Central United Church


In this issue
This Week
Worship This Week
Weekly Announcements
Minute for Mission
News From WKNC
Community Events
In the Library
Worth a Look

About Central

We gather every Sunday at 11 am. Our goal is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, to walk in his way, and live with love and mercy. We welcome all people. We understand that everyone is on a unique spiritual path, and that our common humanity binds us one to another.

More Information
We are located in the heart of Weston. Once the largest town in what became Metropolitan Toronto, Weston was overtaken by sprawl in the 1950's. We are a mix of urban, suburban and small town. We have been on the same street corner since 1821. See a map.

We are known for our outreach
We are host and founding partner in two United Church Incorporated Ministries, organizations set up to further the mission of Central and make a positive impact on the community that surrounds the church. Both express our desire to follow the compassionate way of Jesus Christ. Central King Senior's Residence is attached to the church, located at 15 King Street. The majority of units are rent-geared-to-income (RGI). They can be reached at 416-614-0667. Weston King Neighbourhood Centre is located in the ground-level suite in the church, with the address 2017 Weston Road. It provides a community space for poor, disadvantaged and socially-isolated members of the Weston community, and is open six days a week. Come for a warm meal, informal counseling, or harm reduction services. In 2013, WKNC will expand into Mount Dennis to create the Mount Dennis Neighbourhood Centre. Watch this page for details. Visit wknc.ca for more information or call 416-241-9898.

Our Minister
Michael Kooiman is our minister, serving here since 2008. He shares Central's passion for worship and work in the community. His sermon archive can be found at sermonboy.com

Important Links

On Twitter
Our Wikipedia entry
Our WonderCafe Micro-site
Kiva Lending Team
United Church of Canada
Central's Wiki
Our Flickr Page
Last Week's Sermon

Summer 2014

Summer Services begin on June 15 at Weston Presbyterian Church, 11 Cross Street. Services return to Central on July 27th. Please note that summer worship begins at 10 am.

For the period June 10 to July 20, pastoral care is available through Weston Presbyterian Church. Call 416-241-1571.

Worship at Central

We call it traditional worship with a twist. The service unfolds with the usual scripture-sermon-prayer format, but the added dimension of congregational participation and lots of interaction. We honour the children with their own place in the service, and prepare them for Church School. We have both Junior and Senior Choirs, an occasional Jazz ensemble and regular solo performances.

We follow the Revised Common Lectionary, which is available here.

This Week's Readings

Use the above link to follow the lectionary readings week-by-week.


Our annual Summer Solstice Walk in High Park is set for Thursday, June 19th at 6 pm. We gather near the Grenadier Cafe, walk for a while, and return for a meal. Speak to Kathy Steiner for more information.

A Minute for Mission

What exactly does the Mission and Service Fund support? First, it supports our worship life—our resources for congregations large and small, our ethnic ministries, our theological schools, and our intern ministers. M&S also gives us a united voice. As Canada's largest Protestant denomination, we can play a significant role in Canada. Our united voice, 600,000 strong, is heard on social issues, through advocacy, and in our appeals for care of creation. Our presence around the world is felt through the work of our partners. Ask the children at Los Quinchos in Nicaragua. Ask Joyce Riungu and the women she serves through the National Council of Churches of Kenya. Ask the UCW women who travelled to Zambia to see M&S supported work.

The life and existence of The United Church of Canada depend on the Mission and Service Fund. It's who we are and what we do. Without M&S our church would not be. It's as simple as that. To the 200,000 who financially support The United Church of Canada, thank you! If you do not support your church through M&S, will you consider doing so today?

I'm learning as I go

In the late 90’s, when Central first started to welcome our community to share a weekly meal, I was introduced to the term “Harm Reduction.” It seemed to me a whole separate, rather undercover department of social services. It involve closed doors and anonymous packages—and the people who went behind the doors were a different kind of “poor” but definitely “marginalized”—a word that has become more frequently used.

The marginalized were drug addicts and sex workers and often dealing with alcohol issues too. In the hierarchy of the drop-in population they sat below the low income and those coping with poverty and mental illness. “Harm reduction” meant helping them to stay healthy by providing condoms, needle exchange and safe crack use kits and people with whom they felt safe for counselling. We offered anonymous testing for Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS and while not condemning their practices offered help to change their life styles. All good and necessary work; but not something I felt I should not mention in church when talking about the drop-in!

Today, we recognize that everything we do in the drop-in is about “harm reduction.” The social integration, the nutritious food, the activities, and the safety of the place all contribute to reducing stress and improving health. The workshops on topics such as sexual health, Hepatitis C and diabetes are offered to everyone and are intended to keep us all healthy. The showers and laundry facilities, the clothing, bedding and toiletries offered not only reduces harm from fleas and bedbugs, but a toothbrush and toothpaste prevents cavities.

The safe crack kits are still available but in discrete brown paper sandwich bags and we’ve added kits for safe piercings. Like many things from government, the City of Toronto now requires a far more detailed account recorded of the person who receives a package. We have trained “peer workers” who take the materials to bars and barber shops and can also encourage their peers use safely and reduce the potential harm.

The condoms now sit openly like a colourful dish of candy on the coffee table in the lounge since we recognize many individuals have sexual relationships and need protection. Posters warn people of dangerous drugs being circulated and the Bad Date Coalition prints a monthly newsletter where sex workers publicize descriptions of people, places and vehicles where they have encountered danger. We encourage visiting older teens to volunteer with breaking apart the condoms which come in strips, so they can talk with the trained workers about prevention of sexual diseases.

And I am finally talking about harm reduction openly in a church newsletter!

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

On Wednesday June 11 at 7.30 pm, the Mount Dennis Community Association (MDCA) meeting "Friends of Mount Dennis Parks" will take place at LEF/MDNC, 1269 Weston Road. This is part of a continuing effort to support volunteer groups that take partial responsibility for city parks and work with the City to have more local input and ownership of local spaces.

St. Philips Anglican Church will be having its second annual Mom-to-Mom sale on Saturday, June 21 from 8 am to 1 pm, 60 Dixon Road.

June 26 (8 pm) is the official opening of the community art project at Weston Road and Dennis Avenue. This cooperative art project will be a collection of lamp posts with blue and white lights shining at different levels to provide a welcome to Mount Dennis.

On Saturday, July 13 (11 am to 1 pm) visit the MDCA Party in the Park and Fishing Event. There will be free food (burgers etc.) and a group called Urban Fishers teaching kids to fish in Topham Pond in Eglinton Flats (rods and bait provided). It is a great family event and chance for people to explore Topham Pond, its turtles, great blue heron and other wildlife.

Also in July 13th (1 to 8 pm), Action for Neighbourhood Change is hosts the "West One" event on Ray Avenue next to Mount Dennis Neighbourhood Centre. There will be various stalls, food and live music on a stage.

In the Library

The One Year Bible by Various Authors (and the Holy Spirit)

The best-selling One Year Bible, which helps you read the entire Bible in as little as 15 minutes a day, has been updated in a new look. The One Year Bible divides God's Word into daily readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, creating an achievable, unforgettable devotional experience.

Worth a Look

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