Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.


Hopefully everyone changed their clocks last night and will arrive on time for the church services, 11.00 am and 6.30 pm. These will also be broadcast on sermonaudio. The pre-evening prayer time will be at 5.50 pm in the church and concurrently on Zoom.  The Wednesday prayer meeting will be at 7.30 pm on Zoom.


The Toronto Church was shocked and saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of Mrs. Georgina Brown on October 28th.  For many years she and her husband Wilfie were well-known members of the Church where he was heavily involved in the weekly senior’s ministry.  Georgina, who was 74, was talking with Pat Mills in Ulster on the phone on Tuesday, had just hung up when she collapsed from a major stroke.  She died the next evening.  She is survived by her husband, her son Stephen and her daughter, Nicola, in-laws and several grandchildren.  To them, we extend our heartfelt sympathy and assure them of our prayers.


Mrs. Joan Cairns has completed her self-isolation at home while her husband, Dr. Alan is still in hospital in ICU in Northern Ireland.  He is on a ventilator but the latest word is that he is stable   The Cairns family would appreciate your continued prayers.


503 years ago yesterday Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses against indulgences to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.  In his recent book on Luther’s life, Eric Metaxas said Luther was the most influential man in modern history both in religion and politics.  Tucker Carlson, of Fox News, said Luther would be in any list of five people who shaped the modern West.  Yet it is in the world of religion that he is mostly known and the doctrine of Sola Fide‘justification by faith” alone.  Justification is an act where God declares a man to be righteous through the sacrifice on the cross.

Martin Luther stressed its importance.  “When the article of justification has fallen, everything has fallen.  This is the chief article from which all other doctrines have flowed..”


”Let those men go”   [Acts 16:35]

Paul and Silas were doing a good work at Philippi.  They met Lydia at the riverside where women resorted to pray, and through their preaching, she became a Christian.  Then the poor demoniac girl was delivered from awful satanic oppression.  But a good work does not please everyone, and the girl’s masters, who lived on her soothsaying abilities, attacked God’s faithful servants.

They were scourged and thrown into prison.  With backs bleeding and sore they could be forgiven for indulging in a little self-pity and wondering why they, the servants of the Lord, should suffer so.

But their reaction was very different.  In prison, Paul and Silas prayed and sang so heartily that the other prisoners heard them.  Paul later exhorted the Philippian Christians, “Rejoice in the Lord always” [Philippians 4:4].  In the prison, Paul practiced what he soon would preach.

God stepped in with a great earthquake that burst open not only the prison but also the bonds of Paul and Silas.  But their work in Philippi was not over.  The jailor, on the point of suicide, cried out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  Then came the glorious message of hope: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”  That night the jailor was freed from sin, and the next morning Paul and Silas were released from captivity.  There is no barrier strong enough to hold sinners when the omnipotent God comes to their rescue.


A few years ago the author visited Philippi which today is an interesting ruin.  It lies several miles inland from the Aegean Sea and we saw the road that Paul took, over a small mountain and across a plain. We were shown a prison that, if not the actual one, is similar to the one occupied by Paul and Silas – not a very pleasant place!  Philippi was the first Christian church established in Europe.

The “earthquake” is interesting as Philippi is an area of many earth tremors, indeed that is why it is no longer inhabited.

Philippi was famous for its school of medicine, and it is thought that the apostle Luke, a physician, was born there.

Despite his persecution in Philippi Paul loved the people there. He wrote his epistle to the Philippians from imprisonment in Rome, and he said of them, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.”