March 2019




A Prayer
I was fortunate enough to be able to take a sabbatical six years ago. It is policy of the United Church that after five years with a faith community, ministry personnel are eligible for three months away for study, reflection or restoration. I had an amazing time. I travelled to Northern Ireland for two weeks to learn about peace and reconciliation at the Corrymeela Community on the North Sea – it was a life-changing experience. Greg joined me in Belfast, and we spent another week driving around the island. Returning home, I went off to our cottage where I spent time reading everything I could find about Irish History, journaling and debriefing a little. In all, I used six weeks and then I could hardly wait to get back. I know that I am blessed to love the work I do.

I am glad to be back with you at Erin Mills. I have missed you and been thinking about you. I have been incredibly grateful for all of your support – felt your love and concern even when I was away from you. Some have said that I should take more time away, but I need to be with you. I need the comfort of being in your company and I need to be doing the work that defines me. I appreciate your patience and understanding.

This prayer came across my inbox today. I hope it speaks to you as it did to me.

Rev. Kathi

I know these things to be true.
The sun dances and rainbows shine through pearls of water.
The coos of infants elicit contented sighs and gut-deep gladness.
Music stirs and tempers within the beats of its own rhythm.
The earth is rich with nourishment and holds sacred story with gentleness.
Hearts break and find renewal in healing.
Love sustains, encourages, emboldens, and makes us silly.
Divinity is everlasting.
Comfort is found in meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Or maybe sweet potato fries.
We sag and thrive, ponder and muddle through confusion. We persist.

My prayer for this day is that the best of these things will rise and claim their place on our horizons, and that the least of these things will recall our need for each other. 
My prayer for this day is that faith will carry us on the delicate breath of wonder and discovery, calling us forth beyond our wildest dreams.

Anne Fraley, rector St. Peter’s Episcopal Church,South Windsor, CT.

From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
As I sit to write this message for the March Communiqu é we are still in the month of February, with almost a week to go. Celebrations for Black History Month continue. In fact, at today’s Sunday worship (February 24) our guest musician, Theodore Watts, enhanced our worship with the sounds and rhythms of the steel pan. (A historical note: the steel pan, sometimes called the steel drum, has its origins in Trinidad and Tobago and is the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century.) This year, we were fortunate to have liturgy, stories and music that lift up Black experiences at three of our Sunday worship services, beginning with a communion liturgy written by Dr. Alydia Smith, who has written prayers and liturgies for United Church Black History Month services.

While some dispute the concept of having a month dedicated to Black History, I have embraced it as an opportunity to share experiences of peoples of the African diaspora. I have also been captivated by the vision of creating intercultural community within the United Church. An intercultural church is explained as one that is: welcoming, relational, adaptive, justice-seeking, intentional and missional. Part of the vision of intercultural community is “to create a space where we can sustain our own cultural identities while also affirming those of one another”[1].  I believe that all peoples desire to be fully known, both in their diversity and in what they have in common. I am glad that at Erin Mills those of us of the African diaspora feel comfortable to share aspects of Black experiences with fellow worshipers. I encourage us to continue to be intentional and open-minded as we engage with the diversity within our congregation and the wider community.

As you read this message, Erin Mills United’s Annual Meeting has already taken place. We are faced with the reality of another deficit in operating revenues and the need to continue, and even increase, our fundraising efforts. Please join in and support our on-going fundraisers - Loaves and Dishes, FundScrip and Euchre Nights - and also the seasonal fundraising events such as the Pancake Supper, Strawberry Social and Garage Sale. New ideas and initiatives are welcome!  Please talk to any member of the Leadership Circle if you have a novel idea that could engage our members.

The Congregational Growth Group has begun an asset mapping initiative to discern the gifts we have to share with the community. We will need your input to complete this task. Please join in when we are ready to launch the asset mapping activity with the congregation and in our Vision Day and Table Talks.  We are getting ready to invite others to share our gifts and join in our mission!

Let us gather strength from our diversity, as we work together to sustain our community and put our faith into action in the world.

[1] From “Vision for Becoming an Intercultural Church” which was adopted at the Executive of General Council (GCE) in October 2012, as part of the report “Intercultural Ministries: Living into Transformation.”

