Weekly Newsletter
Castleton/Grafton United Church News for April Week 3

CASTLETON & GRAFTON UNITED CHURCHES -an affirming ministry with a vision of worship, justice, and community outreach, putting people before dogma
-a sponsor of a Syrian refugee family, the 100 mile Diet Event, & with others Haldimand Court housing, and Heavenly helpings.
St. Andrew's at 137 Old Danforth Rd. Grafton ON K0K 2G0 and Castleton at 1815 Percy St. Castleton

Phone: 905 349 2736
  email: casgra@eagle.ca   Web: www.castletongraftonuc.com
(Rev) David Lander
david@lander.ca 905 342 9214

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Hi there to members and friends of St. Andrew's and Castleton United Churches

          Many would agree with Anne of Green Gables that snow in April is abominable.   So, yes, it was a rough weekend and cancelling church was the least of some people’s worries. One person commenting on the Grafton residents FB site said without power or alternative heat, they were huddled in blankets.

April showers isn’t supposed to mean freezing rain, but then we tend to have this sense that Easter in the Northern hemisphere should bring springy weather with  crocuses and buds sprouting new leaves. That positivity has led some to go already for summer tires. Nevertheless, Northumberland road clearance is quite remarkable, especially when compared to that of our Toronto days.

Still we have experienced no missiles or chemical attacks, so in the midst of our cause for pause this last weekend, there is lots to be thankful for including neighbourliness.  Our church dinners have had challenges over the years, but not the power outages etc that a few had to face Saturday.

Most will know we were away in March holidaying in Portugal; Thanks to Ian and Cheryl for offering such fine leadership during that time. Good Friday and Easter  were very rich experiences to share with you on returning, particularly our joint choir at all those services, and if one goes by all those attending, Easter is not going out of style.

For those receiving the online newsletter, I included links to our Portugal photos, but as wonderful as scenery is around our world, it is the resilience of the human spirit that warms me most. So I was warmed by stories of the 1974 Red Carnation revolution in Lisbon where a woman flower seller putting a carnation in a resistor’s rifle barrel inspired the coup of the longest European dictatorship of the century to be bloodless, and this was just 2 months after we drove through when recently married. From being the instigator of the slave trade in the 1400’s, with the pope even endorsing them as leader and giving them Africa,  the revolution turned compassionate inspired them to give freedom to their colonies, and even begin lifting oppression of homosexuals.

Our world still has holocausts, the slave trade being one of the larger ones, and we continue to have concern of regressive leaders, but the groundswell of support, concern and tears over the Humboldt athletes and their families is inspiring. Easter is a story and a focus of light in the dark, of life where there’s been death. Most of us have had some intimation or feeling or presence of a loved one who has died. If the families and friends of those killed in that crash have not yet had an Easter connection, we pray that they do. They’ve already  had a greater impact and inspiration than they ever dreamed, and those who survived have no doubt been changed just like the disciples, to have purpose in their lives they never dreamed of.

Easter has been called illogical, and has to be beyond logic if God is Mystery. It’s life’s mysteries that often give us energy, even the gorgeous frost covered trees after a crazy weekend. A recent mystery for me was old bones me just being asked to be a youth leader at Youth Forum alongside our last conference annual meeting next week, a touch beyond logic too, so I hope our youth will consider it too.

Four years ago next month we began conversations of refugee sponsorship, which after much hard work and some heartache turned out well. Teamed with Trinity in Cobourg, our 2nd and 3rd families will be arriving in May and June. Housing has been found for the family arriving in 3 weeks, a relief to those representing us on the front lines to whom we offer much thanks. Household goods and furniture are still needed.

Easter is about the present, not just 2000 years ago, which you take seriously, as evidenced by two articles in the last Observer and one in Mandate of the caring reaching out that you do.

So keep on Eastering.




                      Coming Events for Castleton and Grafton United Church 


Usual 2017-18  Service Time: Grafton 9:15 a.m.   Castleton 11 a.m.


Sat. April 21st 2:30 pm - Shasta, Olivia, Sharron, Heather, Jean, Christina, and Kim invite you to the Choral Legacy spring concert "Everything’s Coming Up Broadway"  Ryerson Hall, Trinity United Church, Cobourg. Tickets $10 at the door.


