November 2017

Easter Service

It is Ordinary Time in the Church year.

  In November the focus is on Stewardship.  The theme this year is:
An Attitude of Gratitude

In This Issue
A Time to Build Up

What happens when you build something with a little child? You stack the blocks as high as you can, and they can't wait to swipe their hand and knock it down. And then you start the process again. As children it is in our nature to build and knock down. And as we outgrow childhood, we tend to go in one direction or the other. We become more of a builder, or we turn into more of a destroyer at heart. Some make their life's work about building things - families, neighborhoods, faith communities, nations, relationships, and systems that promote justice and peace. Others put a lot of their energy into tearing down other people and tearing apart whatever doesn't suit them.
We're at a moment when the destroyers have loud voices in our world. They've taken to their podiums, pulpits, and bullhorns to spread division, mistrust, fear, and anger - the tools for destruction from within. They're marauders who create chaos that gives them the cover to plunder. Their intent is to knock everything down and rule over the rubble. They get their thrills from toppling what others have built, but have no interest in building something of their own. They attack nonstop and leave everything in ruin. They're temperamentally incapable of anything else. They have no interest in doing the hard work of recognizing what's good in the world and improving upon what exists.
That's not how you build a healthy society.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a builder. His intention wasn't to destroy society, but to elevate it. He sacrificed so much for his dream of a of a world where everyone was treated equally. He helped to build a coalition that overcame racial, political, social, religious, and ideological differences and moved everyone forward. That's what builders do. 
An assassin thought he could destroy the dream with a bullet, but he was mistaken. Builders continue bending the moral arc and improving the world a little more each day, even as other seek to topple the gains.
MLK drew inspiration from a rabbi who also was known for building - Jesus. Jesus worked to build the kingdom of God, a place where the hungry are fed, the sick are healed, and everyone is treated as an equally beloved child of God. Religious and political leaders thought they could destroy him and his kingdom, bury them in a tomb and be done with them. They were wrong.
The building goes on. And each of us needs to be part of the never-ending construction project. The only requirements: commitment and persistence. And love, a lot of love. Every word, every interaction with another person must build them up with love.
Builders also need resolve that they'll avoid getting sucked into the division and acrimony that destroy people, movements, and societies from within. We can't play into the marauders' hands. It's difficult to resist getting pulled into their drama, but we must.
The destroyers have found their voices and their followers. It feels like our society is tottering. We need more of those other voices to stabilize us. We've been through this before and we know how it works. We can always rebuild.
The world could use a lot more builders. Someone like you.

                                                                             Rev. Kathi Phillips

From the Chair, Leadership Circle

The Fall is a Busy Season

The fall is a busy season around EMUC.  Initiatives and ideas that were fostered in spring often become projects and plans in the fall.  We hope you can plan to attend our congregational meeting on November 12 to hear about a project that the Leadership Circle has been exploring for months.  A rental agreement that would place cell poles with attached lighting in our parking lot has been thoroughly researched and a motion will be brought to the congregation to move forward with this fundraising opportunity. 
New methods of offering children's programming are also being explored.  We hope to introduce some new, creative ways of offering inclusive services to young people and their families in the New Year.
Our focused Stewardship campaign continues in November, although we all understand that stewardship is something we offer throughout the year.  I encourage you to return your Stewardship forms and help us anticipate and plan appropriately for the upcoming year.
I also encourage you to watch for regular announcements from the Nominating Committee, who continue to search for volunteers willing to take on important roles at EMUC.
The list of activities grows.  We are energized by new and creative ways to be the church.  We hope you help us explore these interesting projects and opportunities and we remain grateful for the gifts you share and the commitment of so many dedicated volunteers.

