November 22, 2017

This week! The Senior Choir and Friends invite you to kick off the Christmas Season at our Third Annual Christmas Concert and Sing-Along, Saturday, November 25 at 7 pm. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door. For more information or to reserve tickets, please speak to Taye.

Weston Presbyterian Bazaar will take place on Saturday, November 25 from noon to 1.30 pm, 7 Cross Street. Bake table, Christmas table, craft table, and jewelry table, lucky draw, tea room. Ample parking.

This Sunday (November 26) is the Weston Santa Claus Parade, beginning at 2 pm. Come to church and get a good parking spot.

Plan ahead: Sunday, December 3 is Sell Your Talent, an annual opportunity to share our handiwork and raise a little money for Central. There will be tasty chili, baked-goods, crafts, preserves, and more! Remember Jelly-Jam? This year it's Simcoe Island Jelly-Jam International Blend™ and S.I. Famous Apple Spread™

Speaking of talent, Kathy has been busy making a quilt for a raffle to be held on December 3. Tickets are $3 or two for $5. Speak to her for tickets or information.

Do you have a late-breaking talent? Our no-fuss bazaar (Sell Your Talent) is open to anyone with something to make and donate. Simply bring your handiwork on December 3 and we will find you a space to sell. Proceeds to the church.

How's your info? Do we have your most up-to-date contact details? See Barbara Bisgrove after worship to check your contact info and make changes. Thanks Barbara!

The Spiritual and Worship Committee will meet after worship (fittingly) on Sunday, November 26.

With Team November, the smiles are free!

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 100: "Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.”

Ephesians 1.15-23: "I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him."

Read last week's sermon


Do you receive the United Church Observer? Under our congregational plan, we pick up the cost and gently encourage subscribers to make a $25 donation. See Sue for more details, or to add yourself to the Observer list.

NEW location! What if the restructuring of the United Church could become an opportunity for local churches to do more together than we can do separately? You are invited to join other congregations in South West Presbytery in conversations that really matter. Explore ways to strengthen the ministry of each congregation, and our ministry together. The first meeting will be held at Ghana Calvary Methodist United Church (65 Mayall Avenue) on Saturday, November 25 from 9 am to 12 pm. Please speak to Lang for more information.

Kairos Toronto West presents Keeping Score: Canada and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to be held November 25 at Islington United Church from 10 am to noon. The guest speaker is Melinda Rooke, a member of the UN Policy Strategy Group and a Sustainable Development Goals advocate. See the poster in the bulletin board in the narthex.

Jubilate Singers present Building World Harmony: Christian, Jewish & Islamic music from medieval Spain & beyond, with special guest Bassam Bishara, Oud. Saturday Novovember 25, 7:30 pm at St. Simon-the-Apostle Church, 525 Bloor Street East. Tickets: 416-485-1988, at the door, or brownpapertickets.com $25 adults, $20 seniors $15 students.

The Weston Historical Society will be hosting their 37th Annual old-fashioned Christmas Carol and Hymn Sing on Wednesday, December 6, at 7 pm, St. Philips Anglican Church, 31 St. Phillips Road. The theme this year will be "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" Donations of non-perishable foods will be accepted at the church for WAES (Weston Area Emergency Support). Friends and family are all welcome!

Weston Area Emergency Support (WAES) needs plastic shopping bags and non-perishable food items—especially canned food that can opened without a can opener. You can leave these items at the church and we will forward them to WAES.

Are you already receiving 2018 charity calendars and cards? If you run out of places for forwarding them, please bring them to church and pass them on to Barbara Bisgrove for the drop-in. She makes sure your calendar will then brighten a dingy wall in a rooming house or become a loving gift from someone with no money to buy gifts. Your cards can be exchanged and the messages may fill an empty hole in a lonely season.

Weston King Neighbourhood Centre membership continues. Become a member of the corporation, show your support, and vote at the annual meeting. Get involved in a positive force for change in your community. Membership costs $10 or pay-what-you-can. See Wendy for details.

Minute for Mission

Gifts With Vision is back! Each year, the United Church creates a giving catalog that provides an additional way to support the work of our Mission and Service partners around the world. An example:

Adopt bees! Saint Columba House in downtown Montreal installed two beehives in their rooftop garden. Children on the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood are now learning about pollination in urban agriculture. They also see the fruits of garden produce in a meal program serving low-income residents, and taste delicious honey. Your Gift of $25 contributes to garden and beehive care supplies, and provides funds for one community member to learn bee care in a workshop with beekeepers.

Visit giftswithvision.ca or pick up a catalog at the church.

Homeless Families

Editor's note: Barbara wrote this in September, not knowing that Ottawa would announce a new housing strategy this week. She's always ahead of the curve!

When you hear “homeless," if you are like me, my mind immediately pictures a middle-aged male, but there are shelters for families and recently a study was released about 75 homeless families in Ottawa in 2012-2013. Note the date, because they found a large number of newcomer families in the shelters, including refugees and immigrants, and this was before as a country we welcomed the Syrian refugees.

The people studied were poor and unemployed, but many were educated, and there was little evidence of alcohol or substance abuse. People reported poor mental health and high levels of family stress. Whereas newcomer families tended to be larger and include more two-parent families than did Canadian-born families, there were no differences in the physical and mental health of the participants.

Financial help and somewhere to live were the primary needs of these families when they exited the shelter. Over half needed additional support services to maintain stable housing when they left, such as counseling in life skills, childcare, and training and employment skills. Because families need larger affordable housing units than single people, they tend to stay in the shelter system almost five times longer than single people. An average stay in the Ottawa study was just over three months.This was over four years ago so people now are staying far longer, and this, of course, prevents the intake of new people in need.

The study participants indicated that the main problems in finding or maintaining housing were being unable to pay the rent, and/or the security deposit, the difficulty of travelling about to look for housing, not having a rent history or reference from past landlords and having three or more children. Imagine not speaking the language fluently, travelling by public transportation with several small children in tow and having landlords turn you down place after place.

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Pastoral Wonders Concert at Martingrove Collegiate Institute, 50 Winterton Drive on Friday, November 24 from 8 to 10 pm. The Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra's concert presents Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony and others.

Annual Christmas Bazaar at St. Demetrius Church Hall, 135 La Rose Avenue on Friday, November 24 (11 am to 8 pm) and Saturday, November 25 (10 am to 4 pm) with good food and a variety of vendors.

Fall Handmade Art and Fine Craft Sale at the Neilson Park Creative Centre, 56 Neilson Drive on Saturday, November 25 from 10 am to 4 pm. Visit the vibrant not-for-profit art community centre for a sale featuring 45 vendors and resident art groups.

Mount Dennis Community Association Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday, December 14, 7 pm, at the Royal Canadian Legion, 1050 Weston Road. The keynote speaker is the Hon. Chris Ballard, Ontario Minister of the Environment & Climate Change. ALL WELCOME. Doors open 6 pm.

In the Library

Wade in the Water: The Wisdom of the Spirituals by Arthur C. Jones

Spirituals emerged from the crucible of slavery. They inspired enslaved African Americans to risk their lives for the chance to be free. Wade in the Water celebrates these spirituals as an art form and as unique and powerful cultural expression. For those with little knowledge of the tradition, it provides a wealth of information.

Worth a Look

A Bible scholar completes a new translation of the New Testament and asks Are Christians Supposed to Be Communists?

2017-18 at Central

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

About this Blast

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Photo by Mark Bisgrove