Communiqué
    Easter Season                                     
    April 2018
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Feature Article by Rev. Kathi
Feature
Get Happy!

Forget your troubles and just get happy
You better chase all your cares away.
Sing Hallelujah c'mon get happy
We're heading for the judgment day.
 
If we just listened to our media outlets and social media, we could be forgiven for believing that the world is in pretty bad shape and getting worse. Taxes are rising, poverty is out of control, the environment in in dire peril and violence threatens all of our well-being. But are things really as bad as that?

The modern world is driven by pessimism, but - according to a Harvard professor - it is actually the best time in history to be alive. Steven Pinker says that we don't recognize the relative security of our modern lives because we have a cultural amnesia about what life was like centuries or even mere decades ago, and we focus on the negatives. W e too easily overlook our society's achievements when we get distracted by what he refers to as the modern world's 'indiscriminate pessimism.'

Here are just a few of the uplifting facts that confirm we are better off living now than ever before:
 
Life expectancy - In the 18th century, you could expect to live to the ripe old age of 30, now in the developed world, it's 80. Worldwide, it's 71.
Literacy Rates - 200 years ago the majority of people could not read or write and education was a luxury for male children. Today the world is enjoying a literacy rate of 90 per cent for people under the age of 25. And according to the World Bank the number of primary school-aged girls who are denied an education has dropped from 130 million in 2003 to 30 million in 2017.
Compassion - We care more about others around the world. Technology has helped raise global awareness. In the past there were regions that had genocide and mass killings and displacements that were just not on the world's agenda at the time, and that many people forget today. Now we have billions of people who can use their cellphones and share colour video footage to the web instantly. This heightened awareness enables us to react and respond with assistance or calls for change.
Poverty - According to the United Nations, since 1990 extreme poverty rates have been cut by more than half. The UN has set a goal of eliminating extreme poverty everywhere by the year 2030 . It is an ambitious goal, but it is possible we can actually achieve this. It's going to be hard to eliminate extreme poverty in the very poorest countries - in Haiti, in Congo, in Afghanistan - but still even in those countries, progress is already being made.
 
In this Easter season, we know that it can get awfully dark before we are able to see the light. But we serve a God who consistently comes through, who stands for and with us throughout this life. With Jesus as our guide and inspiration, and with the gifts of intelligence and ingenuity, we can solve the world's problems and make it possible for all people to live better lives. Hallelujah!

Yours In Christ,
Rev Kathi


CHAIRLC  
 From the Chair of the Leadership Circle

It is indeed a tremendous privilege to be writing this my first Communique article as the new Chair of EMUC's Leadership Circle. EMUC has been my family's church home for the past 23 years.  It has provided our family with countless opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, friendship and a sense of community in a city where we have no family connections.  I will forever hold dear in my heart the role this community played in the development of our children, Kofi and Melika.  It is thus with a sense of deep gratitude that I undertake service to our congregation in this role.
 
It is an exciting time to be part of the EMUC family as we get to know our new minister Kathi Phillips and share ministry with her in this community.  New traditions will be made even as we hold onto those that ground us and give us a unique identity.  The dinner and a movie series was a refreshing take on a Lenten study and we still dance at Easter!
 
Undoubtedly, there are challenges ahead of us.  Our congregation is aging and attendance is not what it once was.  Many have retired and moved away and we grieve as dear friends face health challenges or pass on.  As I sit to write this, my heart goes out to the family and close friends of Janet Tait, who are grieving her death on Saturday, April 7th.  Janet was a faithful member of our congregation from its earliest days.  She was devoted to the church's music ministry which she supported in many different roles including serving as a Chancel Choir member for 40 years!  She will be sorely missed by her EMUC family.
 
In addition to the realities of an aging congregation and declining numbers, we will surely be impacted by the changes that are coming to our denomination.  The future may appear daunting and fill us with anxiety.  How do we comfort each other, maintain our church home, grow the congregation and adapt to the changes facing our church?  I don't have all the answers but as I think of the future I am reminded of some words from our creed: "We trust in God", "God is with us", "We are not alone".  And so, I invite us to be open to the new ways in which God may be calling us to be a church community.  New ideas are surfacing as examples of our willingness to adapt to changing circumstances.  The new kids' zone during Sunday worship is off to a good start and we will continue to assess how this is working.  The garage sale is on and for the first time a team of four is spearheading this fundraiser.  A Congregational Growth Committee will soon meet to assess how we might draw others to be part of our community.  We give thanks to those who have volunteered to lead these initiatives! Indeed, we are grateful for all those who keep our many programs running and who care for each other through life's changing circumstances.
 
