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Upcoming Submission Deadlines:


January 2017 issue - ONLINE ONLY AVAILABLE NOW

February 2017 Issue - FRIDAY DECEMBER 9, 2016 DEADLINE

Place your classified advertisement with The Observer today. We try our best to accommodate our advertisers - if you miss the print deadline, you still have the option of placing an online advertisement - we can upload your ad immediately.  Email your ad to classifieds@ucobserver.orgor click here to submit. Please call Sharon Doran at 416-960-8500, Ext 230, if you have any questions.


Bedford, NS

Is Bedford United searching for you? If you are passionate about leading a ministry for children, youth and families, and you are an Ordained, Diaconal or Designated Lay Minister (Recognized) in the United Church, then you may be just the person Bedford United Church (BUC) is looking for. BUC is a growing, vibrant, theologically-progressive congregation with an active ministry for children and youth. We are seeking a full-time minister who is warm and enthusiastic, creative and energetic, inspired and inspiring. While the focus of this ministry is with our children, youth and their families, there will be opportunities to lead worship and provide ministry to the entire congregation. Located in Bedford, a community in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we offer an opportunity to join a collaborative ministry team serving an engaged and diverse congregation. Does this sound like just what you’ve been waiting for? We invite you to review our Needs Assessment Report for more information about BUC and this important role:  www.bedfordunited.com. Our JNAC Report and Position Description can be found under Whats Happening/Council News/BUCJNAC2016FINAL. If you are excited by the possibility of joining our team, please submit a cover letter and resumé in confidence to BUCsearch@bedfordunited.com. Our search will stay open until a suitable candidate is found.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Bloomingdale ON

A vibrant, lively and faith-filled church in Waterloo Region seeks a half-time minister. Do your gifts and visions include ministering to an open, highly-motivated community of faith, dedicated to outreach, youth and music? Are you open to working with an enthusiastic and participatory congregation? Have we piqued your interest? If so, please visit www.bloomingdaleuc.com to view our JNAC and send your resumé to bloomingdaleresumes@hotmail.com

Calgary, AB

St. Thomas United Church, an Affirming Ministry, is a vibrant, highly-motivated community of faith with a mission to nurture and grow our spirituality and make a greater impact in outreach and social justice in our communities. We are seeking one full-time Ordered minister for the position of Minister of Preaching and Administration to be an equal member of our ministry team. The successful candidate will have an inspirational speaking ability, the ability to empower and engage the laity while developing lay leadership and work well as a team of equals with the existing Minister of Nurture, Education & Outreach. We are looking for a minister who is flexible, energetic, patient, authentic and has a great sense of humour. Come walk with us on the next phase of our faith journey. We are an open, liberal, fun-loving multi-generational congregation and we enjoy a relaxed, informal style of worship. We have many strengths and talents: wonderful music programs, children's and youth programs, strong pastoral care and outreach programs. Our faith statement is Open Hands, Open Hearts, Open Minds. Interested in walking with us? Please check our website at www.stthomasunited.ca to read our JNAC Report and view Livestream recordings of past services. Resumés may be forwarded to our Corresponding Secretary, Jeff McLean, at jeffmclean2010@gmail.com. Note: Deadline for submission of applications is February 28, 2017.

Calgary, AB

Embracing a shared leadership approach and a keen sense of community and fellowship, the congregation of Woodcliff United Church is seeking a full-time order of ministry person to join our team. Our vision is to be a vibrant community, living our faith. With many active volunteer ministries from outreach to hospitality, and thriving programs like children/youth ministry and pastoral care, we live this out every day. Like many United Churches, our population is mostly over 60, but our crowd doesn't act a day over 40. Only an hour to the mountains, sitting amongst the evergreen trees of west Calgary's Edworthy Park, it is easy to find the Spirit alive at Woodcliff. If you are an enthusiastic leader with a strong theological background, visit www.woodcliffunited.com to learn more about our community and JNAC. Contact Chris Jackson at chris.jackson@roneta.com to apply.

Cut Knife/Wilkie, SK

Cut Knife and Wilkie are two individual pastoral charges located 75km apart in the heart of rural Saskatchewan. Both congregations require a half-time minister of any category. We can offer one half-time position at either pastoral charge, or both charges together, to form two half-time positions, which worked extremely well in the past. If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please contact Dorrie Shepherd at dashep50@gmail.com, or Karen Rutley at krutley@hotmail.ca.

