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SASS Weekly Newsletter - April 15 2020
by Pastor Martin

SASS Weekly Newsletter

April 15 2020



Worship Services


We continue to hold our Sunday worship services online, via ZOOM. From now on ZOOM requires a password to join any meeting. The link to SASS meetings and worship services will be as follows:-


Zoom link –

Password – “sass” (no quotes)


If you are unable to join the LIVE service on Sunday mornings, we have recordings :-

  • VIDEO recordings of the online services are available on our SASS YOUTUBE channel, or search for “SASS Presbyterian” on YouTube.
  • AUDIO recordings are available on our church website, under "sermons", (if you scroll down on the homepage you will see a list of the latest sermon recordings.) These are in MP3 format, and playable directly from the website or downloadable.

To begin each online service we are inviting everyone to place a candle(wax or battery operated)in the worship space where they are meeting. We will light them together as a sign of our community and our acknowledgement that we are all in God’s Presence, no matter where we physically worship.


Current Sermon Theme


CoVID-19 has changed our lives, our world. One of the aspects of life which has shocked me recently is the emptiness of our supermarket shelves. I’m guessing that means our household pantries and cupboards must be full to the brink. I wonder are we all full as well? On Sunday April 19th, I am going to discuss what we can be doing to better fill up during these strange days.


Then on April 26th,Rev. Dr. David “Monty” Montgomery, will look at select verses from Genesis 32, 1 Kings 19 and Matthew 26, as he discusses being “Alone with God,” during this period of strange self-isolation. 


Thursday Morning Bible Study through JOHN


The Thursday morning Bible Study has resumed on Thursdays, 10:00am. Daniel will host the ZOOM, using the same link & password above. 




I encourage you to continue praying for Don Campbell, Muriel Dionne, Jean & Alan Bone, Margaret Williams, Kel Keyser, Penny McDonald, David Forrest, David Ballentine, Liz Lilley, Lorne Dennis, Joanne Graham, Jim Hall and Dean Scott. 


Let’s pray for the health care workers who are on the frontline fighting to defeat this unseen reality, especially those in our congregation, and those who have friends and/or family members who have tested positive for this virus.


Let’s uphold the many many people who have had their lives turned upside down because of this virus. People have been laid off and are applying for EI. People are anxious about their financial situation. People are stressed about home-schooling their children for the foreseeable future. People are gripped by fear. People are worried about their loved ones who statistically are more vulnerable to this virus. 


The Tree of Life


Thank you to Pamela, Laura J and Shannon for their help with decorating our Tree of Life throughout the Lent series.


City in Focus


Last week Tom Cooper, together with City in Focus friends Lawrence Ho and Jonathan Bird, reached out to Christian leaders in British Columbia to encourage them to encourage others during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following letter, which appeared in the Vancouver Sun and the Province over the Easter weekend, is the result of their efforts. It shows what the Christian community can do together in times of crisis.


Dear fellow British Columbians,

    As a group of Christian leaders we seek to join our voice in praise and thanksgiving for the care, kindness, and sacrifice of courageous front-line health care workers, social and food services staff, and civil servants. We are praying for everyone involved in protecting the health and safety of all in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. May God strengthen, protect, and guide all who seek to provide healing and may their work be a moving expression of the mercy and love of God.

We recognize how worrying the global pandemic is. It is a crisis which provokes uncertainty, panic, loss, discouragement, and loneliness. As followers of Jesus, we know that God is with us in the midst of worry and loss. We pray that the Spirit of Christ will bring you peace and an abiding sense of calm. The promise of scripture offers us hope: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. You are in the palm of my hand” (Isaiah 41:10). We have hope that God will see us through this crisis.

Signs of hope and solidarity are evident throughout our province. Despite the restrictions imposed by social distancing and necessary isolation, people everywhere are discovering new and creative ways of reaching out and helping their neighbour. Knowing the value of community, they are heralds of hope to the lonely and consolers to those in distress. It is inspiring to witness the bonds of affection that sustain our communities and society.

