There's always lots of things happening here at Bloor Street. This is where you can find what's on, and when.
Calendar of Events: 2013
Thursday, December 5
8:15 a.m. Lectionary – Board Room
7:30 p.m. Choir – Music Room
Sunday, December 8
10:30 a.m. Worship – Sanctuary
After worship Comprehensive Review – McClure Hall
After worship Blood Pressure Clinic – McClure Hall Lounge
After worship Quilters' Christmas Sale – McClure Hall
Tuesday, December 10
7:00 p.m. Worship – Board Room
Wednesday, December 11
7:00 p.m. Refugee Outreach Program – Music Room
The Fall Stewardship
with these spine-tingling
words given by Michael Hilliard:
Sunday, November 24th, 2013
The journey forward is easier when you know from where you have come.
If you have not had the chance, I would encourage you to read “Seventy Years at Bloor Street United Church, 1887-1957”. It has been a source of considerable encouragement for me over the course of our redevelopment
This church opened with a first mortgage of $50,000, a second mortgage of $16,000 and a large floating debt. The book records the moment as follows:
“It seemed perhaps that the congregation, more in foolhardiness than faith, had assumed a burden it could not carry. But its courage was high, its faith strong and its vision far-sighted.” Commenting later, Dr. Pidgeon, a minister
of this church and the first moderator of the United Church of Canada, remarked on the “venturesome” spirit of our forbearers: “If ever a church ventured everything on the principle: ‘Expect great things from God; attempt
great things for God,’ it was Bloor Street United Church.”
When we first pitched the idea of building a new home for the United Church of Canada’s national office, I was asked to provide a theological rationale for our redevelopment project. Four years later, the words I wrote still compel
“Peoples’ need to engage with church and explore their faith has evolved and so too must we. It would be wrong to confuse a decline in Sunday worship attendance with a diminished yearning amongst people to consider the greater purposes in their lives. Our congregation and the wider United Church are faced with an excellent opportunity to provide a liberal progressive theological framework for faith exploration. In our case, we are constrained by our existing space. We need to break open or demolish our walls, both literally and figuratively, and welcome people into our spaces to experience the wonderful riches of ways that we in the United Church travel on our faith journeys and connect with God.”
Redevelopment is not an end. It is a means to an end. We are attempting to build welcoming, accessible, environmental sound space to help nurture faith not just for ourselves but equally, if not more importantly, for our neighbours. In keeping with the long tradition of this congregation, I believe we are attempting a great thing and we are attempting it for God.
Over the next few years it will be easy to be distracted by city approvals, condo pre-sales, design, demolition and construction. I say distracted, because we cannot lose focus on our mission and ministry both now and into the future. The activities in which this community of faith engages, and supports with our time and talents, will never be more important than over the next few years. Whether it is in worship, Christian education, community life, social justice, we must continue that which draws us here and sustains us. I therefore ask that we all consider what we can give in the coming year and, if you have not, complete and submit your pledge. Your financial support of our ongoing ministry will help ensure that when we march into our new space we will not be diminished and weary from the journey but rather joyfully united in mission and bound more closely together and with God.
So let us continue our century old “venturesome” spirit. With our courage high, our faith strong and our vision far-sighted.
Fall Good News and latest sermons on the Sermons link at top of page
The Quilters will be holding a Christmas sale during conversation hour after church today and Sunday, December
8th. Also, Randi Helmers will have her art cards available. Come and find some practical and artistic gifts for the people on your list.
Details on the 2013 Advent Offering can be found by clicking AdventOfferings2013
La Mode Concert Friday Dec 6th
A fundraiser for the Refugee Outreach Project. Details are available by clicking here.
The next book selected for discussion on Tuesday, December 3rd at 1:30 p.m. in the Board Room will be The
Souls of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us .
About Human Beings by Vent Virga. We invite everyone who has read the book to join in a lively discussion.
For more information about the Book Club please contact Bob Farquharson at email@example.com
ADVENT BOOK STUDY
Zealot by Reza Aslan – A biography of Jesus
Wednesdays: December 4th, 11th, and 18th from 5:00- 6:30 p.m. in the Narthex. "Be advised, dear reader,
Sunday school this isn't. Yet Aslan may come as close as one can to respecting those who revere Jesus as the
peace-loving, turn-the-other-cheek, true son of God depicted in modern Christianity, even as he knocks
down that image… Aslan is steeped in the history, languages and scriptural foundation of the biblical
scholar and is a very clear writer with an authoritative, but not pedantic, voice. Those of us who wade into this
genre often know how rare that is…
Fascinatingly and convincingly drawn." – The Seattle Times.
