Summer 2021

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Summer worship with Weston Presbyterian Church.  The second half of worship this summer (August 1 to September 5) will be hosted and led by WPC. We are grateful for this ongoing partnership. 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. His email is lance@westonpresbyterian.ca

Worship at Central will resume on Sunday, September 12. Details of the service will be posted here, and emailed to everyone on the blast list.

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

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.”

Worship at Central

Services at Central will resume on Sunday, September 12.

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. Read “The History of Central United Church” (1996) by Eric Lee.

An Element of Truth

Barbara Bisgrove has published “An Element of Truth: Stories Based on What Was Heard and Learned at the Drop-in.” Contact the church at cuc@bellnet.ca to obtain a copy of her book.

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