To see our full listing of events make sure to check out our calendar.
March 15, 2020 Online Gathering
Being the church in the midst of self-isolating behaviours is hard. On the one hand, a way to love our neighbour is to participate in ways that will slow the spread of COVID-19. This is a practical real world way to stand against an uncertain disease which disproportionately will impact certain segments of our congregation and city. On the other hand, the church is supposed to offer hope and humanity, contact and assurance of love. How does that happen without the people gathered? We have decided to cancel our regular Sunday morning gathering for this particular week, but also to launch our first attempt into an online platform. Although we will take each week (and day!) as it comes, this feels like an opportunity to make the best of several tensions for the time being.
Here are a few things you should know!
- You will need a reasonable internet connection.
- We plan to use a free app called Zoom to participate in an online gathering. You can download it on to your smart phone through the APP store. It can also be accessed through a standard computer, and added to your internet browser. You can do this anytime, but it will take a minute or two. In order to make Sunday morning as seamless as possible it’s our suggestion to do it sooner rather than later.
- If it isn’t working or you have any questions, this Facebook Event Page is the place to post questions, ask for help, and have conversations in regards to getting Zoom working.
To join us on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM, click this link: https://zoom.us/j/
Maybe this won’t work very well. Maybe it will be a real Wilderness experience of fighting with your Smartphone. Or perhaps we will learn of a way to reach across quarantines to cultivate love in each other’s hearts. Regardless, we will learn something in the process. Come participate with us in this experiment, let’s talk about how we can learn from anxiety and uncertainty.
Topic: UCC Sunday Zoom Service
Time: Mar 15, 2020 10:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 248 297 752
PAST NEWS & EVENTS
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Our Christmas Eve candlelight service is always a special one. This year we wove together traditional Christmas carols, insightful readings (from Brian McLaren’s book: Seeking Aliveness), thoughtful poetry (by Madeleine L’Engle and Sara Are), and the Christmas story. The candlelight and beautiful paper lace advent banners provided a lovely backdrop to experience the fullness of God becoming one of us.
October’s Food Cupboard Food Drive
Our Food Cupboard is small but mighty, providing food for individuals from our neighbourhood, the university and our own congregation. “Take what you need” and “Give when you can” is our motto.
This October we invited the congregation to participate in our annual food drive. To have some fun with it, we had a contest between those who LOVE pineapple on their pizza and those who HATE pineapple on their pizza. Haha!
Not only that, but the students and young adults group put out some flyers in the neighbourhood and went Trick or Treating for groceries.
Overall, it was s huge success! Results are coming soon!
Sunday School Bonfire
We lucked out with some lovely weather for our Sunday School Bonfire! We had a great to roasted marsh mallows, singing silly songs and getting to know each other better. We just don’t know what was more memorizing: the fire blazing or the disco ball under the trampoline!
Welcome Back BBQ
Also on September 8th we had our Welcome Back BBQ. We had a great time eating together and meeting some new people!
Belonging in the Body
On Friday, March 1, we hosted showing of Belonging in the Body: Transgender Journeys of Faith. This video offers a collection of stories from the lives of transgender Christians. Within these stories is opportunity to learn, to understand, and to advocate for our transgender siblings in Christ. Belonging in the Body is a timely and invaluable glimpse into the lives of transgender Christians.
UCC hosted the Rainbow Communion on January 11th and 12th. The Rainbow Communion is a committee of our national church (Presbyterian Church in Canada) that is exploring what the church ought to be doing in terms of repenting from homophobia. Right now the committee is in a listening phase and wanting to hear the stories of people who identify as LGBT, their families, and supporters who have experience hurt and/or grace in our congregations. For more information about the Rainbow Communion and its work, you can check out their website https://presbyterian.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Our Christmas Eve service was a meaningful evening of hearing the Christmas story and singing carols together.
You can find the song, May You Find a Light, (a song that we sang throughout the Advent season), here.
You can also read an article that inspired one of our readings about the Magnificat here.
Advent ~ For those in darkness…
On November 25th we started our Advent series, For those in darkness.
Advent calls us into darkness as we wait for Christmas when light breaks forth into the world. For our Advent Series, ‘For Those in Darkness’ we explored how darkness might be a gift and how, even when we cannot see, God is with us. During Advent we wait together, hoping and expecting that the light will come to dispel the shadows and illuminate our path.
We want to say a special thank-you to Lauren Pittman of Lewp Studios for allowing us to use her piece, ‘For Those in Darkness’ throughout our Advent series. We spent significant time reflecting on her piece and it became a source of inspiration as we explored the themes of light and darkness. We also had a few people from our community share personal stories on Sunday mornings and had our song-writing group share a song they wrote based on Psalm 42.
WORLD VISION FUNDRAISER
We want to say a huge THANK-YOU to those who came out and helped raise money for World Vision Canada’s RAW HOPE initiative (providing emergency food, establishing child-friendly spaces and providing healthcare support to mothers and children in Central African Republic).
It was great to see so many people share their talent on stage to support this cause! We had dancing, music, spoken word and dramatic presentations in different styles and backgrounds. We loved the diversity and commitment.
We raised $2489.00 and we had a lot of fun doing it! Thank-you specifically to those who donated auction items, contributed baked goods and shared their talent on stage. We couldn’t have done it without you!
November Food Drive
For the month of November we collected non-perishable food items for our food cupboard. The food cupboard is a practical, tangible way we show anyone who walks through our doors that we care about the real, physical needs of our community. Especially as we enter into the colder months, let’s consider how we can simply and practical love others by providing for the basic need of hunger. Thanks for all your donations! Because of your help we will be able to keep the cupboard stocked for at least the winter months!
Thanks to all those who came out to see this performance! And thanks Theatre of the Beat for all the hard work in putting it together!
#ChurchToo, a companion to the #MeToo conversation, urges us to not only acknowledge and combat the sexual violence that takes place in religious spaces, but also recognizes how religious doctrine often functions as a mean to protect abusers and blamed the abused.
We want to be a church place where those on the margins, those who have been oppressed, those who have felt like they don’t have a voice, can rise up and be silent no more. Becoming more aware of the #ChurchToo movement the stories that come with it, is an important part of this. Seeing this performance as a way of entering more fully into the conversation and standing in solidarity with those who have experienced abuse.
Artfully depicted through a variety of scenes and relationships, #ChurchToo explores the struggle of wading into the realities of sexual assault and examines the difficulties of speaking out in a community where the topic of sex is often considered taboo. Follow an array of characters through seven vignettes, each bringing to life stories about hidden trends within our church communities. From the secret relationship of a young woman and her pastor, to discriminatory church policies, all the way to bringing forth allegations against persons in power, #ChurchToo illuminates the messy dynamics that accompany the complicated truths of power and sexual abuse.
Fall Block Party Success!
Our Fall Block Party was a huge success! Thanks to all who came out, helped out and joined in the fun!