Weddings and Rites of Passage
Our Chaplains are Fellowship members appointed by the congregation, approved by the Canadian Unitarian Council, and licensed by the Ontario government to officiate at marriages for Unitarians and non-Unitarians in the larger community. They also perform other rites of passage, such as infant dedications, funerals and memorial services.
For information, please call our office at (416) 249-8769.
The Memorial Fund of the Unitarian Fellowship of Northwest Toronto was established in 1979 to further the aims and purposes outlined in our original charter.
A Bequest and Gift Fund was established at this time, currently listed as our Memorial Fund. This provides a means for members and friends to participate in the advancement and future growth of our own Fellowship and our denomination.
All matters pertinent to the administration of this fund are covered in our By-Laws number 17.0-17.7 and are available for examination at any time.
The Memorial Fund can accept, administer and/or dispose of any real or personal property in accordance with your wishes.
Disposition of assets provides an opportunity to sustain those things which you consider of value and which you desire to see continued.
Tangible expression of the esteem in which friends and family are held may be perpetuated in a lasting memorial gift set up by the Memorial Fund.
In the lifetime of any organization, occasions arise indicating specific needs. Although it is possible to endow particular projects or programmes, it is suggested that the definition of these gifts be sufficiently flexible to maintain the health and vigour of our Fellowship.
For your consideration
If you wish to make a gift to the future through our Memorial Fund, write to us care of:
Board of Directors
Unitarian Fellowship of Northwest Toronto
55 St. Phillips Road
Etobicoke, Ontario M9P 2N8
Tel. (416) 249-8769
In 1959, a handful of Unitarians from the Rexdale-Weston area, began meeting in homes for evening discussions. Eventually, they and the parents in the group established a definite need for a School of Religion and an adult meeting place.
1960 In February, the Fellowship received its charter from the American Unitarian Universalist Association.
1961 On February 5, the new congregation held its first meeting at Pine Point Community Centre and its Annual Meeting in June of that year, when eighteen of the twenty-one people attending signed up. Weekly Sunday Services began in October and Religious Education took place in members' homes during that year. The congregation boasted 33 adult members and 56 children in the Religious Education programme!
1962 In January, the Rexdale Group of The Ethical Education Association met at a member's home to study the best method of teaching moral and ethical values in our schools. Also in that year, the Fellowship formed a Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) group.
1963 The School of Religious Education now totaled 90 children in 8 classrooms; the youngest met at Pine Point Community Centre, school-aged children at The Elms public school, and the youth group in the recreation rooms of two members.
1965 The Fellowship purchased approximately one acre of land on Muncey Ave. and looked ahead to building a meeting place.
1966 The Fellowship set up The Northwest Unitarian Theatrical Society ("The NUTS") who wrote and performed skits for the Fellowship and other congregations to raise money for the Building Fund. This was an enthusiastic group who had fun and enjoyed some real popularity and success.
1967 The congregation hired an architect to provide plans for a building on our Muncey Avenue property in the hope of relocation there in the fall of 1968.
1971 Building costs exceeded the Fellowship's financial ability to pay and the congregation recommended that the property on Muncey Avenue be sold. With the profits on the sale added to our Building Fund, the members began an enthusiastic search for an existing building within our means.
1975 The Fellowship purchased 55 St. Phillips Road, a Tudor-style 1900 home, and held a Dedication of the House Ceremony to suitably mark this event. This attracted a large attendance and community representatives from other churches and the municipal government, as well as representatives from each level of our denomination. At this time, we decided to call our new home Fellowship House.
After more than a year of exhaustive consideration and debate, our revised By-Laws were presented by our By-Laws Chair, Ruth Frame, and approved by the congregation.
1976 The congregation appointed Kathryn Cook as their Chaplain to perform weddings, funerals and dedication ceremonies.
1977 The congregation ratified the appointment of the Reverend Philip Robinson as minister for a two-year term to provide pastoral services, a Unitarian focus, and a stimulus for growth.
1980 Between this year and 1986, the School of Religious Education, which had experienced a decline, was re-established. During this period, between 4 and 12 children met upstairs in Fellowship House.
1986 Between this year and 1989, our membership number remained at a constant level -between 50 to 55 - with some withdrawals, but with new members joining to maintain the balance.
