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.”
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
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.
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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