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THE ORIOLE Oriole-York Mills United Church Newsletter In this issue: Our Pastor’s Message: Easter: The Resurrection Means Our Renewal .……..….……1 Quoting Rev. Val .…………...3 Council News .……………….4 Re-awakening the Spirit ..…7 Na-Me-Res Pow Wow .…….8 Music Notes ...…..............….. 9 DVRR’s Newcomers ..….....10 Recycling and Reuse Update …...……………...…10 Thanks to Contributors …..11 New Way to Save Trees and Money .…………..…....11 Contributions and Suggestions …..….………..11 Your OYM Calendar .…..…12 Contact OYM .……..….…..…12

April 2010

Our Pastor’s Message EASTER: The Resurrection Means Our Renewal EASTER is upon us! During this Lenten season, our church has been reflecting on renewal. I want to encourage your trust in the God who loves you more than you can ever imagine. God’s power raised Jesus from death to life. And Jesus offers each and every person who comes to him a life that is renewed! Here are some things Jesus said about himself:  “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). “If anyone is thirsty, come to me and drink” (John 7:37). “The water I will give ... will become in [you] a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). When our spirits feel dry, parched and almost dead, we will be revived by God’s gracious Holy Spirit as if rivers of fresh, wholesome, life-giving water are gushing from our soul when we respond to what Jesus says.

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it … I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28–30, The Message Bible). In your weariness, do you need that kind of renewal and recovery? Respond to what Jesus says.  When Jesus was asked, “Which is the most important of all the commandments?” he replied: “The first in importance is, ‘Listen … The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these” (Mark 12:29, 30). What do you hear in these loving commands of Jesus that refocuses and renews your life? Responding to what Jesus says is important in life.  Jesus said: “It is I; do not be afraid” (John 6:20). When you are out on a limb, when your ship is sinking, when your emotions are pulling you down into the depths, when you are afraid, remember Jesus’ words: “It is I, do not be afraid.”  “I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness” (John 8:12). Where is there darkness in your life – maybe even now? Respond to Jesus and take new hope in his promises.  To those who believed in him, Jesus said: “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31, 32). Free! What is oppressing you that you need release from? Respond to the truth Jesus is speaking to you. We could keep going and going for that is the nature of Jesus’ words and God’s way to renewal.


But our renewal comes at a cost. First, our renewal cost Jesus his life. That’s the price he paid for our peace, our hope, our forgiveness, our healing, our joy and our life with God for eternity. Our cost is that we admit our need for forgiveness and renewal, which is not easy for some of us. The way to renewal in our personal lives and in the life of the church is to listen to Jesus Christ – who called himself “the way, the truth and the life.” The way to renewal in our personal lives and in the life of the church is to respond to what we hear Jesus saying to us. So my friends take a deep breath. Reflect. And listen to Jesus as God wants us to do. May this be so for me and for you.

Chris Miller ___________________________________________________________________________

Quoting Rev. Val Rev. Val is on vacation as ‘The Oriole’ ‘goes to press’. The following report is based on her report to Council on March 2nd. Youth participation in Intergenerational Worship Lent 1 Holy Communion as servers was well received by the congregation, also as readers for Minute for Mission time – ‘M4Ms’. These readings of Minute for Mission could become a monthly venue for the youth to take leadership in sharing M&S concerns as part of their intergenerational experiences. The Feb 21st Confirmands and Adult Mentors’ ‘Lunch and Learn’ program was well received. Reflection and discussion were on ‘Beginning our Lenten Journey’ – Luke 4:1-13. Youth guided adults in creating, “What Would Jesus Do – WWJD?” Reflecting stones are being used


