July 22, 2021

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This will be the last blast for a while, and I want to express my thanks to everyone who made this unique form of communication possible. Our blast “staff” includes writers, photographers, link-suggesters, announcement providers, and helpful refinement-makers. We went from a rather primitive little blast/site in 2008 to the format you see today. Together, our blast team has kept the congregation informed, inspired, and prepared for Sunday worship. Thank you all, and special thanks to our readers!

Preparing for Sunday with some of the notes shared by the organizing team: The service will be limited to 75 attendees. You will be required to wear your mask, sign in when you arrive, and answer a handful of screening questions. Seating in the sanctuary will be in twos and threes, and larger families are encouraged to follow this guideline as well. After the service, there will be a brief presentation and a metaphorical “toast” to Michael and Carmen. There will also be a book to sign.

Congratulations to Kori and Dan on the birth of baby Jamie, born on Monday night. And congratulations to new grandmother Jenny!

Preparing for August 1 with Weston Presbyterian Church. Dr. Odland has requested that you send your email address directly to him, and he will add you to the list for the remaining summer services (August 1 to September 5). His email is lance@westonpresbyterian.ca

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible. What seemed a short assignment continued for six months!

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Photo by Joyce Klamer

More Announcements

We were saddened to learn of the death of Don Lynn, longtime and beloved member of Mount Dennis United Church. While his field was information technology, his real passion was volunteering. Read about him here.

Part of a note we received from Diana Stapleton, Chair of WAES: “We are so appreciative of your generous ongoing donations, and for all the other amazing support we have received from the church. This type of consistent donation certainly helps us plan our purchases. It also show we have people who care about the community, month in and month out. It means a lot to all of us at WAES.”More from the note we received from Diana Stapleton, Chair of WAES:

Our friends at Shakespeare in Action are hosting a weekend of free, outdoor performances featuring Weston Silver Band, Rebanks and Alphonse by Wajdi Mouawad presented by Theaturtle. From July 29 to August 1, there will be free, live performances of music or dance. All safety protocols issued by the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto will be in place. Therefore, they ask that you pre-register for this event and arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the performance begins. Learn more (and register) here.

Worship at Central

If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 10 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 145: “All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your faithful shall bless you.”

Ephesians 3.14-21: “I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit.

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Reconciliation

This week, a message from the Moderator of the United Church of Canada addressed to Residential School Survivors, Families, and Communities:

I want to acknowledge the pain that you, as survivors of residential schools, families, and communities, are experiencing. We understand that the pain endured at these schools went far beyond their walls and grounds into community and through generations.

The United Church of Canada operated 15 residential schools: Alberni, Ahousaht, Coqualeetza, Kitimaat (Elizabeth Long Memorial Home), and Port Simpson (Crosby Boys’ and Girls’ Home) in BC; Edmonton, McDougall Orphanage/Morley, and Red Deer in Alberta; Cote (formerly Crowstand), File Hills, and Round Lake in Saskatchewan; Brandon, Norway House, and Portage la Prairie in Manitoba; and Mount Elgin in Ontario. We are aware of cemeteries on some of these sites, and we know that there are also unmarked and likely undocumented graves of children.

We acknowledge that our role in the residential school system and colonization is an abuse of power through our Christian faith. We hope that our ongoing work for reconciliation, which has been guided by United Church residential school survivors, more truly reflects what our faith calls us to be and do. We are committed to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, especially those directed to us as perpetrators. These include those related to burial sites and missing children.

In the spirit of truth telling and transparency, we want to share the work that we have done, in consultation with community, on identifying and restoring graveyards. The United Church in southwestern Manitoba has actively supported ongoing work on the identification and preservation of gravesites related to the residential school in Brandon; this includes the 104 graves identified off-site in 2018. In Saskatchewan, we supported the community of Okanese in preserving its graveyard and honouring the children buried there. The United Church of Canada has also been a partner in the preservation of the Regina Industrial School cemetery. (Regina was operated by the Presbyterian church, but the United Church shares responsibility.) United Churches in Red Deer, Alberta, worked to preserve the residential school cemetery in cooperation with the communities whose children were sent to Red Deer. There has also been research into possible graves at the Edmonton Residential School.

This work is just a beginning, and we understand that it must continue. Steps are required to properly locate, identify, and honour these children, and for the truth that Indigenous people have always known to finally be heard. Any work we do to help search grounds of and surrounding United Church residential schools must be done with respect for, the consent of, and with the guidance of Indigenous leadership, communities, survivors, and families. We know that we are not the experts in this work. We will continue to share all the documents and knowledge we have. If anyone in community wishes to share information and expertise with us, we will gratefully accept it and be committed to transparency.

We are committed to meeting with leadership to hear how they wish to proceed, and whether they would like our assistance at any stage. This includes financial assistance for what community leadership deems appropriate.

The United Church of Canada is committed to reconciliation and to transparency in our efforts to support Indigenous leadership, communities, survivors, and families in bringing these children the honour we denied them in life.

With respect,
The Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott
Moderator

Central at 200

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee:

The third [and current] building was opened on December 18, 1887, when the Rev. R. Large was minister. The Christian Guardian reports the special preachers for the occasion being Rev. Dr. Harper, District Chairman, in the morning; Rev. J.W. McCallum, a former pastor, in the afternoon; and in the evening the Rev. R. Boyle of Brampton preached to “an overflowing house.”

The church seated approximately 460. Two entrances off King Street, reached by a dozen fairly wide steps led through the base of each spire up short flights of stairs directly into the main auditorium.

Side aisles sloped down to the south end where the pulpit platform and choir loft were elevated considerably above floor level. A communion rail formed a semicircle in front of the pulpit. The choir accommodation for about 35 was in three rows, two on either side of the organ and one behind it, facing the congregation.

A small pipe organ was replaced in 1911 by a Warren 12-stop organ at a cost of $1,850.00. This instrument had an electric pump but there was a hand pump behind the choir loft which was often called into use when the power failed. Prior to the installation of the electric pump it was manually operated.

Minutes of the October, 1893, meeting of the Trustees record a discussion concerning the appointment of a boy for pumping the church organ and the Church Steward was authorized to appoint one, subject to the approval of the Board. It was later recorded that one was obtained for $12.00 per year! Unfortunately, he was not named.

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the “voice” of someone who has experienced homelessness.

I’m an alcoholic, which could be thought of as a mental illness, but others out here are homeless because they are mentally ill. Many homeless people have untreated schizophrenia, so they hallucinate. They hear voices, often mean ones, I think. I listen to them talking to themselves or the voices in their heads who can tell them to do scary things. Bipolar is another hard one – up one day and down another. I’ve seen them sitting on their beds crying and crying. Lots of us have depression. Who wouldn’t, living the way we do, not knowing if we’ll have food or somewhere to sleep, or the cops will decide to rough you up for loitering? I just want a little dignity shown to me. To be treated like I was when I was the boss. I don’t get why people are nice if they think the person is rich, but not if they are poor. Do you want to help? Treat us with compassion.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

July 15, 2021

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Part of a note we received from Diana Stapleton, Chair of WAES: “We are so appreciative of your generous ongoing donations, and for all the other amazing support we have received from the church. This type of consistent donation certainly helps us plan our purchases. It also show we have people who care about the community, month in and month out. It means a lot to all of us at WAES.”

Taye sent along the following: As you are aware, Michael’s final service is fast approaching. A committee has been busy preparing for a one-time-only face-to-face service on Sunday, July 25 at 10 am, to send him off. However, due to Covid restrictions, attendance is limited. If you are hoping to attend the service in person, we ask that you please complete this form to RSVP: https://forms.gle/Ls6ZSWeAYXK6UHCr6

You will be notified via email to confirm your attendance. The service will also be broadcast via ZOOM as per usual.

Summer services continue with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25). We then shift to Weston Presbyterian Church for the remaining six Sundays (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

Thanks to Judith for sending along the following: This Saturday July 17, ActiveTO is coming to York South Weston! As part of ActiveTO, Black Creek Drive will be opened up for people to walk, run, or cycle between Trethewey and Lawrence from 6 am and 9 pm. Come on out with family and friends! ActiveTO also send along a photo from the Allen Road event last month (below).

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 23: “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Reconciliation

Barbara Bisgrove sent along a number of articles related to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This article reviews books Barbara has read to improve her knowledge of Indigenous peoples.

