February 2017


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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We are now in the Epiphany Season; a time to celebrate the growing light of Christ. To symbolize growth and life, green is the colour for this season.  The Season of Lent begins on March 1 and ends on April 15.
In This Issue
JackiesMessage  Jackie's Message

As the beautiful words of the hymn say, "now the work of Christmas is begun."
In this New Year, we are called to re-define our mission, perhaps more than ever.  With Black History month being celebrated, we have the voice of history to teach us.  Let us pray for change. Let us ask for hope as the world around us seems to get more divided and scary.
It is also time for us to really ask what the role of the church is in our changing political time.  Many think it is to simply sit back and pray.  Many think it is to speak up and engage, even confront.  I believe that Jesus did both.
The words of Martin Luther King Jr. help me sort that out:
"The Church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather its conscience.  It must be the guide and critic of the state, but never its tool.  If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.  If the church does not participate actively in the struggle for peace and economic and racial justice, it will forfeit the loyalty of millions and cause people to say it is useless.  But if the church will free itself from the shackles of a decadent status quo, and recover its great historic mission, it will speak and act fearlessly and insistently for justice and peace.  It will then enkindle the imagination of humankind and fire souls, imbuing them with a glowing and ardent love for faith, justice and peace.  People will then know that we are a fellowship providing bread and light for lonely travellers at midnight."
As I share these words, I am conscious of my limited journeying time with you. It continues to be an honour and a joy to travel with such brave and open souls. Thank you for the privilege.
In faith, Rev Jackie: Supply Minister 
  ThankYou Thanks!
Deb Siertsema for leading worship on Human Rights Sunday.

Deb Sturgeon for arranging poinsettias for the sanctuary and for watering them well into January.

All those who purchased poinsettias and left them in the sanctuary for Christmas.

The Worship Committee for co-ordinating the additional services over Christmas.

All those who participated in the lighting of candles on the Advent wreath for all services during Advent and Christmas Eve.

Karen Colwell, Mary Anna Williams, Ian Love, David Leeder and David Hope for taking down and packing up the Christmas decorations.

Ian Love for dusting the "1992" dust from the back window sills!

Rob Ford and Gary Hines for building and removing the stable.

Len Feldman and the chancel choir for providing additional Christmas music.

Nancy Blackport, Impromptu and Off the Cuff for their musical contributions for Advent and Christmas.

Mike Ogilvie for preparing the stewardship reports.

Pat Beck for organizing and writing the children's EMU program for December and January.

Sylvia Arnold for organizing and overseeing the Advent and Christmas services.

Irene Pajot and Peter Kiteley for coordinating the Christmas hamper program and all those who contributed.

The Rainbow Girls who helped serve communion with Community Life groups and helped with the hamper shopping.

Mora Cairns and Terry Loffree for organizing the Daytime Christmas Tea.

James McVittie Jr. for playing the piano at the Christmas Tea.

  LC From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
Happy New Year!

