Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Morning at All Saints, Toronto

Stained glass at All Saints.
The "No Smoking" sticker hints at the challenges faced in this unique ministry.

In researching churches for our summer tour, I continue to be amazed at the number named "All Saints". But the All Saints at Dundas and Sherbourne in downtown Toronto continues to be a special place for us. Every time we go there, I'm reminded of my first visit - convinced in my ignorance that I was going to be such a blessing to the congregation, and leaving with more blessings than I could fully comprehend.

As Maya Angelou says, "When you know better, you do better."

This morning's service was just beautiful. Parish priests Kate Merriman and Susan Haig led a thoughtful service with space for prayer and reflection. A guest pianist lead the hymns in a bright and spirited style.

We played "Your Grace is Enough" after the sermon, and Gerald's "A Prayer Will Find You" during Communion.

After the service, we drifted around the sanctuary, marveling at the stunning stained glass.

All Saints drop-in centre, located at the back of the sanctuary.

But this is a not a church that focuses on its building. The focus is the unique community of Dundas and Sherboune. There are no pews in the church, and during the week, the large space is used as a community drop-in centre. A small library fills one corner. A marble column has been encased in knitting projects, created by the women of the Female Sex Trade Outreach. Bible study happens before worship, and a free lunch is served after.

Knitted art, created by members of the Female Sex Trade Outreach.

The resources at All Saints are limited, but the grace and mercy know no limits.

If you're a musician living in Toronto and you're looking for a great place to volunteer your talents on the occasional Sunday morning, I highly, highly recommend you check it out:

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