Jean Augustine

What's in a name?

I live close to a beautiful little oasis in the in the west end of city named "Jean Augustine Park". When I first moved into the area I wondered who Jean Augustine was and later learned she was an MP. A summer festival and concert was held in the park a few years ago which was opened by Jean: I didn't get to see her but I could feel the buzz of excitement.

It was not until recently I learned that the Hon Jean Augustine was the first black Canadian woman to become an MP, and in 1995 she started the celebration of Black History Month here in Canada. Wow!

Walking past the park you have no idea of the achievements of this awesome woman who gave her name to this green space. I am tempted to post a notice on the park sign with some information about her.

In these deeply troubling times, after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer, with horrific stories of racism in our city surfacing almost every day; it is important to know each other's names. We would benefit from knowing the life stories behind the names which are on buildings, roads, statues and parks across our city. Names such as Henry Dundas, who was involved in delaying the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, causing more than half a million more Black people to be enslaved in the British Empire.

Whether or not you think Dundas Street should be re-named, I believe it is important to know the story behind the name. In that way we can tell different stories and lift up other names that are little known but which exemplify the values of inclusion, diversity and celebration of all people.

Blessings, Karen Dale [in ministry with BUC]

CHECK OUT EVENTS & WEBSITE LINKS click the blue links to connect

Worship Video: Feb 7, led by Karen Dale [minister] and Steven Webb [music director]. The video will be posted on the website and Facebook on Sat Feb 6.

Children & Youth: My love colours outside the lines activity

Concert video “Songs of Love” featuring Rashaan Allwood [organist] and Nadine Anyan [soprano]. Available on Feb 14th through Eventbrite, by donation.

Blog post: Why is the church interested in environmental issues by Allan Baker

Electric Vehicle Article: considering buying an electric vehicle? This is the article for you!

What’s Working? Read how Lisa, Britta and Mary Anne are coping during these challenging times . Please send What’s Working for you to or phone 416-389-6611 and Pat Davies will write a little news snippet for you. A photo would be good. For more info click here

Music for the Soul: Listen to "Winter Snow", from members of the choir.

Feb 17, Lent starts with a challenge to eat more plant-based foods.
Feb 21, the first Sunday in Lent begins a new worship series “Forty Days & Forty Nights”.
Feb 28, Annual Congregational Meeting, 11.30 am via Zoom.

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