News and Updates

The 2017 Lenten calendar from Carol Cunday

2017 LENTEN CALENDAR

 

When Christian Faith and Genetics Meet: A Practical Group Resource

Many families in our communities are questioning how their faith interacts with genetic science.

For instance, Frank and Julie are planning on having a child, but before conceiving they want to undergo genetic screenings to discover the chances they have of passing on a genetic disorder to their children. Neither wants to have an abortion. If there is a high risk of a genetic disorder they plan not to conceive, but to adopt. Is this ‘playing God’? If your partner has a history of deafness in their family, should you consider genetic testing?

Scenarios like these are addressed in our new group resource, “When Christian Faith and Genetics Meet.” It offers five case-study modules based on topics in genetics, as well as very basic introduction to genetics and genetic technology.

The Biotechnology Research Group is looking for facilitators to lead their congregation through this group resource. Are you someone who would like to work with your congregation or parish on this topic, or do you know of someone who might be interested? If yes, please contact the Faith and Genetics Learning Animator, Rebecca Ivanoff, at: ivanoff@councilofchurches.ca, or visit http://www.councilofchurches.ca/en/Biotechnology/biotechnology-faith-genetics.cfm to find out more.

United Church Network

All transgender* people in The United Church of Canada
– and all Allies of transgender people
– are invited to become a part of the UCC TRANS NETWORK!

(* Trans: anyone whose perceived gender or assigned sex conflicts with their gender identity)

A confidential database of network members has been created to: share stories; support one another; hear the latest news about the exciting things happening in the United Church of Canada around transgender issues; receive invitations to be part of new working groups as they are formed; . . . and more! The first issue of our e-newsletter will be sent out to all members soon!

To become a member of the Trans Network, send:
1. Your Name
2. Your Email address
3. And, How you Identify (transgender, genderqueer, transsexual, crossdresser, or ally) to Jordan Sullivan at transgender@united-church.ca<mailto:transgender@united-church.ca>

All names and contact information received will be kept strictly confidential.

Online Resources:

Join the Trans Network Online at our Facebook ‘Secret Group’: “Trans Network [UCCanada]”
“Trans Network [UCCanada]” is a new private group only for trans people in the United Church of Canada. The group has been created to provide a safe place to network with, support one another, share links to helpful resources, and more. All who identify as trans are welcome! This is a private group. The list of members will be kept strictly confidential.
Contact Jordan Sullivan on Facebook or at transgender@united-church.ca<mailto:transgender@united-church.ca> for instructions on how to join

Check out the Facebook Open Page: “Trans and Gender Diversity [within the United Church of Canada]”
Open to everyone as a place where trans people, their family, friends, and allies can openly engage in discussions on what it’s like being trans in the United Church of Canada, share resources, and post ideas on how to encourage the full participation of all gender identities in the church.
Find us on Facebook by searching for “Trans and Gender Diversity.”

The Trans Network is overseen by staff in the Communities in Ministry/Communautés et ministères unit of the General Council Office, The United Church of Canada.

Contact:
Jordan Sullivan
transgender@united-church.ca<mailto:transgender@united-church.ca>

The Archives on YouTube!

The United Church of Canada Archives recently produced two outreach videos so that congregations, presbyteries, and Conferences can learn more about the Archives and the work and services we provide in order to preserve the United Church of Canada’s documentary history. These videos are featured on the United Church of Canada’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/unitedchurchofcanada.

The first video, entitled One Box at a Time, is a quick demonstration of what happens when records are transferred to the Archives, what types of records are archival and what records are non-archival (2:31 min)

The second video, What’s in the Archives, follows Erin Greeno, the Central Ontario Conference Archivist, on a tour of the Archives during the Archives Open House for the General Council Offices on January 20, 2012 (15:00 minutes).

We hope that you’ll find these videos useful. If you have any questions, please contact the United Church of Canada Archives at archives@united-church.ca or by phone (461) 231-7680 ext 3123 (Toll free: 1-800-268-3781).

Enjoy the videos!

Erin Greeno
Central Ontario Conferences Archivist
The United Church of Canada Archives

Congregations that perform equal marriage

Please contact the Conference office if your congregation should be on this list.

KENTE: St. Mark’s United Church, Cannifton

LAKERIDGE: Westminster United Church, Whitby; St. Paul’s United Church, Bowmanville; Dunbarton-Fairport Pastoral Charge; Brooklin United Church, Pickering; Claremont United Church, Pickering; Orono/Kirby Pastoral Charge; Port Perry/Prince Albert Pastoral Charge; Kedron United Church, Oshawa; ; St. Mark’s United Church, Whitby; Faith United Church, Courtice

FOUR WINDS: Queen Street United Church, Kingston;  Sydenham Street United Church, Kingston;  Chalmers United Church, Kingston;  Crossroads United Church, Kingston; Westbrook United Church, Westbrook; Morven United Church, Morven; Emmanuel United Church, Odessa

KAWARTHA HIGHLANDS: St. Andrew’s United Church, Beaverton; Cambridge Street U.C., Lindsay; Trinity-Providence Pastoral Charge, Bobcaygeon; Trinity United Church, Cannington; Dunsford Pastoral Charge; Fenelon Falls United Church, Fenelon Falls; St. Andrew’s United Church, Sunderland