                                        Joanne Hines, Leadership Circle Chair

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Thanks to:
  • Cindy Young and Terry Loffree for baking special shortbread cookies and corn bread for World Wide Communion
  • Mora Cairns for presenting her poetic skills with her Poem reflecting on the 25 years of EMUC in its current location.
  • All those who helped decorate the sanctuary for Thanksgiving.
  • The Music Committee for their commitment to choosing music for each Sunday
  • All those who participated in the Advent Planning session
  • All members of Loaves & Dishes who helped make turkey pies and baked for the Thanksgiving bake sale: Lynda Appleby, Pat Beck, Lorraine Brignall, Trish Campbell, Muriel Hamdani, Barb Jennings, Patti King, Marianne McVittie, Vicki Miller, Lorraine Newman, Sue Ogilvie, Janet Read, Mary Anna Williams. Also thanks to all individuals who baked and donated individually
  • Tim Hayes for organising the Striders hikes


We're Moving to Cobourg

In the year since my retirement, Al and I been navigating this new chapter in our lives.  We've taken some small trips together to various parts of Ontario.  In February we travelled to Ottawa during Winterlude to see the ice sculptures, tour Parliament Hill and attend Question Period.  In late September, we sailed from Tobermory via the Chi-Cheemaun ferry to Manitoulin Island.  We hiked a number of the trails on the island and enjoyed the changing colours of the season.

Although the summer was wetter and cooler than usual, we spent time at family cottages in Muskoka and east of Peterborough, swimming, canoeing and catching up with members of our extended family.

Our main focus this past year has been preparing to sell our house here in Mississauga prior to moving to Cobourg, Ontario.  For a good part of the winter and spring, Al and our son Thomas renovated and updated our Mississauga home.  New flooring was laid in the basement and in the second story.  The kitchen got a face lift with new flooring, countertops and painted cupboards.  New fixtures and a fresh coat of paint throughout the house completed the new 'look'.  We also undertook a massive decluttering.  After living here for 33 years we had accumulated a lot of 'stuff'.  We were pleased to be able to donate many boxes of books, games, and household items to EMUC's annual garage sale.  And in a final push to put our house on the market, a number of EMUC folk offered their time and labour to help with a final clean up and 'staging' of the house. Thank you very much!

We listed on June 21st - the first day of summer, and then we waited and waited.  Unfortunately, the real estate market had slowed to a crawl after a very fast-paced winter and spring.  Finally on September 22nd - the first day of fall, we accepted an offer on our house!  We subsequently spent a hectic couple of days in the Cobourg area visiting and checking out various houses for sale.  By Thanksgiving we had successfully purchased a new home!  We move into our new house at 728 Westwood Dr. in Cobourg on December 1st.  We look forward to settling in and celebrating our first Christmas there.  As some of you may know, Al grew up in the Cobourg area and we are pleased to be living very close to Al's sister, Anne Burnham, and her family, all of whom are engaged in farming and operating the Burnham Farm, Family Farm Market and Maplewood Stables.
Cobourg is located in Northumberland County; a beautiful region that borders Lake Ontario to the south and includes rolling hills with farmland, rural communities and tracts of forest.  We've been busy researching places in the county to hike, cross country ski, snowshoe and canoe.  As we make Cobourg our new home, we will be looking for ways to be engaged in the community through participation in the local United Church along with involvement in regional environmental and other justice/outreach concerns.  Northumberland County also has a vibrant arts community and we hope to attend a variety of theatre and musical events throughout the year.
If you are ever passing our way, we would be pleased to welcome you into our new home.  Our front door on 728 Westwood Dr. is painted a cherry red, so we won't be hard to find! We haven't sorted out all of our new contact information; however, you can contact me at

Al and I are very thankful for all the years we lived here in Mississauga and we especially cherish the years of working and worshiping, praying and playing together with the folk of Erin Mills United.  We will continue to hold you in prayer as you and Kathi Phillips, your new minister, continue to 'offer opportunities for all persons to experience the love of God through Jesus Christ.'

Peace, Kathy Toivanen, retired diaconal minister.

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Life at EMUC

Stewardship Program 2017 - An ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

  November is traditionally stewardship month at EMUC. It is a time to renew our commitment to EMUC both financially and in talent to sustain the work of the congregation. The Finance Committee uses the results of the program to guide the budget development for the next year. The estimates of givings received are used to predict the revenues we will have available to operate our church. 

  We do have a challenge. The trend in givings over the last few years reflects the decline in the numerical size of our congregation.
# Giving
140  (est.)

  The decrease in givings and the number giving has been steady over the last five years and is mainly the result of people leaving our area. To date 2017 has been a better year with fewer departures and in fact at the end of September givings are right on budget. The Leadership Circle has formed a Congregational Growth Committee with the hope to continue this trend and stop the decline.

