Season of Lent                                            
                          March 2018
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Feature Article by Rev. Kathi
Why We Cannot Give Up

As Christians, at some point you and I decided that the words spirit, healing, and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth meant something to us.
At one time or another, we made sure that the things we were thinking, feeling, and the actions associated with those thoughts and feelings were to somehow align with the gospel of our Jesus.   At one time or another, we decided that the church is a body created to spiritually house and care for the world.

But the word Christian has a lot of connotations to the average person. It's confusing, and it brings up a lot of conversations about dividing lines and inclusion versus exclusion.   For Native Americans, it brings up stories of Indian residential schools and the origins of this country, in which the name of God was used for Christian Europeans to take over the land and lives of whatever indigenous peoples they could find.  It was a tool of forced conversion, assimilation, oppression, and genocide, and continues to be today for people of color and indigenous peoples.

So here we are today, and often it comes down to the fact that we are paralyzed by what's happening around us, and our attention spans cannot hold more than a few minutes' worth of information at a time.
Our news reels and Twitter feeds are stockpiles of opinions, and the words and stories of the Bible are being used to back up argument after argument on all sides, because we are in crisis.

Has the world ever been in more need of Jesus' message of hope and love?   Do you remember how he calmed storms and spoke openly in the face of oppression? Do you remember that it probably looked like the teenagers we see on our television and computer screens today?

Jesus, the leader of a nonviolent resistance, still leads, and we ought to be paying attention, because he won't look and sound like we think he will.   He will look like the least of these, like the victims of oppression.  He will look like the ones that have been beaten down, silenced, and systematically villainized.   He will look like the ones who quietly beat their weapons into plowshares.   He will look like the ones who fight against violence in our schools, but it doesn't end there.   He will also look like those who come against the violence we perpetuate within the institutional church toward women, people of color, the poor, people of other religions, indigenous peoples, peoples with disabilities, and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

It is a violence that is being named today, and because it's being named, some of our institutions, the very ones we have trusted all these years, are beginning to crumble.

And that's the exact reason why we cannot give up.

Because even Jesus, when he walked this earth, saw institutions from the inside out. He watched them begin to fray at the edges. He overturned tables when injustice seeped from the deeds of the holy and powerful.
And the truth is the "us versus them" narrative isn't working anymore.
Those teenagers who are leaving their classrooms with threats of expulsion are mirror images of us, and we cannot deny that.   The earth that cries out in pain because we have encroached on her beauty and resources time and again is also a mirror image of us.   The immigrants at our borders and the indigenous peoples who have always belonged to this land mirror the humanity of those who oppress them, and so we cannot lose sight of one another anymore.

If you hold steady to the love of the Jesus of the Gospels, you hold steady to the call to shalom, that denies violence and takes up the work of reconciliation in all of its forms.

You take up the call to care for the oppressed (in every form) despite how our individualistic faith traditions have taught us to view the world around us.

You take up the call to risk your own comfort to comfort those who are tired and afraid, and to listen more than speak.

You take up the call to openly break down systems of oppression, even if and especially if those systems bring you privilege.

And you take up the call to make the church itself the very thing it was created to be, a body of people who live under the fully inclusive love of Christ, who is for all created things the keeper of our wholeness.

The exact reason we cannot give up is the reason Jesus didn't.
There is too much work to do, and it is a work of care and love for self as well as care and love for others and for this world we inhabit.

Love, above all.
Love, when there's nothing else.
Love, because it's necessary.
Love, instead of cycles of hate.
Love, in speaking truth.
Love, in times of tension.
Love, that breaks through barriers of oppression.
Love, that sees the full picture.
Yours In Christ,
Rev Kathi

CHAIRLC   From the Leadership Circle
Annual Meeting

EMUC held its Annual Congregational Meeting on Feb. 25th. The 2018 budget was presented and approved by the congregation.

Joanne Hines has completed her term as Chair of the Leadership Circle. She was thanked for the wonderful job she has done over the past 3 years.

Change in LC Chair
New members of the Leadership Circle were also presented by the Nominating Committee and were approved by the congregation. They are (left to right):  Debby Sturgeon is taking the role as Vice-Chair, Leadership Circle; Dianne Hope is now the Chair, Leadership Circle; Joanne Hines fills the position of Focus Circle Leader, Children and Youth; and Trish Campbell has assumed the position of Member-at-Large.

New LC members

Thanks to:
  • The Black History Month team for putting together a truly meaning service and food reception on February 18.
  • Mary Anna Williams for sourcing an environmental way to recycle plastic gift cards
  • The Loaves and Dishes team for their dedication to fundraising
  • Cathy Scattergood for organizing the Comfort Kit program, all those who brought items in for the Comfort Kits and to those who packaged and delivered them
  • All committees and the office staff for their contributions to the compiling of the 2017 Annual Report
  • Lou Santamaria, Keith Campbell and Eugene Duynstee, members of the Investment Committee which oversees EMUC's investment funds
  • All the men who organized the Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday
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LifeLife at EMUC

Planning Team
Planning Team

Black History Month Celebrations

February is Black History Month and it was celebrated at EMUC in two special services on Feb. 18th and 25th. The lives and importance of notable black people from past and present, namely Maya Angelou, Charmaine Lurch, Rev. Anthony Bailey and the music 'Never Would Have Made It' by Marvin Sapp were summarized. Impromptu sang 'Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child' and the Chancel Choir presented 'Send Down Your Spirit, Lord'. Kai Marks performed an interpretive dance of 'My Lord, What a Morning'. During coffee hour after the service, traditional baking was available to enjoy.