HILLS & SHORES: Trinity-St Andrew’s United Church, Brighton; Trinity United Church, Cobourg; Port Hope United Church, Port Hope; St Paul’s United Church, Stirling

SHINING WATERS: Northminster United Church, Peterborough; Fairview United Church, Peterborough; Grace United Church, Peterborough; Norwood-Westwood Pastoral Charge; St. Andrew’s United Church, Peterborough; George Street United Church, Peterborough; Mark Street United Church, Peterborough; Trinity United Church, Peterborough; St. James United Church, Peterborough

FOUR RIVERS: Admaston Pastoral Charge, St. Paul’s United Church, Perth; Braeside United Church, Braeside;  Christ United Church, Lyn; Wall Street United Church, Brockville;

UPPER VALLEY:  Almonte U.C., Almonte

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 21 is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Worship resources are available at www.united-church.ca/planning/seasons

Five Oaks 60th Anniversary Book
A wonderful milestone in Five Oaks’ life is approaching and we would like to invite you to be a part of it!
In the fall of 2012 Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, commemorating 60 years since the very first program was held on this site. Five Oaks’ staff and Board of Directors are planning to recognize this significant date in our history with the publication of a very special book.

They are inviting submissions from the many members of their far-reaching community of friends, program participants and leaders, current and past staff and Board members and all others whose lives have been touched by this sacred place. If this opportunity touches your heart and if you have something you would like us to consider for this book, they would love to hear of your interest as soon as possible!
Full Details

New UCRD Showroom
UCRD has opened a new showroom where you may browse and purchase books, CDs/DVDs and other merchandise. The showroom is open every Wednesday from 9:30 – 12:00 and 2:00 – 4:00. If you call ahead to express an interest in a specific area, UCRD will have a selection of resources ready for you. If you would like to come on another day, call for an appointment.

Telephone: 416-253-5456 or 1-800-288-7365 ext. 229 or ext. 224.
Location: 25 Connell Court, Unit 2 in Etobicoke at Horner Avenue and Evans Avenue.

Seeds of Hope Grants Program

The United Church Foundation is pleased to announce that the Joint Grants Committee of The United Church of Canada and The United  Church of Canada Foundation is currently accepting grant applications for the 2010 Spring Granting session.

Seeds of Hope Grant Information
Seeds of Hope Grant Application
Seedsofhopeguide

Racial Justice Training

The United Church of Canada has committed itself to being a racially just community and has created and adopted an anti-racism policy statement in 2000.  The four goals of the church’s policy are:
participate fully, organize for diversity, act justly, and speak to the world.  Workshops are being planned for the winter/spring of 2010; all ministry personnel are expected to attend one of the workshops, but workshops are open to all who wish to attend.

Regional Workshops are happening  in the Spring and Fall.

Police Records Checks Update

Backcheck, an independent company which has previously been an alternative source of police records checks, is no longer available to provide Level 2 (Vulnerable Sector) checks, which are required by the United Church. Anyone requiring a police records check will have to obtain it through their local police service.

In addition, the Denominational Letter, often required to obtain a police records check from a police service, has been updated.
Police Records Check Information

NEW: Clergy Income Tax Filing Requirement — File Now

This information was included in the October General Council Infopac.

Recently, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) made retroactive technical changes to the requirement to file form T1213 (Request to Reduce Tax Deductions at Source) for certain employees who qualify for the Clergy Residence Deduction (CRD). Since 2005, CRA’s previous position was that the T1213 form was no longer required for any CRD-eligible employee who informed his or her employer, via the annual CRA form T1223 Clergy Residence Deduction, that he or she would be making a CRD claim.

Now, employees who own or rent their accommodation will AGAIN be required to file form T1213 with CRA, and receive written approval from CRA, before being allowed a reduction of income tax at source in anticipation of the CRD being claimed at tax time.

When housing is provided by the employer (e.g., a manse or parsonage), the T1213 filing is not required because the provided housing taxable benefit will generally equal the CRD amount.

We strongly recommend that a T1213 form be filed by early November of a current year to allow sufficient time for CRA to issue an approval for the following year. Here is a link to the form: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1213 .

CRAinstructions Canada Revenue Agency Form T1213 pdf

Instructions for completing the form pdf

Sample letter from pastoral charge

Accessibility and the Church

In April 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was passed into law. Unlike previous versions, this Act has implications for those who fail to meet the various standards that were to be developed and implemented. The first of these standards, Customer Service, has been passed with a compliance deadline of January 1, 2012, for service providers. Customer service does not involve physical accessibility, but rather the provision of services to enable people with disabilities to participate equally. Physical accessibility standards will follow.
Full details and links to Ontario government information sites


Home & Auto Group Insurance Plan for The United Church of Canada

The United Church is offering an insurance plan through Aviva Traders to all UCC employees, active pension plan members, pensioners and dependents residing in the same household. Some benefits include:
low group rates on home & auto insurance
disounts for more than one car
15% discount if you insure your car & home
5 easy payment options, including interest-free monthly payment plan
For information call 1-877-787-7021 or visit www.united-church.ca/local/insurance/aviva


“Closing the Doors: Procedures at the time of the closure of a congregation”

This kit was assembled by former Conference Minister Nancy Knox and the Rural Life Committee to assist congregations facing closure. It is available from the Conference Office by contacting Judy Ormshaw at 1-888-759-2444 or 613-398-1051 or by email.