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We certainly got a blast of winter this week.  I guess that Wiarton Willie’s prediction of an early spring may not be true after all.  It is a good month to be away for those enjoying the sunny south.

We are plunged into the deep freeze again!  I hope that everyone is staying warm, and not venturing outside unless absolutely necessary.  I can’t help but think about all of those in our country who are living on the streets, with few options to keep warm.  It is a tragedy of epic proportion.

A very Happy New Year to each of you.  We have passed the winter solstice, and it would seem that the days are really starting to get longer.  Jim and I spent New Year’s at our cottage.  It is totally different in the winter.  The ice on the lake was groaning and there was two feet of snow on the ground.  It was incredibly peaceful.  The day we left to come home, we woke up to -25 temperatures, decided to pack up and leave, and made a mad dash for the car.  On our way home, we always take back roads, we saw five snowy owls on a concession just outside of Stayner.  They are breathtakingly beautiful creatures and we figured that was our reward for the extremely cold start to the day?

It would appear that we will probably be having a green Christmas this year.  And while it will certainly make travelling to visit family and friends much easier, it is just not as nice as waking up to sparkling snow on Christmas morning.  And it is hard to believe that there are less than two weeks left in 2018.  Where did the year go?  I can remember my Mother saying that the years seemed to fly by faster as she got older, and I used to think ‘ya, sure they do’.  But now that I am ‘older’, I might have to agree with her?

The weather does not seem to be able to decide whether we are in winter or spring.  After the balmy temperatures of last Sunday, we are once again plunged into the reality of sub-zero, snowy December days.  Climate change is a reality.  The birds are all mixed up as well.  There are many reports of summer species that should have been long gone to sunnier places, but are still lingering in southern Ontario.  Meanwhile, our winter birds are here in record numbers as the seed crop in the north was devestated by the summer drought and the forest fires.  We all need to look carefully at how we live with respect in creation.

Not sure if I’m ready for this wintry weather yet.  The geese are not happy either, as the pond across the road keeps freezing over on them.  While I love the changing seasons, winter seems to have come a bit too early this year.

What a powerful and moving service we had on Sunday commemorating Remembrance Day and the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War.  The first person readings from actual soldiers and their wives and loved ones, really hit home and gave you a different perspective of how awful it really was for those at the front and those waiting at home.  Kudos to Rev. Keith for getting us out on time to walk over to the Cenotaph.  That service was not nearly as inspiring.

What a wonderful service we had on Sunday to celebrate our seventeen years as an Affirming congregation.  It was a reflective and powerful service, enhanced by the music of the Rainbow Chorus and David Devine on the drums.  The presentation and meaning of the rainbow colours, reflections from Marion Logan, Rev. Roy Holton and Trevor Subhani, the audio visuals, and the Affirming covenant stood out for me.  My sincere thanks to the small committee that put this service together.  It is important to remember who we are, and to re-affirm our values and beliefs.

Hard to believe, but it is Thanksgiving weekend.  Jim and I have just returned to the cottage from two days of hiking in Algonquin Park.  The colours were spectacular.  At every turn there was another gorgeous vista.  It is a reminder that nature is full of beauty if we want to see it.

It is hard to believe that September is nearly over.  Where does the time go?  Our summer birds have left for warmer climates, and the nights are starting to get chilly.  Fall is a beautiful season though.  There is something magical about swishing through fallen leaves and biting into a crisp, local apple.  The fall smells of ragweed and goldenrod, and the beautiful purple asters make it a wonderful time to be outside.

Thank you to our Membership Committee for organizing the ‘Welcome Back’ Sunday on September 16.  The hot dogs and ice cream were enjoyed by young and old alike.  This past Sunday, Reverend Keith challenged us to seek to make a difference in the lives around us, to imagine what we could do, and to reach out and connect our lives to others.  How can we expand what we have to give to the community and the world around us?  We are uniquely positioned to make a difference.  I would challenge us to think about how we might do that.  There are many vulnerable individuals in our community that could benefit from some kind of relationship with our congregation.  Social isolation is on the rise.  We have a very large building with lots of empty space.  What are we being called to do?

Kudos to everyone who participated in our summer pasta challenge.  With the help of the community, we collected 840 packages of pasta for the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank.  Our Food Bank supports hundreds of individuals, families and non-profit agencies.  This donation, along with the pasta sauce and the baked beans, will go a long way to help those in need.  Good job everyone!

