The Book of Kells

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Kells1On the small island of Lone, off the west coast of Scotland, a monastery was founded in the year 561 by Saint Columba, an Irish abbot and missionary.

The abbey served as a base for spreading Christianity among the northern kingdoms of Scotland. It was an important political and religious institution until the early 9th century when a Viking attack caused the surviving monks to take refuge at the Abbey of Kells in County Meath, Ireland.

It is believed that around this time, the Book of Kells, a manuscript of the four gospels of the New Testament, was completed by the Columban monks. It is considered a masterpiece of Celtic art with lavish decoration and elaborate ornamentation―intricate, bold and energetic. The 12th century writer Gerald of Wales states: “Fine craftsmanship is all about you, but you might not notice it. Look more keenly at it and you will penetrate to the very shrine of art. You will make out intricacies, so delicate and so subtle, so full of knots and links, with colours so fresh and vivid, that you might say that all this were the work of an angel, and not of a man.”

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Kells Abbey was plundered and pillaged many times over, yet the Book survived. A reference in the Annals of Ulster (entries span 431AD to 1540AD) tells us that the book ‘was wickedly stolen during the night’ and recovered months later “under a sod”―probably a bog―without its gold and bejewelled cover.

Kells_trinitycollegeThe Book of Kells was taken to Dublin during the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII and, in 1661, found its way to the cobbled streets of Trinity College where it has been on display since the 19th century. On a visit to Ireland a number of years ago, I had the opportunity to go to the exhibit entitled ‘Turning Darkness into Light’ and see this extraordinary book. I expected to view a dull, decrepit manuscript once rescued from a bog but instead was taken aback and wonderfully surprised by the vibrant, living word before me.

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures forever” Isaiah 40:8 Click To Tweet

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COVID 19 Update

The members of The Salvation Army Oshawa Temple want to protect you from any Covid-19 spread yet, at the same time, wish to journey life with you. 

At present, there are still reports of new strains of Covid-19 spread and, unfortunately, we are not at a level of vaccination that safely allows us to congregate. Therefore, we have initiated the following:

 In-Person Church Services are postponed until further notice, but our ONLINE SERVICES, complete with music, songs, prayer, and Biblically focused sermons can be found here. [Click to follow]

 Our CHURCH OFFICE is closed, but we are still available Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 3:00 pm).  If you have enquiries, needs, prayer requests, or simply want to discuss life, please connect with us by phone at 905-436-0011, text us at 289-768-5959, or email the office. Email address is 

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 The Thrift Store is operating under COVID Restrictions. Store is closed April 12th -14th. Planned reopening Thursday April 15th. Accepting donations resumes Thursday April, 15th Mon-Fri 9:30am-4pm at the back loading dock door.  Please access the Albert Street side of the building in downtown Oshawa from Monday – Friday (9:30 am – 4:30 pm) and Saturday (10:00 am – 4:00 pm).  The Thrift Store is closed on Sunday. More Thrift Store Details… [Click to follow]

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