This Easter season we patiently await the warm days of Spring and anticipate new life bursting forth around us.  The story of Jesus' resurrection renews our hope and invites us to join in the creation of something new and life-giving.  So, let us face the future with arms open wide to comfort and uphold each other and to welcome all who may join us as we fulfill our mission to be a diverse, inclusive community.
 
Dianne Hope, Leadership Circle Chair


Transitions
Transitions

It is with great sadness to report that  Janet Tait passed away on April 7th following numerous surgeries and prolonged illness.  Janet was a longstanding member of EMUC.  Her passion was music and she was Chair of the Chancel Choir and the Music Committee.  She participated in Circle of Friends and Women for Women.  The latest role was a member of the Joint Search Committee.  Janet will be greatly missed by her friends and family.   A memorial service will be held within a month.  Sincere condolences are sent to her husband, John, her sons, Andrew, Stuart and David and their families.

Thanks
Thanks
Thanks to:
  • All those who participated in The Easter Vigil
  • All those who helped decorate the church for Easter
  • All those who donated money for spring flowers to beautify our sanctuary for Easter
  • Fred Shepley for patching the walls in the lower hall
  • Fred Shepley for getting boxes for the garage sale
  • Cathy Scattergood and Brian Takayasu, Peter Kiteley and Deb Sturgeon for reading their dramatic parts with such passion on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
  • Nancy Blackport for leading us in the Easter Dance
  • Susan Ogilvie and Barb Jennings for organizing the bakesale of Easter Bread and to all who contributed baking
LifeLife at EMUC
  Item1
Easter at EMUC

Holy Week services were well attended and Easter was celebrated with great joy.  Hallelujah!

Palm Sunday

Good Friday

Hot Cross Bun Breakfast
Easter Bread

Easter Sunday

The Easter Dance


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Item2
Looking Ten Years Ahead!
 
On Saturday February 24, 2018, Kathi Phillips, Kathy Andres, Barbara Jennings, Dianne Hope and I attended a meeting at Christ Church United in Lorne Park with representatives from 9 other United churches in Mississauga. Facilitation was provided by EDGE: A Network for Ministry Development which began in 2011, and focused on new and renewing ministries across The United Church of Canada.   www.edge-ucc.ca.
 
The questions presented to us before the meeting included:
  • Who and what might still be here in 10 years? What might that look like?
  • What would we like to see in place 10 years from now?
  • How do we strengthen existing congregations for the long haul?
  • What changes or amalgamations might happen in the next decade ?
  • Are there new expressions of mission & ministry to which Christ is calling us?
 
In preparation for the meeting each congregation was asked to bring data showing trends over the last 10 years.
 
ERIN MILLS UNITED CHURCH
2007
2016
2017
Average Worship Attendance
131
73
75
Number Financially Supporting Households
213
147
132
Annual Givings to Operations
$215,386
$185,760
$166,612
M&S Givings
$26,888
$25,334
$23,105
 
The obvious trend shown by these numbers was also evident in the data shared by the other 9 congregations attending the meeting. We are not alone. Where do we go from here?
 
In response to the question -"What is exciting that is happening in your Ministries " a variety of programs were shared.
      • Sharing space with another congregation
      • Hands on mission work
      • Services at different times
      • Different formats for worship
      • Variety of music
      • Outreach to seniors
      • Interfaith initiatives
      • Developing programs to meet community needs
 
The focus of the discussion then shifted to the building and property currently occupied by the 12 UCC congregations in Mississauga. Planning consultants working with EDGE shared their assessment of the potential value of the combined assets arriving at a figure of $30 million. How can this property be leveraged to achieve our mission in Mississauga? They shared examples from across Canada where older churches have been rebuilt with smaller worship spaces while incorporating facilities to meet the needs of their communities. The same goal can be achieved through amalgamation of congregations and using the joint assets to achieve joint goals. An example of these initiatives was recently shared at our congregational meeting on February 25, 2018.  Go to the EDGE website through the link above to get more information.
 
As you review this input and reflect on our congregation you will see that we have implemented a number of the programs above. In addition we have used our property to provide funds to enhance our Ministry. Our challenge is to determine what we want that Ministry to be. What will it look like in the future? The work of the Congregational Growth committee is critical to answering this question. Your input into their work will be crucial.
 
At the end of the meeting the congregations agreed to continue to work together. EMUC needs to be a driving force in making sure this happens.
 
Submitted by Dave Leeder, Treasurer


  Item3
Purchase of New Chairs and Tables

We have been getting several complaints over the last year, both from the renters of the church hall and also some of the church members about the condition of the existing folding chairs used in the lower hallway.  We have tried to repair them several times now but some are getting to the stage they cannot be fixed and are unsafe and need to be replaced. We looked at various chairs last year, including Staples, but did not find any at the price and quality wanted.
 