Halifax, NS

First Baptist Church is seeking a full-time Senior Minister to enable the ongoing individual and collective spiritual development and growth of our church community. Grounded in Baptist principles, First Baptist Church Halifax is an inclusive and ecumenical community of believers in Jesus Christ committed to proclaim God’s mission of love by word and deed. The Senior Minister is a Christ-centered spiritual leader who draws upon a deep personal faith and experience to lead, engage and guide us in discerning a shared sense of God’s purpose and direction. This Minister will enable us to discover, grow and focus our gifts in response to God’s call for meaningful action and Christian mission in our Congregation and beyond. For more information on this opportunity, please click on this link Senior Minister, or contact Sheila Stanley at sheilastanley@fbchalifax.ca.

Kincardine, ON

Kincardine United Church, on beautiful Lake Huron, is searching, in faith, for a full-time, Ordained, Diaconal or Designated Lay Minister to fill the vacancy left by our recently retired minister. The future holds new opportunities that we will experience together with excitement and Christian dedication. Our historic, uptown Church has an up-to-date sound system, projection system and an inclusive marriage policy, all in the surfing capital of Canada. For additional information surf www.kincardineunitedchurch.org. If you are interested in joining hands to walk with us into a bright new future, please email your application to Liz Dillman, dillman.l@bmts.com, or mail applications to Liz Dillman, 388 Park St, Kincardine, ON, N2Z 3B1. Applications to be received by February 15, 2017.

Innerkip-Eastwood, ON

Nestled in rural southwestern Ontario, Innerkip and Eastwood United Churches have welcomed and supported their communities for 140+ years. With goals to Welcome All, Grow in Faith, and Help Others, we are seeking a creative, full-time minister with a zest for life. We require an enthusiastic leader with a sense of humour, compassion and empathy who can convey the Christian message by using music and relating the scriptures to today (shoes optional). For a complete description of the position, visit www.londonconference.ca.

Little Current, ON

Little Current Pastoral Charge invites you to come and join us on beautiful Manitoulin Island – a region that offers year-round recreational activities and a rich heritage to explore. We are located on the scenic North Channel of Lake Huron, but within commuting distance of urban centers. The Little Current two-point pastoral charge is seeking a full-time ordained minister for its Little Current and Sheguiandah congregations. We are seeking a minister who will invigorate the congregation and help build on the existing, strong music ministry, a minister committed to pastoral care and visitation. The minister will be an individual who can relate to all age groups and has the energy and vision to draw new people into the life and work of the Church. Complete details can be found in our JNAC at www.manitouconference.ca/vacancy-updates. If this opportunity intrigues you, please contact the Search Committee via mail at Search Committee, Box 254, Little Current, ON, P0P 1K0, or via e-mail to Scott Mosher, Chair at scmosher1764@gmail.com.

Mississauga, ON

Mississauga Chinese United Church is seeking a half-time minister to fill a one-year appointment to serve the Chinese community in Mississauga. The successful candidate will provide spiritual leadership during Sunday worship, lead pastoral care, perform marriages, funerals and sacraments as well as nurture spiritual growth and development of our members. To adequately serve the congregation and Chinese community, fluency in Cantonese and English will be required. Please visit www.mcuc.ca/JNAC and send resumé to ambering@rogers.com.

Mississauga, ON

Erin Mills United Church, a diverse, thriving congregation, is seeking a full-time ordained or diaconal minister to lead us in offering opportunities for all persons to experience the love of God through Jesus Christ. For more details about EMUC and the position, both the JNAC report and job description are available at www.emuc.ca. If you are interested in this dynamic position, apply to Janet Tait at emucjsc2016@gmail.com. Please include a cover letter and up-to-date resumé. This position is vacant as of October 1, 2016, and applications will be received until a new minister is confirmed.

Mount Brydges, ON

Mount Brydges Pastoral Charge is seeking a part-time minister to fill a two-point charge, at two beautiful churches located minutes from each other. We would like to find an inspirational speaker who encourages us to live out our faith by relating to today's world. Please review both profiles and apply through  www.londonconference.ca (see Vacancies).

