COMMUNIQUÉ

March 2017


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.

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Reflection, study, prayer, and other spiritual practices such as reaching out in love and justice are historically associated with Lent. Both as individuals and as a community of faith, Lent is a time to look inward and to reflect on our readiness to follow Jesus in his journey towards Jerusalem and the cross. The forty days of Lent correspond to the forty-day temptation of Jesus in the wilderness and the forty-year journey of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt to a new community in the 'Promised Land'. Lent is symbolized by the color Purple; a colour that reflects the season's sombre mood of self-examination and personal simplicity.
In This Issue
JackiesMessage  Jackie's Message


It Matters!!!!
 
I am sitting here looking out the window.  I see a grey sky and no snow.  I wonder what in the world is going on.
 
Life is like that.  You get used to winter and all its challenges, and then Mother Nature throws you a curve ball.  It is a well-documented fact that the weather dominates our conscious thoughts, as well as our conversations.  I think it is because the weather is a marker of time and of conditions.
Time and conditions marked the beginning of Jesus' walk towards Jerusalem where he would face the end, or at least the end as many saw it.  It is so easy to go on what we just see, feel, and imagine.
 
This Sunday marks the beginning of our slow journey into Lent. This is crazy. Honestly, I feel as if we have just finished Advent and Christmas - and here we are.
 
Here we are.
 
In this moment, we are all in God's timeless moment.  Whether we are in a hospital room, waiting for the results of surgery and tests that seem to go on forever, or whether we are wearily drawing up annual reports for this time of year on the 'state of the church - and in particular, our part of it.'
 
In all of this drama, God comes to us with words of healing and hope: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine." (Isaiah 43:1)
That promise is what we need to hear in times like this, when the sun never seems to shine, and when we wonder why we keep turning up on Sunday morning when we are one of a diminishing number of people actually coming to church.  
 
It matters.   It matters to God.   It matters to us.
 
It all matters. When you walk through the hospital door of someone you know is going through a hard time, you know it matters.
 
When you hear that someone will take over that one committee position you thought would remain empty forever, it matters.
 
When you gather around the table of God's Grace on Wednesday evening, surrounded by people who see and feel your stress and worry, it matters.
 
When you celebrate the victory of light over evil as we have done this past month in Black History Month, it matters.
 
God created the church, the body of Christ - to be there at all times, to show it matters to Him/Her.  May the Good God of Heaven and Earth be with you. May that One bless and keep you. May the Light of divine countenance shine down upon you as we enter the mystery of Lent.
 
Amen.



Rev. Jackie Burnie: Supply Minister 
WorshSched
Worship for Holy Week and Easter

Thursday April 13 at 7:00 pm:  Maundy Thursday worship with communion and dramatic readings as we remember the events of the Last Supper.

Friday April 14 at 9:00 am:  Good Friday worship with readings, reflections and symbols along with special music.  A hot cross bun breakfast follows for everyone.
 
Saturday April 15 at 9:00 pm:  First Easter Fire worship with communion.  An ancient dramatic worship service to celebrate the resurrection.  NOTE THE TIME CHANGE.
 
Sunday April 16 at 10:00 am:  Easter Sunday Worship with the Easter Dance and special festive music.


EstrVigilEaster Vigil
Please sign up for one or more '1 hour' periods to spend time praying, reflecting, reading, meditating or just being quiet in God's presence.  Many people have found this to be a very meaningful experience.  The vigil will commence on Thursday, April 13 at 9:00 pm and continues until Saturday, April 15 at 4:00 pm.
 
New this year is the opportunity to sign up for an "overnight" vigil for either Thursday April 13th or Friday April 14th.  You are invited to bring your sleeping bag and pillow for comfort.  The hours for Thursday and Friday night will be 11 pm to 7 am.  Sign up for time slots on the bulletin board at the back of the church.


GFBreakfastGood Friday Breakfast
The Worship Committee will host a hot cross bun breakfast following the Good Friday service on April 14.  As well as hot cross buns, we will serve bagels, cheese, fruit & beverages.  Free-will donations to help cover the costs are welcome.  Everyone is welcome.  Please join us!


ThankUThanks!

Lorraine Brignall, Carol LaRue and Nancy Ekels who have completed their terms on the Leadership Circle.
 

Dianne Hope for her work in Presbytery as our Presbytery representative.
 

