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Pastoral Message
for Sunday, July 25, 2021

Happy Summer everyone,

This week, we read the story of David and Bathsheba.  If you wonder why on earth we are reading it for Sunday worship, it is part of the larger narrative in explaining Solomon's succession to the throne of David.  Yes, we should feel uneasy about this particular episode of King David's life.  Is it adultery or rape by royal decree?  I invite you to read further or take listen to my reflection:

"How the Mighty have Fallen - Part 2"

For those who wish to join in worship via Zoom together at 10:00 am this Sunday (live),
please refer to the instruction on the second page of the Order of Service at the link below. Do join the meeting earlier to visit with one another -- the Zoom meeting will be open after 9:40 am.

If you cannot join us on Sunday morning live, please follow the Home Worship materials at your convenience.  Do click on the links for the hymns to listen & sing along!  Check also the announcements for important updates.

God's Blessings and Peace be with you all !

Fr. Victor

9th Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday, July 25, 2021

To follow the Order of Worship, please click here →

To listen to the sermon, please click here →

Sermon: "How the Mighty have Fallen" Part 2



Honouring the Children:
Reconciliation and Residential Schools Fund

In response to the devastating confirmation of unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools, and in honour of the children who were lost and all people living with the consequences of that legacy, The Presbyterian Church in Canada has established the:

Honouring the Children: Reconciliation and Residential Schools Fund.

This fund will support initiatives associated with searches for unmarked burial sites in communities where schools were operated by The Presbyterian Church in Canada.


Erected in 2013, this memorial is honouring all the children
who attended the Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School
at Shoal Lake, ON. Read more here ...

Our work begins with listening. We continue to live out the covenants made in the 1994 Confession, being directed by the principles articulated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and seeking the guidance of Indigenous people and affected communities. Responses may include searching for graves, responding to trauma and supporting healing initiatives. All work will complement efforts to address systemic racism against Indigenous people, both in the church and Canadian society, and the ongoing healing and reconciliation work being done in the ministries of the National Indigenous Ministry Council.

To begin, The Presbyterian Church in Canada has committed $1 million from national funds, and invites congregations and individuals to make additional contributions to this important work.

At its recent meeting on June 13, the Session of the Iona Presbyterian Congregation voted to make a donation to the Honouring the Children Fund. We are encouraging members of the congregation to also make a donation, directly, by following this link:



Margaret Black
Tri-Churches Parish Nurse

Your latest Parish Nursing Health Tip 
posted on June 12, 2021

A Different Pandemic

As if COVID-19 werenít enough, we now have a new pandemic of hatred and destruction.

Within 2 weeks we have learned of a mass grave at a former Indigenous residential school containing the remains of 215 unidentified children, and a family out for an evening walk murdered by a 20-year-old white man with a truck due to Islamophobia. I feel as if I am swimming in an ocean of grief for those who have been irrevocably hurt and guilt because I am a white person with a British heritage. 

So I am seeking answers and a way forward.

First, I am very grateful for family members and friends from different backgrounds. In my family are children who are part Asian, part Black, and Metis and they are all wonderful people whom we dearly love. And I have Muslim neighbours who are very good friends, always bringing me food when they have a family BBQ and waiting to invite me over again when COVID is gone. Having all these people in my life is a truly enriching experience. The residential school system is a more complicated matter that weighs all of us down.  The fact that these things were happening at the direction of the Canadian government without our awareness, and worse still that the churches were involved, is beyond terrible.

How can these things happen?

I believe that hatred is the offspring of fear. We are afraid of things we donít understand, of changes that may negatively affect us, of not being in control. So we build up terrible negative stereotypes in our minds and seek to destroy the things we feel threatened by. Hatred and discrimination destroy not only those who are the objects of hatred but also the haters. Regardless of whether they ever face legal justice, the haters live in self-imposed prisons for life.  This is not the Canada I understood as I was growing up, and not the Canada I want to  live in now.

So how can we change things for the better?

I think the key is working hard not only to recognize our potential hidden biases, but also to ensure we open ourselves to learn about those who are different. Under the skin we are all children of God. The Bible is full of stories about helping others (e.g. the Good Samaritan). Jesus summarized all the law and the prophets into the Two Great Commandments: Love God first with all our heart, soul, mind, & strength: and second, Love our neighbours as ourselves. This may not be easy but it is the way forward.

Even if we have never had negative thoughts about others, terrible wrongs have been done in our society and we need to acknowledge that to the victims and to work hard to change a culture that allows these things to happen. Only then can begin to heal and go forward in unity.

Let us all pray for Godís guidance, strength and patience to help us.

Margaret Black
Tri-Churches Parish Nurse



Iona Presbyterian

1080 Finch Ave. East
North York, Toronto
Ontario, Canada
M2J 2X2

Tel: (416) 494 2442

Parish Nursing Ministry
Tel: (416) 494 5364

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