Celebrating the 100th edition of The Messenger In this 100th

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Celebrating the 100th edition of The Messenger In this 100th Powered By Docstoc
					                                                 Celebrating the
                                    edition of The Messenger
In this 100th edition of the Parkdale United Church newsletter, the Messenger, we would like to
celebrate by launching a fund to improve our Sunday School rooms. The children on the front
cover are a few of the wonderful children now attending our Sunday School. (So many are
attending that we are having to create an extra class.)

We are very fortunate to have space for classrooms, but the space is in need of a refurbishment,
with paint, new floors that are easier to keep clean, and some new room division. It is estimated
that this will cost $30,000. If you would like to donate to this fund, please mark “Sunday School
rooms” on your envelope or on any blue envelope. Donations are tax deductible.

                                            You’re Invited
As part of the ongoing 80th anniversary celebrations, the congregation is invited to an old-fashioned
strawberry social on Sunday, June 26 after church in Memorial Hall.

The Pastoral Care Team will be serving strawberry shortcake made with local fresh strawberries and real

All are welcome. There is no charge for this event, but watch for sign-up sheets in Memorial Hallway in
the near future.

Please plan on attending this time of fellowship with the congregation. Don’t forget to wear your hat!

Mary McLeod,
Chair, Pastoral Care Team


                                              FELLOWSHIP DAY
                                             MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2011

                        SOUTHMINSTER UNITED CHURCH – 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The women of Parkdale are invited to attend the June 6, 2011 Fellowship Day at Southminster United Church ( 15
Aylmer Avenue near Bank Street south of Lansdowne Park ).

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by refreshments and time to browse the book table and fair trade table
before the morning program begins at 10:00 a.m.

Guest speakers Norma McCord, Karen Fee, and Ruth Loomer will speak about their pilgrimage to Iona in Scotland.
The afternoon session will be an interactive workshop. Lunch, provided by the Southminster UCW, is $8.00 per
person. Permits for on-street parking from the City of Ottawa will be provided by Southminster UCW, although we
encourage everyone to car pool.

If you are interested in attending, please call Beth Gutsell at 613-729-8228 no later than June 1, 2011
                                ANNIVERSARY SUNDAY
Although a number of events are being held at various times throughout this year to mark Parkdale’s 80 years of
Christian service in the community, our “official” birthday was celebrated on Sunday, May 1, with an
inspirational worship service, followed by a delicious catered buffet luncheon.

The morning worship service featured guest preacher Rev. Dr. Dale Skinner and his wife, Rev. Maryann Skinner,
both of whom are alumni of our congregation. Dale is now Minister at St. Stephen’s-on-the-Hill United Church in
Mississauga, and Maryann is Associate Minister at Kingsway-Lambton United Church in Etobicoke. They were
accompanied by their 14-year-old daughter Leah, who was born in Ottawa while the Skinners were active
members of our congregation.

Maryann led the children in their brief worship time, and she recounted how she and Dale met while they were
both attending Carleton University, and how they eventually became involved in activities at Parkdale, from
where they launched their respective careers in ordained ministry.

The worship service was held on the day prior to the May 2 Canadian general election, and in his inspiring
sermon, Dale drew an interesting parallel between how we have expectations and make choices in our daily
lives, and how Jesus’ Disciples also had expectations and made choices to “vote” for Jesus.

The Parkdale Orchestra added a touch of class, and provided uplifting musical selections during the service, and
our choir loft was filled with our own members, augmented by a number of other individuals from within the
congregation and some community groups and organizations.

                                              A history of service

A testimony of faith was offered by long-time congregational member Dr. Norman Tape, who began attending
Parkdale in 1936 at age five, when the congregation had approximately 850 members. He outlined how the
church has always been an important contributor to the community in Ottawa West. For example, under the
leadership of Dr. Norman Coll, Parkdale’s first minister, the Ottawa Neighbourhood Services was formed in
1932, and still continues to operate. Some 393 members of the congregation – including Dr. Coll – served with
the Canadian Forces in world wars. The Parkdale Orchestra was formed in 1945; Memorial Hall was built and
opened in 1950; the pre-school Headstart program began in 1969; and the Ottawa West Community Support
organization had its origins in Parkdale in 1977. Norm also listed the In from the Cold program – which
completed its 9th year in March – as another illustration of how Parkdale continues to be “alive and well.”

                                                    A history of eating

Our congregation has always been good at providing food for the soul – but we’re also very good at providing
food for the body, and this was amply demonstrated immediately following the worship service, when some 190
people participated in a catered sit-down luncheon. Chef Ric Watson and his team from The Mission served up a
delicious meal, followed by anniversary cake.

The tables were beautifully arranged with linen coverings, and decorated with floral bowls featuring the purple
anniversary theme colour. (At the worship service, participants also received a complimentary ballpoint pen in
the theme colour.) Members of the congregation especially enjoyed the fact that they didn’t have to supply the
food, or wash the dishes! A small working group coordinated by Barbara Hennessy and Faye Beaufort deserve
our thanks for their hard work in orchestrating the arrangements for the luncheon.

                                                  80th ANNIVERSARY
                                                  PLANNING GROUP

                                                  APPRECIATION TO

   The 80th Anniversary Planning Group members wish to salute the Pastoral Care Team regarding the extended
   Special Communion service, which was held on April 17. It was followed by a very special Strawberry Social for
   our seniors who are not able to attend regular church services. The seniors were very pleased with the sumptuous
   strawberry shortcake, their delicate China tea cups, and the silver sets from which tea was served.

