Communiqué
March 2020





LENT



 
Lenten Ashes
We start Lent with a service of ashes; and our foreheads are daubed with the symbolic dust from which we came and to which we return. We spend the coming weeks reading about temptation, loss and death. But, isn’t the daily news grim enough, without also dwelling in church on all that is broken?
Lent is meant to be a time of practice, not the event in and of itself. And, just like the other seasons of the church year, Lent doesn't always line up neatly with where we happen to be on a given day. There may be some of you today who are not feeling particularly Lenten. Some of you may have felt deep within the spirit of Lent last week, or last month, or during Christmas.

But like physicians must practise doing medicine in order to have a medical practice, and lawyers must practise at law before opening a law practice, Christians are called to practise in community what it means to live Christianity as a practice. And so Lent is a time for us to observe a particular part of our lives as Christians, so when our own experience of Lent comes at other times, we might be able to understand it within the context of Jesus' experience and life; and within the rhythm and flow of what it means to follow Jesus in our lives today.

In the desert, Jesus is tempted by a voice that challenges his very identity, “If you are the son of God…” And I wonder if you have heard that voice, the one that tells you that you are not good enough, or competent enough, or successful enough. And I wonder if you believe it like I did.

That's the temptation, which leads to our own desert experiences. The power of evil comes and drives a wedge between who we think we're supposed to be, and who we think we are. We are not as successful as we think we should be, in whatever endeavour we embark on, someone could always do it better - I should do it better, if only....

This gap between who and where in our life we think we should be, and who and where we are leaves us so thirsty, so hungry, so very desperate for...something. And so, we grab onto things we think will give us the power to get to where we belong...more money, higher position, more hours at work and more time spent at home, more, more, more.

In truth, we are called simply, and profoundly, to minister to one another. Not to perform miracles alone, except the everyday miracle of living our lives to the fullest. Not to save the world - that's been taken care of. We are called to be just who we are, where we are and to minister to one another, in our humanity, and to bring each other out of the desolation of the wilderness into the community of Christ. And it is in this ministering that we can then begin to feed the hungry, to witness to others the miraculous presence of God in the world and bring about the Kin-dom of God here and now.

So this Lent, let's practise. Let's practise tuning out the voices that tell us we are not good enough, smart enough, successful enough, or miraculous enough. Let's practise letting go of the temptation to grab hold of something, anything we think will make us who we are supposed to be and live together as the wonderful, yet mortal humans God created us to be, ministering to one another in the name of Christ.
 
Rev. Kathi

P.S. If you wish to participate in 40Days of Kindness it is not too late to join in. Just email me at kathi@emuc.ca .

Transitions
Our prayers and condolences go to Eugene and Vicky Duynstee and family who are mourning the death of Peter Duynstee, Eugene’s father. Peter passed away on February 14, 2020. His funeral was on February 21 at Walton Memorial UC, where he and his wife were members. The family has asked friends to consider donations to the Bruce Trail Conservancy (brucetrail.org/donations).
Lance Smith Music Fund
The Leadership Circle is pleased to announce the establishment of the Lance Smith Music Fund. Jack Smith, a long-term member of EMUC, has expressed the desire to establish a designated fund in memory of his son, Lance. Lance lived with a long-term disability that resulted from radiation treatments for a brain tumour when he was a teenager. He passed away at age 58 in 2015. Lance had a great interest in music and was a member of the choir at EMUC for several years. It is appropriate that a music fund be established in his memory.

The fund will be used to support special music as a part of worship services or other musical events planned by EMUC.

EMUC gratefully acknowledges the receipt of a generous donation from Jack to initiate the fund. In order to maintain the fund, donations received at designated events will be added to the fund. In addition individuals are invited to contribute to the fund at any time to help enrich the music program of EMUC. If you wish to make a donation, please put it in an envelope marked-Lance Smith Music Fund.
Thanks!
Thanks to:

  • The Treasury group, Nancy Ekels, Marianne McVittie, the Trustees and the Investment Committee for preparing the 2019 Financial Statements and preparing the 2020 budget
  • The Black History Month planning team who planned and oversaw the services in February
  • Dianne Hope for her leadership as Chair of the Leadership Circle over the past two years
  • Tina Driscoll for preparing the 2019 Annual Report for distribution
  • All the Committee Chairs for submitting their input into the 2019 Annual Report
  • Len Feldman for his beautiful arrangement of “Two Spirituals” for Black History Month and to Nancy Blackport for directing Impromptu for the singing of it.
Life at EMUC
Black History Month Celebrations

The Black History Month Planning Committee went all out this year planning activities for each Sunday in February. Much of the music and liturgy used during the month were created or inspired by persons of the African diaspora.

