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Article & Information Archive

Have you missed an article, story, letter, or piece of news?  Keep up-to-date on the work of the Friends of St. Peter's here.


2023, March 29 - Dave LeBlanc - A symbol of the Estonian diaspora in danger  of disappearing.  Special to the Globe and Mail.  

2023, March 24 - Alja Pirosok - St. Peter’s Church: Disappeared as if it had Never Existed, or Preserved for Generations to Come  "Why have Ukrainians from the outset of the invasion of their homeland rushed to pile sandbags to protect their churches and other cultural landmarks? Why do Estonians in Toronto appear bent on rushing to demolish theirs?  In connection with the “Special Meeting” of St. Peter’s congregation called for March 25, I want to draw attention to the actions of VEMU and KESKUS (International Estonian Centre). They have been noted, but are buried in special interest articles. I want now to draw them to the attention of the larger community and the mainstream public. And it is important to acknowledge the cultural and historical significance of St. Peter’s Church for the diaspora and the value of its architectural heritage for all."  Continue reading...

2023, March 17 - Friends of St. Peters - Open letter to the Congregational Council of St. Peter’s Church  "Our most active members and supporters are seniors. In today’s news, seniors were again cautioned to be aware of people who want to take advantage of them. The standard practice is to develop in you an apprehension that something bad will happen to you if you do not immediately react and transfer your money to their account.  “If you do not pay these taxes owed to the CRA immediately the police will be at your door and take you off to jail”. The pattern is the same… Extreme urgency, you need to react immediately, no time to consult with anybody, do it right away or bad things will happen to you.  We assume that the leaders of a Christian congregation, which you are, would never do this to their members. Continue reading....


2023, March 1 - Väino Einola - Closing the Columbarium at St. Peter's Church cannot be morally justified  "Letter to the Registrar:  Funeral Burial and Columbarium Services Act. Inspections, Investigations and Licensing Branch, Consumer Services Operations Division Re: St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Toronto: Columbarium It is with a great deal of dismay that I learned that the Executive of St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has applied for an application to close the columbarium at the church. It is the first step in their plan to sell the church to a developer so it can be replaced by another high-rise, built for profit and not for the beauty of the city’s environment.  This church is far more than a significant piece of architecture in Toronto. It is a legacy and a memorial to a very significant.   Continue reading...


2022, September 2 - Friends of St. Peter's Church - St. Peter's Church - A New Focus - Part I  "We have a plan to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of St. Peter's church.  We have divided our plan into three parts....Part I...."

2022, August 11 - Friends of St. Pete's Church - Community Voices Concerning Future of St. Peter's  Church  "In order to hear from members of St. Peter's and the community, an ongoing survey is being conducted to ascertain the converns, ideas, and suggestions regarding the future of the church.  If you have not yet completed the survey, you can still share your thoughts through our website.  We look forward to hearing what our community wants for St. Peter's in the future."

2022, August 5 - Friends of St. Peter's Church - Cracks in St. Peter's Governance.  "There is a perception that the church is dealing with a financial crisis that will inevitably lead to insolvency.  But in reality, this is a manufactured crisis. The crisis is precipitated by the executive’s preoccupation of monetizing the value of the church property rather than revitalizing the congregation.  The walls are not crumbling, rather they are in danger of being pulled down by the efforts to convert our heritage into cash.

The constitution states that “the organization shall be carried out without purpose or gain for its members”. It is wrong to suggest that the only way for “the church” to meet its original purpose for existence is to sell the building.  It is wrong for the executive of the church to deliberately reduce and restrict membership to achieve this. Voting membership of the congregation was listed at 1466 members but was restricted to 134 to pass a resolution to close the columbarium so the church would be saleable to developers. Only after a legal challenge was the unlawfulness of this acknowledged.  The final membership numbers are still in dispute. The executive claims that only 414 members remain on the membership roster. They named 140 members that have been deleted. The others have simply vanished."

2022, June 16 - Friends of St. Peter's Church - Saving the Church - Integrity and Leadership "Our mission began with the simple objective of preventing a misguided church executive from acting on a resolution wrongfully passed to close our columbarium, as a prequel to selling out church. By applying criteria which had no basis in our constitution this executive arbitrarily reduced the voting membership list down to 134 members from a membership roster which the auditors established as 1466 and the pastor himself had reported as 1466. Over a thousand members were not invited to that meeting, all were misled about who had the right to vote, and some who came to cast their vote were improperly refused a ballot." 