   May 1, Parkdale Anniversary Sunday: The extended choir, Parkdale’s home-grown guest ministers, Dale and
   Maryann Skinner, the Parkdale Orchestra and, finally, the splendid luncheon made for a wonderful and memorable
   celebration of Parkdale’s 80th Anniversary Sunday. The total number of tickets sold was 190. In particular, we
   would like to thank the Pastoral Care Team members (especially Kathryn Meerburg and Mary McLeod) and the
   Singles Group for helping and recruiting people to assist with the cake, decorations, set-up and clean-up.
   Photo Directory 2011: Thanks to all the photo desk volunteers and to Jennifer Reid, Sheldon Munro and
   Euchennah Samuel for booking appointments. Sincere thanks also to Hazel Bowen, who has been helping to
   coordinate the taking of “outside” pictures. Hazel has been well assisted by Dian Morris and Peter Meerburg ,who
   visited the residences of our homebound members.

   As we move into the second half of the year, we encourage all Parkdalers to participate in as many of the remaining
   events as possible. The next event is Hat Day on Sunday, June 26, with a congregational Strawberry Social
   immediately following the service. The latter is being hosted by the Pastoral Care Team, which will need a lot of
   help on that day.

   We look forward to the other events, which will help to make Parkdale’s 80 th anniversary a very special year to
   remember. The fall events are:
    -September 24, 2011 – An Evening Lecture by the Honourable James Bartleman.

   -October 22, 2011 − Celebrating our Cultures International Dinner − a retrospective look!

   -December 18, 2011 – Christmas Carols at Grace Manor

   -80 Verses for the 80th − Sunday school children will have learned 80 verses of Scripture this year
George K. Grande, since 1995

My first dealing with Parkdale was late 1946/early 1947 with Dr. Norman Coll. It resulted in my being married by
him on Valentine’s Day, 1947 to Margaret Pagan, with our parents and a few friends present. After the ceremony
,we all ran down Gladstone to our newly-acquired duplex on Melrose , where we had a little party before taxiing to
the Chateau Laurier to cut and eat the Morrison Lamothe cake, before the guests all departed using the tunnel to
Union Station in order to take the train back to Montreal.

I had just started working for the Department of External Affairs in Canada’s young foreign service. Unfortunately,
I was so quickly posted to the new United Nations in New York that we didn’t have time then to become better
acquainted with Parkdale.

Flash forward to 1995 or so when I started coming to Parkdale regularly, even though I was then retired in Aylmer.
My sister, Beryl M. McConnell, was a member and she told me that the Minister, Andrew Stirling, was great. So I
tried him out and he tried me out and I have been a member ever since.

That’s my story. If you want to know more, just ask that “old” 91 year old who always sits in the same place and
admires and enjoys Anthony’s messages and Barbara’s prayers.

Beth Gutsell, since the 1950s

The Gutsell family moved from
Toronto to Ottawa in the early 1950s when I was eleven years old. The first Sunday in Ottawa we visited a
neighbouring United Church. The following Sunday we came to Parkdale, arriving a bit late for the service. Back
then, arriving late for a service was frowned upon. Worship was a very formal affair in those days, and we were
immediately escorted to the front row of the pews by an usher. The congregation then was very large and the only
seating available for latecomers was at the front. I’m sure the minister was delighted to have four squirming
youngsters at the front of the sanctuary. These were the days when children were to be seen and not heard! In spite
of our conspicuous and inauspicious beginnings, Parkdale became our church home.

We children were duly enrolled in Sunday School ,which had about 150 youngsters in attendance. Later, my sister
attended the mid-week Explorer group for pre-teen girls and I became involved with CGIT (Canadian Girls in
Training), which was for teenage girls. All four of us children were confirmed at Parkdale.

My mother became involved with the Women’s Association and the Women’s Missionary Society, which were
amalgamated into the UCW. My mother also eventually became Superintendent of the Junior Sunday School
program. In my teens, I started teaching Sunday School with the Beginners, which was then located in what is now
the Queensway Pre-School in the Memorial Hallway. I later taught Junior-aged children for a number of years.

I was very fortunate when I was growing up at Parkdale to have some wonderful mentors who helped shape my faith
– Eva Sparling, Hazel Lamb Ross, Mrs. Pearl Rickey, Corinne Redlich, and Terri and Don Thomson. I also joined
the Parkdale choir when I was 18. At one point, there were four members of the Gutsell family who were involved
in the evening service choir – my parents, my brother, John, and me. I have continued to sing in the choir to the
present date.

When my family moved back to Toronto in the mid-1960s, I stayed in Ottawa to continue my teaching career with
the Ottawa Board of Education. Worshipping at Parkdale and participating in its work and mission continues to be
an integral part of my life.
Ann Diamond, since 1998

In early 1998, I made the decision to transfer my United Church membership to Parkdale United Church. I was
impressed with the minister, Rev. Dr. Andrew Stirling and found the congregational members very welcoming.
Several of the congregation I had previously known.

When I returned to Parkdale in September, I learned Dr. Stirling had resigned and gone to Timothy Eaton Memorial
Church in Toronto. As I was made to feel very much at home at Parkdale, I requested a transfer from another
Ottawa United Church and was formally accepted as a member of Parkdale United Church on December 6, 1998.

For several years I enjoyed participation as a soprano in the senior choir, until poor health forced me to resign. I am
truly thankful for the decision I made to become a member of the caring, compassionate Parkdale United family.

