Communiqué
November, 2018 

                                  Season:   Ordinary Time                       

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Feature Article by Rev. Kathi
Feature
Three Fears, Three Ways of Dealing
 
"For what does it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their soul?"  Mark 8:36

There are three things that really scare me right now: the decline of democracy, the arc of our planet's health, and the rise of dehumanization.
 
Dehumanization is to deprive a person, or group of people, of human qualities, personality, or spirit; such as referring to the poor as vermin, or all women as dogs, etc. This is of particular concern because it is creeping in and being normalized in nearly every part of the world. And we have seen in the past what happens when we normalize it.Yet we are barrelling down this path with abandon.
 
Perhaps your concerns are different from mine. One thing is clear regardless: there is much to be worried about in these times.
 
The world is changing in dramatic and unpredictable ways and I'm pretty sure that unless we prepare ourselves with love now, we won't be ready to see through one another's dehumanizing behavior to the frightened child within. Then, we may only make it worse by adding to the dehumanization of others.
 
To prepare ourselves we need at least these three things:

1.To pray, more than ever before.
We need to get on our knees, figuratively or literally. We need to cultivate our core essence of God's love. That knowing cannot be taken away and guides our feet along right pathways. It helps us see all people as God's beloved so we seek their shalom.
 
2. To read those who offer their wisdom and experience .
Read scripture. Lament with the psalmists. Demand answers from God with Job. Seek the poor in the Beatitudes. And remember with Jesus and Paul that God's love is patient, kind, just, and forgiving.   Read the saints. Read Desmund Tutu, Oscar Romero, Theresa of Calcutta, and try some Brene Brown, Anne Lamott and Rob Bell.  Get reacquainted with old favourites and make new ones of those who have anticipated and lived through frightening days while cultivating their love of God, love for humanity, and hope.

3. To gather together.
Gather together with the ones you can cry and get scared with, who will hand you tissues and a glass of wine-and who will then tell you to get up and get back to work.

Cultivate relationships with those who will listen and bolster your courage to carry on in love. Nurture connection and vulnerability.
And gather together with your faith community that you may encourage each other to be the voice crying out in the wilderness, the prophetic call to humanize the "other" when the "other" seems inhuman.
 
As followers of Jesus and people of the Good News, we need each other in these changing times to manage our fears and figure out together how to lead and live into hope.
 
With love,
Rev. Kathi 



CHAIRLC  
 From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
Listening for Understanding
 
"These are troubling times." This sentiment is being echoed over and over again these days. The constant news feed coming from our southern neighbours and events that are occurring on the world stage and in our own country have left many of us with a sense of unease and concern about the future. We humans seem intent on withdrawing into our own groups, yelling and screaming at each other with venom, and even resorting to violence to maintain our positions. We seem to be saying "my story", "my point of view", my way of being is the only valid one, and is in fact superior to yours. And we try to drown out the stories of those outside our group.
 
Recently I read an opinion piece about the current political climate in the USA and for a while I could not shake the sadness and heaviness that settled in my mind and body. My spirits have been buoyed however, by two events in which I participated during the last two weeks. They have given me hope that some are willing to listen to the "other" and to resist the negativity that surrounds us.

One of these events was the Kairos Blanket Exercise hosted by the Interfaith, Justice and Peace group right here at EMUC. During this interactive history presentation, we gained an understanding of how intentional actions, disease and prejudice helped set the stage for the current crises in, and marginalization of many of Canada's Indigenous communities.

               

How could this have been a hopeful exercise? I think it had to do with the telling of stories. Stories of how communities and individuals were impacted by (on-going) government policies and abuse in residential schools. I listened and as I listened my understanding and compassion grew. I also listened to the reasons for unveiling these painful stories. My understanding is that the rifts that divide Canada's Indigenous peoples and other Canadians can only be healed as we listen to their stories, grow in compassion and determine to work with them to create a brighter future. Reconciliation and healing cannot happen until past injustices are made known and acknowledged.

On Sunday October 14th, Shuaib Khan and his wife Riswana from the ISNA Islamic community came to EMUC to invite us to an Open House at their mosque on October 21st. A small group from EMUC attended. We were warmly and generously welcomed. We were fed and given gifts to take home. A presentation on the history of Muslims in Canada was interesting and enlightening. We listened as some of the young people passionately explained tenets of their faith and invited us to understand their beliefs. We were impressed by the efforts of both adults and youth to build bridges with our Christian community.
 
