Love, Service, Spirituality

2017 04-26

Hymn Sing

Join us at 10:15 every other week starting May 7, 2017 for a Hymn Sing before the worship service.

May 7 – Spirituals

May 21 – Global Music

June 4 – New Hymns

June 18 – Old Favourites

Don’t think you’re a good singer? It doesn’t matter! Don’t know the hymn? Don’t worry, we’ll have a chance to learn it together! Want a chance to sing the old favourites we don’t sing in worship any more, or to learn something new before seeing it for the first time in the middle of a service? That’s why we’re doing this!

If you have any suggestions for hymns for any of these themes, please email or leave a note for Emily or Sharon over the next few weeks.

2017 05-20

Emily’s Weekday Wonderings – May 20, 2017

Nadia Bolz-Weber


There are so many highlights from my week from the Festival of Homiletics,
from moving and memorable sermons, to a range of lectures and workshops,
to time with other preachers. Here is one little highlight, from just one

Nadia Bolz-Weber asked: what does it mean to say “do not be afraid” in a
world where danger is real? And said, “Maybe the opposite of fear isn’t
bravery, maybe the opposite of fear is love.”


Blessings, Emily Gordon


2017 05-19

Hands Down!

Hands down the welcoming, warm, friendly volunteers comprise the greatest single element for the success of The Awesome Sale. Over 70 volunteers had their hands full in making this sale one of the best ever.  Everyone’s donations were in good hands throughout the process of sorting, classifying and displaying and all hands were on deck come Friday at 3:00pm when hundreds of people lined up along McRae and Millwood to get a chance at buying one of the 1,000’s of bargains on hand at Leaside United Church’s Awesome Sale!  A tremendous THANK YOU and a great big hand goes to everyone who lent a hand in making this special event happen!

2017 05-18

Another Wonderful Awesome Sale!

It is easy to refer to the LUC’s Awesome Sales as “The Miracles on Millwood”.

Indeed, the hundreds of hours spent on sorting, packaging, storing, transporting, setting up, selling, packing up and passing
forward the unsold goods clearly demonstrates the dedication and commitment of the staff involved.

Equally amazing is that for 23 years, these twice-yearly events are both great outreach projects and community service events
for people throughout the GTA.

Donors include people who are:

  1. selling because of a need to downsize their house
  2. leaving their homes due to medical reasons
  3. selling because of current very high GTA real estate prices and
  4. wanting to declutter or cull the extra items they possess

From January to early May, LUC volunteers have undertaken to pick up or deliver furniture to over 70 destinations.
What a community service!

We know that people come to shop from all over the GTA and beyond, to get the best bargains in Toronto.  Radical hospitality!

Our LUC Awesome Sales also provide:

  1. a truck load of excellent unsold furniture to support Habitat for Humanity,
  2. 2 truck loads of other unsold items for the Cerebral Palsy organization
  3. soft covered books for the patients at Sunnybrook Health Centre,
  4. hard-covered books for patients at Women’s College,
  5. specially-selected books for the Book Sale at Victoria College
  6. needed clothing for the Eastminster U C, Yonge Street Mission and the Christian Resource Centre
  7. various needed items of furniture and housewares to go to newly-arrived families in Thorncliffe and Flemingdon areas AND
  8. a wonderful sense of fellowship, common purpose and achievement for those who work at the Sales.

There are several impressive stats noted below.   More importantly, it is the welcoming warm, friendly volunteers who comprise the greatest single element for the success of “The Miracle on Millwood”.

Thank You to all who donated, attended or worked at this May 12th/13th Awesome Sale!

We do hope to see you and to work with you again at the October 13th and 14th “Miracle own Millwood”.

George Hurst and Bob Lister

Stats Chart

Volunteers: 70

Customer Attendance: 500-600

Truckloads of Reusable clothing: Cerebral Palsy – 2;   Habitat for Humanity – 1

Value of Sale Items donated to help families working with TNO – $1 000

2017 05-17

Festival of Homiletics

Rev. Emily Gordon on study leave in San Antonio, Texas at the Festival of Homiletics meeting with, other attendees of the conference and Dr. Walter Brueggemann, the outstanding Theologian and Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. The Festival of Homiletics is a week-long conference that brings together top-notch preachers and professors of Homiletics (the art of preaching or writing sermons), to inspire a discourse about preaching, worship and culture.

2017 05-16

Three Generations of Awesome Salers!

It’s all in the family for these Awesome Sale volunteers, the Fleming-Muir family members … Grandfather/Father, Daughter/Mother, Son/Grandson all have volunteered at Leaside United’s Awesome Sales for a combined total of over 30 sales in a variety of departments from toys, clothing, books and music, to most recently electronics!  A big thank you, we couldn’t do it without you!