                                            70th SUMMER EVENT 2011
                                      TOUCH THE EARTH LIGHTLY
                                                   July 23-24, 2011

                                 Knox- St. Paul’s United Church, Cornwall, Ontario

The members of Parkdale United Church are invited to attend a weekend of worship, music, fun, and fellowship
sponsored by the Montreal & Ottawa Conference United Church Women at Knox-St. Paul’s United Church in
Cornwall, July 23, 24, 2011.

The theme of the weekend is “Touch the Earth Lightly”, with workshops on the stewardship of the earth. Sheila
Snelling, a member of the Green Church Committee of Beaconsfield United, will lead a workshop entitled “ Beyond
Recycle and Reduce.”

Kathryn Guindon, Eastern Ontario representative for the Greening Sacred Spaces program of Faith and the Common
Good, will present a workshop which will explore what it means to live simply and sustainably. Kathryn is also the
eco-spiritual coordinator of Tucker House, an environmental education and retreat centre in Rockland.

Neil MacLean of Knox-St. Paul’s will lead a workshop entitled “In Transition 1.0” which will look at the Transition
Movement which began in Totnes, UK in 2005. The Transition Movement is concerned with combined challenges
of peak oil, climate change, and associated economic upheaval. The Transition Movement offers community-based,
positive plans to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Registration for Summer Event is $50 per person, which includes meals. The registration deadline is June 30, 2011.
Overnight accommodation is available at the Comfort Inn, 1625 Vincent Massey Drive, Cornwall, with a continental
breakfast included in the price.

Please see the poster and registration information posted on the bulletin board in the hallway outside the Church

Registration forms are available in the Church Office (613-728-8656 ) or from Beth Gutsell (613-729-8228).
Lenten Series on Christian Meditation

During four Wednesday evenings in March and April, Parkdale United Church held a Lenten
series on Christian meditation. About 25 people from the congregation and the wider
community attended. Each evening‟s program offered a personal presentation from an
experienced meditator, a taped talk by Father John Main, and a short video, followed by 20
minutes of silent meditation. Following are highlights of the presentations:

Week 1 - What is Christian Meditation? - Eva Hegmann

Eva was first introduced to a form of meditation through yoga, which she found relaxing but
not very spiritually enriching. She later found Christian meditation when seeking to deepen
her spiritual life.

We learned that meditation is a form of prayer originating among the earliest Christians that
has been practiced through the ages. It involves repeating a prayer word or „mantra‟ in
order to empty the mind of our own thoughts so that we can be open to God‟s presence The
wheel was presented as a metaphor for prayer: the wheel moves forward, as prayer moves
us closer to God; the spokes of the wheel represent different types of prayer – all good
when done with a sincere heart; the hub in the still centre represents the prayer of Christ,
in silent communion with the Father.

Week 2 - John Main and the roots of Christian Meditation — Francie D'Annunzio

Francie painted a delightful picture of John Main as a caring, fun-loving and down- to-earth
man who enjoyed life and playing pranks, but who took prayer and meditation very
seriously. He felt very strongly that meditation is for everyone, not just for spiritual

We learned of the many aspects of John Main‟s life as a diplomat, a lawyer, and a monk. He
first learned to meditate in India while he was a diplomat, then later discovered the ancient
Christian tradition of meditation after he became a Benedictine monk. He then devoted
himself to teaching Christian meditation until his death in 1982.

The roots of Christian meditation go back as far as the 4 th century and the desert fathers
and mothers in Egypt, whom we know about from the writings of John Cassian.

Week 3 - Leaving 'self' behind - Ron Dicks

Ron Dicks is an Anglican church member who worked as a social worker and was past
coordinator of the Ottawa Christian meditation movement.

He spoke of the importance of leaving self behind. Christian meditation is simple but not
easy. The biggest challenge is to stop focusing on ourselves, to say the mantra and be still
with the Christ spirit which lies within… to come to the practice of meditation without
expectations or demands…

Ron shared how his experience of leaving self behind in meditation was reflected in his
feelings of connection with those he ministered to in his role as a social worker.

Week 4 - Meditation as a Way of Life - Don Myrick

Don started meditating in the early 1980s and also knew John Main personally. Meditating
at first on his own, Don came to understand that meditating with others was crucial to
helping him on this path. He has led or joined a number of weekly groups in Ottawa.
He encouraged us to continue the practice, with these 5 tips for integrating meditation into
our daily lives:

 1. Meditate the same time and same place every day.
 2. Keep it simple.
 3. Stand up to the enemy (the devil of discouragement!).
 4. Avail yourself of the resources on the World Christian Meditation website, the
 newsletters, local events, etc.
 5. Join a meditation group (there are many in Ottawa).

Feedback from participants

The participants seemed to enjoy the series, as many stayed to chat and celebrate after the
sessions. Here are some things that were said:

Question: “The speakers all seem to be so gentle. Does Christian meditation make people
   more gentle?”
Answer: “Well . . . Gentleness, along with peace, joy, and love are the fruits of the
   discipline, which manifest themselves in God‟s time.”
“This series came at a really good time for me I have been exploring „mindfulness‟ and
   different forms of spiritual enrichment, and this really resonated with me.”
“It was more community- focused than I had expected. While I can‟t meditate for you and
   you can‟t meditate for me, it is not a lonely journey, as there is a big supportive
   community out there.”

During the twenty minutes of meditation, some felt it was a tough challenge to stay
profoundly still, yet alert, for that length of time.