I am grateful to be part of a community of Christian faith where members are willing to listen to the stories of "others". It is my hope that we will continue to engage difference and that we will be the kind of neighbours that will work with intention to create communities of mutual respect, understanding and love.
 
Many Blessings,
Dianne Hope, Leadership Circle Chair


Transitions
Stewardship 2018
STEWARDSHIP 2018 - WIDEN THE CIRCLE
 
Each year in November we focus on Stewardship at EMUC.  Each of us is asked to prayerfully consider how we can use our time, talents and finances to support the mission of our church.
 
It is also time to celebrate the generous support that the members and adherents of the congregation have given over the years.  This is demonstrated by the fact that we have a higher percentage of PAR than most other congregations.  In addition you have given generously of your time and talent in many capacities to further the ministry and programs of EMUC.
 
Our challenge going forward is that our givings have been decreasing, reflecting the decline in the numerical size of our congregation.
 
     YEAR  
ACTUALS
# Giving
 
 
 
2013
211,876
205
2014
201,043
179
2015
198,008
160
2016
185,760
149
2017
166,612
147
2018
165,000
(budget)
       (est.)
 
 
The good news is that there appears to be a decline in the amount of decrease year to year but the reality is that we are running a deficit budget.
 
YEAR
SURPLUS
DEFICIT
2013
9,609
 
2014
10,645
 
2015
2,244
 
2016
 
2194
2017
 
2155**
2018
 
24,700

**A deficit of $20,650 was projected for 2017 but as a result of the delay in hiring of a full-time Minister there was an approximate $24,000 saving on the salary line.

Our operating expenses in the same period have remained fairly constant around $260,000.  Each year reductions have been made to compensate for the effect of inflation and rising utility costs.  We have strived to increase other sources of revenue such as fundraising and rentals.
 
Basically we have a revenue shortage, not an expenditure problem. Preliminary figures for 2019 indicate that we face another deficit of approximately $25,000.
 
To date we have covered the deficits from our operating surplus built up over the years.  At the end of 2017 this surplus was $88,000.  In four to five years these funds will be depleted, and we will need to access the funds from the land sale to cover our operating budget.
 
If we are to correct this trend we need to increase the number of givers.  The Congregational Growth Committee is busy looking at the path forward.  We need to Widen the Circle supported by your continued support.  
 
 
OUR CONGREGATION'S PAR PROGRAM

1.  What is PAR? PAR means Pre-Authorized Remittance whereby your monthly donations to local operating expenses and Mission & Service are debited to your bank or credit card. If you have automatic withdrawals from your bank account to pay bills, taxes, or mortgage, then you already understand the PAR principle.

2.  Why give using PAR? Besides being convenient, using PAR for your offering ensures regular monthly givings to help our church's ministry even when you are away. You will be providing EMUC a dependable flow of contributions, which increases our overall financial stability

3.  Are there other donations that can be made using PAR? In addition to local operating expenses and Mission & Service you can donate to the Benevolent Fund and the Deacon's Cupboard

4.  When are payments charged to my account? Payments are processed on the 20th of each month.

5.  Can I change or stop my PAR donations if my circumstances change? You may amend or revoke your authorization at anytime, subject to providing notice of 15 days to our Envelope Secretary, Mike Ogilvie.

6.  What if my bank or credit card information changes? You simply inform Mike Ogilvie of the change and he will update your information.

7. How do I enroll in PAR? If you wish to take this step please contact Mike Ogilvie in person or through the church office.


Thank you for your generosity, commitment and participation in the life of EMUC.
 
Dave Leeder
Treasurer/Chair of Finance

Thanks
Thanks
 
Thanks to:
  • Kathi and Greg Phillips for hosting the Striders after their hike to Webster Falls
  • All who cooked, served, set-up, cleaned-up or drove for the Open Door dinner
  • Lorraine Moore for organizing the Open Door dinner

LifeLife at EMUC
  Item1
Refugee Support Appeal Update - Northwest Mississauga Constituent Group

At the end of May, the Northwest Mississauga Constituent Group welcomed Tarek to Canada, and Nadeem and his family arrived at the end of June.  They have all settled into their new homes in Mississauga.  As the weather gets colder, they are all anxious about the approach of winter.
 
