Season of Epiphany                                        February 2018
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Feature Article by Rev. Kathi

Our Response to Loneliness
Is loneliness the latest pandemic to be identified?
A report last year from the International Red Cross has said that loneliness was as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Another study says that loneliness has a bigger negative impact on longevity than poor diet, lack of exercise and a polluted environment. It is a proven fact that people who have happy and stress-free lives live longer than those who are bogged down with stress or are unhappy and lonely.

In 2016 the United Arab Emirates was the first country in the world to announce a Ministry for Happiness. Ohoud bint Khalfan Al Roumi was appointed the first Minister of Happiness with the responsibility to plan programs and policy to achieve a happier society. The responsibility of the office was to "align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction".

Nearly two year later, Britain has appointed the world's first Minister for Loneliness, a problem that causes unhappiness. Last week Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Tracey Crouch, a junior minister for sport and civil society, will also take on the newly created portfolio of Loneliness.

May described loneliness as the "sad reality of modern life" that affects millions of people in UK.  "I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones - people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with," said May.

The pursuit of happiness is not a new concept and in fact the United States enshrined it as an individual right in their Declaration of Independence nearly 250 years ago. Since the 1970s the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has instituted a Gross National Happiness Index, which measures happiness based on psychological well-being, ecology, health, education, culture, living standards, time use, community vitality and good governance.

In 2013, Venezuela created a Vice-Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness and Ecuador named a State Secretary for "buen vivir", or good living. In 2017 India's second largest state Madhya Pradesh appointed a Minister of Happiness in the state government. Measuring happiness has become very important these days and surveys linking happiness and the country's overall development are becoming prevalent. The United Nations has called on member states to place more emphasis on happiness as a measurement for social and economic development. Since 2013, the UN has also published annually a World Happiness Report which ranks 157 countries from the happiest which was judged to be Denmark to the least happy, which was Burundi in the last edition. (In case you were wondering, Canada ranked 7th in 2017)

People are now living longer and therefore many places in the world have a larger aging population. A breaking down of the family unit, and work pressures on children has meant that the elderly no longer live as part of extended families with children and grandchildren and hence feel very lonely. A survey showed that over 50% of the elderly and the over 75-year-olds in Britain live on their own, often going for weeks without seeing another human being.
Loneliness doesn't affect just the elderly. The technological revolution has also meant that we can all live more unconnected lives with so much being done through the computer and the internet from the comfort of our own homes, without any physical interaction with other people. Human interaction is becoming unnecessary and it is demolishing real sociability and replacing it with a virtual reality which can be the cause of loneliness among the younger generations.
Our faith community can be like an extended family: we watch out for each other, reach out to our ill and isolated members and always hold each other up in prayer. Our Membership and Pastoral Care Circle coordinates a lot of this loving care but cannot do it without your help and input. If you know of anyone needing attention you can, of course, reach out to them on your own. You can also make the team aware and, if you have an interest, come and be a part of this important work of the church.
Yours In Christ,
Rev Kathi

CHAIRLC   From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
Despite the fact that I often associate the fall with the beginning of a busy church season, I have come to realize that there are really no quiet times at EMUC. As we start into a fresh year, we have had a busy January, with a meaningful and lovely covenanting service with Kathi Phillips and a launch of a new children and family area within the sanctuary.

As I write this article, annual reports are being written and budgets are being prepared to present to the congregation at our Annual General Meeting on February 25 following the worship service. There are also several folks who are memorizing lines and developing characters for an upcoming fundraiser that will involve a Murder Mystery dinner at Eden United Church. This event will be a shared fundraiser with both churches, and the show will be performed on both April 28 and 29. Rehearsals have been taking place since the beginning of January and everyone involved is working hard to make this a fun evening for all who attend. Please watch for more information once we get closer, as we will need a team of people to assist with behind the scenes jobs for this important fundraiser.

We also received encouraging news around our sponsored refugee and hope that we will be welcoming him to Canada very soon. This church is a living, breathing entity that is continually changing, growing, encouraging, supporting and actively participating in our community. I am amazed by the work of this congregation and thankful for the opportunity to participate in such positive experiences alongside so many of you.

