction of wafers (dipping into the wine). Communion wine will be offered to the congregation only in the individual cups at the moment.
(On leaving the altar, those receiving communion are asked to place their empty cup in one of the plastic-lined containers provided by the greeters.)
We will follow local health guidelines in our worship and meeting spaces with additional cleaning and disinfection of surfaces including door handles, railings, switches, etc.
Our Ladies’ Auxiliary will continue to prepare refreshments for Fellowship following the service, using disposable cups and plates (unless the water for the new dish washer is proven hot enough to sanitize our dishes).
(PS Since we will be generating more garbage, please put disposable cups one into the other and pile up used paper plates. Remember each city disposal service is offered every two weeks!)