Mini-market, Tuesday at Dawson

Here is the list of items that will be available from the Mini-market being held at Dawson Boys and Girls Club next Tuesday, May 21st, from 12 to 5PM.

PRODUCE                                                             LBS.          KGS              EACH

CARROTS                                                   .          .68            1.50

ENGLISH CUCUMBERS                                                                         .84

KALE                                                                                                             2.58

SPANISH ONIONS                                                 .63           1.38

MIXED PEPPERS (NO GREEN)                          2.07           4.57

WHITE MUSHROOMS #1                                   3.47           7.64   

TOMATO VINE RED                                ,           2.34           5.16

POTATOES BAKER #50                                        .73           1.62

APPLES, CORTLAND                                           1.18          2.60

CLEMENTINES                                                     1.29          2.84

BANANAS, TURBANA            .70           1.53     

GRAPES, RED MEDIUM                                      2.40          5.28


Looking for strong arms, and backs!

The only constant in life is change, right?

The SouthWest office is moving out of the Mission and into the Church. We’re planning to get the big stuff moved on Tuesday, May 28th. Rev. David is organizing a U-haul. There are a few big pieces of furniture that will need to be loaded up at Melrose and unloaded at Clemenceau, along with about 20 boxes.

if you can give us an hour or two in the late morning-early afternoon to help, please get in touch with the office. Lift with the knees!



In Memoriam: Alice McVeigh Crawley

We are saddened to announce the death of Alice McVeigh on May 3, 2019, at the age of 88. Beloved wife of the late John Crawley, mother of Danny and sister of Patricia Ovenstone.

She leaves to mourn many relatives and friends.

Rev. David Lefneski will lead a celebration of Alice’s life at the Urgel Bourgie funeral complex, 3955 Cote-de-Liesse in Ville St-Laurent on Sunday, May 19th at 3PM.

May 14 Mini-Market at Dawson

A reminder: the Community lunch and Mini-market have moved to Dawson Boys and Girls Club (666 Woodland ave.), and to Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays. Here is the price list for the May 14 market:

CARROTS                                                            .68 LBS   1.50 KGS

CHOP SUEY                                                      1.01 LBS.   2.22 KGS

ENGLISH  CUCUMBERS                                        .83 EACH

GREEN ONIONS                                                       .54 EACH

SPANISH ONIONS                                           .62 LBS.    1.38 KGS

MIXED PEPPERS, NO GREEN                       1.89 LBS.    4.16 KGS

SPINACH IN BAGS                                                 2.80 EACH

WHITE MUSHROOMS                                  2.84 LBS     6.25 KGS

RED TOMATOES ON VINE                           2.34 LBS     5.16 KGS

CHEF WHITE  POTATOES                              .46 LBS     1.02 KGS

MACINTOSH  APPLES                                   .89 LBS      1.97 KGS

BANANAS, TURBANA           .70 LBS.      1.53 KGS

CLEMENTINES                                             1.36 LBS.      3.00 KGS

LEMONS                                                                    .53  EACH

Minister's Message: Mother's Day 2019

The prophet Hosea 11:3-4 describes God as a mother in these words:

“Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I who took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.”

We know what it feels like to be at the receiving end of care and affection. That tucking in of the blanket, the unexpected meal you did not have to cook, being picked up at the airport after a long trip, a touch, call, card or prayer shawl.

Signs of love, care and belonging.

My children were taught that Mother's Day included their Dad. That what Mom and Dad give to them comes from a parent's heart: loving as an act of the will, a sacrificial love, putting children's needs ahead of their own. In the United Church an attempt was made to replace Mother's Day and create a Family Sunday, a thanksgiving for all parents and individuals who show us such deep care. I like the idea but feel that emotional pull to name and even idealize motherhood. Between the ideals and reality is where most of us live.

I enjoy the words of this hymn:

God made from one blood all the families of earth// the intimate networks on whom we depend//
Through families we've tasted the values of trust and felt what it means to be loving and just.
Yet families have also betrayed their best goals, mistreating their members and bruising their souls.

(Thomas Troeger, 1988, VU#554).

We all need what goes beyond gender and biology, what is essential to every human being: to be loved unconditionally and to love.

Faith community can be this type of family, united by shared kindness and committed to the ideals of the Gospel and authentic relationships. As of our baptism our family name is: Christian. We are there for each other: brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, uncles, a circle of love and care.

May our Mothering God hold us, love us, care for us and be the Love that pushes us to live deep loving relationships!