1989 The Fellowship received a substantial bequest from Ordway Lloyd who, with his wife Lillian, had attended our very first 1959 evening discussion meeting. A special Board Meeting in September set up an Ad-Hoc Committee on Bequest to handle this addition to our Bequest Fund. The bequest enabled us to upgrade our premises, acquire part-time UU ministerial services, strengthen our efforts to grow and become more effective. The ad-hoc committee later recommended tangible recognition of Ordway Lloyd, subsequently realized in our stained-glass memorial window.
1990 The congregation approved the Ministerial Search Committee's recommendation to hire Phyllis Hubbell, a Unitarian Universalist intern minister, for her three-month student placement. She provided a Unitarian focus and real stimulus to our vitality.
In this same year, the highlight of our Fellowship Fund Raising Dinner was a ceremonial "burning of the mortgage" by some of our earliest founding members.
1991 The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) helped us develop a long-range plan and a mission statement. Enthusiasm ran high: the Ministerial Search Committee was revitalized, a new School of Religion became operative, and plans were under way for a Reunion Day on September 22. On this date, we welcomed over 100 past and present members.
1992 On January 19, the congregation considered the financial implications of hiring a new part-time minister and 93.5% of the members present supported the Ministerial Search Committee in this proposal.
1993 At our Annual Meeting, the congregation ratified Board approval that the Ministerial Search Committee seek out an interim minister while their search proceeds for the permanent part-time minister requested by the congregation. The congregation also approved the Search Committee's choice of Reverend Phyllis Hubbell as that interim minister.
1994 Our Annual Meeting, June 12, approved rewording of by-laws to eliminate all gender-based language within the text.
On October 2, the congregation approved the Ministerial Search Committee's choice of Allison Barrett as our new Interim Minister for 1994-95.
1995 A Congregational Meeting on April 2 presented budget figures and findings of the Board; suggestions were received which formed the basis of Board action for the balance of the year.
At our Annual Meeting, June 11, the congregation approved the Ministerial Search recommendation to extend Allison Barrett's contract for 1995-96. They also approved the 1995-96 Proposed Budget, summarized and circulated earlier on Fellowship Sunday, as was our custom.
1996 On February 18, the congregation adopted changes proposed by our Membership Committee for incorporation in our by-laws, and on March 10, unanimously accepted Margery Bird as our second Chaplain.
On September 8, the Board accepted the employment agreement between Marvin Anderson, part-time Planning Coordinator, and the Fellowship for the current year. On October 19, a workshop was held to consider future directions from which a Strategic Plan was put together.
1997 The Strategic Plan was given broad circulation and time allowed for study before a Congregational Fall Workshop to consider its options. The workshop requested Board authorization of a further survey respecting professional leadership and the setting up of an Ad-Hoc Committee to Study Effective Use of Our Building. The subsequent Survey on Leadership revealed a broad preference for continuing Marvin Anderson's contract as Planning Coordinator.
1998 On March 15, the congregation approved a Master Plan from the three options presented by the Ad-Hoc Committee to Study the Effective Use of Our Building and Ad-Hoc Committee was requested to implement this Master Plan.
1999 At our Annual Meeting on June 20, the congregation approved the setting up of a Building Upgrade fund in the amount of $35,000 to be transferred from the General Fund Surplus. The Sub-committee on Implementation of the Master Plan continued to work toward the realization of the congregation's request for renovations to improve accessibility and enhance our ability to grow and develop as a Unitarian Fellowship.
2000 At a Congregational Meeting on April 30, a motion was carried almost unanimously that the Fellowship search out an intern or part-time UU minister: the details of the contract to be determined in negotiation and consultation with the congregation. A Ministerial Search Committee was set up and is currently working to fulfill the congregation's wishes in this respect.
On Fellowship Sunday, May 28, following our special service, Permillie and Dave Jackson led us in a brief outdoor ceremony to mark the official opening of our newly renovated foyer with its improved access features. We were pleased to include the President and our local representative from the Saint Lawrence District on this occasion.
2003 At a Congregational Meeting on April 27, Our Ministerial Search Committee recommended that Krista Taves be called to be our part-time ministerial leader and this was passed by an overwhelming majority of votes cast.
2004 Following the resignation of Krista Taves, the Fellowship has embarked on a serious consideration of its future direction and set up 4 Optional choices. All congregational members have been involved in the choice of options and it is expected that the final decision will be reached by the congregation by late Feb. or early March of 2005.
2005 After voting overwhelmingly in favour of “Staying Put” the Fellowship embarked on a Year of Revitalization. We were very fortunate to have Judy Magney volunteer her time to be our “Volunteer Coordinator”.