February 2019
Season: Epiphany/Ordinary Time
Horseshoe Falls Regional Council
On January 1 st , the governance structure of the United Church of Canada changed. The Conferences and Presbyteries have now become Regional Councils. There are 16 Regional Councils across Canada. Erin Mills United Church is part of Region 9 which has been named Horseshoe Falls Regional Council. There is a Governance Handbook which sets out how the regional council will fulfill its responsibilities.

The membership of the regional council is outlined in the Manual 2019 of the United Church of Canada. Each Community of Faith has a number of representatives as well as their minister on the council and these may be the previous Presbytery representatives. A job description for this role is available. Communities of Faith are asked to make the selection of their regional council representatives and ask that all Regional Council Representatives and ministry personnel complete and submit the Expression of Interest form by February 28 th .

Horseshoe Falls Regional Council is holding its first gathering March 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church in Georgetown.

Purpose of Horseshoe Falls Regional Council:
Supports, Connects, Empowers Communities of Faith

The following governance model has been designed to:
1) Serve the purpose of the region,
2) Support communities of faith in naming and claiming their role in God’s mission,
3) Provide support for the formation of healthy pastoral relationships,
4) Keep before communities of faith the call to be the church,
5) Promote an open healthy and strong relationship between the region and communities of faith,
6) Offer regional representatives a variety of ways of serving.
Regional Council
  Regional Council Executive
 (12 members plus President, President-Elect or Past President, Treasurer and Executive Minister)

Regional Council also elects
1.     Covenant Commission
2.     Human Resources Commission
3.     Mission and Discipleship Commission

From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
Uncharted Waters

Have you heard of the Talisker  Whisky Atlantic  Challenge? It is an  ocean rowing  race from the  Canary Islands  to the  West Indies , a distance of approximately 2,930 miles (4,700 km). This year the race ended in Antigua, and the nation of Antigua and Barbuda waited in tense anticipation for the arrival home of Team Antigua Island Girls! This is a team of four Antiguan women who entered the 2018 race. These women completed the race on January 28, 2019, after 48 days at sea. They are hailed as being the first all-Black team to row across the Atlantic.

While I knew that the women had trained hard for almost a year and were mentored prior to, and during the race, I still could not imagine how they had the courage to undertake such a venture! To me they were venturing into uncharted waters, fraught with all sorts of challenges and dangers. I am sure that all those of us who followed their progress were filled with anxiety even as we cheered them on.

In some ways, I think that at this time in history, we, as a church community, are facing uncharted territory. We live in a time of a rapidly changing culture (influenced by changes in technology, the climate, methods of communication and immigration patterns to name a few factors) - in a time when church attendance is rapidly declining. And on a more personal level, members of our community are trying to determine how to move into the future after personal loss – of loved ones, of health …

How do we face these uncharted waters? Here are two examples of how we at EMUC are preparing for the challenges ahead. 
EMUC and ten other United Churches in Mississauga have been meeting to try to determine how we maintain a vibrant United Church presence in Mississauga over the next ten years and beyond. The gathering is called Mississauga Futures. The meetings are still in their early stages and I look forward to seeing what plans unfold.

EMUC’s Congregational Growth Group is trying to discern how we attract new people to journey with us as part of a community of faith. In the near future this group will be asking for your input to help determine the gifts we have to offer the neighbouring community and to discern what God wants us to be, and do, at this point in time.

Let us take inspiration from the Team Antigua Island Girls. They took on a challenge and with their gifts of courage, determination and collaboration were well on their way to attaining their goal. These gifts combined with the mentorship of those who had gone before and the prayers, messages of encouragement and support of a tiny island nation they conquered their uncharted waters. With our gifts, talents and faith we can surely do the same!

Dianne Hope
Chair, EMUC Leadership Circle
Thanks to:

  • Everyone who donated to the 2018 Christmas Hamper Program at EMUC. Through your generous donations of grocery cards, cash, and items for the kids/youth shoeboxes, we were able to assist 37 families.

  • All those who performed greeter and usher duties for the extra services during advent and Christmas eve. 

  • David Brignall and David Leeder for delivering the coats to the Open Door.

  • Dianne Hope for her leadership during this trying time while Rev. Kathi has been away.

  • Sylvia Arnold for organizing services and coverage for pastoral care and meetings during Rev. Kathi’s absence.

  • Lynda Appleby, Barb Finlay, Rev. Kate Young, Rev. Joanne Hedge, Rev. Jeff Warner, Rev. Ruth Noble for covering services, pastoral care needs, and LC meetings while Rev. Kathi is away.
  • Halton Presbytery for granting us funds to cover Edge services for Congregational Growth activities, e.g. Table Talk, demographics information, consulting.

  • Mary Anna Williams and Sandy Hayes for organizing and hosting the Euchre Night on Jan 26th.

  • David Leeder, Sylvia Arnold, Laura Macro for reviewing the needs and job description for the Office Administrator position.

  • All the volunteer snow “shovellers” on Sunday morning (January 28th) when the snow plow was late!  
Congratulations to Danielle Fearon and Blake Madill who welcomed their own little Christmas miracle, Ada Lily Madill on December 25th at 4:44 pm. Ada weighed 5lbs 13oz and measured 18.5 inches.  All the best to the new family!
Our loving thoughts and prayers go out to Rev. Kathi and the whole family as they mourn the death of Greg Phillips . Greg died suddenly on January 9 th .  
Life at EMUC
Refugee Task Force Annual Report 2018
Members: Hermine Bingham, Muriel Hamdani, Janet Morrison, Debby Sturgeon

After almost three years of planning, fundraising and waiting, our first sponsored refugee, Tarek, arrived from Egypt on May 24 to begin his new life in Canada, He has a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and speaks English fluently. He has spent the summer and fall taking courses, participating in workshops, and volunteering as an interpreter and mentor for other new arrivals. He is anxious to find meaningful work.

