Welcome to Trinity United Church
and Community Centre in London, Ontario, Canada.
When we say that “everyone is welcome” we actually mean it!
Since we believe that everyone is born a child of God and is gifted with the ability to bless the world, we celebrate diversity as the Creator’s plan. You will be accepted here regardless of your point of view, sexual orientation, skin colour, marital status or any of the many things other churches may have rejected you for.
Our one rule is the golden rule
…to treat each other as we want to be treated…
with love and respect.
Our church is on Hale St., two blocks south of Dundas St.
(76 Doulton St., London, Ontario)
Extra parking is available at Russel Metals.
Services are at 11:00 on Sunday morning with Rev. Paul Browning and are crafted carefully with children and youth in mind.
Come and be a part of building an inspiring and supportive spiritual community!
- Pastor’s Message – Fall 2015
Newfoundland has a rugged beauty defined by mountains rising out of the sea, often with a mist swirling around them. These majestic peaks of ancient rocks date back a billion years to the very formation of the earth’s crust. They fill me with a sense of cosmic awe and wonder at the life force which created them and is still creating.
Last week I was surrounded by such beauty at the 42nd national gathering of the United Church Council held in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Almost 400 commissioners gathered from all over Canada along with 30 representatives of partner churches around the world. 15% of those assembled were under the age of 30 making this the youngest Council in our church’s 90 year history.
Worship was inspiring and mirrored our Trinity fusion of choir and band. We celebrated God’s presence and acknowledged that our families are made up of people of many religions and many forms of atheism. A minister from the American United Church of Christ which we have partnered with said, “We give thanks that we are churches that honour the many ways to respectful, caring, justice seeking living. Even while we seek to grow closer to God, we also grow closer to those who do not believe in God but who share our profound belief in the eternal values of love and fairness for all.”
Those values were embodied in the report of Dr. Marie Wilson, a United church member and only non-aboriginal member of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Married to an aboriginal, she spoke of the heroism of the thousands of children who have been denied the safety and security of growing up in their own families for 5 generations.
She shared the good news that Native Pride is returning and thanked the United church for continuing to be a leader in encouraging a new relationship between Canadians and First Nations, even as our church has shifted from control over Native churches to a partnership of equals.
Lorna Standing Ready, a senior elder of the First Nations Circle shared a brief, but powerful testimony of her time in a residential school. There wasn’t a dry eye when she gave us all sweet grass to take back to our congregations as a sign of reconciliation and recognition that the United Church is continuing to live out its apology in thoughtful and meaningful ways.
I am so proud to be a part of a community in London that gets the fact that our mission is creating a community where kindness is enough, regardless of our labels. We support each other to be the best we can be as we work to make the world a better place. We have clarity that any religion or philosophy that gets in the way of partnering with all people of good will is a bad one. This all too rare approach is possible because we are a part of a larger United Church community that has been journeying toward this kind of inclusion and respect based freedom for 90 years.
An image sticks in my mind as I return home. A speaker from a partner church reminded us that as children we were all taught to colour inside the lines of our coloring books. But in the early stages of our development, we didn’t care about the lines or what colours we used. We felt free to be creative. Purple people and red grass looked just fine to us!
Jesus said, “Unless we become as children, we will not understand God’s plan for humanity; for the Kingdom that is evolving belongs to such as them.”
It seems the child is alive and well in the Creator. Creation colours outside the lines with mountains erupting in Newfoundland, vast plains spreading across the Prairies, ice and tundra filling the Artic. God is passionate about diversity.
This newsletter is filled with signs that we, too, are feeling the hope and joy of that passion as we release the creativity of the child within us and join with God in learning how to colour outside the lines. As the song we sing says,
“My love, colours outside the lines;
exploring paths that few could ever find.
It takes me into places that I’ve never been before
and opens doors to worlds outside the line.”
- Summer Day Camp: All You Need Is Love
August 21st – 25th, 2017
Open to children in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6
During the week of ‘Love is all you Need’ the children will experience and celebrate love!
With the help of our counsellors, we will discover the importance of love in our world, and that God is a name we use for the power of Love in the world and in our lives.
Throughout the week, we will explore what it means to live a love-filled life, and how we can better support our friends and family. Our daily discussions will involve both scripture readings and real life stories of compassion. During the course of the week, we will uncover new ways to use love to make a difference in our community.
Children will be able to choose from a variety of activities such as arts/crafts, baking, sports/games and music/drama. We will also be enjoying the “splash pad” at the park across the street among many other activities.
- Give a Dam!
Trinity and other United Churches in the Middlesex area are raising money to give a dam to church partners in Mozambique. It’s made of concrete and it’s called a sand dam.
Mozambique is in south east African and it is one of the most undeveloped countries in the word. After years of civil war, it managed to become a democratic republic in 1994. Because the counties main religion is Christianity, the United Church was invited to send staff there to work with local churches and community groups. Bill and Ruth Butts have done an extraordinary job supporting education, women’s rights, economic and spiritual development.