[Warning: Some disturbing content]

“Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City” by Tanya Talaga. Of all the books this one had the most indelible effect. Any mention of Thunder Bay and I see the images Talaga’s words placed in my mind of police and Indigenous people near the river. I finally understood the challenges facing these Canadian teenagers, and the dreadful sadness of their story.

From 2000 to 2011, seven indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay. They were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home because there was no high school on their reserves. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the -20 Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Tanya is Ojibwe with roots in Fort William First Nation in Ontario, Canada. She worked as a journalist at the Toronto Star for more than twenty years, and has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism. Talaga holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.

She is also the President and CEO of Makwa Creative, a production company focused on Indigenous storytelling. Spirit to Soar, Mashkawi-manidoo bimaadiziwin, is a one-hour documentary inspired by Tanya Talaga’s book, Seven Fallen Feathers. The film looks at how the book came to Talaga, when she travelled to Thunder Bay as a newspaper journalist on a federal election assignment, but discovered instead the story of seven First Nations high school students who had either died or gone missing.

Central at 200

May be an image of outdoors
Photo from the Weston Historical Society

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee:

William Watson Sr. who was a school teacher and later Superintendent of Schools in York Township, lived for a number of years until his death in 1883 in Weston, in a house on Church Street at the end of what Dr. Watson says they used to call “Catholic Lane.”

This was in all probability George Street and the house was very likely one of those demolished in 1961 to make way for the erection of an apartment building on the north side of Church Street opposite George Street. William Watson, in addition to being Sunday School Superintendent, was a Local Preacher and also conducted a Sunday morning Class Meeting in the basement of the old church for many years. He was an active member of the Good Templar’s Lodge which also met in the church basement. His home was always open to the young ministers of the circuit, who preached at Weston but who lived at Woodbridge.

According to Dr. Tyrrell, our second church was built by his father, the “Squire” referred to by Dr. Watson. In 1875, following a fire which burned the Grammar School on King Street, classes were held in the basement of this church. The newly appointed principal at that time was Mr. George Wallace, B.A., formerly a teacher at Upper Canada College, and he lived with Mr. William Tyrrell.

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the firsthand experience of someone who has experienced homelessness.

Some drop-ins do free haircuts, but you’ve got to be there on the right day. When I’m cleaned up, counsellors will say, “You did it once. Why not try getting back into business?” But I don’t believe I could. I would just drink away the start-up money. That’s my destination, to drink away every chance I get until I die under some concrete bridge. Alone. That scares me.  It’s alright being alone when I know what’s going on, then I can defend myself. But the idea of being sick and knowing death is coming is scary. I hope whoever finds my body can get in touch with my wife, so she can say she’s a widow, not whatever story she makes up now to account for my absence. Would anyone bury me, do you think, and say a kind word?

In the shelter there was a guy who said to me, “I am sick and tired of always being broke.  I found myself unemployed. I lived off my credit cards for nine months hoping things would get better. I eventually lost my house to foreclosure, and because I acquired huge credit card debt, I’m in a way still paying the mortgage on the house I lost. My last good-paying job was in 2018, and that lasted only three months before they laid me off along with 49 others. I am grateful for my homeless shelter job because any of us who have a job should feel lucky, but I don’t think I’ll ever make a living-wage that will get me out of my financial crisis. This is not how I dreamed my adult years would be.”

Summer isn’t so bad for the homeless.  Places to sleep, like Out of the Cold, close, but there are some nice spots in the parks where you can hide quite well and enjoy a warm night under the stars. Sometimes I’ll pick up a newspaper someone left on a bench – they are good insulation under you – and I’ll read the business section and think about what I left behind. I read reviews of movies, programs on TV and feel bummed I’ll never see them. The library is a great place to go because they let you stay there much of the day. You can read the magazines and newspapers if you don’t bother anyone.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

July 8, 2021

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Perfect summer picture from Cathy Leask

Taye sent along the following: As you are aware, Michael’s final service is fast approaching. A committee has been busy preparing for a one-time-only face-to-face service on Sunday, July 25 at 10 am, to send him off. However, due to Covid restrictions, attendance is limited. If you are hoping to attend the service in person, we ask that you please complete this form to RSVP: https://forms.gle/Ls6ZSWeAYXK6UHCr6

You will be notified via email to confirm your attendance. The service will also be broadcast via ZOOM as per usual.

The Chair of your Church Council, Kathy Steiner, send along the following update regarding the pastoral search: “The search team has completed the position description for a supply minister and have posted it on the United Church Hub website where potential candidates can apply.  We will keep you updated of all changes.” Thank you Kathy and Church Council Executive members.

Summer services continue with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25). We then shift to Weston Presbyterian Church for the remaining six Sundays (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Tiger lilies at Six Mile Lake by Donna Latimer

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 24: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.

Luke 14.1-14: “On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.”

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Reconciliation

Barbara Bisgrove sent along a number of articles related to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This article reviews books Barbara has read to improve her knowledge of Indigenous peoples.

“From the Ashes. My Story of Being Metis, Homeless, and Finding my Way” by Jesse Thistle: Jesse’s story is not a happy one. I did not have good feelings reading it, only sadness about what humans can do to each other. He is Metis-Cree from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, now living in Toronto as assistant professor of Metis Studies at York University.

To quote CBC, George Canyon “From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up. Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.”

Jesse says “If you look through the book, you’ll see flashes of light every time I was traumatized. The way that my mind works, it’s like looking through a shard of broken glass, with all the different light fragments. I can only capture them in one- and two-page memories because they either score my soul and I bleed too much, or I can’t remember because my mind blocks it out.”

“The Marrow Thieves” by Cherie Dimaline: This is an award-winning book for teens, and I agree with those who recognized it’s power. Cherie Dimaline, the first Aboriginal Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library, is a Metis whose fiction has been published world-wide.

I will quote from her forepage: “ The way to kill a man or a nation is to cut off his dreams, the way the whites are taking care of the Indians, killing their dreams, their magic, and their familiar spirits.” William S. Burroughs.

This is a science fiction, survival novel set in a Canada plagued by ecological disasters. Here government recruiters harvest bone marrow from Indigenous people believing they have dreams woven into the marrow and the non-Indigenous population have forgotten how to dream.

The storyteller is a young Metis boy called Frenchie, who is being hunted, and manages to join a group of people also on the run. An older Anishinaabe man takes the leadership role. He is suffering trauma after losing his husband to the recruiters. There are fights, people join the group and others leave, there is hardship with travelling and camping, and Frenchie falls in love with Rose.

Fortunately, it is not a long book – 234 pages – because I could not put it down. The last words are: “And I understood that as long as there were dreamers left, there will never be want for a dream. And I understood just what we would do for each other, just what we would do with the ebb and pull of the dream, the bigger dream that held us all. Anything. Everything.”

Central at 200

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee:

Dr. Watson, at the time of his writing, was Professor of Hebrew at Pine Hill Divinity Hall, Halifax, N.S. He states that both his father and his grandfather, Christopher Watson, were buried in the Methodist Cemetery here. 

Speaking of this brick building, Dr. Watson comments: “I well remember the Wesleyan Chapel which was in use when I was a boy. It was a plain rectangular building with a basement where the Sunday School was held. It  faced on Main Street.  A grey stone with the name “Wesleyan Chapel A.D. 1849’ was set into the brick immediately above the door. Steps went up the wall from each side of the door and immediately underneath steps went down into the basement. The basement was partially beneath the ground and in wet weather water often lay upon the floor. The church was plainly furnished but was comfortable and usually well filled with worshippers. The pulpit was high up on the Eastern wall, and approached by steps. In front of the pulpit and beneath it was the Communion Table surrounded by a railing. At the back of the church (the west end) the Choir sat on a slightly raised platform. There was a door on the south side of the pulpit, opening out on the Cemetery, and on a summer day, when this door was open, it was a pleasant sight to look out upon the peaceful scene—the stones, the green grass, the trees and shrubs. Squire Tyrrell and his family used to sit in a side pew near this door.”

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the firsthand experience of someone who has experienced homelessness.

Summer is still to come, but now it is spring, so by noon I hope it will have warmed up a bit. It is a long day of survival ahead. Earlier in the week, in the jostling to get off a bus I was able to lift some guy’s wallet. That got me some cash for a bottle of whiskey, and I had a solo party with my memories. Today I’ll stand outside the liquor store and trust someone will take pity on me. Occasionally I’m lucky and meet a guy who is already drunk, out to pick up some more liquor and not thinking straight, so he gives me a ten or a twenty, not realizing what he’s doing.

