Tag Archives: volunteer

Help build community

Holy Trinity is a community which works  together to accomplish meaningful acts. From the Refugee Committee, whose community care and involvement speaks for itself, to the Worship Committee and Co-ordinators, the Fallen Angles, and other musicians who create thoughtful services that are unique in our diocese, to the Alice Heap Hospitality Committee that provides wonderful and inclusive nibbles for all occasions, and the People Presence and Sunday Drop-In teams which keep the church doors open to all, and all the other individual and plural efforts that make this place vibrant, this community pulls together to make sure we are living our values.

This church building has stood as a downtown landmark for Torontonians since 1847. But more importantly, this community serves as a “heart-mark” for the people of this city.  The people of Toronto know this church. They know it for its Pride banners, for the wonderful concerts they’ve attended here, for its presence on social justice issues. They know it for the Homeless Memorial and its heritage of hospitality. They know it for the community you have fostered and fought for.

This purposeful, heart-centred, community is in need of a boost. The teams that keep our doors open to all, People Presence and Sunday Drop-In, are actively recruiting. Will you mindfully examine whether you can apply to join one of these teams? We need your commitment. We also need you to be an ambassador. We need you to tell your friends and colleagues, your family members and your neighbours. We need them and we need you to join our teams, to keep our doors open.   We need you so  we can continue the community building and presence that has been nurtured here for more than 171 years.

To volunteer or learn more, contact Volunteer Co-Ordinator Kate Werneburg at kwerneburg@holytrinity.to or 416 598 4521 x225.

 

From Sunday Breakfast to Good Friday

Volunteer Co-ordinator Kate Werneburg spoke with Jonathan Robart, a Sunday Breakfast Host, and a member of the Permanent Toronto Homeless Memorial Planning Committee. This year, he led the Second Station in the  Ecumenical Good Friday Walk for Justice. Jonathan is a Poverty and Tenant Rights lawyer with Legal Aid.  

KW: How did you first get involved with Holy Trinity?

JR: I applied to Beth Baskin –  I sent a general e-mail about three years ago. I was initially interested in volunteering with the Homeless Memorial, because it relates to the job that I do. My clients tend to be marginalized tenants; they are often being evicted into homelessness. My first volunteer role was ushering with the Christmas Story, and then my partner Alana and I  became Sunday Breakfast hosts.

KW: How has your experience of being in the community changed over the years?

JR: I’ve found my time here to be a really humbling experience. The church community has always been warm, inviting, and welcoming. I find the spiritual context of this work to be grounding. I’m not particularly religious, but the context gives me perspective. I enjoy talking with the folks who drop in, and I find its a really great way to give back. For me, it’s about more than offering time or money, it’s about being able to offer folks a safe, warm, welcoming place with food. Most of the people who drop in on Sunday probably didn’t sleep well the night before. I get a huge sense of relief from them when they enter the space.

KW: How have you found being part of the community, but not attending  worship? Do you feel integrated at Holy Trinity?

JR: I feel very integrated here. I don’t feel pressure to join worship, but being amidst the worshiping community has given me a lot to think about in terms of spirituality; I’ve picked it up by osmosis. I’ve never felt like an outsider here.

KW: How did you get involved with this year’s Good Friday Walk?

JR: Sherman asked me through my volunteering with the Homeless Memorial committee. They needed someone to speak to the legal dimensions of poverty, and my work touches all parts of poverty. In preparation, I made sure I integrated biblical passages, I did some research and googling – Isaiah has a lot to say about justice! I was trying to bridge my world and the religious experience that many have on the Good Friday Walk. As I was speaking, I could see heads shaking, I could hear gasping; it seemed to me like the content of the Safe Streets Acts was news to some out there. My plan was to integrate, educate, and even agitate a little. For many on the Walk,   many of these laws will never affect them directly. So many of our laws only apply to the poor: eviction hearings in absentia, panhandling, and more. I was so humbled to be asked to do this Station, and it was a huge privilege.

Kw: Is there anything else you’d like to say about being volunteering at Holy Trinity?

JR: I cannot stress how welcoming the church has been for us.