Oriole-York Mills United Church Newsletter
Message from Rev. Cindy
Message from Rev. Cindy
Report from Council .………. 3
Ongoing Membership News
Dear Friends of OYM,
I can hardly believe we are about to
begin the Season of Advent and that
Christmas is just around the corner.
A Book and Something to
Ponder …..………………..…. 6
Christmas Music …….............7
Thanks to Contributors…....13
White Gift Sunday and
NaMeRes ………………. 14
Christmas Word Search
Advent is the season to prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate
the birth of Christ once again into our lives. Some of the ways we
prepare is through decorating our homes inside and out; buying gifts
for the people we love; baking and cooking special favourite festive
foods; singing Christmas Carols; watching beloved Christmas
movies; gathering with family and friends and attending the Advent
and Christmas worship services. All of this prepares our hearts to
celebrate the gift Jesus brings to our lives.
It is such a wonderful gift that God chose to experience life with us.
Rather than guide us from a distance, God chose to be right here
with us to experience all of life’s ups and downs. I am ever grateful
for the gift of Jesus Christ in my life. I believe Advent and Christmas
are the best times to express this gratitude.
Newsletter History …….…... 8
Your OYM Calendar…....….16
I always say, “It’s Christmas. AMEN!!” Each year at this time I am
inspired by the Spirit of God who blessed us with the gift of baby
Jesus. Since God gave us such a precious gift, I in turn feel it is
important for us to give a gift of love to those who are in need as we
are able. And this year is no exception. As we have been hearing
on the news these last few weeks about the incredible loss of lives
in the Philippians and devastation due to Typhoon Haiyan, my heart
has been breaking and so my response is to offer financial support.
Some people say, “Christmas. Bah,
Humbug!” They feel it is too
commercialized and busy. Instead of
enjoying the season, some people
complain we only end up gaining a few
This Advent Season, I am looking forward to all of our special
services as we prepare to receive the fulfillment of Christ’s love, joy,
and hope in our lives. All of our Advent and Christmas services are
listed within ‘The Oriole’. I hope you and your family will be able to
join in our Advent and Christmas adventure.
As many of you know, our editor of ‘The Oriole’, Moira Mancer will
be moving to B.C. in the New Year so this is our last Oriole. We will
have a combined newsletter with our sister congregation,
Centennial-Japanese United Church starting in 2014. I am so
grateful to Moira, for her commitment and dedication to producing
‘The Oriole’ over the past several years. Thank you Moira for a job
well done! I know the congregation joins me in wishing you great
joy, love and fulfillment in the years ahead.
With Hope, Peace, Joy and Love,
Rev. Cindy Cooper
Report from Council
For many years ‘The Oriole’, our newsletter, has been arriving in our
mailboxes with interesting articles and news from members of our
congregation. At the November Council meeting, we thanked Moira
for her outstanding service as editor of ‘The Oriole’. As was
recommended at the August joint CJUC/OYM planning meeting, we
will combine the newsletters of OYM and CJUC in 2014. We are
grateful that Theressa Takasaki will serve as editor of this new joint
Bob Graham, our Treasurer prepared a detailed financial update as
at October 31. Our operating surplus is $30,000 ahead of last year
due to higher rental income and a bequest. The Granite Club no
longer rents the parking lot on a daily basis but will continue to use
our parking lot occasionally when they have large event at the Club.
All committees are managing their expenses to budget.
An additional $21,000 was received from the Estate of Les James
for “the food bank supported by Oriole-York Mills United Church”.
The Mission and Community Service Committee recommended that
the full amount be given to the Lansing Food Bank and the cheque
for Lansing was given to Moira at the last council meeting.
Living into Right Relations has completed its five year mandate and
filed a final report. Council thanked Lynn Watt for her outstanding
work with Toronto Conference as a member of the Living into Right
Relations Home Groups. Lynn travelled extensively and gave
generously of her time to attend meeting and events and to report
back to us on all that she had seen and experienced. Lynn thanked
OYM for their financial support and encouragement.
