Category Archives: Letters from the Minister

Announcements August 26, 2018

Thank you to this week’s volunteers (Aug 26)

Offering Receivers: Al & Jean Boudreau, Linda Pond, Rebecca Jonah
Counters: Linda Pond, Al & Jean Boudreau
Scripture Reader: Rebecca Jonah
Greeters: Al & Arlene MacDonald
Lemonade on the Lawn: Volunteer Needed
Nursery/Supervision: Elders

Thank you to next week’s volunteers (Sep 2)

Offering Receivers: Linda Pond, Margo & Larry Sheppard, Wanda Klingbell
Counters: David Dell, Wanda Klingbell, Margo & Larry Sheppard
Scripture Reader: Dallas Davis
Greeters: Wanda Klingbell
Lemonade on the Lawn: Volunteer Needed
Nursery/Supervision: Jordan Schriver, Colleen Watson

A Note from Rev. Wendy:

I am back from summer leave and am pleased to confirm that the Rev. Jon Van Den Berg’s call to Saint Andrew’s has been approved by his home Presbytery and he has formally accepted the call.  He will begin ministering at SAPC on September 15, with his first worship service planned for September 16.

I am not intending to call a session meeting in early September unless an urgent matter arises.  I’ve spoken with Rev. Van Den Berg and the next session meeting will likely be Monday October 1 at 7 p.m. (to be confirmed).  With regards to transition, the congregation or appropriate committees/individuals will be contacted and informed as needed.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to the congregation of Saint Andrew’s for the heartfelt support, generosity and hospitality you extended to both the friends and family of the late Constable Burns and Roy Melanson.  I am also grateful for the way you came together as a church family to comfort those mourning under challenging circumstances and tight timeframes.  Thank you.

Upcoming Events:

  • Church School resumes – Sept  9
  • Tuesday Morning Ladies Group resumes – Sept 11
  • Submissions for The Link due – Sept 16
  • Welcome Back Corn Boil – Sept 16
  • Induction Service for Rev. Van Den Berg – Sept 26 at 7pm

Pulpit Supply:

  • August 26 – Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery
  • September 2 – Marlene Phillips
  • September 9 – Andrew Speight

Grief Share – Beginning September 6 at 7:00 pm at Brunswick Street Baptist Church, a 13-week series for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.  Please call 458-8348 if you would like more information.


Prayers in Response to Today’s Tragedy (Aug. 10, 2018)

If any of you, or someone you knows, needs pastoral support in response to today’s horrific events, please speak with me or a church elder that we may help give or get the support you need.

Below is a prayer I’ve written and pray with you. You are welcome to share this prayer with others.

Rev. Wendy

Creating, Redeeming, and Sustaining God:

Early this morning, people woke up,
not to the sound of chirping birds,
but to the sound of gunshots and sirens.

Early this morning, people checked their newsfeeds and turned on their radio,
not to witty posts or favourite tunes,
but to warnings to stay inside and avoid familiar streets.

Today, people were not lead through the still comfort of their daily routines…
Like seniors walking the Brookside mall…
friends and workers getting their morning Tim’s…
people traveling to work, looking forward to the fun of weekend activities.
But instead, people were shocked to find their neighbourhood in lockdown.

Today, two individuals on the northside woke up to a new day of possibilities,
But, within a short moment,
had a lifetime of possibilities to come… viciously ended.

Today, a perpetrator ran from the scene of evil he or she created.
But, courageous men and women ran towards such evil to deliver us to safety.

Today, honourable men and women gave their lives to protect and serve.
But for two of these good and faithful servants,
their first response became
their last response.

Today, an individual woke up,
and for reasons we will never comprehend, even when facts become available,
ended the lives of four individuals,
wounded many others,
and inflicted great suffering
on those who loved and befriended them.

Lord God, you are our first responder.
In you, we shall lack nothing.
Your response… your actions… are our lifeline.

As we face the devastation of today’s tragedy across the river,
We call on you to lead us beside still waters and restore our souls.
Lead us in right paths, to fullness of life once more.

Today, we feel our safe community has seen and walked through a dark valley.
But in the face of evil, we say #FrederictonStrong.
We will not fear evil.
You are with us.
You will comfort us and embrace us.
You will walk with us, hand in hand, in our suffering,
as we work through all our emotions and realities.
Goodness will prevail even in the face of incomprehensible violence and loss.

