Summer Family Moment – August 5

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture: Matthew 6:2-4 (The Message)

2 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure – ‘playactors’ I call them – treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. 3 When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. 4 Just do it – quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.


Kind-hearted God, You made us in love and want us to be kind to one another. Show us how we may help those in need and to help with hearts full of love. Amen.


  1. Describe a time when someone helped you and you didn’t even have to ask for help. How did you feel?
  2. Have you helped someone? What did you do and how did you know that person needed help?
  3. What do you think Jesus means when he says not to think about how it looks when we help someone out?

Summer Family Moment – July 29

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture: Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.


Living God, we praise you for the beautiful maple trees in our province. Whenever we look at them, may we remember that those who trust you grow strong like trees planted along a river bank. Amen.


  1. What do trees need to grow strong, and why are deep, long roots important to trees?
  2. In our Bible verse, we read that those who trust the Lord are like trees planted along a riverbank. What do you think the word “trust” means?
  3. What do you trust your parents to give to you? For what do you depend or rely on your parents?\
  4. Jeremiah writes that those who trust in God are blessed. How does your family trust God? Ask mom and dad to share a time when they have been confident and sure of God.

Summer Family Moment – July 22

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – James 1:19-20

19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;
20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.


Loving God, this week has been a sad one in our city. It is sad when people hurt others. Help us to remember that You are good.
Help us to remember that Your righteousness is about having a right and good relationship with You and with those around us. Amen.


  1. Have your feelings ever been hurt? Share a time when this has happened.
  2. Have you ever been angry? What made you angry?
  3. Do you think that angry people are sometimes people whose feelings are hurt? Why or why not?
  4. It can be hard to listen to someone when we are angry. The writer James does not say we cannot be angry. Rather, he writes that we should be slow to anger. Do you know when you are getting angry? Are there clues like how your body reacts (some people begin to clench their fists or their ears become hot and red); or what thoughts you think (I think this person is saying something mean); or what emotions you feel (I feel like hitting this person)? What are some healthy actions we can take so that little things do not build up, like frustration or hurt feelings, so that we do not become angry quickly (i.e. some people run, others talk to someone they trust, some people turn to music, etc.)?
  5. How can we turn to God and the truth in God’s word to help us be slow to anger (prayer, reciting a Bible verse like a mantra, …)?

Summer Family Moment – July 15

Summer Litany (Is. 55:1a & John 4:11)

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – John 4:10

10 Jesus answered, “If you only knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.”


God who gives, how wonderful it is that all we have to do is ask You for life-giving water. Every time we drink water, help us to remember that You give us water to keep our bodies healthy as well as life-giving water that keeps our hearts, minds, and souls healthy too. Amen.


  1. This week, the news has been about the farmers needing rain for their crops. Although the dark, gray clouds gushed forth water in a heavy downpour about a week ago, the ground still remained dry. Can you guess why?
  2. Dry ground cannot absorb the rain when it pelts the earth, when the water droplets hit the ground hard and fast. The earth needs gentle rains to fall in order to absorb the water. Sometimes, the Bible can be difficult to understand because of big words or ideas that are unfamiliar or complex. It is important, therefore, to slowly study God’s word and spend time with certain words and ideas before connecting them to the rest of a passage. During week one, we explored what Jesus meant when he talked about “life-giving water.” In our verse today, Jesus says, “If you only knew what God gives”. What has God given you and your family?
  3. This week, how can you and your family thank God, by words and actions, all that God has given you?

Summer Family Moment – July 8

Materials for the weekly summer litany (optional): Pitcher of water, large glass

Summer Litany

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – James 1:5-6 (GNT)

5 But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.
6 But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind.


Generous God, we thank you for the wisdom you give to us. Help us to remember to ask you for wisdom and to trust that You will give us the wisdom we need. Amen.


