175 days of 175 years
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.
Where are we going
Our final 175 day post, but just the beginning of our celebrations of this incredible anniversary: join us tomorrow, November 12 at 10:30 am for a special anniversary service featuring the moderator of the United Church of Canada, the Right Reverend Doctor Carmen Lansdowne.
You are welcome to join us for this special event. Please private message us to learn more about the lunch to follow.
Help us celebrate 175 years sharing God's love in Brighton!
Join us for a gala event at the church, Saturday evening, November 25. Doors open at 5:30 and dinner served at 6:00.
More information to come, but enjoy a sit down catered meal, silent auction, and teaching by former Alderville chief Dave Mowat.
After dinner Dave Mowat will put on his blues hat and entertain us with soulful music of the ages.
For more information, please message us. Tickets on sale now, $50 each.
Where are we going
Help us celebrate 175 years sharing God's love in Brighton!
December 22, 7:00 p.m. join us for a reading of A Christmas Carol, featuring local celebrities and music. More details to follow!
Did you know Dickens wrote this classic just four years before our church was built? See you on December 22nd!
175 years for TSA
I arrived in Brighton in 2000 hoping to make a fresh start in a new chapter of my life. I had moved my mom from Lindsay to Maplewood Nursing Home here in Brighton into the capable hands of the very caring staff. I became involved in the various programs offered at Maplewood to help keep my mom engaged in her life.
Having always been a member of The United Church of Canada, it wasn't very long before I felt a strong pull to reach out and find my next church home. Trinity St. Andrew's was an easy fit. The first service I attended was familiar and comforting. This service concluded with lemonade and fellowship out on the front lawn. I was approached by a lovely couple who welcomed me with sincerity and warmth. I was home.
Over the years I have served on committees. poured tea and coffee at turkey dinners, been a particiapant in evenings of entertainment. worn funny clothes to make a point or celebrate a season. I have been encouraged or pushed to stretch my comfort zone to reading scripture, singing in the choir and doing my share to "feed the 5000" on a Sunday morning during fellowship time. The last few years have seen me in the pulpit bringing God's word to the congregation here at TSA and also at Applefest Lodge Retirement Home. The services I have conducted have been received with warmth and enthusiasm which leaves me in awe and wonder but also gives me a feeling of being a valued part of this church family.
A weekly Bible Study group offers enlightenment, fun, laughter, sharing ideas and learning to live in and with God's Word and The Bible.
My photo is proof of sharing as I regale my fellow Bible Study members about my making arrangements to send the digeridoo in the picture to one of my grandson's in Cold Lake Alberta. I purchased the "Doo" several years ago in Australia for said grandson. The mission was accomplished.
I am proud of the progressive steps this church has taken to become an active and integral part of the diverse community we live in and the continued desire and attempt to meet the needs of everyone without reserve.
Congratulations Trinity St. Andrew's on 175 years of moving forward in God's name.
Wisdom from the children
So I asked the grands-- why do you go to church?
Abi answers "Because Jesus loves me. I like my church. I like seeing my friends Ellie, Gwen, Madeline and Wanda. And my new grandma (Elaine)"
Hudson answers "There is peace and love. I find God and His people there. I also do like cake."
I asked Hudson how he thought we might get more youth to come out to church. " Well Grams, we could do some more fun things. Get some more toys. And maybe do things on other days too. Sundays are not always the best day for kids"
A Bigger Dream
All creation is crying out for help. We have not walked on the earth lightly. We have not shared equitably. There are so many ways we can help turn the tide and help resuscitate our planet. Individually we can commit to eating less meat, to planting trees, to using public transit. Collectively we can partner with other like-minded groups here in Brighton, regionally as part of a group focused on care of the earth. Nationally within the United Church care of the earth and climate justice has been a priority for over 30 years. Our Trinity-St. Andrew’s pollinator garden group is ready for a bigger challenge. Are links with schools possible? Which challenge, large or small, speaks to you? How can we move from dreams to action? All creation is waiting.
What's next from the Outreach committee...
A Little Dream
Have you heard about milk bag sleeping mats? Milk is sold in strong, UV resistant plastic bags that will not disintegrate in landfills. They are washable and lasts in the sun. Bugs and snakes avoid them, and they don't retain moisture. We have people ready to weave the mats. Will you donate your clean, outer milk bags? They will be much appreciated, both here in Canada and overseas.
What's next for the Outreach committee
A Little Dream
All are welcome at our church, but how do they get there? We dream that for every event, be it a meal, a musical event, a church service, a family fun day, whatever, we can soon have a fleet of drivers ready to help make sure lack of transportation is not keeping our new and old friends from being part of the family. Every poster, every announcement could remind our friends that we are ready to help them join the fun, whether they lack transportation, don’t drive at night, or …. who knows, don’t want to ride their bike in the rain.
What's next from the Outreach committee
A Big Dream
The tent encampment in Cobourg has helped us realize that affordable housing is not only a concern in big cities. Where can a family of 4, with one factory wage earner find housing in Brighton? They say it takes a village to raise a child. It will take much more than a small Outreach Committee to make real progress on affordable housing, but there are other individuals and groups eager to see real progress on this front. Service groups, other churches, town organizations, individual concerned citizens have had exploratory meetings. Do we at TSA have space for a build? Let’s not let this dream die!
