Minister's Message: Fathers and Sons

Two of my most poignant moments on my recent pilgrimage to Israel were:
Standing to pray at the Western Wall of Lamentations in Jerusalem beside a Jewish man whose young son (4-5 years old) approached his Dad, put his hand on the wall and prayed;
A Palestinian boy (8 years old) approaching me to sell a candy bar in a public square in Bethlehem, Occupied Palestinian territory. No words were exchanged, just his eyes catching mine. We were on the other side of the humongous Israeli-built wall that excluded him and his family from the advantages of Israeli citizenship.
One wall was a sacred place of prayer, the other a separation between neighbours. I wonder how fathers explain these differences to their sons?
There was so much prayer being raised across the Holy Land, by pilgrims in Christian sites and churches, Muslims at the Dome of the Rock and in mosques, Jews in synagogue and at the Wailing Wall. Children learn from the adults around them in their formative years. Are they being taught that all prayer is helpful no matter the difference of ritual or language that names the Creator? That human needs expressed from human hearts are reaching the one heart of God, Yahweh, Allah? To these three traditional Monotheistic faiths I would add the Sikh religion which also believes in One God.
On Sunday, June 24 there is a Mobile Brunch at SouthWest and the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, both in Crawford Park. We will break bread together at both locations and neighbours can visit our places of worship and prayer. This St. Jean Baptiste Mobile Brunch celebrates the diversity of religious traditions, communities of faith and a common humanity.
It is neighbour sharing with neighbour, breaking down walls so all children can see from our example that there is a place for everyone. This gathering resonates in the story of the Good Samaritan which asks, "who is my neighbour?"
You are. They are. We are.
May our small effort to meet our neighbours be about breaking down walls and opening dialogue.
May our efforts build kind and respectful community.
May we be open to share prayers together wherever we find ourselves.
May love of neighbour root us in the core message of inclusion that we teach our children.

In our repertory of hymns there is this one that affirms:

Though ancient walls may still stand proud and racial strife be fact,
Though boundaries may be lines of hate, proclaim God's saving act!
Walls that divide are broken down, Christ is our unity!
Chains that enslave are thrown aside, Christ is our liberty! 

                                                                                         (Walter Farquharson, 1974, VU 691)

May all fathers on this year’s Father’s Day 2018 teach this truth by example.

Rev. David

 Part of the wall that separates neighbours.

Part of the wall that separates neighbours.

Mini-market June 20th

Please join us June 20th for a celebratory Welcome Wednesday. What are we celebrating, you ask? How about everything we've been able to accomplish over the school year that's coming to an end?
We celebrate the time, energy and creativity that Sheila, Maurice, Mackie and others put into the Mini-market every two weeks. From ordering, to setting up and decorating (often on a seasonal theme) to keeping accounts, this has been a colossal task that could only have been accomplished by teamwork.
We celebrate the vision and initiative of our Kitchen Coordinator, Leonore, who guided teams of cooks, working with whatever ingredients were on hand, to produce tasty nutritious community lunches.  By bringing our kitchen up to MAPAQ standards, she was able to revive our partnership with Moisson Montreal, and to obtain meat and fresh produce as well as non-perishables, from them and other organizations. Wednesday lunch went from being every two weeks to every week, attracting a diverse and enthusiastic crowd.
We celebrate Frank, Kathy, Darlene, Lily and others, who have helped organize sales big and small over the year that bring in revenue and help us pay our rent at the Mission! 

As you have probably heard by now, the Mission is part of a renovation project at Verdun Elementary that begins the last week of June. as a result we will be shutting down from June 30th through July 15th, and will have to modify our activities for the rest of the summer. Wednesday's Mini-market will unfortunately be the last until August 1st. This week there will be books and knick-knacks for sale but they will also disappear after that, to return in August.
After June 20th, the formal lunches are suspended until the fall, but we will be having light salad meals outdoors every Wednesday through the summer.

We even celebrate the renovations because, despite any inconvenience, they will ultimately provide a more pleasant environment for us to continue working in. We embrace the challenges of the summer as we look ahead to all we will accomplish in the next school year!

Please click to download the price list for next Wednesday's Mini-market:


Are you from Verdun or the surrounding areas?
Do you have a story to tell?
Of course you do!

Literacy Quebec and the Suspicious Fish have teamed up to create the Community Led Storytelling Workshop. They will be holding a series of gatherings to share stories, participate in writing workshops and more! The next one is being held at SouthWest Mission next Thursday, June 21st at 3PM. All ages and backgrounds welcome. Use the contact info on poster below to find out more.


Visite guidée des serres de Verdun

Il me fait plaisir de vous transmettre l'information concernant la visite guidée que nous organisons ce samedi 16 juin, de midi à 13h, aux serres municipales de Verdun pour présenter le tout nouveau centre de ressources en agriculture urbaine de Verdun, GRAND POTAGER

Découvrez le Grand Potager: Centre d’agriculture urbaine au coeur de Verdun!


21 organismes-membres utilisant l'espace, rencontrez certains membres et visitez les serres. Découvrez des projets d’aquaponie, compostage, plantes rares et exotiques, herboristerie, arbres fruitiers tropicaux, pépinière dédiée aux plantes comestibles et plus! Un lieu unique à Montréal, au coeur de Verdun! Réservez votre place dès maintenant sur EVENTBRITE!


