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175 days of 175 years

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From May 21 2023 to our anniversary, November 12 2023, check social media every day (insert links) or this page, to see new historical tidbits about our church’s life, growing up in Brighton Ontario.  


What to expect

Section one: building history 

Section two:  Members Stories

Section three:  Evolution of our faith

Section four:  Impact on our community

Section five:  Why do you like coming

Section six:  Indigenous relations

Section seven:  Where are we going.

Why do you like coming

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Hello. My name is Brigitta Arbuckle. My husband and I are recent newcomers to Brighton. We moved here Feb 29, 2020. Covid shutdown was announced 3 weeks later. We enjoyed our time at our United Church in west end Toronto. With Covid it took a little time before we could attend TSA. I am so glad we waited. I am coming from a Roman Catholic background and I have found TSA to be a very welcoming , friendly and involved in our community. It has changed church for me. I am attending more frequently and enjoying it. My husband is volunteering in our church and I hope to be doing that too in the near future. I come away from our church service feeling peaceful. Thanks to TSA for that.

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Elaine Mann

Here at Trinity-St. Andrews I have been reunited with The Spirit!

Several years ago, as I was helping to guide my home congregation through the Affirming process, the Spirit found me.

A life- long church goer I was thrilled by the accompanying joy. The years went by bringing “tumult and tribulation” to our small congregation. As a dedicated volunteer, I was firmly enmeshed within it. Frankly, there wasn’t much joy left.

Last September, my husband was diagnosed with terminal esophageal cancer. An extremely intense and Perhaps inevitably, I fell victim to both volunteer and caregiver burnout. No Joy.

As a neighbouring church representative, I had attended Wanda’s covenanting service. Often while our clergy enjoyed summer vacation, I found myself at TSA on Sundays. As burnout weighed me down, I gravitated away from my home church and found myself more frequently at TSA. Every time, I felt

better, lighter by the time Wanda gave the blessing.

The music is comforting; the messages are comprehensible and meaningful; the congregation, sincere

and friendly; outreach endeavors, worthwhile AND THE VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ARE FILLED!! The total

package intrinsically drew me into its warm embrace.


The Spirit has found me again at Trinity St Andrews. Thank you all so very much for your warm welcome into this fold!

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The Reverend Ken Lewis

My first point of contact with TSA was through their Search Committee in the summer of 2007. It was a wonderfully positive experience that led me to accepting a call to ministry with the congregation beginning in January 2008.

As partners in ministry we didn’t seem to slow down much. There is a spirit fuelled energy at TSA and along with that comes a welcome to all with acceptance, respect, hope, joy and fun. I continue to feel blessed beyond measure to have been their minister.

Many people make many events happen in a decade of ministry and so I am thankful for the wonderful friendships and relationships I had (still have) while I was there.

Becoming an Affirming congregation and the building and completion of the “new hall” will always be a high point in my ministry. Both actions were such powerful statements within our church congregation as well as the wider community.

Among the many wonderful experiences in my ministry was the honour of being minister, mentor and friend to Rev. Kaitlyn Ostrander who now practises full time Ordained Ministry with the United Church of Canada. This was a journey that both Rev. Ostrander and Trinity-St. Andrew’s can be proud of.

As time allows Sheena and I will continue to make Trinity-St. Andrew’s our home congregation.

It’s such a great place to be!

Happy Anniversary Trinity-St. Andrew’s

May God in Christ continue to bless you and be your guiding light for another 175 years.

Rev. Ken

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Karen Martin

Well, to be honest I don’t always attend church in person sometimes life is busy and challenging. For me attending church isn’t just sitting listening to the message, music and heading home, attending is being part of this community! I started attending Trinity-St. Andrews in my late 20’s, my involvement in the church has evolved and grown over the years. I attended Sunday’s and went to special events. Ross and I were married, and our daughter Lisa was baptized here. It was in my 40’s that I made my commitment of faith to the United Church. I continue to share in the work of growing our church by supporting and being part of the many work parties and committees enjoying all the fellowship, fun and friendships made along the way. Being part of a church that is inclusive, supportive and always trying to engage in the mission God has given us is why I belong to this community we call church.

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Rick and Yvonne Vandertoorn

We enjoy the worship services at TSAUC along with the time of fellowship in the hall afterward. We also are appreciative of how the church likes to support and care for the greater Brighton community.

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Tom Papadopoulos, Amrita Bhat and Madeleine

We moved to Brighton from Toronto in March 2020, as the world was shutting down. We were blessed to have moved to a peaceful community that is so close to the lake and surrounded by greenery.

We decided to attend Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church this spring to feel more connected to the community and to have a more spiritual appreciation in our lives. We were welcomed with open arms and are so appreciative of the kind, supportive and generous people we have met in the church.