Niagara Falls, ON

“Reaching up to God; Reaching out to people.”  In the heart of Niagara Falls, St. Andrew’s, a faith community ranging from young families to seniors, is passionately committed to living lives that reflect the love of Jesus Christ. To fill the vacancy left through recent retirement, we are seeking a full-time minister to join our multi-staff team as we anticipate our best years ahead. Interested applicants can find our JNAC and our Core Values and Essential Beliefs at www.sainta.ca. Please submit applications to ehuynh@gmail.com until March 31, 2017.

North Bay, ON

Emmanuel United Church is inviting applications for a full-time order of ministry position. Following a successful long-term pastoral relationship, from which the minister retired, the congregation is looking for a new minister who is energetic, kind and compassionate, and eager to lead them into a future of change. Emmanuel is uniquely positioned for the future with a modern single level multi-use facility that is fully wheelchair accessible. Located just 3 hours north of the GTA and connected by a major four lane highway, you will find a modern city of 55,000 people located on the shores of two beautiful lakes. North Bay offers all the amenities of a modern city, coupled with breath-taking natural beauty and the opportunity for four season outdoor adventure right at your doorstep. Please refer to our Emmanuel United Church website www.emmanuelunited.net to view our JNAC report, which includes the position profile and a summary of our needs survey. Please forward your resumé to esimmens@cogeco.ca, or by mail to: Joint Search Committee, Emmanuel United Church, 395 Lakeshore Drive, North Bay, ON, P1A 2C5. Further questions can be directed to the committee chair, Janie Clayton at 705-472-1182. Applications are currently being accepted for this position.

Ottawa, ON

Barrhaven United Church, a single urban congregation of approximately 280, is searching for a full-time minister after staff retirement. Located in the south of Ottawa, Barrhaven is a mixture of established middle class homes, new homes and commercial development. Barrhaven United seeks a dynamic person to lead worship, administer sacraments, care for the pastorate and reach out to this growing community with the help of Lay staff and volunteers. Although this position appears challenging at first sight, it may be the rewarding position you are looking for - one that you can grow into along with the BUC community. Please send us your CV, a statement of faith, and a cover letter that includes your vision of how you would serve BUC’s needs, based on the information outlined in the JNAC Summary Report and Profile 1 documents. Check www.barrhavenunited.org for the documents, or contact barrhavensearch@gmail.com. Closing date is January 25, 2017.

Ottawa, ON

Emmanuel United Church, located in suburban Ottawa, 15 minutes east of Parliament Hill, is called to be an inclusive, compassionate, Christ-centered community: questioning, justice seeking and welcoming to all. Due to the recent retirement of our ministers, we are seeking a full-time Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care and a part-time Minister of Christian Development. They will work collaboratively with us in our goal of continuing to be a strong, vibrant, caring and welcoming congregation, with an active ministry to our diverse multigenerational community. The Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care will provide leadership in worship and preaching, and attentive pastoral care work carried out with the support of our pastoral care team. The Minister of Christian Development will develop and co-ordinate programs and activities that encourage spiritual development of our youth and young families, as well as the wider congregation. Letters of interest, accompanied by a CV and a Statement of Faith, will be accepted until February 13, 2017, at eucsearch2016@emmanuelunited.ca. Further details are available in our JNAC report  at www.emmanuelunited.ca.  

Outlook, SK

St. Andrew’s United Church is a one-point charge located in a beautiful community one hour from Saskatoon. We are seeking a full-time minister to lead a caring, supportive congregation. Worship and pastoral care will be the focus, as well as outreach to young families. We have an established choir and organists. For more information, please contact our Joint Search Committee by emailing heather.wilson@usask.ca.

Ripley, ON

Ripley-Bervie/Kinloss Pastoral Charge, located in beautiful Bruce County, not far from Lake Huron, is a two-point charge looking for a full-time minister who will engage all ages and provide spiritual growth, guidance and pastoral care. Interested applicants contact sduliban@hamconf.org by March 31, 2017, for more information.

Shelburne/Primrose, ON

Shelburne/Primrose, a two-point charge located in central Dufferin County, is seeking a full-time minister to lead vibrant worship and have compassion for spiritual and pastoral care. Primrose United is a small rural church. Trinity United is a larger town church. Although we have diverse personalities, we work well together and strive to meet the needs in the community. For more information please email Glen Thompson at gl.enman@hotmail.com, or to see our profile and apply, please visit www.torontoconference.ca and look for “Effective Leadership” under resources.

