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From the Minister’s Study – May 10, 2024

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy- they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  Marcel Proust

Let us pray:

Spirit of Life, we come together in community here in this online space, as one heart and body.

Braid us together.  Let us be bound in love to one another.  Amen.

 ——

Happy Spring to you!

My daffodils are joyfully lighting up my dark winter soil with promises of summer not too far off.

They also welcome us to our Mother’s Day/ Christian Family Sunday this week-end.

Bouquets of gratitude go out to our biological moms, our adoptive moms and our foster moms!

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate all the women who have had a positive influence in our lives over the years.  While it is a day of family celebration for some it may be a difficult time for many. This includes those who have lost their mothers, mothers who have lost their children. Then there are those who never had the mother child relationship they always desired.  And the mothers who are estranged from their adult children for some unexplained reasons.  While there will be meaningful family brunches and BBQ’s  we need to hold and honour the absence, pain and loss so many others are feeling this week-end.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. On Sunday, we scratched the surface of this humongous topic with calls to bring our mental health problems out of the shadows and into the healing light of love and hope. We heard “what remains hidden can never be healed.”   As followers of The Way- Jesus’ movement of love, we are challenged to raise awareness, combat the silence and stigma that still very much surrounds people who are suffering with mental health problems and brain disorders.  We need to speak respectively and inclusively about mental health and create safe and supportive environments for open and honest conversations about our mental health and well-being. Together, we can strive to create a community where everyone feels empowered to prioritize their mental health and seek help when needed.  I would like to share one of my favourite poems by a poet called Rumi.  In this poem we are called to welcome and make friends with all emotions, including the painful ones. It’s called The Guest House:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Trinity’s Directors and Team leaders met this week to hear the state of the nation. Financially, our offerings are up over the same time last year—thank you to everyone who is contributing to the coffers so we can continue with our ministry both here and in our community. Because it was voted on and agreed upon at our Annual General Meeting in February, our funding for our Mission and Service Fund is now coming directly out of our church coffers. Last year people decided individually to support M and S or other charities of their choice. We are working diligently to meet our 18-thousand-dollar goal and in making this choice we also made the decision to increase our giving by 10 percent to meet the M and S goal. I am confident that by year’s end we will have reached this target.

In the fall we are looking at having all our teams take a minute at the top of the service to explain to our faith community exactly what they are responsible for and how people may help in their specific areas.  All ideas for future fundraising are to go through Gord Mitchell or Jane Booker to ensure groups do not overlap one another. Our online Silent Auction brought in more than seven thousand dollars this year with many new social connections being forged at the same time. Yes, the secret sauce of life IS our connections and relationships with one another. It was agreed and voted on that next year the bidding time will be two weeks and not this year’s three-week period. If you have any concerns you may like to bring before the directors. The next meeting is June 11th, 2024. A big shout out to Craig Fairley who helped Lynda Arnold get our auction up and running for the first time online!  Easy and fun!

Did you see the “For Sale” sign on the lawn of the former Manse?  Yes, looks like it’s going to be sold yet again.  We are going to miss our valued parking spaces! 

It is with a saddened heart I share the news of the passing of Robert Seely yesterday in Gananoque. He is the son of the late Hall and Mary Jane Seely, longtime members of Trinity.   He’s the brother of the late Lynn Smith who was a member here at Trinity too. Brian Smith is Robert’s brother-in-law. There is no word on arrangements up to the time of this post.  Also, I ask that you keep in your hand of prayer Wanda Tizzard, Rick Wearing and the family and friends of Sonja Schweter. Sonja died recently from complications of pneumonia. She was 32.  Sonja was studying to become a pastor in her church. Phyllis Avard is also suffering with a compressed back disc and welcomes prayers for a full recovery.

In our Glad’s:

Linda Martin is over the moon grateful for the more than two thousand dollars she raised for last week-ends Hike of Hospice. She especially thanks everyone here at Trinity who supported her and the hospice that provides wonderful end of life care for our family and friends.