throughout Lent and beyond for personal spiritual reflection. During Lent youth have also focused on writing prayers and helping as servers for Holy Communion. The Youth Workshop, ‘Believe it! God’s Riches are Here’ will be used for some Confirmation classes. The Youth will continue to study the lectionary-based ‘Season’s of the Spirit’ curriculum integrated with the lectionary-based ‘Best of the Whole People of God’ curriculum. The focus of study of these curricula is on the Gospel lesson, with follow-up group reflection and learning time that focuses on their service as the ‘Body of Christ’. Confirmation classes are every other week at 9:40 am. Future classes will be on Sundays April 11th, Celebration of April 25th and May 2nd. Sunday May 9th will be a Confirmation reflection and planning time during ‘Sunday’s Sunday May 16th Cool’, readying youth for The Celebration of Confirmation on Sunday May 16th. Other plans are for Youth to interview senior OYM members as part of the 85th United Church Anniversary celebration planned for Sunday June 6th. Turning to Pastoral Care, the Amica monthly services continue to be well received and Cedarhurst and Lifestyles continue to receive weekly Sunday bulletins. Thanks go to youth and children for sending out handmade Valentine cards to residents at these seniors’ residences. This outreach ministry by ‘Sunday’s Cool’ was much appreciated. Rev. Val can be contacted to request pastoral care visits at: 416-417-4439. ______________________________________________________________________

Council News In reading over the 48th Annual Report, I hope you share with me a sense of renewed vibrancy and joy in our faith journey and church life at OYM. With growing optimism, I can see that OYM is becoming a preferred place


of worship and projecting a positive presence within the community and cyberspace. Where increasingly in this day and age, perception is reality, this is notable progress. Further progress in the coming year will enable us to fully enjoy our 50th anniversary early in 2012. I would also like to take this time to elaborate on a vitally important dimension of our church life, namely, ensuring a sustainable level of local givings. Simply put, this is an essential factor for our future well-being as a fellowship in faith. Your Council has set a 2010 target of $110,000 which is a 6.8% increase over the 2009 actual amount of $103,400. In our view, such a stretch goal that is achievable given the strong response you gave to our 2009 exhortations which led to a 9.6% increase above the target of $94,600. To achieve this goal, given the mix of envelope and PAR averages in 2009 (see page 29), I suggest each giver in the congregation increase his or her givings by 10% in 2010. Based on the average annual offering per envelope user, this would amount to an extra $10.00 per month. To this end, please make your quiet commitment today to one another to be as generous as possible in your offerings to OYM. Remember, as well, that your degree of financial support to OYM directly determines the degree to which your Council and staff will be able to offer the same scope, scale and high quality of worship and pastoral services that you have come to enjoy over recent years. Your Council will provide one and all with more frequent reminders in the months ahead of our progress in achieving our 2010 goal. If need be, Council will also initiate one or more focused campaigns to help keep us on track and on target. Let me make a few more observations. First, the $110,000 goal for local givings is 44% of OYM’s total revenue projection for 2010. The other main source of revenue is tenant income at $135,000. You may find it interesting to think of this stream, as I do, in terms of equivalent OYM members. Using the 2009 average givings of $1,127 per envelope user,


this equates to 117 additional members which is comparable to the existing OYM membership of 129 people. So, if you like, in actual and virtual terms, we are the equivalent of 245 people in the OYM faith group! In the medium term, however, OYM should strive to double its actual population to 260 active members. We also ought to have this population provide 55 - 60% of the total revenue to be sustainable and resilient enough to cope with the vagaries of tenant plans and relationships. As one would say in French, to once again achieve a state of truly being “maitre chez nous�. It is therefore vitally important for us to continue our efforts to attract new people to our midst. Our strategic growth plan is aimed at achieving this happy state over the next three or so years. We will likely need to make additional investments in the OYM growth plan over and above the $35,000 that you approved at our 47th annual meeting. Once the Strategic Growth Task Force has completed its review and formulated its recommendations with related resources, we plan to hold a special meeting of the congregation to discuss that review and seek your endorsement of the revised growth plan. In the meantime, we actively seek your ideas for attracting new members to our church family. There is no silver bullet for this process of renewal and growth but rather a series of good ideas to be tried, tested, and proven. So, in staying the course for our future, let us not shy away from making mid-course corrections to deal with external factors and surprises that always impact our progress. Thank you for your attention and your continuing support. I look forward to your comments and questions in the course of the coming weeks and months.