Dianne Hope
Chair, Leadership Circle
Thanks to:

  • The Black History Month planning team.
  • All those who donated to the Refugee Sponsorship appeal which met its target of $10,000.
  •  Everyone who donated items for the comfort kits.
  • Lorraine Moore who organized the Out of the Cold and Comfort Kit campaigns.
  •  Mary Anna Williams for taking the leadership of the Green Team and being the representative for Greening Sacred Spaces.
  • Sue Ogilvie, Trish Campbell, Deb Sturgeon, Mary Anna Williams, Sylvia Arnold, Barb Jennings, David Brignall, Lorraine Brignall, Lorraine Moore and Mike Ogilvie for cleaning the church for the past four weeks while our cleaner has been incapacitated.
  • All committees and the office staff for their contributions to compiling the 2018 Annual Report. 
  • Cathy Scattergood and Lorraine Moore for organizing the Comfort Kit program, all those who brought items in for the Comfort Kits.
  • All committees and the office staff for their contributions to the compiling of the 2018 Annual Report 
  • Rev. Ruth Noble and Rev. Dale Burkhart who led worship during Kathi’s absence.
Life at EMUC
Refugee Task Force Annual Report 2018
Members: Hermine Bingham, Muriel Hamdani, Janet Morrison, Debby Sturgeon, Larry van Goozen

Target: $ 10 000
Total amount raised to date: $10,000

We have reached our fundraising goal! Thanks to all for your generosity!

Black History Month
EMUC had special speakers and musicians at February services in celebration of Black History month. The Feb. 10 th service was planned and led by the planning team.

Adele Halliday, who is Team Leader for Intercultural Ministry and Disabilities for the United Church of Canada, spoke about the importance of telling our stories whether good or hard stories to tell.

 We enjoyed the music of vocalist, Allan Cobham who sang “Can You Hear the Prayers of the Children”, “I Shall Not Be Moved”, and “Hymn to Freedom”. Kai Marks danced to “Amazing Grace”. Special sweet treats were enjoyed during coffee time. On Feb. 24 th , Theodore Watts amazed us with the sounds of the steel pan, as he played “Amazing Grace”, “The Love of God” and “How Great Thou Art”.

Thanks to the planning team for their hard work planning and organizing these special services. We are already looking forward to next year’s Black History Month activities!
The Planning Team
Kai Marks and Adele Halliday
Women for Women

On  Friday, March 1st about 28 women met at the church for coffee, tea, desserts and time to socialize. There was a guest speaker, Dianne Ticknor who is also a singer-song-writer. Dianne shared some of her songs and also spoke about her work with women in shelters. The group role-played one of her workshops about facing fear. It was a fun and interesting evening.

The next Women for Women get-together will be April 5th. Come join us!
Upcoming Events
A Prayer Shawl ministry is held in the church narthex the first Wednesday of every month. The next gathering is March 6 th at 2 pm .

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. Now 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 at (905) 820-4437.

On March 7th at 1:00 pm, we will be putting together the items for the comfort kits that we have been collecting for the last month or so. 

At this time we haven’t made a decision if we will make up individual small gift bags. If you are able to help please add your name to the sign up sheet at the back of the church. If you are able to bring some small gift bags that would be great.
All women are invited to join the Refugee Sponsorship Group and Oula Nadaff on Saturday, March 9 at 1:30 pm. for an afternoon of baking and conversation. Oula will teach us how to make some Syrian sweets and we will have an opportunity to get to know her better. Donations to cover the cost of ingredients will be gratefully received. If you plan to attend, please sign up on the list on the bulletin board.  For further information contact Debby Sturgeon.
The next luncheon date for this casual get-together is after the service on March 10th. Sign-up on the bulletin board or speak to Larry van Goozen.  
On March 31 st at 7:00 pm Jazz Vespers will be held at EMUC featuring the music of the great jazz keyboardists.   Christina Melanie, Music Director at Applewood UC and Len Feldman, EMUC’s Music Director will be playing music by Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Ray Charles, and others. Plan to attend! All are welcome!
Worship for Lent at Erin Mills United

Shrove Tuesday, March 5 at 6:00 pm
Please join us for a pancake supper followed by a Service of Ashes at 7:00 pm. If you are not able to make it to the supper you are welcome to come at 7:00 pm just for the service.
During the six Sundays of Lent, services will feature Lenten themes and at each service we will extinguish a candle to symbolize the journey out of the light into the darkness during Lent.

Worship for Holy Week and Easter :
Everyone is invited to join us for all or some of our services! All are welcome!

Sunday, April 14 th at 10:00 am Palm Sunday
Experience the joy of the Palm Parade and
the passion of entering into Holy week.

Thursday, April 18 th starting at 6pm to 7:30 pm – Maundy Thursday
The church will be open from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm for anyone to drop in at their leisure and experience a “meditative style” service with Communion, remembering The Last Supper with Jesus.

Friday, April 19 th at 9:00 am – Good Friday
Worship with readings, reflections, and special music. A hot cross bun breakfast follows the service with breakfast for everyone.

Sunday, April 20 th 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 17 th to Palm Sunday, April 14 th. .  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 out of 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, April at 18 th 9:00 pm and continues to Saturday, April 20 th  at 3:00 pm.
The last two years 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, you are once again invited to bring your sleeping bag and pillow for comfort. 
The Vigil schedule will be posted on Sunday, March 17 th . 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 April 19, 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! 
A percentage of the gift 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.

Order forms for gift cards will be available the last Sunday of every month. The next order date is March 31st . Simply fill out the order form for the gift cards you would like to buy.