Several people took the opportunity to buy books or tapes on the topic at the final session.
The Parkdale Christian Meditation group can also lend books or tapes to those who are

Christian Meditation at Parkdale

After the Lenten series, it was decided to offer another time slot for those interested in
joining a meditation group at Parkdale. All are welcome to come learn about and practice
meditation on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. or, as before, on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m.
both times in the Ladies Parlour. The sessions will not be held in the summer months.

By Jennifer Payne and Elise Mennie
Camp Awesome: July 25-29 we will be holding Camp Awesome again. We already have a few registration forms
in. We are still looking for another youth who would be willing to work that week, putting out the snacks and
helping to watch children during before and after care as the program only runs from 10 – 3 pm but we would like to
provide child care from 9 – 4. This is a paying position for anyone 13 years and up.

Soul Surfer: About 10 of us attended the movie “Soul Surfer together after church a few weeks ago. It was worth
seeing. The surfing was fun to watch, and the faith message that God will see you through hard times and make
something meaningful from them was very clear.
 Romans 8:28 -- And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those
                                    who are called according to His purpose.

Sunday School: We will be seeking help for our Summer Sunday school. Sign up with your spouse or with a
friend. We need two adults or older teens (16 and up) to help each week. Younger teens are welcome too, but don’t
count towards our complement of two adults. This is a relaxed time, with video, crafts, gym time, and snacks.
Snacks are provided.

Due to growing numbers in the church school, we have decided to expand from five age divisions to six. Next year
we will split the growing pre-school class into 3 & 4 years olds and kindergarten and grade one. Other divisions are
grades 2 & 3, grades 4, 5, & 6 and the Youth Class (Faith Forum). In order to expand our class groupings, we will
have to expand our number of teachers and will be needing at least four new teachers in the coming year. Please
prayerfully consider whether this might be somewhere God is moving you to serve. We provide apprenticing
opportunities so that you can get comfortable, and the length of commitment is usually eight to ten weeks.

We were overrun with children on Easter Sunday and will need to consider how to cope if we have that many come
again another year. We had overbought on all supplies, so we thought, but ran out of some craft supplies and didn’t
even have room for everyone. It’s a great problem to have!

Junior Youth: Next fall the age group for junior youth will be those born 1998 to 2001. There is still one meeting
to gi before we finish for the summer. June 25-26 there will be a campout at the Loverings’ place with tenting in
the yard and a campfire etc.

Senior Youth:
On Sunday, May 29, youth and interested adults will stay for a rematch game of volleyball and to watch the forfeit
film of the adults’ choice.

Tom Grozinger is going to develop a few-week series for Faith Forum on Christian themes in popular movies. For
this reason, Melodee will be including a “permission to watch films” line on the registration form in the fall.

Next year, it will be time to hold Confirmation again. Youth in the appropriate age group and their families will be
contacted to ascertain interest in attending classes.

Parents and Tots continues on Thursday mornings, and we anticipate having some new babies join the fold within
the next few months. Jaylyn Wong, who has been leading this with Melodee, is going back to work soon, but her
husband, Dave Smith, will take over her role for the next year. Once the good weather truly takes hold, we hope to
take some field trips to the park. The group will probably not meet during July and August.

Princeton Event: Camille Beaufort, Julee Pauling, and Melodee Lovering attended the Princeton Forum on Youth
Ministry in early May . This was an excellent learning event that brought us home brimming with ideas. It was
wonderful to have others along on such a trip to share the experience and help share the ideas with others as we
return. This Forum is the place where a lot of the leading-edge research on youth ministry in North America is
disseminated. The book, “Almost Christian”, written by one of the Professors at Princeton Seminary, Kenda
Creasey Dean, was referenced several times during the Forum. It explores a major research study that was
conducted into the faith and beliefs of American teenagers, but it has lots to say to us about Canadian teens as well.
It has important implications for us as a church as we have the responsibility to see that our church members get a
good Christian Education. Unfortunately, the book reveals that there are some serious gaps in what our youth and
children are learning from their church and home experiences, especially in the area of being able to articulate what
they believe. Please let Melodee know if you would be interested in reading this book, and we can order a few
copies to share around.

All three of us became really excited about the possibility of performing really good quality, integrated drama in
worship, and, provided that we can find people motivated to join, a drama team or two may be in Parkdale’s future.
This group could work as a mixed age, adult only, or teen only team.

Worship Team: The worship team provided music on Easter Sunday as well as at evening service on March 27.
There are always new people saying they are interested in joining with us, but right now our challenge is to find
accompaniment, as Marianne Dos Santos has just had a baby. We also are feeling that not having a drummer is
limiting our repertoire to an extent. If anyone knows of people looking for a musical opportunity in a contemporary
context, please have them contact Melodee.

Rendezvous: In August, high school-age youth and young adults from across Canada will meet in Toronto for
Rendezvous 2011. “This will be a meeting place, where youth, young adults, and their leaders from coast to coast
can come together to worship, dream, meet one another, and be the Body of Christ in a new way. The gathered
participants will take part in inspired and powerful worship, listen to engaging and relevant speakers, participate in
workshops, and create community with their peers from across this country.”

Our Presbytery is going to help with finances for youth who wish to attend this event, particularly with travel costs.
If any of our youth want to attend, Melodee is willing to go as well. It’s hard for youth to think months ahead, but
the time to plan for this is now. Dates are August 11-14. There will be a lot of youth from our Presbytery going,
and even if just one or two of our kids wanted to attend they would be linked up with others so they would be part of
a ready-made group. Contact Melodee at 613-728-8656

                                                                                                    Melodee Lovering
                                                On July 25-29, 2011
                                                Parkdale welcomes
                                               Camp Awesome
                                                 for the 8th summer.