Nearly 2 million people in BC identify as Christian, and the vast majority of them are engaged in their Christian faith and church communities. We are called to love and support our society, not only with our prayers, but also in our actions. Indeed, we are called to “seek the peace of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7).
In this very difficult time in our world we encourage everyone to: 

1) Obey guidelines set by the government, including self-quarantining, social distancing, sanitizing, and hygiene. 
2) Find neighbours who are alone or self-quarantining, and offer to help them. 
3) Assist the elderly, even if only to talk with them from their porch, through a window, or on the phone.
4) Assist others in need of extra encouragement, companionship, and help, for example: single parents, those with limited mobility or chronic illness, or those struggling with mental illness.
5) Do more of what brings you deep joy, then share with family, friends, and the world.
6) Be in touch with your nearest church or community organization and, if it is safe for you, offer to volunteer. For instance, there will be very high need for grocery and meal delivery in the coming weeks.
7) Donate to charities working on the frontlines. Money is best, but you can call to see what items are most useful in these circumstances.

God is with us and wants to shoulder our burdens and offer us comfort and protection. As we pray for the virus to end, let us also together pray: 

- For everyone affected by COVID-19 or the closure of social services, particularly the elderly, marginalized, homeless, and hungry.
- For the mental and physical health of all.
- For our political and civic leaders to have wisdom, courage, and humility as they make extraordinarily difficult decisions. 
- For all those who work on the frontlines and behind the scenes.
- That all secular and religious communities would work together for the common good.

Let all followers of Jesus Christ join together asking for the grace and peace of our almighty and merciful God, especially for all the sick and their families, health care and social workers, authorities, and volunteers who are sorely tried by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amen. Thank you Tom et al for the above.


Final Thoughts – “Just Junk”


These days have created opportunities to do those chores that we have been procrastinating about for far too long. I don’t particularly like gardening and I am far from knowing what I am doing in the garden but recently I have been pottering, cleaning up areas of our garden, digging out some ugly withered bushes and planting some colourful seasonal plants. I quickly gathered a large enough pile of green waste that I thought I might as well expand my outlook and clean out the shed and storage areas. As a result, this time last week our front lawn was full of junk, far too much for me to dispose of in the back of my car. So I phoned “Just Junk”, and they came on Saturday and took everything away. What an interesting analogy – my junk was taken away during the Easter weekend.

All of us are aware that John opens his Gospel by telling the story of John the Baptist’s proclamation of who Jesus is.


John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.


All of us acknowledge that what Jesus did on the Cross on Good Friday fulfills that proclamation. But have we ever thought about the need for us to set our junk out in order for it to be taken away? I guess that’s what confession is, right? As we confess our sins we are literally piling them up ready for junking. The thing is do we really know what junk we have accumulated? I had no idea what we had gathered in cupboards, in boxes, in corners of the garden. It is far too easy to say “forgive me,” yet not take any time to actually think about what needs to be junked from our lives.


One of the effects of this current situation is that for a lot of folks we are spending a lot more time in our homes and as a result we are doing things around the house. I wonder if we took some time everyday to practice some deep contemplation about our lives would we uncover some junk? 


Here’s two lists to help you with that discipline. Consider the Fruit of the Spirit. Rejoice in the areas of your life that are overflowing with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. But don’t spend all your time looking at the stuff we like to be seen. Take some time and open up those boxes we’d rather hide away. Do we have junk that needs to be thrown out? Pride, envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, lust, anger?


Sometimes it is scary to open up boxes that have been gathering far too much dust and dirt. But here’s the thing; “Just Junk” took all my junk away. Jesus takes all our junk away. All of it. Leave it out, trust me, the next time you look out – it will be gone.


God bless,

Pastor Martin
St.  Andrew's & St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church
2641 Chesterfield Ave
North Vancouver, BC
V7N  3M3
Tel - 604 987 6800