We made it!  We made it through the busy season of Advent filled with joy, peace and hope for the future.  I want to thank all those involved in coordinating such a wonderfully meaningful Advent season.  I know there were countless volunteers behind the scenes but a particular thank you goes out to Sylvia Arnold, our Focus Circle Leader of Worship and Music, for her dedication and commitment to making Christmas at Erin Mills United a blessed season for all.  I thank our staff, Peter and Len, for the extra hours of preparation involved in the additional services of the season.  And I thank our supply minister, Jackie, for agreeing to take on full time hours during the month of December in order to run a reflective study group and prepare the additional worship services that are offered during Advent.  It was truly the season of giving, as Irene Pajot and Peter Kiteley coordinated the effort of preparing baskets, cards and gifts for families in our community.  Thank you to those who coordinated, donated and delivered our offerings to grateful folks in our neighbourhood.
As we look forward to 2017, I hope that this spirit of taking care of each other is something we all feel and can take part in.  These winter months are difficult for some.  Lack of sunshine and short winter daylight can affect our mental health, while the cold and ice can hamper our physical routines of getting out and about.  Take care of each other by checking in with folks you may not have seen or heard from in a while.  All of us have the gift of offering pastoral care and I encourage you to share it.  In this spirit of taking care of each other, I thank the Membership and Pastoral Care committee for helping to organize the upcoming workshop entitled Living with Chronic Illness - Body, Mind and Spirit.  Particular thanks to Sandy Hayes, the Focus Circle leader for that group, who has attended meetings to plan this coordinated effort with several other churches.  If you are caring for others or experiencing your own health issues, this panel discussion will offer support and information that we hope you find helpful.  Look for upcoming announcements on this event.
As we head into the New Year, we pray for our Search committee as they continue their efforts to find us a new minister.  Watch for new initiatives in fundraising.  Listen for opportunities to take part and assist in committee work and leadership.  We hope you feel cared for at Erin Mills United Church and we need everyone pay it forward.  We hope the care you receive today may be the care you can pass on tomorrow.
Joanne Hines, Leadership Circle Chair
News, Reports, and Upcoming Events
What is 'Servant Leadership'?
This is a term that has been around for a very long time.  "The servant-leader is servant first... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first." - first introduced by Robert K. Greenleaf in an essay in 1970. Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.  Characteristics of the servant leader are listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community.  Of course, there are other characteristics and no two leaders are identical or personify all the characteristics.
Each person brings his/her own strengths, experiences and approaches into leadership.  He/She focuses on their strengths and draws on the strengths of others for guidance and support in areas where others have more expertise.  At EMUC we have been blessed with strong people who have been willing to provide good leadership over the years.  EMUC is also a safe place for a person to gain experience in leading and to become involved through committee and project work.
Currently EMUC is in transition regarding ministerial leadership.  The JNAC report set out guidelines around the characteristics and strengths required by the next minister and the Search Committee is working diligently to find the best person for the position.  It is not an easy task and is taking some time. We thank the Search Committee members for their ongoing commitment to the task.  We also thank Jackie Burnie for her strong interim leadership.
The Leadership Circle continues to ensure the operation of our church.  It is normal that over time opportunities arise for the congregation to help.  Currently, there are several key positions which are vacant.  These are:
  • Vice Chair, Leadership Circle
  • Focus Circle Leader, Children and Youth
  • Presbytery Representative (2 places)
Other opportunities within the committees are: rentals, fundraising events, men's groups, children and youth activities, hampers, green team. To learn more of these opportunities, speak with the Focus Circle Leaders of the  specific area.
What is your passion?  EMUC needs you! Can you help by joining a committee or helping/leading a project?  There is a great deal of satisfaction in working together to make things happen and being engaged.  Consider where you can contribute and participate more.  Speak to any Leadership Circle member, the minister or the nominating committee (Sandy Hayes, David Leeder, Paul Marot, Barbara Jennings) to learn more or to voice your interest.

The Northwest Mississauga Constituent Group is delighted to learn that the Naddaf family's new baby has safely arrived! It's a boy and his name is Ahmad.

The Northwest Mississauga Constituent Group has submitted settlement plans and application packages for the Naddaf family; consisting of father Nadeem,  mother Oula, 3 year old daughter Lelas, and baby Ahmad.  In addition, an application has been made for  Tarek, a 27 year old young man, fluent in English with  experience as a translator and editor.   Both  Oula and Nadeem are also highly  educated and speak English as a second language.  We continue to wait for updates from our Sponsorship Agreement Holder, the United Church of Canada, on the status of our application.

The Northwest Mississauga Constituent Group is grateful for the generosity of all those who have donated money and committed to providing furniture, clothing and other material needs once Tarek and Nadeem and Oula have arrived in Canada. At this point we have no idea of how long we will be waiting, but we do thank you for your continued support and patience.

Members of the EMUC Refugee Task Force are: Hermine Bingham, Muriel Hamdani, Dianne Hope, Janet Morrison, Debby Sturgeon, and Catharine Watts. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Dianne Hope

February is Black History Month!

