A community of faith, justice and the arts
in the heart of the Annex 

Worship Service

 

Sunday Service: Worship with us every Sunday at 10:30 a.m online on Zoom, followed by Coffee Hour. The service will also be available online to be watched later on for those who are not able to attend at 10:30 AM. 

Zoom Service Link:

https://zoom.us/j/98243487606?pwd=WmxDbTR2a3JrMk4zT05lQzkwb3B6Zz09

Meeting ID: 982 4348 7606

Passcode: 105035

 

If you have any questions, please email Pradeep at pgade@trinitystpauls.ca

Subscribe to the TSPList mailing list for the link and password (or ask someone who knows).

Message from TSP Board

October  1, 2020
 
Dear neighbours and friends, 
 
In June, the Church Board of Trinity-St. Paul's decided that we would resume in-person Sunday worship on September  13th, provided that Toronto had been in Stage Three of the Government of Ontario's framework for reopening the province for three consecutive weeks. Staff and volunteer leaders at TSP have been watching Toronto's daily COVID-19 case counts and other developments closely for the past weeks. We have been particularly conscious this week that the Ontario Hospital Association has urged all houses of worship to suspend in-person worship, and Toronto Medical Officer of Health,  Dr. Eileen de Villa's, urging that we limit our contacts outside of our households as much as possible. It is with deep regret that I am writing to let you know that the  Church Board held an emergency vote on Tuesday and has decided to suspend in-person worship.  It is clear to the Board that it is no longer safe to gather in-person. 
 
We will continue to live stream Sunday worship on Facebook this week. However, we are excited to be transitioning to worshipping on Zoom in the coming weeks. Using Zoom will help us maintain the sense of community that we get when we gather in person. The recordings of our Zoom worship will still be posted on our Facebook and Youtube pages. However, I would like to personally invite you to join us live each Sunday morning at 10:30. Please e-mail pgade@trinitystpauls.ca if you would like to join our e-mail list and get the weekly Zoom invitation.
 
It is sad to be shutting our doors for Sunday worship again, but please know that we are indeed open and ready to serve our community. If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to contact me at chair@trinitystpauls.ca.
 
Wishing you health and peace, 
Colin Phillips
Chair of the Church Board

In This Time of COVID-19, TSP’s Ministry Continues

Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo, C.M.

Minister

1971

Only woman to sign We Demand, first gay rights demo in Canada. Marched in Toronto's first Pride. 

2001

Performed the first legalized same-sex marriage in Canada

2006

Elected MPP - passed most private bills in Ontario's history and most LGBTQ bills in Canadian history

2019

Appointed to the Order of Canada

2020

Minister at Trinity-St. Paul's United Church and Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts

Climate Justice Resources

Trinity St. Paul’s United Church’s journey of divestment of our congregational funds from fossil fuels, and subsequent reinvestment in Alternative Energy

Divestment

Divesting our congregational funds from fossil fuels, the actions we took and the lessons we learned

Alternative Investment

A summary of available resources for reinvestment in alternative energy sources

Resource Library

A repository of links to background resources and media articles

The Latest

What's new in the life of the church

CALL FOR PAPERS: Christian Left Conference 2021

Emmanuel College’s Centre for Religion and Its Contexts, Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, the Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics of The Institute for Christian Studies and the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre are hosting the second Christian Left Conference (free and online) July 23-24, 2021. The theme is “Rethinking the Christian Left from the Belly of Empire: Charting New Paths Beyond Colonization.” Proposals are due March 19, 2021 and can be submitted online here: https://bit.ly/cfpchristianleft2021. Conference FocusWhat does it mean to speak of a Christian Left? Who is included under the label the Christian Left? In the last decades, the Christian left has been undergoing enormous reconfiguration: new actors, issues and concerns have uncovered the colonial underbelly of the Christian Left. From the Suffrage movements through to the Social Gospel, and continuing through liberation theologies and political theologies to today, these reconfigurations have included an emergence of different approaches to reading the Bible, the articulation of alternative approaches to theology and ethics, and the crossing of disciplinary boundaries. These various actors have complexified idealized notions of the Christian left in Canada and across the globe, and invite us to critique and dismantle its colonizing features. Call for Papers The Christian Left Conference invites proposals that intentionally reflect on the emergence of historical “new” actors and voices in the Christian Left. Proposals can be related to (re)tracing the historical, theological and biblical-hermeneutical developments of the Christian Left and its present disciplinary reorientation. Topics related to the interconnection between social movements and actors, the disciplinary cross-fertilization on the areas of interreligious collaboration, the dismantling of traditional canons of theology and biblical hermeneutics, and the reconceptualization of the human experience are especially welcome. This conference is interdisciplinary and welcomes papers from many fields, primarily theological studies, biblical interpretation, preaching and worship, congregational and community ministry, history, ethics and political theology, as well as religious studies, sociology, anthropology, literary studies, philosophy and the humanities broadly understood. Papers engaging with Canadian contexts are particularly encouraged; we also welcome papers from across the world.Proposals are due March 19, 2021 and can be submitted online here: https://bit.ly/cfpchristianleft2021. Watch this video of last year’s keynote lecture featuring Joerg Rieger for a sneak preview of what’s to come this year! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIcTxxKgb48…Trinity-St Paul’s United Church and Centre for Faith, Justice and the ArtsInstitute for Christian StudiesToronto Mennonite Theological CentreEdge: A Network for Ministry DevelopmentThe United Church of CanadaToronto School of TheologyLikeCommentShare

