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February 18th

The Painful: TruthResidential Schools and the PCC

If the Truth sets us free, then ignorance binds us to sin. It was ignorance and a sense of racial superiority that brought about the Residential School system. The Presbyterian Church in Canada and its faithful members believed that they were doing the Aboriginal population a service by removing their children to residential schools. Prejudice and poor Theology caused the suffering of countless people, a pain felt deeply not just by the displaced children, but by their families and their descendants as well as Indigenous people around the globe. The Confession to Aboriginal Peoples prepared by our denomination in 1994 was a first step to healing and reconciliation, but there is a long road yet to travel.

It is one thing to talk about sin in general terms. Without specifics, sin is impersonal, distant; there may be deep, powerful truths within the discussion, but without naming the sin, the truth is toothless. Only by naming our sin can we deal with it properly. Only by claiming our sin can we heal ourselves and those we have hurt as well as restoring our broken relationship with God.

Starts February 18th!

The Healing Power of Truth, Lent And Easter 2018

St. James Presbyterian Church
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These three Key Texts will underlie the entire series.

1 Peter 4:1-8

Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.

You've already put in your time in that God-ignorant way of life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life. Now it's time to be done with it for good. Of course, your old friends don't understand why you don't join in with the old gang anymore. But you don't have to give an account to them. They're the ones who will be called on the carpet—and before God himself.

Listen to the Message. It was preached to those believers who are now dead, and yet even though they died (just as all people must), they will still get in on the life that God has given in Jesus.

Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.

James 5:13-20

Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you've sinned, you'll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn't rain, and it didn't—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again.

My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.

John 8:31-36

Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you."

Surprised, they said, "But we're descendants of Abraham. We've never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, 'The truth will free you'?"

Jesus said, "I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can't come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.

St. James Presbyterian Church

310 McNaughton Avenue West Chatham Ontario N7L 1R9


Phone: 519-352-1240

February 25th

The Painful Truth: The “Weaker Sex”

Women married off to strengthen a kingdom or as chattel in an equitable business deal. Girls discouraged from pursuing higher education or speaking their mind and are kept from reaching their full potential Young children and teens physically mutilated, sexually abused or treated as less than human because they are female. There is growth; societies are maturing so that women are being encouraged to explore their giftedness. Women are increasingly finding their voices to speak up for themselves. The are becoming empowered to use their talents and blessings; speak out against their abusers. They are being recognized as equals to men; they are even understood to be stronger than men in many ways. Progress is being made.

March 4th

The Reverend Paul Shaw

“The Threshing-floor of Ornan”

March 11th

The Reverend Paul Shaw

A Pharisee's Progress"

February March 18th

The Painful Truth: Gender Discrimination

Gay and Lesbian people, feared, vilified, rejected, killed. Men and women forced to hide their true selves or driven to suicide because they do not conform to supposed societal norms. With education and growth in society change is slowly coming about; LGBTQ people are slowly being accepted and appreciated for who they are. Children do not have to fear coming out in many places. Sexual orientation is no longer a cause for discrimination or exclusion Lesbian, Gay,Bi, Transgender and Queer people are slowly being accepted rather than rejected. Change is slow, but it is coming.

March 25th

The King Of Love

He was treated like a king, but he did not act or look like one. He taught those who wished to learn and never forced them to attend class. He welcomed all, ate with and often used the rejected and despised as worthy examples to emulate. He did not judge based on gender, race, sexual orientation or physical ability. All were treated equally, challenged not to conform to certain human standard, but to try to live a the same Spiritual standard to which He conformed. He spoke to women as equals and it was women who first saw and recognized Him after He rose from the dead. His power came from His wisdom and His care for others, and was used with care and a delicate touch. For Jesus, no sin is unforgivable if we willingly forgive. No one is beyond being loved. No one is excluded from His Kingdom, but no-one is forced to belong, either. Jesus only asks that we welcome Him into our hearts. He knocks, but it is up to answer. He loves us and asks only that we love others as we would be loved. Do we love ourselves enough to accept Jesus offer?

“The Healing Power of Truth” will look at sin honestly, working from large to small, from the sins of a group to those of the individual. The point of the series is to encourage and support one another by facing the sometimes painful truth of our imperfect nature. Only when we acknowledge the pain we have caused to others and the harm we have done to ourselves can we then release through the perfect truth of God’s forgiving, redeeming love.

Click here if  you’d like to learn more about the Presbyterian Church in Canada’s involvement with the Residential School SystemTruth_and_Reconciliation.html