"As we begin Black History Month or African Heritage Month in Canada, let us celebrate the many contributions of Black people to Canadian society and to the United Church.
Let us take time to remember African-Canadian history, the struggles and the haunting legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Black people have been part of the United Church from its beginning and continue to play a vital role in the church today. We celebrate this history by sharing the story of Union United Church in Montreal, Quebec.  This church was created in 1907 and was known as Union Congregational Church.  From the start, Union led the way in reaching out to the Black railway porters and their families who were segregated from the rest of Montreal, offering them a place of worship and a place to call their own.
We sing thanksgiving for the foundation of Black people who have led the way toward The United Church of Canada becoming an intercultural church, a church where all are welcome!"
At EMUC we are celebrating Black History month throughout February by highlighting spiritual/gospel songs each week, having an art display, and holding a special service on Feb. 19. Kofi Hope, is the guest preacher and special music will be sung by Justin Bacchus.  Coffee time after the service is a time for connection and ongoing conversation.   All are Welcome!
* Excerpt from Minutes for Mission 2017, The United Church of Canada
Barbara Jennings

The Annual Congregational meeting will be held on Su
nday, February 26 following our Sunday service.  Items on the agenda include the auditor's report, a budget presentation and nominations and elections for various committees and positions.  The annual report will be available by Sunday, February 19, so please be sure to pick up a copy and review it before the meeting.
Past Events

On December 8 a small group people took time out from their busy schedules to write letters in support of prisoners of conscience around the world.  This event is sponsored by Amnesty International to mark International Human Rights Day every December 10.  Our letters challenged governments to protect vulnerable populations like those in Mali who are persecuted and whose lives are in danger for the simple reason that they suffer from Albinism.

We wrote on behalf of people in Peru whose lands are being seized by large mining corporations. Here in Canada we wrote to protest the flooding of Indigenous land by the Site-C Dam in North Eastern British Columbia.  Our small effort contributed to the over three million messages sent and we helped to make a difference.
Debby Sturgeon

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On January 20, Women for Women met for an evening of fun and friendship.  Twenty-four women from the church and local community enjoyed a turkey pot pie dinner (with other options available) and twenty-six women listened to a fascinating presentation on Peru by Barbara Jennings and Debby Sturgeon.  We learned about the geography of Peru, some Incan history and saw beautiful photos taken by our speakers.  Thanks to the many people who helped set up, clean up and provided yummy desserts and salads.  The next Women for Women event is planned for Friday, March 3.  Stay tuned for details on the event and how you can help.
Cathy Scattergood

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On Sunday, January 22, the hiking group along with the Interfaith Justice and Peace-Building committee organized a visit to the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.  Twenty-six people toured the special exhibit "Syria:  A Living History" and the rest of the museum.  The artifacts were fascinating and the presentation was world-class. The group particularly enjoyed learning about the interconnections between Islam, Christianity and Judaism.  

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How You Can Help

The Leadership Circle has been exploring fundraising programs in order to support the work of Erin Mills United.  Beginning at the end of the month, we have 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, what you buy and it doesn't cost you anything extra.  FUNDSCRIP is associated with over 170 retailers and you are free to purchase from any of the stores you regularly use.

Order forms for gift cards will be available the last Sunday of every month, beginning on  Feb. 26.  Simply fill out the order form for the gift cards you would like, hand it in with 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. 
 Joanne Hines 

The program for this year continues.  Winter outerwear (jackets, coats, etc.), boots, hats, scarves, mitts & warm blankets that are clean & in good condition can be dropped off at EMUC for delivery to the Open Door at Square One.  Please support this important outreach initiative as you are able.  See Cathy Scattergood for information.   


It's time to start bringing in all those travel-sized hygiene products, tissues, pens/pencils/small notepads, socks, etc. for our annual Comfort Kits campaign.  As well, we are asking for small, generic (non-holiday) gift bags to fill with the items.  Please bring in your items by Sunday, Feb 19. If have any questions please see Cathy Scattergood.

CommuniquePubDates Communiqué Deadlines and Publication Dates: 2017

MAY 26

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