Creation and the City: The Congregation Reflects

Creation and the City: The Congregation Reflects

Here are some reflections (in words and photos), that have been shared by people in the congregation at Trinity-St. Paul’s in response to Creation Time this year, as we explore the theme of Creation and our City.


Adam Mason

Photo by Adam Mason



Carolyn Barber shared “A Tribute to the Earth,” originally written for Trinity-St. Paul’s service on April 22, 2007, which includes these beautiful words:

In the past week or so, as I looked for words that could convey my love for nature for this Earth tribute, I found that is was only the images of nature, not words, that came to mind. I was surprised to discover that many things I love in nature don’t require travelling to Georgian Bay, but can be found here in the busyness of downtown Toronto.

I remembered a late afternoon last fall when I was rushing to pick up something on the Danforth. By sheer luck I happened to glance up to see the western sky absolutely ablaze with giant brushstrokes of orange and rose and mauve, and a whole myriad of other colours that the English language has no words for, all surrounded by the deepest of indigo. I had a feeling that it must be just for me, as everyone else was still rushing by…. a feeling of being enveloped and at one with the beauty of sky. I felt rich and privileged beyond measure.


Philip Bell 2

Photo by Phillip Bell (Sunrise)


In late March, exploring my back yard, I stopped in amazement. Here, right beside a pile of melting snow, with winds howling, a little bush was already blooming its heart out. ….the witch hazel that I planted only last year had survived the winter, and was covered in dark red seed pods splashing out tiny pompoms of vivid lemon – blossoms as strangely exotic looking as anything from the rain forests of Costa Rica or Ecuador. But not at all an imported plant, rather a proud native Canadian, with the courage to bloom long before the forsythia had even thought of making the effort and making my day. . . .



Marion Kirkwood 4

Photo by Marion Kirkwood


How often do we experience momentary gifts from nature like these ones, yet fail to realize that it could be God’s way of trying to lead us back to ourselves through nature. God, for these moments of connectedness, we say thank you.

But let us not neglect our own creations, our built environment, the song and music that make us unique in the Universe. Here at TSP . . . [we have] A century-old building with its foundations of Ontario clay bricks. Clay that is no doubt rich in minerals like zinc and magnesium and copper and more… the same minerals that are found in the compost that nurtures the little witch hazel, the same minerals that flow though our arteries and keep our human hearts beating and open to the wonders of an October sky. Surely, when we try to pick out one piece of life around us, we find it hitched to everything in the universe.


Monarch of all monarchs

Photo by Jeanne Moffat (Monarch of all monarchs)


Responding to the Refugee Crisis

Over the past week or so, there has been particular media attention to the refugee crisis in Syria, and the slow response of our Western nations. There is a conversation swirling through Trinity-St. Paul’s as well, about how we are already engaging, and can continue to offer support for refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Here is some of what is happening at Trinity-St. Paul’s, the United Church, and by people connected to our congregation. You may already be giving support, but perhaps this list may also help you offer support in other ways or remind you of what else is currently happening.

  • A member of the congregation is part of a group working to sponsor a Syrian refugee family. A call for support has gone out on the existing congregational listserve.
  • Turtle House, an organization that offers supports to refugees once they have reached Canada, is having a fundraising event at TSP on November 21st at TSP. You are welcome to attend and support this organization.
  • The United Church of Canada is offering encouragement and support for congregations sponsoring refugees, and there are many congregations and groups of congregations sponsoring refugees across the country.
  • The United Church of Canada has an appeal for Syrian refugees, and donations can be made online.
  • After offering financial and practical or logistical support, you are also invited to pray for those caught in the present refugee crisis.

Thank you for all those already actively working to welcome and care for refugees, and to those continuing to remind our congregation of its importance. This is a working list, and there will be likely be more information to come. Please let me know about any changes, details or other initiatives that should be shared.