St. Paul's Bloor Street announcements and important news.

Bless Us to Thy Service

March 9, 2016 by Sandra Seaborn

Heads bowed, looking at the steaming vegetables on the table, I would hear my grandfather speak the familiar refrain. “Lord bless this food to our use and us to Thy service”. I grew up thinking that saying grace was thanking God for the food. It wasn’t until I was older, that I even heard the second part of the prayer, the part about service.

Like most children, I had my share of chores around the house. I put out the garbage, helped bring in groceries and tidied my room. I saw these acts as my duty, sometimes even as necessary, for al…

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A Musical Gift

February 24, 2016 by Thomas Bell

What is over a hundred years old, is between one inch and 32 feet high, speaks with a voice both virtually inaudible and nearly deafening, and weighs approximately 30 tons? The answer is... the St. Paul’s pipe organ!

Behind the rows of massive grey organ pipes we see in the Sanctuary lies one of the most interesting and treasured musical instruments in Toronto.

We are delighted that a series of Sunday afternoon recitals will allow us to uncover some of the hidden artistry of the organ – sounds which are often left unheard. These free…

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Sponsored Family Update

February 10, 2016 by Sandra Seaborn

The St. Paul's sponsored family has arrived safely and is settling in! On Tuesday morning, members of our core group along with an interpreter drove to an airport hotel. The lobby was full of expectant faces and one harried looking immigration officer.

The family saw us before we knew where to look. Our welcome sign, with their last name in Arabic and English, had caught the mother's attention. Quickly her eldest was by her side, extending his hand eagerly. The daughter smiled shyly while the father signed the final form. The middle son sho…

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Sermon Series: The Cross of Christ

February 10, 2016 by Mark Regis

One of the great features of some GPS traffic technology is the “re-route” function. When unforeseen traffic backs up a few kilometers down the road, the device speaks up to provide a smoother way home. But obviously, in order to gain that benefit, you need to use the technology.

In the very first decades following Jesus’s death and resurrection, his followers wondered how to identify themselves as they practiced their faith in the risen Jesus. It wasn’t a series of religious precepts, it was a relationship with God through the Cros…

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A Cross of Ash

February 9, 2016 by Admin

Since the eleventh century, Ash Wednesday has marked the beginning of the Lenten season. It gives an opportunity to turn to God as we reflect on our fragility and the shortness of life. So we gather together and come forward to receive a cross of ash on our foreheads. And we hear the words sound out like a tolling bell, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

This has to be one of the most challenging days on the Christian calendar to appreciate. What are we to make of this funeral-like ceremony? It could seem a litt…

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Our Sponsored Refugee Family

February 4, 2016 by Sandra Seaborn

UPDATE: Our sponsored family will arrive in Canada on Monday, February 8. Please view our full list of items being collected and place your donations in the bin in the Atrium.

St. Paul's is pleased, once again to be sponsoring a refugee family. The church has entered into this type of relationship twice before. In fact, periodically, the brothers we sponsored from Vietnam more than twenty years ago still drop by to say hello.

This time, the family will be from Syria. The war there has been raging for years and the devastation is beyond…

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Let's Talk: Unlocking the Silence on Mental Health

January 27, 2016 by Nancy Truscott

In honour of Bell’s Let’s Talk Day today, I wish to encourage people to communicate well. When you think of all the ways we communicate these days, it is a surprise to be talking about our diminished capacity to communicate well in the area of mental health.

Our reluctance or inability to communicate well increases the suffering of those whose mental health is challenged. We only reinforce stigma, shame, secrecy and suffering. We are part of their problem.

But we can also be part of the solution. It takes courage to open a discussion…

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Breakfast For Dinner

January 27, 2016 by Sandra Seaborn

“Breakfast for Dinner?!” my children cried in delight. “Yes,” I replied. “And not because I forgot to go shopping, either.” “Awesome,” they both chimed together. Awesome indeed!

On Shrove Tuesday, February 9 at 6 p.m., you are invited to join us for breakfast for dinner - otherwise known as The Pancake Supper. Traditionally viewed as a day of repentance, Shrove Tuesday is the last day for celebration and feasting before the Lenten season. The name "Shrove Tuesday”, derived from the word "shrive", means to confess and receiv…

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Church + Fun

January 13, 2016 by Janet Earle

If I asked you to do one of those word association tests and I gave you the word ‘church’, I doubt you would come up with the word ‘fun’. Church + fun aren’t typically words that get to spend a lot of time together. Perhaps your answer would depend a little on your age. I suspect the under 20 crowd might find church to be fun at least some of the time!

