May 2019

Earthly Matters
When I plan our worship services, I try my best to be sensitive to the “special” Sundays that are on the church calendar. Some are the biggest days of the year: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost; others are a little more obscure – did you know that the fourth Sunday of Easter is called the “Good Shepherd” Sunday? Then there are the non-church occasions that should be marked, too, days like Mother’s Day and Remembrance Day.

They are all important, but I have found that it isn’t possible to celebrate each one in each year. Unfortunately, this year Earth Sunday fell on Easter Sunday and we missed our service dedicated to the environment. I am grateful that Mary Anna Williams and her team held an evening on April 23 to discuss food waste and the impact on the environment.

As I write this, there are disastrous floods in several Canadian provinces and wildfires in BC and Saskatchewan. As governments around the world continue to scale back environmental protections, it’s important for us to realize that this is a vitally important spiritual issue.

Many Christians ignore environmental issues because they don’t see it as an important faith-related concern — but in many ways, taking care of our environment is a direct expression of our faith, although many of us have yet to realize — and some even reject — this truth.

Theologians have often argued that the splendor and wonder of creation is observable proof of God and God’s awe-inspiring power. But what happens when it’s not visible? What are the spiritual ramifications of destroying our world?

Many of us love nature and have access to the outdoors, scenic parks, and unpolluted land. We find God in scenes of picturesque mountain ranges, pristine lakes and rivers, beautiful wild animals, and lovely plants. But, for others, the idea of God in nature is absurd and often a theological idea that actually argues against the existence of a God.

Because when water is too unsafe to drink, air too toxic to breathe, and the sheer decay of the surrounding environment endangers you and your family — how is God glorified? When the natural physical existence around you is taken away, broken, or heading toward death instead of life, how does this possibly point people to God?

The sad reality is that the thought of God revealed in nature doesn’t really exist for millions of people living in conditions where their environment is being exploited for corporate and political gain. Which is why creation care and environmentalism is so important. Because if you really believe that the earth reflects God’s glory, by not taking care of it and allowing it to become corrupted — you’re essentially keeping people from experiencing the goodness of God.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)

The Bible says that the skies declare God’s craftsmanship, but what happens when people can’t see the sky due to smog and waste?

Pollution, destruction, and the exploitation of our world isn’t a victimless crime — it’s intentionally hiding God from others, and the act of making our earth less desirable is blinding others to the goodness of God.

If we seriously want others to experience God, we should start making the earth a better place — ultimately reflecting the magnificence of God.
Rev. Kathi
From the Chair of the Leadership Circle
If I were to create a slogan for an intercultural church, I think it would be “Come as you are. We'll make space for you”.  This community would be made up of persons from diverse backgrounds (of race, sexual orientation, ability, age, income, etc.)  It would resemble the Beloved Community of which Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed. Creating and maintaining such a community is not easy because it demands much of its participants. Meaningful relationship with those we regard as “other” or “different” requires open minds and hearts and much self-reflection. It requires us to wrestle with our own, and institutional power and privilege. We have to be willing to be changed by the “other”, to take risks, to make mistakes and to forgive others and ourselves.

This may be the kind of community the United Church of Canada dreamed of in the 2006 publication “A Transformative Vision for The United Church of Canada”.  Thirteen years later, a small group including United Church staff, clergy and lay people like myself was tasked with the job of evaluating how far the church has come on the intercultural journey.  An online survey was one of the tools used in this evaluation. The results of the survey show that many are enthusiastic about the United Church's intercultural commitment and feel their communities are on an intercultural journey. Deeper probing about personal perspectives and experiences revealed that many are uncomfortable with “difference”, discrimination exists, and feeling safe is not always a given for all marginalized people.
I believe that the church as true intercultural community will only be realized when we allow ourselves to be transformed in our hearts and minds; when we follow Jesus’ example of including the marginalized and imperfect and inviting them to follow his way; when we commit to love our neighbours as ourselves.

That’s the invitation.
The Canadian Council Of Churches offers a five-day ecumenical program that explores power, privilege, racism and other aspects of intercultural ministries.  This Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry (DUIM) program was a transformative one for me. It gave me a language and tools for reflecting on my relationships across difference and for sharing what I’d learned with others. It connected me with persons committed to building intercultural community. This June the Engage Difference! DUIM program is offered in Toronto from June 24- 28. If you are interested, you are invited to follow this link for more information:

Dianne Hope
Chair, Leadership Circle
Congratulations go to Danielle Fearon and Blake Madill and Godparents, Rebecca and Michael Fearon, on the baptism of their daughter, Ada Lily.