TSP Lenten Study Series 2021: Wages of Rebellion

This three-week series will be based on a short video interview with Chris Hedges, author of the book, “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative to Revolt.” Chris Hedges is an American Pulitzer Prize winning author, journalist, anti-capitalist, and Presbyterian minister. His book analyzes revolutions from the 17th century onwards and how they have impacted societies. He argues that the United States is ripe for a revolution and, he states, this is for the best.

Participants are asked to preview the video on YouTube entitled, “Chris Hedges on What it Takes to be a Rebel in Modern Times.” The video is 16:35. It will be assumed that participants have viewed the video before the Lenten series.

All three sessions will focus on quotes from Chris Hedges and Scriptural passages. There will be open flow discussion or breakout groups depending on the number of participants. Participants may take part in any number of sessions.

Week One: A Discussion about Capitalism – Sunday, February 28th , 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Week Two: Carrying the Cross – Sunday, March 7th , 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Week Three: Signs of Hope – Sunday, March 21st , 2 pm – 3:30 pm

This series is being planned and facilitated by Joanne Clarke and Joshua Fernandes. For more information, please contact Joanne Clarke at joanne.josito@gmail.com

Pro athlete strikes show complexities between sport and labour movement

by Amanda Bishop

Simon Black, Assistant Professor in the Department of Labour Studies at Brock University.

Last week’s strike action by professional athletes to protest police violence and anti-Black racism yielded decisive results, with the National Basketball Association (NBA) quickly announcing an agreement to open facilities as voting centres for the American election in November.

Simon Black, a Brock University an expert on labour movements in sport, says that in the past, “Black athletes and their allies have withdrawn their labour to protest injustice, but never on this scale with this impact.”

“What we saw last week was an unprecedented strike wave for racial justice across professional sports,” says Black, Assistant Professor in the Department of Labour Studies. “Sport will continue to be a site of resistance to racism and social injustice, and students in ‘Labour of Sport’ will engage with both the history of athlete activism and this new wave of protest, in some cases by virtually meeting athlete activists taking a stand in their sport.”

Students in Black’s Labour of Sport course this fall will have the opportunity to hear from sporting and labour experts from Canada, the U.S. and Venezuela who are able to visit the class virtually, thanks to its new online format.

The guests are an impressive assembly of athletes and activists who advocate for labour protections in sport including:

  • Khamica Bingham, a Canadian Olympian and 100-metre national women’s champion who has spoken on the issue of anti-Black racism in sport and her experiences as a Black female athlete.
  • Leslie Smith, a mixed martial artist (MMA) and President of Project Spearhead, the nascent MMA fighters’ union known for taking on the most powerful MMA promotion company in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
  • Arturo J. Marcano Guevera, a lawyer and author who has written extensively on Major League Baseball’s negative impacts in Latin America, including the book Stealing Lives: The Globalization of Baseball and the Tragic Story of Alexis Quiroz, which is one of the course texts.

Black is excited to welcome the guests, who will help students gain perspective on the complex relationships between sport and labour — complexities that Black can personally relate to, as someone whose aspirations of a career in professional soccer helped lead him to his current role as an academic.

After winning the U19 national championship with his Oakville team, he was invited to try out for Watford Football Club before eventually playing NCAA Division 1 soccer at the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo.

“At UB, I got involved in the anti-sweatshop and global justice movements,” says Black. “When I wasn’t playing soccer or studying for my undergrad degree in Sociology, I would be at protests like the big demonstration against the IMF and World Bank in Washington, D.C. in 2000. Sport, workers’ rights and social justice have always intersected in my life.”

The Labour of Sport class, which is cross-listed between Labour Studies and Sport Management, invites students to take a critical approach to sport as work and elite athletes as workers.

“Students examine the lives of working athletes, both professional and amateur, and how athletes make a living from their sport and how they experience their work,” Black says. “We explore everything from health and safety and the perils of injury, to the relationship between sport-governing bodies/teams/leagues/promoters and athlete-workers, to how various forms of oppression, such as racism, sexism and homophobia, shape athletes’ experiences of their work.”

The Department of Labour Studies aims to offer what Black describes as “a range of practical, unique and thought-provoking courses, some of which are unique in the world.”

But the Labour of Sport course seems especially timely this term.

“We haven’t seen this kind of disruption to the worldwide sporting calendar since World War II,” Black says. “Athletes’ unions and player associations have played a crucial role in ensuring that athlete health and safety is a top priority in those leagues that have reopened, but in those sports in which athletes do not have the benefit of unionization and a collective bargaining agreement, where they lack the power of collective voice and action, their livelihoods are in peril — either through cancellations without compensation, lack of government support in the case of Olympic athletes, or being forced to play in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.”