Welcome, ON

New Hope United Church is seeking a half-time ordained or diaconal minister. We are a small congregation in the hamlet of Welcome, just north of Port Hope, at the 401. If interested, please email search@newhopeunitedchurch.ca. Closing date is March 1, 2017.

Welland, ON

Central United Church, located in the Niagara region, is seeking an innovative and energetic spiritual leader. This is a full-time position for an ordained minister with interest in a variety of worship formats relevant to today's world, including the use of multi-media. Our church is located in a downtown area with a number of mission oriented needs that we are actively serving. It is also located close to a rapidly expanding area of new homes. We invite you to explore us through our JNAC report and related membership survey which are posted on Facebook and available through the link on our website at www.centralunitedchurch.org. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity to serve, please contact Mr. Dave Duffus, Search Committee Secretary, in confidence, at your earliest convenience, at centralwellandsearch@gmail.com.

Windsor, NS

Golf, curling, skiing and close to nature, Windsor has all the year-round recreational activities you could want in a safe, welcoming community. Our United Church is an exciting, vibrant congregation with an active, engaged laity. It is financially sound, with a professionally-led music program. We are looking for a full-time ordained minister to continue our work in the community, starting July 1, 2017. Contact windsorunitedsearch@bellaliant.ca, www.windsorunitedchurch.ca, or www.facebook.com/windsorunitedchurch. Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2017.

Yellow Grass, SK

The Yellow Grass United Lutheran partnership is currently looking for a part-time minister for this small congregation in southern Saskatchewan. We are located about 45 minutes from Regina and 20 minutes from Weyburn. This is a one-point charge. For more information please email Lorry at sbar_7@hotmail.com, or call her at 306-465-2582.

Ministry of Music

Markham, ON

Heritage United Church is seeking a qualified, responsible and creative Music Director able to play and lead worship music using a variety of musical styles. This position is available immediately and involves Sunday morning worship, leading our Praise Team and a variety of other services throughout the year. Interested candidates should send their expression of interest to the Chair of the Ministry and Personnel Committee, Karen Chandler at kchandler@rogers.com

Newmarket, ON

Trinity United Church is looking for a music director to join our leadership team. As music is an integral part of our Christian worship, we seek someone who will enhance both our worship services and our outreach programs in a meaningful way. We are pursuing a future that is dynamic and engages growth of community. Our ideal candidate will respect and love traditional Christian music, and will have a passion for new approaches and ideas. Bringing energy and an edge that is "outside the box" would be a big plus. For further details about this position please visit www.trinityuc.ca/announcements/musicdirector.pdf. Please send your covering letter and CV via email to mmsc@trinityuc.ca, or mail to Music Director Search, 461 Park Ave, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 1V9. Deadline for applications is Friday, February 17, 2016.

Wallaceburg ON

Trinity United Church (www.trinity.mnsi.net) is seeking a qualified Music Director, able to play and lead worship music. This position is available immediately and involves Sunday morning worship, leading our choir and a variety of other services throughout the year. Interested candidates should send their resume to the Chair of the Ministry and Personnel Committee, Herb deJong, at hbdejong@shaw.ca.

Other Positions Available

Sunday School Teacher

Heritage United Church in Markham, Ont. is seeking a part-time Sunday school teacher to plan and lead lessons on Sundays (5 hours a week), and during Vacation Bible Camp — one week during either July or August. Position will be paid between $16-20/hr depending on experience. Interested candidates should send their expression of interest to the Chair of the Ministry and Personnel Committee, Karen Chandler, at kchandler@rogers.com.

Church Related

A Marriage Preparation Video Resource

More Than Friends is an innovative, inclusive, flexible, and affordable web-based marriage preparation video resource, adaptable to the diverse situations of couples and communities of faith. Convenient. Engaging. Addresses ‘hard to discuss’ issues.  Supported by United Church of Canada grants. Visit www.morethanfriends.live for more information.

Church Websites

Churchweb Canada will build, run or refresh a church website for you. Free consultation. No church too small. Options to suit any budget. Coaching available. Prompt, dependable support. New domains available: .church, .community, .faith, .lgbt. Voice or text: 1-844-541-4212; email: wayneirwin@churchwebcanada.ca, or website: www.churchwebcanada.ca.

