Rev. Evan Smith joined us on Sunday March 4th, 2018 as our Guest Preacher, preaching on the scripture of John 2:13-22 where Jesus clears the Temple Courts while people were making preparations for Passover.
March 4, 2018: runtime 19:27- Guest Preacher Rev. Evan Smith – A House for Whose Prayers?
Rev. Evan Smith is ordained in the United Church of Canada and is the minister at Toronto Urban Native Ministry in Regent Park. Rev. Evan is Two-Spirit, Anishinaabe, and turtle clan. Evan works on the front lines doing pastoral care and harm reduction with sex workers, Indigenous LGBTQ2A youth, families, people who are incarcerated and street-involved folks. Passionate about encouraging peoples spiritual health, Evan serves Indigenous people living on the margins through the practice of both Traditional Spirituality and Christianity as part of her ministerial work at Toronto Urban Native Ministry.
LUC’s Green Team is looking for a new focus for the Weekly Eco-friendly Tip and we need your input. Please email us your ideas, or the things that are concerning you most about climate change. We have project ideas we intend to introduce to Leaside United Church over the next few months; if you would like to be more involved with the LUC Green Team for Global Wellness contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
All welcome to attend Spirit Alive on Saturday March 10th from 10:00 to noon.
Ross Lawford will provide the leadership. His topic is “Quest for power : discussion of its spiritual implications.”
Please join us in the Auditorium for some light refreshments for the first 15 minutes.
10am to Noon Saturday March 10th, 2018 Leaside United Church (auditorium) Coffee, tea and refreshments between 10am – 10:15am
On a regular basis Spirit Alive meets to explore matters of spirituality, meditate, and reflect together. Save the second Saturday morning of the month to meet at 10:00 to noon. Spirit Alive begins with coffee, snacks and fellowship followed by a period of led meditation, music, quiet time and reflection to deepen the sense of the spiritual at the center of one’s life. For more information contact Bea Lawford.
Well, we did it! Although it wasn’t the COLDEST night of the year, we definitely could empathize with anyone being left homeless to sleep on the streets in any temperature. Thank you to all of our fabulous walkers and over 40 individual donors. A special thank you to our Team Leader Tanya Wiles-Bell for so expertly organising us for this relevant “Faith in Action” event. Leaside United Church had the largest team registered in Toronto with 19 walkers and raised over $2,500 to increase awareness of the homelessness situation in Toronto and across Canada.
For more information about the Yonge Street Mission who convened this year’s Coldest Night of the Year Walk, please click here: Yonge Street Mission
Enjoy these pictures taken last Saturday, February 24th, 2018 of our wonderful walkers:
February 25, 2018 – Guest Speaker – El-Farouk Khaki
El-Farouk Khaki joined us on Sunday, February 25th, 2018. El-Farouk is a spirituality activist, human rights & justice advocate, and refugee lawyer, a public and media speaker on issues including Islam, LGBTIQ/human rights, refugees, politics and HIV. El-Farouk is founder of Salaam: Queer Muslim Community (1991); and co-founder & imam of el-Tawhid Juma Circle (2009). El-Farouk is co-owner of the Glad Day Bookshop, and recipient of numerous Awards including: 2006 “Excellence in Spirituality” Award – Pride Toronto; 2007 Hero Award, Canadian Bar Association; and 2016 CCVT Trevor Batram Award. He is currently working on his first book exploring issues of sexuality, social justice and spirituality.
On June 10, 2017 the congregations of Leaside United Church and Presteign-Woodbine United Church amalgamated into a single pastoral charge. At that time, all Presteign-Woodbine United Church property and assets, including the Jean Bruce Bequest, were transferred to the new Leaside United Church Board of Trustees. On December 21, 2017 the Presteign-Woodbine United Church real estate was sold. The amount of money that the new Leaside United Church will receive from the sale is at the discretion of Presbytery and is dependent on our submission outlining our future missions and use of capital funds.
Understanding, the importance of preparing for this challenge, on May 17, 2017 a motion was proposed by Graham Lute and Brenda French, co-chairs of the Missional Leadership Task Team, that funding be approved for a Congregational Development Project, lead by M&M International, focusing on the future needs of our congregation, our building and property and the communities of Leaside and Ward 31, the former Presteign-Woodbine United Church catchment area.
A number of interested members have given generously of their time and many meetings, workshops and interviews have taken place to assess exciting possibilities. We have made good progress and now look forward in sharing the gathered information and proposed ideas.
To bring you up-to-date, two Information Town Hall meetings are scheduled for Sundays, March 4th and March 11th. These sessions will take place following the church service. Each Town Hall will provide the same information, so you need only attend on one of those dates. If neither date is suitable, the Power Point presentation will be available online or a hardcopy will be available on request. Instructions to access the electronic file will be provided in an upcoming E-News. Following the Information Sessions, it is important to receive your comments, feedback and direction. A Town Hall Feedback Session is scheduled for Sunday, March 18th, again following the church service. If you are unavailable, an electronic or a hardcopy Feedback Form will be provided.
The Team expects the Congregation Development Project will take some months to really understand and commit to our future plans as is it is going to take time to prioritize mission plans, establish budgets, allocate volunteers and staffing and hire an architect to help plan changes to both our building and green space.
It is an amazing opportunity for the new Leaside United Church and we invite you all to participate. There is a lot of information to review, so please set aside time on March 4th or March 11th to listen to the Team’s presentations, and then, on March 18th the Team will listen as you express your ideas and suggestions.
