200th Anniversary

200th Anniversary

Telling Our Story

Sunday February 11, 2018 was the kick-off to our 200th Annviersary. Read selections below by Helen Roberts and Bob McRoberts.


Anniversary Anecdotes February 2018  

This, the third year of the Out of the Cold program was the most successful, both in terms of homeless people we were able to help and the level of support we received from our community.

We began the program on February 1st and it ran on eight consecutive Saturday nights until March 22, 2003. As a result of the bitterly cold winter, we reached or exceeded our bed capacity of twenty, every night and it was with great regret that we had to turn some away.

However, alternative arrangements were always suggested and transportation provided to those affected. It seems very unlikely that we will be able to run an Out of the Cold program in the upcoming winter season. Withdrawal of funding from the City of Toronto for essential services & lack of alternative funding by York Region is the reason.   Joan Coyne, Aurora United Church Annual Report 2002/2003   

On February 22nd at the Intergenerational Service, the United Church of Canada Award of Distinction was presented to Bill Newman. This award recognizes his work with the 3rd Aurora Scouts for the past thirteen years.  The Tidings, March 2004  

Janine Maxwell and David Kariuki will be speaking at both services on February 15th. You won’t want to miss hearing Janine talk about her work in Africa and what our church has been able to accomplish in Swaziland. Tidings, February-March 2009  

In a deed dated February 21, 1818 and witnessed by Peter Tyler and C.W. Willcocks, William Tyler conveyed, for the nominal sum of five shillings, one acre of his Lot 80 in King (at the corner of Tyler and Yonge Streets) to four trustees, “for the erection of a house of public worship, for the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Province of Upper Canada”. A small log building was erected and church records indicate that in February 1818, the Rev. David Culp preached at the opening service of this first Methodist Church in Whitchurch, as Aurora was then called.  

150th Anniversary of the Founding and Dedication of Aurora United Church (booklet)

The Rt. Rev. Dr. W.C. Lockhart, Moderator, The United Church of Canada spoke at the 150th Anniversary Service.

Aurora United Church Bulletin, Sunday February 25th 1968 ~ February 21, 1993 was the day of our 175TH Anniversary service, a significant day considering that it was February 21, 1818, that Rev. David Culp preached at the opening service….Our Guest Speaker was the Rt. Rev. Stan McKay, Moderator of the United Church of Canada…..The service was well attended by past clergy and dignitaries. From the 1993 Annual Report  

From the 1987 Annual Report 

FROM THE MINISTER’S DESK, John Houston It has been quite a year…The dream of better building facilities for our ministry has materialized. We are indebted to Ed Griffiths and the Campaign Committee and Jamie Thompson and the Building Committee and all those who supported the venture for such spectacular results. We’ve already made our second payment of $20,833.33 on our loan to Toronto United Church Council. There are only 34 more payments to go! It has been a bad year for sickness and hurting within the Church Family…I am reminded that it was in the middle of winter when God chose to visit us. In other words, when the world is at its darkest time, God comes. That’s Good News.  

From the 1990 Annual Report   

FROM THE MINISTER’S DESK, John Houston What a year 1990 has been for our world! We’ve been reading throughout the year of trouble in almost every country, and certainly here in Canada. On a one to ten, this has been down around a two or three……”But”…We’ve got many strengths…The million dollar mortgage was paid off in five years.     


Anniversary Anecdotes January 2018

From the 1982 Annual Report:

There are three new staff people who have come on board during 1982. Barb Hambley works about 12 hours each week helping June (Meyrick) in the office. Jackie Catto’s main area of responsibility is Christian Education, …John Moffat is helping in the area of pastoral care.  

From the  May/June 2008 Tidings:

UCW Funds New Chimes and other Projects at AUC ‘The strong support of the members of UCW at Aurora United is very much appreciated by the Property Committee. The UCW has been extremely active in supporting our committee, particularly in the present and recent past. Several years ago, the ladies funded the new carpet for the Founders Room and are now in the process of having all the wooden doors in this room refinished by an outside contractor. They are magnificent! In addition, they have funded the new chimes which are mounted on the back wall of the organ loft in the Sanctuary. And just a couple of weeks ago, they came to our rescue with over half the cost of AUC’s computer system. Thanks so much ladies, for your very strong support. It is much appreciated by all of us. Crawford Heritage, chair of Property committee  

From 1939 Annual Report Message of the Minister, Edmund J. Thompson

So full has been the year 1939 that on looking back it hardly seems possible that so much has happened. The chaotic uncertainty that prevailed in the world at the beginning of the year has resolved itself in three major wars. And our own country is engaged in a conflict to bring to an end the day of ruthless aggression. Our prayers go up continually for those in peril on land on sea and in the air, for those in distress, suffering and sorrow and that the mighty Spirit of our God may prevail up on the minds and hearts of men to turn to a Christian way of resolving their differences.  


Bulletin: Sunday January 21, 1968 Friday:

The Couples Club will hold their first meeting of the New Year at the home of Mr. & Mrs. M. McRoberts, 59 Catherine Ave., Friday Jan. 26th at 8:30 pm. A fine start was made in ’67; let us flourish in ’68. All couples are invited to enjoy a variety evening of good fellowship


The morning service was often poorly attended, the congregation being composed largely of old folks around 40 years of age. In the evening, however, everyone turned out – saints and sinners  alike – and even the crow’s nest was full. Chairs were placed in the aisles, contrary to the fire prevention regulations, and the volume of song was tremendous, particularly if Rev. George Dewey (1897-1899) was leading it with both hands from the pulpit and the organist had all the stops out.”  

From “Days of Yore in Aurora United Church by Lelia A. Reynolds – written for the 150th Anniversary (1968).  In 1876 the first Ladies Aid of the Methodist Church was organized, Mrs. Wm. Richardson being the first president.  


January 1993 ~ The Anniversary Banner (175th) was hung on the front of our building.  From the 1993 Annual Report  


January 1, 1962 ~ The UCW officially came into being on January 1, 1962. 
Its purpose was: To unite women of the congregation for the total mission of the church and to provide a medium through which we may express our loyalty and devotion to Jesus Christ in Christian witness, study, fellowship and service. Women integrated their national-level work into the boards of the United Church, and blended their two organizations, the Woman’s Missionary Society and the Woman’s Association, into one: the United Church Women. Across the country, 300,000 women joined as charter members.   From the UCW Guidelines Book

We are pleased to note that active steps are at last being taken by the Methodist people of this place to have the old burying ground adjoining their church levelled off and put in a respectable condition…..No doubt now that the matter is thus brought to a crisis the unsightly plot which has so long marred the appearance of the best portion of our town, will be so improved and beautified as to be a credit rather than a standing reproach to the Church. The Aurora Banner, January 20, 1888  


The records of a ladies’ class called “The Friendly Bible Class” No. 2 begin with the January, 1889 list of 24 members.  150th Anniversary of the Founding and Dedication of Aurora United Church (booklet)


New Beginnings at AUC ~ What a great way for our church to start a new year! After several month of anticipation Rev. Lorraine Newton-Comar and Rev. Andrew Comar have begun their ministry at Aurora United. Their first Sunday was January 10th.  June Yates, Tidings, February-March 2010    




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