A few years ago, Trinity transformed the life of a village by raising money for a well. Before that, women had to walk many hours a day to carry home clean water. Children were drinking polluted water and getting sick and sometimes dying. As with all the projects the United Church does, the well was built by the local people with local materials so that they can maintain it.
Now we are going to help a whole county of people have better food and make some money so they can send their children to school. By combining with the other United Churches, $30,000.00 will be raised to pay for a dam.
The problem is that Mozambique has a tropical climate which means lots and lots of rainfall all at one time and then no rainfall for months. Imagine trying to grow food for a year when you only get to water your garden for one month.
The Sand Dam collects sand and water as the gushing rains flow over it. The sand filled with water remains on one side of the dam, providing water for the rest of the year. This means abundant crops, enough to not only feed the people year round but enough so that some can be sold and the money used to buy school supplies for the children.
Encourage your children and grandchildren to save some of their money and put it in the mission box when the offering is received. You can put your donations on the offering plate or send them by mail or donate on line. Just mark your gift “mission project or dam”. We’ll also have donation cards made up so you can make a donation on someone’s behalf as a Christmas present…a whole new way to give a dam!
- Refugee Sponsorship
We are part of a partnership sponsoring a refugee family settling in London.
To donate to support this cause, click here:
- A Chasing After the Wind
The search for a meaningful life is certainly a worthy goal for all of us but it can be a particularly elusive quest for young people growing up in these materialistic and often spiritually challenged times.
This year at Trinity United Church we have chosen to build our senior Sunday school program around the Paradoxical Commandments, which were first written by a 19-year-old Harvard student in 1968 as part of a youth ministry handbook. The paradoxical commandments quickly were shared between spiritual communities worldwide and translated into numerous languages. Mother Teresa thought that the paradoxical commandments were important enough that she had them posted on a sign at Shishu Bhavan, a children’s home in Calcutta.
The ten paradoxical commandments were based on an observation by their author Kent Keith that the central paradox of Christianity is that it asks its followers to act in ways that will often cause a person adversity in the secular and commercial world but which will also provide personal meaning and true happiness. Each of the commandments notes that by leading a meaningful, spiritually rewarding life, a person will likely pay a price, but that it is a price worth paying. One of the commandments is “Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.” The commandment concludes “Give the world the best you have anyway.”
The message of the paradoxical commandments is echoed in the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, which is about a man who through hard work and diligence acquired every material possession imaginable in third century B.C., but found that everything he had obtained ultimately was meaningless, “a chasing after the wind.” Instead, Ecclesiastes realized that true happiness and deep satisfaction come from meaningful relationships with others and by the doing of good for those in one’s community.
Recently, myself and Fanshawe student Macey Seguin, with whom I am leading the senior Sunday school program, asked the young people at Trinity to list things that they wanted and also to list things or events that had recently made them happy. Their list of current wants included a new laptop, a driver’s license, a new video game, new clothes and attendance at a professional football game, which are all reasonable requests.
But for things that had made them happy, the young people listed their recent participation in team sporting events or in charitable activities, gatherings with their friends or positive developments in their current relationships. Rather than provide the ‘moral of the story’ we asked the young people what they thought the significance of their answers had been. It did not take them long to determine that while most of the things they wanted could be bought at a store or paid for with a credit card, the things that made them truly happy were not items that can be purchased, and it was these activities and events that were actually the most meaningful in their lives.
Trinity is blessed by an amazing group of young people who take time from their busy lives to participate in our church community. They are just beginning their journeys and will no doubt face challenges and personal trials in the years ahead, but I am hopeful that their involvement in the Trinity family will help them choose life paths that while at times leading them into adversity will ultimately provide them with deeply meaningful lives and true happiness.
- Youth Impact @ Trinity
Plans are well underway for an exciting season of children and youth opportunities. Developing friendships, sharing gifts, a safe place to engage thoughts and feelings and a good time all combine to deepen spirituality and strengthen community.
Sunday youth times will include youth forum for those in grade 8 and high school. Rocky Moretti will be inviting the group to look at the “paradoxical commandments”. Marion Allan and Verna Gardiner will be helping the infants and toddlers to feel welcomed. There will also be two groups for the kindergarten to grade 7 students. Damion Lumley and Jackson Browning have been counseling children at camp all summer and are looking forward to bringing their camping skills to the children of these ages.
We also have some new talented young adults coming to help us! Sharlini Arasaratnam is coming to the nursing program at Western. Her parents are United church ministers and she has experience working with children and youth. Nancy Seguin is coming to Fanshawe to take the youth worker program. She was the program director at Gesstwood United Church Camp in Windsor this past summer. They will be helping out with youth programs and on Sundays as needed.
If you would like to help out with Sunday programs or provide logistical support for our retreats, sleepovers, and Friday Fun nights, please let me know. Trinity is also looking at starting a Argyle youth activity night at the new Children’s Services Offices at the Nelson school.
The Green Team with its leader Cat Hall-Oaker is also a vital part of our youth community and provides intergenerational opportunities to have fun and make a difference. Together we are happier and together we are stronger….together our lives have a powerful and positive impact