Rev. Kathi's Message:
Some thoughts after another difficult week:
Mental illness crosses all human barriers. No one is exempt. Wealth can't buy its way out. Power cannot force it away. Religion cannot keep it at bay. It isn't contagious, but everyone is potentially at risk. Its causes can be biological, chemical or genetic and often emerge as an individual comes to adulthood. It can also be triggered by trauma or acute stress. There's no guarantee that any of us will escape a challenge to our mental health. The statistics are clear:
one in five
adults live with a mental illness. Whether we admit it or not, mental illness touches all of us - directly or in a loved one.
Let's not be deceived when mental illness is blamed for mass murder. Other countries have people who live with mental illness, but do not have nearly the rate of mass shootings that the US does. There is a problem, and mental illness is only a small part of it. Easy access to guns is another part of it, perhaps a bigger part. But the underlying issue is a culture of violence.
This culture that endorses violence as entertainment, to resolve conflict, to express anger, as a means of controlling others, and so many other, more subtle aspects of society, now wants to place the blame on those who have historically been victimized. Racism is a form of this violence. Misogyny is a form of this violence. Rape culture certainly is. White supremacy had a hand in creating this culture. And, I hate to say it, but Christianity has helped to shape it as well. Was it not human fear and intolerance that nailed Jesus to the cross? And the name of Christ has been used to justify centuries of violence and injustice. Why have we not learned a better way?
We have been taught that human beings are all created in the image of God. We have heard Jesus repeat the Jewish mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves. Nowhere does Jesus say that we are to blame the vulnerable for the ills of society. Nowhere does Jesus say that we have the right to kill those we perceive to be different. Nowhere does Jesus say that it is good to kill those who offend or frighten us. In fact, wasn't it Jesus who said something about turning the other cheek and forgiving more times than we can count?
If we want to feel safe in our homes, on our streets, in our schools, in our shopping centers, in our movie theaters, at our sporting events, and in our houses of worship, then we need to make changes. First, we need to change the way we think about violence. It should not be entertainment, especially for young or vulnerable minds. It should not be in our every-day vocabulary. How much has violence become normative in our lives? When
violence is not normative
, then people who experience mental health crises, are less likely to be violent.
While we are seriously contemplating the ways in which violent words, action, and entertainment have infiltrated our lives, then we can think about who we "blame" for violence on our streets. But, before we blame those who have long been victimized, we must take a good long look in the mirror. Our passive acceptance of "the way things are" has significantly contributed to the violence in society.
Now we must seek to see the human being in all others we meet. If we see them as human beings, then it is more likely we will see Christ in them as well. When we see all human beings as equally valuable in God's sight, then we can find the motivation necessary to address the brokenness in our society. We can stop living in fear. Love makes violence far less accessible. If we stop living in fear, it won't be so easy to fool ourselves into thinking that we need guns to protect ourselves. If we stop living in fear, we can remove the stigma surrounding mental illness and make it much more acceptable and accessible to get necessary treatment. If we stop living in fear, we will stop excusing police officers who kill people of color. If we stop living in fear, we will stop denying the story of women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. If we stop living in fear, we can unclench our fists, roll up our sleeves and get to the work of justice that Jesus calls us to do.
An Attitude of Gratitude - EMUC needs you ----
This year's stewardship program is entering its third week. Commitment forms have started to come in and we encourage you to make your commitment if you have not done so.
Stewardship is not just about financial matters. If EMUC is to flourish as a vibrant congregation, volunteers are needed to do the work of the church. Each month the Nominating Committee (Barbara Jennings, Sandy Hayes, Paul Marot and Dave Leeder) meets to review the open positions in our organizational structure and considers who might be able to help. We need you!
Not everyone has the time to assume a leadership role; however, there are many tasks that are not overly time consuming: greet on a Sunday morning, host coffee hour after worship, volunteer to read the scriptures for one Sunday, join the welcoming group. Other roles currently open are: projectionists for Sunday service on a rotational basis, helping with children and youth, joining the Membership and Pastoral Care committee. EMUC is a safe and supportive place to become involved and develop leadership skills. Current positions open on the Leadership Circle are Member-at-Large and Focus Circle Leader for Children and Youth, Any member of the Nominating Committee would be pleased to explore opportunities with you.
Get involved to enhance your EMUC experience. You will be grateful you did!