Pat Beck, Hermine Bingham, Muriel Hamdani, Mary Anna Williams, Sandra Witterick and Cathy Scattergood for putting the comfort kits together.  There were forty kits made up and the rest of the items were sorted and boxed up for the Open Door to distribute as needed.  Also thanks to everyone who donated an enormous number of items for the Open Door guests.
 

David Brignall and David Leeder for delivering these items to the Open Door as well as the items for the  Out of the Cold program.



  LC From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
REFLECTIONS FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
 
Thank you to those of you who were able to attend and participate in our recent Annual Congregational Meeting.  We reflected on a busy 2016 and presented financial statements for the year as well as forecasted budgets for 2017.  There was realistic news about trends that are being tracked by our financial committee.  Although the numbers were disappointing, I was encouraged by the ideas and proposals that have resulted from the reality of our situation.  We heard about new fundraising initiatives, including FundScrip and the possibility of revenue generating cell towers being placed in our parking lot.  There was also a call for folks to support the Congregational Growth action plan, which will include a committee made up of interested members of the congregation as well as Leadership Circle representation.  Watch for more announcements around all of these opportunities.
 
The Nominating Committee made announcements around the changing of Leadership Circle positions.  We acknowledged the contributions of those individuals who have concluded their terms in various roles and we welcome and thank those of you who have willingly stepped up to fill important leadership positions.
 
Our Joint Search committee was also thanked for their hard work and dedication to the search process.  To date, there has been no candidate announced to fill our full time minister position.  We continue to offer thanks to Jackie Burnie, our supply minister, who has agreed to continue her contract with us until the end of June.
 
It was a time to celebrate and reflect on our work and ministry in 2016.  We continue through a transitional time and it is my hope that we approach this journey with open hearts and gratitude.
 
In God we trust .
Joanne Hines, Leadership Circle Chair
News and Reports
UpdatingCongList UPDATING EMUC'S CONGREGATIONAL CONTACT INFORMATION


Over time, all of us face changes in our lives.  We move, addresses change, telephone numbers change, email addresses change, children grow up and move away etc.  It has been a long time since EMUC has updated its contact list and recently numerous errors and omissions have been found.  It is time to update!
 
EMUC uses Constant Contact for much of its communication.  A survey has been sent out using Constant Contact to all who receive the newsletter and women who receive emails about Women for Women events.  The survey asks for each household to provide the names of adults and children in your family, the complete address, home telephone numbers, mobile numbers, as well as email addresses for adults.  For people who do not have email, a letter asking for this information is available at the church, which can be left with Peter in the office.  A mailing may be completed at a later date to those who have not responded in either of these ways.
 
The information you provide will be received by Barbara Jennings, Chair, Communications Committee. It will be used only to update our congregational mailing list and the Constant Contact distribution lists (the general and Women For Women lists). It will be used only by EMUC and will not be shared with any third party.

Please respond by March 15.

ConGrwthActPlan EMUC CONGREGATIONAL GROWTH ACTION PLAN

The recent Joint Needs Assessment Committee recommended in its report of February 2016 that the Leadership Circle focus on strategically addressing congregational growth.
In response the following action plan has been approved by the LC.


1. F
orm a "Congregational Growth Committee" comprised of two members of the LC and other members from the congregation with interests in children, youth, young adults, young families and seniors. The committee can add other members as required.  The mandate of the Committee is to explore strategies to foster congregational growth and develop action plans to achieve this goal. The committee will report to the LC on a monthly basis.


2. 
The Congregational Growth Committee will convene forums of interested individuals to explore strategies to reconnect with youth and various other groups (e.g. seniors) in the congregation where there may be gaps in programming.


3. 
The Congregational Growth Committee will work with existing committees/groups or specially formed project groups to implement the suggested action plans or tactics, once approved by the LC.


4. 
Communication of information or events will be supported by the Communication Committee in an ongoing fashion.
 

If you would like to be involved in any stage of this plan, please speak to a member of the LC.

PresRepNeededPRESBYTERY REPRESENTATIVE NEEDED

Dianne Hope has completed her term as EMUC's Presbytery Representative.  We are looking for 1 or 2 people to represent EMUC at Presbytery meetings once a month for 8-9 months of the year.  The meetings are held the 4th Tuesday evening of the month at various local churches within Presbytery.  Two people could share the work and attendance at the meetings.   If you are interested in this position, speak to Sandy Hayes or Barb Jennings. It is important that EMUC be represented at Presbytery.
Barbara Jennings
Past Events
 BlkHistMnthBLACK HISTORY MONTH

This year, the Black History Month Planning Committee decided to acknowledge the legacies of peoples of African descent each Sunday during the month of February.  To this end, it was decided to highlight one gospel song or spiritual each week.  The history of each of four songs was re searched and a synopsis shared to introduce the song.  "His Eye is On the Swallow" was the first song to be highlighted.  It was presented in dramatic manner as a liturgical dance offered by Kai Marks with a stirring piano accompaniment by Len Feldman, our Director of Music.  On Feb 26th, it was a special treat to have the spiritual "Over my Head" led by our supply minister Rev. Jackie Burnie on guitar and lead vocals.  In addition, Nancy Blackport led the Impromptu singers in a moving rendition of "Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child".
 