2017 05-09

Emily’s Weekday Wonderings – May 9, 2017

Photo Credit: Beata Ratuszniak


Next week (starting May 15) will be one of my study leaves, as I head down to the Festival of Homiletics for the week. If you aren’t sure what Homiletics means, my Chambers Etymological English Dictionary explains that it is “the art of preaching.” It comes from the Greek word homilia (an assembly). While we usually use the word “Sermon” (which has Latin roots) or “Reflection,” the academic discipline is called homiletics – and yes, that was one of the courses that I took while preparing for ministry. The word Homily refers to a “a sermon explaining a passage from scripture and providing practical guidance rather than discussing religious doctrine.” Does this idea resonate for you? Is the idea of practical guidance rather than big picture discussions appealing? I think my sermons have different directions that they take, but I try to keep connected to the every day, to the question of how we live in the world right now – and why that matters.


2017 05-08

Listen to Sermons On Line!

Missed a sermon? Or want to listen to one again?  Check out our NEW Sermon’s page and listen to sermons from our Ministers Rev. Emily Gordon, Rev. Rose Ann Vita and reflections from Guest Speakers like Diane Finrock Farrar.

2017 05-07

Bicycle Blessing

When we ride a bicycle, we are connected to our bodies – the way the movement of our legs allows us to travel , the effect that a slope or hill has on our experience.  At the end of a bicycle ride, we can feel the energy and the tiredness that exercise can bring.  In many ways, riding a bicycle is a way of practising being present – which is in itself a faithful act … May your journeys be safe and joyful, connecting you to creation and the Creator.

Blessings, Emily Gordon


2017 05-01

Call Me Malcolm – Affirming Movie Event

This Friday May 5, 2017 at 7pm, please join us at Leaside United Church, 822 Millwood Road for an Affirming movie and discussion night. Featuring the documentary “Call Me Malcolm”.



Enjoy this trailer from “Call Me Malcolm”:

2017 04-28

Emily’s Weekday Wonderings – April 28, 2017

Just a couple of quotations used in my sermon last Sunday, as we thought about the importance of bodies, being an Affirming congregation, and disability theology. The text we were exploring was John 20:19-29 (Jesus appears to the disciples, bearing the wounds of the crucifixion). I should mention that whether or not you think this story literally happened (and whether or not it matters to you), the gospel writer was trying to convey a Truth with it (as so many stories whether or not they literally happened contained Truth). For Nancy L. Eiesland, this story presents an important truth about the nature of God, as well as the importance of all our bodies. Here are some of her words from The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability:

“In the resurrected Jesus Christ, they saw not the suffering servant for whom the last and most important word was tragedy and sin, but the disabled God who embodied both impaired hands and feet and pierced side and the imago Dei [the image of God].”

“Jesus, the resurrected Savior, calls for his frightened companions to recognize in the marks of impairment their own connection with God, their own salvation. In so doing, this disabled God is also the revealer of a new humanity. The disabled God is not only the One from heaven but the revelation of true personhood, underscoring the reality that full personhood is fully compatible with the experience of disability.”

“the presence of the disabled God makes it possible to bear a nonconventional body.”
(We might think about all the different ways our bodies are non-conventional. Disability or differing abilities is one example, as can be gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race…)

And now, a story from Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World, with another perspective on the importance of the uniqueness of our bodies:

“When I first came to Christian faith in college, people I barely knew made a habit of telling me they loved me. They were Christians too, and I guess it was their way of welcoming me to the family. I did not mind, exactly, but since they barely knew me I was not sure what they were talking about. . . . I decided to find out, so the next time one of the Christians said she loved me, I asked her why.

She made a surprised face, like I should already know.

“Because God loves you!” she said, throwing both hands in the air. “I love you because God loves everybody!”

This may sound small, but I decided that was not enough for me. I did not want to be loved in general. I wanted to be loved in particular, as I was convinced God loved. Plus, I am not sure it is possible to see the face of God in other people if you cannot see the faces they already have. What is it that makes that face different from every other face?”

How do we love others in particular, not just in general?

Blessings, Emily Gordon

2017 04-26

Blessing of the Bicycles


Bicycles – a fun excursion, a family adventure, a commute to work, an environmental commitment, a bike-a-thon for a good cause… there are so many ways that bicycles contribute to our lives, communities, and cities. Join us on May 7, 2017 for a Blessing of the Bicycles service at 12:45 on the church lawn, as we celebrate bicycles and what they mean to us, and offer prayers for safety and good cycling this summer. You are invited to bring your bicycles to our morning service and bring a lunch to the townhall after church. The young and the young-at-heart are invited to attend a bicycle decorating party with lunch between morning worship and the Blessing of the Bikes service. If you plan to attend the party, please let Tanya know.

The Queen of Katwe Movie Night

Sunday May 7, 2017 at 7:00pm

Join us at Leaside United Church, 822 Millwood Road, Toronto for this movie event.  Youth, families and anyone else who is interested are invited to see The Queen Of Katwe (suitable for ages 10 and up) directed by Mira Nair and featuring Lupita Nyongo.  The inspiring true story of how Ugandan 10 year old Phiona Mutesi’s life is changed after she is introduced to the game of Chess.