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Jack Reed

My affiliation with Trinity- St. Andrew’s began when I met Helen and we began to come for Sunday church service. Up until then, attending church was not part of my adult life. In 2003 we were married in Trinity-St. Andrew’s and over time, we both began getting involved in church functions together. My working background was in building and construction and soon became involved with building maintenance

projects for the church. When the new hall was in the planning stages I was approached to be on the steering committee and also accepted the position of chair of property committee.

Once the new hall was built and church functions started using the new facilities , I became heavily involved in the maintenance requirements for the kitchen and hall mechanical equipment. The maintenance needs also applied to the old church sanctuary, which soon became the paramount task to preserve the character and charm of the century old building.

Delving into the history of the church construction, it soon became apparent that much restoration was required and progressed over several years. This restoration journey touched on all aspects of the church from stained glass windows to bell tower to organ which left me with much admiration for the qualities of past craftsmanship it took to build such a beautiful house of God and is still being used a hundred and seventy five years later.

On Sunday mornings what brings me to church is the friendly faces of welcoming members and finding solace with ambiance of this beautiful old church that rejuvenates my Christian faith bringing peace of mind and comfort to me.

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Helen Bonisteel

My affiliation with Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church began in December1952, when my parents, five sisters and a brother, soon-to-beborn, moved from Frankford to Brighton. I am sure it was quite the ritual for my Mom every Sunday making sure “the girls” were all bathed and properly dressed to attend Sunday School and Church. This is where and when the attachment began.While attending Sunday School in the old church hall with my family, I remember it was lively with many children and teachers. I soon became involved with Explorers, Junior Choir, and later CGIT and Senior Choir.

When home from University and later, home from teaching in Toronto, I was always welcomed to join the choir for a Sunday service. Growing up in a small community like Brighton, you seem to know everybody so that the

members at church were like family. Attending church brought people together. You took comfort in being with your friends. There was this fellowship, a sense of belonging.

Having married Jack and now living in Brighton, “back home,” we have become more involved in TSA these past few years. Various committee duties and volunteering for special events has awarded me the opportunities to serve this church family. Whether I am in the hall, the kitchen, the Clothing Depot, nothing compares more to the feeling that comes over me when I am sitting in the sanctuary, attending a Sunday service, singing hymns, participating in prayers, listening to the message, a chance to be reflective. I have so many TSA memories from these past seventy years, that it’s hard to express my deep affiliation.

I have once read, “God puts us in community because He knows that it is the best way to increase our faith and to serve others.”

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Thian Hall

Dave and I came to Brighton 30 years ago and found in Trinity United Church people that welcomed us with open arms, and later on some of them became our best friends. Better still we found a peace and tranquility within the sanctuary that only God through Jesus could give us. Last but not least, our congregation is super blessed with our present, energetic, kind and knowledgeable minister Wanda Stride, that gets the message across in song, music, speech and in so many other ways.

There is love in our church!

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Colin Wright

The United Church has been and continues to be the cornerstone of my life.

Every week I am inspired and nurtured by our worship services, wonderful

congregation members, and opportunities to contribute to community outreach.

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Sonja Rundle

Arriving as newcomers to Brighton in the spring of 1987, John and I built our retirement home on Elizabeth Street. It was a natural choice as united church people to choose Trinity-St. Andrew’s (the only united church) as our church.

Warmly welcomed in 1989, we joined by Reaffirmation of Faith.

We were encouraged to take an active role in the work and ministry of this busy, thriving faith community. In the years that followed, we served on several church committees.

In the thirty five years I have been a member, I have been spiritually nourished, have grown in my Faith, look forward to worshipping my Creator each Sunday, singing hymns of praise and giving thanks for having had an active part (as did John) in the growth and changes that have taken place in my church during those years.

May Trinity-St. Andrew’s continue to grow and prosper with God being our strength and help.

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Bill Harris

I come to church to be part of the community. I wasn’t a big church goer until I met my wife. I wasn’t brought up in the church. I became part of the church very quickly. I was part of the affirming process since the beginning. I can’t imagine God wanting to ban people because they are gay or lesbian!! We had one minister who married a gay couple outside the church and some people didn’t like that. It was important to have these conversations but they were hard.

I’d be going to church more often now if I could. It’s just hard to get around.

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Wendy Zinck

Trinity-St. Andrew's United Church has been a part of my life for 46 years. I feel a sense of family and community each time I enter the church. Trinity-St. Andrew's United Church is where my mind and soul are nourished and a place that brings me comfort.

Why do you like coming

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Jeanette Cournoyer

I choose Trinity St. Andrew’s (TSA) United Church in Brighton as my place of worship because of the values and priorities of the congregation. There is a focus on inclusion, diversity, acceptance and social justice. There are many community-oriented initiatives that provide food, support and safety for various groups.