My joints ache from sleeping on the ground and I need to find someone who will cut my toenails. When you walk about with wet boots and no socks you get foot infections. I could use a haircut too. I look wild which puts people off giving me money. As another guy said to me, his wish would be for people to see him and not look away when they pass him on the street. “They don’t see me; they see that stigma. They think I’m violent, I’m strange, I’m different — I’m just simple. I need someone to help me.”

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

July 1, 2021

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is about-central.png

There is a general sense this year that our celebration of Canada Day ought to be muted. It’s still Canada Day, and it’s still a holiday, but the events of the last few weeks suggest that a big party isn’t appropriate. The discovery of the location of unmarked graves on the grounds of three residential school properties has caused grief, anger, and the need to do some soul-searching.

I’m reminded of the motto of the Order of Canada, the second highest civilian honour granted in Canada. Each medal us inscribed with Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam, meaning, “They desire a better country.” While it’s not the motto of Canada, it seems to sum up the shared desire of Canadians: we can always do better. Whether it’s in the realm of public policy, the arts, education, athletics—our desire to do better is what unites us.

The crisis that we are currently experiencing should call to that deep urge to improve, to become the better country we seek. We begin by being attentive to the news, to understand what is happening in this moment. We continue by educating ourselves, doing the reading and research required to understand how we got to this place. And finally to reach out, to seek reconciliation. The United Church of Canada has been working on this since the 1980s, and continues to seek reconciliation. Here is a page that explains our efforts.

Perhaps a good place to start is to read the 94 Calls to Action found in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, which can be found here.

The Chair of your Church Council, Kathy Steiner, send along the following update regarding the pastoral search: “The search team has completed the position description for a supply minister and have posted it on the United Church Hub website where potential candidates can apply.  We will keep you updated of all changes.” Thank you Kathy and Church Council Executive members.

Summer services continue with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25). We then shift to Weston Presbyterian Church for the remaining six Sundays (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 48: “We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.”

Mark 6.1-13: “He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.”

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Reconciliation

Barbara Bisgrove sent along a number of articles related to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This article reviews books Barbara has read to improver her knowledge of Indigenous peoples.

“Bone Black” by Carol Rose Goldeneagle: The Cree woman storyteller is faced with the disappearance of her twin sister, and she is not satisfied with the reaction of the local police, so she takes things into her own hands. It is a modern story, set in the Prairies. She makes a living through her pottery and has a kiln which plays a part in the story. “Bone black” is an old glazing technique which she comes to use. The dark turn she takes for personal justice was unpleasant for me, yet I read to the end!

She writes: “Lord agrees to a road trip. He knows it will involve drinking a good deal of gas station coffees, which will likely come with their own stories. He knows that a road trip like this means driving for hours and hours with nothing but wild grass lands, buttes filled with native bush and flora, and harvested crops. He and Wren will be exploring together, celebrating things that are ordinary yet extraordinary. Things like finding delightful greasy-spoon diners and wandering main streets.”

“A Two-Spirit Journey. The Autobiography of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder” by Ma-Nee Chacaby: The book has illustrations, a glossary of Indigenous words, a family tree and a long list of people mentioned with their relationships to others. By the end of the book, I felt I met and understood something of Ma-Nee’s life and her friends and family. She was raised and taught her spiritual and cultural traditions by her grandmother in a remote Ojibwa community near Lake Nipigon. In her own home there was poverty and alcoholism. She suffered physical and sexual abuse from various adults and had a violent husband. An alcoholic herself, she escaped with her children to Thunder Bay. Ma-Nee became sober and trained as alcoholism counsellor. She was a foster mother to many children despite a visual impairment.

Reading the book – not written as great literature but as storytelling – was like listening to life stories at the drop-in, and I was comfortable with the author’s style. She writes: “Most adults I knew in Ombabika were Christian. At times my grandmother also went to services at the Catholic and Protestant churches. She enjoyed the celebrations and socializing that could happen there. My kokum said that white people believed their God lived in a house, but she did not believe that. She instead believed that Gitchi Manitou (the Great Spirit) lived everywhere. Still, my grandmother told me we should be respectful whenever we visited church, and that we should listen ad always try to find at least one good thing in the minister’s sermon to take away and use in our own lives.”

Central at 200

There was a Methodist Episcopal Church at Church and Cross, which merged with Central some time after 1884.

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee:

No detail is available about the first church building of 1821, except that it was of log construction and faced on what was then known as “Albion Road” subsequently called in turn “Weston Plank Road,” “Main Street,” and now “Weston Road.” In keeping with the deed of 1821, this church was probably connected with the American Episcopal Church. 

In 1849, a larger building was erected, also facing on but closer to Weston Road. This was red brick and seated 220 people, with accommodation for the Sunday School in the basement. The corner stone for this building bore the inscription “Wesleyan Chapel A.D. 1849”. This stone, missing for some years, came back into our possession in 1961. It had been removed when the building was demolished in 1887 to make way for the third church, and put into the wall of a house on the farm of the Dennis family. It was subsequently placed in the west wall of the narthex of the present building, along with the stone bearing the date 1887 which is over the stairway leading to the gallery. 

We have a fairly detailed description of the second chapel as contained in a sketch of the life of William Watson, Superintendent of the Sunday School from 1861 to 1883. This was written by his son, the Rev. William G. Watson in 1940 “for the archives of Central United Church, Weston.”

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the firsthand experience of someone who has experienced homelessness.

I fold the sleeping bag and leave it in a dry spot for someone else, grab my backpack and climb up the ravine onto the street. There are only a few people are around. I head to the coffee shop and stand outside with my hand out, hoping for enough cash for food and coffee.  If the owner sees me, he chases me away so I’m careful how I do it. Usually, someone anxious for a coffee themselves or who recognize me, gives me money. Mostly my bowels are trained to act around this time, so if I’m in a cafe I can use the washroom. 

This is a solitary life, sort of powerless too. There are not many choices or people I can rely on and each day is just another struggle for survival. One time I slept for months in my car. The worst thing with that was cops coming round and moving you on. I could never manage the rent for rooms on my own, so had a steady stream of people staying over and paying for the night. But some were so gross, and they didn’t take care of my things. They would foul up my washroom, leave cigarette holes in my couch, and be hacking and spitting. Those days are over too.

Warmed by the coffee I set out walking a couple of miles to get to a drop-in inside an old downtown church.  If I get there in time, I’ll get breakfast and maybe today the staff will be handing things out like socks and T shirts, mitts and scarves. Yesterday I got a box of crackers and a bottle of water. I only take what I can put on or use right away. I don’t want to be carrying lots of stuff around with me. Same reason I don’t use the food bank.  If it were summer, it would be lovely sitting in the park eating and drinking – sharing the crackers with the grey squirrels and Canada geese.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

June 24, 2021

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is about-central.png

Carol’s picnic basket! Congratulations to Kerri, winner of the picnic basket quiz, with seven correct answers! Second place goes to Cathy! Thanks for guessing and keeping the spirit of picnic alive a while longer.

Summer services continue with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25). We then shift to Weston Presbyterian Church for the remaining six Sundays (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

Shining Waters Regional Council is hosting a virtual gathering to mark and celebrate Toronto Pride on Zoom. Join the Zoom Meeting, Thursday June 24, 2021 at 7 pm using the following link: https://united-church.zoom.us/j/96531401671 (Meeting ID: 965 3140 1671)

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 130: “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.”

Mark 5.21-43: “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.”

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Reconciliation

Barbara Bisgrove sent along a number of articles related to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This article confronts the question “Why can’t they just get over it?”

They are still dealing with the effects of colonization. For example, the Indian Act still controls many aspects of their lives and places limits on Indigenous peoples, and new developments happen in Indigenous communities and cultures every day.

Colonization has had a lasting effect on Indigenous communities. This has resulted in challenges including poverty, depression, intergenerational trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. There are many social and economic barriers the communities and their youth must overcome in order to break this harmful cycle.

Many Indigenous people continue to experience racism, sometimes direct and intentional, and sometimes in the form of uninformed misunderstandings.

Residential schools are not “ancient history.” It may seem as though they belong to a dark and ancient history due to the horrific conditions the 150,000 children (of which 6,000 died or disappeared) were subjected to but the last one closed in 1996. That’s not ancient history.

