The latest issue was published Thursday, June 24, 2021. Delivered to our household, as it has for decades. Without us asking for it. Ironically, considering what follows, on our St. John’s Day, or jaanipäev. A day meant to frolic and have fun, celebrate summer. It took a sharper pair of eyes to notice, after all the real estate ads (there are a lot!) were ignored, in the dedicated, usually small print classified pages on the Notice Board the following Public Notice. Here is the text:
“Notice: St Peter’s Estonian Evangelical Church of Toronto Columbarium
St. Peter’s Estonian Evangelical Church of Toronto has submitted by-laws to the Registrar of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002. Any interested parties may contact the Administrator at Tel: (416) 483-5847 for information, or to make copies. By-laws or amendments may be reviewed or copied at 817 Mt Pleasant Road, Toronto ON M4P 2L1. These by-laws are subject to the Registrar, Funeral, Burial, and Cremation Services Act, 2002.”
This notice has also been posted on the office doors of the church. Shades of Martin Luther.
Immediately questions arose. Some cannot be answered until information has been received, paperwork viewed. The first though, is why publish in The Mirror. How many Estonians, never mind members of the congregation of St. Peters’, some of whom may certainly have the remains of a loved one entombed in the columbarium - which is a consecrated place, just like a cemetery is - receive or much less read an essentially “recycle today throw-away paper”?
Secondly the timing. It is summer; people may not be in the city. In fact, the minister of St. Peter’s is in Estonia. Certainly likely, that other members of the congregation as well are enjoying summer there. No services have been scheduled for the summer due to COVID-19 requirements and generally low attendance. What are the odds that a congregation member would take the journey to the church, especially considering that the neighbourhood is not the safest and most pleasant these days, due to a nearby shelter for the homeless?
One hopes to receive more information in person. But the final and most important question of all is why did this Public Notice not appear in our community newspaper as well? It does have an English section. Surely, the best way to inform those concerned about the future of the church. Or who might wish to view in person the proposed changes.
Presumably it is a legal requirement to have such a statement published as a Public Notice. But then why not in the parent company’s paper, the Toronto Star, with the largest circulation in Canada. Many Estonians post the obituaries of their loved ones there. Hence read the paper. Understood is the fact that it must be in English. But in The Mirror? Does that really qualify, considering what it has devolved into? Perhaps answers will be received in due time. Yet openness is not there when such an approach is taken to give information about an important part of St. Peter’s and the future.
Eesti Elu Nr. 37 - 17. september 2021 DIGILEHT
Kõik numbrid koos sisukorraga: www.issuu.com/estonianlife
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