Supporting documents to this project are located on a Google Drive. Directions to access this link are available in hard copy or can be emailed individually upon request. Contact Alison Jane in the office for more information.
On Sunday, March 4th 10:30am, the Rev. Evan Smith will be our speaker. Evan is ordained in the United Church of Canada and is the minister at Toronto Urban Native Ministry in Regent Park. Rev. Evan is Two-Spirit, Anishinaabe, and turtle clan. Evan works on the front lines doing pastoral care and harm reduction with sex workers, Indigenous LGBTQ2A youth, families, people who are incarcerated and street-involved folks. Passionate about encouraging peoples spiritual health, Evan serves Indigenous people living on the margins through the practice of both Traditional Spirituality and Christianity as part of her ministerial work at Toronto Urban Native Ministry.
On Sunday, February 25th 10:30am, our guest speaker will be El-Farouk Khaki. El-Farouk is a spirituality activist, human rights & justice advocate, and refugee lawyer, a public and media speaker on issues including Islam, LGBTIQ/human rights, refugees, politics and HIV. El-Farouk is founder of Salaam: Queer Muslim Community (1991); and co-founder & imam of el-Tawhid Juma Circle (2009). El-Farouk is co-owner of the Glad Day Bookshop, and recipient of numerous Awards including: 2006 “Excellence in Spirituality” Award – Pride Toronto; 2007 Hero Award, Canadian Bar Association; and 2016 CCVT Trevor Batram Award. He is currently working on his first book exploring issues of sexuality, social justice and spirituality.
Ash Wednesday/Valentine’s Day
At first it might seem contradictory having Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day this year – a marking of the start of the season of Lent, often reduced to the idea of giving something up (such as chocolate), and a day that has become synonymous with the idea of romantic love as reflected in consumption (chocolate). And yet, if we think about what Lent and Valentine’s Day are really about, they might not be quite so far apart after all.
Let’s start with Lent. In English, Lent can refer to the church season, but it also connects to an Old English word lencten meaning “spring (the season)” and associated with the word for long, because of the days growing longer. In French, Italian, and ultimately Latin we see connections to the word for “slow” – for those of you who are musical, you just need to think of or lentement (or lente) can mean “slow.” A very similar word, however, comes from the Latin for “lentil” and came to take on the sense of “lens” (I guess this is due to the shape of a lens being lentil-like). So we can bring the idea of a lens, and how we see things, to the idea of Lent as well. Where does this get us?
Lent is a season for slowing down and seeing what is around us.
And Valentine’s Day is a day where we recognize the importance of love – not just romantic love, but all love. The love of friends and family (by birth or by choice), the love of others, and the divine love that rests within and connects us all. When we recognize something we might celebrate it, whether through gift-giving (which is nice but not the most important part of the day), or through words and actions (calling a friend, hugging a child, smiling at a stranger), or through reflection, meditation, and thanksgiving for that love that flows through each of us.
So on this Valentine’s Lent day, I wish you time to slow down, look around, and give thanks for the many varied ways that we experience love in our lives.
Blessings, Rev. Emily Gordon
It’s still pretty cold and snowy out, but if you are de-cluttering or doing some pre-Spring cleaning, please consider donating gently used items to Leaside United Church’s Awesome Sale. Volunteer inventory sorters have already begun sorting through 100’s of items that have been donated since the last sale. The dates are confirmed for:
We are happy to accept donations from Monday to Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm at Leaside United Church 822 Millwood Road, Toronto, Ontario, M4G 1W4 Ph:(416) 425-1253 to be left on the stage of the Auditorium (lower level through the side door off of Millwood Road) of the following items:
Note: We are no longer able to accept donations of furniture and will not be selling furniture of any kind at future sales. No furniture shall be accepted, picked up or sold. Unfortunately, storage costs, the labour-heavy elements and demand on our caretaker’s time have made this community service non-sustainable. Please spread the word and continue to bring your donations for the Sale. Thank you for helping us continue to work together on this great outreach and community service event.
The 2018 dates are set: Spring Friday, May 11 (from 3pm to 7pm) and Saturday, May 12 (from 9am to noon) and Fall Friday, Oct 12 (from 3pm to 7pm) and Saturday, Oct 13 (from 10am to noon). Inventory Volunteers have started sorting the donations beginning last week. Please drop off your donations to the stage in the auditorium. IMPORTANT NOTE: We will no longer be offering furniture for sale at the Awesome Sale effective immediately there will be NO furniture pick-ups, sales or deliveries.
A. Our first refugee family who arrived one year ago this month are doing well and enjoyed celebrating their first year in Canada at a dinner in their honour. The children and mom are in school full time. On Saturdays they enjoy Conversational English at their apartment in Thorncliffe with some LUCCRRC folk and anyone else who likes to chat and enjoy tea. The father has registered at an employment / job / placement agency and is intending to upgrade his education via OSAP and apply for a MEd at the University of Toronto.
B. Our second family who arrived this summer had an unfortunate accident when the mother fell and broke her wrist on some ice. The sons and oldest daughter are all working at a local Superstore and receiving regular tutoring in English. The youngest of the family is in high school and doing well.
C. We are currently working on a third family to sponsor under the “named” sponsorship program for a refugee family who are from Afghanistan and currently in India. All the necessary paperwork has been filed with the government.
Blessings to all!
Bob and Lis Lister