What next... from the outreach committee
A little Dream
This year GRAN started a vegetable sharing table, which was located on the Trinity St. Andrew’s lawn. Our local Gran group is focusing on food security this year, both internationally and locally. This year the stand was monitored and refreshed regularly by volunteers. Sometimes there was lots of produce. Sometimes, the table was almost bare. GRAN’s vision is that folks will plant extra in order to share it. Would you consider setting aside a small portion of your garden to grow produce for the GRAN sharing table?
Like most United Churches, we love to sing! This year not only do we have a vibrant choir that leads music every Sunday, but we also have a small (and growing) ukulele choir that meets every Thursday morning to hone their skills and chords. Could your future include the ukulele?
Nothing scary about this post on Hallowe'en morning!
The worship group has started a new Sunday evening worship time... cozy PJ church with hot chocolate or herbal tea, Bible stories and gentle music. It's been described as a "blind box" event. Nobody knows exactly how it will go until we all show up! If there are young families present we will engage the children with interactive games and songs. If it's a different group, we will let the Spirit guide us wherever we need to go.
You are welcome to join us at 6:30 every Sunday night. We will gather in the hall for a beautiful, peaceful wind-down before bedtime.
Worship Committee 2: Inclusive worship
When you enter the doors of Trinity St Andrew’s United Church in Brighton, you will find a bright, welcoming historical sanctuary waiting to surround you with the prayers of generations.
You will also find several rows of jelly bean coloured ukuleles on a rainbow stand, with tables and children’s activities right in the worship space. When young families arrive in this space, we hope you realize immediately that we are ready for you! We want you here, and we value your enthusiasm, however you show it.
We are committed to inviting children to participate in our services through music, games and stories.
And when a family arrives who prefer to have a separate space for their children to learn about God’s love for them, we will offer classes and games in our children’s room.
The Worship Committee 1: our work
The worship, membership and pastoral care committee continues to work towards an inclusive and welcoming environment for people to feel at home in our church when they walk through the doors.
This committee strongly encourages the participation of lay readers and lay pulpit supply when necessary. We have individuals who provide a warm and friendly greeting to people attending our Sunday services so they feel comfortable as part of our church family. They make every effort to acknowledge new people. We encourage and welcome guest speakers to provide us with continued spiritual leadership. We provide Worship Services to the homes for the aged in our community. Acknowledging the continued need for spiritual guidance and support for those no long able to make Sunday services. Our Pastoral Care component is constantly looking for partners in the Friendly Visiting program (pictured here).
All in all this Worship, Membership and Pastoral Care Committee is committed to Encouraging new members, supporting our long time members and strongly reaching out to young families.
Stewardship 4 - uncertainty, worry
In these uncertain times, we find ourselves facing unique challenges that can leave us feeling anxious and unsure. However, let us remember that our faith calls us to be steadfast, leaning on each other for support and finding solace in the unwavering love of the Divine.
As the Stewardship Committee, we understand the concerns that many of you may have. We want to assure you that we share those concerns, and trust that we will navigate through these uncharted waters together.
Let's remember the words of Psalm 46:1-3: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."
We encourage you to reach out to one another, check in on your fellow community members, and offer your support in any way you can. Together, we can find strength and comfort in our shared faith and commitment to each other.
If you have any concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to listen, support, and pray for all members of our Trinity-St. Andrew's family.
May we find peace in our hearts, knowing that God is with us, guiding us through every step of this journey.
Stewardship 3: treasures
Our church has been a beacon for the community for 175 years! That's no small feat and as we strive to be a more inclusive, radically welcoming place of faith, we are reminded of the incredible legacy and blessings we hold as a congregation.
The Stewardship Committee is proud to emphasize the importance of being good stewards of our congregants' treasures. Your generous contributions, be they time, talents, or financial support, have been the cornerstone of our church's success. Through your dedication, we've been able to serve our community, spread the teachings of love and compassion, and foster a welcoming environment for all who seek solace and spiritual growth. We know that we are facing some financial difficulties at the moment, but we also know that we will work through this time together as we find new sources of revenue that help us spread God's word.
In this special milestone year, let's reflect on the value of stewardship. It's not merely about financial giving, but a holistic approach to cherish and nurture the resources we've been entrusted with. It's about using our gifts wisely, investing in the betterment of our church and community, and leaving a legacy of faith, love, and service.
As we celebrate TSA 175, we invite you to join us in a renewed commitment to stewardship. Let's continue to support one another, nurture the spiritual growth of our congregation, and ensure that our church remains a shining light in Brighton. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to consider becoming a PAR donor. Just call Pamela to find out how at 613-475-1311.
Thank you for being part of this incredible journey. Together, we can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.
Stewardship 2: talent
Faith, love and service are cornerstones of our journey together. As we travel the road together toward our 175th anniversary let's remember that this milestone is a testament to those who came before us and those who worship with us today..
