A Safe Place Woodbine Heights Baptist Church

A Safe Place
1171 Woodbine Avenue (map)
Toronto ON M4C 4E1
Pastor: 416-467-1462
General inquiries: 647-547-0936

Our Mission:

To celebrate, proclaim and reflect Christ's Love

To live in our community and welcome its diversity

To worship as a people set free by God's Grace
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Sunday service and children's church at 11:00 a.m. - Sundays July and August 10:00 a.m.

Weekly and Monthly
• Mid-week book groups, 2 times a year
• Joyful Heights rehearsal

• Playgroup Drop-in on Tuesday mornings
• Groups for children
• Educational forums

Throughout the Year
International Dinner
and Variety Show
• Christmas Concert
• Gardening Day
• Picnic for Children's Church
• Welcome Back Barbecue
• Fundraising Dinners
• Special events
Many of the folks at Woodbine Heights are avid readers of a variety of genres and styles of literature.  On this page you will find a collection of titles that we've read and we'd love to recommend for your interest/library.  Drop by regularly to check out some of the latest offerings from the folks at the church.

What a find this was, a quarter at a thrift store in Gravenhurst.  A lovely story, with evocative, detailed art, of a bear who doesn't quite fit in... or does he? 

The Tangerine Bear by Betty Paraskevas and Michael Paraskevas
Published by
Michael di Capua Books/HarperCollinsPublishers, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-205146-6
Set in fictional Gilead, Iowa, youngest daughter Glory is looking after her retired minister father in the family home. Long lost son Jack returns, setting up the possibility of reconcilliation. Great dialogue and character development, a wonderful sense of place, and a profound sense of attachment/connection to one of the characters drew me deeply into the narrative.  It is worth the read just for the line about the chicken dumplings. 

Home by Marilynne Robinson
Published by Picador, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-42854-9
ISBN: 0-312-42854-5

 I recently listened to the Talking Books version of the Pulitzer Prize winning The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.  It is the Depression-era story of displaced tenant farmers from the mid- and south-west of the United States moving towards the promised land of California.  This book, published first in 1939, is relevant to our economic conditions today, because it is about the human condition and human community in desperate times.  Beautifully written, eloquently narrated, The Grapes of Wrath is a story well worth a listen, if only to meet Casey.

The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
Narrated by Dylan Baker
Published 1998 by Recorded Books, copyright 1939
ISBN -978-1-4025-3087-6

In the fall of 2008, a group of Woodbine Heightsers met weekly to discuss the book In God’s Presence: Theological Reflections on Prayer. It was a great experience, not only because of the variety of views that were expressed but because of the book’s content. If you want to explore the concept that your prayers can affect God (is that really possible??), then this is a book for you. Another chapter that also resulted in a lot of terrific discussion was the one about the Lord’s Prayer. Since then, each time I say this prayer, I find myself thinking about every word and why Jesus chose just that way to express himself. 
        Prayer is a vital part of any spiritual journey, and this book is a fascinating and helpful compass!

In God’s Presence: Theological Reflections on Prayer
By Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki
Chalice Press, 1996
ISBN 978-0-827216-15-7

Half a Crown is the latest book in the Small Change trilogy. The other books, in order are Farthing (2006) and Ha’Penny (2007) and I recommend them all. These are “alternate history” books that explore what could have happened if the United Kingdom had made peace with Adolf Hitler in World War II. But the books are very relevant for today because they also show the consequences of not speaking out against injustices, and of not being aware or caring about what’s going on around you. Each time I’ve finished one of these three books, I’ve immediately read it all over again.
- Elizabeth MacLeod

Half a Crown
by Jo Walton
Tor Books (2008)
ISBN-13: 978-0765316219

Three Cups of Tea is the remarkable story behind the creation of the Central Asia Institute, an organization devoted, in the main, to the education of children (mostly girls) in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Greg Mortenson's desire to honour the memory of his younger sister by climbing K2 led him to a small mountain village called Korphe. The people there took him in, and before he left for his return to the US, he made them a promise. The rest, as they say, is history.  The story is masterfully written by David Oliver Relin as he travelled with Mortenson for two years, seeing the fruit of Mortenson's passionate labour, meeting and interviewing many of those involved in the tale.  Truly, this is a story of single-minded tenacity, integrity, courage and hope. 

