Year End Donations Appeal

Letter

Help ESG meet the revenue challenge posed by COVID-19

Mary went to the tomb that first Easter morning, found it empty and her life was changed. From that moment on, she spoke, taught, and lived her life in the Word and world of the resurrected Christ. The disciples called Mary the Migdal – the tower. She was, for them a place of strength at the centre of their circle, amid their grief and anxiety.

Amid pandemic anxiety, loss and isolation ESG is working tirelessly to be that tower of strength and stability as we learn new ways of being church.

We are actively reducing our expenditures, to soften the financial impact of COVID 19. As a congregation, we are lucky to have financial resources available in our “savings account.” Still, the reality is that we are facing challenging year-end results for our ESG Local Operations as June 30th approaches. Revenue is our challenge.

In addition to MONTHLY PAR donations, our goal is to raise $130K by June 30th

Thank you for your support of ESG. It is a congregation, a church family, that we are all proud to be a part of, and I am so glad that you call ESG home, for your life of faith. Amid this challenging and stressful time, I am asking you to help us continue in ministry together.

ESG has weathered storms and continued to find strength in the clear voice that reminds us that we are called and enabled to change the world through the gift of our faith.

Can you help us come closer to meeting our June 30th budget in this moment of vulnerability?

Thank you for the gift of your presence at ESG. Thank you for your support of this ministry we call home together. Thank you in advance for helping us reach our June 30th goal as the Ministry of ESG moves into the future confidently.

Wherever the path of life may lead us, wherever the journey may go, we are not alone.

Thanks be to God!


There are various ways to donate.

  1. Mail a cheque payable to Eglinton St. George’s United Church, 35 Lytton Blvd, Toronto, ON, M4R 1L2.  We have an outdoor mailbox at the church so that you can drop your cheque off.  
  2. Online Donations can be made to ESG via Canada Helps.
  3. Email or Phone our bookkeeper, Irina Denissova, to donate using your credit card or to increase your monthly MONTHLY PAR GIVINGS (automatic bank transfer or credit card) bookkeeper@esgunited.org, 416-481-1141 x230.
  4. Donating securities – Eliminate the capital gains tax that you’d have to pay if you sold the securities giving the proceeds. Instructions are on the ESG website. www.esgunited.org/giving.

Music Stories: Some History Notes about ESG’s Choir

 – story by David Lemmon, Member of the ESG Choir

Our Church Music heritage has been 60 years in the making. Throughout the decades, with the continuing unfailing support of the Congregation, it has provided inspirational leadership in Worship.

Some interesting notes from the history of our choir:

  • Our choirs have made 2 National Tours and 3 International Tours
  • For years our choirs regularly participated in Kiwanis Music Festivals, almost always earning First place awards.
  • Our choir was invited to form, rehearse and perform as the resident Toronto Symphony Chorus
  • Our choir was the basis of The Bach Consort, performing major Bach choral works at ESG under the direction of internationally renowned conductors
  • Our teenage choirs mounted annual productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas – 12 in total – each with 4 performances at Lawrence Park Collegiate.
  • Our choir has mounted public concerts at Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall and the North York Performing Centre for the Arts
  • Over the years, our choirs have produced and sold 6 major recordings for our Congregation and the community at large
  • For a number of years our choir offered the congregation and the community chancel performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors

Asked “why do you sing?” one of our choristers replied as follows: “I love to sing because it feeds my soul and it brings me into community with others who share a passion for choral music” (an alto)

We want to enhance our music program and include an even wider selection of music on Sundays. You can help by supporting our Hooray For Hollywood Gala music fundraiser event. Learn more…

Music Stories: Why I joined the choir

 – story by Gord Brookes, Member of the ESG Choir

Music has always been an element in my life.  When I was a child I had aunts that lived in a not large house in mid-town Toronto who had “dueling piano and organ” on either side of the living room/dining room with one aunt at each side of the room with the rest of the family in the middle singing heartily and occasionally even playing on brass or woodwind instruments.  Later, I married a woman who had spent her youth in a good choir and when we had children we made it almost a vocation to learn a vast repertoire of songs to sing to our children at bed-time.  My children both joined the Toronto Children’s Chorus and when they were learning the music I found I could not help but want to sing along with them.  In the mean-time the children became too old for me to sing them at bed-time and I found I needed a musical outlet and joined the choir at ESG.  My wife, 2 teenage children and I hold varied and not always compatible pursuits and activities but I must say that in the last few years that choral music has grown to be a pleasant source of common interest and passion in our family.  The family that sings together, stays together?  I hope so.

