“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” Gandhi

Hello everyone, I’m back!

Marc and I had a wonderful flying visit with my mom who is living in St. John’s. Even though she appears to be slowing down both physically and cognitively we still managed to make some warm, fun-loving memories during our stay.

While we were in Newfoundland, the weather was more typical of Ontario weather- cold and blowing snow. Then we return to Ontario with above seasonal temperatures and fog! Mother Nature is switching things up. Keep the faith- the sun is returning for the week-end!
A big thank you to Rev. Nina for pitch hitting for me in my absence.

It is with a heavy heart I have to tell you that Sylvia Beattie died early Monday morning with her
devoted husband Don, as always, right by her side. Although Sylvia was declining with multiple health issues- her passing sort of came out of the blue on Monday. Don cherished his beloved wife of 65 years. A more attentive and supportive husband Sylvia could not have asked for especially during her recent years of decline. Don was always right there to tend to her every need. He was her husband and caregiver 24/7. When I visited with Don this week, he told me he is feeling a sense of shock but added for Sylvia, her death is perhaps a blessing. As per Sylvia’s request there will be a small private family service at Muskoka Traditions this Saturday
afternoon. A reception to celebrate Sylvia’s warm and loving life may be held at a later date. Don, all of us here at Trinity are holding you with love as you walk through this valley of death. You are not alone.

“Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Isaiah 40

We are also holding Jean Fairhall in our healing prayers this week. Her younger brother David Bryson died last week after struggling with heart issues. Jean we are thinking about you and praying you will feel the presence of God through the caring and loving actions of friends and family. ” Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” 23rd Psalm

As we turn the pages of our calendars this week-end, we look with disbelief that we are starting the month of February. Where did the first month of the new year go? We can almost say spring arrives next month! We are entering a six-week season known as Lent on February 14th- yes, Valentine’s Day is also Ash Wednesday. Here are a couple of Lenten activities you may want to make a note of in your calendars:

  • Valentine Pancake Supper and Ash Wednesday service
    February 14th. 5: 30 supper and 7:00 pm
    church service.
  • “Embracing a Spiritual Awakening” with Diana
    Butler Bass.
    This In-Spirit Circle time begins on Tuesday February 20th between 2-4 pm in the Arnold Room. There are no books to read! Video clips and discussion. The other days include Tuesday 27th, March 5th, Marth 12th, and March 19th. I hope you can make this part of your Lenten journey to Jerusalem this year. Let myself or Suzy know if you
    would like to be part of this time together.
  • “Finding God in the Dark”
    This Lenten Movies series hits the screen on Thursday February 22nd at 7pm. Admission is five dollars and includes popcorn! Best deal in town. Come out and bring a friend and maybe a cushion for the chair if you so desire. Movie titles to be posted shortly.
  • “Coins for Lent”
    Lent is a good time to commit to giving money to a project that helps those in need. This year we are going to involve the whole family in collecting coins and then we will donate the money raised towards a community group who could use a helping hand. I will send out a “Coins for Lent Giving Calendar” which tells us what we have to give a coin for on any given day. For example, you give a coin for every box of cereal you have in your cupboard one day or a coin for every bottle of salad dressing you have in your fridge another day or for every coat in your closet or board game or desk in
    your home another day. You get the idea. A great way to have some family fun while practicing generosity during this time of reflection. Remember donating=loving.
  • Finally, we are launching a Lenten sermon/message series called Wandering Heart. This six-week series will follow one of Jesus’ most famous disciples: Peter. In Peter, we often see ourselves. By following Peter’s journey, we watch the story of Jesus unfold through the eyes of a normal human being trying to figure life out- just like us. Like us too, Peter has a
    wandering heart. His journey is not polished, linear or perfect- but he is always tethered to the love of God. During this time, we will reflect upon the stages of our own faith journey as well as who and what has shaped us along the way. As we wander together, may our hearts be tuned to God’s grace. I hope you plan on making a commitment to take this journey with Peter and Jesus and making this Lent and Easter the most meaningful yet.
  • A couple of reminders for this week and next: Mug up with me is tomorrow (Thursday) at 10 am in the newly renovated Arnold Room. Everyone welcome.

Our Board members meeting is next Tuesday February 6th at 10 am and today is the deadline for submissions for our Annual Report.

Our Annual General Meeting is set for February 25th, 2024. A big thank you to Lynda Arnold for getting these reports in order and for Craig Fairley for helping out with the process too.

Speaking of our AGM, we are doing something a little differently this year. We are having a luncheon prior to our meeting. So, our lunch and meeting will both be held in Trinity Hall. Thank you to Craig and Cathy Fairley for providing this luncheon in their efforts to raise money for their upcoming trip to Kenya, Africa in April. They are both committed to an orphanage there called Home of Grace Care Centre. Cathy will be there for a month. She goes every year- on her own dime may I add. The money raised will go towards buying school supplies, textbooks, and food for families in need. If you would like to check out the website, go to hogcc.org. All donations of more than 20 dollars can be made through the church and you can get a tax receipt for your generous donation. We are called to love our neighbour and our neighbour is anybody in need- in our own backyard or in far off lands. In a world full of hate, we can choose to be a light.

In our Birthday Corner today: Diane Schamehorn is celebrating her birthday today! Happy Birthday Diane! May the joy of your special day go with you through a happy and blessed year ahead. We will sing to you on Sunday morning!

Remember Chuck’s Coffee House is set for Friday night February 17th. This is always a wonderful night of music and community. Spread the word!

May the smile of God brighten your day,

Your faithful servant,



Past issues

From The Minister’s Study March 17, 2024

The late evening snow flurries seem oddly fitting for this our last week-end of winter- at least according to our calendars. Spring begins on Tuesday!  I have already heard stories of robins visiting people's gardens and the ice will likely be off the bay here by the...

From The Minister’s Study – March 7, 2024

Hello everybody, Our spring-like weather is continuing for a few more days and Linda Martin tells us they have their first batch of Maple Syrup for the season! It does sound like we are in for lots of rain on the week-end… Did someone say snow? And of course, it's...

From the Minister’s Study – February 28, 2024

" Love changes everything, including us." Trinity United Church is now officially an Affirming United Church faith community. Here at Trinity, we strive to be Jesus-centric as we try to emulate Jesus' radical inclusivity by welcoming all people regardless of what...

From The Minister’s Study – February 21, 2024

"Life is beautiful and terrible, full of hope anddespair and everything in between and there's nocure for being human." Kate Bowler Sister Joan Chittister says " Lent is a time to let life in again." We do this by getting rid of the things that are keeping us small...