What is Camp Awesome?
Camp Awesome is a vacation Bible school put on by Ottawa Presbytery. A program is developed, staff are
recruited and trained, and then the whole operation travels from church to church during July and August. The
counsellors lead songs, crafts, games, and stories on a Christian theme. Most years there is a water day where the
kids visit a local wading pool for outdoor fun.

The official camp program runs between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. However, we are pleased to be able to offer
extended care between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to help working families.

Who can attend?
Camp is open to kids between JK and grade 6 (ages 4-12). The camp is open to all children – they do not need to
attend Parkdale. Please feel welcome to bring along a friend, neighbour, or grandchild. Our family has transported
1-3 extra children over the past several years , and it has done wonders to cement their friendships when they spend
a week worshipping and playing together.
(Some parents may be worried about their kindergarteners being a bit young for camp. Our family’s personal
experience has been wonderful. I have brought 5 different kindergarten-aged kids to camp and they’ve all come
back again!)

What does it cost?
The registration cost is $75 per child. However, if finances are a concern, please feel comfortable submitting a
registration form without payment. Donations to support this ministry are welcome from members of the

Snacks and Lunches
Children bring a nut-free lunch from home. Snacks are donated and prepared by members of the congregation and
our teen helpers.

Want to know more?
Our staff members, Melodee Lovering and Jennifer Reid, both have extensive experience with camp and would be
happy to fill you in. Or contact awesome camp mother, Ellen Andrews (eandrews@sympatico.ca) for more details.
                                         Keep Your Head Down!
                                         A Volunteer’s Account of
                                            Parkdale United’s
                                            In From The Cold
                                           By Lorrie Marlow, Hintonburg
                                         Economic Development Committee..

I hate doing dishes! As a kid, washing dishes for a blended family of eight seemed like scaling an insurmountable
mountain. That mountain was nothing compared to the endless stream of dishes that filled the counters of the
kitchen at Parkdale United Church on Saturday, March 19. The “In From The Cold” program, coordinated by
Parkdale United Church, had 119 guests for a delicious roast beef supper.

This program has operated for nine years, throughout the winter months. The volunteers with the Hintonburg
Economic Development Committee have supported “In From The Cold” for several years by providing table
servers, plate-scrapers, dishwashers, cleaners, chair-stackers, and whatever else may be needed. HEDC volunteers
are excited to be together ,and enjoy participating in such a well-organized event that is not coordinated by them!
On March 19, Yasir Naqvi n our local MPPn and first timer Councillor Katherine Hobbs joined us!

On a previous shift, I volunteered as receptionist welcoming guests and got to know our guests’ names. This is
great because I can now greet them by name when I meet them in the neighbourhood.

This time I was assigned to kitchen duties, serving roast beef and mashed potatoes from institutional- sized pots.
My hands started to cramp after 40 plates and still another 79 plates to go. It was challenging but I kept my head
down and continued serving because I didn’t want to do dishes!

I could see the massive mounds of dishes being washed and was thankful it wasn’t me! Water was boiled in huge
kettles to keep up with the endless dishes washed in two sinks by six volunteers. After 119 dinners were served,
trolleys of mouth-watering desserts were wheeled out and presented to the guests. The desserts, donated by local
bakeries, were varied in style and were very appealing indeed!

At this point, I realized I must step in to help with drying the dishes. I’m glad the counters in this kitchen were built
for short women. Every cupboard is labelled so items can be easily returned to their appropriate spot.

As I stood on the worn floors in this massive, old kitchen, I thought of the years and numbers of people in the
congregation, and in the community, who have been fed thanks to Parkdale United Church.

Churches were usually built first in our early communities, and provided a valuable community service. Most still
do today. As I dragged my tired feet out of the huge double doors, I was very moved by what the congregation of
Parkdale United Church has accomplished with their “In From The Cold” program and I am proud to be a

From April 7 edition of Newswest.
Reprinted by permission.
                                         DISPATCHES FROM BRAZIL

A Brief History of Race and Ethnicity in Bahia

Salvador, in the northeastern state of Bahia in Brazil, is recognized as the most African city outside Africa. Some
80% of the population is of African descent, descendants of an estimated 1.3 million slaves imported into Bahia
before slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888. This is twice as many as were imported into the United States.
 Brazil, overall, received an estimated 35% of all enslaved, more than 3 million Africans who worked mainly on
sugar cane plantations. The slave trade was abolished by 1850 and then, over a period of time, slaves were freed. In
1871, the children of slaves were freed and then, in 1885, a bill to free those over 65 was passed, stipulating three
more years of work for those 60. Finally, in 1888, the Golden Law was passed, abolishing slavery without
compensation to owners. In 2011, although it has been almost 125 years, among the terrible legacies of slavery,
especially in Bahia, are persistent racial discrimination and, to this day, “slave labour”.

Two Dreadful Legacies…
1) Slave Labour
In 2001, just 10 years ago, the Brazilian government freed more than 1,400 slave labourers. However, according to
a 2001 survey undertaken by the Roman Catholic Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), there were more than 25,000
forced workers and slaves in Brazil. Underscoring that statistic, in 2004 the Brazilian government acknowledged to
the United Nations that 25,000-40,000 Brazilians were working under conditions "analogous to slavery", and in
2008, the Brazilian government freed 4,634 slaves in 133 separate criminal cases at 255 different locations.
Through its Small Projects Program, CESE is able to support and learn from the CPT initiatives focusing on the
continuing reality of “slave labour” in Brazil.