One of the cornerstones of our journey has been the recognition and cultivation of the diverse talents within our congregation. Each one of you brings unique gifts, and it is through these gifts that we have been able to create such a vibrant and impactful community.
In celebrating this special anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to being good stewards of these talents. By recognizing and nurturing the abilities within our congregation, we can continue to serve not only each other but also extend our love and support to the broader community.
Together, we have shown that when we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Whether through music, leadership, teaching, or countless other forms of service, your contributions have been the heart and soul of TSA.
Let us carry this spirit of stewardship forward as we embark on the next chapter of our journey. Together, we will continue to make a positive impact, not just within our walls, but in the wider world.
Thank you for being the dedicated and talented individuals that make Trinity-St. Andrew's United Church a beacon of light and love in our community. Here's to 175 years and many more!
Stewardship Committee: time
As we approach the remarkable milestone of 175 years of worship, community, and service, we reflect on the incredible journey we've shared together. This anniversary is a testament to the steadfast dedication and faithfulness of each member of our cherished congregation past and present.
A key aspect of stewardship is recognizing and valuing the precious gift of time. Each moment we spend in worship, fellowship, and volunteering at TSA is an investment in the spiritual growth and well-being of our church, our community, and our friends. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it's easy to overlook the significance of the time we commit to our faith and the meaningful connections we forge here at Trinity-St Andrew's.
Let us remember that time spent in prayer, volunteering, and supporting one another is not a sacrifice, but a testament to the love we hold for our church family. It is through these moments that we build a legacy of faith, compassion, and unity that will carry us forward for generations to come.
As we celebrate TSA 175, let's recommit ourselves to being good stewards of each other's time. Let's cherish and make the most of every opportunity to grow in faith, deepen our connections, and serve our community with love and grace.
Thank you for being an integral part of our TSA family. Together, we continue to write the story of Trinity-St. Andrew's, leaving a legacy of faithfulness that will inspire and uplift for years to come.
3. Other Affirm Ideas
The Affirm and Equity Committee foresees a number of opportunities to provide Trinity-St. Andrew’s congregation and the broader community of Brighton with speakers on LGBTQ+ or Two-Spirit topics at least once a year, perhaps aligned with Affirm United’s “PIE Day” which is held in March each year.
The Committee is considering hosting the Affirm United Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the future. This AGM is held in July each year. We are considering this idea for 2025 or beyond.
The Affirm and Equity Committee is also exploring the idea of sponsoring an LGBTQ+ refugee. This idea will require further discussions to avoid overlapping or competing with other Trinity-St. Andrew’s outreach efforts such as our work with Migrant Workers.
Our Committee is open to other opportunities so let us know if you have ideas for us to consider!
PS we are selling t-shirts with this beautiful new rainbow dove logo to celebrate 175 years. Let us know if you would like one!
2. Themed Concerts
As part of Trinity-St. Andrew’s ongoing concert series, the Affirm and Equity Committee is sponsoring a concert by the folk group “Gathering Sparks”.
Featuring Eve Goldberg and Jane Lewis, “Gathering Sparks” have become fan favorites since their debut 6-song CD was nominated for a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year.
The “Gathering Sparks” concert is scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2024. Stay tuned for more details in the New Year!
The Affirm and Equity Committee plans to sponsor future performances featuring LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit performers and/or an accessibility theme, such as breaking down barriers, to ensure these themes are reflected in TSA’s event calendar.
1. Community Resources
The Affirm and Equity Committee is excited to be supporting the new Rainbow Youth Centre in Brighton. The Youth Centre will provide a safe, supervised space for LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit youth to gather, talk and engage in expressive arts such as painting and music.
The Committee has already donated $515 towards art supplies and other needed materials to help set up the Centre with is tracking to open in late October 2023.
We plan to continue being involved with the Rainbow Youth Centre by offering resources and expertise to support the youth programs that will be offered and welcoming youth to attend events at Trinity-St. Andrew’s.
The Affirm and Equity Committee is also aware of a need for a support group for adults in the Brighton area. Currently, there is no existing resource to support LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit people and their allies (e.g., parents, grandparents). We are planning to offer a forum of some kind with a focus on adults and their needs starting in 2024.
We will continue to plan and host the well-attended and fun annual Pride Walk and Pride Worship Service in Memorial Park. These events provide the community with an opportunity to celebrate diversity in a safe and welcoming environment during Pride month every June. The Pride Walk and Worship Service is scheduled for Sunday, June 2, 2024. Please mark your calendar and plan to be part of the celebration!
Our journey continues!
This is our final section of 175 days of 175 years, as we head toward our anniversary service on November 12.
In this section we have asked all the committees in our church to reflect on where we go from here... what is next?
We will continue the fundraisers of course (like today's Oktoberfest starting at 6:30pm!), we will continue to sell t-shirts with our lovely new dove logo (let us know if you want one!), but there is so much more happening in this vibrant, loving, inclusive community. Grounded in God's love, we are disciples of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit.
Keep checking back to see what's ahead at our church...