We want to enhance our music program and include an even wider selection of music on Sundays. You can help by supporting our Hooray For Hollywood Gala music fundraiser event. Learn more…

Music Stories: Choir Tour in Italy – 2008

– story by Cathy Macdonald, a beloved Member of the ESG Choir who passed away in 2016

“Singing in Italy’s beautiful venues was as exciting as it was humbling. We were inspired by our exquisite surroundings. We were amazed by the incredible acoustics – occasionally in churches that were over 1000 years old. We were HOT – we got used to feeling little rivers of perspiration trickle down our backs during our concerts! And, truth be told, we were occasionally a bit nervous as we tried to look confident at Catholic Masses performed completely in Italian and Latin. We must have stood, sat, prayed and sung at all the right times, however, since we were invited to return to St. Peter’s in Rome to sing a second Mass, an enormous honour, and we’re even invited to perform on Italian TV!”

An unforgettable moment in the history of the ESG choir, the choir’s experience of Italy stands as a testament to ESG’s rich music heritage.

ESG Choir in Italy, 2008

We want to enhance our music program and include an even wider selection of music on Sundays. You can help by supporting our Hooray For Hollywood Gala music fundraiser event. Learn more…

Music Stories: The experience of music in worship

 – story by Jim Black, Member of ESG

Having visited the Isle of Iona in Scotland a couple of times, I’ve had the opportunity to experience what the Celts call “a thin place,” where heaven and earth seem to touch. George Macleod wrote that Iona is “a thin place where only tissue paper separates the material from the spiritual. At ESG, we are blessed with a cohort of gifted and dedicated singers and musicians whose ministry enriches and elevates our worship experience on Sunday mornings. Shawn and the choir are often able to take us to a deeper spiritual place when the spoken word alone is not enough. At the recent Good Friday service, a sequence of scripture readings was reinforced by their musical reprise by the choir. Not only did the Christian message come alive with energy and splendor; I felt that the ESG sanctuary became “a thin place” for those of us who were present.

At ESG, worship is central to who we are, and music is central to our worship.

We want to enhance our music program and include an even wider selection of music on Sundays. You can help by supporting our Hooray For Hollywood Gala music fundraiser event. Learn more…

Music Stories: Vox Choir

Vox Community Youth Choir

– story by Meghan Jamieson, ESG Choir Lead and Co-Leader of the ESG Vox Choir

VOX is a youth community choir, generously hosted by the Eglinton St. George’s United Church which provides North Toronto’s youth with a fun, creative and dynamic experience linking music, their community and our church family.

To be given the opportunity to take part in something bigger than yourself, to take pride in something you help to create, to learn to follow direction, to form friendships and to make connections are all integral parts of growing into a well-rounded individual. The VOX team strives to make all of this happen. We work to create a safe and inviting environment for our members to learn, to participate, to create and to be heard. Perhaps one of the most endearing and powerful aspects of the VOX Community choir is its absolute inclusivity. 

Not only are the choir members greeted individually and encouraged to be themselves in rehearsal, they are granted a high calibre musical experience that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Taking part in the ESG church services, in performances around the city and in ESG Choir concerts provides, provide the VOX choir members with valuable opportunities that are often found in older, larger choirs.


Two of ESG’s choir section leads organize this delightful musical ensemble. Emily Taub, our fearless musical director, has international choral experience and brings a level of musicianship and passion rarely seen in a modest children’s choir. Meghan Jamieson, who takes the role of administrator, shares her extensive work with youth and her organizational skills.

Through the generosity of the ESG United team, we are able to offer the VOX Community Choir experience to all members at no cost to their families. We are thrilled to be able to reach out to the youth of our area in such a vibrant way and we are truly grateful for your support.

We want to expand the VOX choir program, to offer even more opportunity to young people in the community. You can help by supporting our Hooray For Hollywood Gala music fundraiser event. Learn more…

ESG’s Community Outreach

Through the generous donations of many individuals, ESG is able to offer financial support to many agencies and groups throughout our city.

We also offer a program at the church that serves a grateful group of guests each Thursday, from September through June. Our Thursday Afternoon Drop In Program is run by a dedicated and caring group of volunteers who each Thursday navigate the changing circumstances and attendance of our guests. Each guest is welcomed at check-in and given access to a snack, personal care items and currently a selection of warm clothing.
All guests must register with us with ID to be eligible to receive: a $20.00 food voucher, access to our food cupboard and TTC fare. At this time we have 132 people registered. Once registered a guest will receive a number and a date for their next visit, which are eight weeks apart. In the spring we reported that we had 333 visits from September through March. Add to that 124 visits from April to June. To date, since our September start we have served 112 guests.

Are we making a difference? Yes! We hear from our guests that our program allows them to have three to four meals that they would not be able to provide for themselves. A number of our guests have been coming to the Thursday Afternoon Drop In for many years and are known by our volunteers. This relationship creates a level of trust for our guests.

Your support for this program is gratefully received. Monetary donations go to fund the vouchers, TTC fares and replenishing the food cupboard. We also appreciate weekly additions to our Food Box located in the main floor reception area.


If you have questions about this program or are interested in volunteering please contact Connie Roden.