  1. Have you ever needed help? What kind of help did you need?
  2. Sometimes people think that God is like Cinderella’s fairy godmother or Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter. Sometimes people think that God will magically solve our problems. The writer of James encourages his readers to pray for wisdom when having a tough time. What do you think wisdom is and how do you think God’s wisdom helps us when we are having trouble?
  3. The word “believe” in verse 6 is about trust. The word “doubt” in verse 6 means going back and forth. In other words, the person who doubts in this verse is a person who chooses not to trust God because s/he cannot decide who or what to trust. What do you think trust means? Why is the image of a wave blown about in the sea a good one for someone who doubts?
  4. Do you need God’s wisdom today? Where?

Summer Family Moment – July 1

Dear Moms & Dads,
With my role as a small group leader for high school teens at Canada Youth 2018 beginning on Monday and in the recent aftermath of my eldest’s son’s graduation from high school in addition to the niggling anxiety that neither of my sons will find employment or meaningful volunteer opportunities this summer, I have been doing some reflecting and a lot more praying.

The question that has challenged me is this, “How have I encouraged and facilitated opportunities for my children to grow in God’s word so that they are more likely to choose wisely and know they are never alone in difficult times?” I have especially been thinking of this with all the distressing news of violence and death in our city streets and the upcoming challenges I know my boys will face as they will experience not just disappointment but real struggles in life – rejection, discerning career paths, break ups, job loss, etc.

When my children were younger, bedtime routines made devotional times simpler but as they have become teenagers and schedules have changed, we’ve had to adjust. Often, time in the car has been helpful because I have had snippets of time when I have the kids to myself and don’t have to compete with a cell phone or the radio (these are usually put away and turned off for the first little while or on short trips). However, conversation is not always easy for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, I long for my children to live meaningful and joy-filled lives that I know will come from having a deep faith. So, I try and I pray that the little seeds I attempt to plant, water and shine light upon will take root and blossom into what is strong and vibrant in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This summer, I will endeavour to send a “Summer Family Moment” each week to the families at MHP. I hope you can use them and please feel free to change them to suit the needs of your family because some of the questions will need to be modified according to the age of your child. Also, if you have a child who is resisting “faith” questions, we can still encourage our children to consider the deeper questions of life by reframing them. May God’s wisdom guide you as you walk with your children in faith.
Lastly, I would love to know how I can encourage our families to grow in faith. Please feel free to email me at with your suggestions and thoughts.
May you have a safe and blessed long week-end,

Summer Family Moment – Week I

Materials for the weekly summer litany (optional): Pitcher of water, large glass

Summer Litany

Water Pourer: Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
Everyone else: the living water from Jesus.

Scripture – John 4:13-14 (GNT)

13 Jesus answered, “Those who drink this water will get thirsty again,
14 but those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.”


Living God, we thank you for water that quenches our thirst, and gives us life today, tomorrow and eternally.
Help us to learn how to drink from your living water for you are good and generous. Amen.


  1. What is your favourite drink?
  2. When you’re very, very thirsty, does water or pop or juice quench your thirst faster?
  3. The water Jesus talks about represents something else. The water Jesus talks about is like water that comes from the tap or lake because it can quench our thirst, refresh us on hot days and gives life to all that grows. What do you think Jesus means by “living” water?
  4. What helps you to grow?

This Sunday – 22 January

“When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.”

It’s true that something new can cheer someone up for a bit; however, more often than not, the newness of an item wears off relatively quickly. But what does it mean that God does something new when times are tough?

Please join us on Sunday January 22nd at our 10:30 service as we welcome Dr. John Bowen to share a message on Isaiah 43:14-21. It is entitled, “The God of New Things.”


Dr. John BowenJohn Bowen was Professor of Evangelism at Wycliffe College in Toronto for many years before retiring at the end of 2016. He was born in Wales, came to Canada in 1977, and worked for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship before going to Wycliffe. His most recent book is Green Shoots out of Dry Ground (2013), a collection of essays about the church’s mission in Canada in the 21st century.  He is married to Deborah, an English professor at Redeemer University College in Ancaster. They are members of St John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Hamilton. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.

This Sunday – 30 October

Rev. Janet is currently on vacation so the worship service this coming Sunday is being led by Rev. Don Muir.

