January 17, 2019

Here at Central blast HQ we're always looking for seasonal photos, to add to our collection of congregational pictures and other photographic miscellanea. So grab a camera (and a coat) and send us what you have. We can't print every snowflake, but we can try.

The Outreach Committee will meet Sunday (January 20) beginning at 9.30 am.

Plan ahead: Sunday, January 27, we will share the Sacrament of Communion, 11 am. Also on January 27, the Spiritual and Worship Committee will led worship at West Park Hospital, 9 am. Speak to Joan for more information.

The deadline for emailing your annual report is January 27. Speak to Taye to learn more.

Just announced! Our Lenten Study will begin on Thursday, March 7 and continue on March 14, 21 and 28 (6 pm). Out topic is "Jesus on Trial," an in-depth look at Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate. We will also take a general look at justice in the Roman world and how this appears in the Gospels. Speak to Michael for more information.

Thank you Team January! More specifically, thanks Carmen, Bunny, Gail and Cathy!

Worship at Central

We call it traditional worship with a twist. The service unfolds with the usual scripture-sermon-prayer format, but the added dimension of congregational participation and lots of interaction. We honour the children with their own place in the service, and prepare them for Church School. We have both Junior and Senior Choirs, an occasional Jazz ensemble and regular solo performances.

We follow the Revised Common Lectionary, which is available here.

This Sunday's Readings:

Psalm 36: "Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens."

1 Corinthians 12.1-11: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed."

Read last week's sermon


Why is it called the Kid’s Klub Sleepover when no one really sleeps? February 9 & 10. Speak to Jenny for details.

Your Church Council Executive is busy planning a 'vendor sale' or 'maker's market' for the beginning of June, and we need your help. Over the next few weeks, Kathy will be coming to the congregation with various requests, from spreading the word to adding to the congregation's sale table. Stay tuned for more information.

Minute for Mission

Our gifts for Mission & Service support rebuilding after conflict and disasters in places like Guatemala, where the Guatemala Conference of Evangelical Churches is training Indigenous women in human rights, citizen participation, and economic empowerment through farming.

Will I or Won’t I

We have all faced the dilemma of being asked for money – outside a store or in the subway. Sometimes the person sits in a doorway with a hungry looking dog and holds out a coffee cup.

What to do, especially when I assume, I have more disposable income than the person asking? We have all read about rich panhandlers being picked up in cars at the end of the day, or been told that giving money just enables more drinking and drug abuse. We think about the dangers of taking out a wallet and showing how much cash we have on hand. We fear being asked repeatedly if we are generous the one time. We also feel guilty because we are called to help the poor.

I have tried carrying the “two meals for one” coupons that come with my mail and offering them, only to be scorned. I used to say to myself that I volunteer to feed the needy and donate to charities that help offer shelter and food so that was ample reason to decline the request. But I do far less of that these days. I may carry some loose change in my pocket and give it saying, “That’s all the cash I have on me right now.”

There are no easy answers. We know it all right to say no to a request for money. It doesn’t make you a Grinch or a bad person. But what just about every professional charity worker emphasizes is that it is crucial to still treat the asker as a human, someone of value—particularly if they are homeless. Look them in the eye. Ask their name. Have a conversation.

A person working for a large homeless service provider says if you want to give money, get invested in organizations doing that work. “They’ll invest it in services that help those people, moving them off the streets, ending homelessness.” But Pope Francis, in an interview with an Italian magazine, recommended giving money to those who ask and not worrying that they might use it to get drunk. If a glass of wine is the person’s only happiness in life, that’s okay by the Pope. Giving money to someone in need “is always right.”

Small donations from your pocket will not change a life, but they can help people meet very real basic needs like food and shelter for the day. Advice also suggests once you give something, let go of it and your expectations of how it will be used.

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Women's March 2019 in Toronto at Nathan Phillips Square, Saturday, January 19 at 12 pm. The march is to bring awareness to the changes needed to build a safer, more inclusive Toronto. There will be speakers and a short rally before the march.

Cooking Talk with Luciana Longo, Mount Dennis Library, on Saturday, January 19 from 2 to 3 pm. Author Luciana Longo shares her tips, memories, and love of cooking with a reading from her book, ?Si Mangia! Memories, Lessons and Recipes from Italian Immigrant Life?. A cooking demonstration on how to make tiramisu will be provided. Register by calling 416-394-1008.

High Park Nature Centre presents Amazing Animal Adaptations, Saturday, January 26 at 1.30 pm. Explore the amazing adaptations the animals in High Park have that help them survive during our harsh Canadian winters. This event is great for all ages, suggested donation of $2 - $5 per person. Accessibility: All walks are moderate length and terrain. We regret that trails are not wheelchair or stroller accessible. 375 Colborne Lodge Drive.

Worth a Look

In other news, Prince Harry greets a little girl holding a 'Gingers Unite' sign.

2018-19 at Central

See what's coming up in the 2018-19 church year.

About this Blast

Members and friends receive this blast every Thursday. To share an announcement or unsubscribe, email cuc@bellnet.ca

Photo by Mark Bisgrove.