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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Christian Blessings

Every Christmas and Easter, Christian believers find their faith subject to mockery and trolling. Jesus warned that there would be days like this: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." Matthew 5:11 Please don't mock Christians, we don't mock atheists. Let Jews and Buddhists, Muslims and atheists, Protestants and Catholics, wiccans and agnostics alike celebrate religious freedom in peace. https://time.com/4385755/faith-in-america/



Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Dear Friends of BLCF Church and BLCF Cafe

Dear Friends of BLCF,

This has been a different time for our families and friends. For the safety of the vulnerable, the BLCF Church Board decided to keep BLCF closed at this time. Despite not meeting in person, we have kept up regular contact with our church family by phone, email and Facebook. We support one another by sharing our concerns, praying for one another and even singing on the phone! Our thoughts and prayers are with BLCF Café community dinner guests and volunteers. We have been in contact with some of them. Some guests have contacted the church and we have helped when possible. We have seen a few of our guests in the community and as of now, all seem to be well. Some do have health issues and again we pray and talk to them.

The house on St. Helen's Ave. needed a new roof and church roof repairs were completed. This involved hiring roofers for the job. More repairs are needed on the house. Pray that we will be able to do those as well. Our handyman special man took the initiative to replace the kitchen floor with tiles and he also plans to replace the tiles at the side door entrance.

Due to the pandemic, some businesses on Bloor St. have had to close. Restaurants had a brief reprieve in July when outdoor dining was permitted on the street. This was short-lived, with the installation of bike lanes in August. With the arrival of the bike lanes, there has been a marked difference in the feel of the street. The bike lanes have created gridlock, including reduced parking spots and it is no longer possible to park or stop in front to the church, which poses a problem to the elderly and disabled who have been dropped off and picked up at our front doors since 1938. But no more! Weddings and funerals will have a problem due to removal of street access to 1307 Bloor St West. Imagine having to carry a casket from a side street to the church doors because the hearse cannot access the front of a church, which has no parking lot.

Due to Metrolinx expansion of the railway to the west of the church, Value Village has also had to give up half of their parking lot. Pray for safety for everyone on the roads, as frustrated drivers deal with the gridlock.

God has been watching over us during the pandemic. We are all safe in His hands, for which we are grateful. We ask that you include our concerns and challenges in your prayers.

In HIS Service,

Your friends in Christ at BLCF Church

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

City of Toronto Removes Wheelchair Curbside Access to BLCF in Favour of Bike Lanes

 

Regarding the City of Toronto's eagerness to social engineer transportation in the city: The City of Toronto removed parking and vehicle access from the front of BLCF Church that has been in front of the church entrance since 1938. 
 
 
 
 
The Project Director of the Bloor West Bikeway responded to my concerns that many of our congregation use canes, walkers, and or wheelchairs need to be dropped off and picked up by a vehicle in front of the church, telling me in the opinion of his legal advisors, the disabled have no right of access to either the curb or the sidewalk, though Ontario Human Rights and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 both indicate that no entity can design, let alone construct a new barrier that obstructs or makes more difficult access to a building or service, which is precisely what this new Bloor West Bikeway has done to the disabled members of our church. In other words, in Toronto, people riding bikes are more entitled to access curbs and sidewalks than the disabled. 
 

  Toronto City Council rushed their plans to complete the bikeway during a pandemic at a time when the elderly and disabled, who are the most vulnerable, who were unable to attend public meetings to voice their concerns without great personal risk. Meanwhile, the Bikeway chose to ignore our church's written concerns submitted both by mail-in and an online survey. I heard on City Pulse that the expanded patios constructed for restaurants were inaccessible to wheelchair-bound patrons. Sadly, We see a pattern here. If you disapprove of the City of Toronto's mistreatment of the disabled and elderly in this case please voice your objections to Mayor John Tory at mayor_tory@toronto.ca or to Deputy Mayor Ana Bailao councillor_bailao@toronto.ca  

 Access for 

 

People with mobility impairments can find the barriers introduced by  bike lanes difficult to negotiate (relative to no bike lane at all).  Even in cases where design of barriers provides sufficient gaps, they can still be seen as an additional obstacle.  An obstacle that can both lengthen a walking distances and also require additional attention when crossing a street or getting out of a car.

http://www.cityclock.org/top-10-reasons-protected-bike-lanes/#.X4nWhdBKhdg

  The same problem created for disabled members of BLCF Church​ by the new Bloor West Bikeway!

Coronavirus: Disabled people face discrimination from COVID traffic schemes

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/coronavirus-disabled-people-face-discrimination-from-covid-traffic-schemes/  

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Important Announcement to the BLCF Community

Sadly, for the first time since we first opened January 2008, the BLCF Cafe Community Dinner will suspend operations due to the threat of the COVID-19 Virus, in order to protect the vulnerable.

BLCF Cafe has suspended operations as we are not equipped for take-out service and are unable to safely serve a eat-in dinner involving a group of some 100-150 guests and volunteers during the pandemic.

Please follow our social media channels for postings of when BLCF would be able to safely reopen in accordance to the guidelines set forth by Public Health Agency of Canada and local health officials allowing for operations within current social-distancing guidelines. Our goal is providing a safe environment for all.

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COVID-19: Letter to faith community leaders from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer

April 3, 2020

Dear Faith Community Leaders I am reaching out to you today to thank you for your efforts to date in helping Canada delay the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Over the past few weeks, we have seen the number of COVID-19 cases increase in Canada. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in communities across the country, governments and health officials have asked the public to practice social distancing. This means staying home, avoiding crowds and refraining from common social greetings like handshakes. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. I am asking you to follow the advice of your local, provincial, and territorial public health authorities with regards to social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings, which likely includes suspending all regular services for the time being. Social distancing involves creating a two-metre zone of protection around ourselves—the distance that infected droplets can spread from a cough or sneeze. It is only through social distancing that we can protect our communities, including older adults and medically vulnerable Canadians, who are most at risk of severe illness. Many community members may want to use this opportunity to host small gatherings in their homes, apartments, and multipurpose rooms. I urge you to use your leadership role to discourage these gatherings, in order to protect the safety and health of your congregants and community. I know this is not easy. It is an uncertain and difficult time for many and people in your communities are likely turning to their faith for support. I ask that you continue to provide leadership and encourage all of your community members to stay home. I have been encouraged seeing many stories of faith leaders across Canada who have adopted innovative alternative options to reach their communities, from offering services online to using social media. I hope to see more of this as we stay the course in our collective efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the community level. We can only respond to the challenge COVID-19 places on our country with your support and leadership. For more information on Canada’s response to COVID-19, including awareness resources and guidance documents, visit Canada.ca/coronavirus. Thank you, Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/covid-19-letter-faith-community-leaders-from-canada-chief-public-health-officer.html

 

Luke 4:12 (ESV)

And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ 

 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Be Safe!













To our Guests, Volunteers, and Friends of BLCF Cafe,


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, BLCF Cafe Community Dinner, located in the heart of Toronto, has suspended operations on March 16, 2020. As we are not equipped for take-out service and are unable to provide Personal Protection Equipment to our vulnerable volunteers and guests as a sit-down dinner. Please follow our social media channels for postings of when BLCF would open after health officials post the all clear for reduced social-distancing guidelines which are currently in place. 


Be safe.

Sophie Mickelson

Director-Coordinator BLCF Cafe Community Dinner