Joanne Hines, Leadership Circle Chair

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Thanks to:

  • Sylvia Arnold for all she does to plan and organize the worship services, special services; e.g. Hope and Healing service, Christmas and the Covenanting Service.
  • Len Feldman, Nancy Blackport, Dianne Hope, Sylvia Arnold, Janet Morrison and Barb Jennings for providing music at the Hope and Healing service.
  • 'Loaves and Dishes' members for overseeing the receptions after the Covenanting service.
  • To all who baked for the funeral reception for Susan Nauss.
  • All those contributing to and organizing the Christmas hamper program in December.
  • Chancel Choir for the special music during Advent and Christmas.
  • All those who contributed to Out of the Cold and the Comfort Kits.
  • Linda Lee for her special decorations to illustrate our Advent Theme.
  • To all who helped take down and store Christmas decorations.
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Transitions Transitions

EMUC has lost three members during the month of January. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are sent to the families of:

Sharon Kashino
Susan Nauss
Don Holder

LifeLife at EMUC


Covenanting Service

On Jan. 14th the Covenanting Service involving Rev. Kathi Phillips, Erin Mills United Church and Halton Presbytery was held to celebrate Rev. Kathi's new ministry with us. The service was led by Rev. Orville James representing the Presbytery. The invited speaker was Rev. Debra Sneider, a friend and colleague of Kathi's. The Chancel Choir sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd'. Symbols (a Bible, Water, Basin and Towel, Bread and Wine, the Woven Tapestry) were presented to Kathi by members of the Joint Search Committee: Kathy Andres, Sylvia Arnold, Neil Ekels, Georganne Vickery, Janet Tait, Hilton Jeffers and Gabriel Fearon. Kathi was invited to weave her thread into EMUC's tapestry.

The service was well attended. It was nice to see old friends and new. Former ministers associated with EMUC (Rev. Harry Oussouren, Rev. Joanne Hedge, Rev.Jackie Burnie and Lynda Appleby) were in attendance. A reception followed the service.



Circle of Friends

The women of Circle of Friends held a potluck luncheon on Jan. 24th. Thanks to Sue Ogilvie and Sylvia Arnold who organized the event. A good time was had by all!



New EMU Club Kid Zone
On Sunday Jan. 28th, we launched our new kids club area within the sanctuary. The idea will be for children and families to use the space and enjoy quiet, hands on activities during the worship service. Technology will be set up to encourage the children to enjoy a bible story or do a puzzle on an iPad. Children will be encouraged to play instruments when the hymn is appropriate for accompaniment. There is a trend that is moving toward more inclusive program delivery for children in worship and we are excited to involve our young people in activities within our space. On our launch Sunday, 4 children enjoyed the new space and were quietly engaged in things like playdough, drawing and using whiteboards. Please come by to see our new area.


Women for Women

On Jan. 26th Women for Women gathered for the first time in 2018. The evening started with a light dinner followed by a games night. Twenty women divided into groups to play various games. There was lots of laughter and fellowship during the evening.

The next Women for Women evening will be Mar. 2nd which will be a travelogue. Watch for the invitation! All are welcome!

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Update on Children of Hope Haiti

We, at Children of Hope Haiti, would like to thank you sincerely for your donations towards both school supplies and school uniforms in the past year. There were enough school supplies to supply 3 of the schools we sponsor. They were gratefully received. In addition, we were able to purchase 100 school uniforms for a brand new school (Leveque) which opened up in a former tent city and is now one of our sponsored schools. These children could not have afforded to purchase a school uniform without your help. This school covers grades 1-6.

Our organization is focused on education of youth in Haiti. The type of work which we do involves direct sponsorship of students so they can remain in school. We also provide supplies, books and funds directly to our sponsored schools. An initiative which we began 4 years ago was the provision of used laptops for older students. This initiative has evolved into the set-up of 4 small community-based labs where a qualified instructor teaches students basic computer applications (Windows, Word, Excel). We support high school students as well as a post-secondary scholarship program.