On your cross, you suffered with us and gave your life
for the redemption of this world.
And so, in the presence of danger and suffering,
we call on your healing powers.
We call on you to touch the physical wounds those injured
– and the mental scars to come –
with words of healing now and day-by-day.
We call on you to deliver strength to our first responders.
We call on you to guide the hands of the medical community
working to healing those injured.
We call on you to guide those who provide care to those who mourn.
We call on you to bless the police department with wisdom
as they do their investigative work.
We call on you for justice,
as well as restoration of safety and peace
in this community.

In the darkness, we trust that your light will shine through.
We believe:
The images of today’s violence that cannot be erased from their memory
will be coloured by the beauty of your healing words.
Death will not have the final word.
Good will obliterate evil.
Love is stronger than hate.
Those who mourn will be comforted.
And you will anoint this community
so that it overflows with joy and grace upon grace.

Not only shall goodness and mercy follow us,
but we too will do our part to protect and nurture life.
We will move forward in the belief that good will triumph over evil,
that hope, justice and peace can be achieved even in the face of adversity.
Where there is life, there is hope. And where there is hope, there is life.
Bless and bulletproof our spirits, and especially those of first responders,
so that we can strengthen our community.


Minister Emeritus

Special Announcement

On April 25 the Presbytery of New Brunswick honoured The Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the title Minister Emeritus at St. James (Hanwell), Knox (Harvey), and Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Fredericton).

The Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery, Minister Emeritus St. James Presbyterian Church, Hanwell, Knox Presbyterian Church, Harvey, and Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Fredericton.


In 2011, The Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery celebrated his 50th year of ordination.  Having served in other congregations throughout Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, he retired from St. James Presbyterian Church in 2001 after serving as the minister of St. James for 12 years. (He actually served there as a student minister too and was my minister at Bethel in Riverview!)

Although he is retired from ministry, Rev. Lowery continues to be a great ministerial support to the congregations and ministers of St. James (Hanwell), Knox (Harvey) and Saint Andrew’s (Fredericton).  He provides pulpit supply to these three congregations, as well as others within the Presbytery and the United Church of Canada.  When St. James was without a minister between 2009-11, Rev. Lowery provided stated supply.  In addition, Rev. Lowery assists when needed with pastoral care (including funerals and hospital visits), and he is a fountain of wisdom to many presbyters.  He has been an active contributor to congregational life in each of our congregations, whether serving on the Board of Managers (St. James), singing in the choir (Knox), and attending the various activities organized by each church.

The bond Rev. Lowery has with each of our congregations is strong.  We have all been blessed abundantly through his gifts of preaching, pastoral care, wisdom, and presence.  His faith and ongoing service to Christ’s ministry is inspiring.

On top of that, Rev. Lowery continues to attend a number of Presbytery meetings throughout the year and is active on the Presbytery of New Brunswick’s General Committee, which is made up of elders and clergy from the Greater Fredericton area, as well as The Presbyterian Church Building Corporation.  He has even attended Synod meetings from time to time.

Recently, Rev. Anne Boudreau and I approached the sessions of Knox, Saint Andrew’s, and St. James with a request to jointly honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery for his distinguished and faithful service in ministry.  As such, the following motions were approved by each session with the intention of presenting a joint request to the Presbytery:

  • On March 22, 2018, the session of St. James passed a motion to request that the Presbytery of New Brunswick honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the designation “Minister Emeritus” at St. James Presbyterian Church, Hanwell.
  • On April 16, 2018, the session of Saint Andrew’s passed a motion to request that the Presbytery of New Brunswick honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the designation “Minister Emeritus” at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Fredericton.
  • On April 18, 2018, the session of Knox Presbyterian Church passed a motion to request that the Presbytery of New Brunswick honour the Rev. Dr. Basil Lowery with the designation “Minister Emeritus” at Knox Presbyterian Church, Harvey.

We have consulted with Don Muir, Deputy Clerk for The Presbyterian Church in Canada, who confirmed it would be acceptable for the three sessions to submit a combined application to the Presbytery of New Brunswick asking Presbyters to bestow this title on Rev. Lowery within the three congregations.

