Advent and Christmas - New Possibilities

Advent is the beginning of the Christian Year. Like the start of any year, we looked ahead and wondered "What next?"

  • Sunday January 3 2015
    Christmas in Cuba
    Ralph Carl Wushke

  • December 27
    Christmas Breakfast

  • December 20
    Christmas Choral Service

  • December 13
    'From a Small Place', a reflection on Mary
    Sarah Mikhaiel

  • December 6
    A Step Along the Way: The Youth on Bloor Trip to El Salvador
    Shintaro Tsukamoto

  • November 29
    Reflection on the Stanley Tucci movie 'Big Night'
    I Thessalonians 5 : 1-11
    Cam Watts

2015 November Services - Without a Voice

Many people find themselves without power, or the ability to help themselves. What are we called to do? How can we help those without a voice--refugees, the homeless, prisoners, people struggling with addiction or mental health issues?

  • Sunday November 22
    What's Happening in the Middle East?
    Remmelt Hummelen
    Mark 13: 1 - 8

  • November 15
    Mouldy Bread
    Joshua 9
    Cam Watts

  • November 8
    Crime and Punishment, What’s Wrong with Prisons
    Cathleen Fillmore

  • November 1
    Silencers
    Matthew 9.14-38
    Cam Watts

October Services - Gratitude

In October - with an eye on the calendar - we reflected on gratitude; how we experience it and what we are called to do in return. On Thanksgiving Sunday (October 11) our theme was Thanksgiving. October 17 was the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and our service on the 18th explored how compassion and empathy call us to act to eradicate poverty. On Peace Sunday, October 25, we focused on how we are called as peace makers and what we can do.

  • Sunday October 25
    Buildings and Mountains (Why We Are Peacemakers)
    Cameron Watts
    Mark 13: 1 - 8

  • October 18
    Compassion, and the question of Poverty
    Jane, Judi, Ken, Reg and Sharon

  • October 11
    Thanksgiving: Undisclosed Recipients
    Joel 2:21-27
    Cam Watts

September Services - Returning and Welcoming

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
          - from Little Gidding, T. S. Elliot

In September we welcomed Cam Watts, our interim minister during the sabbatical of Ralph Carl Wushke. We also welcomed the return of members after the summer break. We welcomed all those who are interested in what it means to be a progressive Christian at this time and in this community.

  • Sunday October 4
    Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
    Diane Meredith

  • September 27
    Subscribing to a Faith
    Ephesians 3.14-4.7
    Cam Watts

  • September 20
    The Theology of Bathurst United
    Frances Combs

  • September 13
    Who Do People Say That You Are?
    Mark 8.22-32
    Cam Watts

July/August Services - Summer Explorations

During the Bathurst summer series, we experienced other religious or spiritual traditions and reflected on the commonalities and insights gained by opening ourselves to these different practices. Each week, one or two members visited a service from a different faith tradition, and brought what they had experienced to a Wednesday night gathering. Questions that the visitors were invited to consider included:

  • What was the service/prayer etc. like?
  • What happened?
  • What did you expect going in?
  • How was the experience similar to or different from your expectations?
  • Was anything difficult about being in this group's space?
  • What did you learn personally?
  • What could Bathurst learn? Learning could relate to worship practice, governance, social justice or congregational culture?

The summer services, at College Street United Church, start with a pot luck supper followed by a service at 7:00 pm.

  • Wedesday August 26
    Topic: Tongue Tried: Freedom of Speech
    Sharon Goodier
  • August 19

    Topic: Islam (El Tawhid Unity Mosque)
    Ken McEvoy

  • August 12
    Topic: SCM Faith House Reflections
    Sarah Mikhaiel

  • August 5
    Topic: Jesus is Lord Filipino Pentecostal Church
    Reg McQuaid

  • July 29
    Reflections on Ecumenical Accompaniment in Palestine
    Karen Rodman

  • July 22
    Topic: The Unitarian Church
    Ronny Yaron

  • July 15
    Topic: The Mennonite Church
    Lindsay Tyler

  • July 8
    Topic: Metropolitan Community Church
    Ralph Carl Wushke

Pentecost - Right Relations

The story in Acts tells us that Pentecost overcomes the barriers and divisions of language and cultures. The separation of the arrogant people at Babel is reversed on Pentecost, and “relationship” is restored. The closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission took place in Ottawa the weekend after Pentecost. What does Pentecost mean in light of the longing for reconciliation and “right relations” among First Nations and settler peoples in Canada? Other aspects of Right Relations explored in light of Pentecost were Inter-faith Relations, Relations with CAMH residents, Baptism as Relationship and Pride.