Gerry Cooper _____________________________________________________________________


Re-Awakening the Spirit … Lynn Watt continues to provide updates about the ongoing United Church dialogue with Aboriginal people.


non-Aboriginal people, the history of Canada has been written largely from a non-Aboriginal perspective and has emphasized the “opening up” and “development” of the country, without telling the concomitant story of the consequences to the original inhabitants.

“The living, changing cultures of Aboriginal peoples have an important role in helping to overturn the myths and stereotypes, twisted facts and misunderstandings that prevail in much of nonAboriginal Canada. Doing so will require dialogue with knowledgeable Aboriginal communicators.”

‘Highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples’ tell us that Aboriginal people had this question for the Commission: “Can you promise us that your recommendations won’t just gather dust on a shelf?”

“Knowledge of one another and a sharing of wisdom are essential to a true partnership of peoples.” (from: Highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples).

The recommendation here is that we learn about Aboriginal cultures from Aboriginal voices and that we re-view history through Aboriginal eyes. Re-Awakening the Spirit will allow this recommendation to be liberated from the page, enter hearts and minds and be active in our society – and not to “gather dust on a shelf”.

An opportunity for dialogue with knowledgeable Aboriginal communicators and thus a step toward partnership will present itself to members of the Oriole-York Mills congregation in the fall of this year. The Living into Right Relations Circle (Toronto Conference) is offering educational workshops at Council Fire Native Cultural Centre in downtown Toronto on November 13th and 14th. They are part of a series of workshops to be held in each of the Toronto Conference presbyteries during the spring and fall of 2010. The theme of the workshops is Re-Awakening the Spirit, a concept that derives from the imperative for many Aboriginal people to rediscover traditional beliefs and values as a foundation for living in the modern world. The workshops will be conducted by Aboriginal elders who will lead participants in an interpretation of traditional teachings as well as a guide to understanding the impact of colonialism on Aboriginal people and the effect of the Indian Residential Schools. The workshops will give Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants an opportunity to form relationships through a shared learning experience. For Aboriginal people, opportunities to learn about their cultures have not often been available – a legacy of the residential school system. For

For Highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, People to People, Nation to Nation, please visit ___________________________________________________________________

Na-Me-Res Pow Wow Native Men’s Residence (Na-Me-Res) celebrates the Summer Solstice and Canada’s National Aboriginal Day with their Annual Traditional Pow Wow. This year’s celebration also marks Na-Me-Res’ 25th anniversary. The Annual Traditional Pow Wow is an event for the entire Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community of the GTA. It will be held on Saturday June 26, 2010, at Well’s Hill Park (at St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street). Starting at noon, the 2009 Pow Wow included a Grand Entry, opening speeches, a dance exhibition with 48 dancers, plus 33 craft vendors and


10 information booths. For 2010, OYM folk could car pool or form a party on the TTC for this event. _____________________________________________________________________

Music Notes OYM’s Music Director, Derrick Lewis has recently been adding ‘Music Notes’ to the information in the bulletin for Sunday worship services. “I've been asked to explain the reason I have begun to write little notes regarding some of the music in OYM’s worship services,” Derrick writes. “I've always thought the pageant of musical creation a fascinating world within a world. The God-given gift of musical creation has been given only to a select few, a real 'one-in-a-million' situation, and I and others have been keen to learn about the lives of these gifted people and the world they lived in. In an age of empty celebrity, it is inspiring to get to know some figures who were themselves profoundly inspired.” As an example, for the Prelude on Sunday March 14th Derrick played “Short Organ Pieces” by Michael Haydn. The ‘Music Notes’ that Sunday were as follows below. Johan Michael Haydn (1737-1806) was the younger brother of Franz Josef. After a brilliant career in school (compared to his more average brother) he was hired and taken away to what is present-day Romania to work as the musical director for a count. Fairly soon however, he settled in Salzburg and served successively in two downtown cathedrals for 43 years. He composed over 400 religious works and also collaborated with the modern philosopher Voltaire. He was very close to Mozart and his father, Leopold, from whom he took over as court violin instructor. Franz Josef highly regarded his brother and felt that Michael’s religious works were superior to his own. _____________________________________________________________________


