March 15, 2018

Many thanks for all the kind words and expressions of support following my mother's recent death. We are blessed to be surrounded by the warmth and encouragement of a loving community. And thanks too for the lovely planter the Church Council sent on behalf of the congregation. It resides on our kitchen table and will serve as a reminder of such kindness.

Sunday is Lent 5, and the journey up to Calvary and the empty tomb continues. What's coming up? Palm Sunday Communion and Easter Egg decorating on March 25, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday worship at Central (March 30, shared with our friends from Weston Presbyterian) and a service to celebrate the Resurrection on April 1. Easter Sunday is also new member Sunday, so speak top Michael if you would like to learn more.

Continues tonight (March 15) at 6 pm! Come and learn about "Applied Bible," and the way we share the Word in preaching. Next week: "The Great Canadian Preach-Off."

Just a week or so until Pub Night (March 23). See Taye for tickets.

Relaxed and happy at Central's annual meeting.

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 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God.“

John 12.20-24: "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

Read last week's sermon


The 200th Anniversary Committee will meet after worship on Sunday, March 18. Plans are afoot!

Save the date! Join us for Pub Night on Friday, March 23 at 7 pm. We will meet in the hall at CKSR and enjoy pub games, conversation, and a silent auction. Tickets are $25, please call Terry at 416-417-1224 to reserve a ticket.

On the topic of pub night, we are planning to auction off gift baskets. Interested in putting together a themed gift basket? Need tips? Speak to Terry, Kathy or Michael.

Frontlines Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday, April 28 at 6 pm, Weston Golf and Country Club, 50 St. Phillip’s Road. Help them celebrate 30 years of helping Weston. Tickets are $90, and available from Carol Latimer.

Minute for Mission

In Jordan, Mission & Service partner The Middle East Council of Churches provides vouchers to refugees from Syria and Iraq so they can choose what they want based on their needs. MECC also helps local churches that are receiving refugees, offering assistance with resettlement and social programs for adults and children. To quote MECC-Jordan’s director, “Every prayer, thought, and donation is making a difference.” Thank you.

No more food stamps for Americans

The US administration recently released their version of the 2019 budget. As with any budget you can get a sense of the priorities by reading the item list. It was interesting since this budget has a “solution” for the people who are going hungry–those not making enough money to feed their families or themselves.

In Canada, people use a Food Bank if one is available, and if eligible they receive a monthly cheque from the government to spend as they choose. Whereas, in America there is a system of food stamps - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – to ensure food and not on other items like diapers for the baby or cigarettes is bought.

Under the proposed budget, people will get a Harvest Box containing “shelf stable” (not fresh and probably containing preservatives) groceries. This box will include things like juice, pasta, canned meat and beans produced in the USA and purchased in bulk by the government at a significant cost saving.

I am imagining agricultural surpluses being package up for distribution and I have a flash back to my childhood and the extreme guilt I felt. For Harvest Festival we had to bring vegetables to school and then some of us were picked to deliver them to a local hospital. I had to carry a large swede (a type of rutabaga) and I hated swedes with a passion and felt so bad that I was taking one to a sick person.

Then, I am asking myself about the difficulty for the elderly and the disabled in picking up these Harvest Boxes – they would be much heavier than stamps if you have a family of five! The stamps you could use little by little buying what you can carry or needed for a recipe.

This sort of paternalism is always a source of debate. I remember arguing with a staff member when she restricted the drop-in participants TV viewing to what she felt was good for them. Not having enough money brings so many restrictions in everyday life – you walk because you cannot afford the TTC, you buy sliced white bread because it is cheaper than pumpernickel and you do without Tylenol when you have a headache.

It is not as simple as that – eating vegetables and avoiding any kind of indulgence - to move a person out of poverty. That seems like the old Protestant work ethic when a cleanly scrubbed door step meant Godliness. No amount of clean eating will help a low wage earner overcome the many barriers to making a living wage.

I am for giving people cash with no strings attached. I would like support offered for managing finances. Programs in Manitoba make it clear that most of the time poor people put their money towards life’s essentials. If the government’s support did not allow me to buy the small treats I enjoy when faced with challenges or disappointments, and my shelves only held swedes, spam and spaghetti – week after week – I wonder what I would do?

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Church Clothing Sale at St. Matthias Anglican Church on Saturday, March 17 from 8 am to 1 pm. New & gently used clothing for men, women & children at great prices. 1428 Royal York Road.

Join Lost River Walks on Sunday, March 18 (2 pm): Garrison Creek (Christie to Queen) This walk will follow the section of Garrison Creek from Christie Pits to Queen St. Walk begins at NW corner of Christie & Bloor, close to the Christie TTC station, and terminates at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Led by Richard Anderson and others. Walks are rain or shine and free.

High Park Nature Centre presents Signs of Spring, a family nature walk on Saturday, April 7 at 1.30 pm. Search for the signs of spring on a hike through Toronto’s biggest park. This event is great for all ages. No pre-registration necessary, this is a drop-in event. Suggested donation of $2-$5 per person. Meet at 375 Colborne Lodge Drive.

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 Emerging Christian Way: Thoughts, Stories, and Wisdom for a Faith of Transformation ed. by Michael Schwartzentruber.

The face of Christianity is changing. In recent years, and in rapidly increasing numbers, people have begun to understand the core message and purpose of Christianity differently. They have returned to its ancient roots and found a wisdom that speaks to their experience of faith and God. According to this emerging vision, Christianity is primarily about transformation - the transformation of the self through a living and dynamic experience of God, who is not separate from us, but a part of us; and the transformation of society.

Worth a Look

Maybe this 3D-printed house can solve the global housing crisis.

2017-18 at Central

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

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Photo by Mark Bisgrove