The mandate of the schools was to assimilate the children into settler society. The actions taken to fulfil the mandate of assimilation were labelled “cultural genocide” by Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in 2015. Genocide is not a term most people associate with Canada.

Children as young as six were forcibly removed from their homes. From the moment they crossed the threshold of the school they were thrust into a harsh, unforgiving, linguistically and culturally alien world. Punishment was often severe, sexual, physical and psychological abuse common. The legacy of the trauma those children suffered is carried forth through the generations.

Senator Murray Sinclair, former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, made these comments in regard to a fellow senator who posed the question “Why can’t they get over it?”:

“My answer has always been: Why can’t you always remember this? Because this is about memorializing those people who have been the victims of a great wrong. Why don’t you tell the United States to ‘get over’ 9/11? Why don’t you tell this country to ‘get over’ all the veterans who died in the Second World War, instead of honouring them once a year? . . . We should never forget, even once we have learned from it because it’s part of who we are. It’s not just a part of who we are as survivors and children of survivors and relatives of survivors, it’s part of who we are as a nation. And this nation must never forget what it once did to its most vulnerable people.”

Information taken from: “Indigenous Workforce Participation Initiative,” Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 1998, with updates from Statistics Canada, and from “Indigenous Strong, Manitoba Strong: Indigenous contributions to the Manitoba Economy” (2019).

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "Artist Talk with Star Nahwegahbo June 29th 1:30 June29t1:30pm pm- 3:00pm Teachings from the Land, through the Lens of an Indigenous Mother. Το register Click the Link Below"

Weston & Mount Dennis Community Renaissance Project invites you to an artist talk with Star Nahwegahbo. She is an Anishinaabe and Scottish settler from Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, Ontario, currently living in Tkaronto. Star is a mother, interdisciplinary artist, former Social Service Worker of 12 years, grassroots community organizer, and expressive arts facilitator and she lives and works in the Mount Dennis Neighborhood. Star’s work explores the parallels of motherhood and land, the impact of colonial violence on families, grief and medicine, and the art of braiding ourselves back into our rightful place in creation. She acknowledges that her work is guided and co-created with ancestral and land-based intelligence. To register, click this link.

Central at 200

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee:

The story then traces Lever’s move from the mouth of the river to a place about two miles north of Denison’s farm, which would put it in the vicinity of the present Weston Road and Wilson Avenue. Here he is reported to have built a log home and a log meeting house where services were held. This may have been so, but our more recent and fairly authenticated information rules out the possibility of such meetings being held as early as 1812.

We have in our possession an uncertified (typewritten) copy of a “Memorial” bearing two dates: “20th March, 1821” and “11th June,1821”, which appears to be a trust deed by which Elizabeth Davis and John Davis Porter granted to seven trustees an acre of land at the corner of what later became King Street and Weston Road “in trust that they shall erect a house for public worship for the use of the Episcopal Church in the Province of Upper Canada”. The trustees were Michael Miller, Thomas Hill, Caleb Peck, James Farr, Erastus Howard, Nathan Martin and Robert Farr.

Provision was made that as any one or more of these trustees died or ceased to be a member of the said church, the Minister or Preacher should call a meeting to elect one or more persons to fill the vacancy or vacancies in order to keep the number of trustees at seven. (The number of trustees of the present congregation is 15).

Elizabeth Davis was the widow of Benjamin Davis, and John Davis Porter appears to have been a ward or an employee of Benjamin at the time he executed his last will and testament dated October 15, 1818. John Porter married Louisa Longstaff on April 21, 1825, and one of their nine children, Mary Porter, born on October 29, 1837, married Robert S. Brown on October 1, 1856. Direct descendants of this union are among the present members of this congregation.

Copies of other deeds in our possession indicate that further lands were deeded to the Trustees of the Methodist Church in Weston; all by the same John Davis Porter:

Jan. 6, 1844 “Eleven Perches” for 12 pounds, 10 shillings
Nov. 11, 1852 ”One Rood four Perches”
Jan. 1, 1858 Area not mentioned, for 40 pounds.

It is interesting to note that the transaction in 1844 was not registered at the time. Subsequently, in order to clear up the estate of John Davis Porter who “departed this life” on May 25,1874, the Trustees and the widow, the surviving children and other interested parties, executed an Indenture dated Nov. 1, 1876, releasing the property to the Trustees. This indenture was duly registered at 11:35 o’clock of the third day of July, A.D. 1877.

More of Our History

Last week we had a coffee hour discussion following the Toronto Star article about the 1911 discovery of bones during the construction of the old Westminster Sunday School. The article references a photo of the discovery (warning: photo shows human remains).

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the firsthand experience of someone who has experienced homelessness.

I thought about how it was before I was homeless. People don’t believe me when I tell them I worked all over the world, had 20 men working for me, and was making $250,000 a year. I had a beautiful wife and kids. All I have left is a crumpled photograph of them all sitting on the deck of our yacht taken eight years ago, so I imagine the children are grown now. My wife kicked me out in the end, and I don’t blame her. I was drinking continuously and acting stupidly. I couldn’t hold the business together and eventually had to fire all my staff.

At first, when you start drinking a few glasses, you feel fantastic. I feel I am capable of so much, even if I’m not sure where my keys and phone are! I feel it’s perfectly acceptable to start talking to random people. I love everyone and anyone and tell people loudly how much I love them. I have a lot of conversations about nothing at all. I listen to their life stories and I tell them mine. I sing and dance with unknown people, I buy drinks for everyone, I’m super compassionate. Somehow, worrying thoughts are banished from my mind and I find space for hope. But I needed more and more alcohol to feel good thoughts and avoid feeling melancholy and sorry for myself. At first, the booze took away the pain in my back from a drunk motorcycle crash. But later it didn’t even do that. I just feel tired of the world, and I must pee a lot.

It feels good when you’ve got just the right amount of alcohol in you and you can forget what a failure you are. I’d rather drink than eat. My face looks much older than my age and I’ve lost a few teeth since I stopped going to the dentist. I have an unkempt beard and my clothes hang on me because I have lost so much weight. When I do buy food, it isn’t always the healthiest because I just want to feel full. I should be smart like the raccoons I see in the parks. They gain so much weight in the fall to keep them warm through the winter, that they look like hairy puff balls. As I emerge from my sleeping bag, I nod to a few other fellows who are doing the same thing. One guy shares a tent with a woman friend, but mostly we’re guys down here. I run my hands through my hair and straighten my clothes, take a pee in the bushes off to the side, and that’s my toiletries done for the start of my day.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

June 17, 2021

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Thanks to everyone who took part in the Church School picnic, and everyone who helped put it together. We ran out of time before we could do the final game, but we can do it now! The game is called Carol’s Picnic Basket (appropriate, since it’s Carol’s picnic basket). Here is how it works: reply to this email with a list of items you think might be in Carol’s picnic basket. You get a point for each correct answer. There are a lot of items in the basket: some obvious, some not-so-much! Try your luck.

This week!  Summer services begin with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25) and ends with six Sundays at Weston Presbyterian Church (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Their cup runneth over! WKNC has paused clothing/other item donations for the time being. Seems lots of generous folks have been spring cleaning.

Zoom worship continues! Join us this Sunday (June 20) beginning at 10 am. You will still receive the now traditional 8 am service by email. However, you can now watch a live version of the same service on your computer or device, followed by a time of fellowship. Like this past Sunday, you will be greeted by a host as you arrive (we recommend five or so minutes early) and have the opportunity to remain on the call for “coffee time” after the service. 

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 9: “The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”

Mark 4.35-41: “A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Reconciliation

Barbara Bisgrove sent along a number of articles related to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This is the text of the apology The United Church of Canada made to Indigenous peoples in 1986. The apology was delivered by The Right Rev. Robert Smith, Moderator of The United Church of Canada (1984-86).

Long before my people journeyed to this land your people were here, and you received from your Elders an understanding of creation and of the Mystery that surrounds us all that was deep, and rich, and to be treasured.

We did not hear you when you shared your vision. In our zeal to tell you of the good news of Jesus Christ we were closed to the value of your spirituality.

We confused Western ways and culture with the depth and breadth and length and height of the gospel of Christ.

We imposed our civilization as a condition for accepting the gospel.

We tried to make you be like us and in so doing we helped to destroy the vision that made you what you were.

