October 2019

Thanksgiving Letter
Dear Friends,

We are so grateful that you have chosen to be part of the Erin Mills United Church family. We imagine that there are many reasons why you would have decided to walk in the doors for the first time and why you keep coming back, but we hope that one of them is because you feel that you have found a community with us and a sense of being a part of something that matters.

This year, our faith community celebrates Thanksgiving on Sunday, October 13 th What a glorious time of year for giving thanks! The harvest is in and we can enjoy the beauty of cooler days with clear blue skies and trees ablaze with colour. While we celebrate the beauty in nature at this time, visions of destruction from catastrophic hurricanes haunt us. In addition, we live in times where stories of racism, gun violence, income inequality, political unrest and climate change feed our news media on a daily basis.

How do we at EMUC remain filled with gratitude with this cloud of gloom hanging over us? For me, it is through the love and care extended to members in times of loss and grief. It is through the caring hearts and hands that support our outreach initiatives like the Deacon’s Cupboard and Christmas hampers. It is through the dedication of all who give freely of their time to maintain the building and our programs and activities. It is through the willingness of congregants to take a risk and respond to Rev. Kathi's question of the week during Sunday services. I am sure you can think of other reasons to be grateful for this community of faith.

As you contemplate the things about EMUC for which you are grateful, we invite you to help us sustain our ministry through a special Thanksgiving offering. Special envelopes will be available as part of the worship bulletin for the next two Sundays. If you are not able to attend, we invite you to make your donation by mail, through the Canada Helps website or by Interac e-Transfer. In the latter case please contact the church office, and we will facilitate your donation.

Thank you for your ongoing support,
Rev. Kathi Phillips & Dianne Hope
From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
Think. Act. Make Change.

The issue of climate change has been weighing on my mind recently - to be more specific the impact of climate change on small island countries like those in the Caribbean. The string of tropical storms and hurricanes that are affecting the island nations is causing me great anxiety. In 2017, Hurricane Irma pummeled Tortola, a tiny island in the British Virgin Islands. Angela Burnett, Climate Change Officer for the British Virgin Islands (and my mother’s great niece) was motivated by the destruction she witnessed in her homeland to collect stories of people’s experiences of the hurricane. This collection of survivor experiences became the published paperback called The Irma Diaries . Angela’s work puts a human face on the results of climate change. With her book in hand, Angela’s advocacy has taken her throughout the Caribbean, to the United States, Europe and beyond, where she has made presentations, lectured on climate change and shared her collected stories, all with the goal of accelerating global climate action.

At EMUC we have our own environmental champion, Mary Anna Williams. Mary Anna has restarted a recycling program at EMUC. In addition, she seeks to educate us through bulletin board displays and movie presentations, the most recent being a movie on the topic of food waste. She encourages us to do our part to be stewards of the environment. We applaud Mary Anna’s efforts and express our sincere thanks to her and those who support her in implementing projects.

While we in southern Ontario may be insulated from catastrophic hurricanes, we frequently hear and read about the signs of a rapidly warming climate and the consequences of our careless treatment of the environment. We know that the polar ice caps are melting at alarming rates. Forest fires and spring floods threaten homes and whole communities. A recent scientific study has shown that there are nearly three billion fewer birds in Canada and the United States than there were half a century ago. We produce mountains of trash that are now being returned to us. Scientists are sounding the alarm that time is limited for us to take action on climate change and young people are beseeching us to act now.

As members of the United Church of Canada we celebrate the season of creation at this time of the year. Seems like it would be an ideal time for us all to recommit to being good stewards of our earth home. May we be inspired by Angela, Mary Anna and the thousands of people marching in the streets to take whatever actions we can to slow the warming of our planet and to take care of the environment.

