Perspectives by Rev. Sue McCullough

A Week of Sadness–Thank God for Prayer

This past Friday evening I was sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea when it occurred to me that the week had been one of great sadness.

Who can explain the actions of the people responsible for the deaths and injuries that happened when two bombs exploded in Boston during the running of the annual marathon? Our lament of “Why?” can be heard around the world with no answer coming – at least not as soon as we would like. 

Yet through the tears and the pain we are called, by Jesus, to pray for those responsible and their families just as we are called to pray for the families of the people who died and who were injured. That is definitely not an easy thing for us to do.

That was Monday. Then there was Tuesday. 

Ironically, I was in Winchester when I heard the news of George Beverly Shea’s death. When I first moved into the area, many people told me about Winchester being the birthplace of George Beverly Shea with great pride. You can imagine the looks that I received when I asked “Who’s George Beverly Shea?” I was not long in finding out! 

A man of great faith; a man with a gentle soul; a man with a powerful voice that brought joy to the hearts of so very many people throughout the world – that was George Beverly Shea. The people of not only Winchester, but all of Dundas County claim him as their own. He will be missed and we pray for his family and friends as they mourn their loss.

On the drive home from Winchester I was listening to the radio and heard the report of the untimely death of Rita MacNeil. One of Canada’s rare gems, Ms. MacNeil sang her way into the hearts of many of us. 

She was a woman of faith. Her music came from the very core of her being and you could tell that about her.

I had the privilege of seeing Rita in concert in Kitchener several years ago, and I left the concert smiling, refreshed and ready to meet whatever came next – not something that happens regularly, I think. I know that I am truly saddened by her death as are the people of Cape Breton. Rita, too, will be sorely missed and we pray for her family and friends as they grieve.

And then there was Wednesday.

You never know when your world will rock. The people of the small community of West, Texas had theirs rock when a fertilizer plant exploded after a fire had started. The numbers of casualties from that horrible event numbers in the hundreds. The loss of life is staggering, not to mention the injuries sustained by people who live near the plant. People’s lives have been overturned in so many ways and yet they speak of when they will go back to their homes and do what they can to get their lives back to some sense of normal, grieving their dead and praying for the injured. 

We, too, pray for that community as the people struggle to come to terms with such an overwhelming disaster.

“Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord. And let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

I wonder what next week will bring.



Rev. Sue McCullough

Anglican Parish of Morrisburg, Iroquois & Riverside Heights


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