The elevator replacement project continues. The construction boom
in the GTA and a three month strike by the elevator union has
severely limited the number of responses to our request for quotes
received to date. Bob Graham referred us to a contractor and an
elevator manufacturer who have worked together on similar projects.
Linda Fujita, Pedro and I met with them recently and were
encouraged by their interest in working with us to find a cost
effective replacement. We expect to have a report on options for a
replacement elevator to present to council in January.
Chair of Council
Ongoing Membership News
The passing of Wilhelmina (Willie) Smee and Louis (Lou) Pickering
in October causes older members of OYM to reflect on the
contributions they and their spouses have made over the years.
Willie and Ken Smee came to OYM via Mount Royal United and
Sydenham United in the early 1980's along with their children, Cari,
Andrew and John. Ken became Chairman of our Office Board from
1989-90. During that period OYM's original Mission Statement was
adopted. Willie was a strong supporter of the UCW. Her
needlework skills became evident to us when, among other things,
she collaborated with Norm Emms to prepare a cover for the
communion table still in service to this day. And so when our eyes
fix on the communion table we can think of Willie. Willie and Ken
transferred their membership to Eglinton St. George when they
moved closer to that church.
Doris and Lou Pickering and their children, Ann, Mary, Ellen, Robert
and James became part of OYM in the early 1960's. They were
involved especially in the Mission and Community Service activities
at OYM. For example, Lou organized our involvement in the Out of
the Cold program during the 1990's. He would schedule us for duty
at St. George's Anglican at Yonge and Churchill. The preferred shift
was midnight to 3 am. The 3 to 6 am Shift required all of Lou's
persuasive manner to come up with the required number of
volunteers. In addition, he also volunteered with Don Valley
Refugee Resettlers for some years.
In the last months at 8 The Donway, Lou decided to attend St.
Mark's Presbyterian Church because he could get there by the use
of his walker. This is where his funeral was held. One of the hymns
we sang was “This is a Wondrous World” to which Lou had provided
his own lyrics in preparation. Thoughtful to the end, he requested
that memorial donations be made to OYM's Mission and Service
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Smees and Pickerings at
On another topic, we are so fortunate to be teamed up with CJUC.
For example they led the charge with the bazaar in October, but
some OYM folk stepped up to the plate to help. This year’s bazaar
brought in over $7000 of which 30% found its way to OYM. We
don't have the "people power" to take on such events but we are
there to lend a helping hand!
Membership Relations and Communications
A Book and Something to Ponder
Allah, Liberty and Love – the courage to reconcile faith and freedom,
by Irshad Manji. Random House Canada 2011.
Irshad aims to create positive change in contemporary Islam and
addresses problems of Islamic dogma and honour killings. Through
her own faith in the creative capacity of individuals, she aimed to
speak respectively to non-believers and believers. She provides
evidence of belief in a loving God and lives lived outside rigid control
among many faiths - Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – while
challenging power-mongers who steal choices from those who
Some people contacted Irshad and she quotes their words to make
her points throughout her book. Some of these people are
challenging her and others tell of personal problems and of their
Something to ponder:
Irshad closes by asking whether her readers (and she was
addressing Muslims and non-Muslims) will take the heat if you have
to. To better know yourself and to be more conscious of your
choices and how to serve beyond your immediate self, she poses
five questions and sentences to complete as follow.
1. What do I love about my community?
2. I disagree with my community about …
3. If I say what I think, the worst that can happen is …
4. If I say what I think, the best that can happen is …
5. Should I say what I think? – I’ve decided that …
The teacher for the last term of the school year was a Miss Booth –
a grand-daughter of the founders of the Salvation Army! Miss Booth
was proud of this. My former teacher had probably given a positive
report about me, but I was feeling a great loss. I understood very
little about the Catholic Church, but was having difficulties seeing my
cheerful athletic former teacher wearing a nun’s habit and kept
hoping that she would change her mind and come back.