Three Cups of Tea:  One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Penguin Paperback, 2007
ISBN - 978-0-14-303825-2

The Ancient Tea Horse Road is both an ancient and modern travelogue.  Jeff Fuchs spent time in the countries connected to the Himalayas, and heard tales of 'lados,' those men of the mountains who both led and bore the burdens of caravans making the hazardous trek across more than 2000 miles of the most beautiful and terrifying terrain on the planet.  He walked that road, met some of the surviving lados, and tells their tale.  So vivid is the picture he paints, I found myself desperate both for a glimpse into the rugged beauty of the place, and a cup of hot Puer tea.  I will read this book again. 

The Ancient Tea Horse Road: Travels with the Last of the Himalayan Muleteers
by Jeff Fuchs
Viking Canada (may 6, 2008)
ISBN -10: 0670066117

So if you are thinking about moving towards vegetarian diet/practice and need just a little help deciding, this is not the book for you.  Because this read does not give you just a little help deciding, but rather paints a picture of an industry (factory farming, mostly in the U.S.) with no heart or conscience, when it comes to animal welfare (or really, human welfare either).  Being vegetarian already, this book confirms this choice as wise and healthy on a number of levels:  care of the planet, of other creatures, of the eco-systems (particularly the ocean) which sustain our lives, human health in the long term.  Take a chance, pick up the book and give it a read.  And I'll see you in the legume ailse at the grocery store...

Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Published by Little Brown and Company, 2009
ISBN: 0316069884

A Tale of Two Sons is a marvellous in-depth study of the parable of The Prodigal Son as told by Jesus. It tells of a runaway boy, a loving father and a very jealous older brother. This is the greatest story ever told, the greatest short story. It reflects the love of God, God's grace to receive those who wander from God's way and also the reaction of people who do not receive that love and scorn it. There is so much for everyone in this book and it is a wonder read. It is in-depth and so rich. It is very well-written and will challenge the reader to greater depths of experience and knowledge of the message of the Bible. It is illustrated by the life of Jesus and is a marvellous experience just to work your way through it. It will enrich your life. I highly recommend it.-- reviewed by Harley Iler


A Tale of Two Sons
by John MacArthur
Thomas Nelson, 2008
ISBN-10: 0785262687


Coming Up ...