Sun. April 22     More experiences of Risenness      Luke 24       puppet scripts    Earth Day


Mon. April 23  7- 8:30 pm  Youth Group At Cox’s and most Mondays

      Registration for Youth Forum Conference weekend in Napanee Apr 27-29   http://bayofquinteconference.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Youth-Registration-Form-CAM-2018.pdf

             Registration for Children at Conference http://bayofquinteconference.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/CAM-childrens-reg-form-2018.pdf


Wed. April 25th -  St. Andrew’s Board meets at the church at 7:30 p.m. Committees meet ahead of time as needed.


Fri.  April 27th 7:00 pm -  East Meets West – World Food & Music Night a fundraiser for the Flight to Hope 2.0, at Trinity United. Tickets available Joan Chalovich. Adults $20, children $10, under 5 $5.  The evening  will include a silent auction, there are request letters available in the office.  Cecilia’s write-up about it https://www.todaysnorthumberland.ca/2018/04/12/world-food-and-music-night-supports-flight-to-hope-2-0/


Tues. May 1st, 9:30 am - 100 Mile Diet Committee meets at St. Andrew's. New committee members are always welcome.


Wed. May 2nd - Grafton UCW meets at the church at 2:00 p.m.


Fri. May 4th - Dinner and a Movie at St. Andrew's at 6:00 p.m. Upside Down Pizza and on the big screen "Wonder". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2543472/ Admission is by donation.


Sat. May 5, 9-12  cleanup day for St Andrew’s cemetery and grounds


Sun. May 6  pulpit exchange with Calvin Stone of Cold Springs charge.


Mon. May 7th - Castleton UCW meets at the church at 7:00 p.m. Roll Call is a monetary donation to Beginnings Family Services.


Wed. May 9th - St. Andrew's UCW invite you to a Royal Tea and Trivia Day at 3:00 p.m. Admission is a free will donation and all are welcome. Let us know if you have Royal memorabilia.

A Cook Book is also in the works so think about your fav recipes.


Wed. May 9th 7:30 pm – Castleton Board


Wed. May 9th 7:30 pm– Charge Council meeting at St. Andrew's


Thursday May 17th, at noon - Community Care Diner's Club is at St Andrew's. Purchase your $10 tickets in advance at the Grafton Pharmacy or at the Community Care office in Colborne.

Saturday May 19th, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Yard and bake sale and barbeque at St Andrew’s; Good used items can be dropped off at the church on Friday. Bake sale items will be needed and volunteers to sort, price and help the day of the sale.  


Northumberland Players is offering Romeo and Juliet May 4-12 with Castleton’s Cachell Cox as Juliet  https://www.northumberlandplayers.ca/romeo-and-juliet/


You will not be able to read this piece of creative writing that our Catherine White had in the Globe and Mail without a laugh https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/lingerie-stores-are-made-for-young-not-mature-women-but-i-was-desperate-to-smooth-thingsout/article36227537/

 April 8 children's time balloon to soccer ball demo of Mary transform from weeping to preaching       https://www.facebook.com/seen.everything/videos/1156354434469092/ (7th item)


Flight to Hope 2.0 There’s significant progress on bringing our two Syrian families to Canada! The Ghrir family will arrive May 10 in Cobourg, followed by the Kattan family in June. So now is a time when you can help prepare for their arrival.    Web have now arranged housing which is wonderful for this mother, three teenage sons and a 10 year old daughter.  There are specific household items that are needed. Contact Caryn MacDiarmid at 905-269-8411


Want to be a steward at General Council this summer in Oshawa?  https://generalcouncil43.ca/news/serve-general-council-steward   General Council 43 – Oshawa – July 21 – 27, 2018

Here is your opportunity to be part of something huge! GC43 will be here in our own backyard. It’s easy to become part and make a difference for GC43. Learn more about GC43 by visiting the website https://generalcouncil43.ca


A message I sent to the Humboldt paper: There's been concern of what can be done to make that bus crash intersection safer. Traffic circles seem to be coming into greater usage around here, and I tend to think it would be ideal there to give everyone cause to slow down and to pause, with hopefully a significant memorial in the centre to remember


YouTube on The Mill at Piper Creek https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCeS0KNjWRo&sns=fb


Celebration of life for Rev Tim Hayward of Trenton http://www.weaverfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/Rev-Timothy-James-Hayward?obId=3060239#/obituaryInfo

Check our website www.castletongraftonuc.com  if you wish to see the week's newsletter, our photo gallery, our annual report, listen to a sermon , see info & photos of the 100 Mile Diet Event etc., our refugee sponsorship, how and why we became affirming, archive of media reports of our church activities and of David's columns .

