Posts Tagged ‘christianity’
John Lorinc’s article in the Friday edition of The Globe and Mail reports on how Toronto’s multicultural history can be intriguingly layered.
Growing up in the 1960s in Chinatown in a flat above her parents’ silk shop, Jennie Norman had no idea about the buried history beneath the Toronto Chinese United Church (TCUC), on Chestnut Street south of Dundas, where she and her friends spent their free time at youth groups and fundraising bazaars.
The TCUC congregation, which served older Cantonese-speaking immigrants as well as second- or third-generation Chinese Canadians such as Ms. Norman, operated out of the church between 1955 and 1988, when the building was sold and demolished to make way for a parking lot.
Last year, however, the TCUC’s well-preserved foundations resurfaced during a massive archeological dig on the site, which is slated to become a $500-million provincial courthouse developed by Infrastructure Ontario (IO).
As archeologists have since revealed, the church traces its origins to a tiny wood-frame chapel founded on the site in the 1840s by five African-American men, some refugees from slavery. Named the British Methodist Episcopal Church in 1856 and rebuilt twice, it became the leading place of worship for Toronto’s black community. When the BME’s membership dwindled in the 1950s, the property was sold to the United Church to establish the city’s first Chinese congregation.
The TCUC, recalls Ms. Norman, a 66-year-old retired IT consultant, “certainly was a very important cultural centre for the Chinese population.” But, she adds, “I doubt if anyone in the congregation knew enough about the history.”
CBC News’ Laura DaSilva reports on an apparently dynamic Pentecostal church in Toronto. I do wonder, though, how many of the new parishoners are truly unchurched, and how many are simply switching demoninations and congregations (for a while? for an experiment?).
With an avant-garde rock band, an Australian pastor in skinny jeans at the mic and Drake-inspired graphics behind him, C3 might seem more like Coachella than what it really is — church.
“I think if Jesus were alive today, he would’ve had an Instagram account,” said C3 Toronto’s lead pastor Sam Picken in an interview Sunday. “When we preach the Bible, we try to preach it in a way that’s going to be relevant to the audience.”
The Pentecostal Christian City Church movement — known as C3 — started in Australia in 1980. There are more than 450 churches across the world, including 11 in Canada.
Picken, 32, started the Toronto chapter with his wife and a handful of friends in 2012. Now, more than 800 people call it home.
“I think the people of Toronto, myself included, we’re seeking meaning,” Picken said. “We’re seeking acceptance. We’re seeking community.”
The church rents auditorium space each week at Central Technical School, 725 Bathurst St. The members hope to raise enough money to acquire a permanent location, Picken said.
In the shadow of Charlottetown’s St. Dunstan’s Basilica on Great George Street stands a statue of Angus Bernard MacEachern, the Scottish immigrant to early British Prince Edward Island who brought Roman Catholicism to the territory.
Of note is the multilingualism of the plaque explaining MacEachern’s life and works, in English, French, Gaelic and Mi’kmaq.
St. Dunstan’s stands above it all.