  Despite other sources of revenue such as fundraising, rentals and solar panels, expenses in 2017 were projected to exceed revenues by $20,600. Although this deficit for this year has been greatly reduced as a result of the delay in hiring a full-time minister, this inherent shortfall in our budget still exists for 2018.

  After revenues are projected based on the current stewardship program, the Finance Committee and the Leadership Circle will carefully review all expenditures. Unfortunately the big lines such as salary and building operating expenses continue to grow. To maintain our operating model, it is evident that revenues must increase.

  Stewardship is a time we prepare for the future.... what programs, events or services we can help with.... how we can support the church financially both in operations and mission and service.  Express your gratitude by giving of your time, talents and finances.

Dave Leeder Treasurer & Chair of Finance Committee
Committee Members-Marianne McVittie, Mike Ogilvie, Kathy Andres, Lou Santamaria and Peter Kiteley

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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.

Out of the Cold

The Out of the Cold program starts up again in November.  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.

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Deacon's Cupboard

In November the Deacon's Cupboard will celebrate 14 years of serving our community. During this time the dedicated volunteers have provided not just food but also support to those in need. We have helped over 1450 families and have in turn been rewarded with the realization that our work has resulted in allowing so many people to lead fuller lives. We would like to thank all the members of Erin Mills United who have contributed food, money and time to allow us to continue our mission. 

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Striders' October Hike

Sunday October 15th the Striders hiked in Erindale Park and through the Riverwood Conservation area.  From these pictures, it appears everyone had a fun time!

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What Brings You Joy at EMUC?

Here is a sampling of some of the responses to Rev. Kathi's question "What brings you JOY here in your church home?" in honour of the 25th Anniversary of EMUC being in its home building.  These replies were so meaningful and written from the heart! They were on display for all to see at the church, but in case you were not able to read them we thought it was important to share with everyone as they reflect the "heart and soul" of our church family. (In the interest of space, please note, that where there were duplicates we have only included one in the following.)
  •  "A friendly smile and firm handshake as we enter the door on Sunday."
  • "A fountain of strength from prayers and friendships especially during difficult times with a health issue."
  • "A magnificent choir and music director."
  • "Coming to church helps me get through the week. I like to come to church when it is open to pray."
  • "With all the trouble in the world, EMUC reminds me there is still a God watching over us."
  • "It is the closest I feel to my mom now."
  • "I find love and hope. Thanks be to God."
  • "My sanctuary from the rush of life."
  • "EMUC is a warm inviting space with all of the gardens, greenery and seasonal banners."
  • "I celebrate the history of outreach at EMUC: Oasis Summer Camp transitioning into Erin Mills Youth Outreach and now a registered independent Charity. Springfield Gardens Breakfast Club is now 20 years old."
  • "All the groups I have joined have given me the opportunity to meet and become friends with so many wonderful people."
  • "The kind and helpful members who support me and help me attend church on Sunday by giving me a drive. God bless all."
  • "Twenty-five years of love and there will be more."
  • "I enjoy my quiet time in this church to think of my family and extended family."
  • "I find joy in relationships with people, teachings of Jesus, and the music."
  • "I love the diversity of the congregation."
  • "You can feel the love of God at EMUC"
  • "I love that EMUC welcomed me and my daughter. With help and care I feel a part of the family."
  • "The prayers; even when members are named."
  • "Those who attend EMUC light up my heart. They are so kind and uplifting."
                                               The Worship Committee.  

Women for Women

Women for Women held their first event of the year on October 25.  Twenty-three women gathered at EMUC to get to know our new minister, Kathi Phillips, and each other a little better.  Lots of fun, food & friendship were had by all.  The next event will be a Christmas craft/baking night on Friday, Nov. 24 at EMUC.  An invitation will go out soon.  Please see Cathy Scattergood for details.

                                 Upcoming Events

Congregational Meeting

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 on Sunday, November 12 following the service.

EMUC-Low Impact Telecommunications Cell Pole Proposal
  1.     What exactly is being proposed to the congregation?

