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Showing posts from 2015

How Did I Come To Write The Story Of The Scott Mission? Part 1

Back in the spring of 1980, while I was a theology student at Knox College, I took a history course in the Social Gospel of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was an eye-opener—introducing me to Christians who wanted to see genuine Biblical principles applied in society. They went after wealthy church-going landlords whose tenants couldn’t get indoor plumbing and employers who had children working in mines and textile mills. Leaders of the social gospel insisted that the character of Christianity should match the priorities of Messiah.
Those were great stories, yet someone else had drawn my attention. In the centre of our library was a display case with a Torah scroll. It was donated by a Knox graduate, Rev. Morris Zeidman, founder of the Scott Mission on his return from Europe—a trip that had taken place after WWII to his native Poland.
That small Torah scroll with its polished brass breastplate and silver yad (the pointer for use on the scroll) was a touching artifact, remindi…

He Brought Light to the City: A Tribute to Morris Zeidman

This fall, The Scott Mission will publish More Than Miracles, my new book on the story of this beloved downtown ministry:  "The Miracle on Spadina."  The book provides some very special insights from the late Elaine Zeidman Markovic, the daughter of its founders, Morris and Annie Zeidman.  But the first section focuses on the accomplishments of Elaine's remarkable father, Morris.

Morris Zeidman (1894-1964) was one of the most revered and visionary Hebrew Christians of the 20th century. In the spring of 1912, he arrived in Toronto from Poland, wandering through its teeming, poverty-stricken Jewish district, a penniless immigrant. No one could have foretold that he would rise from obscurity in one of the most WASP cities in North America to be acclaimed by his city and his country as “Canadian Citizen of the Year” half a century later.

How did Zeidman earn such respect? It's surprising that his primary identity was "your missionary to the Jewish people"—yes,…