Hiring a Community Arts Outreach Co-ordinator – NEW ARTS POSITION
Position: Community (Arts) Outreach Co-ordinator
Type: Contract
Start Date: Aug. 1, 2018End Date: December 28, 2018 with the possibility of contract extension
Hours: Ave. 10 hrs/week - lead up to performance weeks being 10+
Pay Range: $18.00 – $20.00 per hour
Woodbine Heights Baptist Church is a progressive, welcoming and affirming congregation, with a 98 year history in the community. With a heart for justice, peace and hospitality, we seek to embrace and mirror the gracious heart of God and co-operate with God's creative Spirit. WHBC desires to bring arts events/activities to our facility, and encourage the flourishing of vibrant cultural expression and growth in this part of the city. All of this occurs in the context of faith in God, following in the Way of Jesus.
The Community Outreach Co-ordinator will be a part of our creative arts team to ensure the successful running of the Summer Drama Camp and the production of In Search of the Real Santa.
The successful candidate will be responsible for developing community outreach activities, developing and nurturing community relationships, engaging teams of community and youth volunteers, and leading our team at arts events in the neighbourhood.
The Community Outreach Coordinator will report to the pastor and/or board reps and work alongside the performance director, pastor and artists involved in events.
Community Outreach
  • Identify new and manage existing relationships/partnerships and outreach activities with stakeholders such as neighbours, neighbourhood groups, Scouts and guides, politicians, Sol Express (through L'Arche Toronto), local businesses etc.
  • Network with new and existing external community partners/contacts/links such as local media, arts collectives and groups, East End Arts, Toronto Arts Council, etc.
  • Distribute promotional and outreach materials
  • Maintain prominent social media presence promoting art events of WHBC
  • Distribute calls for congregation and community artist participation
  • Provide artists with rehearsal and production schedules for event
  • Document all work and keep up-to-date record of materials distributed and where
  • Track community attendance that comes as a direct result of outreach efforts
  • Act as liaison between the creative initiatives of WHBC and event artists, community partners, and congregation members
  • Act as an ambassador for arts initiatives with the general public and answer questions about events and performances to community organizations, local businesses, event audiences and congregation members.
  • Promote events to community groups, schools, local residents, local media, etc.
Event/On-site Support
  • Collaborate with director and pastor to provide, direction, support and leadership in organization and running of events and performances
  • Be responsible for all event promotion and ticket sales
  • Recruit, reference, and provide leadership to event volunteers
  • Design and distribute event programmes
  • Assist in keeping rehearsal space and storage organized and orderly
  • Stage management as required
  • Research and collaborate with pastor in establishment of future arts funding opportunities e.g., grant applications
  • Field external arts events requests and schedule/coordinate opportunities for using church space
  • Meet regularly with pastor to coordinate responsibilities and communication
  • Help create an atmosphere of inclusion and respect
  • relevant post-secondary education (performance/visual arts, marketing, management) an asset
  • The ideal candidate is an outgoing member of the community with a current awareness of the local arts scene and has the desire and skills to increase community engagement in and through the creative initiatives of WHBC
  • The candidate will have participated in community events, have community programming and/or volunteer and events management experience.
  • High level of initiative and ability to self-manage.
  • Respect for the diversity of individuals and communities.
  • Ability to establish effective and strong working relationships and trust with community partners, volunteers, neighbours, artists, and congregation
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Sound judgment, analytical and problem-solving abilities, and organizational skills
  • Flexibility regarding work hours is a requirement; some working hours will take place on evenings and weekends.
  • Successful candidates will be asked to supply WHBC with a Vulnerable Sector Screening Check prior to a contract being issued.
Please submit cover letter and resume by June 18, 2018 by email to woodbineheights@gmail.com. Applicants invited to an interview will be contacted by June 25.


CHRISTMAS CRAFT MARKET  Saturday November 17th from 10am until 2pm. Crafts; baking; tea room. Tables available for Artisans and Crafters to rent: $35 for 10sqft, $40 for 14 sqft. Festive Tea Room on site.  contact woodbineheights@gmail.com with queries and/or for further information.

Pre-Schoolers' Drop-in The Play Group drops in on Fridays now, still in the morning from 9 - 11. Caregivers and their pre-schoolers are welcome to come for a time of free play and interaction.  Riding toys abound, snacks and beverages find their way here most weeks, and there is always good company.  


SUMMER DRAMA DAY CAMP Our 5th Annual Dramatic Week, Monday to Friday, August 20 - 24, from 9-3 each day. Campers aged 8 - 13 will experience the rigours and delights of the Dramatic Arts with professional actor and director Dennis Hassell.  A Friday evening performance will showcase the week's learning and fun.  $165 for the week; 20% sibling discount; $150 if registered by July 7. Email woodbineheights@gmail.com for more information and/or a registration form.

Save the Date!  SAVE THE DATE:  Our Annual Auction takes place on Saturday October 20. 

Plant and Yard Sale MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  Saturday June 2nd from 9:00am - 1:00pm.  Beautify your home and garden with perfect purchases from this sale of local renown.