Normally, our outreach for October is the Food Bank in support of their Thanksgiving Food Drive.  Since we have just made a large donation to them, I thought that we might collect supplies for Trinity Community Table, another food-related service organization.  Launched in 1992, Trinity Community Table is a community outreach program that provides nourishing noon meals in a hospitable environment to all who have need.  They serve approximately 175 guests for a hot lunch every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the parish hall at Trinity Anglican Church.  Last year, over 19,000 meals were served.  Over 100 volunteers administer the program, donating over 10,000 hours of voluntary service annually.  What they need:

· Canned vegetables

· Canned fruit

· Canned fish or meat

· Coffee

· Tea

· Sugar

· Juice or juice powder

· Spices

· Condiments

Our hardworking Finance Committee met this week and reviewed the year-to-date financial statements.  We are behind in our givings by $8,000 and some of our utility bills are up considerably.  Rental income has increased marginally and other expenses have been kept down as much as possible.  We are at -$2,400 to the end of August.  Presbytery dues will soon be payable as well.  For members of Wesley, dues are $76 each.  I know that seems like a lot, on top of our regular givings.  I would encourage you to donate what you can.  There are small brown envelopes for this purpose at both the back of the church and at the Cambridge Street entrance to the sanctuary.  There will soon also be envelopes in the pews.  Any amount donated will be credited to your givings. 

We were very happy to have Rick McFadden back on the organ bench last Sunday after his recent tonsil surgery.  Rick and his committee are gearing up for our annual silent movie dinner and presentation with Ian Sadler on Friday October 26.  This year’s movie is ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.  Tickets are available from the office.  The cost is $35 for dinner and the movie, or $15 for the movie alone.  Please come if you can.  It is a treat to hear Ian play our beautiful organ.  Many thanks to Michele Braniff for once again designing the posters and the tickets.  Randy and I promise that the dinner will be delicious.

In January of this year, we started an outreach/social enterprise program with the residents of Saginaw House and Ancora House; two programs of Cambridge Shelter Corporation.  These houses, one for men and one for women, are for individuals who have successfully completed an addiction treatment program and are re-learning how to live independently without drugs or alcohol.  They are wonderful programs with an over 70% success rate.  Residents are able to live in the houses for up to one year, and have a detailed case plan which includes lots of meetings, attending school, and reconnecting with their families, if that is appropriate.  It has been difficult for them to find places where they can volunteer.  They have been volunteering here at Wesley at our seniors lunches and we have been making turkey and beef pies and butter and pecan tarts to sell at the market.  The women also make a variety of jams.  They are incredibly thankful for this opportunity.  They are very hard workers and it is a delight to listen to them as we work away in the kitchen.  Many of them attend the AA meetings that we host here as well.  They are already asking about helping with our big concert on October 26.

It is hard to describe what a huge difference this has made in their lives.  One of the women commented that everyone here greets her as a friend and accepts her for what she is trying to become.  We can never really know what another person’s journey is like.  We can only meet them where they are and walk along with them.  It has been a humbling experience to walk along with these men and women.  Thanks for providing a safe place for them to continue their journey.

Peace,

Anne Tinker

“It is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be, by remaining who we are.” - Max Depree

I hope that everyone enjoys the blast of summer weather that is predicted for this weekend.  Temperatures are once again forecast to be in the high 20’s.  Hard to believe that the first day of fall is next week.  The birds are getting ready for their annual southern migration though.  We have had lots of turkey vultures and hawks kettling over the house as they prepare for their long journeys to spend the winter in warmer climates.

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Beautiful Stained Glass

Conveniently Located

Nestled in the heart of downtown Cambridge, only a few steps from City Hall and the Cambridge Farmer's Market.

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About Us

Wesley is situated in the historic civic square in downtown Galt, adjacent to the Cambridge Farmer’s Market, the historic City Hall, and the new City Administration building.
Wesley is part of the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in our country. The United Church of Canada prides itself on welcoming everyone the way Jesus did, regardless of age, race, class, gender, orientation, or physical ability.

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Wesley United Church

6 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, ON
N1R 3R6

Office Hours
Tuesday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Phone

519-621-6060

Sunday Services

Beginning at 10:30am

United Church of Canada

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