The Ministers’ Professional Association

Already in place and at work - at no cost to the United Church. Unifor Unifaith Community Chapter is for United Church Clergy, Faith Workers & Family. So much to discuss. So much wisdom to share. Let’s talk! Please contact Robin Wardlaw: President@Unifaith.ca; 416-840-3211 or www.unifaith.ca

Music for Worship

The music of United Church composer/arranger David Kai is now available at www.sites.google.com/site/davidwkaismusic. Here you will find original hymns, songs for all ages, sample videos and choir anthems for only $10, for your whole choir! Email davidwkai@gmail.com for more information.


Oshawa, ON

Simcoe Street United Church Celebrates 200 Years as a congregation in 2017. Special events from January 1 to December 31, such as Victorian Tea, musical concerts, October Methodist Revival service, renewal of wedding vows, square dancing and so much more. Watch for details at www.ssuc.ca.

Spiritual Health

Three Day Silent Retreats

Loretto Maryholme Spirituality Centre on Lake Simcoe, just north of Keswick Ontario, invites you to experience the gifts of silence in this sacred space. Accommodation, meals, and spiritual direction are offered. January 10-12, February 7-9, March 7-9, April 11-13, May 9-11, June 6-8, October 10-12, November 7-9. Tuesday noon - Thursday 1pm, $250 p.p. Call 905-476-4013, or visit www.lorettomaryholme.ca


Honouring the 100th Anniversary of Vimy

A new novel written by Christopher Levan, Downhill from Vimy is a robust historical account of love, loss and longing. It tracks the journey of one soldier as he struggles to gain his sanity through the disasters of 1917: Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and the Halifax Explosion. Contact Chris at chris.levan4@gmail.com to get a signed copy or arrange special rates for your book club. Available through Amazon, or go to www.friesenpress.com to purchase online.

Church Supplies

Church Cushions, Waggoners, Inc.

Full line of church pew and kneeling cushions direct from the manufacturer. Call toll-free at 1-800-396-7555, or visit us at www.pewcushions.com.

Church Dining Supplies Including Dishes, Cutlery, Glassware & Linens

In need of replacement dinnerware for church functions? Breaking coffee mugs or saucers and need replacements? Looking for quality low-cost linens? National Event Supply is a Canadian supplier of dishes, cutlery, glassware, linens and more. We routinely ship our products from coast to coast. Give us a call at 905-795-1667, toll free 1-800-827-8953, or send an email to info@NationalEventSupply.com. Check out our full product lineup online at www.NationalEventSupply.com.

Crownex Ltd. Robe Makers & Tailors,

Custom-tailored clergy apparel, choir gowns and vestments. Highest quality, low prices. Tel: 416-503-1288, email: info@crownex.com, website: www.crownex.com. Address: 1270 The Queensway, Toronto, ON, M8Z 1S3.


Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble...

is a national organization for those of differing sexual orientation or gender identity in The United Church of Canada, as well as their families and friends, offering educational resources, advocacy and support. We encourage UCC ministries including congregations, courts and associated organizations to engage in the Affirming Ministries program endorsed by General Council. For more information contact Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, PO Box 57057, Ottawa, ON, K1R 1A1. Email: affirmunited@affirmunited.ca. Website: www.affirmunited.ca.


No Ads This Month

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David Wilson%


by David Wilson

A world turned upside down

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Merle Robillard

ObserverDocs: Out of Syria

by Observer Staff

For nearly half a century, the Elnabrees family has fled one war after another: Palestine, Kuwait, Iraq and, more recently, Syria. This year, they arrived as refugees in Canada, sponsored by relatives and United churches. Ayman Elshafiy, his wife, Sonia, their two daughters, his sister and mother, were among them.

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June 2016

All the lonely people

by André Picard

An estimated six million Canadians live in isolation. Social researchers are now calling it a hidden epidemic.


May 2016

Are vegans right?

by David Macfarlane

The writer is in the midst of a radical six-month change of diet. He’s discovering that no cheeseburger tastes as good as being ethical feels.


November 2016

Executive rejects bid to delay Vosper proceedings

by Mike Milne


January 2017

The new agrarians

by Lois Ross

In the next 15 years, almost half of Canadian farms will change hands. Meet seven millennials who view agriculture as a career — and moral calling.


January 2017

From kennel to courtroom

by Kat Eschner

A legal bid to save 21 former fighting dogs from being euthanized is part of a growing movement to grant animals some of the same rights as humans


March 2016

The Walrus Talks Spirituality

by Observer Staff

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