Unfortunately, I could not warm to this new teacher.
When my end of term report arrived, my parents were initially
startled that although my marks were good, Miss Booth had
described me as ‘too mature for my age’. Fortunately for me, my
parents had also liked my former teacher and were aware of the loss
I had felt when she had left and my difficulties with her replacement.
Most of you have your favourite carols and Cookie Day at OYM is
not complete without a few carols. While I edit this last edition of
‘The Oriole’, I have a Salvation Army CD entitled Christmas with the
Salvation Army playing.
I have been a monthly donor to the Canadian Salvation Army for
many years, but I started receiving Christmas Salvation Army CDs
since I established annuities with them.
My history with the Salvation Army goes a long way back to my
schooldays in England and not so favourably. I was in the
equivalent of Grade 5 at the time. I was shocked to find that my
favourite form teacher who we had had for a second year was
leaving to become a Catholic nun.
Going back to the Christmas Music, Oh, Holy Night is now being
sung and played by a Salvation Army chorus and band and The
First Noel is to follow. Happy Christmas to all!
Newsletter for Oriole United
Dode Walker*, a founding member, Alan Parker and Jim Aston had
no memory of a newsletter at the Oriole church when contacted
recently. They had no memory, but also none of them could they
* Dode Walker was pleased to receive OYM news and she
reported that she keeps reasonably well. However, she
worries about Cliff, now 94 years old and living in a local
Trillium residence. He has fallen a few times and also needs
What’s in a Name?
‘The Oriole’ … how our newsletter got its name is unknown. Annual
reports in OYM’s early years did not report about a newsletter –
there were mightier concerns for a new church to write about.
Was our church newsletter named ‘The Oriole’, remembering the
Oriole Church that most, if not all, came from? At first the cover of
OYM annual reports had a picture of the ‘new’ church. However,
after a few years at OYM, a photo of the Oriole church building was
put at the top of the cover page and an image of our current church
home at the bottom. Perhaps members shared happy memories of
their old Oriole church. Perhaps they chose ‘The Oriole’ as the
name for the church newsletter from the start.
In the 1975 Annual Report, David Pelton wrote for the Membership
Relations Committee as follows:
The Newsletter continues to play a vital role in keeping the
David had provided a longhand copy of his report. Did Dave write
‘newsletter’? – he is unsure after so many years. Maybe the typist
upgraded it to ‘Newsletter’, or maybe not. If Dave wrote ‘newsletter’,
it is more likely that it was another way of describing ‘The Oriole’. If
Dave wrote ‘Newsletter’, that weakens, but does not negate or
confirm, that it refers to ‘The Oriole’.
Further questioning of Robyn Clare, John Cruise, Diane Domelle,
Marion Felker, Dave Johnson, Grace and Doug MacAllan, and
Sheila White, as well as Dave Pelton about the name of our church
newsletter when they first came to OYM failed to stimulate
memories of any name. However, all agreed that there was a
Header of ‘The Oriole’ Before 1986
‘A Publication’ and nobody can be sure how long before 1986 it was
At Last ‘The Oriole’ in an Annual Report
It was not until the 1985 annual report that our church newsletter
was described as ‘The Oriole’. Lorne Main, chairperson of the
Membership Relation Committee reported:
Marion Robinson has assisted Lillian Cotton in the production
of THE ORIOLE, a quarterly newsletter in which a multitude of
activities are publicised. (This assistance set a precedent for
the next changeover.)
Editorship changes hands
The following year (1986) Gord and Carol Laschinger included the
following in their Membership Relations report:
Our thanks to Lillian Cotton and more recently Marion and Bob
Robinson for producing the “ORIOLE” – an informative
newsletter that keeps us in touch with events, announcements
Header of ‘The Oriole’ from 1986 to December 2007
It continues as ‘a publication’.
* Beth’s daughter, Glennie remembers no mouse stories as a
child and assumes her mother created Willie York to help the
young people understand her messages.
Glennie is now a mother of two and a great-aunt through her
older brother Ian’s grandchild.