As a result you, and we, are poorer and the image of the Creator in us is twisted, blurred, and we are not what we are meant by God to be.

We ask you to forgive us and to walk together with us in the Spirit of Christ so that our peoples may be blessed and God’s creation healed.

Central at 200

Another view of Weston Presbyterian Church on parade, 1912.

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee:

The Guardian’s story states that Mr. Lever moved about five miles from York in 1821 and “selected Weston as his place of worship but retained his office for a while as Superintendent of the Sabbath School in York.” James Lever, in his petition for land, dated July 24,1818, to the Government of Upper Canada (a photostatic copy of which we obtained from the Public Archives of Canada) makes reference to his immigration to Upper Canada in 1817. While not named as one of the original Trustees, we believe he was one of the active founders of the Weston Church. He served some 40 years as Sunday School Superintendent and did some lay preaching on the circuit. A son, John, became an ordained minister but there is not record of his having served the Weston Church.

An earlier history tells of James Lever having settled near the mouth of the Humber River and preaching to men in the Canadian Militia during the War of 1812. The story mentions his contacting fellow Methodist John Denison, who was farming on land obtained by grant on the Humber River near what later became the southerly limits of Weston. There are some signs of confusion here, for John Denison was an Anglican. Nevertheless the reference to this property appears accurate since there still exists a Denison family cemetery and a small chapel at that location. However, there was a Dennis who had a connection with the young Methodist congregation in Weston and who held land in the vicinity of the point where Eglinton Avenue reaches the Humber River. It was from an old house on this site that the corner stone of our second church building (1849) was retrieved in 1961.

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the firsthand experience of someone who has experienced homelessness.

I open my eyes slowly to a glimmer of morning light and the sound of birds giving me the gift of their morning chorus. Since I have been living on the streets, the birds and animals that share them have become my friends. As I begin to waken, I remembered that I stayed under a familiar grey concrete bridge last night. I was tired, unsteady on my feet, and the idea of sleeping in a shelter did not appeal to me. Some nights I’ve exhausted myself getting there to find I am too late, and all the beds are taken. The shelters are very crowded these am used to that. You risk having things stolen or getting in fights in a shelter. They break out just because someone doesn’t like the way you looked at them. You can pick up bedbugs too – horrid itchy things that get under your clothes and leave with you. So, the idea of getting into this abandoned sleeping bag, conveniently dry and empty, was much more appealing.

I’m reluctant to leave the warmth. Of course, I am fully dressed in several layers of clothing – with extra layers of dirt and my boots are under my head. I went through yesterday’s activities in my head. It hadn’t rained, which was a plus. It is hard to panhandle when it’s raining. No one wants to stop, and you get your clothes soaked, with no way to dry them except from the heat of your body.
I had done some panhandling outside the subway station. Once I had enough money for all-day breakfast, I’d headed to a place where the owner is sympathetic, if he doesn’t have too many customers. I had a chance to clean up a bit without being hassled. Later, I had done some dumpster diving, looking for cans and bottles that I could return – anything useful to sell.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

June 10, 2021

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Read The United Church response to the recent attack in London, Ontario. In addition, our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Richard Bott shared the following prayer:

Tonight, I join with many across Canada to condemn the act of religiously motivated hatred and violence that took place in London, Ontario, on Sunday – the murder of a Muslim family and an act of terror against Islam. Let us be with all those who mourn. Let us use all that we have and all that we are to stand in the face of the evil that would allow and cause this crime of hatred. Even as one man has been arrested for his actions, let us uncover and work against the beliefs, the worldview, the racism and the hatred that supported his choice. May the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful God dwell with those who have died in paradise, and give patience and blessing to those who mourn through this time of trial.

This Sunday! The Church School picnic has gone virtual! We’re planning a Zoom picnic on Sunday, June 13 at 11.30 am. There will be games, singing, and a pet show! Plan ahead and gather a pencil and some paper, and food if you wish.

Plan ahead!  Summer services begin with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25) and ends with six Sundays at Weston Presbyterian Church (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Their cup runneth over! WKNC has paused clothing/other item donations for the time being. Seems lots of generous folks have been spring cleaning.

Speaking of WKNC, there is a vacancy on the Board of Directors for a faith-based nominee. If you are interested, please speak to Michael or Wendy Whiteley.

Celebrate Pride Month! The City of Toronto has created a page dedicated to Pride Month, including a 2021 Pride Month proclamation, milestones, and a section on how to improve 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion. Visit the page here.

Zoom worship continues! Join us this Sunday (June 13) beginning at 11 am. You will still receive the now traditional 8 am service by email. However, you can now watch a live version of the same service on your computer or device, followed by a time of fellowship. Like this past Sunday, you will be greeted by a host as you arrive (we recommend five or so minutes early) and have the opportunity to remain on the call for “coffee time” after the service. 

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 20: “The LORD answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you!”

Mark 4.26-34: “With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Reconciliation

Barbara Bisgrove sent along a number of articles related to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. This article provides background on the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Canadian Government set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008. Its primary purpose is documenting the history and impacts of the Canadian Residential School System. Truth and Reconciliation reveals the long and painful history behind Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples.

Before Europeans arrived, First Nations peoples lived on the land we now know as Canada for thousands of years. They hunted for their food and migrated to different areas of land depending on the time of the year. Each group had its own government and traditions and different groups had their own agreements among each other so they could coexist peacefully on the land.

When the Europeans arrived, they began trade relations with the First Nations peoples. The First Nations traded their animal furs for all kinds of materials including tools, cloth, and pottery. Relations between the Europeans and First Nations continued to grow and alliances began to form.

Later, these alliances were solidified through the signing of treaties, which were official agreements between Europeans and certain First Nations.

The Canadian Government set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2008. Its primary purpose is documenting the history and impacts of the Canadian Residential School System. Truth and Reconciliation reveals the long and painful history behind Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples.

Although the Europeans and First Nations signed the same documents, both sides had very different views on what the treaties actually meant.

A procession from Weston Presbyterian Church passes Central in 1912. The southeast face (without a chancel) would remain unchanged until 1938. Image from the Weston Historical Society.

Central at 200

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee:

One story built around the personal history of Mr. James Lever (one of our founders) sets 1812 as the year in which that ardent Methodist, an immigrant from Lancashire, England, commenced holding meetings and preaching services somewhat north of what was the northerly limit of the Town of Weston. This would be roughly in the vicinity of Weston Road and Wilson Avenue. However, in the obituary of James Lever in the September 1861 issue of The Christian Guardian, a Methodist publication of some years’ standing at that time, it was stated that Mr. Lever was born in England in 1769, was converted in 1815, and left England in 1817. He lived in Philadelphia for some few months and a son (Roger) was apparently born there in 1818. The Levers moved to Upper Canada that year and settled in “Little York”. Their names appear in Champion’s The Methodist Churches of Toronto (1899), and in Sanderson’s First Century of Methodism in Canada (1908),  in connection with the building of the first chapel on King Street (Toronto) on the site now occupied by the head office building of the Canadian Imperial  Bank of Commerce. 

Champion’s story sets the date of the opening service in this building as November 5th, 1818, at which time the preacher was the Reverend David Culp. He had been appointed to the Yonge Street Circuit in 1817and was also the first regular minister to serve the new Weston church. The first congregation in York was apparently connected with the American Methodist Episcopal Church and soon after the little chapel on King Street was opened, a number of Wesleyan Methodists, including the Levers, left it to hold their own meetings in the Masonic Hall. The Rev. Henry Pope, a Wesleyan Missionary from England, arrived in York in 1820 to minister to this little group but left again the same year. Some members of the Wesleyan Society as it was known, again including the Levers, returned to the King Street Chapel in that year. 

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the story of “Pete.”

Pete found himself frequently returning to parking lot bench to dream his dreams of a secure future for himself and others whose lives had collapsed. He showed his plan to people at the drop-in and received encouragement and help with the writing structure and which of a multitude of City departments would look at his plan and find him financial backers. As time passed, his plan’s pages began to get tattered and he spoke of it less frequently. Then, one day, the “For Sale” sign was taken down, and the next time he passed by a large container stood outside, filled with debris from the renovations that were occurring. Eventually, lawyers and their office staff moved in.