All of this would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Because we are a small grass-roots organization, we are able to reach young people in impoverished areas of Haiti and help them with their education. We travel to Haiti twice a year and deliver the supplies and funds. I, personally, have been going to Haiti for the past 5 years and hope to travel there again in March 2018. There is constant communication between our organization and our partners in Haiti during the year. Please look us up on our website:

                               a sincere thank you...      Lorraine Brignall
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An Attitude of Gratitude - 2017 Stewardship Program

It is with a sincere sense of gratitude that I express appreciation to all those that made this year's stewardship program in November a success. We had an increase in both the response rate and the dollars committed to the work of EMUC. The good news is that regular projected givings are close to 2017 actuals stopping the drastic decline that we have experienced over the last few years. This gives us a good foundation to build on as we move forward. The draft 2018 budget, however, will show a decrease in the overall estimated givings because of a decline in special offering contributions expected at Christmas.

I would like to thank Mike Ogilvie for preparing the stewardship package that was mailed to the congregation, for tracking the returns and for tabulating the results. I also greatly appreciate the support of Barbara Jennings in preparing the communications plan for the program.

                                             Submitted by Dave Leeder,
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UpcomingUpcoming Events

Black History Month

This year EMUC will celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 18th and 25th. 

The theme for this year is "On Eagles Wings", and on Feb. 18th four members of the congregation will tell you what inspires them and helps them to "soar". Special music will be provided by Impromptu and Off the Cuff.   At 12 noon, Tim Hayes will lead the EMUC Striders on a visit to the ROM to see "Here We Are Here": Black Canadian Art Exhibition.

On Feb. 25th, we will have a guest soloist or group who will lead us in a service of readings and music.

Other events of interest in the area, are a Kick-Off Celebration of Black History Month at the Oakville Town Hall on Feb. 1st - 6:30 - 8:30 pm, and a visit to the Erchless Museum on Navy Street in Oakville which usually has an interesting display of the Black History of the area.

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Calling All Euchre Players!

This is an invitation to a lively evening of euchre and great desserts at   Erin Mills United Church in the Lower Hall on Saturday Feb. 10th.  Please arrive to sign in at 6:30 pm. so that play may start at 7:00 pm sharp.  The cost is $10 payable at the door.  Come to  enjoy great cards, win prizes and enjoy yummy desserts.   W hether you have a partner or are a single player, all are welcome. Please e mail Mary Anna Williams to reserve a seat and include the number of attendees.     

                                            Submitted by Mary Anna Williams


Bunch for Lunch

The next 'Bunch for Lunch' is Sunday Feb.11, 2018 after service at Symposium restaurant at 3055 Dundas St W, - NW corner of Dundas and Winston Churchill.    Separate cheques. Come join us for a time of fellowship.  All are welcome!
                                           Submitted by  Larry van Goozen


Pancake Dinner on Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 13th

On Feb. 13th come to a dinner of pancakes, sausages and much more being prepared and served by the men of the congregation.   Gather at 5:45pm for dinner at 6pm. Tickets at the door are $10/adult; $5/child - family maximum of $25. Shrove Tuesday Pancake dinners are rooted in the tradition of using up sugars and fatty foods prior to Lent so that meals during Lent are simpler fare. This is a great time for all ages - invite your friends and neighbours. 


EMUC Striders 

The Royal Ontario Museum is showing an exhibit called "Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art"  EMUC Striders will take to the ROM for Black History Month, Feb. 18th, 2018.   A Sign up sheet is in the Narthex, for those that can attend and offer to car pool from EMUC at 12 noon.
Museum is open until 5:30 if some want to stay later.
Single Admissions (order online or at door. No group rates)
Adult $20
Senior $17
Child $14
Youth $15.50
                                                      Submitted by Tim Hayes


Dates to Remember:

Sunday Feb. 25th after the service - Annual Meeting

Lent and Holy Week Services

Tuesday Feb. 13th at 7:00 pm. - Service of Ashes
Sunday Mar. 25th at 10:00 am. - Palm Sunday
Thursday Mar. 29th at 7:00 pm. - Maundy Thursday Service
Friday Mar. 30th at 9:00 am. - Good Friday Service followed by a hot cross bun breakfast
Sunday Apr. 1st at 10:00 am. - Easter Sunday Service

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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