From the Anti-Racism Working Group

The Trinity St. Paul’s (TSP) Anti-Racism Group is making an urgent request to TSP members to write to your city councillors about policing policy in Toronto.

TSP’s Anti-Racism Group became aware earlier this year of a report by a 28-member umbrella group, the Toronto Neighbourhood Centres (TNC), called ‘Rethinking Community Safety: a Step Forward for Toronto.’  This landmark report was endorsed by many other organizations, including Black Lives Matter, Social Planning Toronto, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. It pointed to a new direction for the City of Toronto: redirect policing resources to non-policing alternatives for four key groups – youth, and people experiencing homelessness, mental health crises, and gender-based violence.

The TNC has asked for our help in furthering the original intention of a unanimous vote last February at City Council to create a Community Crisis Support Service Pilot. The report from city staff was requested by year end 2021

Unfortunately, the intention of that motion has essentially been undermined by a decision at the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) to beef up the police response, albeit with co-located mental health nurses. Rather than the city’s getting on with the pilot projects to have a non-police community response for non-violent mental health calls, the TPS has upped the number of police involved! The TNC has asked all of those familiar with their original report to intervene now with letters to city councillors to get on with the plan for the pilot projects.

TSP has already responded with a letter from our Chair of the Church Board, Colin Phillips, and our Minister, Cheri DiNovo, to the mayor and all councillors. It is attached below, so please take a look at it

Now we need to request your help in furthering the original intention of the motion by City Council by writing to your own city councillor about this issue. 

Please copy both TSP and the TNC on your letter.  Send the TSP copy of your letter to Beverley Eadie at admin@trinitystpauls.caShe will keep a record of what we have done collectively.  Send the TNC copy to: Serena Nudel at  

On behalf of our Anti-Racism Committee, I sincerely thank you in advance for taking the time to write to your city councillor today about this issue!

Peace and love,

Betty Butterworth   

November 23, 2021

Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Councillors

City Hall

100 Queen St W.

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

Dear Mayor Tory and Councillors,

We urge you to recommit to developing a concrete multi-year plan to move interventions with vulnerable people from the police to more appropriate community services and involve the community in that process. We applauded the unanimous vote in February to create four community safety and crisis support service pilots to test a new, non-police led, approach to non-emergency, non-violent calls, including those involving persons in crisis. We thought mental health calls would receive a response by trained mental health practitioners, rather than police. The immediate implementation of what meets the original intent would be a tangible example of your recent commitment to a comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy. Rather the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) has agreed to more police partnering with mental health nurses in the Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams (MCIT), but the Toronto Police Service (TPS) continues to take the calls. This does not work, according to the excellent Toronto Neighbourhood Centres’ (TNC) report, ‘Rethinking Community Safety: A Step Forward for Toronto.’  

The 28 members of the TNC, along with others endorsing the report, are a formidable group of experts in the areas examined in that report! The Rethink Policing initiative by the TNC has a clear call to action: redirect policing resources to non-policing alternatives for four key groups – youth, and people experiencing homelessness, mental health crises, and gender-based violence. We want to see a coherent and strategic plan to expand non-police responses, adopt a timeline for engaging community, and redirect policing funds to alternatives.

Why are we interested in this issue? Trinity St. Paul’s United Church and Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts (the themes in our church mission), is located in the annex, but has members from all over the city. We are an inclusive community affirming that all, regardless of ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, or sexual orientation are full participants in our membership and leadership. Our justice activities include the Indigenous Rights Solidarity Group, climate justice activities, and the Middle East Working Group. 

After world-wide anger about George Floyd’s murder and calls by Black Lives Matter to defund the police, our members began studying our own and societal systemic racism and white privilege. Institutional racism, particularly against Black and Indigenous communities, was evident in the criminal justice system – courts, jails, and police. The TNC report prescribes the best response to the latter! 

We are currently sponsoring a 3-part series, ‘Creating our Best Future: How to Build a Genuinely Inclusive City’ (flyer attached). We will expand our efforts, along with other faith communities, to influence justice in our city. A good place to start is with a rationalization of community safety. Remove the police from responsibilities best undertaken by others! We will follow closely the city’s future gains in achieving these and other reforms.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Phillips, MSW, PhD. Rev. Dr. Cheri di Novo CM

Chair of the Church Board Minister

cc. TPSB, ARAP, TNC, SURJ, Faith in the City, Toronto Area Interfaith Council

Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church and Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts
427 Bloor St W, Toronto ON M5S 1X7  | (416) 922-8435 | |

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.

Working Online During Covid-19

It has been a challenge. I coach women to claim their power in their relationships so that they can communicate their needs clearly and confidently, avoid conflict and have the love they deserve.

I had expected to speak on stages or in one-on-one meetings to talk about the problem of control and loss of power in relationships, how devastating that can be to a woman, and the long-term damage it causes. I was in the process of sending out material to book speaking engagements when Covid-19 upended it all.

