A Time for Waiting

Advent is traditionally a time for waiting—for Christmas celebrations for the children, for the celebration of the miracle of birth and of Jesus’s birth in particular, and for many Christians, a reminder of the waiting for Jesus’s coming again—for the fulfillment of the hope and promise he brought.

This season we gathered to reflect on the kind of waiting those working for social justice must do. We know that we live in times when bringing our hopes for social justice to fruition is unlikely in the near future. We need to find ways of continuing to work, even when success seems distant. The transformations we are witnessing now are mostly not those we have been hoping and working for. So how do we work and wait? How do we wait faithfully, receptively, but not passively? We are in a waiting time. Advent reminds us that the birth of the new takes time, cannot simply be forced into being, and that even miraculous success is likely to be followed by more working and waiting. Learning to wait well is an important skill the Advent season can foster.

Services in this series included:

  • Sunday, December 31
    10:30 am
    A joint service with Trinity-St. Paul's and Bloor St. United Churches
    Bloor St. U.C., 300 Bloor St. West

  • Sunday, December 24
    Christmas Breakfast
    10:00 am

  • Sunday, December 24
    Joint Christmas Eve Communion Service
    10:00 pm
    Trinity St. Paul's Sanctuary
    Ralph Carl Wushke

  • Sunday, December 17
    Bathurst Choral Concert
    Bev Lewis

  • Sunday, December 10
    Still Waiting ... Waiting Still
    Ken McEvoy

  • Sunday, December 3
    Wake! Wait! Watch!
    Ralph Carl Wushke

  • Sunday, November 26
    Waiting and Working for Transformation
    Jenny Nedelsky

Let my people go!

A worship series on the Exodus story

The Hebrew Bible readings in the lectionary for this fall happen to tell the story of the Exodus of the ancient Israelites from Egypt where they were slaves, through 40 years in the wilderness, to Canaan, where they were to settle. It's an extraordinarily dramatic story, perfect for a novel or movie. This story gives us the burning bush, the Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, manna in the wilderness, the Ten Commandments, the Promised Land. What a rich set of images and metaphors! But is this story more than a good yarn and source for Western literature and culture?

In an interview about the Exodus story, American Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso points out the mythic quality of this ancient story, and its central role in Jewish faith, saying, “What happened once upon a time happens all the time….”

This series examined the Exodus story for its meaning to us today. Many of the themes of the story are important to people in the Bathurst congregation: refugees, freedom, leadership, settlers and colonization. What's more, the ancient Israelites’ journey parallels many journeys (physical or spiritual) that we take individually or as a community. Perhaps even the departure of this congregation from the former church building to the TSP building, or the current Bathurst 2020 project can be understood in the light of this old story. And if we do make our own Exodus journeys, what sustains us in the wilderness, and how do we feel God's presence on the way?

Services in this series included:

  • Sunday, November 19
    Exodus 16: 2-15
    Marie Simon

  • Sunday, November 12
    You shall see the the glory of the Lord
    Caro Ibrahim

  • Sunday, November 5
    Exodus 32: 1-14

  • Sunday, October 29
    Exodus 17: 1-7
    Rosalinda Paredes

  • Sunday, October 22
    Exodus 20: 1-20
    Ralph Carl Wushke

  • Sunday, October 15
    Lindsay Tyler

Unsettling Bathurst

America Septentrionalis (early map)


On June 11, 2017, the Bathurst congregation reached a consensus to pursue a different home space in the Annex, initially focusing on the Westbank Development at Bloor and Bathurst. This commitment invites us to consider how a move would be an opportunity for faithful transformation, in light of new contexts. The September 2017 worship series, “Unsettling Bathurst” will ask what it means to be faithful church in light of our rich history, the current context, contemporary discourse and demographics.

Services in this series included:

  • Sunday, October 8
    "Messy Church" ... church for children, large and small

  • Sunday, October 1
    “Who is My Neighbour?” what do the Environics data tell us about our neighbourhood? Who lives here and what do they care about?
    Guest presenter: Anne Shirley Sutherland

  • Sunday, September 24
    “Render to God the things that are Gods” How do post-colonial theory and de-colonization inform our current transformation?
    Reflection: Ralph Carl Wushke

  • Sunday, September 17
    “What Language Shall I Borrow?” Second, what is the current context and new discourse? A panel of voices including Howard Williams, Jeremy Malcolm and Joel Burkholder will interpret the signs of the times and the longing for meaningful faith.

  • Sunday, September 10
    What was Bathurst’s most recent great upheaval and major transformation (1980-1995) responding to? What was wonderful about that? What were the compelling questions of society and theology, and themes the congregation was wrestling with? How were those questions answered? What was the discourse? What language was being spoken? What can we learn from that experience? How have we become small “c” conservative? That upheaval was thrust upon us by a crisis. Are we able to see the crisis of demographics that is moving us to the next upheaval?
    Reflection: Frances Combs

Bathurst 2020




During the summer series we held a series of conversations about the future of our congregation. Where do we want to be? What do we want to be? Should we be looking for community partners?

The summer services were held at College Street United Church, at the north-west corner of College and Bathurst, and started with a pot luck supper sharp at 6:00 pm, followed by an informal service at 7:00 pm.

Services in this series included:

  • Wed, August 30
    Topic: Generous Spaces ministry

  • Wed, August 23
    Topic: Bathurst 2017 Pride Service Reflection

  • Wed, August 16
    Topic: Update on the Westbank development (Bloor & Bathurst)

  • Wed, August 9
    Topic: Colombian Methodist partner Paola Marquez

  • Wed, August 2
    Topic: Revisiting the Crieff Hills Bathurst 2020 Conversation

  • Wed, July 26
    Topic: Pre-wedding celebration for Caro and Audrey

  • Wed, July 19
    Reflecting on the visit to A Different Booklist

  • Wed, July 12
    Visiting A Different Booklist

  • Wed, July 5
    Home - Howard Williams