The kick-off on February 2, was a special Black History Month communion service led by our own Rev. Kathi Phillips. A unique arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer was also introduced and used throughout the month. The arrangement came to us from the Moravian Church in the Caribbean. Other events included steelpan renditions by Theodore Watts, a liturgical dance by Kai Marks and Impromptu’s choral presentation “Two Spirituals“. This beautiful anthem was an original arrangement by our Minister of Music, Len Feldman.

The highlight of the month’s festivities was the service on February 16. We were led in worship by our guest minister, Rev. Maya Douglas who preached on anger and reconciliation. The Tonettes gospel trio harmonized beautifully and offered music ranging from the contemplative “Sweet, Sweet Spirit” to an uplifting rendition of “This Little Light/Lean on Me”. Caribbean and African American treats complemented our after-service coffee hour on two Sundays.

Finally, on February 23, a small group of Striders (the EMUC hiking group) headed to the Erchless Museum in Oakville to take in their Black History Exhibit. 
 
It was a joy to work with all the members of the planning committee to lift up the gifts the African diaspora brings to worship. Our thanks go out to all who helped us prepare for the special events and to the congregation for their presence and enthusiastic participation.

Submitted by Dianne Hope
Planning Team
Theodore Watts
Impromptu
Kai Marks
Rev. Maya Douglas
The Tonettes
The Striders at Erchless Museum
Pancake Supper
Lent began on Wednesday, February 26. On Shrove Tuesday evening, about 38 congregants welcomed Lent with a pancake supper prepared by some of the men in the congregation. The pancakes were accompanied by peaches, strawberries, sausages, and ham. Carrot cake, tea, and coffee topped off the meal.

The men did an awesome job of setting up, cooking, serving, and clean-up. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this a successful event!
 A service of communion and ashes followed the meal. 
What To Do in the Event of Inclement Weather
 
If inclement weather forces the closure of the church office, or necessitates the cancelling of any church-related event, meeting, or worship service, the following procedures will be followed for your convenience:
Any closures or cancellations during the week will be announced on the answering machine at the church: (905) 820-9466.

Cancellation of Sunday worship service: 
 
a. A voice message will be posted on the church office answering machine,
b. A message will be posted on the church website (www.emuc.ca),
c. All email addresses on the church Constant Contact distribution list will receive a personal email,
d. The cancellation will be posted on the EMUC Facebook site.

Thanks go to the EMUC Communication Group for these efforts to keep us all informed.
 
Upcoming Events
COMFORT KITS
The collected items will be packaged for distribution on March 3 for distribution at the Open Door during the next week.. Thank you to all who contributed items.


ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING - SUNDAY, MARCH 1
EMUC is a vibrant congregation, because of the many groups, and people who give of their time throughout the year, organizing events, running meetings, maintaining our building, fundraising, etc. Our 2019 Annual Report is available celebrating these many groups. If you picked up a printed copy last week, we ask each family to bring their copy to the AGM . The “Business” side of church is sometimes neither fun, or uplifting, but it is necessary. I would encourage you to attend this meeting, to vote on our 2020 budget, and to lend your voice to the future.
Click links to read:



WOMEN for WOMEN
The next Women for Women event takes place on Friday, March 6 (**please note date change).  We will meet at EMUC at 6:45 p.m. for coffee and dessert followed by two presentations on self-care. Rachel Scattergood will speak on massage therapy. Ann-Marie Barrett-Tandy will speak on skin care. Wear comfortable clothing.  Cost is $10. Please sign up on the bulletin board or RSVP to Cathy Scattergood.


