TUCC Pledges $36,000 to Gibimishkaadimin Over Next Three Years
TUCC is a proud supporter of Gibimishkaadimin, a project of reconciliation engaging Indigenous youth from across Canada and non-Indigenous youth from Shining Waters region. Each year, Gibimishkaadimin’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants set out on a canoe trip in Northern Ontario. The focus of the trip is on collaborative and experiential learning through an Indigenous perspective as well as fostering relationships with one another and with the land. Gibimishkaadimin was established by Bloor Street, Fairlawn and Rosedale United Churches in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It is directed by a six-person Board, three of whom are Indigenous. TUCC has made a commitment of $36,000 ($12,000/year for three years) to support trips in 2022, 2023, and 2024. Due to the popularity of the program, two groups of youth went out this summer
Wasaga Beach United: Recovering from COVID-19
At TUCC, we have been so pleased to see that churches are beginning to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Wasaga Beach United Church has made special efforts to pay off its bridge loan with TUCC. TUCC was glad to make special arrangements when COVID disrupted the life of so many congregations, and live out its reputation as the “the friendly banker” to our church.
TUCC Grant Helped Sustain Stone Soup Network through Critical Transition
At its June 23rd meeting, TUCC’s board approved a $10,000 grant to the Stone Soup Network to help sustain them as they sought a more permanent source of funding to develop their program at a national level. Started out of Windermere United Church in Toronto in 2016, the Stone Soup Network invites local businesses to share products and services with neighbours in need. During its six years in operation, over $250,000 in donated goods and services have been shared with over 3,000 people struggling with poverty. The good news is, on July 13th, the Five Oaks board voted to assume the Stone Soup Network national program and its assets. That means that they are now in a position to apply for grants as a program of Five Oaks which will greatly increase their financial sustainability. We are proud to have supported the work of Stone Soup Network at a critical transition stage and look forward to seeing their grassroots community support model roll out across the country.
Meet our Summer Students!
If you happen to visit the TUCC office over the next two months, you will probably encounter the four talented and driven students who have recently joined our staff team for the summer. Below are just a few details on who they are and the work they will be doing to help move some of our projects forward. (Image at right shows TUCC staff members and summer students. From left to right: Clare Dennis, Monica Dolmanyos, Lily Petick, Jaswinder Singh, Tay Moss, Eunice Si, and Christine Swearing).
Monica Dolmanyos is our Research and Rental Assistant working on TUCC’s new rental property website, Spaces United. Last summer, she worked at Lansing United as the Summer Camp Facilitator. In September, she’ll be entering her second (and final!) year as a graduate student, completing a Master of Information in the Archives and Records Management concentration at the University of Toronto. She’s happy to be back at Lansing and working on this exciting project for the community.
Lily Petick is our Web Developer Intern for the Spaces United project. With a keen eye for design and visual art, she is an honours student at George Brown College studying Graphic Design, majoring in Advertising. Her major project for the summer will be creating a brand new website to showcase all of TUCC’s rental properties to new and existing clients. She’s excited to be part of the TUCC team for the summer.
Eunice Si is the Summer Camp Facilitator at Lansing United. She is in her last year of Architectural studies at the University of Toronto. She loves rock climbing and baking, and is looking forward to working with the Lansing and TUCC staff.
Jaswinder Singh is a student from India, currently enrolled in the software engineering program at Centennial College. He brings three years of experience as a software engineer in India to his work with TUCC as our Learning and Study Skills Specialist. He will be working on creating a Learning Management (LMS) website for TUCC’s new e-learning platform, CHURCHx. He is excited to work on the project and gain knowledge from his mentor and peers as well as learn about different cultures.
TUCC Hosts Gathering for Lansing's Worshipping Partners
In June 2022, TUCC hosted its first gathering in the role of property management team at Lansing United, bringing together the four worshipping partners who call Lansing home (Lansing United Church, Alpha Korean United Church, Filipino Christian Fellowship, and Global Korean Community Church). As well as introducing the TUCC staff and Lansing’s new minister, Brad Inglis, to the congregations, the gathering provided an opportunity for their members – many of whom had never met – to say hello and share some food together. Friendships were forged, ideas were shared, and planning is in the works for another get together.
A Time of Return for United Church Camps
The summer of 2022 is proving to be a time of return for our camps. Despite the uncertainty of the weekly health reports, registration levels are good at Camp Big Canoe, Camp Scugog, Camp Simpresca, Ryde Lake Camp, and Sparrow Lake Camp. Meanwhile, efforts have been underway to prepare the facilities for the arrival of campers (pictured at right, Camp Simpresca volunteers tidy the camp’s grounds)! Last summer, despite the pandemic, several of the camps were able to introduce limited and carefully managed on-site programs such as family camps. This year, all five camps are undertaking a “normal” camping program, while of course ensuring that pandemic care measures (as prescribed by government and the Ontario Camping Association) are in effect.
Meanwhile, TUCC’s Camping Opportunities Fund (COF) is returning to its original purpose! Over the past two years, COF donations were used to help sustain the camps as they responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing a prolonged loss of income from registrations, the camps were able to use COF funds to maintain and revitalize their campsites in anticipation of the day when their gates could reopen to campers. In 2022, the COF will return to funding camperships that enable young people whose families are unable to cover registration fees, to experience a summer at camp.
East Plains Child Care Centre Opens with Help of Investing in Ministry Fund Loan
East Plains United Church recently completed renovations that allowed the new East Plains Child Care Centre to open in its premises. An Investing in Ministry Fund loan from TUCC provided just under half of the funding for this project that will offer much needed secure childcare places for up to 77 children in the Aldershot community and be a source of income for the East Plains congregation.