TSA is also an Affirming congregation since 2012 that is welcoming of everyone, including LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people. There is an annual Pride Walk and Worship Service to mark Pride month and ongoing activities throughout the year to keep our commitment to welcoming everyone. People here are friendly and helpful – walking their faith into action.

Our Minister, Wanda Stride, is a dynamic, energetic and creative leader who is open to new ideas and to trying new things. I also really enjoy the music and choir at TSA.

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Charlotte Hastings

I choose Trinity St. Andrew’s (TSA) as my church because it is an affirming congregation, TSA believes in loving all people, and the sermons reflect this message. TSA’s actions in the community also reflect this message

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Sandra Candeloro

When I think about why I chose TSA, other than the fact that I was also chosen… I automatically think about the people and the community there. From the first day I walked in, I was greeted with friendly smiles and over time I started to discover what really makes TSA unique. To me, everybody deserves unconditional love and acceptance, and that is a value I really want my children to carry with them as they grow in this world. I knew that TSA was the right place for us to grow as a family, to ask questions and grow in our spiritual journeys as well as learning and having opportunities to offer our gifts and services in our town. In a world that often feels rushed, and where young kids are often searching for a place to belong - TSA is there, waiting with open arms, saying All are Welcome.

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Neva Moelker

My journey to TSAUC:

All journeys start with one step. A series of events sent me searching for a place that could refill my soul again. Just before the pandemic hit in full I was lost, I was weary, I was feeling alone in the spiritual department.

I had to step back and breathe and when I finally allowed myself to exhale I stood at TSAUC's doorway and they let me in while holding the hands of my two grandchildren. We feel blessed to have so easily and comfortably become a part of this Church family. Thank you for your acceptance, your love and understanding that broken does not mean unwanted. We come to Church with gladsome hearts enjoying the smiling faces all around us. We feel we are truly children of God and are in the right place to share our "little lights" with others here.

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Beth Street

I go to Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church because it serves the Brighton community through meals, spiritual support and lending a hand to those in need.

Barry Street

I enjoy attending Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church because it is a welcoming place of worship, to all people regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnic background or economic status.

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Keith Smith

I go to church because I truly want to believe.

I believe in a Creator/God. I do not believe that the Old Testament was inspired by God. Because if it were, women would be highly honoured, respected and be equals from the beginning.

I believe in Jesus and his teachings. I can only hope to follow them as best as I can.

Now the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a different picture. I cannot get my head around this puzzle.

I believe in miracles. Holding my newly born son was a miracle. Sitting on my deck watching and listening to a beautiful song bird is another miracle.

I am not able to come forward to take communion because I do not feel called.

I have a lot to be thankful for and will continue in hope that someday I will believe.

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Harry Keating (Rest in peace dear Harry. Harry died shortly after sharing his thoughts with us. A celebration of his life will happen in late September)

I chose to come to Trinity St Andrew’s because since my wife and I first got together, and she attended the United Church, I loved the United Church and decided I was going to attend as well. When I moved from Toronto after my wife passed away I settled in an apartment a block away from TSA. When I sit outside reading I could see the steeple of the church. It was a one block church on Sundays.

I love the fact that we can have ladies as ministers, and I love the whole congregation. And I love the fact that we do Meals on Wheels out of our kitchen and that we have the Wednesday night dinners, and there are so many other things for the community as a whole.

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Laurie Wright

I come to TSA for the fellowship, friendship and the privilege of worship! Such a wonderful way to end each week!

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Judy Murtha

I come to Trinity-St. Andrew’s because I feel fulfilled after the services here and the community of people have lifted my spirits. That’s why I’m here.

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Wanda Stride

Why I come to TSA

In 2018 I had given notice at my previous pastoral charge, but hadn’t yet found a new place to call home. While attending a Bay of Quinte Conference executive meeting, I learned from Helmut Enns that there was a church in Brighton looking for a minister.

I discovered a community full of faithful disciples who were committed to outreach, connecting with people on the margins of society, who were looking to make room for young families in the life of the church, and they were affirming. Needless to say, I sent in my resume right away!

Who could have known how our first few years would go? But I truly feel the Holy Spirit was directing that conversation around the conference table in Belleville. I can’t imagine getting through Covid 19 with any other community. The staff team are supportive, respectful, and of course, MUSICAL! You can’t enter this building without hearing someone singing.

The congregation is motivated and responsive to God’s call, and cares deeply for all God’s people.

We are trying to rebuild after two years of online worship and daily devotionals, but God is clearly up to something. When we identify a need, God sends someone… like a willing, fun and reliable tech team! Gardeners! People to help with this 175 days of 175 years project…

We have a steady bible study group that meets, reads, studies and prays together every single week. Our conversations are surprising, raw and full of laughter and tears. The choir meets weekly and, well, we sing, learn, pray and laugh together every single week.

