Many thanks for the well-wishes and kind words this week. We are only beginning to learn the implications of retirement and moving, and we feel blessed by the encouragement and support.
The Church Council Executive will meet this Sunday (by Zoom) at 12.30 pm.
Sell Your Talent, Final Update: We are delighted to report over $2,200 in sales from Sell Your Talent. Thanks to our talented people, and thanks to everyone who made a purchase, or helped someone else make a purchase.
Zoom worship continues! Join us this Sunday (April 18) 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 4: “Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.”
Luke 24.36b-48: “Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”
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. Today we begin presenting highlights. This excerpt is found in the book “From Methodist Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodist to Central United” (1971) by Stanley Musselwhite:
To comment on or make comparisons of any of the men who have guided the destinies of this congregation for the past half century would be unfair to those not specifically named, and might indeed only reflect personal views not shared by others who have been closely associated with our pastors during this period. References to particular individuals have therefore been limited to their association with some special event mentioned in this historical outline. It may be noted in passing and without attempting to make any point of its significance, that since Union and up until 1968, all of our ministers have come to us from Methodist tradition and training, with but one exception. That man occasionally challenged his listeners to attempt to decide on the basis of the doctrinal content of his sermons which denomination he belonged to before Union. Very few knew at the time that it was Congregationalist.
For some years we had the assistance of theological students from Emmanuel College during the winter months in Christian Education and midweek work. These men were later ordained and went on to serve on mission fields and in regular pastorates. The following list is believed to be complete: Ronald McPhee (1955); David Staples (1955-57); J. Duffy (1957-58); L. Heffelfinger (1958-59); G. Craig (1959-60). We also had the services of the Rev. J. W. Gordon as a pastoral assistant for a brief period, including the year 1953.
Here we would like to record the long and faithful service of the Rev. Enos W. Hart who came to this congregation as Pastoral Assistant, first to Mr. Spencer in 1961, and continuing with Mr. Field from 1968 to 1970. Both he and Mrs. Hart contributed greatly to the happy fellowship of this congregation. Mr. Hart was always a very welcome visitor at all homes, but more particularly so with the elderly, the sick and the shut-ins.
He also conducted worship services regularly for the patients at Weston Sanitarium, preached from our pulpit on many occasions and participated in Communion and other special services. He was particularly helpful during Mr. Spencer’s busy term as Chairman of Toronto West Presbytery (1963-64) and also during his illness early in 1968. A farewell reception was held for Mr. and Mrs. Hart on Sunday, May 24th, 1970.
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 her early years as a volunteer in the UK:
In 2011, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimated that almost one billion people in the world volunteer their time every year. And we do it for many reasons – to keep busy, to give back, a sense of duty, a court requirement, an opportunity to learn a language or skill, and to feel blessed for being given the opportunity. Today, in my eighties, I am thrilled to be given the title of “Senior with Lived Experience,” and am volunteering by advising various groups on seniors’ needs, especially those who want to remain living in their own homes.
I started my volunteering in high school – it was baby sitting and dog walking before that. Then, through an orphanage – originally a foundling hospital established in 1739 by Thomas Coram, who was appalled by the abandoned children he saw on the streets – I was assigned a tiny four-year old boy previously adopted from the hospital, and now returned, neglected and mute. Since he was older than the other children, I became his caregiver and was to observe and report on his behaviours. I took him for walks, at times in a large baby carriage with two babies facing me and two with their backs to me. Passersby made cheeky remarks since the children were a multicultural mix!
Another eye-opening job was meeting with a group of Quakers on weekends to clean up apartments in Shoreditch, a low-income area of London. There I found four units on each level sharing a cold-water sink and toilets. Our job was to whitewash the walls to remove some of the grime. These experiences heightened my interest in observing lives of others, seeing them for themselves, while getting involved in finding solutions where needed. It led me to a lifetime of seeking opportunities to better lives, joining workplace and community groups, attending workshops and reading biographies.
About this Blast
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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.
Central United Church, 1 King Street, Weston, ON M9N 1K8 | Phone: (416) 241-7544