Wednesday April 25 , the Presbytery of New Brunswick met. Rev. Boudreau and I recommended the session requests be passed.  The Presbytery of New Brunswick unanimously voted in favour of this motion.

It took a bit of coordinating to make sure this honour was a surprise… and we succeeded at that!  And while yesterday’s Presbytery meeting gave fellow Presbyters opportunity to honour Basil, a special event organized jointly by these three congregations will take place at St. James in the near future (date to be determined) so that family and friends may come together to celebrate and give thanks for Basil’s faithful and most inspiring ministry.

Rev. Wendy MacWilliams

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A Note from the Interim Moderator (May 12, 2017)

Since Rev. Blaikie’s retirement 2 ½ months ago, congregational life has continued in a healthy way. You journeyed through Lent and celebrated Easter. You supported one another during moments of joy and times of sorrow. You cared for the sick and extended help to those in need. You continued to make offerings of your time, gifts, and presence in worship and praise of God, and in support of Christ’s ministry in and through Saint Andrew’s, including its various ministry groups and committee.

I understand there are questions and even some anxiety regarding the future of ministry at Saint Andrew’s. A number of you have wondered why a search committee is not yet in place, or why is it taking so long to find another minister. Although reasons were explained at the onset of the vacancy, ongoing communication is critical and session and I are committed to providing more frequent updates.

The delay in establishing a search committee was intentional. You have just ended a ministry relationship that endured over a quarter century. A grace period needed to be put in place to allow time for transition. This vacancy also began during a critical time from a worship perspective, i.e., Lent and Easter, and our attention was rightly focused on Christ’s death and resurrection.

The pastoral search has often been compared to dating and the calling of a minister, marriage. The task of calling the right minister is difficult and is not comparable to staffing a position in a business.

In Psalm 127, the psalmist writes, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.” The search for a new minister must be grounded in the search to discern what is the will of God. The search is a spiritual exercise and our call as a congregation is discern God’s will for Christ ministry’s in and through this congregation and to trust that God will provide for the ministry to which we have been called. This is about seeking God’s will and God’s provision. It is a Christ-centered task, not congregation-centered (i.e., rooted in our own agendas and judgment).

In anticipation of the work to be undertaken with a pastoral search – and the spiritual nature of this task – a grace period was established with a goal of putting the search committee in place this fall. The reasons for doing so were to give the congregation time to pray, to grieve, to reflect on its mission and values, and to ensure that the congregation is ready (in terms of congregational relations, stewardship, and spiritual health) in order to move forward in the search. This time would also allow us to address certain pastoral and leadership needs within the congregation, making space for individuals to consider affirming and growing in their faith by way of becoming a professing member (an act which would impact their role in elder elections and calling a minister) as well as conducting elder elections.

At Monday’s session meeting, the session decided it would postpone elder elections until the fall and establish a search committee this month. Session recognized that congregational life has been moving forward post-vacancy in a healthy way. Establishing a search committee now would provide opportunity to train the new committee and enable the committee to develop an action plan for gathering information over the summer to feed into a congregational analysis and church profile that will be circulated when we begin advertising the ministry position.

Note: Although we are prepared to move ahead in the establishment of a search committee, the search committee to be formed has much work to do before it can proceed to advertise the vacancy. When we have a completed profile – and assuming the preliminary work undertaken by the search committee continues to affirm the congregation is in a health position to move forward with a posting – the Interim Moderator – on session’s behalf – will seek Presbytery’s support in the fall to begin the search. If the congregational analysis and preliminary legwork undertaken by the search committee suggests that there are matters that need to be addressed before beginning a search, the session will revisit next steps and seek Presbytery’s counsel as appropriate.

All that being said, the session will meet on Wednesday, May 17 with the goal of establishing a search committee. What should a search committee look like?

  • Members must be committed to discerning the voice of God speaking to us.
  • A commitment to prayer is essential.
  • Members should be objective (for example, perception should not be biased by previous pastor, personal agendas, etc.)
  • Members should be individuals who not only care about the church and its future, but also wish to grow in faith (the search committee experience can be spiritually renewing)
  • Members should be humble and teachable.
  • Members must be discerning and diligent. The search committee is not evaluating only the candidates (the candidates are also evaluating the congregation). The committee must also examine the congregation to discern what sort of candidate is needed and they must be able to understand and the tell the story of the congregation, including its needs and its values.
  • Members must be able to persevere as the search process takes take and commitment and can sometimes involve obstacles.
  • The committee must have a balanced representation of gender, age, and ethnic mix, as well as nature of congregational ties (e.g., professing member adherent, relatively new, longer-term relationship with congregation, representation in congregational groups).

