eSpirit April 22-29

Welcome back!

On Sunday April 22 we are very pleased to welcome back to BUC, Dr. Shabir Ally. Together we will continue to explore what it means to start from a place of love in inter-faith dialogue.

Dr. Shabir Ally holds an M.A. and PhD in Islamic studies from the University of Toronto. He completed his B.A. in Religious Studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, with a specialization in Biblical Literature. For over 30 years, he has been an active member of the Muslim community in Toronto, as well as an active participant in interfaith dialogues and initiatives. He is an internationally sought after speaker, scholar and theologian, and is the author of numerous books on Islam and the Abrahamic faiths. He has recently taught courses on Arabic, the Quran, and Islam at the University of Toronto in the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations department. He is President of the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International in Toronto

Dr. Shabir Ally is the resident scholar, on Let the Quran Speak: a weekly talk-show that promotes understanding and appreciation of Islam and Muslims in Canada. Since 2001, the program has addressed a wide range of topics, helping viewers to better understand their fellow Muslims and appreciate Islam as one of our world’s major religious traditions. You can watch Let the Quran Speak on Vision TV on Saturdays, 2:30 pm.

We hope that you come and listen and engage with Shabir in person this Sunday.

Blessings, Karen

eSpirit April 8


We are pleased that Michael Etherington is returning to Beach United Church on Sunday April 8 to continue the conversation about what reconciliation & building relationships really mean. His experience as Cultural Program Manager of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, and trainer for the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, have garnered Michael personal and professional recognition as a valued speaker.

Michael grew up in poverty and saw many social issues such as addictions, violence and suicide. However, his family instilled within him a strong belief of being a leader to change the stories people tell themselves. Direct lived experience allowed Michael’s capabilities to embody compassion, empathy and a strong resiliency. His strong voice and profile at institutional levels have raised his recognition as a leader yet Michael remains grounded with his community.

With family roots and heritage from James Bay, ON, but growing up in the urban setting, Michael is a proud yet humbled Indigenous speaker and representative of Omushkego-Culture. Michael attributes his speaking messages to his experiences growing up both on-reserve and off-reserve. Having developed a unique perspective by being able to see conditions in both remote communities and urban spaces, Michael is able to share insight of the barriers, misconceptions, and assumptions within communities that can perpetuate a narrative not reflective of Indigenous peoples. Michaels presentations challenge the status-quo to break down barriers, by identifying opportunities to enhance representation of Indigenous peoples, build leadership capabilities and encourage meaningful engagement.

Hope you will be able to listen and engage with Michael this Sunday.

Blessings, Karen

eSpirit Holy Week

The only road to Easter morning

is through the unrelenting shadows of that Friday.

Only then will the alleluias be sung;

only then will the dancing begin

                        words by Ann Weems


Holy Week

Thursday March 29, 6 pm

Table Talk Bring a dish to share and gather for conversation.

We will be talking about

  • the empty place at the table
  • Jesus and the “Last Supper”
  • what eating together means to us


Friday March 30, 10.30 am

            Good Friday Protest! Songs by Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan, John    Lennon & more; performed by  BUC Choir. Accompanied by words both ancient and contemporary.


            Mind your Walk! Walk mindfully in the community. An interactive walk for Easter with children,   youth and families. Gather at BUC at 10.30 on March 30.

Register with Dayna


Sunday April 1, Easter 2018

  • Sunrise Service 6.55 am on the beach at Leuty Lifeguard Station
  • Pot-luck Breakfast 7.30 am, at the church
  • Service of Celebration & Communion 10.30 am. Flowers will decorate our sanctuary and then be delivered to friends who are unable to attend service.

Offers of assistance with delivery would be much appreciated!

eSpirit March 25-April 1

The way to Jerusalem

 The way to Jerusalem

is cluttered

with bits and pieces of our lives

that fly up and cry out,

wounding us as we try

to keep upon this path

that leads to Life.


Why didn’t someone tell us

it would be so hard?


In the midst of the clutter

the children laugh

and run after stars.

Those of us who are wise

will follow,

for the children will be the first

to kneel in Jerusalem.


by Ann Weems, written in response to her memories of Easter as a child.

eSpirit March 18


This poem came to Derek Evans attention during the time of the war in Iraq. He was on the subway, crammed together with hundreds of people when the train pitched and squealed, lurched and the stalled. The lights flickered and then went out. The strange silence of controlled anxiety settled on the carriage he was in. Eventually the emergency power kicked in and in the dim light his eyes were drawn to this poem on one of the advertising posters.

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,

from bad to worse.

Some years, muscatel faces down frost,

green thrives, the crops don’t fail.

Sometimes a person aims high and all goes well.


A people will sometimes step back from war;

elect an honest person; decide they care enough,

that they can’t leave some stranger poor.

Some people become what they were born for.


Sometimes our best efforts don’t go amiss,

sometimes we do as we meant to.

The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow

that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.

                        Poem by Sheenagh Pugh [ Wales]