The eSpirit Blog

Heartbeat May 2019

May Heartbeat Newsletter

The Holy Week celebrations have ended, and I am sure our takeaways were positive and perhaps even life-changing.

A word which resonated with me during this time was compassion. The dictionary definition is of compassion is pretty clear; “a sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” Unfortunately, it is an emotion which gets lost in the hustle and bustle of today’s day and age.

So, it is crucial to stop and take a look at our priorities and ask questions which matter the most: Are we considerate towards our fellow human beings? Can we help our colleagues, family, and friends in any way? Most importantly, are we taking ourselves too seriously?

While we figure out the answers to these questions, it is also important to forgive the misgivings of others and ourselves for the mistakes we have made. This is the only way to remain human in the truest sense of the word, recognizing the fact that we are all alike.  I leave you with this poem from Maya Angelou which will undoubtedly strike a chord:

Human Family

I note the obvious differences

in the human family.

Some of us are serious,

some thrive on comedy.


Some declare their lives are lived

as true profundity,

and others claim they really live

the real reality.


The variety of our skin tones

can confuse, bemuse, delight,

brown and pink and beige and purple,

tan and blue and white.


I’ve sailed upon the seven seas

and stopped in every land,

I’ve seen the wonders of the world

not yet one common man.


I know ten thousand women

called Jane and Mary Jane,

but I’ve not seen any two

who really were the same.


Mirror twins are different

although their features jibe,

and lovers think quite different thoughts

while lying side by side.


We love and lose in China,

we weep on England’s moors,

and laugh and moan in Guinea,

and thrive on Spanish shores.


We seek success in Finland,

are born and die in Maine.

In minor ways we differ,

in major we’re the same.


I note the obvious differences

between each sort and type,

but we are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.


We are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.


We are more alike, my friends,

than we are unalike.


– Maya Angelou


Peace to all, 

Vivek Vijayapalan, Communications Coordinator

A Day at Beach United Church

View of Beach United Church from the south side of Queen Street East on April 24, 2012.

It is 10 a.m., and as you enter you can see Cate Duff, the office administrator busy designing a poster for the next event. To the left, David Lewis, the Operations and Rental Manager is making sure that the event calendar is in order and easily accessible to readers.  A phone next to him is ringing off the hook; the caller is probably looking for a place to rent for an event.

In the conference room, which is seemingly nondescript but always bustling with activity, Nicole Tanti, our Community Engagement Coordinator is brainstorming ideas with Karen Dale, the Minister whose plate is full with everything and anything under the sun, including the responsibility of overseeing events promotion and outreach.

I know what you are thinking; is it that busy at a church? The answer is yes, it always is, especially at Beach United Church.

It is not your conventional church, but a congregation that recognizes the importance of human values and invests a lot of time and energy in exploring faith and building relationships with God, people, and the earth.

So how do we manage to do this? We raise money through our events, donations and reinvest them into communities.  I had a glimpse of this at the Christmas Market, which is held annually with support from local businesses.  We raised a whopping $9,000 selling ethical products, homemade goodies, and  Christmas decor.

The church also hosts music events featuring some of the heavyweights in the music industry including Organist, Zoe Li, Jazz Pianist, Danae Olano, Folk Singer, Claire Coupland and more. All thanks to the efforts of Steven Webb, the Director of Music.

In addition, our social impact initiatives include the Out of the Cold Program (an initiative aimed to provide shelter to people who are homeless), Interfaith Lunch Program (a drop-in lunch program for people with low income) and The Beach Cares (a sponsorship program for Syrian refugees).

So, if you are still wondering what we do and if you should press the donate button or not, stop wondering and donate now.  Even better, if you want to participate in our events, visit our website at

If you want to rent our space for your own event, celebration or an ongoing program, shoot us a quick email at

-Vivek Vijayapalan, Communications Coordinator