David Lee passed away on April 7th. David’s Linda and David’s memorial service will be held on Friday, May 10th at 11 am at Erin Mills United Church.

Thanks to:

  • Mary Anna Williams and all who helped organize the Green Movie Night
  • Len Feldman and the Chancel Choir for special Easter music
  • Sylvia Arnold and Karen Colwell and the Worship committee for planning and decorating for Easter especially for the cocoons and butterflies
  • All who donated flowers for the sanctuary for Easter
  • All who organized the Hot Cross Bun breakfast on Good Friday
  • All who participated in the Vigil
  • Sylvia Arnold, Cathy Kiteley, Cindy Young and Patti King for organizing and working so hard to ensure the garage sale was a success
  • All who helped with the garage sale by selling, donating items, contributing baking, setting-up and clearing -up
  • Peter Kiteley for all that he does for every events

Life at EMUC
Asset Mapping Exercise
Led by Congregational Growth Committee Members
Your Input is Needed!
  The Congregational Growth Committee has developed a plan to discern how we attract new people to be part of our EMUC community of faith. One of the first steps is to determine the gifts we have to offer the neighbouring community, to identify our values and then develop a ’brand’ for EMUC. 
An ‘Asset Mapping’ activity has been developed for our congregation. This activity is based on the premise that working with gifts and strengths as opposed to deficits and needs, is a more powerful way to discern actions we can take to strengthen and grow our congregation. The exercise has been done three times with the sub-group who developed it, the Congregational Growth Committee and the Leadership Circle and Trustees. We now need input from the whole church, i.e., the congregation.
This is your invitation to join in a session of asset mapping. It takes about 90 minutes to complete. No preparation is required and it is fun. Please join us after coffee and conversation this Sunday, May 5 th in the lower hall to participate. It is engaging, interactive and uplifting.
The facilitators for this session will be Cathy Kiteley, Patti King and Barb Jennings.  Come join us! If this date is not convenient for you, another session is being planned for a Wednesday evening in May. Be sure you are part of this important work of defining who we are as a church! 

Dianne Hope
Co-chair, Congregational Growth Team
EMUC Striders Spring Hike

On April 7 th seven Striders donned jackets and hiking boots to explore the Meadowvale Conservation Area. Hiking along the Credit River for 2.5 km on the David Culham Trail provided great exercise, fresh air and fun. The pictures tell the story!
Palm Sunday
Vigil and Good Friday
Hot Cross Bun Breakfast
Upcoming Events
Women for Women
The annual retreat is set for Saturday, May 25th at EMUC from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Our theme this year is "Living Colours". The morning program starts with a continental breakfast, followed by (hopefully) outdoor activities around the church and neighbourhood designed to get us moving and observing nature. After a delicious lunch, we have a guest artist to lead us in a painting workshop for the afternoon. We will each be completing a painting to take home.  Cost is $40 for the day (bursary support is available). Please sign up on the bulletin board and complete an information form or respond to the email invitation. Payment by cheque, cash or (new) e-transfer to Debby Sturgeon.
EMUC will be hosting the Ontario Male Chorus concert on Sunday, May 26th at 7:30 pm. "Boys in B" (Cawthra Park Secondary School) will also be performing. Tickets are available from Sue Ogilvie: $20 for adults and $10 for children/students .

EMUC Striders

There will be a joint hike with the Mindful Steps of Applewood United, the EMUC Striders and friends on June 2nd.
EMUC will gather in the Narthex for a light lunch brought from home.   At 12:15 our car pooling will set off for the trailhead at Hewick Meadows (by 12:30 to meet our fellow hikers) to explore another section of the David Culham trail.  Expect to be out in the Credit Valley paths for up to 1 1/2 hours.  All will be back to their home Churches by 2:30.

Take note, the entrance to the parking lot can only be reached by driving eastbound over the bridge on Eglinton Av. (from Mississauga Rd.)
Contact Tim at for additional information.
On Friday, May 31st there will be a Spring Dinner celebrating Peter Kiteley's contributions to EMUC as Office Administrator as he launches into retirement. Tickets are available from Sandy Hayes for $30. 

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 May 26th . Simply fill out the order form for the gift cards you would like to buy.