Happy Mother's Day!

Bonne fête des Mères!


Rev. David

My Grandmothers and Mom are relationships that taught me much about life and faith, they are a precious inheritance. I found this prayer from an unnamed source that blesses all mothers, including mine, and share it with you:

Gracious God, we thank you for adopting us into your family through the miracle of your grace, and for calling us to be brothers and sisters to each other. Today, loving God, we pray for our mothers:

• who cared for us when we were helpless

• who comforted us when we were hurt

• whose love and care we often took for granted.

Today, mothering God, we pray for:

• those who are grieving the loss of their mother

• those who never knew their biological mother, and now yearn for her

• those who have experienced the wonder of an adopted mother's love

• those mothers and families separated by distance, war or conflict.

Lord, give them all a special blessing this Mother’s Day!




May is Urban Agriculture Month at Grand Potager

May, Urban Agriculture Month at Grand Potager

Consult all the workshops and events here.

May is urban agriculture month at Grand Potager!  A variety of activities are available in the greenhouses. Depending on the events, you can discover mushroom growing in the city as well as learn how to create, plant and maintain your first vegetable garden.

Take advantage of the expertise of urban agriculture specialists during workshops and training sessions!

Gardening in the City - 10$
May 11th - 1 -2pm (FR), 11-12pm (ENG) 

Make Your Own Terrarium - 35$
May 12th - 1-3pm (ENG) 

Make Your Own Kokedama - 30$
May 12th - 3-5pm (ENG) 

Design your Ultimate Balcony Garden -15$
May 15th - 6h30-830pm (ENG)

Initiation to Aquaponics - 25$
May16th - 6-9pm(FR) 

Consult the full program here.

In Memoriam: Roy Sargent

Roy in front of SouthWest Mission, 2016.

Roy in front of SouthWest Mission, 2016.

Roy Horace Sargent, 1923-2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mr. Roy Sargent, WW II Veteran, on May 6, 2019, at the age of 96. 

Beloved husband of the late Kathleen-Elizabeth Nolan, cherished father of Eileen, devoted grandfather of Kevin and Devlin.

Roy must have fibbed about his age in order to enlist at the beginning of World War II. He served in Canada’s Merchant Navy, an accomplishment he was justifiably proud of. Roy was part of SouthWest’s Remembrance Day services for 20 years, arriving in dress uniform (yes, it still fit) and placing wreaths on the altar along with fellow veterans.

Roy in his community garden, 2013. (Photo Mary Lamey)

Roy in his community garden, 2013. (Photo Mary Lamey)

Until about three years ago, Roy could still be seen almost daily riding his bike around Verdun, or working in his community garden plot, rain or shine. Many of his church friends were lucky recipients of fresh produce from the garden. His early rhubarb was especially coveted.

Roy attended services at the church and sang in the choir every Sunday until his health began to fail. He also faithfully attended Wednesday worship at the Mission until it ended a few years back. Roy was often charged with helping Rev. David choose the hymns. Roy will be sadly missed by his SouthWest family and all who knew him.

The family will receive condolences on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from 10:30 am to 11:45 pm at Yves-Légaré Funeral Complex in Verdun (5784 Verdun avenue, corner Manning).

Rev. David will lead a Celebration of Life service Tuesday at 11:45, to be followed by interment at the Field of Honour cemetery in Pointe Claire.

Those wishing to offer condolences to the family can also do so on the Yves Légaré website.

Seeking Their Butler Family Roots

The SouthWest office recently received the following e-mail message:

“Hello, I was wondering if you could give me some help in tracking down records from Verdun United Church.  A distant relative had his funeral and attended long ago and we would like to track down our relatives.  He was Esau Butler from Newfoundland.  He had a son, Norman Butler who continued to live in Montreal after his father’s death. I appreciate any help you could offer. Greg Butler. “

I wrote back to Greg explaining that we still had all the registers from Verdun United and it would be very helpful if he could tell me the year of Esau Butler’s death.

Greg wrote back:

“I have the following details of the person I am looking for.  I am particularly interested in any information on Norman Butler who was Esau's son and any descendants he might have had who stayed on in the church.  Esau was my grandfather's 2nd cousin.  I wonder if my Great Grandmother Emma Butler might have attended your church.  She moved to join us in Toronto, but she used to live in Verdun and attended the United Church there.

Here is a quote about Esau's death (around November 1926) and his surviving family.

