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Davenport Perth and Jane Finch Community Ministries

Welcome to the web site of Davenport Perth and Jane Finch Community Ministries (social justice/outreach ministries) of Toronto Conference’s South West Presbytery of the United Church of Canada. The ministries are located in what are considered low-income areas of west-end Toronto and through a ministry of presence, we are engaged in providing community development support, pastoral care and advocacy through coalitions and networks.

Before July 2009 the ministries were part of the Toronto West Presbytery until the Toronto Conference restructured 9 presbyteries into 4.  Until 2007 there were three community ministries of Toronto West Presbytery but due to financial constraints it was decided to close Shalom Community Ministry (which at one time was called King Dunn Community Ministry). For archival purposes we have still kept a Shalom page.  Also through the restructuring process the position of mission strategist of the presbytery, which was held by Judy Shand for 26 year was eliminated but we have left some of her stories and reflections on the web site as well as some of the other bio of Shalom staff.

The web site provides specific information about the ministries, as well as, links to community and congregational resources and ways that you can further support these vital ministries.

 

Jane Finch Community Ministry - Minister reflections for 2015

The Firgrove community assembled 1,000 back packs with school supplies which were given out to youth and children in the community. The youngest volunteer was 2 and the oldest was 90. This initiative is done in conjunction with the Firgrove Tenants’ Association, Firgrove Learning & Innovation Community Centre and the Painters Union. Since 2007 a total of 7,964 back packs have been given out.

In addition to the back pack program the Painters Union have also been providing scholarships for Firgrove youth who have shown commitment to giving back to their community. This year 10 scholarships were awarded. Muna Mohamed, a resident of Firgrove, thru her involvement on the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing, was able to get Mayor John Tory to come to the Back to School BBQ where the scholarships were handed out.

The Black Creek Micro Credit program provided information and support to about 100 emerging entrepreneurs, through workshops, the drop-in and telephone enquiries. The ministry took a lead role in organizing a vendors market for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games track and field events at York University. 9 artisans participated. The Neighbourhood Action Youth Employment Committee provided training to 356 youth with 15 workshops and events. Andrea Tabnor held the 6th Unity BBQ in Firgrove this summer. This event promotes the end of gun violence and about 800 people attended.

I had 11 speaking engagements at churches, conferences and universities about the work of the community ministry, including a presentation at the Nanjing seminary in China. A particular highlight for me this year was participating in the Truth and Reconciliation walk in Ottawa with 3 First Nations persons from Firgrove.

Thanks and deep appreciation goes to all of the wonderful volunteers and partners of the ministry who have contributed to it’s huge success.

Click here to view the Jane Finch Community Ministry 2015 Annual Report

   

Jane Finch Community Ministry - Minister reflections for 2014

Great things have taken place this year with the Community Ministry.

In conjunction with the Firgrove Tenants’ Association and the Painters Union 1,000 pack packs filled with school supplies were given out in the community. Also 4 scholarships were provided to Firgrove youth who have shown commitment to volunteering and giving back to their community. The Black Creek Micro Credit program has provided information and support to about 100 emerging entrepreneurs, through workshops, the drop in and telephone enquiries. This program is done in conjunction with Access Community Capital Fund which provided 30 loans last year to the GTA area. The Neighbourhood Action Youth Employment Committee provided training to over 200 youth. Andrea Tabnor held the 5th Unity BBQ in Firgrove this summer. This event promotes the end of gun violence and over 900 people attended this year. The crowd was treated to former rival gang members on stage rapping about the need for Unity.

Probably the biggest highlight this year was the unveiling of the mural. In 2013 the Jane Finch Community lost 4 youth under the age of 16 due to gun violence. The family of Tahj Walter-Loor (one of the youth from Firgrove killed) in conjunction with UNIFOR had a fundraiser in Sept. 2013 and created a group to look at ways to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth. The group consisted of politicians, outreach workers, a school principal, a local business owner, youth, family members of victims and myself the community minister. One of the projects we took on was creating a mural for youth from Firgrove who lost their lives to violence. 12 youth were identified and commemorated in the mural, which you see below. The mural has been a rich blessing of healing for the community.

As I approach my 20th year of working in the community it has been an honour and privilege to stand with the community with their struggles and hopes. As we strive onward trying to make a difference hopefully we can create an environment where tragedies like 2013 do not occur again.

Click here to view the Jane Finch Community Ministry 2014 Annual Report

 

Davenport Perth Community Ministry 2013 Annual Report

Together We Rise: Remaining Strong in Times of Transition
By Karuna Sagara, Lead Program Supervisor at Pelham Community Hub

I am happy to be sharing the highlights of the last year at Davenport Perth Community Ministry, as it has been an exciting, yet challenging, whirlwind of growth and transformation. Now that the dust has settled, we find ourselves looking back with pride at our ability to pull together as a team in order to keep the programs and the spirit of the Pelham Community Hub alive.

Click here to view the Davenport Perth Community Ministry 2013 Annual Report

   
  

Davenport Perth

Davenport Perth

 

Jane Finch

Jane Finch

 

King Dunn

King Dunn

King Dunn