2) Religious Intolerance
Religious intolerance is a reality in communities large and small throughout Brazil, and can include physical
violence as well as other forms of persecution. In the northeast of Brazil, religious intolerance usually means
persecution of Afro-Brazilian religions and conflict between Pentecostal churches and the Afro-Brazilian religions.
Slaves imported from Africa brought their religions with them, and today, although Brazil is among the largest
Christian countries in the world, many Brazilians practice one of the Afro-Brazilian religions. The Afro-Brazilian
religions reflect the African tradition as well as the powerful syncretic influence of European Catholicism brought
by the Portuguese.

In Candomblé, the strongest of the Afro-Brazilian religions, European influences are not difficult to find. Each
African god (which is called an "orixá") has a saint counterpart, except for Oxalá, who is equated with Jesus Christ,
and who is worshipped as a separate god himself. Candomblé holds the belief that healing of the soul is of utmost
importance. It has been officially recognised as a religion since 1969.
Umbanda is the second most popular of the Afro-Brazilian religions. It is also the newest and draws on numerous
religious sources: Hinduism, Buddhism, the Yoruba religion, as well as the Brazilian Indian religions. It was
founded in 1904 and for the most part, uses Catholic saints' names instead of the African names for the orixás.
Although practitioners of Umbanda fear that direct contact with the gods will kill or harm a mortal, they believe in
consultation through mediums and that spirits heal through “possession”. Each time a person's body is possessed by
a spirit, it raises its own spirit to a higher level of consciousness.
The popular culture reflects the powerful influence of religion, generally, in people`s daily lives. It is reflected in
national holidays, street names, and popular customs and celebrations. The annual Carnaval is but one example.

A Recent Experience
In Salvador, Jaciara Ribeiro dos Santos is an active participant in inter-religious initiatives and in CESE sponsored
seminars and meetings. She is a well-respected advocate for peaceful relationships and shared commitment to social
action. She is also a passionate spokesperson decrying the persecution of Candomblé and other African-based
religions, particularly the recent attacks by fundamentalist Protestant churches.
Jaciara’s mother, Gildasia dos Santos, known as Mae Gilda (Mother Gilda), was an "ialorixá" or Candomblé
priestess. In September 1999, Mae Gilda saw her photograph in a daily newspaper published by the "neo-
Pentecostal" Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. The headline called her a "charlatan, endangering the "lives
and wallets" of her followers. The libellous attack was traumatic and certainly was seen by her family as having
caused or contributed to her death of a heart attack a few months later at the age of 65. Mae Gilda`s family has
recently won a nine-year court battle, and the church has been forced to issue a retraction and compensate the family
for its suffering.
 Two years ago, January 21, the date of Mae Gilda’s death, was designated by the Brazilian President as the National
Day Against Religious Intolerance. This year on that date, Jaciara, who is now herself an ialorixá, organized a
"march for peace" in Salvador. CESE joined in her call for peace and respect for Afro-Brazilian religions and
participated in the walk.

Our Shared Commitment to Combat Religious Intolerance
The United Church of Canada’s support for ecumenism and inter-religious peace in Latin America includes the
work of CESE and other partner organizations in Brazil. It is a privilege for me to be involved in this work – and it
is an education.
Representatives of a number of UCC partners walked together in the “March for Peace” on January 21 2011. As
well, together we participated in the 3-day Ecumenical Journey last November. While that event was nominally
“ecumenical”, participants included non-Christians representing a number of other religions – Afro-Brazilian
religions and Kardecian Spiritism – perhaps among others. Five of us from CESE participated. The focus of the
Journey was working together on issues affecting us all – environmental, economic, and inter-religious relationships.

Constructing Dialogue
CESE has also recently initiated a series of round-tables under the title “Constructing Dialogue”. Our goal is to
confront and eliminate religious intolerance by providing space and stimulus for dialogue. After two round-table
discussions at CESE (in December and April), the group as a whole, some 35 participants, agreed that the round-
tables were not only very helpful but also enjoyable and that they should continue. Our next step is a meeting to
plan the coming year`s agenda and to share the planning and organizing. All very positive! I have been part of
CESE`s small coordinating group for the first two sessions, and will be part of the next step.

Inter-religious Exchange
At the same time, the municipal government in Salvador has started an Inter-religious Exchange program of visits to
places of worship and celebration in the city. Visits to date have included a visit to a Candomblé terreiro, a Hare
Krishna Temple and to CESE. During that visit, we participated together in the most recent of the two Dialogues.
In looking ahead, it has been agreed to combine forces, but that the Municipality’s program of visits should
While it is extremely heartening to bring people together and to see the almost immediate results of getting to know
each other and to understand our differences, it is clear that religious persecution is a global issue. Such simple
measures are essential but will not be sufficient.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
In Brazil, the first week of June is designated as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, with the theme from
Acts: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer .”
Acts 2:42.

As in past years, a celebration will be held at CESE. This year, CESE plans to locate the prayer for Christian Unity
in a broad context – consistent with CESE`s mission – of peace among all religions. Our prayer will be for respect
for and among Christians as an essential element of peaceful relationships with others.

I have been attending yoga classes twice a week for three years with some CESE colleagues. It has been an
excellent experience to learn about and benefit from the practice itself and, coincidently, expanding my linguistic
capacity. Last week, rather belatedly, I asked what it is that several of my fellow practitioners murmur at the close
of each session.

“Namaste”, I was told and I looked it up. As defined by Mahatma Gandhi, it means "I honour the place within you
where the entire Universe resides; I honour the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honour the
place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us."

