The Refugee Sponsorship Committee is very happy to announce the long-awaited arrival in Canada of the refugee family the Church of St.Timothy has sponsored! Our family consists of two young parents and two children, a girl and a boy aged 4 and 3. The family is originally from Myanmar (Burma), a country with many desperate refugee problems, and they arrived in Toronto on June 20th. (follow this link for more information about the status of refugees in Malaysia).
We are very grateful to parish members (and our neighbourhood community) for their support, to the Anglican United Refugee Alliance for finding us this family, and to our partnering church St. Leonard's for their able assistance. Our Committee continues in its efforts to support our family and we will keep the community updated regularly with news and requests for assistance when needed.
We are looking forward very much to helping our family settle in to their new life as Canadians!
We were all shocked by the news coming out of Orlando last week. Yet another mass shooting in the US, this one targeted at the LGBTQ community. Our condolences and prayers are with the families of those who have lost loved ones. But prayers are not enough. This has hit close to home. Here in Canada we are sadly familiar with violence directed against people on the basis of the sexuality or gender, or on the basis of some other “difference”. We need to find ways to express our solidarity with those who live in fear, and those whose fear has been heightened by what has happened. Given this it is important that we emphasize again that St. Timothy’s is a place where all are welcomed and to be fully included into our life regardless of sexual orientation, race, culture, gender, social or economic status.
As human persons we find it all too easy to build walls and rather more difficult to build bridges. Our readings this coming Sunday stand in stark contrast to the practices of exclusion that have been a constant feature human history, and yes, sadly, even Canadian history. In reflecting on our readings I will be calling on all of us to rethink what it means for St. Timothy’s to be a place of radical hospitality and unqualified welcome and inclusion. This, I believe, is the call of the gospel through the readings set for this week. Of course, we are already a welcoming place in so many ways, and in my time at St. Timothy I have witnessed the extraordinary compassion and generosity of this community. Still, we all need to think about the degree to which this welcome is unconsciously limited by how we define and shape our own comfort zones, because, as we shall see on Sunday, radical hospitality, is about a welcome that takes us beyond that to places where we are comfortable to those places where we are likely to feel challenged
As the story from Orlando has unfolded many have been particularly shocked by the realization that the killer was a regular at the club. Why would a gay man attack LGBTQ people in such a horrific way?
Clearly this individual was very ill, yet this alone does not explain the particular target of his hatred and rage. If we want to understand that we probably need to pay attention to the way in which contempt and hatred expressed towards any group can become internalized by some members of that group and directed towards themselves and those like them. We need to pay attention to the negative rhetoric directed towards LGBTQ persons (a rhetoric to which the Church has, to a significant degree, contributed), and the ways this affects all gay, lesbian, and transgendered persons and is particularly damaging on those who are challenged by mental illness. If I am right, all who have contributed to the demeaning of LGBTQ people need to become aware of the appalling damage that this does in the lives of so many individuals and the truly awful consequences that can result in the lives of those who are already deeply ill.
In our baptismal covenant we commit ourselves to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being”. This is a calling to which there are no exclusions and no exceptions. Now is the time to make this commitment evident in our common life and witness.
Yours in Christ,
St. Timothy's support of the people of Ft McMurray.
We are pleased to report that our contribution to the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund support for the people of Ft McMurray has exceeded $5000. Follow this link for more information.
Lunch Money Fundraiser for Able Kids Rehab in Malawi, Africa
Can you imagine working seven days each week and having to pay some of your staff with soap and sugar? This is Victor Musowa's reality.
Ten years ago, Victor was enrolled in the Communicative Disorders Assistant Program at Georgian College in Orillia and he worshipped with us, while staying in Toronto to complete a clinical placement at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
You may recall that Victor visited St. Timothy's last November and spoke about Able Kids Rehab, a clinic that he founded in 2013. We have supported Victor's lunch program in the past and are being asked to continue our financial support at this critical time.
Meals are provided for the eighty-nine children enrolled Monday to Friday and sometimes over one hundred on the weekends. Food supplies are dwindling as a result of drought as corn planting time approached, food prices climbing and Malawi's currency being almost worthless. A Foundation in California, Central Coast Children's Foundation has in the past, and continues to provide fifty per cent of the yearly food budget. The remaining funds come from individual donations. It is hoped that a goal of $6500 will be realized by the end of June, in order to provide children at the clinic with continued nutritious meals.
The feeding program is only one of the services provided. Education, speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, audiological assessment, specialized equipment and parent counselling are also available.
You can read more about Able Kids Rehab at the clinic's recently launched website www.ablekidsrehab.org. If you wish to contribute to help Victor and the kids, please do so with a cheque made out to the Church of St. Timothy with Malawi Lunch Money Fundraiser on the memo line. Victor and the kids will thank you.
The STOP Community Food Centre’s Food Bank provides a three day supply of food, once per month, to individuals and families who live in The STOP’s catchment area in west Toronto. Please remember to bring non-perishable food on Sundays and place your donations in the basket in the narthex.
We recently decided to begin opening the main part of the church to our neighbours during the week. While the office building is busy all week long with schoolchildren, dance classes and so on, the church itself is rarely open during the week. Thanks to a team of 11 volunteers, anyone can now come in through the front doors on any weekday and spend some quiet time in St. Timothy’s between 11 am and 1 pm. A sign near the sidewalk indicates the church is open and welcomes visitors inside.