Both Tarek and Nadeem have had their credentials assessed by W.E.S. (World Educational Services) and been granted Canadian equivalency.  Tarek has completed the theoretical part of a Social Integration program at the University of Toronto and is now completing some case studies in order to earn the certificate.  He is volunteering at the United Church of Canada and the Syrian Community Center in order to gain Canadian experience and has also joined the Interview Squad at Culture Link.
 
Nadeem is studying for exams to upgrade his qualifications and plans to participate in a co-op program to help with his interview skills and add some Canadian experience to his resumé.  Both he and Tarek are anxious to start work and make use of their skills.  Nadeem especially wants to be able to support his family without depending on others.

Oula is making a lot of progress in her English classes and has become much more confident.  Her plan is to gain enough proficiency to enroll in college courses.

Five-year-old Lelas started senior kindergarten in September.  She loves school and is learning English very quickly.  Nadeem and Oula are both impressed by the Canadian education system.
  
Ahmed is a typical active nineteen-month old. He is in child care while mom goes to her English classes.
 
Tarek, Nadeem and Oula are all extremely grateful for the opportunity they have been given to start a new life in Canada.  They know that without our ongoing support, none of this would be possible.

REFUGEE FUNDRAISING APPEAL UPDATE
 
EMUC's Target:   $10 000
Raised to date: $4,190
 
As a member of the Northwest Mississauga Constituent Group, Erin Mills United Church has made a commitment to fully support our sponsored refugees for one year following their arrival in Canada.  In early 2016, the members of the constituent group; Erin Mills, Streetsville, and Erindale United Churches, with support from Eden United Church raised $63,078.82.  EMUC's contribution was $17,842.81.  The projections at that time were based on 2015 prices which have increased in the interim.
 
In order to meet our commitment, a further $40,000 is required.  The target for EMUC is $10,000.

Because the refugees we are sponsoring have been granted refugee status by the United Nations Refugee Agency, all donations are eligible for charitable tax receipts.  Envelopes are available at the church and cheques should be payable to Erin Mills United Church with the memo Refugee Sponsorship.
 
Your generous support, both financial and in kind, throughout the sponsorship are deeply appreciated.
 
Debby Sturgeon (sturgs4@rogers.com )
 

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Item2
Striders' October Hike

On Sunday, October 21st, 16 in the group carpooled to Dundas, Ontario to hike the trails above Spencer Gorge and the magnificent tiered Webster Falls.  On a crisp fall afternoon, the sunshine highlighted the change of colours for a spectacular display from the escarpment brow to the forested depths of the gorge below. 


Thanks to Kathi and Greg for inviting the group into their home for hot chocolate, apple cider and sweets after the hike (and after a busy baptism of their grandson Malcolm).

Tim Hayes  



  Item3
Open Door Dinner, October 25th

The congregation of Erin Mills always comes through and this was no exception.  We all lead busy lives but you cooked, baked, tossed and brought the extras.  Such a tremendous effort!  Thank you all!  A thank you goes as well to Yvonne Marot, Gene Green, Doreen Sims, Mary Anna Williams and Trish Campbell, who helped deliver, set up, serve and clean up.  What a team!  Lynn Culham the executive director welcomed us and expressed her appreciation. There were about 50 people in attendance and they really enjoyed our food, many having second helpings, and thanked us for coming.    We could not have done it without your generosity.
 
Lorraine Moore



Item4
Women for Women

On October 19th, about 30 women gathered at EMUC for dinner and a presentation.  We enjoyed make-your-own sandwiches, salad & yummy desserts. Then Daphne Bennett, a former participant at EMUC, led us through an overview of yoga as a combination of physical, mental and social well-being.  We practiced three different breathing exercises to induce calm, help with sleep and potentially help reduce the development or impact of dementia.  We can now use these techniques at home.

Cathy Scattergood


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 Item5  
Follow-up to Café Sunday
 
In the last newsletter, we reported about the Café Sunday event. There was a lot of energy in the congregation that morning and thanks go  to all who participated. Many suggestions were made and were taken to the Leadership Circle (LC) at its meeting on October 16th.  Each Focus Circle Leader (FCL) has received the comments related to their focus area and has been asked to consider all the suggestions.  You may hear from the FCL for more information.  The LC appreciates all the suggestions and some may be implemented over time.

To read the summary of the suggestions, please click the 'Read Comments' button below.