Bob Robinson reports his time as editor this way ….
In 1986 Don Worth invited Marion and Bob Robinson to take over
the church newsletter from Lillian Cotton. They undertook to
produce five or six issues a year of six or eight pages for the
newsletter – The Oriole. Rev. Glen Mattinson was our minister at
Marion initiated a last page ‘Did You
Know?’ feature that was very popular
During Bob’s early tenure
and Bob developed brief biographies
as editor of The Oriole, a
of board chairmen (and women) and
second newsletter was
pickup controversial and thoughtproduced intermittently at
provoking theological opinions from
OYM – the Christian
various periodicals. OYM librarian
Marnee Scott provided material on the
Connie Wells and Mary
Girard were editors.
latest books while Beth Mercer
reported on the adventures of Willie
York *, our church mouse. Many members cooperated by writing
about ‘What the Church Means to Me’. Marion and Bob kept The
Oriole lively for more than 20 years.
Following a precedent
In the summer of 2007, Bob Robinson had prepared another edition
of ‘The Oriole’, but Jean was not in the office. Not knowing Marion
Robinson had helped Lillian Cotton in 1985, Moira Mancer offered to
help with copying, folding and envelope stuffing. Bob and Moira
spent a pleasant morning together putting the latest Oriole into
envelopes and chatting about various topics. Quite unexpectedly,
Bob suggested that Moira take over the editor role for ‘The Oriole’!
Bob Robinson Retires as Editor
In to the 2007 Annual Report, Chair, Gerry Cooper included the
following in his report:
Among major changes this past year we saw the retirement of
four long-serving members of OYM leadership team, namely:
Ron Bloor as Council Co-Chair, Al Burnes as Rental Manager,
Bob Richardson as Director of Music, and Bob Robinson as
Editor of the Oriole.
… Bob has informed, entertained and stimulated us with his wit,
his perceptive and caring observations, and his provocative
musings on matters of interest to The Oriole’s readership.
Under his stewardship, The Oriole became a ‘must-read’
publication capturing the mood and vitality of life at OYM.
Editorship in New Hands
From the beginning of 2008 till this final edition of December 2013,
Moira Mancer has been editor of ‘The Oriole’. In that time, each
edition of ‘The Oriole’ was made available on OYM’s website and
some members received ‘The Oriole’ by email in pdf format.
Header of the Oriole as a Newsletter from 2008
Oriole-York Mills United Church Newsletter
Final Edition of ‘The Oriole’
Since nobody stepped forward to edit ‘The Oriole’ in the future, this
is the final edition of a newsletter for Oriole-York Mills United
Thanks to Contributors
Thanks to the following faithful contributors for this issue:
Message from Rev. Cindy (page 1)
Report from Council (page 3)
Ongoing Membership News (page 4)
Oriole Reminisces (page 11)
White Gift Sunday December 15th
Na-Me-Res Christmas Wish List
Socks, Gloves, and Underwear
Sleepwear and PJ’s
Sweat Tops and Pants
Towels, Face Cloths
Soap/Body Wash and Deodorant
Shaving Cream and Razors
Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
Gift Bags, Coffee Cards
Your OYM Calendar
Christmas Word Search
Coming Sunday Worship Services and Events
Sunday December 15th
Sunday December 22nd
Tuesday December 24th
Advent 3: White Gift Sunday and Choir
Sunday December 29th
Sunday January 5th
Christmas Eve Service: carols, drama,
scripture and candles with food to follow
Sunday January 12th
Sunday January 19th
Wednesday January 22nd
Sunday January 26th
Sunday February 2nd
Regular service, then UCW meeting
CJUC Outreach Sunday
OYM Council meeting @ 7 pm
Sunday February 9th
Sunday February 16th
Family Day Service
Sunday February 23rd
Black History Service
Words go up, down, across and diagonally.
Contact OYM: Oriole-York Mills United Church
2609 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON, M2L 1B5
Website address: www.oymunitedchurch.net