Annual General Meeting
Sunday April 21, 2024

In the Larkman Room from 1 — 4 PM

All are welcome to join us

Minutes from the 2023 meeting are available
to read and download at this link.


Minister’s Report

Rev. Cynthia O'Connell current photo
Rev. Cynthia O’Connell

Part of my duty as an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada is to serve the Regional Council in which I and Glebe are a part. Ministers are not members of an individual congregation but rather our membership is with the Region, which for me is Shinning Waters Regional Council. So I serve on a few different committees including the flourishing advisory committee which supports “a program designed to encourage and support the health, joy and excellence of ministry personnel in Shining Waters Regional Council.” Based on feedback from ministers we came up with a theme of the 3 ‘C’s’: Care, Connect and Collaborate. I have taken on these themes as part of my work and ministry with Glebe.

Glebe is a place that is collaborating through the North Toronto Cluster and directly with Northlea United Church working together to bring a refugee family of nine from Afghanistan. 2023 saw Glebe sharing worship with Manor Road United for New Year’s Day, a joint Cluster worship service at Rosedale United in June. Collaborating amongst our local United Churches continues to be growing area of focus and opportunity.

Glebe is a place that connects with the neighbourhood. In 2023 we resumed our partnerships with local group Works-In-Progress, an artist’s collective that focus on sustainability and upcycling. In partnership Glebe hosted clothing swaps for the neighbourhood.

We have worked on connecting outside of Sunday worship through our Blessing of the Animals and Junefest events, getting to know our neighbours.

Glebe is a place that cares about its neighbours through donations for student groceries and food banks, to providing a free library, and hosting celebration of lives for those in our neighbourhood. We are reaching out to new and old members through a greeting card ministry, welcoming new people to our community in person and even online from Uganda.

Care, Connect and Collaborate. As I continue in my ministry with you these remain my focus for the coming year. Thank you to all our volunteers, our staff, and lay leaders who make Glebe a place that lives out its mission to be inclusive, inventive and faith-filled place.

The peace of Christ be with you,

Rev. Cynthia O’Connell


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Chair of the Board Report

I never cease to be amazed by our little church. For our size, we have many real strengths. We have welcomed wonderful new members. We have a congregation that looks like Toronto – vibrant and diverse. We have children, ably wrangled by our V. We have a location and building with great potential. We have members who dream big, evidenced by Angie’s incredible work on refugee sponsorship. More than anything, we have a real and palpable sense of community, manifested by the support we show to those of us who face challenges, the food and fellowship at coffee hour each week, the many events we share each year outside of Sunday.

As we plan for what’s next, we listen for God’s voice to use these strengths to be his hands and feet in our neighbourhood. As the prayer goes, God be in our ears, and in our listening.

Andrew Dundass


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Ministry and Personnel Overview

The Ministry and Personnel Committee continues to oversee, and supervise ministry and lay staff at Glebe Road United Church. This year we were fortunate to have Sarah Dundass and Deb McGrath join the committee.

We are thrilled to announce that as of March 19, 2023, V Wang has joined the Glebe family as the new Sunday school teacher. V is a high school student who is skilled in art, drama, storytelling, music, and basketball. She enthusiastically brings a refreshing and creative personality to engage our young Glebers.

Once again, we were truly blessed to have a talented group of individuals who help us deliver important support to the congregation and community. Thank you to Siobhan for effectively coordinating our daily affairs, including social media communications. Thank you to Maria and Cynthia who lead our worship services through faith, inclusivity, music and community.

Lois Mckenzie

M & P Chair

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Financial Report

  Actuals Budget Better/(Worse)
Church $ 54,206 $ 46,284 $ 7,922
Building $ 274,801 $ 249,500 $ 25,301
Total Income $ 329,007 $ 295,784 $ 33,223
Church $ 187,179 $ 187,064 $ (115)
Building $ 155,592 $ 185,540 $ 29,948
Total Expenses $ 342,771 $ 372,604 $ 29,833
Net Inc./(Deficit) $ (13,764) $ (76,820) $ 63,056

Financial Results for the year ended Dec 31, 2023 showed a deficit of ($13,764). This is a tremendous improvement as at the beginning of 2023, we expected a deficit of ($76,820). This result is $63,056 better than expected.

The main contributors to this result were: Increased Parking revenue of $18,000; Increased Leased rentals $9,000 and less spending on Regular, Scheduled, and Unscheduled maintenance

Although this result is a deficit position, it is encouraging and identifies the potential for further improvement in the coming years.

Eleanor Morrison


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Building Management Report

Operationally, in 2023 the building was adequately maintained and there were no material improvements done. The major improvements to the boiler system that were made by Combined Mechanical, our new boiler system service provider during the 2021/22 heating season have greatly improved the reliability of the heating system and the comfort of the building occupants. In 2023 we had minimal service calls and the heat was consistent through-out our now cozy building.

We had planned to replace some missing tiles on the slate roof and secure a good number that are working loose in 2023 but that work has been postponed to 2024.

