Sadly, my July calendar has a lot of programs crossed out. It would have been a wonderful and fun month for many Knox families. We were going to commission our young people who were heading out to one of our Church summercamps, a team was going to head to Brock University for the National PCC Canada Youthevent, we were going to have Vacation Bible Camp for a week here at Knox and youth and adults were going to participate in Two Row on the Grand as part of our understanding of Truth and Reconciliation.

Meanwhile, I have been delighting in the photographs many of you are posting on Facebook – images of meadow flowers, night skies, lakes, campfires, out in a canoe, fishing from the dock, pictures of your lovely backyards. May the special joys and beauty of summer that you are discovering on your door step continue to feed your soul.

This Sunday, July 19th we gather for worship and praise (10 am live streaming and radio) any time afterwards for those who worship later, on YouTube. We will  singHymn 434 “For the beauty of the earth”, Hymn of the Month 102 “When I lift up my voice” and Hymn 36 “I rest in God alone”. (We have some large print Hymn books as well as our regular Hymn books with music if you would like to pick one up at the church during the week).

Elysha Vorstenbosch will be playing “This is My Father’s World/Be Thou My Vision Medley” on her harp, Mary Catherine Pazzano will sing “Rise Up” (by Andra Day) and Coralee Little will be sharing a song “There’s a hole in the ground” for the Children’s Time.

Our bible reading is Matthew 13:24-30 and the time of wondering (sermon) is “About the problem with weeds”. We look forward to worshipping together. Please let others know about our livestream and YouTube. There are many who are missing be able to worship as their church is unable to provide this kind of service.

From the COVID Health & Safety Team: Knoxis preparing to reopen for limited in-person worship beginning on September 6.  An on-line or call-in seating reservation system is being developed. More information will come.

Message from the Search Committee: Mark August 16 on your calendar! This past Tuesday, the Search Committee presented to Session the name of the candidate they felt should be invited to preach for the call for the Associate Minister position at Knox. Session approved their recommendation and on August 16 at 10 AM, this person will be leading worship and preaching for the call. Shortly after, at 2 PM (on the same day) a congregational meeting will be held online to vote on extending a call to this person. Other events are being planned for Saturday of that weekend so members of the congregation will have an opportunity to meet the candidate. More information about the candidate and these planswill be released soon. In the meantime, we hope you will spread the word and plan to participate.

From Carole Clyde-Ellis:  A children’s ministry program is happening throughout the summer!  Children aged 7 and under who want to receive lessons or participate in a Zoom session at 9:15am Sunday mornings can email carole@knoxwaterloo.ca or let the office know. We are looking at the Lord’s Prayer and Fruits of the Spirit for the summer.

From Femmy Birks:  The Knox Library has some great summertime reading. If you wish to borrow a book, contact Femmy Birks at femmy.birks@sympatico.ca.  She can help arrange a way to get you the book you need. For example, here are a few great suggestions of children’s books in our library that focuson cultural pluralism:

“Is that story true?” by Laura Alary, illustrated by Margaret Kyle.  Within this story are five shorter stories each of which is read to Maggie at bedtime.  And each time she asks, “Is that story true?”   In this book we are pushed to ask “What do we consider to be true?”  There are beautiful illustrations some of which show children of different skin colours playing together.

“We are all alike … We are all different”,written and illustrated by the Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergartners.  The many different ways in which we are alike, but also different, are considered.  This book reinforces multicultural and anti-bias learning and appreciation. 

“All are welcome” by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman    Illustrations and simple rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.

“God’s Dream” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams, illustrated by LeUyen Pham.  In this book children of many different ethnicities learn that sharing, loving and caring are God’s dream for us.

“When God made you” by Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by David Catrow.  Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid,k fantastical illustrations, this book inspires children to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.   Ages 3 to 7.  There are a number of online resources for this book:

“God’s love is like” by Ray Buckley.   Multi-cultural stories relate five of the parables Jesus told.

“Young Martin Luther King, Jr.  I Have a Dream”, by Joanne Mattern.  This is an older book (1992) that tells the story of Martin Luther King in a simple and easily understood way.

“A Church for All”, by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Laure Fournier.  This simple story celebrates a Sunday morning at an inclusive church that embraces all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. All are welcome at the church for all!

“A Country Far Away”, by Nigel Gray, illustrated by Philippe Dupasquier.  Side-by-side pictures reveal the essential similarities between the lives of two boys, one in a western country, one in a rural African village.  Published in 1988, this book won many awards and is still a pleasure to read.

“The Honour Drum”, by Cheryl Bear and Tim Huff.  This book provides an important starting place for learning about Indigenous culture. “The Honour Drum is a love letter to the Indigenous people of Canada and a humble bow to Indigenous cultures around the world.”  The simple text and illustrations are accompanied by extensive notes and discussion questions which invite children to think of their own cultural comparisons.

Please continue to reach out to your friends at Knox by email and telephone. Some live alone and are finding social distancing quite difficult. May God’s Spirit continue to move among us.

In Christ, and with affection,

Linda Ashfield, Associate Minister at KnoxWaterloo