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