Nadeem and Oula and their children, Lelas and Ahmed, arrived on June 28. They have settled into Canadian life. Nadeem has been upgrading his skills and secured employment in I.T. in December. He is happy to be able to contribute to supporting his family. Oula is making good progress in English classes through LINC and hopes to become proficient enough to enroll in college courses. Two-year-old Ahmed goes to daycare while his mother is in class. Five-year-old Lelas began senior kindergarten in September. She enjoys school and speaks English very well.

In October, a fundraising campaign with a goal of $10,000.00 was launched so that we would be able to meet our commitment to fully support Tarek and Nadeem and his family for one year following their arrival. Erin Mills United Church has responded generously and by the end of 2018 $9,000.00 had been donated. Tarek, Nadeem, Oula, Lelas and Ahmed are all grateful for the kindness and support that have been extended to them. Without your generosity this project would not have been possible.

Women for Women
Women for Women met on January 18 for an evening of coffee, desserts and crafts. Nineteen women enjoyed the delicious donated desserts. Then we spent a fun hour making hot cocoa mix, bath salts and candle holders to "light up the dark" January nights. There was a brief discussion on ideas for this spring's retreat. Our next event is on Friday, March 1st. This will be a pot luck dinner followed by a guest speaker, Dianne Ticknor, who will be speaking on her work in women's shelters as well as sharing her music with us. If you have any ideas for the retreat or a guest speaker on women's health issues for our April 5 evening, please let Cathy Scattergood know. Hope to see you on March 1st.

Deacon’s Cupboard in 2018
The Deacon’s Cupboard was very busy in 2018. The Cupboard was open 55 days and 1,735 total guest visits were made. The average number of guests each day was 31.5. The total retail value of the items distributed was $106,624.50 for the year.

Greening Matters
Have you wondered why so much salt is spread on the sidewalks and roadways? Research has been done at University of Waterloo indicating only 58 grams (2 oz. approx.) of salt per 2 metre square are needed to successfully prevent accidents due to melt ice buildup. They suggest scatter the rock salt, leaving spaces between the pieces. This allows the salt to melt the surrounding ice and then moves under the adjacent ice surface where it continues to melt. (Toronto Star, Dec. 15, 2018)

Cities are now using a brine solution on the roads so they can use up to 30% less rock salt per application. Mixing sand or cat litter also works at home. This means less salt ends up in the local rivers and lakes. Think of this as you track salt into your home or as you look at your rusting car. Salt also rusts the wheels of wheel chairs and walkers. Your pet will thank you too. 

Submitted by Mary Anna Williams. 

Congregational Growth Committee Update
In December and January, t he Congregational Growth committee reviewed various tools to help us discern who we are as a church. We have identified an interactive exercise called "Asset Mapping" as the first step in identifying the congregation's talents and strengths. Currently preparation is being done to run this exercise with a number of groups e.g. Congregational Growth Committee, the Leadership Circle members and Trustees, and the congregation at large. The exercise takes about 90 minutes to complete and can be done with either small or large groups. The plan is to complete the exercise after Sunday worship sometime in February or March.

In addition to this, the Committee looked into various resources offered through the United Church of Canada (UCC). At the end of 2018, Halton Presbytery offered grants to communities of faith to fund projects in 2019. EMUC applied for and was granted funding for this congregational growth work.

Specifically, we received funding to cover the cost of working with Edge consultants from the UCC for:
1.        A Half-Day Vision Day: This activity will build on the findings from the Asset Mapping,
2.        A Geographical Information System (GIS) Report to determine our neighbourhood demographics,
3.        Either 4 weeks of Table Talks with the congregation to build upon the work from the Vision Day or 4 hours of consulting to assist the asset mapping committee,
4.        Two additional hours of consulting to be used at our discretion.
The GIS report is being completed and will be available in the near future. Asset Mapping will be completed by the end of March and the rest of the activities will follow later in the year. The congregation will have lots of opportunities to participate in these activities and will be kept informed as they progress.  Plan to be a part of this important work!

From the Congregational Growth Committee
Upcoming Events
A Prayer Shawl ministry is held in the church narthex the first Wednesday of every month. The next gathering is February 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.

The Black History Month service will be held on Sunday, February 10 th .  The guest speaker will be Adele Halliday. Adele is Team Leader for Discipleship and Witness at the United Church of Canada. Her responsibilities include Intercultural Ministry and Disabilities Ministries.  Special music will be provided by guest vocolist, Alan Cobham. The planning group also invites everyone to stay after the service for conversation and special treats. All are welcome!

There are some EMUC members who are interested in forming a third EMUC Book Club. Please sign up on the list at the back of the church or contact either Sandy Hayes (905-820-4437) or Karen Colwell (905-891-1746), if you would like to join in or learn more about forming a new book club so that we can gauge the interest and numbers.

In recognition of Black History Month, please read The Gospel Truth by Caroline Pignat. Books are available on Sunday and e-books can be signed out from the Mississauga Library. The initial meeting will be Tuesday February 26th (place to be determined), when members will discuss The Gospel Truth, determine a regular day, time and functioning of the book club meetings. A reading list will be discussed.

We are collecting small toiletry items (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand/body lotion etc. ) to be included in comfort kits, which we will bring to the Open Door for distribution in early March. Please bring your items to the church. There will be a box suitably labelled. Thank you.

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 February 24th . Simply fill out the order form for the gift cards you would like to buy.