Namaste., Kathleen
Council Report – May 9, 2011
Supporting Parkdale’s visible ministries - Sunday service, pastoral care, Christian education, etc. - are a host of
committees, task groups, and individual volunteers. Overseeing all of this work on behalf of the congregation is the
Parkdale United Church Council, the new governance system approved by the congregation in 2009 to integrate the
functions of the former Session and Official Board.

The major item of discussion by Council at its March 2011 meeting had been the report and recommendations of the
Accessibility Task Group, established in 2009 to address concerns from members of the congregation about
accessibility into and within the church building, and to respond to Ontario legislation requiring that all public
buildings be fully accessible by 2025. (See the April 2011 Messenger for a complete report.) Presbytery recently
held a workshop on this issue, attended by four Parkdale members (Derek Fortune, Susan Yearwood, Rob
MacLachlan, Warren Creighton). Derek reported to Council that the initial phase of Ontario’s legislation will come
into force on January 1, 2012, by which time organizations will need to have written policies and procedures on
accessibility in place, and to have conducted staff training. Presbytery is developing resource materials for
congregations. Chair Ellen Andrews indicated that the issue of accessibility will be a recurring agenda item for

At its March meeting, Council also approved establishment of a Working Group on Accountability to examine and
make recommendations to address continuing ambiguities within the new governance structure around the roles,
responsibilities, and accountabilities of Council’s Committees, and their relationships one to another and with
ministry and administrative staff. Terms of reference were approved. The Working Group was then expected to
review the current governance structure, examine relevant United Church of Canada documents, and consult widely
within Parkdale and with other congregations, with a view to bringing back recommendations to the May meeting of
Council. However, the project has been slightly delayed by confusion over the membership of the Working Group,
and it is not likely to report until the Fall.
A third item carried forward from the March meeting involved the employment status of part-time contract staff,
especially those providing after-hours custodial services. A small working group reviewed relevant Canada Revenue
Agency guidelines, and concluded that these staff must indeed be regarded as “casual employees”. Council approved
the necessary motion to effect that change.

This year, the congregation is celebrating 30 years of employment by Khan Chao. To honour Khan for his long and
effective service to Parkdale, Council approved an ongoing sixth week of annual vacation, a gift, and a tribute event
to be held in the Fall. The Ministry and Personnel Committee (Chair: Don Macpherson) will organize a
congregational appeal to raise the funds for the gift.

Over 30 active members of the congregation were surveyed by the Worship Committee (Chair: Jenni Troup)
between November 2010 and February 2011 to discern preferences in music during worship services. All of those
surveyed agreed that music is a significant part of the worship experience. Jenni reported to Council on the four
other major findings from the survey.
1. The congregation would like more “contemporary” music (i.e. music composed within the past 40 years) during
2. The congregation would like more regular inclusion of such instruments as drums and guitars.
3. Hymn selections could be improved to ensure that they are always a positive and relevant aspect of worship.
4. More variety should be introduced to items, such as the Doxology, that the congregation sings each week.

The Worship Committee will now consider how best to implement the findings of the survey.
In discussing the Worship Committee’s report, Council also explored the potential use of video projectors and
screens to display hymns and other materials. The major obstacle to this (aside from the cost of equipment) is the
amount of light coming into the sanctuary. That light would have to be buffered to enable anything projected on to
screens to be visible to the congregation.

Sunday School renovations have been under consideration for some time. The Christian Education Committee
(Chair: Paul Crabtree) is working with the Property Trustees (Chair: Ken Elder) to find suitable flooring and to
consider options for improved sound-proofing between areas in the classrooms, without limiting the future use of
that space for other purposes. These renovations will be funded through a special appeal to the congregation. ( see
story on Page 3)

The Stewardship Committee (Chair: Barbara Hennessy) has been actively researching the potential for installing
solar panels on the church roof to enable Parkdale to realize savings on its overall energy costs. Garth McLeod, a
member of the Stewardship Committee, reported on the results to date of that research. A church in Carp has
already installed solar panels. Such panels would not take Parkdale “off grid”. Rather, the electricity generated by
the panels would go initially into the Hydro Ottawa system. Parkdale would continue to draw its electricity from that
system. The change would be primarily financial. While paying about 8 cents per kilowatt hour for its electricity,
Parkdale could receive up to 80 cents per kilowatt hour from the Ontario government for the church’s excess energy.
This is considered worthwhile by the province because it helps to reduce more expensive electricity purchases from
the United States during periods of highest demand.

The payback period for the equipment and its installation should typically be 7 – 9 years, depending on the size of
the installation. Ottawa enjoys the second most hours of annual sunlight of any region in Canada, outside southern
Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Council approved the necessary first step in this initiative by agreeing that the Stewardship Committee and Property
Trustees will prepare an application to the Ontario Power Authority. Approval of this application would then enable
Parkdale to enter negotiations with Hydro Ottawa. Given that the approval period for the application is typically
several months, and the uncertain future of the program, depending on the results of the October provincial election,
Council considered it appropriate to proceed now with the application. The approval period will give the
congregation time to consider its ultimate decision about the advisability of installing the solar panels. Some of
those considerations will include the ability of the existing roof structure to handle the installation, and the long-term
future of the Parkdale building.

Treasurer Debbie McGregor’s report noted a $39,000.00 operating deficit to the end of April.