Dianne Hope
Chair, Leadership Circle
Thanks to:

  • Tim and Sandy Hayes for organizing the Bridge Club kickoff event
  • Peter Kiteley, Sylvia Arnold, Barb Jennings and all those who helped with the funeral and reception for Trevor Appleby
  • Larry van Goozen for organizing the Bunch for Lunch
  • Mary Anna Williams for heading the ‘big dig’ gardening day
  • Rev. Kathi and the members of the Congregational Growth committee for planning and overseeing the Café Sunday – Table Talks
  • Members of the RAT – Rental Assistance Team
  • All those who help with building and property repairs and upkeep
  • Nora Douglas for covering the parking for the Striders’ outing to Belfountain Conservation area
  • Lorraine Brignall for sharing the responsibilities for opening the church for Sunday service


Congratulations to Ian Arnold and Michelle Simpson! Sylvia and David Arnold are happy to announce the marriage of their son, Ian to Michelle. The two were married on September 7th, 2019 outside Huntsville at the old Portage Inn. Kathy Toivanen presided over the wedding. We wish them a lifetime of happiness together.
Condolences are sent to Lynda Appleby and the entire extended family as they mourn the death of Trevor Appleby on September 12th, 2019. The funeral and reception were held at EMUC on September 16th, 2019. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Lynda.
Life at EMUC
Prayer Shawl Ministry
On the first Wednesday of each month, from September to June, the Prayer Shawl group meets by the doors of the church to knit, crochet and chat together. We make prayer shawls to go out to anyone who needs a prayer; socks for chemotherapy patients; hats, scarves and mittens for our Christmas Hampers and the local drives for warm clothing; and sometimes we work on our own projects. This fall, thanks to Carole Neeley, we also have “Prayer Buddies,” sweet, little, hand-knit people who can carry a prayer and bring comfort. You do not need to be able to knit or crochet to join us, anyone is welcome to come and join in the conversation.
Prayer Shawls
Prayer Buddies

Bunch for Lunch
On Sunday, September15th following the service,10 members of the EMUC congregation met at the Symposium, a neighbouring restaurant for lunch and a time of fellowship. We intend to do this from time to time throughout the year. You are invited to join us.
‘Big Dig’ Gardening Day
The first gardening day was held on September 16th to clean up the church gardens and prepare for the winter. Thanks to Mary Anna Williams who spearheaded this activity and to all the helpers who came to help. Another gardening day is planned after Thanksgiving. Come and help!
Striders Hike Belfountain Conservation Area and Trimble Trail
On Sunday, September 22nd six striders hiked the Belfountain Conservation area and the Trimble Trail. The day was sunny and warm; the trail was challenging; nature was wonderful; the scenic gorge and rushing waters of the East branch of the Credit River were enjoyed by all. It was a great day!
Bogeys to Birdies Closing ‘Nine and Dine’
On September 25th, 11 golfers played the last ‘Nine and Dine’ of the season on the Rattler course at RattleSnake Golf Course. It was a warm and very windy day with a few sprinkles of rain. The wind was a challenge; however, everyone enjoyed the game of One Putt, Two Putt.

Everyone was a winner and celebrated over dinner. It was wonderful to have Pat Beck and Janet Read with the group for dinner, since Pat was just back from travelling and Janet is still recuperating from her knee surgery.
Café Sunday - Table Talks
On Sunday, September 29th, EMUC held its second café-style service. People were invited to have coffee and to sit at round tables in the sanctuary for the service. About 55 people attended this casual service which focussed on spirituality and religion.

After the service there was more conversation as we held ‘Table Talks’ to discuss two questions: 1) What do you get spiritually from EMUC which keeps you coming to church and 2) What are some of your own spiritual practices you use in your life? There was rich discussion and interaction. This information will be combined with the Asset Mapping results and will help us define who we are as a church.
Upcoming Events
October 13th: Thanksgiving Sunday

October 18th: Women for Women
Women for Women will be going on a Ghost Walk in downtown Oakville on Friday, October 18th. We will meet at EMUC at 6:45 p.m. to carpool to the Oakville Historical Society's cottage on King St. The walk starts at 8:00 p.m., runs about one hour and is followed by light refreshments back at the cottage.  Cost is $12.  Dress for the weather as the walk is only cancelled for thunder or lightning.  Please sign up on the bulletin board or contact Cathy Scattergood.  Payment in advance is preferred, if possible. 

