GETTING TO KNOW US

Church History

WE BELONG
TOGETHER

Jubilee United Church was created by the coming together of Bethesda, Donminster and Victoria Village, and most recently, St. John’s United Churches.

Embracing the gifts of these congregations and the many individuals who have joined our community since 2000, we continue to grow.

We’re probably not what you expect … but you’d probably like to know what to expect when you show up.

The ministry style at Jubilee is relaxed and informal. The sermons take a contemporary approach to understanding spirituality and its value in everyday life.

The music is a blend of uplifting hymns and songs, embracing traditional and contemporary music. We are very proud of our Phoenix organ, as well as our choirs, soloists, other musicians and a Music Director who is also a noted Jazz Musician.

At Jubilee, we offer a welcoming atmosphere that embraces traditional church folk as well as those who have never been inside a church. There are no secret codes or special handshakes; we are regular people sharing together.

WHAT TO
EXPECT

AM I
WELCOME?

We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying newborns, skinny as a rail, or could afford to lose a few pounds. We welcome you if you can sing like an angel or can’t carry a tune in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re "just browsing", just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more religious than God, or haven’t been in church since your nephew’s baptism.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, hockey dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians and junk-food eaters. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps; and if you don’t like "organized religion", you’ll find compatriots here.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as a kid, or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!

SUNDAY
WORSHIP

Sunday Morning Worship is what many would call "traditional". The format changes week to week, but the basic elements stay the same: there are readings from the Hebrew Scriptures, Gospels, and later Acts and Letters of the Apostles (also called Old and New Testaments).

We stand (as able) to sing four hymns. We share in group prayers as well as quiet time for personal prayers. The music is traditional United Church of Canada music from the "Voices United" Hymn Book. From time to time, Baptism and/or Communion is celebrated, but there is no special dress or instructions required to be part of these services. Everyone is invited to share in Communion, which is a remembrance of the Last Supper when Jesus spoke intimately to his companions and, we believe, also to us. Communion is celebrated with bread and grape juice (gluten-free wafers are also available).

Don’t let the tradition fool you, the service is contemporary in thought, challenge and comfort – speaking to a modern audience about the real world. Dress is casual for most, jackets and ties for some, whatever dress code makes you most comfortable.

There is a story for children and a special program for children that they go to together after the first 15 minutes of the service.

WE ARE AN
AFFIRMING
CONGREGATION

What that means is that we are recognized and take responsibility for inviting, welcoming, and including all people who want to experience the love of God and ministry of Jesus Christ as expressed in our community – regardless of sexual orientation or designation. We take on, as a ministry, the care and comfort of those marginalized and victimized by others for their identity as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT) people. As much as it is about LGBT people, it is about a wider diversity as well. It is about inviting, welcoming, and including those who feel left out because of age, culture, or perceived / experienced abilities. Becoming an Affirming Ministry is a celebration and commitment to embrace diversity intentionally, graciously, and compassionately – the way that Jesus did.

With your help, we will continue to be a loving, inclusive and responsible community.

Affirm

WE ARE
INTENTIONALLY
ANTI-RACIST

Jubilee strives to be an anti-racist community, understanding God calls us to lift up the lives that have far too many times been dismissed, rejected, exploited and told that they do not belong. As an institution, we lament our role in allowing racism to go unchecked, and we commit ourselves to equity, the hope of equal opportunity, voice and dignity for all people. We are all created as God’s beloveds, and every one of us reflects the Divine in our own, unique ways. 

WE SEEK TO
LIVE IN
RIGHT
RELATIONSHIP

The Jubilee church building sits on land that is home and has been home for thousands of years to the Anishnaabeg, the Haudenashaunee and the Mississauga the new credit. When European settlers arrived in North America, Indigenous people were not nomads. They were not few a number. They were not certainly not Savage, or impoverished. They were not looking for salvation. Indigenous peoples had commerce and culture, history and art, ceremony and spirituality, systems of justice and healing. And they continue to do so today. Wherever you are on Turtle Island, there is wisdom, history and spirit beneath your feet. And you owe a debt to the caretakers of the land. For our part, we are committed to a new relationship with those who welcomed us to this land. And we acknowledge the past that includes broken promises, and residential schools, and a present that includes violence and systemic racism. We pray that we are a work in progress, and that we can find a way to be home together. Jubilee has established the Jubilee Reconciliation Fund to provide support to the Toronto Urban Native Ministry and provide opportunities for the community to develop better relationships and greater understanding of indigenous history and the issues and aspirations that shaped the lives of Indigenous peoples.