Pastoral Relations Update: This is less an update and more a map of the journey ahead. Kathy Steiner is the point-person for this first stage of the transition, so she is the person to speak to with questions or concerns. In brief, Central will work with the regional council to appoint a supply minister starting September 1. This person will provide worship and pastoral care, and administrative help to allow the congregation to focus on the next phase of the search. A congregational profile will be created, and shared on the denominational matching site. Again, Shining Waters Regional Council will supply the support needed to ease this transition. Based on typical timelines, there may be a new minister in place as early as the summer of 2022.
The latest Upper Room has arrived. If you would like a copy, give Terry a call at 416-417-1224.
The Outreach Committee will meet (by Zoom) on Thursday, May 6 at 7 pm.
Speaking of Outreach, the next Outreach Service will take place on Sunday, May 16 at 11 am (by Zoom). Our guest speaker will be our very own Mary Louise Ashbourne, who will speak about conservation and heritage, with special attention to the mighty Humber.
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.
We are pleased to report that a generous donation was received from the Jack Thomas Fund at the Toronto Foundation. A letter expressing our gratitude has been sent.
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 22: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD.”
John 15.1-8: “You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you.”
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:
Available records do not give much detail with respect to the composition of the bodies responsible for the spiritual and financial needs in the early years. One supposes they conformed to Methodist tradition and practice through the years preceding Union. There was a “Quarterly Official Board” whose minutes, kept regularly enough, were so brief as to convey little information of what was going on. For example, one can’t find any record in these minutes of adoption of the new name when the church entered Union and became “Central United,” although the minutes of a meeting held on September 21st, 1925, were headed “First Quarterly Board Meeting of the Central United Church.” On April 28th, 1926, the congregation selected 15 Elders and 15 Stewards to compose a “ Board” as laid down by the United Church. In February of 1928 the number of each group was increased to 21 for three year terms. In more recent years the membership of the Session has been increased in two stages to the present number of 52, and the Committee of Stewards now numbers 35.
Members of the Session (Elders) and the Committee of Stewards, together with representatives of the U.C.W. and others, form the Official Board which meets regularly to dispose of such business as cannot properly be handled by either the Session or the Stewards alone. The Official Board also acts on behalf of the congregation in matters which may not be of sufficient importance to warrant calling a special meeting of the congregation. Annual meetings of all members and adherents of the church are held early in each year to receive and review reports of the previous year’s work of the various organizations and to elect new representatives to various bodies as may be necessary.
On January 15th., 1930, Dr. W. Howard Charlton was appointed Secretary of the Official Board to succeed his father, Dr. W. J. Charlton. In succession these two men served their church for over fifty years in the offices of Recording Steward while Methodist and Secretary of the Board after Union. The Chancel window was donated by the Charlton family in 1938 in memory of their father.
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 continues to describe her involvement in the drop-in:
Volunteering at the drop-in was almost like an unpaid job. With other Board members, I took on responsibilities for building a new organization – fundraising, policy and manual writing, supervising, etc. The organization became incorporated. Elected to the Board of Directors, I became the secretary. For 11 years, I led a volunteer team planning and cooking the Tuesday night community meals developing a cookbook for 80 portions in the process. I designed information posters, handouts and so on – an aspect of the work I most enjoyed.
The drop-in has grown to a six-day-a-week agency offering housing, harm reduction, laundry facilities, a clothing room, computers, library and at our maximum had 12 staff on the books. A second site was added with a commercial kitchen used by entrepreneurs and community groups and a storefront selling fresh fruit and vegetables in the food desert of Mount Dennis.
When I became less physically able, I turned my hand to writing short weekly articles for the church “Blast” and creating a monthly newsletter for drop-in participants. Writing involved enjoyable research and exploring programs throughout the world. My aim was understanding the effects of poverty and homelessness. In volunteering I always felt I received more than I ever gave. I have learned so much, found new friends and became known in my community. I know volunteer work is valuable to my mental health, especially after retiring. I found many ways to use my “lived experience skills” and keep mentally stimulated. I have a purpose for my day.
I began writing these stories based on what I heard and learned, to keep alive and share the memories of people I met and the fun I had. Peoples’ stories opened my heart and allowed me to recognize any one of those people could have been me with a little bad luck or loss of wellbeing.
I admire people who have used entrepreneurship and courage to survive within difficult circumstances. As Christians I believe we should be extending the hand of Jesus to the needy in our community. I can no longer cook or volunteer in a physical way, but my fingers still type, and my mind is still active, so I want to share these experiences with others.
Worth a Look
Thanks to Judith, for suggesting this photo series of animals who would rather be photographers.
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