Our Purpose and Mission Statement

Working to build God's dream. Help wanted!

We the people of Glen Rhodes United Church, are determined that our life together will be fully inclusive for people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, differing abilities, ethnic origins and economic circumstances. Therefore, we hope that God will work in us so that we will be a sensitive congregation, willing to share our faith and gifts in language and worship, in the life and work of our church and wherever God calls us to do justice in the wider community, with compassion, fun and laughter

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Creation Time & a Climate Walk

Attention to the health of the planet is going up. A good thing. In the Western world we started getting good at understanding nature two or three centuries ago just as we were getting very good at wrecking big parts of it.
Now people are thinking hard about where their food and energy comes from, how they get around, their whole ecological footprint. Glen Rhodes Church, like many churches, is moving into Creation Time, a period of five weeks focusing on our relationship with creation through the lens of our faith.
In Creation Time we experience a mixture of intense joy and appreciation at the wonders of creation and a deep concern for the effect humans are having on the planet. Our inspiration for the joy is both our own experience of creation and scripture: the writers of the many books and poems we call the bible are very engaged with the world around them, drawing lessons and insights from creation—ants, lions, winds, waters, volcanoes, you name it.
Our concern comes from what we hear about climate change with the huge injustice it brings to people who have so little responsibility for spewing carbon into the atmosphere, extinction of species, overfishing—all the changes our kind has brought. What to do?
At church we are sensitizing ourselves to our intricate relationship with all other life forms, the whole creation, praying for it and ourselves, gathering up hazardous items such as batteries and compact florescent lights, and working for change. That last one is big, bigger than any church, or even any one country. So we’re joining with others who are determined to do what’s right for the planet.
You may have heard of the big meeting on climate at the UN on September 23. One of the millennium development goals of 2000 was achieving a sustainable environment. The timeline for the goals is until 2015, so the meeting is about what the next steps will be. To draw attention to this process, people around the world are marching on Sunday, September 21, to bring attention to the meeting and the urgent need for action.
Hundreds of thousands are expected at the march in New York. But walks will also take place all over the world that day, including Toronto. I plan to be at the march starting in Nathan Phillips Square at one o’clock on Sunday.
We need some people power to resist the power of the big fossil fuel companies. They seem to be able to get the attention of decision makers easily, and influence policy at the level of national governments. Surely humans can figure out other sources of energy so that our existence on our one and only planet is sustainable.
Climate justice is one of the things Glen Rhodes Church values. More on this in a day or so. Hope to see you at the march!

posted by Robin Wardlaw

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Great turn out at Welcome Back Sunday, plus some other thoughts

Welcome Back Sunday

Word got around, apparently.
Many people out to church on Sunday, and how good it was to be back with everyone after some time away. 
Three offers of much needed help (driving to get donated bread each week for the food bank, for example, singing in the choir). Thank you to those people!
People seemed to be in good spirits. Nothing like some summer weather and perhaps a change of routine to help one appreciate one's blessings. In the middle of the discussion about warm welcomes we had received, we even had a beautiful testimony of gratitude for health regained from a very thankful mother.
This coming Sunday we start into the five weeks of Creation Time, focusing in on the gift of the only world we have. More on that soon.

Other thoughts

The radio announcer mentioned communications she had received about fall colours turning up in Ontario. Most were further north, but some trees in the Don valley are getting with the program, too.
Inspired by leaves changing colour and two recent family losses, I'm thinking about transitions. Loss seems to have the effect on me of closing the world right in during the first day or three. Then gradually I get my eyes back up to the far horizon, realizing, as so many have over the generations, how fleeting life is when looked at in the grand scheme of things. 
One life can have such a profound effect on family and friends, and the ripples persist long after a person dies. We celebrate in a funeral or memorial service that nothing of the deceased is "lost to God." A great and reassuring phrase.
Creation depends on the circle of life, of course. Compost is just as important as seeds. Nothing original in these thoughts, I know, just some gentle musing that may connect with your life this season of transition.

Posted by Robin Wardlaw