CHRISTMAS BAZAAR, BAKE SALE & White Elephant Sale

Once again, Stitch & Chat is holding its Annual Christmas Bazaar, White Elephant Sale and Bake Sale on Friday, November 15 from 2:00–6:00 PM and on Saturday, November 16 from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM.  Anyone who would like to donate crafts, knitting, sewing, white elephant sale items (nearly new items, not garage sale items) or bake sale items, please contact Trish Cheshire at 705-549-5226 or Jean Hall at 705-355-0334 to arrange for drop-off or pick-up times.   Also, we need your support, so come out and enjoy the event and bring a friend.  You will find something for the whole family.

Prayer Retreat

From Sun. afternoon, Nov. 3 to Sat. morning, Nov. 9, we will be having our 8th annual Prayer Retreat at First PC. This year the theme is JOY! Those who sign up (the Retreatants) agree to meet at the church for two hours Sunday afternoon, Nov. 3, where they will learn how to Pray Scripture. They will also receive a package of material.

For 30 minutes each day following, they agree to read the four short scripture packages and meditation for that day, and to journal and pray about anything they found interesting in the material. Then each day, the Retreatants will come to church for a 30-minute session with a Companion trained in listening and in helping them to see God's hand at work. These sessions are held at times that are convenient for the Retreatants.

Saturday morning, Nov. 9, the week will conclude with a potluck breakfast, worship and communion. Please give prayerful thought to participating. You are welcome whether or not you have ever prayed before. All you need is a sincere desire to come closer to God. Application forms are in the Sunday leaflet. Questions? Speak to Donna Drapkin (705-533-2339) or donnadrapkin@bell.net .

Samaritan's Purse: Operation Christmas Child

Every year First Church participates in this important ministry.
This is an excerpt taken from the Operation Christmas Child website:

Operation Christmas Child is a hands-on way for Canadians to bless struggling children in the developing world by filling shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and other items. We collect the boxes and distribute them in the name of Jesus Christ to children living in desperate situations.

Operation Christmas Child is an important way to remind children suffering as a result of war, poverty, famine, disease, and disaster that they are loved and not forgotten. Each year, millions of shoeboxes are packed with gifts by people in Canada and nine other “sending” countries, and given to children in more than 100 “receiving” countries.

Samaritan’s Purse shoeboxes are available for pick up and should be filled and returned to the church by Sunday, October 13th.

For more information on the ministry visit: https://www.samaritanspurse.ca/about-operation-christmas-child/



Update on Church House Renovations

Thanks to all who have pitched in already and for the financial assistance generously given. Together we will get this done. It is close to being complete, but helpers are still needed. The final clean-up schedule will be out soon.  If you have any questions, contact Brenda Hicks at kbhicks@rogers.com. Deep Appreciation to Brenda Hicks, who has been the project manager, lead hand, painter, ... she does it all, and we are so grateful.

Hurricaine Dorian

Thousands of homes in the Bahamas have been obliterated; tens of thousands of people need food, clean water and shelter.  The damage is massive.  If you would like to help alleviate the suffering caused by this disaster, please pray for all the victims and aid workers who are trying to survive this crisis.  In addition, you may either want to make a financial donation via an offering envelope marked “PWS&D Hurricane Dorian” or online at the PCC website.

Geoff and Lynda Woods have a friend in the Bahamas who has emailed them about the disaster and has also provided another avenue for any funds you might like to send directly: “the devastation... is unprecedented.  We expect the death toll numbers will rise considerably...Our relief and reconstruction plans are on hold until we can access Marsh Harbour.  In the meantime, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is accepting donations online:  https://epc.org/donate/emergencyrelief. Please help if you are able.

Bible Study

Every Wednesday at 9:50, we gather in the downstairs hall for coffee, hymn singing & Bible study.  All are welcome.  This fall, we will be doing a 10-part series (from RightNow Media) on Psalm 119, but you don’t have to be signed into RightNow Media to participate.  Throughout this longest “chapter” in the Bible, the author David declares his love for Scripture because it leads him to a deeper relationship with God.  If you would like to deepen your own relationship with God, please join us. Questions?  Contact Donna Drapkin at 705-533-2339 or donnadrapkin@bell.net


RightNow Media

Church family and all our visitors!

