On the Ground in Palestine, July 20, 2018

On the Ground in Palestine, July 20, 2018

According to Sabeel, Jerusalem, July 19:

The ‘Great March of Return’ protests continue for the fourth month as Palestinians call for the right of return. On Friday the 13th of July, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Othman Halas, a Palestinian teenager, who had been taking part in the border protests.


Last week, Israel launched the most intense wave of airstrikes on Gaza since the 2014 war, while militants in the enclave fired volleys of rockets at towns adjacent to the border. Now a ceasefire has been agreed between Israel and the different Palestinian factions.


Israeli forces destroyed more than 400 metres of water pipeline, which is a vital lifeline to the Palestinian farmers and Bedouin in the Jordan valley. Many have to eke out an existence in enclaves closed off by Israeli military zones, checkpoints, and more than 30 illegal Israeli settlements.


Recently, Israeli forces used bulldozers to raze the ground in search of water holes and have destroyed water sources in several areas in the Jordan Valley.


The Irish Senate has voted in favour of a bill prohibiting the importation and sale of goods and services originating in illegal Israeli settlements. 


On Saturday the 14th of July, 7000 Israeli demonstrators took part in a protest march in Tel Aviv against the proposed nation-state bill. If passed by the Knesset, this bill would allow Jewish-only communities and Hebrew would become Israel’s only official language. The bill cites Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, fixes the Hebrew calendar as the official calendar of state and recognizes Jewish holidaysIf passed, the legislation would constitute a violation of human rights, democracy, and complete disregard for international law. The bill would deprive Palestinian citizens in Israel of economic, as well as political and social rights.


From Frances Combs and the Middle East Working Group

Children’s Church Coordinator – Job Opportunity

Children’s Church Coordinator – Job Opportunity

August 2018 – June 2019 (INITIAL APPOINTMENT)


  1. to help grow TSP’s Children’s Church, and our congregation of younger families, by helping to create a vibrant, engaging, faith-based program where children and teens want to tell their friends to come along!
  2. to coordinate the Children’s Church program and to support and encourage the teachers and volunteers as they creatively implement the vision of TSP for the children and teens in a community of faith that:
    • grounds itself in Christian faith through spiritual practice and theological reflection
    • witnesses publicly, takes a stand on issues of social justice locally and globally, and deepens its relationship with the arts community, other faith communities and its neighbours
    • gathers in worship that nourishes, challenges and embraces diversity
    • reflects TSP’s identity as a Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts.


  1. to work with the Children’s Church Circle, the Pastoral Staff and other teachers to ensure that the Children’s Church program is functioning effectively.
  2. to undertake the following:
    • lead the overall Children’s Church program, ideally with a strong drama / role-play component
    • work directly with the Teens, including (a) teaching their session on Sunday mornings and (b) leading and helping to extend the existing program of Teen activities on Friday evenings, roughly once per month, e.g. documentary films, board game café nights
    • choose / co-create and deliver a new Children’s Church curriculum, with help from the Children’s Church Circle – including a “coming of age” curriculum for teens and tweens that includes visits to other faith communities (to be coordinated with the help of the Children’s Church Circle), and ideally including a drama / role-playing component
    • coordinate and coach 2 other teachers, both established and adults, in their work with younger kids and tweens
    • engage children and teens in congregational activities, including 2 to 3 children/teen-featured services or pageants
    • coordinate the children and teens in extending hospitality and interacting with the congregation by hosting lunches after worship services several times during the year, perhaps with fund-raising goals selected by the children and teens
    • lead and help extend the existing all-ages family-friendly activities (e.g. dodgeball, skating) on Friday evenings, 4 to 6 times per year, to encourage interaction between families and other congregation members, and to potentially encourage congregational growth by providing informal events to which non-TSP children, teens and parents can be invited
    • handle all tasks required to execute the Children’s Church program on Sunday mornings, including:
    • set-up and take down the Fireside Room for the Gathering time
    • co-ordinate families’ provision of and if necessary purchase snacks for the children
    • prepare and lead the Gathering time in conversation with the other teachers
    • create and maintain a schedule of events and a registry of children in the Children’s Church program
    • collect the tithe and work with the children to decide on an appropriate recipient
    • prepare and lead the children’s time during the main Sunday service in the sanctuary, when requested
    • ensure that the monthly honorarium forms are completed by the other 2 teachers and submitted to the TSP office.
  3. to support, encourage and work with the other 2 teachers through regular meetings and informal conversations in order to:
    • reflect on the curriculum
    • develop common activities
    • obtain curriculum materials and supplies
    • cover emergency absences
    • address any issues that may arise.
  4. to liaise with parents, the Children’s Church Circle and the Pastoral Staff, including by:
    • communicating with them on a scheduled, regular basis by email regarding the activities of the Children’s Church and progress through the curriculum
    • planning and attending the meetings of the Children’s Church Circle, approximately every 6 weeks.


The successful applicant will need:

  1. a commitment to explore Christian faith and scripture in the context of a multi-faith society
  2. a basic knowledge of the United Church of Canada, its inclusivity and its mission
  3. experience working with children and teens of a wide age range (0 – 16 years)
  4. drama / role-play / theatre approach and experience
  5. experience coordinating / working with adults (teachers) who may be older and/or more experienced than the applicant
  6. experience engaging with committees of peers, adults, stakeholders (ideally at least once in a lead role)
  7. experience and/or interest in spiritual development for children and youth; United Church experience is ideal but not strictly required
  8. a sensitivity to how children and teens develop and learn at different stages
  9. a warm, loving and respectful approach to children and teens
  10. the ability to be well organized, prepared and responsive.

The Children’s Church Coordinator is accountable to the Children’s Church Circle of TSP. There will be an end-of-term review (June 2019) with a view to extending the position. All Children’s Church staff and volunteers are required to submit a police records check.

The position will begin in late August 2018 or early September with a Kickoff Workshop (with the Children’s Church Circle, teachers and volunteers) so that preparations for the church year can take place. The first Sunday program with the children and teens is September 9, 2018 and the last Sunday program is June 16, 2019. The time on Sunday is from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon including set up, coordinating time, teaching Teen sessions and clean-up. Longer on Sundays where there are special activities or Wholly Church Service. The time for Friday evening gatherings will depend on the nature of the activities, but generally will be from approximately 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Honorarium for the Kickoff Workshop in August will be agreed based on hours needed (for meetings and preparation). After that, $1,200 per month from September, 2018 through to mid June, 2019. This reflects the position of Coordinator and the teacher salary for the Teens age group. Payment will be made at the end of each month. This honourarium is equivalent to approximately 10 hours per week (on average) of activities.

Please send an email indicating your interest in this position by Sunday, July 22, 2018 to The Selection Committee (cdinovo@trinitystpauls.ca) Subject: TSP Children’s Church Coordinator. Please include a covering letter and your resumé. Interviews to take place during July 24 – 30, 2018.

Thank you for your interest in this position.