If you would like to be considered for the search committee, please speak with one of the elders.

As a congregation moving forward, your commitment is needed in these ongoing areas:

  • Your faith example helps tell the story about your congregation’s values and ministry. Faithful worship, prayers, offerings of gifts and presence, fellowship building, and serving help make for healthy congregational life and relationship with God.
  • Providing input into the congregational analysis that will help form the congregational profile to be circulated to prospective candidates.
  • Pray for the formation of your pastoral search committee. Pray for patience and that we would all wait for God’s timing. Pray that all will have the mind of Christ and that decisions and behaviors will be faithful to the Word of God. Pray for wisdom to choose the right minister. Pray that God would prepare your minister and for the congregation that your new minister will leave. Pray for unity. Pray that we will conform to God’s will and experience the joy that God’s provision provides.
  • Pray for spiritual direction. Even in transitions and waiting, there are opportunities for renewal. There are opportunities to prepare for a new chapter in ministry, just as we prepare for a marriage or birth. Now is a great time to be more intentional about nurturing stewardship needs, reflection on our ministry values, and growing in service.

I pray that this update will offer some insight and clarity.
May God bless us and guide us as we continue worshiping and serving.

Rev. Wendy MacWilliams


  • Dear Friends,

    I announced my retirement effective March 1, 2017, having served Saint Andrew’s congregation for twenty-five years and seven months. Our four children (Mark, Brad, Krista, Jeremy) grew up within the congregation.  They were involved with youth events as well as regular attendance at worship.  They have fond memories of life in Fredericton and within Saint Andrew’s church.  At one time Holly and I rented a 14 passenger and drove some of our youth to Toronto for a conference. Outings to Mount Carleton, Fundy National Park, baseball games, and other activities will be a a part of our memory for years to come.  Our children are now living away. Mark is in Ontario, Bradford in PEI.  Krista is in the Yukon and Jeremy lives in NS.  We have nine grandchildren we do not see often enough.

    We have accomplished much together. Many study groups have met throughout the years.  Hundreds of Baptisms, weddings, and funerals have taken place.  Times of celebration have been held. Suppers, pot luck luncheons.  So many concerts and special services within the greater Fredericton community have been meaningful and important.

    To make this decision has been difficult because I have loved being part of such a caring community.  During the past twenty five years we have been able to meet our commitments to Presbyterians Sharing, and support the relief work of Presbyterian World Service and Development.  We sent  a nine person team to the Cameroon and helped with the building of a new church. Campaigns such as Live the Vision provided financial assistance for the national church’s ministry.  This past year we supported a refugee family from Syria. We have been blessed by this ministry and their presence in the community. Other projects such as the refurbishment of the organ, the updating of the kitchen, shingling the roof are an indication of good stewardship. The property is in good repair thanks to the diligent oversight of the Board of Managers.

    We have discussed issues concerning refugees, as well as the LGBTQ community.  We try to be a welcoming and inclusive congregation. We have acknowledged the need to work closely with others in our community.  We have become, even recently, much more aware of the need to work with First Nations communities and respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.  We have engaged youth and young families through the hiring of youth leaders.  We see ministry to youth as a vital part of the life and work of the congregation. We are thankful for the music ministry carried on throughout the years. There are those who lead our Summer Bible School program, and those who volunteer in so many different ways. We are grateful for the many volunteers who give of their time and talent. Teachers in our church school lay the foundation for learning. Holly has enjoyed being a part of the Church School program and helped in establishing and implementing new curriculum.

    The Session will work with our Presbytery in selecting an interim moderator to oversee the work of the congregation. A search committee selected by Session will be formed. The search committee will eventually recommend a candidate to preach for a call to Saint Andrew’s and serve as your minister. You will have an opportunity to meet the person both informally and at a worship service.  The congregation will make the final decision.

    On a personal note, I would like to thank you for your support and co-operation. Holly and I will continue living in New Maryland.  

    It has been a joy to serve as your minister.  

    The Reverend Douglas E. Blaikie

       1 John 4: 7-10