2022, June 10 - Friends of St. Peter's Church - St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Toronto - A Transformation Plan - Are we facing imminent bankruptcy?  "The most recent financial statements do not support the assertion that the church is facing imminent bankruptcy. The assertion is wrong on two counts: Bankruptcy implies that the church is no longer able to cover its accounts payable.  Secondly it presupposes that no management action will be taken to rectify financial issues which the financial statements highlight.  There is a reluctance to think of the church as a business corporation.  By legal definition it is in fact a not-for-profit corporation and should be managed as such."

2022, June 3- Friends of St. Peter's Church - A vision for the Future of St. Peter's Church "The Friends of St. Peter’s believe that with a proper Management Plan and committed leadership, St. Peter’s can be a part of our lives and the lives of future generations for years to come.  We believe that St. Peter’s facilities can once again become an accessible hub for both Estonian and local community activities in Toronto."

2022, May 27 - Friends of St Peter's Church - A Sacred Trust: Who decides the future of the columbarium of St. Peter’s Church?  "The Congregational Council of St. Peter’s Church has acknowledged as null and void a resolution passed at the March 13, 2022 meeting of the congregation, which authorized the Council to apply to close the St. Peter’s columbarium.. The Council has confirmed that another meeting must be held to properly seek that permission from all the members of the Church."

2021. November 30 - Hilary Arthur Amolins -"St. Peter's Church - Is it time for a new strategy? "But, one cannot and should not simply apply business variables like efficient use of resources and consolidation of assets and cost benefit analysis when examining viability of any church. That is corporate speak that might resonate with shareholders but has limited place in determining the worthiness of maintaining and preserving places of worship. It is not the framework that should determine whether or not a church should exist. There is a continuity with the past that is critical in a church."

2021, Reede 12. november - Guido Laikve - Eesti Elu  Nr. 45 (In Estonian) Peetri kiriku ja koguduse tuleviku võimalused.  "Meil pole tarvis oma väärtusliku krunti ja väärilist kirikut müüa või likvideerida!  Samuti pole meil tarvis kuhugi ümber kolida!  Samuti ei ole meil tarvis Peetri kiriku tegevust lõpetada!

2021, Reede 05 veebruar - Ad Hoc komitee - Eesti Elu Nr. 5 (In Estonian) Peetri Kiriku *Ad Hoc* komitee tänab annetajaid!  "Jaan Tammsalu aastalõpusõnumist Jaani kirikus Tallinnas:  'Me vajame kindlate asjade alles jätmist.  LIIGA palju on sellist, mis pidevalt muutub.  Ärge laske muutuda asjadel, mida ei ole vaja muuta.  Ärge tehke naljaks seda, mida on eelkäijad väga tõsiselt võtnud.'"

2020, Dec. 31 - Toomas Trei - EWR - "Kuidas edasi, Peetri kogudus?' "Juhatuse liikmed ise on ütelnud et kirik peab vastu vähemalt kolm aastat igas olukorras, kuid juhatus ja õpetaja oma EE väljaandes ikka soovivad läbi viia oma kava, et 'Peetri kirikut müüa’."

2020, Friday October 9* - Alja Pirosok - Eestonian Life No. 40 - "The bid to sell Peetri Kirik."  "Now, or further on, there is a tried-and-true solution to the problem of preserving architectural heritage sustainably. It is called adaptive re-use. The very qualities of midtown Peetri Kirik that have been noted as especially suited to its function as a church – a cosiness, the perfect light, an overall feel-good vibe – also lend themselves well to a community centre."
Web Editor note:  According to the article's author, the date published is incorrect and should be September 27th, 2020.  


2020, September 26 - Ingrid Sepp Jaenes - EWR -  "Arvamus".  (In English and Estonian). "Peetri kirik has always been a valuable reminder of where we came from and who was here before us. In this way Peetri kirik actually plays a very important role as a visible and physical reminder of our place as Estonians and Canadian-Estonians here in Toronto. I cannot imagine having such a strong Estonian pride growing up and living in Toronto without Peetri kirik."

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