In mid-March, Sue Ogilvie, David Leeder and Ian Love went to check out the supply of the various new chairs available from Source Office Furniture & Systems Ltd., Burlington.  We reviewed the various chairs available and selected one of the stackable chairs they had to offer, since the price and quality was considered reasonable.  We purchased a total of 100 (90 without arms and 10 with arms) stackable chairs.  We also had the chair on display at the church service a few weeks ago and the feedback we got from those who tried it was positive. 

While we were there, we checked o ut t he tables they had available and found a plastic round table, 1.5 m (5 fe et) in diameter that would be very good for use in the church hall, for the various events  held there.  As you may have noticed, it has been getting more difficult for most of us to lift the existing wooden tables we have and again some of them are damaged and unsafe to use. We decided to purchase 10 round tables as well.  These, along with the existing rectangular plastic tables we have, should be sufficient to meet our needs for any future events.
 
In order to help make it easier for stacking and storing the chairs and tables we also purchased a number of wheeled dollies to install them in.  The chairs and tables have been delivered to EMUC.
 
Plan is to dispose of the damaged tables and chairs just following the Garage Sale on May 5.  We have had good use out of these tables and chairs over the years and we would like to say thank you to those who provided them to the church at that time.
 
Ian Love, Building & Property

Item4
Women for Women

On March 2, just over 40 women and men from EMUC and beyond met for coffee & dessert and a very interesting presentation by Gary Hines on his pilgrimage hike on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Gary's words and photos were quite inspirational.

Thanks to Gary and to all who brought desserts.

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Upcoming
Upcoming Events
  Event1
MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE - "FROWNTON ABBEY" 

Tickets Have Arrived!

Our much anticipated fundraising evening is approaching!  The cast from Eden United and our own Erin Mills United are rehearsing for this highly entertaining dinner theatre show that will take place at Eden United Church on Saturday,
April 28 and Sunday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 - SOLD OUT
Sunday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m..  - very limited tickets available

Come and enjoy a 4-course meal and a cash bar, while watching the mystery unfold.   Tickets are priced at $30.00 each.  Come with friends and family and you will be assigned a table together as a group.  Just be sure to let us know who you'll be sitting with when you buy your tickets.  **Please make all cheques out to Eden United Church Women**  This is a joint fundraiser for each church and we will be sharing the revenue with Eden United, so we encourage you to come out and support the hard work of the volunteers who are putting it together.  Enjoy the show!  


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 Event2
Women for Women

The next Women for Women event is on Friday, April 20.  It is a movie night, and will take place at Ciné-Starz Theatre, located at Central Parkway Mall. We do not yet know what the movie will be. We will meet at the theatre. Carpooling will be available.  Buy your own ticket at the theatre.  If there is interest & it's not too late, we will go for coffee & dessert after the movie.  Sign up on the bulletin board to indicate your interest & whether you need a ride or can drive.
 
Save the date:  Saturday, June 9 is the day for our annual retreat.  This year, we will start the morning at EMUC, then car pool to Visual Arts Mississauga at Riverwood Conservancy.  A morning hike will be followed by lunch, then a ceramics workshop in the afternoon.  Registration will be in early May.  There are a limited number of spaces, so early registration is encouraged.  See Cathy Scattergood for information on these events.

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 Event3
EMUC GARAGE SALE - Our major fundraiser!

Mark your calendars for  Saturday May 5, 2018, 8:00 am to noon

If you are cleaning closets etc. consider donating items in good condition to the sale.  Remember: to take home a box to bring in your gently used treasures for our sale.  If you have not done so, please sign up to help setup, sort and/or sell.  Thank you from your garage sale team (G.S.T.).  You can bring your items to the church any time on Wednesday to Friday, May 2 - 4.

There will be a  Bake Table at the Garage Sale.  Donations to the bake table are welcome.  Please package cookies, muffins etc. in packages of 6 with a label indicating the kind of baking and if it contains nuts.  Baking may be dropped off at the church anytime on Friday May 4th.


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About Erin Mills United Church

EMUC's Vision is to be a thriving Spirit-filled congregation;
 diverse, inclusive, and engaged with the community
 and creation.

The Mission of EMUC is to offer opportunities for all persons
 to experience the love of God through Jesus Christ.

Pubdates
Communiqué Dates for 2018


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Editor: Janet Morrison        Layout: Barbara Jennings

Erin Mills United Church | office@emuc.ca | http://emuc.ca/
3010 The Collegeway
Mississauga, L5L4X9