59 Line 4 North Oro-Medonte, ON L0L 2L0 | Phone: 1-800-268-3781

Blog

By Susie Henderson Wild Churches are restoring and reimagining relationships between faith and the natural world Taddle Creek Wild Church, Metropolitan United Church Every way you look at it, the present-day front yard of Metropolitan United Church, which corners on Queen and Church Street in downtown Toronto, is a very lively place –there are people from all walks of life, relentless traffic, steps from a major hospital, and more.  The building can definitely hold its own here, and so does...

Friends become family at Dorothy's Place By Susie Henderson based on an interview with Rev. Carmen Llanos Dorothy's Place is a ministry of Birchcliff Bluffs United Church serving 2SLGBTQ+ seniors in east end Toronto and Scarborough. Based on the success of Toby's Place that responded to a gap in services for youth; the vision of Dorothy's Place emerged out of a need for services to seniors in Scarborough beyond the services downtown. Participants are welcomed with nourishing food and...

We have been out of our buildings for some time now, much longer than we first expected. Many of us are growing into the experience of meeting virtually with online opportunities for worship. Northlea United Church, in Toronto’s north Leaside neighbourhood is meeting online and they are experimenting with meeting their community in a previously unexplored place – their own front yard.

As the Social & Ecological Justice Commission sat (at their respective computers), socializing before a meeting, each member started sharing what books they had recently read that moved them, or that they recommended others read as well.  Out of this discussion, the idea for a Little Library was formed. The following books have been suggested by the SEJC (and friends) as good reads related to justice in its many forms.  We encourage you to purchase these books from the UCRD (if available),...

Shining Waters Regional Council was deeply impacted by the recent shooting deaths of six Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia. We condemn racialized misogynistic violence and we pray for the families and the communities of those killed. We also pray for the safety of Asians in North America and globally who have experienced and reported anti-Asian racism, violence, and aggression since the start of the pandemic. We pray for many more who have not reported their experiences of targeted hate incidents and hate crimes.

On this sixth week of Lent, Rev. Alexa speaks with Sara Hildebrand of the Love My Neighbour Project – an interfaith partnership with UNICEF Canada to pay it forward. They are inviting every Canadian that gets a vaccine to buy one for someone in economically depressed countries. For approximately $10 each, every vaccinated person in Canada can help speed up the vaccine rollout for all global citizens (cost
to be confirmed by UNICEF)

On Friday, March 12, 2021 the Centre for Christian Studies hosted an online discussion of the ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic exposes long-standing racial divisions and systemic injustices, and perhaps to imagine opportunities for change. Their special guest was Kim Uyede-Kai, minister for Communities of Faith Support and Right Relations at the Shining Waters Regional Council. In 2020 Kim published an article called “COVID-19 and the Racism Pandemic We Need To Talk About. Here is a video...

On this fifth week of Lent, Rev. Alexa speaks with Greg Cook and Lorraine Lam, outreach workers at Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto; a place in the heart of Toronto where you can go to be seen and celebrated, walked with and cared for. Guided by the Gospel, the heart and centre of this community are the very people who are often excluded in the mainstream; those experiencing poverty, lack of housing, addiction and mental health crisis. At Sanctuary, they can get meals, health clinic support, art programs, street outreach, Sunday services, and so much more.

On this fourth week of Lent, Rev. Alexa speaks with Dr. Aathish Iyappa who works at the Nair Hospital in Mumbai (Bombay) India. He consulted on the first case of COVID19 to be diagnosed in Mumbai. His 1600 bed hospital was covered to an 1100 bed COVID hospital. Dr. Aathish speaks of the lack of drugs in the early days in the early days of the pandemic, the hospital filling up and having to turn patients away, as well as the losses and miracles of life he has witnessed throughout the pandemic.

On this second week of Lent, Rev. Alexa speaks with Clive Anderson, a trauma responder who has been present at violent catastrophes such as the 2018 van attack in Toronto. In the first months of the COVID 19 pandemic, Clive was called to no less than 20 long-term care facilities to offer assistance to staff and families.

On this first week of Lent, Rev. Alexa speaks with Michael Shewburg, Executive Director of the Five Oaks Centre in Paris, Ontario. Michael describes how, in the early days of the pandemic, Five Oaks pivoted from its normal retreat offerings to being a place where those newly arriving in Canada, often as migrant workers, could safely isolate and quarantine.