Pete dwelt on the feeling of unfairness, that the rich can find backers and raise money, whereas poor people like him, who may have dreams and knowledge, had little chance of starting an enterprise that would make them self-sufficient. There are inspiring stories of immigrants arriving with nothing who end up building commercial empires. But they are easily outnumbered by those who cannot find the means to rise above the poverty line. They face too many barriers.

The loss of his dream brought dark days for Pete, and the drinking and pain killers took over again. Drunk, staggering across a road, Pete was hit by a car and reinjured his shoulder, rendering him useless for casual labour or kitchen work. His liver is slowly failing, and he could see no hope of ever returning to his family. He now hides the bald spot with a buzz cut and has added a trim beard. On good days, he still plies his charm, kissing women’s hands, and using the romantic French accent to his advantage, but he is less exuberant and the twinkle in his eyes has left along with his dreams.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

June 3, 2021

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is about-central.png
Kamloops Residential School Memorial, Vancouver. Photo by GoToVan (CC BY 2.0)

Rev. Murray Pruden, the United Church’s Executive Minister for Indigenous Ministries & Justice, shared the following Prayer for the Loss in Kamloops, BC

Creator, We give thanks for this day and each day you grant us life to walk on this great land, our Mother. Give us the heart and strength to come together in prayer in time of mourning, reflection, and peace.The news we have heard these last few days of our relations, our families, the children who have been physically taken away from us and who have now been found. And with this news, we grieve for their memory, for their struggle, for their spirit. We pray for good understanding, guidance, and love for all our families and communities who will need direction and resolution at this time. And we come together in prayer and ask for your light to guide us to be a part of that needed peace, support, and resolve for everyone who is reacting to this great tragedy in our Indigenous Nations of this great land. Creator be with us, allow us to be brave. Allow us to be strong. Allow us to be gentle to one another. Allow us to be humble. But most of all, allow us to be like the Creator’s love. Peace be with us, we lift up our prayers to you. In love, trust, and truth, peace be with us all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Zoom Communion! Join us (by phone or device) on Sunday, June 6 at 11 am for the Sacrament of Communion. Gather the elements before the service and join us. The Great Thanksgiving prayer will appear in the “static” online service.  Be as creative as you wish with the bread and “wine.”

Plan ahead!  Summer services begin with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25) and ends with six Sundays at Weston Presbyterian Church (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Celebrate Pride Month! The City of Toronto has created a page dedicated to Pride Month, including a 2021 Pride Month proclamation, milestones, and a section on how to improve 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion. Visit the page here.

Save the date! The Church School picnic has gone virtual! We’re planning a Zoom picnic on Sunday, June 13 at 11.30 am. There will be games, and whatever picnic food you wish to eat. More details to follow.

Their cup runneth over! WKNC has paused clothing/other item donations for the time being. Seems lots of generous folks have been spring cleaning.

Speaking of WKNC, there is a vacancy on the Board of Directors for a faith-based nominee. If you are interested, please speak to Michael or Wendy Whiteley.

Zoom worship continues! Join us this Sunday (June 6) beginning at 11 am. You will still receive the now traditional 8 am service by email. However, you can now watch a live version of the same service on your computer or device, followed by a time of fellowship. Like this past Sunday, you will be greeted by a host as you arrive (we recommend five or so minutes early) and have the opportunity to remain on the call for “coffee time” after the service. 

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Liz Rodgerson sent along this photo of her Cinderella Plant (Night-blooming cereus).

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 138: “They shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD.”

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1: “Because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Water

Barbara Bisgrove shares more material on water, a recent focus for the Outreach Committee. This is part one of two, entitled “Ways for You to Save Water.”

Put Plastic Bottles or a Float Booster in Your Toilet Tank. To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. 

Shorten your showers. Use a kitchen timer to time your showers. Aim for five minutes or less. Showering accounts for almost 17 percent of household indoor water use — 40 gallons a day for the average family of four. Replace a regular showerhead with a water saving one.

Water by hand. Consider hand watering if you have a small garden area. House-holds that manually water with a hose typically use 33 percent less water outdoors than those that use an automatic irrigation system.

Don’t Run the Hose While Washing Your Car. Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing; this simple practice can save as much as 100 gallons when washing a car. Use a spray nozzle when rinsing for more efficient use of water.

Use a Broom, Not a Hose, to Clean Driveways and Sidewalks. Blasting leaves or stains off your walkways with water is one way to remove them, but brushing with a broom to first loosen the dirt and grime will decrease your water use and save you time in the long run.

Get smart about irrigation.  Consider investing in weather-based irrigation controllers that adjust to real weather conditions and provide water only when needed. Replace older mist-style sprinkler heads with today’s newer, and more efficient, rotator sprinkler heads, which shoot jets of waters at a slow rate to increase penetration and eliminate drift. Install new drip irrigation piping and soaker hoses for improved watering efficiency.

Capture rainwater. Find ways to save and store rainwater for use in the garden. Remember to cover your barrels to keep mosquitoes at bay. Plants prefer untreated water, so your garden will be healthier while you cut your water bill.

Water During the Early Parts of the Day; Avoid Watering When It Is Windy
Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering and late watering also reduce water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defence against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it’s windy: wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation.

Add Organic Matter to Your Garden Beds. Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Areas that are already planted can be ‘top dressed’ with compost or organic matter every year. Turn a healthy dose of compost into new garden beds when preparing the soil for planting.

Use a Soil Moisture Meter to Gauge When You Should Water Your Garden
Avoid over- or under-watering your garden with a simple-to-use soil moisture meter. The meter quickly lets you know whether the soil is dry, so you only need to water when the plant actually needs it.

Control Weeds to Reduce Competition for Water in the Garden. Weeds use water, too! If you don’t weed, the garden invaders will take up water meant for your plants. A good layer of mulch around your plants not only conserves soil moisture but helps keep weeds under control.

Central’s Trail Rangers

Central at 200

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “From Methodist Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodist to Central United” (1971) by Stanley Musselwhite:

In addition to Sunday School, midweek activities of various kinds have been provided for groups of all age levels for varying periods of time. One of the oldest of these must have been the Mission Band which was in operation early in the century. Although non existent for some years, there was some renewed interest after the 1957 re-opening. It served both girls and boys, as did also a successor group, the “Messengers.” The present organization for this junior age, “The Explorers,” is for girls only.

Central has been particularly fortunate in having able and adequate leadership through many years for its C.G.I.T. groups. This work commenced In the late 1920’s with Ev McCort, Lois Thompson, Elsie Wilcox and Maud Yeo as some of the leaders. Although this teenage girls organization has had its peaks and its valleys, they hold an enviable record among other churches in the area for size ad enthusiasm. The same cannot be said for boys work in spite of some dedicated leadership by a number of men. However, there have been over the years programs sponsored by Trail Ranger, Tuxis, Tyro and Sigma C groups; and more recently Cubs and Scouts which appear to be flourishing. Here again, while one would like to pay tribute by naming the people who have given of themselves in unselfish leadership, incomplete records ad limitations of space do not permit.

The older Young People have had their Christian Endeavour and Epworth League groups. These were succeeded In turn by the Young Peoples Society and the Young Peoples Union, but at the time of this writing there seems to be no active program for this age group. A Young Adult Group served the need of those somewhat older for some few years.

In this chapter reference should be made to the Church Tennis Club which flourished from 1921 until the late 30’s. During this period many honours in the Toronto Interchurch Tennis League were captured by our players. An attempt to re-activate this sport following the cessation of the 1939-1945 hostilities met with little success. Later, of course, the ground became part of the parking lot, and still later the site of our new East Wing.

A more modern activity, and one which would have probably caused the turning over of some of the venerable Methodist bones had they continued to rest in their original graves, was the by-weekly dance held by “Club Central.” These dances were for teenagers and took place on Saturday evenings during the Fall and Winter months. They were sponsored by the Christian Education Committee and operated by an enthusiastic group of our young people during the early 1960’s. Proceeds were invested in our present sound equipment, stage curtains, etc.

Some badminton has been played in the Church Hall, and another group which has made good use of this accommodation for some years is the “Co-Weds Club”. It has sponsored many interesting social activities including some square dancing.

Many outside organizations have enjoyed the use of various rooms and halls in our church building, including in many instances the catering facilities offered (at moderate cost) by our women’s groups. It is our hope and plan to continue and enlarge our service to the community in these and other ways.

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the story of “Pete.”

