We are committed to being a community of solidarity with those who have been pushed to the margins of our society, and to the task of building a better world.
We support and engage with the arts — music, literature, theatre, the visual arts — and welcome collaboration with working artists.
We encourage questioning, dialogue, exploration and doubt. We know that the mystery of God is too great for any of us to understand fully, but together, through worship, work and community, we can continue to grow, to learn, and to move deeper into our shared life in God’s love.
Please join us for one of our worship services or community activities! We look forward to meeting you.
— Mtr. Maggie Helwig
Update, 24 January: During the week of 12 January, the sculpture began to fracture as a result of the cold weather. As it is a fibreglass cast, the damage cannot be repaired, so it has now been removed from view. We’ve been actively fundraising for a permanent (and weather-proof) bronze cast; see this page for details on how you can donate.
The sculpture was loaned to St Stephen’s by the artist, Timothy Schmalz, during September 2013’s Faith, Art, and Activism festival, and until this most recent mishap, could be seen just off the sidewalk at the north-west corner of the church.
According to a recent city survey, more than 5,000 people are homeless in Toronto, including an increasing number of seniors. Some spend the night in shelters, others in parks and ravines, or on street corners. Some, especially those who sleep outdoors, rely on panhandling for their basic needs.
The panhandler depicted by this fibreglass cast is a silent, huddled figure, a person whom crowds walk by and ignore But if you look carefully at his hands, you will see the stigmata, the wounds of Christ.
This sculpture asks us to look again, and to look carefully, and to see that the person before us is, indeed, the presence of Christ for us in this moment. Christ comes to us in the hungry, the needy, the marginalized and lonely, and demands our response.
“Those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” (from the First Letter of John)