                                                              Read Comments



Upcoming
Upcoming Events
  Event1 
BUNCH FOR LUNCH
 
The next Bunch for Lunch is scheduled for November 4th after the service at 11:45 am. We will meet at the Symposium Restaurant,  3055 Dundas St W, Mississauga (north side of Dundas just west of Winston Churchill in the plaza with Mandarin). Separate bills.   All are welcome.


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 Event2
CALLING ALL KNITTERS AND KNITTER WANNABES!
 
A Prayer Shawl ministry will be held in the church narthex the first Wednesday of every month, commencing Wednesday, November 7th, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  The shawls will be given to EMUC members (and beyond) who are unable to attend due to being shut in, or ill, or who just need to feel wrapped in prayer from our church. All knitters, learners, or those who just want to chat are welcome. The Fall is the perfect time to get back to knitting, so dust off those needles, gather your extra yarn and plan to drop by. 
 
If you have any questions please call Sandy Hayes @ 905 820 4437.

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Event6
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 'WRITE FOR RIGHTS'
 
Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization focused on human rights, uses the power of the written word to protect individuals or communities whose human rights have been denied.  They convince government officials to release people imprisoned for simply expressing their opinion (prisoners of conscience), stop the use of torture and end other human rights abuses.
 
Every year around December 10th to mark International Human Rights Day, Amnesty holds "Write for Rights" events world-wide.  The Interfaith Peace and Justice Committee has organized events at EMUC for the past two years and will be doing so once again.  The date will be announced later in November.   Last December we wrote letters on behalf of people like:
 

          - Clovis, facing jail time in Madagascar for protecting the rainforest

          - Shackelia, harassed for speaking out against police violence in Jamaica

         -  Xhula, murdered in Bangladesh for defending LGBTI rights and whose killers have still not been brought to justice.


 

Sample letters and letter writing tips are always provided.  There are usually petitions available to sign and there are opportunities to send a card or greeting to those we are defending.  Even such simple acts bring hope and remind prisoners of conscience that they are not alone.
 
Our words and letters do make a difference.  Please join the Interfaith Peace and Justice Committee in bringing hope to individuals and communities whose human rights have been violated .  If you are interested in participating in or helping to organize the 2018 "Write for Rights" event at EMUC, please contact any member of the Interfaith Peace and Justice Committee: Muriel Hamdani, Dianne Hope, Debby Sturgeon, Larry Van Goozen.
 
For further information about Amnesty International go to
                       www.amnestyinternational.ca
 


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 Event3
NEXT WOMEN FOR WOMEN

Our next event will be on  Friday, November 2 3 at EMUC.  We will have dinner followed by a workshop on creative writing led by Cathy Kiteley.  We will have the opportunity to create a piece of work.  There will also be a cookie exchange (voluntary participation). Information will be sent out shortly.
 
**We are looking for a small group of women willing to help with the food (shopping, preparing) for one event or as many as you would like to help with.

Please see Cathy Scattergood for more information.
 

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Event4
BOOKWORMS WANTED! 
 
There has been interest expressed in creating a third book club at EMUC. Five or so people, to a maximum of ten, are required to get this started. The present book clubs would be happy to share information about their structure when new members meet to discuss and design their own.  Sign up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board in the narthex, or call Sandy Hayes at 905-820-4437. The new club could meet during the day or evening depending on the availability of the members, so please state your preference. 


Event5

ADVENT & CHRISTMAS EVENT DATES

Sunday November 25th, 11:30 am - Hanging of the Greens
                                                          - Stewardship Luncheon

Sunday December 2nd, 10 am - Advent 1 - 'Hope' & Communion

Sunday December 9th, 10 am - Advent 2 - 'Peace' & White Gift
 
Wednesday December 12th, 2 pm - Christmas Tea
 
 
Sunday December 16th, 10 am - Advent 3 - 'Joy'
                                            7 pm - Candlelight Carol Service & Reception

Wednesday December 19th, 7 pm -  
Service of Hope and Healing

Sunday December 23rd, 10 am -  Advent 4 - 'Love'
           
Monday December 24th, 6:30 pm - Christmas Eve Family Service
                                          9 pm - Candlelight Communion Service



About EMUC

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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 PUBLICATION

NOVEMBER 23
DECEMBER 2
 
Editor: Janet Morrison        Layout: Barbara Jennings

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