This Week at EMUC
Sunday at 10:00 am: Service led by Rev. Kathi Phillips
Scripture: Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25
Gospel: Matthew 25: 1-13
Sermon: 'Filling Stations'
Following Service: Congregational Meeting
Following Congregational Meeting -
Transition Team Meeting
Hiking with the Striders
Prayers & Communion - cancelled as Kathi is out of town
Thursday at 10:00 am: Daytime Men's Group
7:00 pm: Chancel Choir
Next Sunday at 10:00 am: Children's Sunday
As you heard in February, the Leadership Circle has been exploring a fundraising opportunity that would involve placing cell poles/lights in our parking lot. We have been working on this project for over a year and we are excited to be able to share important news about this rental agreement with the congregation. A motion will be presented to approve moving forward with this project. We invite everyone to join us to hear more about this proposal this Sunday following the service.
This Sunday, we will follow a historic walk of the village of Port Credit and newly named Vimy Park.
Meet in the Narthex right after the Congregational Meeting for time to eat your BAGGED LUNCH, arrange
CAR POOLING at 12:15 and depart a little later. We will also plan for a stop in a coffee shop.
(Reserve November 19 only if a rain date is needed). There's promise of one stop for coffee along our route.
UNIVERSAL CHILDREN'S DAY
Sunday, November 19 we will be celebrating Children's Sunday.
Universal Children's Day is an international day designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954 and observed annually on November 20
. The occasion is dedicated to encouraging kids around the world to embrace their similarities and differences. On the level of international policy, the day is devoted to recognizing the rights of children and promoting their welfare.
We will have an all-ages service and you are invited to bring any young people from your family or friends to be a part of the service.
There will be opportunities for anyone who would like to read or lead a prayer - please contact me by email to volunteer at: email@example.com
SALVATION ARMY CHRISTMAS CONCERT
The Annual Salvation Army Christmas concert is taking place at the Living Arts Centre on
Sunday, November 26 at 4:30 or 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $2.00 each to cover the service charge. If you are interested in attending, please sign up on the sheet on the bulletin board or see Laura Macro for tickets. While the Women for Women group orders & distributes the tickets, the tickets are available to anyone who would like to attend.
ORDER YOUR TOURTIERES
Loaves & Dishes have started making tourtieres for Christmas. You may place an order by completing the order sheet on the bulletin board or speaking to Sue Ogilvie or Barb Jennings.
For many years, EMUC and friends have been generous sponsors of our Christmas program. To allow for more consistent giving across families and to address the dietary and cultural needs of those we are helping; rather than having a gift tag tree, special offering envelopes are available for individuals, families or even EMUC committees to make a donation towards the purchase of gifts for the children of our sponsored families. You could also chose to sponsor a family through your donation, with monies used to provide food vouchers for a special Christmas meal. Envelopes will are available throughout November and will be collected on or before White Gift Sunday (Dec. 10th). Our youth, both within EMUC and our local community groups, will be assisting this year with the shopping of items and the packing and wrapping of the gifts. Delivery or pick up of gifts and food vouchers will be made in the usual manner around December 10th Please consider making a contribution this year to help make this holiday special for families in need, in our wider community. Remember to use the envelopes provided so your donation can be recorded through the church for your income tax purposes. For more information, contact Sandra Witterick at
Erin Mills Youth Centre is once again selling poinsettias to raise funds for United Way of Peel Region. Plants may be ordered using the envelopes on the table in the Narthex until November 26, 2017 and plants will be available for pick-up at EMUC by December 4.
Prices are as follows:
6" (red) $10
8" (red, pink, or white) $20
10" (red, pink, or white) $25
You may dedicate a poinsettia in memory of a loved one and donate it to decorate the sanctuary during the Advent and Christmas season. All poinsettias may be taken home following the Christmas Eve services.
For further information please contact Debby Sturgeon.
We are continuing with FUNDSCRIP, an innovative fundraising program that asks you to purchase gift cards in order to pay for regular items you buy every month. A percentage of the cards we purchase through FUNDSCRIP is donated back to our church. Order forms for gift cards will be available the last Sunday of every month. The October cards can be picked up this Sunday.
The next order date is Sunday, November 26. Please see the display board at the back of the church or speak to Joanne Hines if you have any questions about the program.
THE OUT OF THE COLD PROGRAM
The Out of the Cold program is starting up again. Donations of gently used, clean winter outerwear as well as blankets would be appreciated. Please bring your donations to EMUC & leave them in the coat room. They are brought to the Open Door at Square One for distribution to their guests. Thank you.
The Cupboard continues to receive more and more guests each week. Please help by donating food and personal care items (the box is at the back beside the elevator) or making a financial contribution to Erin Mills United - Deacon's Cupboard. Please remember that we have no overhead. Every worker at the Cupboard is a volunteer. Currently there is a need for pure apple and orange juice in large boxes or juice boxes, peanut butter, and fava beans.