The Leadership Circle is recommending that we enter into a rental agreement with Shared Network Canada (SNC) to install three mini sites in our parking lot.  These are specially designed light standards that broadcast cell signals. The proposal will be presented at a congregational meeting on Sunday November 12, 2017 after the worship service.


2.    Why is the Leadership Circle supporting this project?


Each site would generate $7,500 in annual income to the church. Every five years the proposed annual income would increase by 10% (rent starts the month after the start of construction). At the end of the first 5-year term, two sites would be generating $16,500 annually, which is about 25% of our current building and property budget. .


3.    That all sounds fine but what about maintenance, liability and          the cost of powering the site?


SNC assumes all costs for installation, maintenance, and the power needed to supply the light and cell tower as well as maintaining general liability insurance of a minimum of $5,000,000.


4.    I have seen cell towers and they are huge and unsightly.                  Won't this be an eyesore?

  • Traditional cell towers can range from 25 to 50 metres in height.  Mini towers range typically from 10 to 15 metres in height (including light and broadcast assembly).
  • The photo below gives an approximation of what the mini tower will look like as a combined broadcast assembly and light standard
  • A light standard such as this one blends in to the environment better and can avoid opposition from the neighbours who are concerned about the unsightly appearance of large towers.

5.    The towers I am used to seeing have all sorts of wires and               cables?  Do these have external devices?


No.  The picture you see is similar to the type of device that will be installed (i.e. it will look like a light standard with a pole that extends taller than the light).


  6.    I appreciate the fact that the appearance of a mini-tower is               much better than the traditional large towers we are                           accustomed to seeing but what about the safety of the                     broadcast signal?

The government of Canada has an excellent article entitled Wireless Communications and Health which can be found at  Industry Canada has also published a good article entitled Facts About Towers that can be found at While these are excellent references that we would encourage you to read, remember that all mini-sites operate at a fraction of the minimum signal strength outlined in the government regulatory document Safety Code 6 and only a small fraction of what a 'traditional' cell tower broadcasts. Safety Code 6 was most recently revised in 2015 and represents the consensus view of scientists who have studied the potential for health effects from radio frequency emissions. The Safety Code 6 limits for safe exposure are set many times below the levels at which health effects have been observed, and the proposed mini towers will transmit at a fraction of these limits.


7.    What about the neighbours?  Don't we need to inform them?


This is a concern and we want to preserve and continue to enhance our standing in the neighbourhood.  SNC will be responsible for all aspects of consultation with the City of Mississauga, area residents and Industry Canada.  Having said this and if the go ahead is given, all plans and final installation are subject to EMUC approval.


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Loaves & Dishes
Loaves and Dishes have turkey pot pies, lasagnas, shepherd's pies and tourtieres available for sale after the worship service on Sundays.  There is also an order sheet on the bulletin board in the narthex for ordering tourtieres.

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Striders' November Hike

Where would you like to explore when the weather gets cooler and the leaves have blown off all of the trees?  No, we will be staying away from the shopping malls, but an urban hike is enticing.   In the past the group has hiked historic areas of Streetsville and Oakville, so for Sunday, November 12, we will visit the village of Port Credit.  (Reserve November 19 only if a rain date is needed).  There's promise of one stop for coffee along our route.

Advent 2017
Theme: What are YOU Waiting For?

Sunday Nov. 26     10 am. Advent 1 - 'Hope'
                                11:30 am. Hanging of the Greens
Sunday Dec. 3       10 am. Advent 2 - 'Peace'  & Communion                        
Sunday Dec. 10     10 am. Advent 3 - 'Joy'
                                & White Gift Giving (unwrapped donations of food,                                  gift cards or cash are collected for those in need in                                  our community)
Wednesday Dec. 13    2 pm. Christmas Tea (all are invited for                                                  Christmas tea & desserts, conversation & carol                                        singing)
Sunday Dec. 17     10 am. Advent 4 - 'Love'
                                7 pm. Candlelight Carol Service & reception
Wednesday Dec. 20    6:45 pm.  Service of Hope & Healing - a service                                    for those struggling with loss in this season of                                          celebration
  Christmas Eve.
Sunday Dec. 24     10 am.  Pageant & Family Service
                                  9 pm. Candlelight Communion Service

Communique Dates for 2017


Editor: Janet Morrison    Layout: Barb Jennings
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