No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Sue McCullough

One Wednesday morning, not that long ago, I was sitting at my desk early in the morning. As I peered out my window, I noticed that it was a bit foggy outside – not a usual thing for mid November. 

While I was working away, I heard the distinct sound of fog horns. The timbre of the horns sent a wave of melancholy through me. I had a sense of aloneness but not loneliness, like I was the only person awake in the world at that point in time, yet God was hovering near. It felt like one of the “thin times” between me and God. The sound seemed to travel for miles and miles, almost like an echo. 

I am not certain how far along the Seaway the ship was before I couldn’t hear the sound of the fog horn any longer but it sure seemed like quite some time had passed.

Later on in the day, I was sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea, and I heard the clear sound of a helicopter flying over. For some reason, that I have yet been able to figure out, I am fascinated by the sound and sight of helicopters. So I rushed outside to look for it. 

There I saw a very large chopper flying west. It wasn’t one of the recognizable orange helicopters that indicate someone being air-lifted to a hospital. It appeared to be a military helicopter that might well have been heading to CFB Trenton. 

As I looked up, I wondered about the people who were in that aircraft, marvelled at the fact that such an odd shaped machine could actually stay up in the air, prayed that they travelled safely to their destination and gave thanks that it wasn’t someone being flown to a hospital.

Sometime that afternoon, I was walking across the lawn returning home from the church when a small flock of geese flew overhead. There were only about eight or 10 birds flying and only one of them was honking as they flew. 

It wasn’t the noise of the call of that one lone bird that caught my attention so much as the sound of the air rushing through their wings. It sounded like a swoosh with every beat of their wings. The sound from such a few birds was quite loud so I can only imagine what it would sound like with some of the larger flocks that I see in the sky from time to time. Swoosh.

. . .that reminded me of how I thought Holy Spirit would sound when I was a little girl. The presence of God was evident to me once again that day.

As I think back on that day, I am reminded that we are blessed in so many ways. Being blessed with the ability to hear those sounds is something that I give thanks for because there are so many people in our world, our community, who cannot hear these things. 

Each time I was drawn away from my own thoughts to the world around me and I found myself entering into a time of prayer, drawing closer to God – marvelling at all of creation. The sounds of this November are not something that I will forget any time soon. Thanks be to God!

 

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Sue McCullough

One Wednesday morning, not that long ago, I was sitting at my desk early in the morning. As I peered out my window, I noticed that it was a bit foggy outside – not a usual thing for mid November. 

While I was working away, I heard the distinct sound of fog horns. The timbre of the horns sent a wave of melancholy through me. I had a sense of aloneness but not loneliness, like I was the only person awake in the world at that point in time, yet God was hovering near. It felt like one of the “thin times” between me and God. The sound seemed to travel for miles and miles, almost like an echo. 

I am not certain how far along the Seaway the ship was before I couldn’t hear the sound of the fog horn any longer but it sure seemed like quite some time had passed.

Later on in the day, I was sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea, and I heard the clear sound of a helicopter flying over. For some reason, that I have yet been able to figure out, I am fascinated by the sound and sight of helicopters. So I rushed outside to look for it. 

There I saw a very large chopper flying west. It wasn’t one of the recognizable orange helicopters that indicate someone being air-lifted to a hospital. It appeared to be a military helicopter that might well have been heading to CFB Trenton. 

As I looked up, I wondered about the people who were in that aircraft, marvelled at the fact that such an odd shaped machine could actually stay up in the air, prayed that they travelled safely to their destination and gave thanks that it wasn’t someone being flown to a hospital.

Sometime that afternoon, I was walking across the lawn returning home from the church when a small flock of geese flew overhead. There were only about eight or 10 birds flying and only one of them was honking as they flew. 

It wasn’t the noise of the call of that one lone bird that caught my attention so much as the sound of the air rushing through their wings. It sounded like a swoosh with every beat of their wings. The sound from such a few birds was quite loud so I can only imagine what it would sound like with some of the larger flocks that I see in the sky from time to time. Swoosh.

. . .that reminded me of how I thought Holy Spirit would sound when I was a little girl. The presence of God was evident to me once again that day.