The Epistle reading is Romans 5:1-11 and the Scripture reading is John 1:14-18.  The sermon title is “The Gift of Grace”.

A short bio from Rev. Muir —  Don graduated from Knox College in 1980 and began a ministry that would lead him to the pastoral charges of Burks Falls, Sundridge and Magnetawan (1980-1983), New Liskeard (1983-1994) and Stouffville (1994-2003).  In 2003, Don was appointed Deputy Clerk of the General Assembly and works out of the national office in Toronto. Don resides in Toronto with his wife, Irene, and is the doting father of three daughters. In his spare time he loves to read historical fiction and take long walks or bicycle trips along the cities many trails.


  • Wednesday, November 2nd – No drop-in hours.
  • Thursday, November 3rd – Drop-in hours from 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Sunday, November 6th – Remembrance Sunday
  • Sunday, November 6th – Budget Presentation
  • Sunday November 13th – Rev. Dr. Charles Fensham, Professor of Systematic Theology at Knox College (Anniversary Sunday guest preacher)

ANNOUNCEMENTS (older announcements are below)

With sincere thanks…

We sincerely thank Blair for all his hard work, enthusiasm and energetic endeavours to build the body of Christ over the years. Our former clerk of session submitted his resignation from active service as an elder in September’s session meeting. We sincerely apologize for the delay in letting the whole congregation know but we wanted to give Blair some time to contact the members of his district first.


Rev. Janet will be on holiday from October 27th to November 2nd. She will return on Thursday, November 3rd and drop-in hours will be that day from 9 to 11 a.m.


2017 Budget Presentation

Please attend this important presentation on Sunday, November 6th immediately following the worship service in the sanctuary. Fellowship Hour will take place after the budget presentation. We will vote on the budget two weeks later.

Financial Results – January 1 to September 30, 2016

Receipts –                                                 $149,181

Disbursements –                                       $156,478

Excess of Disbursements over Receipts – ($7,297)

Please note that the disbursements include $16,354 in expenses related to MHP 125 projects. These expenses will be removed from disbursements, capitalized and shown on the balance sheet in the year end financial statements.

In addition, there has also been an additional $9,746 in expenses related to the completion of the men’s bathroom that have been capitalized and are therefore not included in the disbursements total shown above. These expenses were shown as disbursements until the August financial results.

Calling All Men

If you enjoy singing and plan to join us for the Remembrance Day service on November 6, come and be part of the pick-up male choir. A rehearsal will be held today for not more than 30 minutes immediately following the morning service, and between 9:45 and 10:15 on Nov 6. The two songs are: On Eagles’ Wings, and Days of Elijah. — All are welcome!

Spic and Span

Do you like things neat and tidy? Do you like to dust or vacuum, sweep or mop? Please speak to Pat R or Peter C if you are able to help clean our church.

This Sunday – 29 May

Hi Everyone,
Although I had seen the red bricked building on the west side of Windermere, south of Bloor, many times, I had never seen the red bricked building. In fact, I even received a lovely email from the minster of that place of worship welcoming me into the community and wondered where the church was. Have you guessed which church I am speaking of?
I have walked by and driven by Windermere United Church countless times and yet had no idea where it was until Andrew Faiz and I were mapping out possible routes for the exegetical walk on June 11th. As we walked past St. Olave’s and then walked in front of Windermere United, I stopped abruptly. My brain had not registered that that red bricked building was a church until I read a huge sign with the words “Messy Church”.
Sometimes we do not truly see what is before us and yet the man in this Sunday’s scripture lesson did not even have to see in order to have faith in Jesus’ power. He only had to hear. The text for the sermon is Luke 7:1-10 and may the Spirit of Truth speak to us through God’s word.
p.s. Thank you to everyone who indicated an interest in a Thursday morning bible study throughout July. Please look below.

MAY 29th – Community Garden Planting POSTPONED until Thursday, June 2nd at 6 p.m.