——

This article originally appeared here on brocku.ca.

The Ethics of Songs

For many artists and workers in the performing arts, the pandemic restrictions on large social gatherings has been difficult. No more live shows and concerts for choirs, theatre companies, orchestras, dance troupes. And lots of artists, and the many behind-the-scene folks who support the performers on stage, wondering what the future holds.

We understand why these measures are in place, and we know that for many in our society the pandemic has been much harder, although I do feel for younger artists who must wonder if they will ever have the chance to work in large groups, in front of a large audience, any time soon.

In the meantime, there has been tremendous creativity in presenting art of all kinds online. Some artists are showing what invention really means! For me personally, I must say I miss the immediacy of live sound. Something about hearing the sound coming directly from its source, with no intermediate steps!

In the first month or so after the lockdown, I spent lots of time listening to music, and playing our old piano at home, which was a lovely luxury. Now, as it becomes clear that the performing arts are going to be very different for the foreseeable future, it has become more challenging, trying to figure out how to plan and prepare for a lot of unknowns.

So it was a real delight to be approached by Laura Menard (many TSP folks will know Laura for her work with Viva Youth Singers) to contribute a short webcast for the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto. What is the Centre for Ethics? I must say I had to ask that question when Laura got in touch. Looking at their website (https:// ethics.utoronto.ca/welcome/), I learned that the Centre for Ethics is “an interdisciplinary centre aimed at advancing research and teaching in the field of ethics, broadly defined. The Centre seeks to bring together the theoretical and practical knowledge of diverse scholars, students, public servants and social leaders in order to increase understanding of the ethical dimensions of individual, social, and political life.”

The Centre has created very interesting webcasts on a variety of subjects (the ethics of Black Lives Matter, of artificial intelligence, of COVID-19), and they had decided to present a small series called “The Ethics of Songs.” The mandate was quite open- ended, and I was intrigued.

I decided I could do something about a song I had just learned from some friends, called “Tiny Perfect Moles,” with words by Margaret Atwood from her novel The Year of the Flood. In that novel, there is a religious group called God’s Gardeners who gather to worship and to sing hymns, and Atwood wrote words for their hymns. There is no sheet music in the novel, but the lyrics fit beautifully to a number of hymn-tunes, and my good friend and colleague Alan Gasser had set “Tiny Perfect Moles” to an old shape-note tune. The words speak of earthworms, and nematodes, and moles, all of whom help maintain the health of soil, but who work unseen by human sight. This image made me think of the great feminist, activist and scientist Ursula Franklin, who talked of the “earthworm theory of civic engagement,” and I decided any chance to explore more of Ursula Franklin’s thought and speeches was not to be missed. The result is a short fifteen-minute webcast which will be first aired on September 2, and then available for viewing. The Ethics of Songs is a whole series of songs and presenters that some folks might find interesting. Thanks, Laura, for the invitation – the project was a welcome relief from more anxiety-producing work at the moment!

David Fallis

Catch David’s episode starting on September 2!

Here is information about the whole series:

A few words of greeting from Don Middleton, August 13, 2020

“He will lift you up on angels’ wings”

I discovered that angels are very real and they are the people who have known and supported me at TSP through the dark days at St. Michael’s Hospital, in my recovering days at Bridgepoint and in the visits I’ve had since I came home.

The matter of the Prayer List has been for me always somewhat of a hollow part of the Sunday service because for the names on the list we never knew whether they were dead, dying or improving, born or married, and so we really did not know what we were praying for.  I think the idea could be upgraded when we get back to normal service by a few notes in the bulletin that explain the situation we are praying for. I will add a bit of humour because I have not ever encouraged putting my name in the Prayer List.  Some years back, after my being in the hospital for 10 days, Karen and Hal found out I was in the hospital and came to see me after service, complaining about the fact that I had not asked to be on the Prayer List.  With usual Middleton incisive rapport I said, “Well, if it didn’t work it would be bad for your business.”

This note should contain my feelings toward the pastoral care I received from Cheri.  On my darkest days she appeared regularly in my room to shepherd me into choosing to live and for this I am grateful. Also, Colin offered messages of hope for my continued participation in my pink world.

I would add that I had a nice call from the Wednesday Prayer Group indicating that I had been included. I further add on the issue of prayer, a quotation that I often repeat to myself: “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed; it is the motion of the hidden fire that trembles in your breast”

I would take a moment to say for those of us who are not out socializing that a telephone call is very important. I find it difficult to call out because I have to have Filomeno dial the call. But perhaps to give you another laugh, on a really bad day I may only get a call from a scammer and I have found a way to entertain myself but not them.  If it’s a man I ask them how old they are, if they are good-looking and whether I am to meet them at the subway station as the sex partner I had ordered. This usually terminates the conversation with a scammer.

The personal care I have received form Filomeno has sustained me in my home but we both look forward to when I can take sweets to church.

“I know not what the future holds of marvel or surprise; I only know I cannot drift beyond the love and care of TSP.”

This message was made possible by the secretarial and social support of Carol Gallagher.

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