December 4th – Part 1;
December 11th – Part 2;
December 18th – Part 3
For more information, please contact Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kuile at 416-924-7439, ext. 44 or firstname.lastname@example.org
INPUT WANTED FOR THE CHURCH'S COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW
Sunday, December 8th – 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.
On its web site, the United Church of Canada suggests we are in the midst of challenging times: changing forms of church, changing contexts for ministry, changing human and financial resources, and changing generations of members and leaders. The Church’s Comprehensive Review Task Group is examining the vision and circumstances of the church and will recommend alternate models of program, governance, and staff structures. Beth Symes of our congregation is a member of the Task Force. On December 8th in McClure Hall after the service, Beth has
graciously offered to lead us in a 90-minute information session and facilitated discussion to provide Bloor Street’s input to the Task Force. Please plan to join us.
2014 CANADIAN CHURCH CALENDARS AVAILABLE
In the midst of the congregation we will praise you… Psalm 22: 22
This calendar has the theme of praising and worshipping God in banners, murals, and communion table frontals from United Churches across Canada. Available at the information table after worship, this calendar makes a great gift for a loved one or for yourself!
COME SING IN OUR CHOIR!
Come and join us on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Room! For more information, please speak with David
Passmore after the service or contact him at 416-924-7439, ext. 30 or email@example.com
Our minister emeritus, the Rev. David Allan, is now living at Leisureworld Caregiving Centre (2250 Hurontario St.,
Mississauga, ON, L5B 1M8) and adjusting to a new environment.
If you would like to write him, David would welcome notes from Bloor Streeters.
UNITED CHURCH LAUNCHES APPEAL TO AID THE PHILLIPINES
Government Extends Dollar-for-Dollar Match on Donations
The United Church has issued a church-wide appeal in response to the super typhoon that devastated much of
the Philippines on November 8th.
What we can do:
• Pray for our Filipino sisters and brothers who have lost loved ones, their homes, and their livelihoods.
• Pray for the members of the ACT's Philippines Forum who are working tirelessly to assess damage on the ground and organize an emergency response.
• Pray for United Church partners in the Philippines-the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCC) – as they work diligently to attend to the needs of Filipinos affected by the disaster.
• Pray for the Government of the Philippines, which is working with civil society organizations to ensure that relief needs are met as soon as possible.
If you would like to donate towards this relief effort, the Canadian government will match, dollar for dollar, donations to registered Canadian charities, including the United Church. Funds donated will be distributed to United Church partners in the Philippines and ACT Alliance for relief and reconstruction efforts. To be eligible for matching, donations need to be received by the office of Bloor Street United Church by Sunday, December 15th (please note the extension in the deadline). Please leave your donation on the offering plate, with “Philippine Appeal” noted on the
envelope or the memo line of your cheque.
THE CRADDOCK LECTURE Sunday, January 12th, 2014
click here for Craddock info in a pdf page.
We look forward to welcoming Professor John Borrows,
Faculty of Law, University of Victoria.
John Borrows is the Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the Faculty of Law of the
University of Victoria. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of Indigenous Legal Traditions and
Aboriginal Rights. He is Anishinabe and a member of the Chippewas of the Nations First Nation on Georgian Bay. Professor Borrows has been at the forefront of Indigenous legal education initiatives in Canada, having developed programs of research and teaching at the University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, the
University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria. He has also furthered his work in the field as a Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia, Waikato University in New Zealand,
Arizona State University in the United States, the Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan and Akitsiraq Law School of the University of Victoria in Nunavut. He served as the Visiting Scholar in Residence with the Law Commission of Canada, writing a book about Indigenous Legal Traditions in Canada, and holds the Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy and Society at the University of Minnesota.