  • Sunday June 28 - Pentecost VI
    Pride Sunday: Right Relations
    Ralph Carl Wushke and team

  • June 21 - Pentecost V
    Solstice Service (with baptism): Right Relations with Earth
    Location: Toronto's eastern beach 8.00 am, followed by brunch.

  • June 14 - Pentecost IV
    CAMH Worship / Right Relations
    CAMH Team

  • June 7 - Pentecost III
    Interfaith Right Relations
    Susan Kennel Harrison, University of Toronto.

  • May 31 - Pentecost II
    Honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Closing
    TSP Right Relations Working Group
    Hon. Bob Rae
    Joint service with Trinity-St. Paul's and Bloor Street United Church
    Locaton: Bloor St. Uinited Church

  • May 24 - Pentecost
    Celebration of Pentecost
    Ralph Carl Wushke and team

Easter - Seeking Home

"Seeking Home" used the United Church of Canada's “Let’s Keep Talking about a just peace in Israel and Palestine” as a starting point. We also reflected on the situation of refugee claimants in Canada and refugees in the Middle East in the context of Bathurst’s Refugee Sponsorship Program.

  • Sunday May 17 - Easter VII
    Seeking Home: Locally and Globally
    Ian Van Haren

  • May 10 - Easter VI
    Crieff Hills Retreat Weekend
    Wholeness and Health: Inter-generational weekend

  • May 3 - Easter V
    Solidarity in the Lindsay Detention Centre
    Meredith McEvoy

  • April 26 - Easter IV
    Let's Keep Talking III: Finding Joy--Will there be a just peace in Israel/Palestine?
    John 15: 9-17 "You are Friends"
    Frances Combs

  • April 19 - Easter III
    Let's Keep Talking II: Beating the Drum of Justice
    Acts 4: 5-12
    Cathleen Fillmore

  • April 12 - Easter II
    Let’s Keep Talking I: Be Not Afraid
    John 20: 19-31
    Ralph Carl Wushke and Cathleen Fillmore


Lent - Scripture and Spiritual Practices: (Amazing) Stuff Jesus Did

The Lent series connected the gospel stories and teachings of Jesus with various Spiritual Practices such as prayer in the style of Taize, social justice activism as a spiritual practice, Lectio Divina and Messy Church.

  • Sunday April 5 - Easter Sunday
    Easter breakfast (10:00 a.m.)
    Baptism and Communion in the gym

  • Friday April 3 - Good Friday
    Joint service at Trinity-St. Paul's

  • Thursday April 2 - Maundy Thursday
    Bloor Street United Church
    6:00 pm

  • March 29 - Palm Sunday
    Messy Church

  • Sun, March 22 - Fifth Sunday in Lent
    John 12:20-33³Whoever loves their life, loses it²/ Evangelical Sermon
    Andrew Pak

  • March 15 - Fourth Sunday in Lent
    John 2:13-21 Jesus clears the Temple--Social Justice and Activism as Spiritual Practice
    Diane Meredith

  • March 8 - Third Sunday in Lent
    Mark 8:31-38 "Take up your cross and follow me"--Prayer in the style of Taizé
    Ralph Carl Wushke and Bev Lewis

  • March 1 - Second Sunday in Lent
    Mark 1:9-15 Jesus in the Wilderness--Meditation and Contemplation Lectio Divina
    Ralph Carl Wushke

  • February 22 - First Sunday in Lent
    Annual General Meeting (Can we imagine a meeting as a "spiritual practice"?)
    Ralph Carl Wushke


Epiphany - The Psalms: “You have searched me and known me”

Sometimes known as the “hymnbook of the Bible” the Psalms have been a touchstone for “belief laden emotions” for centuries. There are Psalms of joy, awe, wonder, trust, lament and celebration. The most famous Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd” has been an immeasurable comfort to the dying and bereaved. On the Sundays after Epiphany, this series drew upon the psalm appointed for each Sunday in the common lectionary as the inspiration for the sermon and other aspects of the service. On January 25, Bathurst joined with Trinity-St. Paul’s for a Joint Holy Land Service, with guest speaker Wendy Gichuru.

  • Sunday February 15 - Epiphany VI
    Judgement and Righteousness Re-visited
    Ralph Carl Wushke

  • February 8 - Epiphany V
    Broken and Repaired: Two Ways to Read Psalm 147
    Deborah McGinnis

  • February 1 - Epiphany IV
    The Magic Sky: A Meditation On Seeing
    David Barker

  • January 25 - The Holy Land
    A joint service with Trinity-St. Paul's United Church
    Wendy Gichuru

  • January 18 - Epiphany II
    Know Thyself: Psalm 139
    Frances Combs

  • January 11
    Epiphany
    Sharon Goodier