Cathy Fairley is back home from Kenya, Africia. She was there for a month working and serving at Home of Grace, an orphanage in the country. Cathy is going to share some stories of our trip on May 19th at church.  I am going to be away May 19th, 26th and June 2nd. Rev. Nina is going to lead on May 26th and our Pride Team is going to provide leadership on June 2nd, as it is Pride Sunday.

And in our birthday Corner this week-end- Rev. John McTavish and Kyung- A Lee are both blowing out their birthday candles- we will be sure to raise our voices in song and sing happy birthday to you both on Sunday morning!  Don’t count the years- make the years count!

I am going to conclude my message with A Mother’s Day Prayer:

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place but have not love-
I am a housekeeper—not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing and decorative achievement but have not love-
my children will learn cleanliness but not godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned fridge door.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love crawls with the baby,
walks with the toddler,
runs with the child,
stands aside to allow the teenager to walk into adulthood.
As a mother, there is much I must teach my child.
But no lesson is greater than the lesson of love.
Amen. 

Hope to see you all on Sunday morning—a special surprise for our women! My lips are sealed! For mothers who are away this Sunday to be with their families, you are blessed!  We will see you when you get home!  Enjoy those precious God filled moments.

Walking with you on this journey we call life,

Faithfully yours,

Rev. Diane

Community News and Events

Silent Auction Ends Sunday, Apr 21 – 6 pm!

Be sure to check your bids frequently as we come to the conclusion of our 2024 Silent Auction.

Join the fun! You have until 6 pm SHARP on Sunday, April 21st!

So many things to chose from! What are you going to bid on?

Congregational Meeting April 28, 2024

Please note that Trinity United Church Huntsville will hold a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, April 28, 2024 immediately following the worship service.

Agenda will include:

  • Approval of the proposed Vision Statement – see attached
  • Approval of the updated Constitution – see attached – updates and additions are highlighted
  • Review of the first quarter financial statement

If you have any questions, please let Lynda Arnold, Board of Directors, know.

Companions on this journey!!

Trinity’s Annual Silent Auction

Bidding Starts Sunday April 7

Trinity’s 2024 Silent Auction Bidding is about to begin …

Our Silent Auction is bigger and better this year! There are more items and you can place your bids directly online and know the status of your bid at all times.

This is your chance to ​get some great experiences, services and items.

Items donated by the people of Trinity United Church will be on offer for bidding.

Items available include:

  • Baking
  • Floral bouquets
  • Woodworking
  • Maple syrup
  • Dinner-dance
  • Gift cards
  • Driving you to errands
  • Pottery classes
  • Gourmet dinners
  • Outings on the water
  • AND MORE …

Proceeds to support the ministry of the church.

You will see a complete list of items on offer, with a photo, the donor’s name, the description, the suggested price. Click on the item in the list for more details (if any), to see current bids, and to place your bid. Place your bid in the comment box and it will appear on the item page for all to see. (There may be a short delay.) Enter your name and your bid. Minimum $2.00 increments over the last bid, please. It’s that easy!

Note that bids will appear only on the individual item’s page, not on the main list.

Bidding will start online on Sunday, April 7th, and continue until April 21st at 6:00 PM. If you can’t sleep some night(s), visit the silent auction listing and do some bidding!! You can bid from your computer, iPad, or cell phone — wherever you can connect to the internet.

Participate in the bidding in Trinity Hall after church on Sunday — April 14th and 21st We will have laptops available for you to bid. Or use your own phone!

We will print off Silent Auction lists for persons who do not have computers — they can call Gord Mitchell at 705 571 4096 and have Gord place bids for them.

After bidding closes, successful bidders and donors will be notified. It will then be up to the winners and donors to arrange delivery of the donations.

We are excited about the Silent auction set-up online this year. It will give you greater flexibility– you can bid 24 hours a day and know if you have the highest bid right away.

Thanks very much for your participation in this very successful fundraiser for Trinity United.