Glen Benway

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Music Report

Music Director Maria Case current photo
Music Director Maria Case

The Glebe Choir has continued to function well in a post-pandemic time, despite depleted numbers. In February, we were sad to say goodbye to long-time choir member Robin Anderson, who was a wonderful addition to our musical life at Glebe. On the upside, Christina Shakir started coming to choir in the fall when her schedule allowed, and we were similarly delighted to see new member Tina Torlone on a more regular basis. The choir continues to be small (though mighty), and we welcome new members.

One of the most exciting developments of 2023 has been the formation of our Sunday School choir. In the late spring, they sang The Rainbow Connection and followed up with more rehearsals and performances in the fall, culminating in a lovely performance at Carols by Candlelight. Look for more appearances of the Glebe Kid’s Choir to come!

In October, we held our annual Harvest Moon Cabaret, featuring songs from the Great Canadian Songbook. Out choir was augmented by friends and members of the Annex singers, and we had a great roster of solos. We also held our annual Carols by Candlelight in early December, again drawing on a combination of outside and homegrown talent. Also in December, Glebe played host to a production of the short holiday season opera Amahl and the Night Visitors which involved singers from ProVoce Studios, as well as singers (and dancers!) from Glebe.

Our services were enriched by solos from choir members, members of the congregation, and friends of the choir including Melanie Conly, Tina Torlone, Andrew Dundass, Joycelyn Rasmussen, Mark Chambers, and Gillian Chreptyk. Other choir members have pitched in as readers and participated in other ways.

It is a privilege to lead the music at Glebe Road.

Maria Case

Minister of Music

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Pastoral Care Report

This past year with the leadership of Irene Koops-MacPherson Glebe has sent out through the year over 60 greetings cards to various members, including seniors, members who have moved away or those needing a word of kindness and love from the Glebe community. This is a small ministry that has a big impact helping people feel loved and connected to the community.

In Memoriam

In 2023 Glebe provided sanctuary and place to grieve for both its members and the surrounding community. Celebrations of Life were held for Heather Pacciocco (sister of Glebe member Melanie Conly), and Gordon Bailey (neighbour and friend of the Davisville community). We continue to hold all of our members and friends in prayer who have lost loved ones over 2023.


Rev. Cynthia officiated the wedding of Marion Anderson and her fiancé Kurtis in St. Jacob’s. We extend our congratulations to Marion and Kurtis, along with long time members Robin Anderson and Barbara, on the wedding and the birth of their first grandchild Arthur.

New Members

On Pentecost Sunday June 4, 2023, Glebe formally received long time friend of Glebe, Tina Torlone, by profession of faith as a member of Glebe Road United Church. Glebe continues to be enriched by new members who bring their gifts and whole selves to the body of Christ, and our community of faith.

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Outreach Report

Glebe Road United Refugee
Sponsorship Committee

It has been quite a year for our Refugee Sponsorship Committee and for our family who continue to shelter in Pakistan after fleeing Afghanistan. Our family of nine are Hazara, an ethnic group that unfortunately has a long history of persecution. When the new regime came into power in Afghanistan, our family was targeted and threatened causing them to go into hiding and eventually flee the country. They entered Pakistan as true refugees, without visas, jobs, housing or any means of supporting themselves. By June 2023 the Pakistani government was systematically deporting all Afghans without visas. The patriarch worked together with other members of our sponsorship committee to secure visitors visas for his family. At this point all family members hold visitor visas which allow them to stay in Pakistan, however they are not permitted to work or to go to school. The family survives on odd jobs that the father is able to find. All nine family members live together in one small room. They are desperate to come to Canada as soon as possible.

Glebe has worked closely with Anne Sanders of Northlea United Church, with Sediqa Akbari, a Hazare Afghan national now living in Toronto and with Tony Hoffman. Tony is a retired U.S. professor who together with Sediqa worked at the University of Kabul. The patriarch of our family was their driver. Tony set up a Go Fund Me to help raise money for the sponsorship. Northlea and Glebe also raised money through various fundraising events. The total raised in 2023 is $67.541! Amazing!!! Our goal is to raise $96,000.

The United Church of Canada is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder that works together with Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In 2023 our committee completed all the government paperwork, collected all documents from our family and submitted all requirements to the United Church of Canada. At this time our family is on the UCC refugee sponsorship waitlist. In June, UCC will receive allocations from the government as to how many refugees can be accepted in 2024.

Our absolute hope is that our family will be part of the 2024 allocations however due to the length of the list it may be another year of waiting. Refugee sponsorship can be a long process that takes place over years. We ask that God continues to watch over us as we navigate the process and continues to protect our family in the fragility of their present life.

Many thanks are given to our committee members for all their hard work and dedication. Thank you to Cynthia for being so organized and for always being available. Many thanks to Tony and Sediqa who have been in constant contact with the family. And thank you to Anne at Northlea for bringing her congregation on board. And thank you to Glebe for all your help, interest and support. It will be a very happy day when our family walks into our church and we welcome them to their new home with us.

