At St. George on Yonge, we are interested as part of our faith experience in being active, present, visible, engaged and recognized as a part of our local neighborhood.
Our ministry goes beyond the walls of our building as we work to establish and grow relationships with those who live in the Willowdale area. We look for opportunities to show God’s love in the world through caring service to those in our neighbourhood who are in need, and to respond to local, national and international needs. As well, our baptismal promises invite us to be aware of social injustices and to respond in any way that can make a lasting difference.
Here are some ways St. George on Yonge is involved in our community and beyond:
From late October until April, St. George on Yonge is the pick up location for individuals going to the OOTC centers in York Region. We work in partnership with Mosaic, an organization that oversees a ministry to those who need a place to sleep, a warm dinner and breakfast and transportation. Volunteers from the faith communities participating greet guests at St. George on Yonge as they wait for a van to transport them to the host location each evening. On some nights we have had up to 50 people enjoy the hospitality of a space that is warm, inviting, hospitable, safe and private.
Each month St. George on Yonge offers people in need gift cards for local grocery stores. All of them find themselves in difficult situations economically for any number of reasons. Staff are available to talk, listen to their stories and pray with them if they desire it. They all express their appreciation and gratitude.
On the second Sunday of each month, we collect non-perishable food for the local food bank. We have a grocery cart that we try to fill each month. It is presented at the altar along with the offertory as part of the Sunday worship service.
St. George on Yonge has begun to build a relationship with this Toronto Housing neighborhood not far from the church. We offered Fun Freezie Wednesdays in the summer, providing frozen treats, sidewalk chalk and bubbles. Children and adults alike took part. We are building on this initiative through conversations that will help us better understand the needs of this community and respond in ways that make a difference.
St. George on Yonge participates in helping new refugees get set up and settled in their new home when they first arrive in Canada. This involves finding accommodation, furnishings, clothing and anything needed to establish themselves. We have been involved with a number of families who have resettled here after leaving their home countries.
Free ESL classes are offered each Tuesday from noon until 2 pm. Instruction is given to those who have basic and intermediate needs. Those who attend enjoy learning together about the language and also about basics of living in Canada.
In our neighborhood, just around the corner is the ambulance, fire department and police. On Christmas Eve we offer our thanks by sharing sandwiches and Christmas cookies with them.
St. George on Yonge supports the work of the wider church in our Diocese of Toronto and abroad as well. Ministries that receive funding through FaithWorks include The Dam, All Saint’s Community Center and Flemingdon Park Ministries.
St. George on Yonge is home to the Yonge-Churchill Child Care Centre, managed by Edukids. The daycare offers a safe, inviting and friendly environment for children ranging in age from infants to pre-school, providing full-day care as well as before- and after-school programs for school-aged children.