Church is about worshipping and serving the living God, learning and growing together. What could that have to do with fun?

Having fun is an invitation to engage with life without…

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St. Paul’s Refugee Working Group

January 13, 2016 by Sandra Seaborn

While the pictures of refugees have vanished from the front pages, the need remains and St. Paul’s is committed to doing its part to help. St. Paul’s is preparing to support a refugee family of up to six people.

Behind the scenes we are getting ready. From a combination of sources, we have received the majority of the funds necessary to proceed. A core steering group has been formed and a budget drafted. Core group members have attended training and completed various paperwork including police checks. We are now in the queue to be assign…

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The Fine Print: Approved

January 13, 2016 by Mark Regis


So much of life is about approval. We seek approval at work, at school, at home, even from perfect strangers. Sometimes we experience the bliss of knowing we belong, that we’ve ‘made it’, but much of this world’s pain and disillusionment comes from the ways in which we fail to reach the level of approval we yearn for, or the ways we exclude others from experiencing acceptance.

There is something hardwired into our core that needs to know we are accepted, we’ve reached the goal, and we’ll work hard to get there.


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Mobile Giving and the New St. Paul's App

January 7, 2016 by Admin

We are excited to announce an important update to giving at St. Paul’s Bloor Street.

Your generosity and financial partnership allows our ongoing ministry to support God’s mission here in the city and around the world. This exciting new giving platform allows for ease of giving through a variety of ways, including mobile and online.

1. Donate directly from your phone by texting to 77977, and then typing stpaulsbloor as your message.


2. Download our free App on your smartphone or tablet. Go to the App store or the Google Play…

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Back-To-Work Attire Drive

January 4, 2016 by Admin

For the months of January and February, St. Paul’s will be collecting lightly used professional attire to help support the Yonge Street Mission. Yonge Street Mission works with many people who are trying to get back on their feet after going through difficult situations or circumstances. They have a clothing store and programs that help people get back to work after time away.We are collecting new or used suits, dresses, belts, shirts, blouses, jackets, pants, shoes and socks that would be appropriate for a job interview or working job.Pl…

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Our Christmas Work

December 23, 2015 by Barry Parker

In this Christmas season, Canadians are gearing up to welcome the first wave of refugees from the war-torn lands of the Middle East. Migrant families with uncertain futures are once again on the move. This time they travel to a land they hope offers safety and a peace-filled life, particularly for their children. For both those fleeing and those receiving there is apprehension, uncertainty and the unknown.

Two thousand years ago, also in the Middle East, there was another refugee family. A young couple waiting for their first child was force…

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Ordinary People Taking Extraordinary Steps

December 16, 2015 by Sandra Seaborn

In our welcome of refugees, Canadians have shown themselves as a people of hospitality and generosity. Across the country groups are forming, raising funds, gathering goods and making signs; preparing for newcomers. Various political leaders have welcomed arrivals. Ordinary citizens are taking extraordinary steps. Here at St. Paul’s the Refugee Core Working Group is working behind the scenes to get ready too, training, exploring housing possibilities, planning budgets – all to make room. All in an effort to welcome our sponsored refugee fam…

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Common Grace: Original Christmas Album

December 4, 2015 by Admin

Click each title to download (mp3)

O Come, All Ye Faithful
Silent Night
Away In A Manger
Huron Carol
Joy To The World

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The Christmas Pageant - A New Host of Angels

December 2, 2015 by Janet Earle

The children sang in church last Sunday. We shared a little of the music we will sing in our Christmas Pageant taking place this coming Sunday. We had lots of young voices singing and I know our performance is a St. Paul’s tradition many people really enjoy.

This time of year, I expect you may be thinking of the Christmas traditions you hope to savour one more time – trimming the tree, a party with friends, opening gifts with your family, those yummy once-a-year cookies. I confess I have many things I enjoy each Christmas and I really do…

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Pikangikum: 25 in 25

December 2, 2015 by Tanya Baleta

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