The Virtual Pass It On! Marathon Raised Over $11,000 for United Church Camps
Coordinating teams of runners and walkers to participate in the annual Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and fundraise for United Church camps in southern Ontario is one of the ways TUCC supports youth ministries. Since 2008, marathon proceeds have helped fund numerous maintenance and new construction projects at Camp Big Canoe, Camp Scugog, Camp Simpresca, Ryde Lake Camp, and Sparrow Lake Camp. This year’s marathon looked a little different! Due to COVID-19, the marathon went virtual and throughout the month of October, participants completed their distances solo on local streets, wilderness trails, and treadmills, raising a total of $11,000 for their efforts. The ongoing support of both volunteer participants and donors will help the camps survive these difficult times and emerge in better shape than ever.
East Plains United Church Childcare Nears Completion
When the members of East Plains United Church in Aldershot considered the future of their community they saw that one of the needs of the rapidly growing population would be affordable childcare. So, they set about constructing a not-for-profit, 6000 square foot child-care centre that is slated to open in January 2021. Said President Paul Echlin, “It’s a perfect model of how communities can use existing buildings and have places where you mix children and elders together and have a place where people feel safe.” TUCC is proud to have supported this project with a $650,000 loan. To learn more visit https://epucchildcare.com/ or check out these recent news articles in The Bay Observer and Inside Halton.
Missional Consulting Online
When COVID-19 changed everything in March, TUCC considered how we might use technology to continue to offer missional consulting services. Adapting quickly to new realities, we are now engaged in online processes with a number of communities of faith. One of these, a Church Futures process, involves a community of faith considering whether they should sell their property, merge with another congregation, or choose to close on an agreed timeline. The team has successfully collaborated online to prepare a presentation about their options for the Board and church members. Working online adds another level of complexity to sensitively acknowledging feelings of loss and of hope for what the future might hold, but is still possible. Another example is the continuation of a pre-COVID 19 visioning project with a small group, testing topics raised in previous sessions with their Council. Three online sessions have enabled us to confirm our original conclusions as well as gain some new insights. Like many of you, we faced a steep learning curve to getting the best out of the online platforms, but we have been pleasantly surprised by how well the sessions have gone, the depth of the conversations and the ability this gives congregations to move ahead in spite of the pandemic.
Congratulations! - Wasaga Beach Completes New Extension
A major building project happens once in a lifetime for most churches – if that often. Wasaga Beach United Church has just seen the completion of its second major build in five years. With financial assistance from TUCC, and a major PTCC grant through the former Northern Waters Presbytery, the extension almost doubles the space available for ministry. Since building a new church in 2015 the congregation has welcomed approximately 100 new members and now looks forward to expanding the programming it offers to the local community. Congratulations!
Baillie Award Applications Closed for 2020
TUCC’s Baillie Volunteer Service Awards celebrate young people in the United Church for their contributions to church and community. This year’s application deadline, typically at the end of June, was extended into July due to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of worthy applications have now been received from all four regions that TUCC serves. Check back soon for an announcement of the 2020 Baillie Award recipients. Pictured at right are two of the 2019 recipients Josh and Gabe Lonuzzo and the Chair of the Westminster United Church Council, John Lemke.
TUCC's Summer Student Helps Communities of Faith Upgrade Online Presence
TUCC’s summer student, Connor Jay is working with a group of 10 communities of faith to improve their online presence. Connor is working with these churches to renovate their websites and social media pages, establish web and social media policies, and streamline the administration of social media pages. Connor is a graduate student at Martin Luther University College in Waterloo, ON pursuing two masters degrees: a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Spiritual Care & Psychotherapy. Connor has a BA in Journalism and Communications from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. Before moving to Waterloo for grad school, he worked in digital marketing.
TUCC Strikes a Balance Between Ministry Mandate and Rental Income at Islington United
The German International School of Toronto (GIST) needed to move. Their requirements included proximity to a subway station, and exclusive use of approximately 3500 square feet with regular access to a hall, a kitchen, and some other rooms if possible. When the school came to TUCC for help, they had already exhausted their options with several real estate agents. TUCC was able to present three church buildings as potential options and GIST will open on 1st September in Islington United Church. Through its networking, TUCC plays a number of roles in these situations. As well as directing potential tenants to the availability of church space, TUCC remains focused on the interests of the communities of faith, supporting them during the process of rental negotiations. Among other things, TUCC staff is able to provide accurate and up-to-date information on market rental rates and other details about rental procedures; lead rental committees through the process of weighing between the ministry mandate of a congregation and the need for income generation; and share contacts to the TUCC network of suppliers, agencies, and resources. While TUCC gives priority to and is most knowledgeable about United Church buildings, its work and networks also apply to buildings of other denominations as well.
The Camping Opportunities Fund Receives a $100,000 Matching Grant
As a result of COVID-19 and the Ontario government’s decision that overnight camps will not operate in 2020, Ryde Lake, Sparrow Lake, Simpresca, Lake Scugog and Big Canoe are facing some unprecedented challenges. Camps have fixed costs that happen whether campers show up or not. Water supply, security, and building maintenance are just the beginning of expenses to be met at the same time that fees from campers already registered are being refunded. Anticipating this financial crunch, one of the Camping Opportunities Fund’s major donor families has made a special, additional gift this year. This $100,000 gift has been tagged as a challenge grant to camp supporters, matching gifts to TUCC’s Camping Opportunities Fund, dollar for dollar. Meanwhile, the camps are adapting to the times in true camping spirit, offering virtual programming for youth and a range of supports to camping families who are struggling with the financial and emotional challenges of the day, and setting plans in place to make the summer of 2021 an unforgettable one. To make a gift in support of the camps, click here for giving options.
TUCC's First Virtual Annual General Meeting
TUCC’s first virtual AGM in 127 years took place on Thursday, June 4th. The 35 participants included corporation members from Horseshoe Falls, East Central Ontario, and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Councils. The required business was attended to with good humour though time for hospitality and face to face connection was missed. At the board meeting immediately following the AGM, Doug Smith of North Bramalea United Church was named as Vice President for the coming year. Ross Leckie will continue as President and Ted Meyers as Treasurer. The 2020 President’s report is available here.
Remembering Shirley Douglas
This week, Canada lost one of its great champions of social justice; Shirley Douglas died on Sunday 5 April. Ms. Douglas was honoured in 2014 with the presentation by TUCC of its Heart & Vision Award.
Tay Moss Joins TUCC as Innovative Ministry Centre Coordinator
TUCC is delighted to announce the appointment of a part-time coordinator for its Innovative Ministry Centre. Tay is also an Anglican Priest and serves as the Priest-in-Charge of the Church of The Messiah in Toronto. Tay earned his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School and has been involved in creative ministries at the congregation and judicatory levels for the past 15 years. Some of his projects have included developing social enterprises, video production, arts-and-spirituality, food banks, continuing education for clergy in transition, children’s ministry, creative-edge worship, running conferences, and coaching churches investing grant money to grow in mission. He has been a volunteer consultant for the Diocese of Toronto working with the Congregational Development Department for more than 10 years. Tay is an excellent sailor, an above-average cook, and a mediocre Taekwondo student. His wife and three kids keep him quite busy, but besides sailing and cooking Tay enjoys canoe camping and chilling in hammocks. You can reach Tay at email@example.com or (905) 771-5124, ex. 27.