Central

UNITED CHURCH

March 23, 2017

Spring sprung, and now it's time to plan ahead: April 2: Congregational Luncheon; April 9: Palm Sunday, Cantata, Communion, Easter Egg Decorating; April 13: Maundy Thursday, 7 pm; April 14: Good Friday at Weston Presbyterian Church, 11 am; April 16: Easter, The Sacrament of Baptism.

Continues tonight! There will be a three-evening Lenten Bible Study, March 16, 23, and 30. The theme is "Easter Elsewhere," a look at the various places in scripture the Easter story is presented beyond the four Gospels. We begin at 6 pm.

See Terry and he will remind you of your current PAR split between General, M&S and COPs and invite you (with a simple form) to amend your offering split if you wish to do so. See Terry on Sunday.

Team March is so happy!

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 23: "God is my shepherd."

Ephesians 5.8-14: "Live as children of light."

Read last week's sermon

Announcements

Frontlines is celebrating 30 years of service to children and youth in Weston at our annual fundraising dinner. The event will be held at Weston Golf and Country Club on Saturday, April 22, at 6 pm. Our annual dinner is our single largest fundraiser for Frontlines and helps to fund important programming to support the healthy development of our kids in a safe and supportive environment. To buy tickets ($80) or make a donation please contact Carol Latimer (carol.latimer@sympatico.ca or at 416-241-6399).

The Outreach Committee will meet Sunday (March 26) at 9.30 am.

Cummer Avenue United Church (53 Cummer Avenue) is hosting a free lecture and Q&A session on Medical Assistance in Dying on Saturday, April 29 at 10 am. An ethicist, Blair Henry of North York General Hospital will guide attendees through the legislation and some of the spiritual and ethical questions it raises. Please pre-register as soon as possible at: office@cummeravenueuc.ca

Thanks Team Habitat and all the best on Saturday!

A Minute for Mission

The United Church of Canada is launching an Extreme Hunger Appeal as the humanitarian crisis in Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen reaches grave levels.

Starvation and extreme hunger are rapidly reaching a scale the world has not seen before in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. There is also extreme hunger, malnutrition, and starvation in Kenya. Vulnerable people are most impacted, including children.

Small-scale farmers supply the majority of food in Africa. But climate change has created a devastating and prolonged drought, resulting in both water and food shortages. Farmers are unable to grow crops and their livestock have died. Ongoing conflict is also contributing to the crisis as many families are forced to flee their homes, farms, and livelihoods.

The people of Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya urgently need your help. All donations raised for this appeal will go to our long-term Mission & Service partners, including ACT Alliance, which is saving lives in the region. This Extreme Hunger Appeal follows the Drought Appeal for Africa that the United Church launched last April. Many United Church members have also generously given to the Canada Food Grains Bank, which is providing emergency food relief.

Visit the website to donate or write a cheque to Central with "Extreme Hunger Appeal" in the memo line.

A Different Type of Location

Laundromats are a unique type of location. They have a different smell for one – detergent and fabric softener sheets. They often have a cleanliness not found in other places and the sounds of laundry rotating or swishing in washers and dryers is unique.

But why would someone want to paint “Mark 12:30-31” beside the name of the place “Laundry Matters?” If you were in Charleston, South Carolina and decided to check it out, you’d find a cozy place at the back where weekly Bible studies, community planning meetings, computer coding classes and other events take place. It is a safe place for young mothers and their children to hang out. There are meals for the homeless and a plan to buy the convenience store next door to prevent developers moving in.

You’d see colourful, homemade inspirational signs on the walls and recognize that in many ways Laundry Matters – a faith based not-for-profit – is a church-as- laundromat. It was established by one woman who loved her neighbourhood and saw potential in a falling down building that was up for sale. With its bright blue exterior, the renovated Laundry Matters has been a neighbourhood gathering spot since 2015, and two previously unemployed men work there as security and running the laundry services.

At Central we’ve done something similar. Years ago, the rooms in the basement were Sunday School rooms, full of fidgety children learning about loving their neighbours. The numbers dwindled and the rooms sat empty until WKNC came along and a transformation occurred.

One such school room was renovated with tile flooring, and two shower rooms were built at the back. Now, as you enter, you find a row of shiny washers and dryers – the second set to be installed since the room’s transformation in 2001. This is the laundry room is where people from the community can do a load for free and the kitchen cloths and aprons are sanitized daily. It’s where the donations of clothing are all washed before being hung in the clothing room. It’s a room that’s always busy seeing that people are able to be clean.

Barbara Bisgrove

Community Announcements

Come to an Eco-Neighbourhoods Meeting: On April 3, Mount Dennis Community Association will host a public meeting to showcase progress toward Mount Dennis becoming a sustainable neighbourhood. It will take place at Mount Dennis Library (Weston Road just south of Eglinton), starting at 7 pm. (Doors open at 6 pm). They are working with partners to engage our community in planning and addressing climate change, while connecting us to jobs in the green economy.

Come, volunteer and share a meal with your neighbours! Weekend Community Kitchens at MDNC (1269 Weston Road): Every Saturday for dinner (5 to 7 pm) and Sunday for brunch (10.30 am to 12.30 pm) community gets together to cook and share a meal. You're in church for the latter, but you can tell a friend.

Photo by Liz Rodgerson

In the Library

This Hebrew Lord by Bishop John Spong.

John Shelby Spong explores Jesus under the light of the Hebrew tradition into which he was born. Candid, personal, and soundly argued, this is Spong's spiritual and intellectual pilgrimaged to the Christ he discovered in Jesus of Nazareth.

Worth a Look

Monarchs are endangered, but we can help.

Photo by Mark Bisgrove

About this Blast

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