|1964: Parkwoods United Church completed.||2013: Parkwoods United Church.|
The people of Parkwoods keep coming “home.”
At every anniversary, choir reunion or special event, many former members and clergy return to celebrate, renew friendships
and to again be part of the worship and family that is Parkwoods.
|1960: Brookbanks School where our first service was held.||I962: ‘The Portable’, was our next church “home”|
As was customary in 1960, the church first held services in a local school and later in a portable building on the church property until the church building was completed. From its earliest days, Parkwoods’ distinctive architecture and location have made it a landmark in the Don Mills area. The unusual stained glass window was designed to draw the mind upwards and to focus on the large cross, lifting the worshippers’ thoughts to God. Worshipping and working to the glory of God have been central to the Parkwoods experience since its beginning in 1960.An early minister preached that “Christ called people to serve people and that is the business of Parkwoods.” The people of Parkwoods have made this their “business” ever since, not just in this community but in the wider community where there is need. Parkwoods is located in a high need community of high rises and low rental accommodation. Our outreach has been on our doorstep, not at arm’s length. There is care and action through donations of food, clothing, money and personal support to those who come to our church door. Beyond our door there is involvement with shelters for women, youth and the homeless, response to world crises and a strong commitment to the United Church Mission and Service Fund.
|1963: Rev. Dr. Torrance & Rev. Jim Campbell breaking ground for Church Construction.||1963: Parkwoods United Church under construction.||1993: Rev. John Smith & Rev. Vivian Yarwood breaking ground for the Brookbanks Apartments|
The people of Parkwoods have a long history of willingness to break new ground, try new things and to react to current needs. Throughout the years many opportunities to serve the community have been met. In the sixties, programs for mothers and children, parenting and cooking skills; clothing depot and a drop-in centre for youth were some of the initiatives. Continuing into the seventies, the youth of the area were encouraged to participate in musical activities, worship and discussion groups. Throughout the seventies and eighties, the traditions of innovation and change continued. As the community became more multicultural, Parkwoods welcomed newcomers from other countries. Refugee sponsorship and support of newcomers were begun with several families successfully settled into their new life in Toronto.
The Brookbanks apartment which is joined to the church was an initiative of the eighties as a response to much-needed affordable housing in the area, as well as stewardship of the unused land beside the church. A dedicated group of people worked on this until it became a reality, opening its doors in 1994. Parkwoods is still involved with representation on the Brookbanks Board.
Throughout our history, music has always been an important part of worship and fellowship at Parkwoods. We have consistently had dedicated and strong music leadership with all ages being involved, from cherub to senior choirs as well as youth involvement. The richness of direction, scope of the music and participation of a variety of musicians encourage the sharing of musical talents to enhance worship.
Many groups and activities continue to provide opportunities for all ages to participate in the life and work of Parkwoods. Outreach, pastoral care, lay participation in worship services, Bible studies, working with children and youth, UCW units, choirs, our Loaves and Fishes and quilting groups and committees for special events allow everyone to use their talents and interests to the glory of God at Parkwoods.
See links to Groups, Outreach and Activities for current information.