Professor Borrows is a recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the area of Law and Justice, the Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science in 2003, the International Visiting Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and the New Zealand Law Foundation Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
John Borrows obtained his Bachelor, two Masters degrees, a Bachelor in Law and a Masters in Law from the University of Toronto; he is Doctor Juris from Osgoode Law School. His publications include, Recovering Canada; The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science, 2002), Canada's Indigenous Constitution (Canadian Law and Society Best Book Award 2011), and Drawing Out Law: A Spirit's Guide, all from the University of Toronto Press. Copies of Dr. Borrows's book, Drawing Out Law: A Spirit's Guide are for sale at conversation hour after worship at a discounted price.
THE BIBLE FOR BUSY PEOPLE: ABRAHAM Monday, January 27th, 2014
The Bible for Busy People is back! Once again, we are delving into the Old Testament, this time with the
amazing story of the life of Abraham. Sex, angels, deception, close calls – it's all there in the saga that starts
our faith. Join us on Monday, January 27th at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. As always, we will take turns reading out loud, accompanied by classic paintings depicting every step of the story. See you there!
LIVING ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE – BOOK LAUNCH
Enjoy a panel discussion and book launch with authors Stephen Scharper, the Rev. Willard Metzger and Joy Kennedy. The evening will include a question and answer session and workshop activities. Refreshments will follow. Copies of Living Ecological Justice will be available for $10. Consider giving this book as a thought-provoking Christmas present or stocking stuffer.
Living Ecological Justice examines the following questions:
• How do we become closer to Christ through a deepening relationship with creation?
• What does it mean, from an Indigenous and biblical perspective, for God to have a covenant with all of creation?
• What will it take for Canadian churches to step up their advocacy efforts in the face of climate change?
Toronto School of Theology (47 Queen's Park Cres. E. – 2 blocks south of Museum subway station) on Tuesday, December 10th.
Cost? Free-will donation. Hosted by Bloor Street United Church, Citizens for Public Justice, Green Awakening Network, and Trinity-St. Paul's United Church.
COMMUNITY CAFÉ – MINISTRY OF SOCIALIZING
Have you been called to a ministry of socializing? Our Community Café is a wonderful place to meet people, share a cup of coffee or tea, and express Jesus-inspired hospitality with a range of people. We need a few more volunteers to ensure we keep the workload light and to remain attentive to our community. The atmosphere is always friendly and refreshments are always free. If your stewardship includes time, a few hours a week or a few hours a month would really support this vital ministry. Contact Greg, our Community Builder (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
The Refugee Outreach Program has a family that would benefit from a blender. If you have one that your no longer need and it's in good working order, please contact Francisco Venegas at 416-671-6970.
Interested in sound technology? Our church needs a new audio volunteer to operate the sound system one Sunday per month.
It’s easier than it looks, and you’ll make a significant contribution to our worship services. Everyone appreciates good sound quality! Contact Harold Durnford for more details: email@example.com
Are you interested in helping with serving Communion, one or two or more times in the coming months? If so,
please contact Gaye-Frances Alexander (416-698-8669) or firstname.lastname@example.org. This includes anyone who has, or has never before helped with communion.
DECEMBER 21, 2013 – SAVE THIS DATE!
Saturday, December 21st is the date for the Refugee Outreach Program Christmas party. It takes about 60
volunteers to make this event happen for the 45 refugee families that are invited each year, so we hope you can
save the date and plan to participate. Helpers are needed to set up, prepare food, staff the craft room, organize the gifts and visit with the guests, clean up etc. We are also looking for about 5 people to volunteer as lead organizers for some parts of the event – food and kitchen crew, gift gathering and sorting, entertainment, craft activities for the kids
and set-up/clean-up. This group will meet a few times in October and November to plan and determine what needs to be done ahead of time. Check out the sign-up sheet at the information table, or talk to Sue (416-599-0689) or Francisco (416-671-6970).
Update from Chris and Susan Ferguson
Greetings to you all from Bogotá! Amazingly we are half way through a four year posting to work with UCC partners and many related organizations in Colombia. It continues to be very challenging for all here to work for a just peace in the middle of armed conflict, but we rejoice in relationships with many courageous people of faith. We are able to come to Toronto for Christmas this year and look forward to seeing you, as well as our daughter Martha. She is finally back in Ontario after five years working in South Korea, starting a master's degree in Peace and Conflict studies in Waterloo. Bendiciones a todos y todas!"
Please see following documents (PDF format) for more details from Susan:
UCC Ciudad Bolívar intro
UCC Nueva Candelaria Sunday after church..Kingston