These by faith – A short history of All Saints Kingsway

Inspired by the Letter to the Hebrews, Chapters 11-12

 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith, we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

By faith, Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. By faith, Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household. By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith, Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth. By faith, Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter. By faith, the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land.

And what more should I say?

By faith, children gathered in the basement of Vic Evan’s home for Sunday School.  The community grew in numbers and in faith, and they moved into the Sunnylea School. By faith, in January of 1944, a mission was established by St. George’s and the faithful began to worship in the Sunnylea School.  They gathered in Miss Henwood’s kindergarten classroom, using her desk as an altar.  By faith, this small community was named “All Saints Kingsway” and by the end of 1947, they were regularly worshipping in the completed basement of the church building while they continued to build and grow.

By faith, the cornerstone was laid in 1951 by Bishop Beverley.  By faith, the people worshipped in the midst of construction, and debris, and work. The completed building was dedicated in 1957.  By faith, the people worshipped God by Morning Prayer and Evensong.  By faith, they broke the bread and shared the cup.  They grew as a community and established many social and outreach groups.

On September 7, 1966, tragedy struck and the building was gutted by fire.  Yet by faith, the people of All Saints set about the task of rebuilding on the church foundation. A new church building opened and was dedicated to God the following year on September 7, 1967.  Like Moses and the burning bush, it was ablaze and yet, it was not consumed.

By faith, the church community adapted as our culture became increasingly secular.  By faith, a library was established for adults and children; by faith, an outreach committee was established, to further engage with the community, particularly the Stonegate area.

By faith, the community celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and re-enacted the walk from St. George’s on-the-Hill to All Saints.  By faith, the community began to host the Out of the Cold program.  By faith, the community found leaders to nurture the spiritual growth of its children and youth.  By faith, the community established a parish nursing program, to care for the body, mind, and spirit of its members.

By faith, the people continued to worship at the corner of Prince Edward and Bloor.  They began to break the bread and share the cup every Sunday.  They experimented with new liturgies to better share the Word of God with the people of God.

Time would fail me to tell of the changes in leadership; in the growth of the music program; in the generosity, and faith, and compassion of its members; of the expansion of ministry with children and young people. And of the community’s enduring witness to God’s grace and love.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

written by Megan Jull