TUCC’s Investing in Ministry Fund is a unique church to church capital pool providing loans to ministries and income to investing communities of faith. The fund’s 2021 report is now available, including information on capital projects assisted by the fund in recent years as well as the rate of return for investors.
TUCC's SELF Fund Supports Geothermal Installation at Camp Scugog
Amidst the many challenges faced by United Church camps over the past two years, one story of hope is that of the farmhouse renovation currently taking place at Camp Scugog. Awarded a Trillium foundation grant to expand their programming into the shoulder season, the leadership at Camp Scugog knew that their 19th century farmhouse, used as a dining hall and gathering place by the camp, would need to be converted into a four season facility.
Bringing young people into close contact with the natural world, United Church camps are known for fostering environmental consciousness (pictured in this post are participants in Scugog’s nature school programming, featured recently in the Toronto Star). When it came to upgrading their dining hall, Camp Scugog wanted to put the respect for creation they instill in their campers into practice by choosing an eco-friendly geothermal climate control solution. The geothermal system will use water circulation to convert the natural, underground temperature of the Earth to warm (or cool) indoor spaces with almost no carbon emissions.
While Scugog’s Trillium grant is providing the bulk of the funding for the farmhouse renovation, a TUCC Sustainable Energy Loans Fund (SELF) loan is assisting specifically with the geothermal installation. Since its establishment in 2010 the SELF Fund has supported a wide variety of energy saving initiatives – from solar installations, to energy efficient furnaces and windows, to building envelope upgrades – but this is the first geothermal project for which funds have been accessed. TUCC is delighted to support Camp Scugog in this venture that is a real investment in future campers and the world they will inherit!
Introducing TUCC's Newest Staff Members
As a result of an increasing role in property management work, both directly for congregations like Lansing United Church, for regional councils, and in support of the work of the United Property Resource Corporation (UPRC) TUCC is adding to its property staff team.
Christine Swearing, who has been Church & Community Facility Manager for Lansing United Church since November 2019 will be transferring permanently to the TUCC team in the coming months. Christine worked in the non-profit sector for almost two decades and then made a career shift into property management, with a keen interest in property & space utilization with purpose. As well as continuing many of her existing roles in respect to the Lansing building she will be developing her knowledge of TUCC’s wider property portfolio and familiarizing herself with operations in and around various properties. She looks forward to working more closely with TUCC and establishing lasting connections with all stakeholders.
Clare Dennis has been hired as TUCC’s Director Special Events & Community Services. This new role focuses especially on allowing for more life events to happen at church buildings. Clare is an experienced business leader with demonstrated success delivering and managing best-in-class sponsorships and events for non-profit, corporate and the private clients that she serves. She has a lifelong passion for building impactful sustainable partnerships that deliver exceptional event and fundraising experiences. She is currently serving on the Board of Schools of Dreams as Fundraising & Development Chair. Schools of Dreams is a charity that transforms the lives of young children and their communities by building safe, sustainable learning environments in rural Ghana.
Jim Patterson Moving to Part Time Role
At the end of February, Jim Patterson, Director of Financial Development began transitioning toward retirement after nineteen years of service to TUCC. During his time in the role Jim has been responsible for shaping the way in which TUCC describes its many different and important roles for the church, as well as playing a vital role in the senior leadership of the organization. Jim’s many achievements include the establishment of the Heart & Vision Awards, the growth of the Investing In Ministry Fund, and the establishment of numerous funds to support ministries, including the Winston & Merle Roach Camp Leadership Fund and most recently the Peterborough Presbytery Extension Council Fund. Jim will be moving to a two-day-a week role, continuing to shepherd the financial development portfolio as TUCC discerns the best way forward in this area of its work.
TUCC's Baillie Award Recipients in their Own Words
Toronto United Church Council’s Baillie Volunteer Service Awards recognize young people (age 15-35) in the United Church who make valuable contributions to our ministries and are of service to our broader communities. Each year, up to 15 awards are presented to young people from communities of faith across TUCC’s service area. In 2021, we had the opportunity to speak with two Baillie Award recipients, Ael Spence and Laura Schlee. Ael chairs the Affirm Committee at Metropolitan United Church and uses their theatre background to help out with congregational productions. Laura chairs the Embrace Action team at Fairlawn United Church, which has oversight over the congregation’s social justice ministries, including refugee sponsorship, Indigenous reconciliation initiatives and providing support to those who are living in poverty. Listen to what they have to say about community involvement through their church in the short video at right.
Is there a young person who your community of faith would like to nominate? If so, review the flyer and application form for more information on award eligibility and selection criteria. The application can also be completed online.
TUCC has moved!
The TUCC Office has moved to a new location as of November 29th, 2021. The move is part of an exciting new relationship that will see TUCC acting as property managers on behalf of the Lansing United Church congregation, whose building is located at 49 Bogert Ave, North York. The Lansing site is just steps away from the Yonge & Sheppard intersection and is fully accessible. It is easily reached by transit and car – the Sheppard subway is a one minute walk away, and there is easy access to the 401 highway. We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with Lansing United Church and to assist them in the creative and sustainable stewardship of their recently built modern facility, already home to three United Church communities of faith as well as a host of other not-for-profit and educational groups. The United Property Resource Corporation has also moved into the building, which will enhance the growing partnership between them and TUCC. Please note the new mailing address and unchanged telephone number below. Individual staff email addresses also remain unchanged.
The Toronto United Church Council
49 Bogert Ave
North York ON
Tel: 905 771 5124
Toll Free: 1-800-235-8822
Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org