The ground floor would bustle with a café, while the upstairs could house himself and the kitchen workers. He imagined three people in all – a dishwasher, one to prepare food and another to manage the cash register and purchase supplies. Responsibility for the latter would be his job at the start. He envisioned commuters rushing into the café to grab some breakfast before the train slid into the station. There could be prepaid cards to speed up service and rewards like free samples. Set up costs – coffee urns, milk and sugar containers, heatproof disposable mugs and stir sticks – would need budgeting. Once he was making a profit, he could expand to pre-made meals to be picked up as the commuters headed home. A fridge, a couple of sinks for both hand washing and dishwashing would all be needed. Was there a washroom on the ground floor of the house?

He needed to see the place for himself. How could he convince a real estate agent that he was a genuine buyer? He had yet to convince someone to fund his business plan – still incomplete, lacking an architectural plan of the house and a budget that included the property taxes, mortgage and insurance for the lodgers and the business. These were the things that inspired and challenged him, rekindling the sense of self.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

May 27, 2021

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is about-central.png

Zoom Communion! Join us (by phone or device) on Sunday, June 6 at 11 am for the Sacrament of Communion. Gather the elements before the service and join us. The Great Thanksgiving prayer will appear in the “static” online service.

Plan ahead! Summer services begin with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25) and ends with six Sundays at Weston Presbyterian Church (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Congratulations to Mary Louise Ashbourne, 2021 recipient of the Jean Hibbert Memorial Award. Presented by the Etobicoke Historical Society, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to historical awareness and heritage preservation in Etobicoke, Toronto or Ontario. Read the citation here.

Save the date! The Church School picnic has gone virtual! We’re planning a Zoom picnic on Sunday, June 13 at 11.30 am. There will be games, and whatever picnic food you wish to eat. More details to follow.

We were sad to learn of the passing of Joan Noble, former member of Central. Joan was a very active elder: Chair of the Christian Education Committee, Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Board, and Chair of the Outreach Committee. We pray for her family: Rev. Ken, Rev. Ruth, and John. You can read her full obituary at the Globe website.

The Christian Education/Picnic Planning Committee will meet on Sunday, May 30 at 12.30 pm (by Zoom). 

Zoom worship continues! Join us this Sunday (May 30) beginning at 11 am. You will still receive the now traditional 8 am service by email. However, you can now watch a live version of the same service on your computer or device, followed by a time of fellowship. Like this past Sunday, you will be greeted by a host as you arrive (we recommend five or so minutes early) and have the opportunity to remain on the call for “coffee time” after the service. 

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 29: “Worship the LORD in holy splendor.”

Isaiah 6.1-8: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Focus on Water

Barbara Bisgrove shares more material on water, a recent focus for the Outreach Committee. This is part one of two, entitled “Ways for You to Save Water.”

“All the water that will ever be is, right now.” – National Geographic

Turn off faucets. Don’t let the water run needlessly as you wash or rinse dishes, wash your hands or face, brush your teeth or shave. Rinse vegetables in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. And fix leaks.

Keep a Bottle of Drinking Water in the Fridge: Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle. Consider buying a personal water filter which enables users to drink water safely from rivers or lakes or any available body of water.

Use every drop. Learn to repurpose water. One easy way is to capture under your colander the potable water you use to rinse fruits and veggies and deposit it in the garden. Do the same while you wait for your hot water to come in.

Double-dip dishes. Instead of letting the water run while you wash dishes, fill one sink with hot, soapy water for washing, and the other with cool, clear water for rinsing.

Fit Household Faucets with Aerators. A simple low-flow aerator saves water in the bathroom, while a swiveling aerator can serve multiple purposes in the kitchen.

Consider a smaller dishwasher. Today’s modern, efficient dishwashers can save a great deal of water. Scrape dishes instead of rinsing them before loading, and you’ll save up to 10 gallons a load.

You should run only full loads. If you generally have small loads to wash, consider buying a double-drawer model. The drawers, which use less than 2 gallons of water each, work independently, saving water, energy and detergent.

Choose the Dishwasher Over Hand Washing. It may seem counterintuitive, but it turns out washing dishes by hand uses a lot more water than running the dishwasher, even more so if you have a water-conserving model. The EPA estimates an efficient dishwasher uses half as much water, saving close to 5,000 gallons each year.

Buy a high-efficiency washer. The average family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year. Clothes washing accounts for more than 20 percent of residential indoor water use.

As a rule, front-loading machines use less water than top-loading machines.To save the most water, look for an Energy Star–certified machine. These machines use about 40 percent less water than regular washers. Clothing is flipped and spun through streams of water and repeated high-pressure sprayings.

Use Clothes Washer Only for Full Loads. With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 5 gallons (20 liters) for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load.

Go with low-flow. Toilets, for example, account for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption. Older toilets use as much as 6 gallons per flush. But the newer, dual flush toilets, use just over one-sixth of water per flush.

Central at 200

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “From Methodist Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodist to Central United” (1971) by Stanley Musselwhite:

For these Anniversary and concert programs a large wooden platform was erected extending the full width of the church auditorium and immediately in front of the choir seats. At the Sunday service all members of the School were seated in the choir loft or on this platform, and sometimes in addition, a small orchestra. At the Christmas party in 1911 a new electric lantern was tried out, (operated by Mr. Thos. Harrison) and found to be “first class.” It was put to use in the school the following January.

Sometime in the 1930’s Anniversary services gave way to White Gift services. These in more recent years have been marked by appropriate pageantry depicting the visit to the Christ Child in the Manger by the Shepherds and the Wise Men. For a while the Christmas concerts continued but for some years these have given way to parties for the small children and teenagers. The emphasis seems to have switched from a program performed by the children for the enjoyment of their parents ad friends to an entertainment for the scholars.

The Sunday School picnic has always been an important event in the yearly calendar. Dr. Watson, in the story of his father’s long association with this church, mentions the Sunday School picnic, usually held in “Holley’s Woods” near the Humber. Another author recalls many picnics held at Centre Island when special street cars and the ferry ride across Toronto Bay contributed not a little to the overall enjoyment of the day. 0f course, the traditional races and athletic events, not to mention the loaded lunch and supper tables, added their part. Other locations for the picnic have included Pelmo Park on “The Fifth” (now Jane Street), and High Park; and at least once, during World War II, Cruikshank Park on the Humber, just south of Church Street. More recently, picnics have been held at one of the Toronto Islands and Boyd Conservation Park north of Woodbridge, with the emphasis having shifted to congregational participation, and held on Saturdays rather than midweek. Called by whatever name, they have always been attended largely by the scholars, their teachers and parents, and have provided happy memories of carefree days for all who have some few years to jump back over to recall the time of their youth.

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the story of “Pete.”

About being depressed he’d say, “You don’t even bother applying for a lot of things, because you just know it’s not worth the trouble. People are not going to give you a chance. As his friend said “The hospital has labelled me as narcotics seeking. It’s on file there, so I don’t bother going there anymore. They won’t even give me a pain killer because they take one look in your eyes and say ‘Oh, you’re a druggie!’” It’s hard to get a doctor when you’re a drunk. I slashed my wrists in the emergency room. They sewed me up, threw me out on the sidewalk and told me never to come back, even if I was dying.

But amazingly, in time, Pete’s spirits picked up. He went regularly to the same drop-in centre and gradually found friends and became known to the staff. The Housing Worker found him another room to live in and helped him with applications for financial assistance. The Harm Reduction worker made sure he had clean needles if he was injecting drugs and talked to him about the consequences of his drinking, offering rehabilitation if he chose. The manager gave Pete a chance to keep busy cooking and dishwashing. He found clothes in the drop-in’s clothing room and developed a dapper style of dressing that suited him. His French-Canadian accent gave him a charm he used on the ladies.

There was a year or two of ups and downs, unemployment and daily work, sobriety and drunkenness and depressing pain from his injuries. When he felt on top of the world, he was ready to create a new business plan for his community. That was why he was studying the rundown house. Dreaming of a future for it.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

May 20, 2021

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is about-central.png
Thanks to Donna Latimer for finding this trove of trilliums.

The sudden appearance of summer-like weather reminds us that shared summer services are not far off. The year, our time together with friends from Weston Presbyterian Church begins with six Sundays “at” Central (June 20 to July 25) and ends with six Sundays at WPC (August 1 to September 5). All services begin at 10 am. Central’s summer services will follow the now familiar format, with an online service and Zoom worship (with the addition of WPC) at 10 am. There is a slight chance of in-person worship, so we will keep you posted.

