Members of our congregation bake Christmas cookies for our members with special needs or who are in care settings, and deliver them in December.
The term “elder” as used in the Church, is historic and does not refer to a particular age group. Elders have had an honoured and essential role in the Church since biblical times. At Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, the first responsibility of elders is to reflect the congregation's interest in and concern for the well-being of its members and adherents. To this end, the elders contact our members during the fall and spring visitations.
Purpose of the visits:
- To report to the ministers, in confidence, pastoral needs and times of celebration as well as concerns, interests and talents
- To update information for our records, such as address changes, births and deaths
- To inform members about church decisions and events
- To encourage participation in church life through attendance at Sunday services, groups, committees and educational opportunities as well as the contribution of time, talents and resources.
In addition to visitation, the elders participate in the serving of Holy Communion.
Our elders are respected members of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, commissioned by the congregation to take a leadership role in maintaining the church as a vital instrument of God's love.
Every Easter morning, the chancel is brightened by flowering plants purchased by individuals and families in memory and in honour of loved ones. Following the service the flowers are delivered to members with special needs. Pick up an order form from the literature racks during Lent.
These are available for use during worship services (including weddings and funerals); see the volunteer in the narthex before the service. For further information, please contact The Rev. Dr. Jean Hunnisett at ext. 232.
Our members who are unable to attend worship week by week gather in the sanctuary at TEMC three times a year for a special service, including a short sermon and the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The Homecoming services are preceded by a hymn sing at 1:40 p.m. TEMC volunteers provide transportation, if needed. This year, Homecoming takes place at Thanksgiving (Thursday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.), Christmas (Thursday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.) and Holy Week (Thursday, April 5 at 2 p.m.). A reception with afternoon tea follows each service. All members of the congregation are invited to these services to show our love and caring for our members who are in care setting or have special needs.
Specially trained lay visitors call regularly on members and adherents with special needs, such as seniors who are homebound or in a care setting. Volunteers for this important program are always welcome.
We constantly seek to respond to the needs of our members by forming small men's and women's and mixed groups to address special concerns such as grief, caring for aging relatives or friends, grandparenting and life transitions.
TEMC is a diverse and inclusive community of faith. We are a welcoming congregation, respectful of the plethora of perspectives held by our members on a variety of issues including matters of sexual orientation. In recognition of the diversity of our church, and in our desire to be as inclusive as possible, we affirm:
- TEMC will provide pastoral care to all its members regardless of sexual orientation.
- LGBT persons are encouraged to participate at all levels of governance within our congregation.
- In keeping with the tradition of the United Church of Canada and in compliance with Bill C-38: the Civil Marriage Act, TEMC will be respectful of requests for same sex marriages to be conducted in the church.
- All members of the LGBT community will be included in fellowship and education events in our congregation.
The Stephen Ministry is an important program of our congregation that equips TEMC's lay people to provide one-to-one pastoral care for our members who are experiencing special needs and circumstances, such as terminal or life-threatening illness, life transitions, job crises, death or serious loss, spiritual crisis, separation or divorce, or difficult circumstances surrounding a birth or adoption. They are caring Christian friends who listen, pray and walk with their care receivers through difficult times in a confidential relationship.
This special ministry augments the ministry of our clergy, congregational elders and lay visitors. Each Stephen Minister has received extensive training by our Stephen Leaders, and has been commissioned by our congregation with men ministering to men and women ministering to women. Stephen Ministers participate in regular support, supervision and continuing education under the guidance of our Stephen Leaders.