Angie von Boetticher

Sponsorship Committee Head

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North Toronto Cluster Faithful Green Actions Team (NTFGA)

  • Caroline Duncanson (Rosedale)
  • Lee-Ann Ahlstrom (Northlea)
  • Stephen Jarvis (Northlea)
  • Anne Lovering (Calvin Presbyterian)
  • Anne Kane (Deer Park)
  • Peter Wilkins (Eglinton St. Georges)
  • Al Yoshiki (Glebe Rd)
  • Joyce Taylor (Lawrence Park)

The NTFGA meets bi-monthly online to discuss green issues where information can be shared with the congregations in our annual newsletter. We also engage with other environmental groups to learn ways to take action like contacting city councillors, provincial MPPs or federal MPs. One such meeting was with the Climate Action Alliance who set up a web meeting with (former) MP Carolyn Bennet over environmental issues like emission caps.

We started off the year with a webinar, Waste in Toronto — What’s New. What’s Coming Up. What You Can Do, with guest speaker Emily Alfred from the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA).

We suggested a book reading of former Mayor of Toronto, David Miller’s book Solved. That introduced a series of webinars in May: Climate Change: While Nations Talk, Cities Act.

Al Yoshiki and 2 unknown people t the 2023 Water Walk
Al Yoshiki at the 2023 Water Walk
  • May 3: Energy/Electricity — guest speaker How-Sen Chong (TEA)
  • May 10: Buildings — guest speaker Chaim Koff, TransformTO
  • May 24: Transportation — guest speaker Dianne Saxe, Councillor, University-Rosedale

We also talk about what each of our churches do like environmental cleanup days or Indigenous education events like what Northlea United Church held — a National Healing Forest Dedication.

Also open to all the churches was the Water Walk that Rosedale United organized for September 30th where Elder Marilyn Capreol from Parry Sound led us through a ceremony around a fire circle at the Brickworks followed by a water walk and feast. Stay tuned for future events presented by the NTFGA in our newsletter.

Al Yoshiki

Glebe NTFGA Representative

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Sunday School Report

Dear Glebe,

I have had an amazing year at the church with the kids and I look forward to each week I get to see them. Although I am not Christian, nor religious, teaching at your church has enabled me to not only gain a deeper understanding of what I’ve come to consider one of the better aspects of our society, but also an amazing group of people and their kids that I have come to appreciate. You’ve taught me as much as I’ve taught them.

An average Sunday begins with me listening to the first bit of service, and hopefully catching all of the children’s choirs’ songs. I’m still unsure if any of the younger ones know what they’re singing, but it’s always nice to hear. We go downstairs to the kitchen, sit around the counter, and begin with a ‘Roses’ and Thorns’ retelling of the week. The greatest number of regular kids I’ve had at a time is seven; there are usually never less than three. I enjoy their roses and their thorns, learning a little about their week each time. My thorns are nearly always ‘too much work’ at school, and I try to tell them to enjoy the time they have, but I’m not sure they’ll listen. I certainly did not.

Afterwards, we move onto the study portion of the class. I follow generally along the Picture the Bible lesson plans, with stories and bits of random theology I know thrown in. I’m not sure how much of our discussion the younger kids are getting, but we play hangman and bingo for the names of things: the apostles, the river where Jesus was baptised, and Judas. My aim is to always link it to a more modern or bigger issue in our present world and ask them what they think.

Jesus and the Children becomes a talk of the importance of listening to kids, who still believe that the world should be good and righteous, and who are of course, right.

The Ten Commandments was about the importance of laws that benefit everyone, and what happens if they don’t. Temptation was about choosing what is right, even if it is not easy.

Our conversations often stray, especially if more older kids are there, with mildly unrelated topics, including but not limited to: Micheal Jordan, video games, a fairy garden, birthday parties, Passover, the environment, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos (not together, but in the same vein), schoolwork, D&D, and taxes. There have been a surprising number of conversations surrounding taxes. We might do an activity, like the time we wrote our own parable, or wove crosses out of palm fronds.

Anyway, after the lesson, which never takes too long, I release them into the gym. Sometimes, if there are enough people, we play a game of hide and seek. I have been slowly expanding the boundaries of these games, and soon fear that I may need to expand to the roof.If there aren’t as many people, we usually do a free for all. Baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, ping pong, badminton, made-up games: we’ve dabbled in them all. I do my best to supervise and join in intermittently. When it’s time to return, I make sure they all clean up before they leave.

The year was good. We had two Easter egg hunts and a Christmas pageant. I’m very thankful to everyone at Glebe for the welcoming atmosphere. And to my class as well. When I first started here, most everyone had one thing to say about them, and I’ve come to realise that it’s the only way to describe them: they’re good kids. I’ll see you all next week.

V Wang

Sunday School Teacher

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The Official Board

  • Andrew Dundass
  • Eleanor Morrison
  • Glen Benway
  • Dean Ertel
  • Cheryl Stenson
  • Deb McGrath
  • Lois Mckenzie
  • Angie Von Boetticher
  • Al Yoshiki
  • Nori Funabashi
  • Cynthia O’Connell (ex officio)
  • Maria Case (ex officio)

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