We at First Church are excited to share that our church now has access to an extensive, new video library called RightNow Media! It’s like the "Netflix of Video Bible Studies" and has a HUGE library of faith-based videos that you can access whenever and wherever you want—on your phone, iPad, computer, or at home on your TV.

Here at First, we’re always looking for ways to help you develop and strengthen your faith. We believe that RightNow Media will be a tool to serve you as you live out your faith at home, at work and in your neighborhood. RightNow Media has videos for everyone—kids, youth, parents, married couples, college students, single adults, working professionals—all aimed at helping you grow.

We will be using it for our Bible Studies and for our Sunday School, while using it to occasionally supplement our Sunday Services.

If you’re curious about this service or would like to register click here to get immediate access!

Thank you! (Church Grounds & Manse Clean-Up)

With the changing of the weather, spring cleaning is inevitable!
We want to extend a massive thank you to all who have lent their tools, trucks, shears, rakes, time, strength, hands, feet, sweat, (and possibly some blood and tears) in cleaning the church grounds and house. Many have commented how beautiful it all looks! We thank the many who have come to bless our church with this gift.

Collection of Gently Used Eyewear

The Mission Team invites you to participate in our new “Collection of Gently Used Eyewear”.   

Your kind donation of gently used eyewear will help another person in the world see more clearly. First Presbyterian Church with LensCrafters will begin to participate in the OneSight program – a family of charitable vision care programs dedicated to improving vision through outreach, research and education. Simply drop off your gently used prescription or non-prescription glasses in the foyer and we will deliver them to the LensCrafters location in Barrie.  LensCrafters will then gladly recycle and hand-deliver your used eyewear to those in need during a OneSight Global Clinic.

To learn more about OneSight, please visit the OneSight website or call OneSight at 1-888-935-4589.

Thank you for your consideration and generosity!

Thank you! (Cemetery Clean-Up)

Many people gave their mornings to come help with the annual clean-up of both the First Presbyterian and Saint Andrew’s Cemeteries. The Cemetery Committee and the church wanted to give a heartfelt thank you to every one who was able to come and participate for this important act of stewardship. With the sunshine today, the Saint Andrew’s Cemetery looked beautiful. (Only photos from the Saint Andrew’s Clean-Up are currently posted below)

A Message from the Minister for this Season of Lent

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4


Many blessing to you as we enter into the Lenten season.

Here at First Presbyterian Church, we have begun Lent without doing anything special.  Some churches have held pancake dinners for Shrove Tuesday, and others will have had Ash Wednesday services.  Though we may be tempted to simply enter into the season without giving it too much thought or weight, I am writing this letter in hopes that we would all take a moment to wonder.

It is very easy for us to lose our sense of wonder before God.  We may find ourselves going through the motions of our everyday and not giving ourselves the opportunity to really seek after what God has been doing in our lives.

The season of Lent, in my mind, is one where we ought to strive to be more attentive to Christ. Not only should it be a season in which we allow the truth of the Gospel to sink in more deeply as we pray and read the Word, but also a season where we ought to “[s]et our minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

For many of us, we will be giving up (fasting) something for Lent.  Whether it be a food or a form of entertainment, it is a symbol of our desire to honour Christ.  We do so in order to be reminded of how Christ fasted for 40 days in the wilderness before the beginning of His ministry.  It echoes the 40 days Moses spent on the mountain waiting for the Law of God to be given to him, and the 40 years the Israelites spent in the wilderness.  However, some of us may feel the need to do more rather than less: more prayer, more reading of Scripture, more meditation, more journaling, more silence, more rest, more love, more patience.

However it is you choose to intentionally spend these next 40 days with the Lord, I pray that it rekindles a sense of wonder before God and the work that He had completed through Christ on the Cross.  As we look towards the gruesomely beautiful Cross (Good Friday) and anticipate the glorious Resurrection (Easter Sunday), may every day be filled with wonder. May the things that have lost their meaning become wonderful again.  May our worship bring us wonder.  May the most mundane moments of our lives overflow with the wonder of all that is God.

During this Lent season, may our hearts, our eyes, our minds and our spirits be evermore present and set on the things of God.

Rev. William Min