As I think back on that day, I am reminded that we are blessed in so many ways. Being blessed with the ability to hear those sounds is something that I give thanks for because there are so many people in our world, our community, who cannot hear these things. 

Each time I was drawn away from my own thoughts to the world around me and I found myself entering into a time of prayer, drawing closer to God – marvelling at all of creation. The sounds of this November are not something that I will forget any time soon. Thanks be to God!

 

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No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Duncan Perry

 

My wife and I have just returned from a Missions trip to Malawi and Kenya in Africa.

According to statistics that were given to us on the plane as we flew, we were some 9,000 miles away from home, approximately. We discovered just how significant that was when we arrived back home in Canada having to adjust to a seven hour time difference.

However, that adjustment was minor to our having to deal with what we experienced.

I want you to know, I’ve seen television programs that show the poverty and the hungry children, and for most of my life I’ve been exposed to missionaries who have been there. I’ve heard their stories and have seen their slide shows, but I was not prepared for the real thing.

I think what got me the most is how very little most of the people there have, and yet, how very pleasant they are. I ate some of the food that most of them depend on for their survival. Day after day, it’s the same bland diet.

I realize that I have far too many choices, but I am real thankful that I have a better choice than that.

In Kenya, I was privileged to attend a school in the slums where the children get one meal a day, a mixture of beans, corn and rice if it is available. However, because of cutbacks of support from Canada, that meal is now only served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As far as can be known, these children have little or nothing to eat on Thursdays, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

I have to tell you, I wept when I heard that.

These kids, by the way, are as smart as any of our children. They are getting a good education, and good Biblical foundation as well. These children are the hope for the future of their countries.

Out of the worst possible conditions, God is raising up young people whose lives are being changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Malawi, I was privileged to work in a community that has been built, and funded still, by Canadians. There are 66 orphans being cared for there by women who have lost their husbands to death, one way or another.

James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father, is this, to care for widows and orphans in their trouble.”

This is the model that the “Village of Hope” is built on.

I, along with four other men from Canada, and Stephen from Malawi, prepared another home to be occupied, in the near future, by more children and another widow. I can tell you, it was difficult to work in 39 and 40 degree heat, but it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever been involved in.

I want to finish this today with a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to all who made it possible for us to go there, and for the financial support we received that enabled us to provide school supplies, paint and money to furnish this new house so that the orphans, who otherwise would have no hope, can now be cared for, loved and educated and, I believe, make a difference in Malawi.

Malawi is called “The Warm Heart of Africa” and without a doubt that is true. But they need Help. The kind of help many of you gave to me to take to them. I can tell you, God knows who you are and He will bless you.

Rev. Duncan Perry, Morrisburg Pentecostal Tabernacle

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

My Mission Trip to Africa

 

My wife and I have just returned from a Missions trip to Malawi and Kenya in Africa.

According to statistics that were given to us on the plane as we flew, we were some 9,000 miles away from home, approximately. We discovered just how significant that was when we arrived back home in Canada having to adjust to a seven hour time difference.

However, that adjustment was minor to our having to deal with what we experienced.

I want you to know, I’ve seen television programs that show the poverty and the hungry children, and for most of my life I’ve been exposed to missionaries who have been there. I’ve heard their stories and have seen their slide shows, but I was not prepared for the real thing.

I think what got me the most is how very little most of the people there have, and yet, how very pleasant they are. I ate some of the food that most of them depend on for their survival. Day after day, it’s the same bland diet.

I realize that I have far too many choices, but I am real thankful that I have a better choice than that.

In Kenya, I was privileged to attend a school in the slums where the children get one meal a day, a mixture of beans, corn and rice if it is available. However, because of cutbacks of support from Canada, that meal is now only served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As far as can be known, these children have little or nothing to eat on Thursdays, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

I have to tell you, I wept when I heard that.

These kids, by the way, are as smart as any of our children. They are getting a good education, and good Biblical foundation as well. These children are the hope for the future of their countries.

Out of the worst possible conditions, God is raising up young people whose lives are being changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Malawi, I was privileged to work in a community that has been built, and funded still, by Canadians. There are 66 orphans being cared for there by women who have lost their husbands to death, one way or another.