A French-speaking faith community in Toronto is a place of welcome for francophones wanting to gather and pray in the “language of the heart” Like many newcomers to Canada, Stephen Keleko felt unmoored when he first arrived in Toronto three years ago. Originally from Cameroon, Keleko, who has also lived in France, longed to find a French-speaking community of faith he could call home. That’s when he discovered La Mission Protestante Francophone de Toronto (MPFT), the only francophone...

Lay Leaders Gathering:  Governance and Good News Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 7 p.m.  This gathering will be an opportunity for lay leaders to share their experience of governance during the pandemic - what has worked for you, and to ask questions. Also to hear from congregations how they are sharing good news in their congregation and community. It will be a conversation about governance best practices during the pandemic including the decision of the sub-Executive of General Council that...

Happy New Year! We’re done with Matthew. Now we get to hang out with Mark. What’s with all the talk of the end times? Mark 13:24-27. Thoughts from a Death Row prison cell. Hope as resistance. Music by Emorie, the Sun Harmonic and Bri-anne. Words by Ramiro Gonzales and UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima speaking about World AIDS Day.

As we follow our newsfeeds, and observe with horror what is happening in the capital of the United States of America, we call on you, Creator of All Love. We painfully remember peaceful protests of tangible and documented injustices, led by Black and Indigenous peoples who were sadly met with undue hostility and violence, and characterized as rioters, in contrast to how the violent clashes incited by Trump supporters on baseless claims is being responded to and reported on. We pray for those...

It’s Christmas Eve and we have a fun, lofi, campy retelling of Luke’s Nativity narrative with a brief time of reflection. Yes, perhaps the Christmas story isn’t historically accurate, but the meaning we bring to the story and how we tell it is the beginning of our call towards how we are to be in God’s world.

The Shining Waters Regional Council offices will be closed from December 24 to January 3, 2021. If there is an emergency over the Christmas break, please call 416-231-7680 or 1-800-268-3781 ext. 6773 and leave a message with Bri-anne Swan. This phone will be checked daily and urgent calls will be addressed. May the peace of Christ be with you this Christmas.

GS 81 Extension of Temporary Amendment of Bylaws re: Pastoral Relations; Temporary Amendment re: Congregational Annual Meeting At its meeting on November 26, 2020, the Sub-Executive of the General Council passed a motion to: temporarily suspend the requirement in section B.5.1 of The Manual for congregations or pastoral charges to hold an annual meeting; and temporarily amend the responsibility of the congregation or pastoral charge to make a decision on their annual draft budget by allowing...

Listen to this excerpt from the presentation to the Shining Waters Regional Council meeting in October 2020 to inspire your own conversation about what being an intercultural church looks like. The full presentation is also available on YouTube. https://youtu.be/LSrlqD1Y71g

In honour of International Day of People with Disabilities, the Rev. Alexa Gilmour, minister at Windemere United Church in Toronto, spent some time in conversation with PhD candidate Elizabeth Mohler about disability, the church, the Advent story and the assumptions that are often brought forward when one listens to these familiar biblical texts. We are fortunate to be able to sit in on this conversation.

Happy New Year! We’re done with Matthew. Now we get to hang out with Mark. What’s with all the talk of the end times? Mark 13:24-27. Thoughts from a Death Row prison cell. Hope as resistance. Music by Emorie, the Sun Harmonic and Bri-anne. Words by Ramiro Gonzales and UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima speaking about World AIDS Day.

It’s Christ the King Sunday. What does it mean to speak of Jesus as a “King” or a “Master”?
Special Guest Jeffrey Dale joins us to talk about his work advocating for safe consumption sites, the tension of using politically charged language to describe Jesus, and wondering what would it mean if we just took Matthew’s words at face value. Music by Jesse Peters.

“By putting this symbol on the ground in a permanent way, we were making our commitment as an Affirming congregation big and visible,” explains Jeffrey Dale, Grace United’s former youth minister coordinator who is now full-time staff with Shining Waters Regional Ministry.

A Message from the Social and Ecological Justice Commission Recently, the Social and Ecological Justice Commission endorsed a private members motion which urges the Canadian Government to create a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income for all Canadians over the age of 18 years. A letter in support and signed by our Regional Council president, David Layton-Brown, has been sent to the Prime Minister, deputy Prime Minister and leaders of the opposition parties. It is our hope that the federal...