October 20th: Advent Planning Meeting following the Sunday service

October 26th: Anne Bokma’s book release

Anne Bokma and her husband Jeff Mahoney used to attend EMUC before moving to Hamilton. Anne was a speaker at Women for Women as she was beginning her year of ‘spiritual’ research.  Ann is returning to Women for Women on November 22nd for an author presentation and readings from her book.

Below is more information about the book.

My Year of Living Spiritually: New book this fall from Broadview journalist
Memoir explores spiritual practices & journey away fundamentalism
An award-winning writer for Broadview magazine (formerly the United Church Observer ) has a new memoir out this fall that explores her experimental year of sampling more than 20 spiritual practices and also documents her journey away from fundamentalism to becoming "spiritual-but-not-religious."
My Year of Living Spiritually—From Woo-Woo to Wonderful: One Woman's Secular Quest for a More Soulful Life, will be published in October by Douglas & McIntyre. Anne Bokma, a longtime Broadview feature writer, wrote the magazine's "Spiritual But Secular" column for four years, which led to a yearlong blog called "My Year of Living Spiritually," now turned into a book.
Bokma writes about her whirlwind year immersed in spiritual practices and how they changed her life for the better. She sang in choirs, learned to be more grateful, danced with witches, went on a pilgrimage to Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond, tried magic mushrooms—and a whole lot more. She also details the struggles she encountered with her family when she left the strict Canadian Reformed Church, examines the impact of "religious trauma syndrome" and writes about finding a spiritual home—first in the United Church—and eventually among the Unitarians. 
The book has received positive advance reviews. Oprah magazine columnist Martha Beck, author of Leaving the Saints , calls it " engaging, entertaining, well-researched romp through the many variations of non-religious spiritual practice." Rona Maynard, author of My Mother's Daughter and the former editor of Chatelaine , describes it as "a candid, fearless odyssey of the heart and soul". And playwright Tracey Erin Smith, founder of Toronto's SOULO Theatre, says: "If you liked Eat, Pray, Love , you'll go wild for My Year of Living Spiritually ."
The book will be released on October 26th. Until then, it's available by pre-order at Indigo, Amazon and local booksellers. Anne will be hosting a book launch at First Unitarian Church of Hamilton on Saturday, October 26th from 7-9 p.m. It will feature music, refreshments, a book reading and a book signing. All are welcome.

For more information go to:
October 27th: Blessing of the Animals Service
The focus of our worship will be on our animal companions. You are invited to bring your pet or service animals (or a photo or some other item to represent your pet) to church that morning for a blessing during the service.

October 29th: Mississauga Cluster Potluck Dinner
Erindale United has invited all the Mississauga United Churches to a Potluck dinner on October 29th. Rev. Kathi and five others from our congregation will represent EMUC and are bringing main courses/casseroles to share. The purpose of this activity is to get to know other United Church congregations in Mississauga which possibly will lead to working together and sharing information under the new Regional Council structure of the United Church.

November 28th: Open Door Dinner at Square One 
EMUC will once again host the above. It’s still early days, but for those of you who like to plan and complete your calendar, please note. More information to follow in the next few weeks.     
"Calling all EMUCers!"
(oops!! We can't!!)
The Membership and Pastoral Care committee kindly (and somewhat urgently) requests your cooperation in updating the EMUC Congregational List. We are finding that many of the phone numbers (often land lines) are not in service and the church has not received replacement phone numbers (usually cells). Our ability to communicate efficiently with each other helps us to stay informed and stay connected. Your information is not shared with any source outside EMUC. Please help us in our efforts to keep this important list current by contacting Tina Driscoll by phone or email (905 820 9466; to provide any changes in address, phone numbers, and/or email addresses.  Thank you for your help.
Submitted by Sandy Hayes
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 October 27th . Simply fill out the order form for the gift cards you would like to buy.