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 ( 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.

Trinity – St. Paul’s United Church:  35 Years of Building Community

Trinity – St. Paul’s United Church: 35 Years of Building Community

Join us for our 35th Anniversary Celebration of the Amalgamation of Trinity and St. Paul’s this Sunday, October 1st 2017 at 10:30am!  Guest speakers Bill Phipps and Susan Mabey.  Celebration cake and refreshments to follow.  Conversation and remembrance of TSP’s foundation and history after the service.

More info at


This year Trinity – St. Paul’s United (TSP) marks our 35th anniversary.  We are celebrating 35 years of a vital, active, and engaged presence for faith, justice and the arts on Bloor Street.


Our congregation was created from two historic faith communities, Trinity United and St. Paul’s – Avenue Road United churches.  Both congregations had deep roots dating to the 1880s in evangelism, community outreach, and international mission and partnerships


By the 1970s, the changing nature and demographics of downtown Toronto led United Church members and leaders to re imagine the role and future of congregations in our neighborhood.  It was out of these discussions that modern day TSP emerged.


At the time the St. Paul’s – Avenue Road building was sold. The revenues were invested in different initiatives including renovating Trinity United and creating the St. Paul’s Centre at Trinity.  This venture was new and bold for downtown congregations.  It was declared at the time “We believe that the new Trinity – St. Paul’s concept is an imaginative use of historic resources, current assets and future hopes.”


Thirty-five years later TSP strives to faithfully live into the future imagined by those who were there at its founding and who are part of its present.  When asked recently about why they are a part of the TSP community, here are what some people said:


  • I come because all kinds of believers, non- believers, all kinds of Christians and non Christians and people of other faiths are welcome
  • We really struggle to live out in equal parts faith, justice, and the arts
  • The music nourishes my soul
  • I walk away feeling hopeful and alive
  • There is always some new kid to be with
  • It is a good time
  • TSP is supportive of the disability community
  • We support and walk with people who are struggling
  • I love the sense of social justice throughout the worship and work of the congregation
  • TSP is geared to helping the community
  • TSP challenges the status quo
  • There is an intense feeling of people who have a faith that is profound and makes a difference in lives.


As we build our future, we draw support and insight from words found in a history of TSP published in 1987.  At the time, the people of TSP wrote:


“The tools of life and faith are in our hands, the avenues of prayer and planning both belong to us.  Then let our future embrace two views: one is the personal and communal nurturing offered by rich worship and deep caring, the other is an unswerving desire to face the suffering and dysfunctions of our contemporary world, and to bring it to the love and justice of God.”


Herein is wisdom.  Thanks be to God!

Jim Lewis





The Rev. Dr. Susan Mabey

After leaving TSP Susan Mabey became the pastor of Christos Metropolitan Community Church. While serving that congregation, Susan earned her Dr. of Ministry, in 1999. She met and married her wife, Katherine in 1994, and together they welcomed their daughter Anna in 2001. Meanwhile, their son, Aaron Miller (who was baptized by Bill Phipps at TSP) was ordained in the United Church and is serving the congregation of University Hill in Vancouver. Aaron and his wife, Kate, have blessed Susan and Katherine with two amazing grandsons, Levi and Jude. Susan left Christos MCC in 2001 to pursue a career in teaching. She currently teaches a grade 1/2 class at Thorncliffe Park Public school. Last year, Susan was the recipient of the Craig Chaplin Memorial award for her work at school during the parent protest against the new sex-ed curriculum. (For fuller description see:


The Very Rev Dr. Bill Phipps

After leaving TSP Bill Phipps became the executive secretary of Alberta and Northwest Conference, 1983-93. He then served as Minister at Scarboro United Church Calgary, 1993-2007, with time out to be moderator of the United Church of Canada, 1997-2000. He retired in 2007. Bill’s major involvements these days are: Living into Right Relations, following up to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Climate Change and the Peace Prize and Fundraising Committee of the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary. Bill is married to writer Carolyn Pogue who writes a twice-monthly blog for the UCC Observer. Bill’s daughter Sarah lives in Toronto, his son Jeremy lives in Winnipeg, and his step-daughter Andrea lives in Yellowknife. He has four grandchildren living in Toronto and Yellowknife.  (For fuller description see:

Posted in Faith
Spirituality Retreat- Friday October 27 Evening and Saturday October 28, 2017

Spirituality Retreat- Friday October 27 Evening and Saturday October 28, 2017

Letters from the Heart: An Overnight Retreat based on the Letters of Henri Nouwen