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A few quotes and snippets:

Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never forget anything that makes you smile.  ~  Mark Twain


Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success is how you treat other people -your family, friends, co-workers, even strangers you meet along the way.  Barbara Bush


At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not having won one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.   Barbara Bush


For now we see in a glass darkly, but then we will see face to face; now I know in part; but then I shall be known even as I am also known.  1 Cor 13:12


What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imaginations and our feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of it.   Karl Jung


Authority is a poor substitute for leadership.    John L. Beckley


The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn't just mistaken. It is harmful. Bill Gates


I grow weary of Christians who on Sunday profess their love for the one who said, When you do it to the least of these you do it to me, but spend the rest of the week supporting politicians and political platforms that step on the least of these. Rev Mark Sandlin


Understanding different National cultural and religious Traditions is no longer a luxury. It is now a necessity and must become a priority. Karen Armstrong


if there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the Nations. If there is to be peace in the Nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between Neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart. Laozi

“The name Hitler does not offend a black South African because Hitler is not the worst thing a black South African can imagine. Every country thinks their history is the most important, and that’s especially true in the West. But if black South Africans could go back in time and kill one person, Cecil Rhodes would come up before Hitler. If people in the Congo could go back in time and kill one person, Belgium’s King Leopold would come way before Hitler. If Native Americans could go back in time and kill one person, it would probably be Christopher Columbus or Andrew Jackson. I often meet people in the west who insist that the Holocaust was the worst atrocity in human history, without question. Yes, it was horrific. But I often wonder, with African atrocities like in the Congo, how horrific were they?.... The thing Africans don't have that Jewish people do have is documentation. The Nazis kept meticulous records, took pictures, made films. That's really what it comes down to. Holocaust victims count because Hitler counted them. 6 million people killed. We can all look at that number and be rightly horrified. But when you look to the history of atrocities against Africans, there were no numbers, only guesses. It's harder to be horrified by guess.  When Portugal and Belgium were plundering Angola and the Congo, they weren't counting black people they slaughtered. How many black people died harvesting rubber in the Congo? In the gold and diamond mines of the Transvaal?  So in Europe and America, yes, Hitler is the greatest mad man in history. In Africa he's just another strong man from the history books.  ― Trevor Noah

“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”  ― Trevor Noah

Etiquette is not limited to knowing how to make a proper introduction or learning which knife or fork to use at a formal banquet. Courtesies reflect your basic values of honesty, fairness, caring, and accountability. Neil Eskelin

"Conservative Christians blame Hollywood and liberals and everyone but themselves. But they are the ones who brought vulgarity, adultery and a porn star into my family’s home."   – Jacob Lupfer

No one is going to stand up at your funeral and say, “she had a really expensive couch and great shoes. Don’t make your life about stuff

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." Mother Teresa of Calcutta

"It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love others. The more solitary I am, the more affection I have for them. It is pure affection, and filled with reverence for the solitude of others. Solitude and silence teach me to love others for what they are, not for what they say."  ~ Thomas Merton

"We are leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea, the flowers of one garden."    Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

"Nothing we can do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love."    Reinhold Niebuhr

"Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being."   Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,


https://canolaeatwell.com/earth-as-an-apple/    for earth Day



For those who like poetry:

 He was a Rebel, yes, a Rebel! He changed water into wine,
He was human and divine And he sold a revolutionary line.
That was the trouble. That was the reason.
Nearly everything he said Was bound to cost his head,
For what he told the people sounded like treason.

He was a rebel, yes, a rebel!

He suggested that my foe Was somebody I should know,

Was  somebody I should love, not overthrow.

He was a rebel, yes, a rebel

He said I would not be weak If I turned the other cheek

When somebody struck me, I would be unique.

He was a rebel, yes, a rebel!

He said you’re a good as me Though you’re from a strange country,

Though you’re red or white, or black or ebony
He was a Rebel, yes, a Rebel!

When his enemies had said: "We are safe now, he is dead."

He rebelled against his death and rose instead.

That's how he saves us. That's how he frees us
Since he conquered death and sin We know his way will win —
So let's join in his rebellion, this Jesus.               Avery and Marsh from Hymns hot and Carols cool


7th Century Irish Poem

On the day when the weight deadens 
on your shoulders and you stumble,
may the clay dance to balance you.

And when your eyes freeze behind the grey window
and the ghost of loss gets in to you, 
may a flock of colours, indigo red, green and azure blue
come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours, 
may the clarity of light be yours, 
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours,

And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you,
an invisible cloak to mind your life.                                   AMEN

Things to Think  Robert Bly  1926-

Think in ways you’ve never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about
To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.


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