Rosedale Presbyterian Church (416) 921-1931

Rosedale Presbyterian Church 129 Mount Pleasant Road
(at South Drive) Toronto


St. Ignatius of Loyola
by Claudio Coello (17th century, Spanish)

This Sunday (November 18) the Reverend Wes Denyer will be preaching a sermon entitled, “Testing the Spirits." In this Sunday’s reading from the First Letter of John, the author talks about “testing the spirits” to discern whether or not they are from God – whether they speak to us the truth or they speak to us of lies. An early practitioner of this practice of spiritual discernment was St. Ignatius of Loyola. While Ignatius was recovering from a grave wound he received in battle, he believed that two opposing influences were affecting his life – a “spirit of consolation” and a “spirit of desolation.” This Sunday we’ll explore how some of what he learned and experienced over 500 years ago, still applies to life in the 21st century.

The Order of Service has been posted here.

In the afternoon at 4 pm, baritone Peter McGillivray and the soloists of the Rosedale Presbyterian Church Choir perform Songs of Travel. In support of Boarding Homes Ministries, and in tribute to its late founder the Rev. Rodger Hunter, music director Christopher Dawes will conduct a concert of songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams and other musical and poetic delights around the theme of home. Details here.


This Sunday's Music

PRELUDE: Mein junges leben hat ein end – J. Sweelinck

ANTHEM: Prayer to Jesus - Ned Rorem

OFFERTORY ANTHEM: Angel Band - American Hymn arr. Shawn Kirchner


POSTLUDE: “Unter der Linde Grüne - J.P. Sweelinck

Music Notes
by Christopher Dawes, Music Director

Choral offerings today come from Ned Rorem (whose music John Derksen introduced to the choir and congregation in the early 1980s) and a fine newer gospel hymn setting of William Bradbury’s words, which will be sung again in this afternoon’s concert of songs exploring the concept of home. After Wes’ sermon ‘Testing the Spirits,’ this odd pairing intersect around the parallel ideas of Jesus’ home within us, and our home within heaven — both written in the voice of the mortal and directed at the spiritual beings we implore to indwell and surround us.

Jan Pietrszoon Sweelinck (1562 – 1621), whose music begins and ends our service today, was a Dutchman, and arguably the first of Europe’s great keyboard composers; his is the only non-English music whose music appears in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and his legacy in composition and teaching were critical to the beginning of the North German organ tradition (of which the RPC is an example). The actual Prelude and Postlude you will hear this morning, like much of the music written for the organ in the 16th century is secular in nature, since sacred (hymn based) music was mostly improvised. The text that inspired the Prelude, "My young life is near its end" is a song of a young man who nevertheless feels the end of his life approaching, takes his leave from the world in which he has committed many sins, and commends his wife and children to God’s protection. The rather cheerier postlude is based on the English song, "Under the Linden tree," a text I have always felt especially appropriate at RPC.



Hosting Coffee Hour Our Coffee Hour at Rosedale contributes to making the church a friendly and supportive community, and is a wonderful time of fellowship that everyone appreciates. If you are able to host Coffee Hour – or team up with someone to host – please sign up on the board outside the lounge or call the church office (416-921-1931).

Homework Club (St. James Town Ecumenical Coalition) The Homework Club is looking for new adult volunteers from our congregation. Please speak to Marjorie ( if you are interested in working with the young elementary-aged children from 3:00-5:30 pm at St Simon’s once a week.

The Globe and Faith considering current events in the light of our Christian faith will meet on Wednesday, November 21st at 10:30 am. Please feel welcome to participate in this group when you’re available, even if you’re unable to attend regularly.

The Giving Tree One too many travel-sized toiletries in your closet? Have you been collecting for the Giving Tree all year? It’s that time of year again - the Sunday school is asking for donations of travel-size toiletries. Boxes will be available at entrance ways and donations collected November 18th and 25th and December 2nd. Items will be placed into small gift bags, sold on Dec 2nd, and used to decorate our Christmas tree. The toiletries and money raised will help support mission programs in the city. Donations of knitted items, such as hats and mitts, also make great decorations for our tree! Consider making Christmas a little warmer and a little brighter for our neighbours.

The Bridge and Scrabble Group will meet on Thursday, November 22nd. This is a casual, friendly group which welcomes newcomers. Tea and coffee will be served at 12:30 pm. Play begins at 1:00 pm. Please feel welcome to participate in this group when you’re available, even if you’re unable to attend regularly. For more information contact the church office or Pat Keith (

Book Club We invite you to join us on Wednesday, November 28 at 1 p.m. in the lounge to discuss The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. In months that could have inclement weather, we prefer to bring our lunch (tea and coffee provided) and meet at midday. The book is an account of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, who was transported to the concentration camp of Auschwitz – Birkenau. Because he could speak several languages, his task, as a tattooist, was to mark permanently his fellow prisoners. One day he said, “I tattooed a number on the arm of a trembling girl, Gita Furman, and she tattooed her number on my heart.” Each witnessed and experienced atrocities but they survived and found each other after and married in October, 1945. The Toronto Star published an article recently about a ninety-year-old woman, the youngest of her family to survive, who talks and writes about the past. She pioneered the “Women and the Holocaust” project to collect female survivors’ narratives.

Ecumenical Canned Food Drive Leaside and Rosedale We are looking for 3-6 volunteers to help Annemiek Miller on Saturday, November 24 (9:30 – 12:00) to collect canned food donations. Children 10 years and up are welcome. You can use the time for volunteer community service hours. Please contact Annemiek: 647 230 6318.

Church Choir Why not join the Choir and add your voice to the wonderful music we enjoy each Sunday? The choir of RPC rehearses every Thursday evening. A warm welcome awaits you. For more information please contact Director of Music Christopher Dawes.

The Anglican Foundation is publishing Children’s Prayers with Hope Bear to coincide with its 60th anniversary. This book features 24 prayers for liturgical seasons, holidays, and special moment in a child’s life (starting school, moving home, loss of a loved one), with text by Judy Rois and  beautiful images by Canadian illustrator and watercolorist Michele Nidenoff. Perfect for children from preschool up to age 12. Available here. $15 each. Judy Rois is the wife of our minister, the Rev. Wes Denyer.  Michele Nidenoff (  is a member of our congregation.