January 12, 2018

Come in from the rain/freezing rain/snow or whatever comes next! See you Sunday at 11 am.

The Outreach Committee will meet on Sunday, January 21 at 9.30 am.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Elsie Mitchell, former member of Mount Dennis and beloved sister to Madeline. The service will take place on Monday, January 15 at 11 am at Ward Funeral Home in Weston. Visitation at Ward on Saturday and Sunday, 2-4 and 7-9 pm. Interment will follow at Park Lawn.

Plan ahead! On January 28 we will celebrate the Sacrament of Communion, 11 am.

Also on January 28, the Christian Education Committee will lead worship at West Park Hospital. Volunteers begin to gather patients at 9 am and take them to the chapel for a 9.30 service. Can you help? Speak to Jenny for more information.

Lent is early! February 18 is the first Sunday of Lent, and becomes the signal to begin our annual Lenten Study. This year, beginning on Thursday, February 22 (6 pm), we will look at preaching in the life of the church. The topics (tentatively) include: 1) Why Preach?/Why Listen?; 2) What’s a Sermon?; 3) Applied Bible; and 4) The Great Canadian Preach-Off. Intrigued? Ask Michael for more details.

Many thanks to Kerri & Co. for delicious pulled pork!

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 139: "O LORD, you have searched me and known me."

John 1.43-51: "Follow me."

Read last week's sermon


Islington United Church is hosting lectures and a panel discussion on Understanding Our Abrahamic Roots on the following Wednesdays: January 17, Judaism with Rabbi Michael Satz, Associate Rabbi, Holy Blossom Temple; January 24, Islam with Timothy Gianotti, PhD, Associate Professor, Islamic Studies Program, University of Waterloo; and a panel discussion with all three lecturers on February 7. Tickets are free and signup includes all four lectures. Each program will take place from 7 to 9 pm. For information, contact: Barbara Sheffield (b.sheffield@rogers.com) or Carol Wilson (cwilson@yorku.ca). 25 Burnhamthorpe Road.

Mount Dennis Community Ice Rink is open! Pearen Park Rink (Pearen Street between Eglinton and Glenvalley; close to Weston Road) opened on January 1 and will continue while the ice lasts (no end in sight!). The skate hut is open on weekends and holidays from 1 to 5 pm to borrow skates and helmets. There is also a kids “learn to skate program” Monday to Friday from 4 to 6 pm. Volunteers are always needed for on-ice coaching and supervision; also in the skate hut for fitting and fastening skates. For more information, call 416-614-3371 or e-mail rink@mountdennis.ca

Minute for Mission

The Organization of African Instituted Churches works with Africa’s most marginalized peoples. A union of African Independent churches, the organization helps to provide people with the skills and knowledge they need to make changes for the better in their communities. Its strength is that its member churches are indigenous to Africa, rooted in local communities.

The world knows well that food crises are prevalent throughout Africa. According to the organization, the major contributing factor to chronic food shortages in Africa is a crisis in smallhold farms. Responsible for feeding 80 percent of Africa, these farms have suffered from neglect by political leaders, extreme weather, changing weather patterns, lack of training, and poor infrastructure. The organization is resolved to meet these challenges.

It believes change comes community by community, building on the creativity and resourcefulness of local leaders. In 2013 the Organization of African Instituted Churches resolved to work with smallhold farmers to tackle the ongoing food crisis and make a difference in communities by helping to secure for farmers access to critical resources like knowledge, seed, nancial support, and appropriate technology; making sure new farmers, largely women and youth, are included in programs provided by the state and others; improving harvest and storage facilities to reduce losses; and offering farmers business and management training so they can better understand the markets.

Our contributions for Mission and Service enable the Organization of African Instituted Churches to make a difference in the lives of farmers and communities in Africa as they live with respect in creation.

Hearing Again How to Use the Time Given

When I was in teacher’s college in 1957, we were repeatedly told how important it was to teach people how to learn, not what to learn. The professors said that more leisure time was coming in people’s lives as inventions such as washers and dryers, dishwashers, assembly lines and typewriters took over some of the laborious tasks. We were to encourage students to start engaging in hobbies, taking up sports and improving their knowledge – to meaningfully fill the freed-up time.

So, I chuckled today (60 years later) when I read an article saying that “It is expected that we will live longer, but also that much of our work will be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence. And concepts like Universal Basic Income—the idea to give all citizens a basic living income regardless of their employment status—are being tested in places like Finland and New Zealand. The question then becomes: if we don’t need to work to have our basic needs met, how will we spend our time?” (Dave and Mike Radparvar, co-founders of Holstee)

These writers went on to suggest we might spend more quality time with friends and family, seek out education and enlightenment on the Internet or lose ourselves in an alternate virtual reality world. They proposed that willpower–the will to say no to easy digital temptations–was crucial to develop. That we would do better to ”listen to our hearts and carve out the space to pursue what brings us meaning. .... (As) access to both information and distractions increases, developing a strong sense of willpower will be a determining factor not just for us individuals, but for society as a whole.”

Interesting. What does this mean to us as Christians? If we have this extra time are we using it in more Bible study, more volunteer work, more congregational outreach? Where do we go when we have some free time? Have we already learned how to fill time, so we can talk continually about our stress? Did this make you think? “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, ....honest, ... just,....pure,.... lovely, ...of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.“ (Philippians 4:8) It did me!

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

High Park Nature Centre (375 Colborne Lodge) presents Sleeping Skeletons Of High Park on Saturday, January 13 at 1.30 pm. Join a family nature walk to explore majestic oaks, hardy maples & whimsical willows. Learn how to ID trees during their winter dormancy by studying their buds, twigs and bark. Free, $2-$5 suggested donation.

Westway Horticultural Society presents Harry Jongerden, executive director of The Toronto Botanical Garden, will talk about revamping and revitalizing the gardens. Monday, January 15 at 7.30 pm, Royal York Baptist Church, 1520 Royal York Road. $6 admission goes toward the WHS.

PATHology and Geology: Redux on Sunday, January 21 at 2 pm. Explore a mid-winter walk route: the PATH system beneath the towers of the downtown core, where we find proxies for nature in a manufactured landscape. Ed Freeman and John Wilson will lead a circular tour to discover memorable stone hewn from the ground in far-flung quarries, fashioned into cladding and sculptures throughout the PATH system. About 2 km. walk, on indoor walkways and street sidewalks with some stairs. A few public washrooms are open on Sunday. Meet at the southeast corner of Yonge and Adelaide.

Humber Community Seniors' Services is looking for volunteers to help with the Meals on Wheels Program. The Program needs drivers to deliver hot, nutritious meals to seniors and adults with disabilities in the Weston-Mount Dennis community. Call 416-249-7946 or visit them at 1167 Weston Road.

In the Library

The Meaning of Jesus by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright.

In this valuable book, historical Jesus scholars Borg (Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time) and Wright (Jesus and the Victory of God) engage in a lively debate on the significance of historical Jesus research for the Christian faith.

Worth a Look

CBC Calgary explores how birds stay warm through Canada's cold winters Some birds' brains literally expand to find food, while others survive by going into hypothermia nightly.

2017-18 at Central

See what's coming up in the 2017-18 church year.

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