James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father, is this, to care for widows and orphans in their trouble.”

This is the model that the “Village of Hope” is built on.

I, along with four other men from Canada, and Stephen from Malawi, prepared another home to be occupied, in the near future, by more children and another widow. I can tell you, it was difficult to work in 39 and 40 degree heat, but it was one of the most rewarding things I have ever been involved in.

I want to finish this today with a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to all who made it possible for us to go there, and for the financial support we received that enabled us to provide school supplies, paint and money to furnish this new house so that the orphans, who otherwise would have no hope, can now be cared for, loved and educated and, I believe, make a difference in Malawi.

Malawi is called “The Warm Heart of Africa” and without a doubt that is true. But they need Help. The kind of help many of you gave to me to take to them. I can tell you, God knows who you are and He will bless you.

 

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Remembrance Day

 

I was at the cenotaph for the Iroquois Legion’s Remembrance Day service on November 6. The day was absolutely beautiful, the setting sun stretching out shadows to the west, hardly a cloud in the sky, pleasantly, sweetly warm for late fall. 

There wasn’t a huge crowd gathered at the monument. Often there isn’t. Some veterans, members of the Legion, a few civic, service and business leaders, church representatives, scouts, and a handful of ordinary people waiting for the parade from the Legion. I talked to a couple of the women. One woman’s husband had been in the military for nearly two decades before he retired. The other was younger. Her husband has just signed up to serve in the Canadian forces. Each woman had her own private reason for being at the cenotaph this balmy November day.

You wonder sometimes, as you listen to the service, just what the guys whose names are engraved on the weathered grey monument would make of all this: the pipes, the wreaths, the quiet little crowd. 

No serene autumn days in the world where such young men gave up their lives! Hard to admire a sunset when the earth around you is erupting in mortar shells and machine gun bullets. Hard to recall blue skies when the sea around you is full of burning ships and floating corpses. Hard to remember a warm wind when you are shivering in a loaded bomber praying the ack-ack and the search lights miss you.

Perhaps these long-lost warriors of long ago wars, wherever they are, will be glad to know that people still come out on a sunny afternoon to think about them. That there are kids in this crowd who stood and saluted at their names. That the sound of the pipes in The Last Post could still bring tears to watching eyes. Maybe they’ll even feel that it had actually been worth it: forever giving up their own chances of quiet autumn days like this so that people in this town, this province, this country would never have to. 

It might be a comfort for them to know that we remember them still. And we honour them.

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Janet Evans

 

Several years ago, my husband, our daughter, my father, my late mother and I attended  the annual Remembrance Day service in our nation’s capital, Ottawa.

My parents were returning to Toronto via Ottawa from Halifax where they had been involved with the celebrations pertaining to the “Year of the War Bride”.

In 1945, my father Bruce, a Canadian soldier, married my mother Kathleen, an English war bride. They would spend 63 years together as a couple until my mom passed away on December 20, 2008.

On that day in Ottawa, I was so touched by the speeches, the laying of the wreaths, the music and the turn out of veterans, their families and others who wanted to pay their respects to those who had served their nation.

My dad, unfortunately, had a weak spell and had to make a trip in the middle of the ceremonies to the bus manned by the paramedics. As we walked by the throngs of people crowding the streets, men women and children began to clap.

They were honouring an elderly gentleman, my father, who worked for justice in a world fractured by strife and pain.

They began to clap, and I was stunned. Surely this was one of the most overwhelming moments of my life.

At this time of year, we remember. We wear a poppy and hold onto hope for peace for all people. 

We remember the sacrifice of those who lost lives, limbs, liveliness or loved ones in war or peacekeeping.

We ask God to teach us to remember and mourn with hope, Christ’s hope, which lives in and for this world–until the last trumpet sounds, and our lives are measured by the compassion we have lived.

May the response we make to any who suffer from violence and war be counted as repentance in God’s reign.

Today, we remember. We remember these beautiful words from a wonderful hymn: Let there be light, let there be understanding. Let all the nations gather, let them be face to face.

