News Release

Centennial Celebrations Reach Out to Interfaith Friends

The Canada Toronto Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welcomed interfaith friends to its final centennial organ concert. The Canada Toronto Mission, which currently covers all of Ontario and parts of western Quebec, was formed in July 1919. A centennial committee, organized under the direction of mission presidents Jeffrey L. Shields and Clint W. Ensign, co-ordinated the activities.

James Welch, an accomplished organist and member of the Church from Palo Alto, California, and his son Nicholas, a returned missionary from the Canada Toronto Mission, both performed. The senior Welch has long-time interfaith associations, playing organ for many years at his local St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (Sunday mornings); Seventh Day Adventist Church (Saturday mornings); and First Church of Christ, Scientist (Wednesday evenings). Many in the audience were reacquainted with Nicholas. He was invited to perform an organ recital at Toronto’s Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in 2017 while he served as a full-time missionary. The pair skillfully entertained the filled-to-capacity chapel in the Toronto Ontario Stake Centre.

Reverend Canon Gary van der Meer, pastor and incumbent, St. Anne’s Anglican Church; Reverend Canon Philip Hobson, rector, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church; Reverend Earl Smith, interfaith director, and Reverend Pat Felske, director of special affairs, Church of Scientology Toronto; Cam Ferguson, Parkwoods United Church; and John Lutz, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, supported the Church’s celebration by attending a reception and the final organ concert.

“The Canada Toronto Mission celebration was graced with artistic accomplishment of piano, organ and choir,” said mission president Clint W. Ensign. “It was a night shared with people of multiple faiths, creeds and countries — truly a night worthy to be remembered.”

The concert provided an enjoyable venue for Church members to associate with interfaith guests more personally and further the process of working together.

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