At the end of January, tragic news broke about some of the missing people from our Village community: their remains had been found at a house on Mallory Crescent, victims of a serial killer. Shock, horror and grief enveloped our city. In response, MCC Toronto held a candlelight vigil on Sunday, February 3rd. We lit a candle for each of the five men identified at that point – Majeed Kayhan, Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Dean Lisowick, and Sorush Mahmudi. Rev. Sam Morris lit a sixth candle for victims yet to be named. Eventually, that candle came to encompass three more men: Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, and Kirushna Kanagaratnam.
Sitting in the congregation that evening were the homeowners of that house on Mallory Crescent. They sang with us, cried with us, and held hope with us. They were so moved that, once they were allowed to return home, they painted the words from a song we sang that night onto their garage: “We are one. We are how we treat each other when the day is done.”
Alan Brody is a member of our congregation and a volunteer with our Facilities team. Alan was struck with a good idea that he brought to the church staff a few months ago. And so, during the Labour Day weekend, a group of volunteers went to that home on Mallory Crescent. They went to re-mediate the damage done to the grounds. They went to restore a feeling of home to a residence once dubbed ‘the hell house’ by a Toronto newspaper. They went to show how neighbours care.
Leah Uchida donated her landscaping skills. Rev. Warren Schell donated delicious stew and lasagna. Church volunteers donated their manual labour. A group of us came together in love and kindness, and it was truly holy ground.