Donations Coordinator Richard Hamley presented an analysis to Council of patterns of parishioner givings in
January-April 2011, as compared to the same period in 2010. The analysis was prepared in response to concerns
over the apparent drop in donations to the church this year. In his analysis, Richard found a 10% decrease in
donations for current expenditures. However, if special 2010 appeals, such as that for Haiti, are removed, there has
been almost no overall change in givings from 2010 to 2011. Monthly donations by range (e.g. $0 - $25.00 or
$100.00 - $200.00) have also remained stable, despite a 7% decline in attendance. In other words, irregular
attendance does not necessarily mean reduced givings. There were 356 individual donors in January-April 2010, and
347 such donors in the same period in 2011, an almost insignificant decrease. The average monthly donation to date
in 2011 is $95.00, versus $100.00 in 2010.

In his very brief report, Anthony anticipated that some 7 – 9 new members are likely to join the congregation in
May. As well, some 15 baptisms, including 3 adults, will have been conducted so far this year up to the end of May.
Melodee reported to Council on registrations to date and the recruitment of volunteers for Camp Awesome.
Volunteers for Summer Sunday School are also being recruited, to give a break to the regular teachers. Melodee is
considering the implications of the growth in church school participation, a development that might require
expanding the number of age groupings. As well, the unexpectedly high number of Sunday School participants on
Easter Sunday highlighted the need for contingency plans to cope with such an overflow in future. More activities
for youth are also being planned, including an overnight camping experience at the Loverings’ property in late June
and a confirmation class in 2012. And “parents and tots” continues on Thursday mornings.
Melodee also reported on her attendance (with Camille Beaufort and Julee Pauling) at the Princeton Forum on
Youth Ministry in early May. The Forum heard leading-edge research on youth ministry in North America, and
presented exciting ideas for programming, including high-quality drama integrated within worship. As well,
Melodee is hoping that Parkdale youth will wish to attend Rendezvous 2011 in Toronto on August 11-14. This is a
national meeting place for school-age youth and young adults and their leaders. The event will feature worship,
speakers, workshops, and the creation of community among the participants from across Canada. Ottawa Presbytery
is providing financial support to youth who wish to attend.

Other regular Committee reports were circulated before the meeting.

The Mission, Outreach and Justice Committee (Chair: Faye Beaufort) expressed its appreciation to other
committees, such as Stewardship and Pastoral Care, for their support of MO&J initiatives. At the planning stage is a
mission trip to northern Canada in 2012 by Parkdale youth. Looking ahead, the Honourable James Bartleman will
speak at Parkdale on September 24, and the annual International Dinner will be held on October 22.

Over and above Sunday School renovations, the Christian Education Committee has been busy with arrangements
for Camp Awesome (last week of July), the trial use of the gym after worship for sports, the June 12 congregational
picnic, and the annual Fall Rally Sunday.

The Pastoral Care Team (Chair: Mary McLeod) organized a special seniors’ communion in the Chapel on April 17,
featuring music by the Worship Team, and followed by a strawberry tea in the Friendship Lounge. The Team also
organized the purchase and delivery of Easter lilies. Special arrangements are being made to ensure that photos of
seniors will be included in the new congregational directory. Another strawberry social is being planned for June 26,
immediately after the worship service.

Property Trustees are always busy. Aside from the projects already reported, Trustees are also engaged with
arrangements for the Somerset West Community Health Centre’s accommodation in Parkdale, the leasing of other
church space, and the hiring of a new part-time custodian.

The 80th Anniversary Committee continues its work on the photo directory, and reminded Council of such
upcoming events as the James Bartleman lecture (September 24), the International Dinner (October 22), Christmas
carols at Grace Manor (December 18), and the “80 Verses for the 80th” project of the Sunday School.

The final meeting of Council before the summer break will be held on Monday, June 27. All are welcome (and there
might be treats!!).
                                              A summer prayer

Bicycles, skateboards and robins fill the streets again, at least between the showers. The swings never stop their
singing. Splashes of poppies, peonies, and mallow turn the ground into a painter’s palette.

We are grateful for this season, Lord, with its green beauty and slower pace. We give you thanks for the summer
opportunities – for time together with friends and families – simple things done together, news exchanged. But
there are those whose wells have run dry, who of the good life of this season feel like spectators. Not all families are
united, not all can afford holidays; ill health does not take a summer rest.

You assure those who put their trust in you that no trial is so great it will not end; no obstacle so overwhelming it
cannot be overcome; no pain so intense it cannot be comforted. You have been faithful. By your grace, may we be
able to see beyond what is to behold the promise of what can be.

Not only for ourselves do we pray, but also for our country soon to celebrate “Canada Day.” We rejoice today in the
innumerable blessings we enjoy but often take for granted rather than receive them as gifts. For peace and mostly
good government, for all the blessings of this land, rich in resources of all kinds, rich beyond the dreams of most of
the world, we are grateful.

Yet there are shadows in this picture – bickering politicians, great disparity between rich and poor, neglect of the
environment, rapidly rising prices, a struggling aboriginal population, subtle and not-so-subtle racism.

O Lord, by your grace may we be able to see the way beyond what is to behold the promise of what can be for us as
a nation. And for all the things for which we pray, give us the grace to work.

For all those of our congregation in need of our prayers for healing, comfort, support, and presence, we pray. Hear
our prayers and, in your mercy ,answer.

We pray for this community of faith while we are absent one from the other. Be present to us and us to your
prompting in all our changes of rhythm and scene.

We pray in Jesus’ name …
Barbara Faught, June 29, 2009

Reprinted from Prayers for Parkdale People, available for purchase ($5) through the church office

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