May we as God’s peacemakers and peacekeepers bring light to others. May we listen to our neighbours and may they listen to us.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with each one of us. May God guide us as we ever seek justice, love, kindness and walk humbly with Him.

And on November 11th–Remember!! 

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Handicapped accessibility questioned

 

Dear Editor,

Hurray, they finally paved the shopping center (Morrisburg).  They even painted the lines, except at the handicapped parking spaces.

Come on Council, think of the handicapped people who have walkers and wheelchairs and canes.  There is one handicapped parking by the drugstore, one by the liquor store and four  at the grocery store.

There should be two or three by the drugstore, and the first car parking in each row across from the Bank of Montreal and the drugstore.  At one time there was one across from the drugstore, but when they paved there previously, it was never assigned again to handicapped.

South Dundas Council should take a page from Ottawa council. They had councilors in wheel chairs, or using canes and walkers, maneuver shopping centre, post office and arena areas.  Some had to wear glasses that made it hard to see and others had weights on their legs which made it harder to walk.  Our council is young, but they have to think of people with handicaps.

Go to the medical xlinic and then to the shopping centre and see the handicapped people.  Some are handicapped but don’t show it on the outside.

In the summer go to Upper Canada Village with a wheelchair, go up ramps, enter washrooms, and then when you are tired go to the store to exit and try to get up the ramp to the store. Then when you are done, go up the hill to the parking lot. No cheating by getting out of the chair and walking.

I hope this makes our Council open their eyes.  Maybe some day they will need a wheel chair.

Yours Loyally:

Lynne (O’Brien) Cook, U.E.

 

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Africa and Morrisburg–Perspectives

 

What is this all about?  What does Morrisburg have to do with Africa?  I asked myself that question, too, before I traveled to Durban, South Africa for the 2011 World Methodist Council and Conference in July/August. 

Representing one denomination in the whole family of Methodism, where John Wesley said, “the world is my parish,” is a bit intimidating.  Over 150 denominations worldwide claim their lineage from the roots of John Wesley’s Methodism.

By way setting the meeting and Methodism in history, the first meeting of Methodist Council and Conference took place in London, England in 1881, one year after the completion of the existing Methodist Church in Canada church on Lakeshore Drive, now Lakeshore Drive United Church.  

The subsequent councils and conferences met every 10 years at sites around the globe, and since the 1980’s have begun meeting every five years.  Committees constituted by people from various Methodist denominations report on their worldwide work in areas such as family life, global relations and evangelism.  And Methodists gather to re-affirm their identity and connect with one another. 

As any other gathering of over 2000 people, it is such a Spirit filled place to sing, dance, and worship God together!  In so many languages with such vibrancy!  

Besides Bible study and world class speakers like Archbishop Elias Chakour, all the delegates and friends could participate in mission work.  All of us were asked to bring school supplies for children so that the churches could distribute them as needed throughout South Africa.  

The Methodist Church of South Africa operates many day-care centers, orphanages, preschools and day schools for youth.  African churches are instrumental in the work to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDs.  

We were able to participate in the daily work at every site we visited.  

I also chose to fill food bags for the program called End Hunger Now.  It is a 10-year old food aid organization which the Methodist Men in the United Methodist Church have taken on as their mission project.  

The goal for the conference was to fill 100,000 packages, and we exceeded that goal by 33,000 packages.  Even high school children from Durban helped in this effort.  

Each package contained a cup of rice, a cup of vegetable protein, two tablespoons of lentils and a package of vitamins and minerals.  Mixing six cups of water with this dry mix produced a well balanced meal for more than one child.  

End Hunger Now received permission from the Somalie group El Shabab, to deliver 25,000 packages to the starving thousands in Somalia.

Even in Africa, the church and nation know that in order for a child to learn well they need a full stomach.  For some children the meal that they get at school is the only really filling meal that they get on a daily basis.  

So remember this when you or your church is raising funds for food in Africa, especially at this critical time in the life of the drought in the Horn of Africa.

But hunger is also close to home here in Morrisburg. We have children and families where nutritious food is not always available.  

There is a lunch/breakfast program at Seaway District High School.  At our elementary schools, our children receive little bags of dry cereal or crackers and fresh fruit to supplement their diets.  