DVRR’s Newcomers DVRR’s sponsored Palestinian family arrived in Toronto on February 24th. These newcomers are now settling into the apartment that DVRR volunteers had prepared for them. Elaine Bremer was part of the welcoming party at the airport and Moira Mancer has taken them to get their OHIP cards. _____________________________________________________________________

Recycling and Reuse Update In February 2008, OYM’s then Mission and Community Service Committee sent out a guide of where to send things you no longer need. Recently, Angela Bishop found this guide useful when sorting things out at her home. She suggested an update. Rather than updating the 2008 document, the previously cited website <www.reuseit> remains a useful resource for finding agencies to take unwanted items. It lists non-profit agencies that collect donations of goods for re-use or re-sale, by items to donate. Now there are also new non-emergency phone and website portals (the 211 and 311 services). 211




Community, health, and related government services information (including social service agencies seeking your unwanted items) Toronto services and information (report unsightly litter or potholes; ask questions about hazardous waste disposal and recycling at community days)

However, please don’t forget that OYM supports the Nearly New Shop at Lansing United Church. They accept clean gently-used items as follows:  clothing, shoes, and boots (for children and adults),  bedding, drapes, and towels, and  other household items (dishes, pots, pans, small appliances, toys). Please leave donated items by the food boxes at OYM – if they are bulky, please ask Pedro to store them until they can be taken to Lansing UC. _____________________________________________________________________



Thanks to Contributors

Your OYM Calendar

Thanks to the following for contributions for this issue: Gerry Cooper Lynn Watt Derrick Lewis Angela Bishop

Council News (page 4) The Meaning of Stones (page 7) Music Notes (page 9) Idea for Recycling and Reuse Update (page 10)


New Way to Save Trees and Money

Coming Sunday Worship Services and Events Sunday April 14th onward Sunday April 25


Sunday May 9th Sunday May 16


‘Renewal’ Messages continue OYM’s 48th Anniversary: Metropolitan Silver Band helping us to celebrate Browse UCRD Book Display in coffee time Mother’s Day Confirmation Sunday – welcome our new members

The new way to save trees and save OYM money at the same time is to read ‘The Oriole’ online at OYM’s website <>, under ‘About OYM’. The older way, but still a good way, to save trees and save OYM money at the same time is to receive ‘The Oriole’ in pdf format. For either option, please send an email to ‘The Oriole <>' specifying your choice.

Sunday June 6th

United Church 85th Anniversary

Sunday June 20th or 27th

Worship Service at Lifestyles

Second Mondays of month

Bridge Club Session at 1 p.m. in entrance lounge – all players welcome

If not going the online or pdf route, you can help to save some trees by leaving Oriole envelopes for re-use for the next edition of ‘The Oriole’. Envelopes left from the last Oriole will be used for this edition. Please leave unwanted envelopes in the box provided in the narthex.

Wednesday mornings

Wednesday Study Group continues: Acts of Apostles: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in entrance lounge

Tuesday April 6th

Council Meeting at 7 p.m. in entrance lounge

Tuesday April 13th

UCW Meeting at 10 a.m. in entrance lounge – both men and women are welcome Guest: John Parker, city councillor for Toronto’s Ward 26 & former OYM member Toronto Conference AGM


Contributions and Suggestions Contributions and suggestion for future issues of ‘The Oriole’ are welcome from all readers. Please get your contributions and suggestions to ‘The Oriole’ by one of the three following ways:  sending an email (The Oriole <>),  leaving a message in the slot for ‘The Oriole’ in the office, or  talking to Moira Mancer. ____________________________________________________________________

Other Notable Events

Weekend May 29th & 30th

Contact OYM: Oriole-York Mills United Church 2609 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, M2L 1B5 Phone: 416-447-5941 Email:

The Oriole - April 2010  

The April 2010 newsletter of the Oriole-York Mills United Church congregatioin

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