The congregation, you are such good sports with the ukuleles as we try to find a way to integrate young families into our 10:30 worship. You care so much about the community, supporting Supper’s Ready, HUGS, the Sharing Stand with Grans, Pride services and educational events, right relations work…

My family and I feel so blessed to be part of Christ’s work with all of you. That is why we chose to come here, and we have never looked back!

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Lori Cooper

I come to Trinity St Andrews because of the sense of family and community that is present here.

I enjoy being part of a group of people who are exploring their faith which includes reaching out into our communities to learn and to contribute as we can.

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Why I go to TSA from Ellen Goodeve

So many reasons …

After several years of attending the Christmas Eve services, and feeling welcome and at peace in the company of this community of faith, it seemed right to follow Jesus here, in a place where Jesus is talked about openly and regularly.

The messages are compelling, the music is appropriately comforting or stimulating, the people are open and friendly.

I like the fact that governance in the United Church is focused on local decision making, rather than a distant, heavy hierarchy. In this church, skilled lay people are encouraged to take leadership roles that serve the congregation and the community.

Being part of an Affirming congregation is really important, too. I can see the ways that we are open to more than those who are exactly like us. Diversity adds so much to our lives.

Creativity is brought into worship and not just into activities.

More than anything else, I leave church filled with joy and the Spirit!

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Ryan Reckenberg

My relationship to faith and religion has changed throughout my life. But Trinity Saint Andrews United Church has a very specific meaning and symbol in my life. My parents both retired to Brighton and began attending TSA because for them it was conveniently located and reflected their Presbyterian/United Church tenants of faith. I would attend occasionally when I was visiting. However, When I originally moved to the area 12 years ago, I began looking for a faith “family”. I tried most area Presbyterian, Anglican and United churches. From Belleville to Cobourg. None seemed to fit the bill. Until I realized that TSA was the community family that I needed all along. With Wanda as a new minister there was new life, vitality and a focus on inclusion and interconnection of faith and tradition with modern life. It gave me connections and reach into the charitable communities in the area that I like to support, businesses I can use and have faith in, friends that I can call if I am in trouble and require help and a backdrop of faith to rely upon in hard times. To me TSAUC isn’t a church or a building or a faith, but a community. It gave me confidence to pursue my passions, gave me guidance through life and connect more deeply in the charitable community and community at large.

There is no better family that one could ask for, than the TSAUC family.

Congrats on 175 years. I wish the entire TSAUC family all the best and hope for another 175!

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Brian Ostrander

Sharing My Love for Trinity-St. Andrew's United Church!

Trinity-St. Andrew's is home to me, a sanctuary where I am free to nourish my spirit and journey through my faith in my way and at my own pace.

TSA has – throughout the various phases of my life - provided me with a space where I can freely explore and deepen my faith. The community here embraces diversity of thought and encourages thoughtful discussions about spirituality. It's a place where questions are welcomed, doubts are understood, and personal growth is celebrated.

Trinity-St. Andrew's holds a special place in my heart because it's where I took significant steps in my faith journey. It's the sacred place where I was baptized; it's where I was confirmed, affirming my faith and deepening my connection with God. It is where I stood and made a lifelong commitment to Tammy on our wedding day! It is a place that has memorialized and lifted up the good works of those who have come before us including my grandmother Betty Liversidge and both of my fathers Al Zinck and Gil Ostrander.

But it's not just about the ceremonies and rituals—it's about the people who make up the vibrant fabric of this church family. The loving and caring individuals who gather here have become my extended family, offering support during both moments of celebration and times of hardship. Who have challenged me in my journey with God. Together, we grow, laugh, and support each other, fostering an environment of love, acceptance, and understanding.

Trinity-St. Andrew's United Church is more than just a physical structure; it's a living, breathing embodiment of love, compassion, and faith. It's a place where I feel truly connected to something greater than myself, where my spirit is uplifted, and where I find solace in times of need. I encourage anyone seeking a welcoming community, a place to explore their faith journey, and a supportive family to consider Trinity-St. Andrew's United Church. You may just find, like me, that it becomes your second home—an anchor in the storms and a beacon of hope and love.

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Gillian Roulston

I come fairly regularly for a number of reasons. I like the hour or so of peaceful reflection, I always seem to get a snippet of something that hits home and gets me thinking. I love to sing the hymns, the old standards and the new ones from the newer hymn book. I try to find interpretations of the bible readings that resonate with my life at this present time. I think mostly it is the fact that it sets me up for a new week, the previous week is over, start afresh with this new week. Also joining with a whole congregation to worship means you are in a community (world wide) doing the same things, seeking meaning and purpose.

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The next 25 days we have welcomed testimonials from church members, from long-standing generational members, to people who have just moved into the community. We share our faith, our commitment and love for Christ and his ministry through Trinity St Andrew’s United Church.

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