A Time Apart to Deepen Our Spiritual Live

“Nurture your contemplative side, be in constant conversation with God, who loves you most intimately, and let yourself be swept off your feet in that great encounter…. “ (letter to Jim)

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) is described by Richard Rohr, OFM, as one of the great spiritual writers of the 20th century.  Through his thirty-nine books, including The Return of the Prodigal Son and The Wounded Healer, he gave us a vocabulary for contemporary spirituality and formation.  In addition to a prolific writing and teaching career, Nouwen, a Dutch Catholic priest, received over 16 000 letters in his life-time and answered each letter with a pastor’s heart.  We will draw on some of his pastoral letters – letters about such aspects of the spiritual life as suffering, the nature of God, spiritual disciplines, life transitions, gratitude, trust – and reflect on how these letters speak to our lives today.  Participants will share in small groups with regular intervals, if desired, for solitude, reflection, writing and labyrinth walking.


The retreat will be led by TSP members Barbara Lloyd, an experienced retreat leader, and Gabrielle Earnshaw, Nouwen’s archivist and editor of Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life  (Random House, 2016).


Begins with registration on Friday October 27 at 6:00 p.m. and the program begins at 7:00; Ends 4 p.m. Saturday October 28.  Participants must commit to attend the full program but a commuter option is available for those who cannot stay overnight at the Convent.


Fee $100 (includes accommodation for one night, breakfast and lunch); $50.00 commuter fee (includes lunch)


Assistance is available for those for whom the cost is prohibitive.  Please speak to Betsy Anderson for more information.




The retreat will take place at St. John’s Convent Guest House of the Sisterhood of St. John of the Divine, an Anglican religious community and peaceful oasis in North York (Finch/Yonge St.).  Rooms are single and shared bathrooms are down the hall.  The SSJD community gathers for prayer four times a day and we are invited to join if we choose.  In keeping with the rhythms of the convent, meals will be taken in silence. Participants may choose to stay for the evening meal and Compline on the Saturday.  If so, an additional charge of $10 can be paid at the time of registration.


St. John’s Convent Guest House (The Sisterhood of St. John of the Divine)

233 Cummer Avenue

Toronto, ON M2M 2E8


How to Register


  1. Print and Complete the Registration Form at
  2. Submit completed Registration Form and Cheque to Betsy Anderson, Ann Rowland, Barbara Lloyd or Gabrielle Earnshaw


There are 20 spots available for this retreat.  Registration is on a first come basis.  The retreat is open to all members and adherents of TSP.  A completed Registration Form and cheque will secure your spot.  In the event the retreat is under-subscribed we will open the retreat to the wider community.  In the event the retreat is over-subscribed we will consider offering the retreat again in the Spring.


Cheques are to be made out to: Trinity St. Paul’s United Church


Registration Deadline: October 1, 2017


Planners: Betsy Anderson, Barbara Lloyd, Gabrielle Earnshaw and Ann Rowland. Please contact Gabrielle Earnshaw, for more information.

Posted in Faith
Book Launch – Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life

Book Launch – Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life

Highlights from Carols by Candlelight 2016

Highlights from Carols by Candlelight 2016


We had a very successful Carols by Candlelight service on Sunday, December 18 at 7pm.  This was an evening filled with song and worship.  The TSP choir, alongside VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto’s Everyone Can Sing choir and Six Week Singers did a fantastic job.


You can view a selection of highlights from the evening in the video below:

Christmas Celebrations and Services 2016

Christmas Celebrations and Services 2016

Monday, December 5 ~ 7:00pm

Quiet Christmas


Sunday, December 18 ~ 10:30am

 Children’s Church present a Pageant


Sunday, December 18 ~ 7:00pm

 Carols and Readings

Featuring the Choir of Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church, and The Every One Can Sing Choir (VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto)

Free will offering in support of Music Ministry at Trinity-St. Paul’s


Saturday, December 24 Christmas Eve

 7pm: Family Service

(joint service with Bloor St. United Church)

 10pm: Candlelight and Communion

(joint service with Bathurst St. United Church)


Sunday, December 25 ~ 10:30am

 “Mystery, Myth and Meaning – Celebrating Jesus’ Birth”.


Sunday, January 1 ~ 10:30am

New Year’s Service

(joint service  with Bathurst St. United Church in the Chapel)


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L’Arche Le Ferme has welcomed us with warm hospitality, beautiful sacred spaces, generous service and wise reflections. Singing in the chapel, we feel ourselves and these ancient words and music floating in mystery. Jean Vanier’s retreat time with us is precious and profound. We are blessed and hold the TSP community with us, especially Aida and Walter.