Visite bilingue

Seniors and Trees Video Project

From Westmount Park United Church:

Do trees have meaningful memories for you?
We want to hear your stories.

If you are a senior interested in participating please contact: Gabriel at 514-222-8064 or

Video recording sessions will take place at Westmount Park United Church, 4695 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest on June 21st 2018. Another video session will take place in the second half of August 2018.

Organized by Westmount Park Church’s Living Church Program and sponsored by the Kelley Trust.


Guided Tour of Verdun Greenhouses

Below is all the information concerning the guided tour this coming Saturday June 16th, from noon to 1pm, of the Verdun municipal greenhouses to present the brand new urban agriculture resource center, GRAND POTAGER!


Discover le Grand Potager: Centre for Urban Agriculture in the heart of Verdun!
21 member-organizations share the space. Meet some of our members and visit the greenhouses. Discover projects in aquaponics, composting, rare and exotic plants, tropical fruit trees, a garden centre dedicated to edible plants and more! A unique site in Montréal, in the heart of Verdun! Here are the links to the Facebook and Eventbrite for the event.

Bilingual event

Thank you Austin

 Stage student Austin (second from right), shown here on literacy day.

Stage student Austin (second from right), shown here on literacy day.

As the school year draws to a close, we say goodbye to our stage student from Lakeside Academy. Austin has been with us most Wednesdays and Thursdays since last fall, helping with Breakfast Club, Welcome Wednesdays and the VES hot lunch program. It has been a very successful stage and we're sorry to see him go.

A big thank you also to Sheila, as well as Frank, Sue and Leonore, who supervised Austin and made sure he had lots to do! Thanks to Ayana from the WOTP program for her collaboration.

All the best to you Austin in your future endeavours!

Kitchen News

Dear Kitchen Friends,

Due to major renovations, SouthWest Mission will be closed from June 30th to July 15th. The kitchen, however, will be closed all Summer. We will therefore not be able to prepare and serve our usual Welcome Wednesday community lunches.

That’s ok because we’re never short of ideas, and here is our latest : we will be replacing our 3-course menu with something much easier that we baptized SIMPLE SUMMER.

Every Wed. from July 18th to August 29th, 12 :30 pm, we will be serving salad in the courtyard at the entrance of the Mission.

In preparation, I’m starting to recruit people of good will who would like to participate in the process. The ingredients will be given to you, the food prep kitchen is still to be determined.

This is what the process will look like :

1)   Make salad
2)   Bring salad to Mission by Wednesday noon
3)   Help set up outside for service
4)   Help with service
5)   Help with cleanup.

Ideally, we would have a team of 3 volunteers in each Wednesday.
Is this a project for you ? Do you have free Wednesdays over the Summer?
Please let me know asap, this is the time !

Léonore Pion
Cuisinière communautaire
Coordonnatrice des activités de cuisine, Mission du Sud-Ouest 

St. Jean Baptiste Mobile Brunch

It seems the road won't be torn up yet, so we are going ahead with this planned collaboration with our Sikh neighbours. On Sunday, June 24th, weather permitting, SouthWest church will be offering sweets and lemonade out on the church lawn at 11:30. If that stimulates your appetite, you can move on at 12:30 to the Guru Nanak Temple just steps away on Ouimet for a savoury buffet! What a delicious way to celebrate the diversity of Quebec in 2018!


Minister's message/ message du pasteur



I loved the idea when our choir director Sarah Fraser would include soup before concerts; I loved that a recent SouthWest conversation led by the worship ad hoc group began with home-made soup. Accompanied by fresh bread, hospitality and human exchange, soup can be a simple and delicious way to feed the body, mind and spirit.

Soup(e) + is an invitation to our francophone neighbours (and anyone who speaks French) to a soup “plus “ conversation with questions, songs and informal prayers. It is a link to the many who come to us and would appreciate a gathering in a spirit of welcome and non- judgment. It is experienced in the radical hospitality of Jesus, where “All are welcome, tous sont les bienvenues”. Sunday June 17th 12:30 at the Mission.

I leave today on a pilgrimage to the land of the faith of my ancestors. I go to taste and experience the Holy Land with my Bible in hand, an open heart and excitement.
I will carry you in my prayers at the many places of pilgrimage I will visit. 
Vous êtres tous dans mes prières pendant ce pèlerinage en Terre Sainte.

Rev. David


Un moment d’échange informel autour d’un bol de soupe maison.
Une rencontre pour nourrir le corps, l’âme et l'esprit par une conversation honnête et franche. Toute question est permise. Nous cherchons à cheminer dans la foi, l'amour et l’espérance.
Au programme : un chant, une prière du cœur, de l’écoute et du soutien.
Et on se quittera avec la connaissance d'autres personnes qui cherchent, elles aussi, la justice en résistant au mal à la manière de Jésus.

Bienvenue à tous et toutes : dimanche le 17 juin 2018, à 12h30
Mission du Sud-Ouest, 631 Melrose, Verdun. 
Contact: Judith