Black History Display

Presentation of  Maya Angelou

Interpretive dance by Kai Marks
Traditional Treats in Coffee Hour

The message on Feb. 25th was presented through songs sung by a guest soloist, Rufus John from Waterloo, accompanied by Len Feldman. The music was uplifting and included 'A Change Will Come', Sam Cooke; 'What's Going On', Marvin Gaye; 'Little Ghetto Boy', Donny Hathaway; and 'Lift Every Voice and Sing', James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamund Johnson. It was a very uplifting service!
Rufus John

Rufus John and Len Feldman.

In conjunction with the Black History Month celebrations, the  EMUC Striders went to the ROM to view the exhibit 'Here We are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art'.     Pictures of some of the art are below. 

Pancake Supper and Service of Ashes

On Feb. 13th, Shrove Tuesday, the men in the congregation organized and served a pancake supper. Forty people enjoyed a meal of pancakes, ham and sausages before attending the Service of Ashes to mark the beginning of Lent. The supper raised about $240 towards fundraising. Thank you to the men who did a marvelous job!


Pastoral Concerns New Protocol

Ongoing discussion regarding individuals' privacy when sharing pastoral concerns has been happening among Rev Kathi Phillips and the Membership and Pastoral Care committee. The committee is initiating a new protocol, as a first step, to address the issue.

Prayer Cards. At Sunday worship, if you would like to request prayers for yourself or anyone you are in touch with, please complete a Prayer Card, available at the Ushers' Table in the narthex.  Place the completed card in a basket on that table, or add the Prayer Card to the collection basket during the Offering.

The Prayer Cards will be prayed over during that service, but no names will be mentioned at that time. Once permissions are received, the name of the individual may be shared on subsequent Sundays. All information is confidential until further permissions are given. The card requests information if a follow-up from Rev Kathi Phillips is desired.

If any concerns arise through the week, it is not necessary to wait for Sunday service time. Individuals may continue to let Rev Kathi know through direct contact with her.  She can then d etermine if it can be brought forward at the next worship.

 Submitted by Membership & Pastoral Care Committee

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Comfort Kits

Thank you to everyone who donated personal care items & gift bags for the comfort kits.  Seven people sorted all of the donations which were then taken to the Open Door at Square One.  These items were gratefully received as they were running low on personal care products to give to their guests.  The kits will be put together individually at the Open Door to cater to the specific needs of the guests.  Keep collecting those travel-sized products!

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UpcomingUpcoming Events
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..  

Come and enjoy a 4-course meal and a cash bar, while watching the mystery unfold.   Tickets will go on sale on Sunday March 4 and we are expecting to sell out for both evenings, so get your tickets early.   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 payable 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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  Worship for Holy Week and Easter:

Everyone is invited to join us for all or some of our services! All are welcome!

Sunday March 25 at 10:00 am Palm Sunday -  experience the joy of the Palm Parade and the passion of  entering into Holy Week.
Thursday March 29 at 7:00 pm - Maundy Thursday worship with communion and readings as we remember the events of the Last Supper.
Friday March 30 at 9:00 am - Good Friday worship with readings, reflections, symbols and special music.  A hot cross bun breakfast, follows the service with breakfast for everyone.
Sunday April 1 at 10:00 am -   Easter Sunday worship and communion with the Easter Dance and special joyous music.
Easter Flowers:
Once again, the Worship Committee is taking orders for Easter flowers. Prices for the flowers are indicated on the envelopes which are located on the back table outside the conference room. Orders will be taken from Sunday March 4 to Palm Sunday March 25.  The flowers will be used to decorate the church for Easter Sunday morning and anyone who wishes can take their flowers home after the service. Please note that we do not purchase lilies in consideration for those who have scent allergies.

Easter Vigil:
The Easter Vigil is a longstanding tradition at Erin Mills United. Please sign up for one or more 'one 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 meaningful and spiritual experience. The Vigil will commence on Thursday March 29 at 9:00 pm and continues to Saturday March 31 at 3:00 pm.
Last year people were invited to sign up for an "overnight" vigil for either the Thursday or Friday night (starting at 11:00 pm to 7:00 am).  Since this was a positive experience last year, you are once again invited to bring your sleeping bag and pillow for comfort. 
Please sign up for time slots on the Vigil sheet located on the bulletin board outside the office door. Any questions can be directed to Sylvia Arnold.
Good Friday Hot Cross Bun Breakfast:
Following the Good Friday Service on March 30 9:00 am, the worship committee will host a hot cross bun breakfast. As well as hot cross buns, bagels, cheese, fruit and beverages will be served! Free-will donations to help cover the costs are welcome. Please join us!

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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.

Communiqué Dates for 2018



MAY 25
Editor: Janet Morrison        Layout: Barbara Jennings

Erin Mills United Church | |
3010 The Collegeway
Mississauga, L5L4X9