Karen Colwell with the assistance of Muriel Hamdani created a stunning Canadian Black History collage that was on display for the month of February.
 
On February 19th, we held the annual Black History Month service.  It was our delight to have Dr. Kofi Hope as the guest speaker and Justin Bacchus as our guest vocalist.  Kofi reminded us of EMUC's history of engaging diversity and challenged us to speak out against racism we encounter in our everyday lives.  Through his gift of song, Justin shared the history of Africville with 2 songs from Joe Sealy's "Africville Suite".  An uplifting ending to the service was Justin's closing song "Someday We'll All Be Free" by Donny Hathaway followed by the congregational hymn, "Siyahumba" ("We Are Marching In the Light of God").
 
The Black History Month Planning Committee is comprised of Hermine Bingham, Valerie Carter, Karen Colwell, Gene Green, Muriel Hamdami, Dianne Hope, Hilton Jeffers, Kai Marks and Valerie O'Neale in collaboration with Jackie Burnie.  The committee would like to acknowledge the support of our EMUC family as they walked with us to celebrate our heritage.  Thank you to each of you who contributed your time, talent and presence! 
Planning Group
Kofi Hope
Montage
Hermine Bingham
Justine Bacchus and Len Feldman



Africaville, Nova Scotia
WellnessEvent
 WELLNESS EVENT 


On Saturday, February 18 about 70 people gathered at EMUC to hear a panel discussion entitled "Living Well with Chronic Illness:  Body, Mind and Spirit."  This event was presented in partnership with St. Peter's Anglican, Erindale United and Erin Mills United, and featured four guest speakers:  Meghan Burek, a dietitian; Mary-Lynn Peters, a nurse who specializes in adult and senior mental health; Spiro Goussios, a pharmacist and owner of Dunwin Pharmacy (Dunwin Drive at Dundas Street); and Jane Smith-Eivemark, a professional practice leader for Spiritual and Supportive Care with Trillium Health Partners.  The discussion was very informative and worthwhile.  Future co-sponsored presentations and/or workshops will be scheduled.

Sandy Hayes
Upcoming Events
EasterFlowers EASTER FLOWERS

The Worship Committee is taking orders for Easter flowers after worship from March 19 to Palm Sunday April 9, 2017. Prices for the flowers are indicated on the order envelope, which are found on the table at the back of the church. These flowers will be used to decorate the Sanctuary for Easter Sunday and can be taken home after the service. Consider donating $10 toward the purchase of hydrangeas or other spring flowers to help decorate the sanctuary. Please note that we do not purchase lilies out of consideration for those who have scent allergies.

How You Can Help
GiftsWithVisionGIFTS WITH VISION

Gifts with Vision is the title of a gift catalogue issued by Mission and Service.  It provides suggestions for donations to causes within Canada and various parts of the world. There are 18 projects within Canada and 10 world projects with incremental dollar values both small and large.
 
These catalogues are found on the information table beside the photocopier room.  They are very informative and offer broad choices.  You may wish to provide financial support to a project of interest to you.  Your support will provide help and hope to those in need.  
 
FndScrptFUNDSCRIP: NEW FUNDRAISING PROGRAM
The Leadership Circle has been exploring fundraising programs in order to support the work of Erin Mills United.  Recently we registered to be part of FundScrip, an innovative 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.  This means that just by paying for your groceries and gas with gift cards you can generate funds for our church on a monthly basis.  You don't have to change where you shop or what you buy and it doesn't cost you anything extra.

Order forms for gift cards will be available the last Sunday of every month.  The next order date will be March 26.  Simply fill out the order form for the gift cards you would like, hand it in with cash or a cheque payable to Erin Mills United Church, and your order will be placed and delivered back to the church the following week.  Please see the display board at the back of the church or speak to Joanne Hines if you have any questions about the program.  We are excited to have your support for this new initiative.

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