So that is why we need to connect Africa and Morrisburg.  

Africans say that it takes a whole village to raise a child.  What they know is that it takes everyone taking an interest in the welfare of our children to ensure that they grow up as healthy, educated, responsible adults.

Our various denominations know that we all celebrate the Eucharist, Holy Communion, The Lord’s Supper, in what I like to call the “meal that feeds the world.”  And as we are fed at the Lord’s Table so we are called to be disciples to also feed the world with the Word that nourishes our hearts, mind and actions, and calls us forth to put our faith into action.  

We are thankful to be able to support the Food Bank, Canadian Food Grains Bank growing projects in our community and other programs that ensure that children and adults here and in foreign countries receive healthy meals.  

We have just celebrated abundance in Thanksgiving.  We give thanks for gifts received and gifts shared.  God’s Peace.

 

Rev. Arlyce Schiebout

Lakeshore United Church

Morrisburg

 

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No Picture
Opinion

Perspectives by Rev. Norine Gullons

 

Last evening our Women’s Group at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Williamsburg hosted an evening with Nancy Horton. Nancy is a stay at home mom and mother of three boys.

What is so remarkable about this particular woman?

Nancy is a breast cancer survivor, author, and inspirational speaker. Nancy spoke with clarity and honesty about her journey with cancer and also shared her “faith” walk through life.

In speaking she opened up chapters of her life story so that others could hear and read of her struggles and where she support and encouragement to persevere in her life.

You may have heard Nancy in July on 100 Huntley Street. Her books “Hope in the Midst Darkness” and “The Big Fat Bald Head” are her way of providing a light in the darkness of cancer.

It seems these days that everyone knows someone whose had been touched by cancer. If not by cancer by another illness or grief, depression or issues within their family.

Nancy’s focus on forgiveness and self-esteem are important issues in life.

Our acceptance and love of who we are as individuals is an important step in our acceptance and love of others and of our love for our God. Nancy reminds us all again that we a NOT alone in this world!

I quote from her blog: “You have a Heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally and wants to have a relationship with you. He promises to never leave or forsake you. There will always be trouble in this world, but it’s always easier to go through life’s struggles when someone is holding your hand.

Let God be your answer.”

[…]

No Picture
Opinion

Halloween is dress-up time

 

Halloween is just days away now and people have already begun decorating for the holiday, planning for parties, making or buying costumes and candy, and stockpiling the scariest of movies for the October 31st celebration. For those who read my editorial about how much I love Thanksgiving, well, Halloween is a very close second-runner-up for my favourite holiday.

Unfortunately, Halloween tends to get a bad rap from some, which leads me to ask, “Do you know the origin of Halloween?”

Halloween, the celebration not the name, originated from the pagan celebration of Samhain. It is a time to celebrate the end of harvest season. It is a time to take stock of the year that has passed. Sound slightly familiar? In my opinion, Samhain holds a little bit of Thanksgiving and a little bit of New Year’s Day themes. So, if this is how Halloween originated, why has it become the “day of the dead”?

Well, it is also believed that this is the one time of the year when the veil between the worlds, the dead and the living, is thinnest. It is also the day before All Hallow’s Eve, more commonly referred to now as All Saints Day on November 1st. (And in case you haven’t made the connection yet, it is believed that All Hallow’s Eve is where the term Halloween originated.)

Disregarding the history of masks and costumes being used to scare off evil spirits or demons, I believe that Halloween is another opportunity to give thanks. This time, we can thank those we love who have passed for being in our lives and for being who they were when they were here with us. It is a time to remember them.

It is also another opportunity to be thankful for what we have right now: family, friends, health and life itself.

So why do we dress up in scary costumes, collect candy or go to parties? Because it’s fun. Do you remember being a kid? Did you like dressing up? Well, we’re all still little kids inside and Halloween gives grown-ups (as well as children) permission to dress up and be silly.

So, on October 31st remember to be thankful for those you love, here in person or here in spirit, and celebrate by dressing up and having some fun. Take a page out of Mr. Dressup’s book and rifle through your Tickle Trunk for a fantastically original costume. 

[…]