LENT ACTIVITIES
There are two opportunities to participate in special activities over this Lenten season:
Dinner and a Movie: Lent Film Study
We will meet for 3 consecutive Monday evenings, March 9, 16 and 23 to watch a film and then discuss it over a potluck meal. This year we will be watching The Farewell , written and directed by Lulu Wang.  We will meet in the sanctuary at 6 p.m., plan to eat around 6:30 and should be done by 8 p.m.
 
40 days of Kindness
This i s a daily generosity challenge that runs through the period of Lent. Those who sign up will receive an email or Facebook notice with the challenge for the day. These will come every day but Sunday of the seven weeks from February 26 to April 11.
For details see the Friday Message. If you would like to participate in either of these activities, please contact Kathi at (905) 820-9466 or by email at kathi@emuc.ca .


UNITED CHURCH FAMILY SKATE - SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 1–2 p.m.  
Where: Cawthra Arena, 1399 Cawthra Rd.
Who is welcome: All Mississauga United Church folk, friends and family.
*See the poster at the back of the sanctuary.


HANDBAGS & HYGIENE - A DEACON'S CUPBOARD INITIATIVE
Every month, healthy women of childbearing age who are not pregnant, have a menstrual period. Feminine hygiene products are expensive, especially for women who already struggle to pay rent and put food on the table. Many women also come from a background where anything to do with their monthly cycle is taboo or even embarrassing.
In an effort to help our guests who may be challenged with these issues, we are collecting feminine hygiene products (pads and tampons) and non-see-through purses/handbags/cosmetic bags, so that we can discreetly distribute feminine hygiene products to those in need.
Please contact Cindy Young for more information. Donations of items can be placed in the Deacon’s Cupboard basket at Erin Mills United Church.
Please note donations are needed by March 31, 2020.
• Feminine hygiene products - pads and/or tampons
• New or gently used purses, handbags
• New or gently used large cosmetics bags
• Financial contributions to help us purchase supplies


EXPLORE GREEN LIVING - SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
EMUC is hosting another environmental day to showcase the many activities regarding environmental action in Mississauga. Come and learn about the ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions that have been set by the City of Mississauga. The Region of Peel will be providing updated information on water quality and waste management. Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Eco Source, and other groups will be presenting their most recent projects. There will be AV presentations with Q&A's throughout the day.  Set aside the day. It should be fun and give our church a chance to reach out to the community.  
Closer to the day we will be asking for volunteers, especially youth to help with any volunteer hours they need. Some baking will be needed.  
Organizers : Debby Sturgeon. Mary Anna Williams 


LENT and EASTER 2020
            
March 1 – March 29
During Lent, services will feature Lenten themes and at each service we will light candles . Often, Lent is seen as a time of growing darkness and gloom. This year the scriptures promote growing and expanding light, newness, and hope. We will be bringing in light to each of the five Sundays leading up to Palm Sunday.
 
Sunday, April 5, 10:00 a.m., Palm Sunday
Experience the joy of the Palm Parade and the passion of entering into Holy week.
            
Thursday, April 9, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., 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 self-guided “meditative style” service with Communion, remembering The Last Supper with Jesus.
 
Thursday, April 9, 9:00 p.m. - Saturday April 11, 3:00 p.m., 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.
You are also invited to sign up for an “overnight” vigil for either the Thursday or Friday night, starting at 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.. Bring your sleeping bag and pillow for comfort. 
 
Friday, April 10, 9 a.m., Good Friday Service
A worship service with readings, reflections, and special music. A hot cross bun breakfast follows the service with breakfast for everyone
 
Sunday, April 12, 10:00 a.m., Easter Service  
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 8 to Palm Sunday, April 5. 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 9 at 9:00 p.m. and continues to Saturday, April 11, at 3:00 p.m.
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 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.). 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 8. 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 10, 9:00 a.m. , the worship committee will host a hot cross bun breakfast. As well hot cross buns, bagels, cheese, fruit and beverages will be served! Free-will donations to help cover the costs are welcome. Please join us!


MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE - SAVE THE DATE
We are embarking on a second collaborative Murder Mystery fundraising evening with our friends at Eden United Church. Rehearsals have begun and we are hoping for two sell out shows. “A Midsummer’s Nightmare” will take place on April 25 and 26.  More details will follow, but please save the date and plan to come out and support this night of fun and fellowship.