"Born on February 4, 1837, the year in which Queen Victoria ascended the Throne - Esau BUTLER, at the age of nearly 90 years, passed away on Saturday morning at his home, 3900 LaSalle Boulevard, Verdun.  He is survived by his widow, nee Catherine MacDONALD, one daughter, Mrs. O. J. HARWOOD of Revelstroke, B.C., and two sons, Norman of Montreal and John D., of Boston; also by a sister, Mrs. Mary WINDSOR, Manuels, Nfld.  The funeral took place on Monday morning from the parlours of D. A. COLLINS, Wellington Street, to Mount Royal Cemetery, Rev. Isaac NORMAN of Verdun United Church officiating."

Thanks again for your assistance! Greg”

November, 1926! Just one year after the United Church of Canada came into being. Armed with a month and year I was able to quickly track down the record in question. It is written in fountain pen by a hand that crosses T’s with great flourish and reads:

Esau Butler, of the city of Verdun in the District of Montreal of the Province of Quebec, gentleman, died on the thirtieth day of October in the year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twenty Six and was buried by me on the first day of November in the said year in Mount Royal Cemetery in the presence of the subscribing witnesses.

Isaac Norman, Officiating Minister

There are two witnesses’ signatures at the bottom, one of which definitely has the surname Butler, and could possibly be Norman. We made a photocopy of the page and created an official certificate of death with our church seal and Rev. David’s signature to send to Greg Butler.

I wrote to him that while it was possible Norman Butler continued on at Verdun United until his own death, if we didn’t have a year for that, it would be very difficult to find him. I told Greg that I would share his questions with the SouthWest community and see if anyone remembered Norman, or Greg’s grandmother Emma Butler.

So what about it? Norman himself probably would have died in the 1940s or 1950s. Anybody’s memory go back that far?

I really enjoy doing this bookish detective work for families. As I explained to Greg Butler though, he caught us just in time. Very soon all our registers and records from before amalgamation (2007) will be going to the UCC National Archives. They will be kept safe there and people doing genealogical searches will have to get in touch with the archivist for Nakonha:ka Regional Council, Beverly Anderson-Levine. In theory, all records from closed United churches as well as some Methodist and Presbyterian charges, are in the Archives.

Find out more here.


Minister's Message: Earthquakes

After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake. the guards were so afraid that they trembled and became like dead men. The women left the (empty) tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy. (Matthew 28: 1-8)

You can read the same story many times and yet hear something new depending on your personal circumstances. Spirit spoke to my reality through these words of the Gospel. The changes in my life these months are profound and disrupting every facet of my life. I was tempted to go back to my former Notre-Dame-de-Grâce residence this week to see the sprouting of 200++ tulips and daffodils in the front garden. I resisted the temptation, there is no going back. I look at the new property and the absence of plants, trees and shrubs and realize I have so much work to do. I am in between what was and what will be, feeling more tired than excited by the prospects.

What does Easter joy have to do with earthquakes?

Joy will come to Jesus’ disciples after the horror and anguish of his senseless death. It is born out of the disruption and seismic shift in the fabric of how one understands endings and new beginnings. Resurrection power explodes into the cemetery where Jesus lay, rolling the grave rock away, bringing life where there was death and hopelessness.

Earthquakes shake up, destroy, unearth, and realign boundaries. They force a new emerging earth, new maps and paths through destructive changes. They are horrible to experience yet can lead to rebuilding stronger buildings on the ruins, up to new safety standard codes.

Easter Earthquake: a shaking up? a new world? a realignment and relearning? Sounds like a revolution and feels scary and unappealing.

Faith calls me to a deep spiritual shakeup this Easter season where there is fear before joy, tears and loss before being found and of senseless loss before new life.

The earthquake of Easter calls me to trust God in the realignments I am presently experiencing, that this powerful life force of resurrection will bring beauty and joy.

So I pray:

God, shake me from my placidness and comfort.
Meet me in my darkness, chaos,
and in the changes I do not understand.

Lead me from fear through the earthquake of faith into new life and joy.
From deep within I call to you:
Be my resurrection earthquake.

 A blessed Easter season!

Rev. David


God of power, God of people,
you are the life of all that lives,
energy that fills the earth,
vitality that brings to birth,
impetus in making whole
whatever is bruised or broken.
In you we grow to know the truth
that sets all creation free.
You are the song the whole earth sings,
the promise liberation brings,
now and forever.

 (Celebrate God’s Presence, UCC, p.193)