JUNE 11th – Exegetical Walk (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

June 12th – Church School Picnic

JULY 7, 14, 21, 28 – Bible study with Rev. Janet from 11 a.m. to 12 noon (more info to follow)

Sunday June 12th – Save the Date!
What: Church School Picnic
When: Sunday, June 12th after Worship
Where: Front Lawn
Can I help?
   Yes please! Help with set up, clean up or bringing a salad would be great! Please contact Lauren  or John-Peter as the Stewardship Committee is generously barbecuing our lunch. If you would like to contribute towards food costs, a basket will be set out near the barbecue.
What should I wear?
   Clothes to play games in as the C.E. team will be preparing games for children and adults to enjoy.
An Exegetical Walk
Who are our neighbours?

As Christians, we are called to share the life-transforming good news of Christ with those around us. In order to do that, we work hard at interpreting the Bible to understand God’s message. But we also need to work hard at getting to know and “interpret” our neighbourhood, analyzing our community in order to understand the local context where God has placed us. Join Dr. Kevin Livingston, Presbyterian minister and professor of Pastoral Ministry at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, as we undertake a walking tour of our neighbourhood around Morningside-High Park Church, walking slowly enough to see and hear and experience life as it is being lived in our community.
The actual walk will last about 90 minutes and will conclude with a lunch together. Bring comfortable walking shoes and money for lunch together in a local eatery.
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall of our church for a 30 minute discussion before the walk begins.
We thank Andrew Faiz for organizing this walk and please note that this event may be used in a future article for The Presbyterian Record.

This Sunday – 3 April

Hi Everyone,

Thank you to all who came out to the Holy Week worship services and helped in leading them. This past week-end was most meaningful and joyous.

This week, we will be looking at John 20:19-31. It is a well known passage in which Thomas gets his famous descriptor, “Doubting”. I must confess, I never used to like this passage until I had an epiphany. I look forward to sharing it with you this Sunday although many of you may have had this epiphany already.

Peace in Christ,




APRIL 17th & 24th – Belonging Matters from 12 to 1:30 p.m. with Rev. Janet

Apr. 24th – Solar Celebration after Worship


Session Highlights  

  • Starting in April, Session Meetings will begin at 7 p.m.
  • Blair’s term as clerk of session ends this June.
  • A Solar Celebration will take place after worship on Sunday, April 24th. Belonging Matters will be delayed by 20 minutes.
  • Financial Updates will be printed in the bulletin the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month.

Operating Budget

Jan to Mar ‘16 49,837.98 59,597.07 -9,759.09
  • New Drop-In Hours for Rev. Janet! Rev. Janet will be in her study on Wednesday mornings (except for the Wednesdays when session meets) from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for those who would like to drop by. Outside this time frame, please call or email Janet if you would like a visit. She will continue to work from home on Fridays and some Thursdays.

Christian Education Team Update

As people of faith who follow Jesus Christ, worshiping together as a community is essential to shaping our identity. In light of this, the C.E. Team and Rev. Janet will be working together to include our children in worship in meaningful ways on a more consistent basis.

On April 3rd and May 15th (Pentecost), children in grades 5 and up will worship with their families for the entire service. On June 12th, children in grades 2 and up will stay for all of worship. The services on these Sundays will be a little different in order to accommodate the needs of our children and our desire to help worship be more accessible to them.

If you would like your child to participate by reading scripture, helping to collect offering or greeting in the morning, please email Rev. Janet.

The Garden

Do you have a green thumb? Would you like to learn how to have a green thumb? It is officially spring and the gardening season is upon us.

In the past 3 years, the community gardens at MHP have produced and donated over 600 lbs of food, educated local Montessori students, reached out to our community, traded saved seeds with other community groups and sent some of our saved seeds to Africa. This year, we will be adding fruit trees thanks to a generous grant from and Orchard People.

Our gardens need people to help till, plant, weed, water and care for them in addition to teaching children, providing beverages and snacks to helpers, conversation and more. Please contact Gina if you are able to help.

APRIL 17 & 24 – Belonging Matters

What does it mean to belong to a community of faith? What is church membership? If you are interested in exploring these questions from about 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday the 17th and 24th, please RSVP with Rev. Janet by Sunday, April 10th at