The subsequent lockdown meant that I have had to pivot to interacting exclusively online, which meant quickly beefing up my online visibility. Visibility is what gets you in peoples’ faces, getting your message across and being relatable and vulnerable, so that people are comfortable enough to want to work with you.

That means spending a lot of time on social media. I chose Facebook, because it is most commonly used by more people, than Instagram, which is another new thing to learn, or LinkedIn, which focuses mainly on business. I have to be honest and say that I was not previously a fan of Facebook and I am not enamoured with it now, but it is the best way for me to get my message across.

I started a private Facebook page so that woman could have a safe place to discuss their concerns about challenges in their relationships and in order to make the group work and attract people to it, I have had to nurture it daily. I decided to set up a routine: Monday, I ask a question; Tuesday I post a short video on a related topic (I have included one at the bottom of the article); Wednesday, I interview someone or post a You Tube video on the topic; Thursday another video; Friday, a profile of a powerful woman; Saturday, something inspirational. That is a lot of work, particularly the videos. I think of a topic, write the narrative, record two at a time – I have to put makeup on (LOL) – and then I have them ready for Tuesday and Thursday. The profiles take a lot of research, but I believe it is important to showcase women like, Rosa Parks, Katharine Graham, Grace Hopper and Viola Desmond, who triumphed against all odds.

One of the challenges is stepping out of my comfort zone which I have no choice but to do. Learning new technology, like Zoom to hold a conference and present a webinar; Streamyard to be able to make Live Facebook presentations; Stripe to collect money; and those are just three. It seems as if I have to learn new technology every week. It is exhausting. I expect there will come a time when I am able to hire someone to do the technical stuff but for now, it is all up to me. The isolation is also a challenge and after a while, it is easy for the brain to check out during yet another Zoom call with people whose faces you know only from being on Zoom.

However, I am grateful that I live in Canada, I am healthy, and I am surrounded by people who are also healthy. I also see this as a time for all of us to reset and learn new ways of being and doing things. It will be up to the collective will of all of us to wake up and to create a new world. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,” and verse 3 tell us that there is a time to tear down and a time to build.” This is the time for us to build a new world where everyone is respected and treated with dignity and respect, no matter who they are.

Find and Follow Your North StarI am a certified Conscious Uncoupling Relationship Coach and you may connect with me on or select a time in my calendar, for a free ½-hour coaching session and to discuss further. You may also join my private Facebook group –

Posted by Carol-Ann Marshall on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Bronze Foundation Academy (Bell Choir – Ann Rowland)

Bronze Foundation Academy

Spring  2020 Virtual Choir Project

Bronze Foundation Academy (BFA) is a community based, twelve member handbell choir with membership across the GTA:  Mississauga, Toronto,  Pickering,  Markham,  Nobleton.  It is a gently auditioned handbell choir with most members providing music leadership within their home churches.  J.C. Coolen leads this lively group of bell ringers.  You may remember him if you attended one of the  Hands on the Handbells Workshops sponsored by TSP last year. 

This virtual choir project sprang into production last March when COVID19 struck.  Suddenly the practices went online without the playing of bells.  Concerts were cancelled.  Strategies for the possible development of strengths, and technical knowledge within the group were discussed.  Logistics regarding the location and accessibility of handbells and handchimes were sought. 

Once each member received their musical allocation, each was tasked with recording the assigned allocation(s), in their own home, with their own equipment.  This was definitely a stretch for most of us.  My living room became a recording studio and stayed that way until all the takes were accepted.  Then it was time for the technicians to make it all fit together.  This process was hugely time consuming and extremely involved.  The final product of this collaboration is this YOUTUBE Video – Bronze Foundation Academy; Spring 2020 Virtual Choir Project Michael Mazzatenta, Larghetto in D Minor.  I hope you enjoy the viewing.  Ann Rowland

Life and Work of Sandi Hill

Hi Everyone,

I miss you all terribly and have been trying to stay busy so as not to go completely insane while I live on my own.  Without a job or a cottage to visit or a backyard to sit in, I have been walking into High Park every morning, only a 10-minute walk from me.  Thank you God for that park!  It is beautiful and fresh and full of people like me who are receiving all the gifts nature can provide.  I have completed many sketches there.

Back in my apartment, I have been doing some virtual singing with the Church of the Redeemer choir.  Maybe our church choir could go virtual.   

In addition, I have read many breathtakingly marvelous books lately:

  1. ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama;
  2. ‘The Splendid and the Vile’ by Eric Larson, about Winston Churchill’s first year in power during the Blitz of London, England;
  3. ‘The Mirror and the Light’ by Hillary Mantel;
  4. ‘My Dark Vanessa’ by Kate Elizabeth Russell; and
  5. ‘Trumpocalypse’ by David Frum

Next on my list are:

  1. ‘The Skin We’re In’ by Desmond Cole; and
  2. ‘The Vanishing Half’ by Brit Bennett.