Many thanks to Mary Louise and the Outreach Committee for leading worship on Sunday. It is inspiring to learn what a small group can achieve for the sake of the planet and the greater good.

Speaking of the Outreach Service, Dana sent Mary Louise some Humber memories after the service, and gave me permission to share them:

I enjoyed your message in the church service this morning on the Humber River and how it became a designated Canadian Heritage River.  I assume the Humber River that flows behind our family farm on Highway 27 just south of Nobleton, starts around Highway 9 and continues south past Kleinburg, and joins up with another tributary of the river just north of Woodbridge. I have many memories of the Humber River.  As a child growing up on our family farm, my two brothers and I, plus many other children in the area, swam in the river at the back of our farm.  We were quite young then, the water wasn’t very deep so our parents never seemed to worry about us. My brothers and I are really fortunate to still have the farm – its been in the family for over one hundred years.  Thanks again for your wonderful message which brings back many great memories.

Save the date! The Church School picnic has gone virtual! We’re planning a Zoom picnic on Sunday, June 13 at 11.30 am. There will be games, and whatever picnic food you wish to eat. More details to follow.

The Christian Education/Picnic Planning Committee will meet on Sunday, May 30 at 12.30 pm (by Zoom). 

In March we learned the sad news of the passing of Barry O’Brien, a former member of Central. His obituary appeared in the Guelph Mercury this week, and can be read here. We remember the family in our prayers.

Zoom worship continues! Join us this Sunday (May 23) beginning at 11 am. You will still receive the now traditional 8 am service by email. However, you can now watch a live version of the same service on your computer or device, followed by a time of fellowship. Like this past Sunday, you will be greeted by a host as you arrive (we recommend five or so minutes early) and have the opportunity to remain on the call for “coffee time” after the service. 

Will all Zoom invitations, there is an option to join by telephone. Here are some instructions:

1. To join by phone, choose a local number from the “Dial by your location” section of the Zoom invitation.  
2. Dial one of the 647 numbers and key in the Meeting ID when prompted, followed by the # key.
3. Ignore the request for a Participant ID and press # again.
4. Add the meeting Passcode and press #
 (once in the meeting, press *6 to mute and unmute)

Thanks to our Zoom hosts (Faith, Kathy, Joyce, and Kerri) as well as Jenny and Heather for making our weekly worship by Zoom possible.

The Church Council Executive continues to monitor the financial picture at Central. PAR is a blessing for us, along with those who have mailed in their offering or made a contribution online. We encourage you to help in any way you can, and we will even send someone to pick up your donation if you can’t get out to the mailbox. We thank you for your continued support. The mailing address is 1 King Street, Weston, Ontario, M9N 1K8 or you can give to Central online with CanadaHelps.

Worship at Central

Worship is currently online only. If you receive this blast, you will also receive an online service, around 8 am on Sunday. The email will include a link to the 11 am service by Zoom.

Readings this week:

Psalm 104: “There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.”

Acts 2.1-8, 12-21 “And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.”

Read last week’s sermon. Did you miss a service, or misplace the link? Our services remain online for you to review and enjoy. Click oneking.ca/wp to visit our worship site.

Lilac’s from Liz Rodgerson!

Focus on Water

Barbara Bisgrove shares more material on water, a recent focus for the Outreach Committee.

The earth’s ecosystem neither adds nor takes away water. The total remains the same. But problems arise when water moves around and changes temperatures. Some regions of the earth are becoming arid whereas others are experiencing ever more flooding. Due to water scarcity, some 24 to 700 million people will be displaced from arid and semi-arid regions of the world.

Humans play a large role in the disruption of natural water distribution by building too many dams, by large factories polluting freshwater sources, by the building of ever more paved roads whose surfaces prevent rain being absorbed, by drilling disrupting bedrock and sea water mixing with fresh water, and by privatization of bottled water monopolizing the resource that should be available to people living at its source.

As our population grows the demand for water increases, as does the demand for food. Agriculture accounts for over two-thirds of the world’s water consumption. Three in ten people on earth currently do not have access to safe and clean water. There are over 840 million people without access to a basic water source while 263 million people travel over 30 minutes to access what is often unclean water. One and a half million people die every year from waterborne diseases.

Much of the world’s water supply is largely disproportionate. The average Canadian family uses about 460 litres of water per day while the average African family uses 18 litres per day. If the entire volume of freshwater were to be distributed evenly among all the earth’s inhabitants, each person would receive 13,700 litres of water, each day.

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.” – Carl Sagan

Central at 200

Part of our celebration is to catalog the history of Central and the congregations woven into our fabric. Earlier this year, Marlene, Sylvia, Kerri, and Kevin assisted in transcribing and digitizing our existing history books, from 1971 and 1996. This excerpt is found in the book “From Methodist Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodist to Central United” (1971) by Stanley Musselwhite:

Classes for the children have probably been held since the first church was erected and possibly prior thereto. Mr. James Lever served as Superintendent for about 40 years and was followed by Mr. William Watson for a period of a little better than 20 years. Succeeding superintendents do not appear to have held this important office for nearly such lengthy periods. We do not have a complete chronological list of all who have served but a large number of them are shown in the addends. Others who gave freely of their time and energy as teachers and officers down through a century and a half must run into a total of hundreds and we wish it were possible to give them individual recognition. Those who read this will no doubt recall many and give silent tribute to their faithfulness.

For some years starting at least early in the 1900’s the highlight of the Sunday School year was an Anniversary Sunday held early in December followed by a supper for the scholars one evening during the following week. Weeks of preparation were spent on special music for the Sunday services, both morning and evening. On the evening concert at which individual children took part and almost every class contributed a drill, skit, tableau or musical offering of some kind. Prizes were handed out to those who had attended Sunday classes regularly or learned a significant number of Bible verses. Of course, Santa Claus (often in the person of Mr. Albert Scythes) made a welcome visit and dispensed candy and fruit to all of the young ones.

Another look at the Klamer herbery.

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has graciously allowed us to share excepts of her publication “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” In this section, Barbara shares the story of “Pete.”

He was such an active man that resting at home was difficult – lonely and boring. To cope he started drinking alcohol. The cocktail of opiates for pain, lack of sleep and alcohol, was addictive. He had failed to fasten his safety harness, leaving him with no entitlement to the compensation. He vented his rage in violent outbursts toward his family, and ultimately his angry behaviour lost him the community respect.

After six weeks of chaos, he packed a few things, took what money he felt was due to him, and left on a freight plane for Trois-Rivières. There he stayed at the YMCA while exploring the cheapest options to get himself to Toronto – as far away from his current life as he could manage. His English was limited to one school year and he made many mistakes at the beginning. Becoming increasingly discouraged as time went on, Pete found comfort in the taverns and bars. When his pain killers ran out it was easy to find more for sale on the streets. Finding work was much harder, especially without a phone to call people or receive return calls. Even having appropriate clothes for the seasons or the job is an issue for low-income people. Cheap jackets and no socks, gloves or underwear are not enough work outside in the winter He became a day labourer, to be picked up at a bus stop by construction crews needing extras for menial jobs on the site.

Pete found places that offered free meals. He joined the line-ups, taking any handouts on offer. Nearly two million Ontarians live in poverty. Without government investment in a strong workforce, equal pay for equal work, rent relief and so on, life for the poor is not improving. It was expensive to travel around Toronto on the buses or subway, and the physical labour took its toll. Sometimes, after drinking late into the night, Pete found it easier to stay in bed than look for work. Without the support and security of his home or a regular job, he found it difficult to fight off depression. No one seemed to care and dwindling funds brought their own anxiety.

Finally, Pete was evicted from his room for not paying the rent, and now he joined line-ups, not just for food, but for a shelter bed, a shower and the use of a free washer and dryer for his laundry. Some days he felt like crying when a person ahead in the line took the last sandwich or dregs of coffee from the communal urn. Life no longer felt fair, and the sun never seemed to shine. With his head down looking in curbs for dropped change and cigarettes, he failed to notice the sky. He felt anonymous within the much larger numbers of people than he had ever seen at home in Quebec.

About this Blast

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Territorial Acknowledgement

Our location on the historic Carrying Place Trail (Weston Road) reminds us that we meet on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca and, most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit. We hope this ancient path will be a symbol of our desire to walk with Indigenous peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

Contact Us

Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544

Cathy Leask sent along a picture of a wee garden imp.