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Sunday Supper Ministry in Brockville
    Lloyd and his potatoes.
By the Rev. Marianne Emig Carr, First Presbyterian Church in Brockville, Ont.
First Presbyterian Church in Brock- ville, Ont., in par tnership with local Anglican and Baptist churches, has started a new ministry to provide hear ty take-out Sunday meals on the four th Sunday of each month.
The Sunday Supper program was star ted in Brockville to provide meals for hungry, homeless and iso- lated people, who otherwise depend on the local Loaves & Fishes res- taurant for meals on weekdays. The remaining Sundays are covered by
other community churches. There is no charge for these meals, but do- nations are welcome.
The meal preparation team at First PC cooked 150 meals, which were supplemented with desser t and beverages, and distributed from First Presbyterian Church. Additional meals were delivered to those who are homebound and to the local homeless shelter.
We are grateful to all who donated food, prepared and distributed the meals, and cleaned up afterwards. We look forward to the time when the Sunday Suppers may be served and enjoyed in community.
The super potato peelers.
Preparing the meals.
Ready for take-out!
   Stronger Together:
 When Two Missions Become One
By Ainsley Chapman, Executive Director, Evangel Hall Mission, Toronto, Ont.
The cost of housing, food and gas has been going up for many years, making it more and more difficult to make ends meet. But these are not just costs that affect individuals and families—as Presbyterian churches across the country understand very well, they are also making it more ex- pensive to help those in need. In their continued commitment to offer hous- ing and supports to people who are homeless, the Boards of Directors of Evangel Hall Mission (ehm) and Port- land Place have spent the past year planning something exciting—and they are now thrilled to announce that as of January 1, 2022, these two beloved Presbyterian missions have become one!
Evangel Hall Mission first opened its doors in downtown Toronto in 1913, as a soup kitchen, Sunday School and source of spiritual care for the community—many of whom were newcomers to Canada. While the neighbourhood changed, ehm was there for those in need through- out two World Wars, and continued to provide care and support through- out the 20th century.
In the 1990s, a group of forward- thinking staff and volunteers pro- posed that it was time to do more—it was time to build permanent housing for the people who relied on ehm for
food and support. And with that vi- sion, Portland Place was born. A four-storey building with 46 apart- ments became home to many. The Rev. Bob Smith, a Portland Place Board member for over four years and member of the newly amal- gamated Board, reflected on what makes Portland Place so special. “It is more than just housing—it pro- vides support to residents to help stabilize and manage their day-to- day lives in the city. Spending time with residents by serving meals un- derlined for me how much the place had become a real community. At one meal, in a conversation with one of the residents, I asked whether they had family. The response was, ‘Not really, not anymore. This is my fam- ily. This is my home.’”
The success of this housing pro- ject led to a second one—in the mid- 2000s, ehm sold its tiny property that it had long outgrown (I often hear from volunteers who tell me about the days of balancing trays of chili while carefully stepping down narrow wooden stairs) and with that money built a six-storey building with 84 apartments, giving housing to people living in the shelter system.
It was felt that the two buildings would be best managed indepen- dently, with two Boards of Directors. Located only two blocks apart from one another, Portland Place tenants became regulars at ehm—making use of the services and volunteer-
ing their time. While the spirit and personality of each residence was unique, they continued to share many ties. But with rapidly rising costs, and the challenges that come with supporting tenants as they age, the two Boards began talking about ways to share resources to better support tenants, and to keep up with skyrocketing maintenance costs.
By merging into a single agency, there is so much opportunity to save on the costs of maintaining and ad- ministering two apartment buildings. But what is truly exciting is that ehm has been able to expand and share so many programs and services with Portland Place’s tenants—like the Spiritual Care Program. This pro- gram has been growing throughout the pandemic—we have welcomed placement students from divinity programs at both Knox College and Emmanuel College, started a Grief and Bereavement Support Group, and created the Peer Worker em- ployment program for individuals who have been recently homeless or underhoused. Led by the Rev. Dale Henry and Spiritual Care Program Manager Crystal Cotter, the Spiritual Care Program and all its services and supports are going to take on a more visible presence at Portland Place.
The Rev. Rebecca Jess, ehm Board member and Vice President, explained why the Spiritual Care Program is needed at both buildings more than ever before: “Particularly
Pictured (left) is Crystal Cotter, Spiritual Care Program Manager and (right) Judy, a Port- land Place tenant, enjoying a Volunteer Appreciation Event in ehm’s Drop-In Centre.
in these days of greater isolation and challenges due to Covid, meeting the spiritual needs of clients is extremely important. In this way, clients are far more than people in need—they are individuals with unique stories and situations whose voices are worthy of being heard and who are deserving of love and compassion. Following Christ’s example, Spiritual Care offers space for transformation through love and grace.”
At the heart of this amalgamation is a desire to provide the hope and dignity that can only come when someone has a safe, clean and permanent home of their own. Why should we care about housing? The Rev. Bob Smith explained: “It is such a critical need in the city and is per- haps the single most important place to start in lending a hand to those
who are vulnerable. The need is cru- cial and immediate and can make the difference for someone living in poverty to function and even survive. On top of that serious need is the in- escapable call of the gospel to love our neighbour and to follow Christ in his mission to bring good news to the poor and lift up those who struggle.”
 Gifts to Presbyterians Sharing provide support to ehm, bringing hope to vulnerable people.

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