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Embracing the Spirit update - November 12, 2020
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For information about THe United Church of Canada’s response and policies regarding COVID19, please visit the church's website for official updates.

Thinking Differently About Charity




Gurbeen Bhasin is the founder of Aangen, a non-profit social enterprise that has a catering business, a food delivery service, and a commercial cleaning company all under a single umbrella. Why did she start this over 20 years ago? What was her journey like? And what's next?

Watch her whole story.

[Image credit: Aangen]

Mass Hysterical Live: December 15




Save the date!

Please join us for the Gala presentation of this brand-new comedic musical on December 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Meet the performers and share the excitement as we unveil the hilariously entertaining video, followed by a live Q&A with the actors, soloists, and instrumentalists.

Mass Hysterical celebrates more than a thousand years of ecclesiastical music, taking a satirical but loving look at the repertoire, the composers, the personalities, and even the congregations themselves. The repertoire begins somewhere in the eighth century and marches through the years with nods to composers like Bach, Handel, and Mozart. This production includes a chamber ensemble from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and four Second City veterans who perform a variety of songs, dialogue, and comedy. Special guest soloists Russell Braun and Julia Dawson are joined by the Mass Hysterical Chorus.

Watch the preview, and then grab your tickets!

Books to Nurture Your Spirit




Books to nurture your spirit and help you put your faith into action! Support the work and ministry of The United Church of Canada by shopping at UCRDstore.ca.

A Green Community Catalyst


Written by Lucy Cummings, Faith & the Common Good



As much of our national climate conversation focuses on the negative, we often forget that this crisis is also an opportunity to create a better world. St. Paul’s United Church in Magog, QC, is an example of folks working together to save the planet while acting as a catalyst for a stronger local green economy.

In 2018, the church’s furnace, in this case a gas-powered steam furnace named Betsy, was given a year or so to live. While Betsy had done her job admirably for many years, her disrepair could result in the sanctuary closing. The options looked bleak. The use of steam or hot water to heat the sanctuary was no longer considered a viable option as the repair and replacement costs were close to $100,000.

At the suggestion of a trusted local contractor, St. Paul’s United discovered a Quebec-based company – EcoRad – that converts cast iron steam radiators into stand-alone electric units. The benefits were numerous: cast iron radiators are excellent heaters; reusing the radiators would keep them out of the landfill; and conversion from gas to electric would decrease the Church’s carbon footprint.

This option was also considerably more affordable than the alternatives. The total cost of $37,200 was paid for with a United Church of Canada “Faithful Footprints” grant, fundraising efforts, and $1,800 worth of volunteer labour.

Ultimately, the greening of the St. Paul’s United congregation was a team effort. Rev. Lee Ann Hogle worked with the church’s Green Team to not only investigate the options and help with energy management, but to also support the furnace conversion itself.

“We are proud to support a Quebec-based green tech company and know we can work with them to make sure the heating system works well,” said trustee Garth Fields.

What better role for our communities of faith than to support local green job creation, while role modeling how we can all walk more gently on the planet?

[Photo credit: St. Paul's United]

Embracing the Spirit is a learning network and innovation fund. It offers funding and support for innovation ideas hatched out of faith communities and communities in ministry. Some of the stories and best practices that are happening throughout The United Church of Canada are shared in this newsletter.

If you have an idea that you want to launch, reach out and tell us about it! Proposal deadlines are quarterly, and due on the 15th of the month: January, April, July and October. Find out more

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