Finally, I have been teaching myself to paint thanks to two incredible international artists who offer online courses:

  1. ‘Will Kemp Art School.’  He lives in England and teaches acrylics.
  2. ‘My Painting Club’ by Richard Robertson.  He lives in New Zealand and teaches oils.

The painting of the orange slices on a blue plate are from Will Kemp’s painting blog.

All my love,

Sandi Hill


RE-VO’s Karaoke Classics

RE-VO’s Karaoke Classics (2020) is a gift of love to his family and friends. RKC 2020 features twenty-two songs performed live to multi-track by Mac Reeves (in his basement under CO-VID lockdown), and post-mixed/equalized to ensure balance. Throughout this video album, Mac showcases many vocal tones, often performing in the “style” of a particular singer yet still maintaining his “true” voice, a technique he calls ‘hybrid-vocals’ (eg. part Neil/part Mac). On other songs, we hear Mac doing his own unique “covers” of classic or contemporary songs (ie. “Don’t You Forget About Me,” “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” or “Someone You Loved.”)

The songs use sophisticated Karaoke tracks developed by professional musicians from around the world, and then, in RE-VO’s home studios, these Karaoke tracks are enhanced/reinforced by RE-VO’s own performances (eg. drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and background vocals) and additional production layers. RE-VO searched the Web far and wide for the best of the best, and these talented artists are first in their class, the wind beneath Mac’s vocal wings on these basement sessions.

View the full playlist here!

The Clarks Perform Esurientes by Bach

Pat and I have assembled a little chamber music project in our living room.

I have always loved this little piece that appears in Bach’s Magnificat.

Originally written with recorder duet, Pat and I can play that – and it is wonderful sounding writing Bach has done. The keyboard part is also manageable so I added that.

Then we added voice and cello to what we had assembled that far. I don’t have a solo voice, but I tried!

I should add that I like the “good news” words from Luke – the starving (destitute?) will be filled with good things, the rich will be sent away empty.

Even if it makes you laugh, it will have accomplished something in these strange times.

Take care. Be well.

Tom & Pat Clark

Click here to view the performance!

Work (by TSPers beyond TSP)

In a chat with one of our TSP Communications Group, I was asked to share a brief note about one of my recent activities supporting the FCJ Refugee Center. As some of you may know, I have been helping out over the past 4 years in different capacities at this nearby immigrant center that specializes in assisting the undocumented  not only with legal process advice but also by maintaining a supportive peer community for immigrant families and youth with popular events and providing some of them with Second Harvest food distribution. [On Thursday afternoons I am delivering food hampers to 14 families in the York University/Keele/Jane area

Three weeks ago Francisco Rico (one of the co-directors of FCJ) asked me if I could fabricate ten plexiglass frames to protect the FCJ staff from direct breathing contact with their clients once they resume their in-office interviews [now carried out by phone or Zoom]. “Why not?” I replied innocently.

And with that I began the search for both the 2″ x 2″ pine needed for the frames and the increasingly rare sheets of 2′ x 4′ plexiglass. Both Home Depot and Loews were already cleaned out; nearby New Canadians turned out to be my only supplier (their last sheets!). Then with the occasional help of my 16 year old Spanish immigrant “little brother” Carlos, we cleared out my garage and started to turn out the ten protectors, each custom-built for different configurations of the staff desks. [[Unfortunately too busy to take pictures of that process]

The photos below capture the final stage of delivery to FCJ:

Bob Fugere

Little peek into Marjie Calla’s life during Covid-19

Keeping busy is definitely an antidote to the roller coaster of feelings, not knowing what will happen in the future, worrying about our loved ones and deep sadness for the suffering of so many people.

My greatest joy has been homeschooling my two grandchildren, Meave(8) and Tate(6).  I was allowed into my daughter Naomi’s “bubble” as they are busy trying to do demanding jobs and look after the kids. Every weekday morning for the past 9 weeks I have shown up from 9 to 12 to be teacher Gramma. I love it!  It makes me keep a routine and keeps my mind busy. As a retired elementary teacher I’m used to planning and figuring out interesting ways to manage and teach children. Most exciting for me is that both children are really progressing with their reading, having instruction everyday. 

I  have a delightful Aunt who turned 90 last September and is still independent. I seem to keep missing church as every Sunday I prepare her a meal and deliver it, staying outside for a socially distant visit.

I keep my eye for other ways to help.  Thanks to the great generosity of TSP members we were able to deliver 30 self care packages to Na-Me-Res for the men in the residence as well as the folks that they serve on the street. 

I have amazing neighbours who are out there helping so many. Loli Rico and Francisco Rico-Martinez run the FCJ Refugee Centre and they live around the corner. They have been delivering food and visiting families. Maeve, Tate and I have prepared art kits for the children in these families.

My neighbour Barb works at The519 on Church Street and she mentioned that while serving meals to over a hundred each day they give out self care items and were in short supply for razors so I put that on my weekly grocery list.

The old sugar crystal experiment was a big hit!

Marjie Calla


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