Weekly Newsletter
Castleton/Grafton United Church News for December Week 2

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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Join the journey

Warm Greetings as Advent approaches!   

St Andrew's Grafton and friends made 40 red scarves as part of the Red Scarf project to support the goals of World Aids day. more FB photos @ PFLAG Cobourg/Port Hope: Red Scarf Project  https://www.northumberlandnews.com/community-story/7974693-red-scarfs-tied-on-posts-in-cobourg-and-grafton-for-world-aids-day/?s=e


                     Coming events for Castleton Grafton United Church 


Joint choir Cantata this Sunday with special instrumental guests

How to be involved in the Christmas hamper program below on the 6th and 15th


Usual 2017-18  Service Time: Grafton 9:15    Castleton 11 am  


Wed. Dec. 6th, 12:00 pm - Grafton UCW will enjoy a Christmas luncheon at the Woodlawn Inn; RRSP June 905 377 0100   All women of the congregation welcome


Wed. Dec. 6th, 7:00 pm - at St Andrew’s to choose from the list of children for Christmas gifts in the Christmas hamper program.


Sun. Dec. 10th, 11 am  at St. Andrews  – a joint service Cantata with the  combined choirs, and special guests The Northwinds, a Sextet of Woodwind instruments from the Northumberland New Ventures Band   No Castleton service.


Friday Dec 15, from 9:00 am for most of the day at the Grafton Legion.  The packing up of the gifts and food hampers for delivery later in the day. There is a variety of jobs that day-- call  Dianne Tollan 905-372-2531 if you’d like to zero in on a job and or time. It takes most of the day, but a few hours of help any time would be great. -a day of sharing, caring, fun, and leaving with a wonderful feeling of Christmas.  


 Sun. Dec. 17th, 7:”30 pm   at Castleton United - Christmas Candlelight service


 Sun. Dec. 24th - Morning services at both churches. Christmas Eve Service at St. Andrew’s at 7:00 p.m.


Flight to Hope 2 Update:  We are anticipating a Syrian refugee family to arrive in the spring and given we are gearing up for this, if there are any would like to volunteer in this adventure, we could use some more help


The Youth Group bicycle calendar is now available.$15, with proceeds going to expanding our up-cycling   Calendars


St Andrews is again decorating their windows etc. with Christmas crèches, so if you have a crèche you would like to set up in a window or on a table, this can be done any time. And there is a sign up sheet for poinsettias


This month the Grafton UCW is asking for Fare Share donations of healthy snacks and fruit juices.


Bala and Port Carling United Churches celebrate going Affirming Dec 10 so that Castleton Grafton will no longer be the only multipoint Affirming charge in Ontario.


United Church giving project magazine  https://www.giftswithvision.ca/

Another giving op http://www.feedingnunavut.com/christmas-food-and-stocking-drive/

Check our website   http://www.castletongraftonuc.com/  if you wish to see 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 Davids columns.

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A few quotes and snippets:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)


 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”   John 8:12


"The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual." Buckminster Fuller

"Peace might sell, but who's buying?" Joan Baez

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius--and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." E.F. Schumacher

"We need to unlearn a lot, it seems, to get back to that foundational life which is 'hidden in God' (Colossians 3:3). Yes, transformation is often more about unlearning than learning, which is why the religious traditions call it 'conversion' or 'repentance.'" Richard Rohr

"Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace." Edward Hays

"Some important biblical passages have a controverted textual history: the last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark appear to have been added to the original text some time in the second century; the story of the woman taken in adultery found in the Gospel of John appears first in the textual record in a fifth-century document; and the sole explicit New Testament reference to the Trinity, in the First Epistle of John, hasn’t been found in any manuscripts written before the ninth century. Displaying an individual New Testament manuscript that is identical with a modern Bible does not offer any general evidence about the reliability of textual transmission. Even more illusory is the notion that ancient pieces of the New Testament can be found in mummy masks. Christian Century Magazine


"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.  Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all.  But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself."  -  William Blake, 1799, The Letters  


"God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, "Ah!" "  -   Joseph Campbell  


You gotta stop watering dead plants


Love & compassion are Necessities, not luxuries. With Humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama


Live fully, love wastefully, be all that you can be. John Spong


Prejudices are most difficult to eradicate from the heart  loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones. Charlotte Bronte


I don't need a man to rectify my existence. the most profound relationship we’ll ever have is the one with ourselves. Shirley MacLaine


The Eskimo this 52 names for snow because it is important to them. There ought to be as many for love. Margaret Atwood


Original thought is like Original Sin. Both happened before you were born to people you could not possibly have met. Fran Lebowitz


The excitement, the true excitement, was always in starting again. Nothing is worse than an accomplished task, a realized dream. Marilyn Harris


Do not be too quick to condemn the man who no longer believes in God, perhaps your own coldness, and avarice, and  mediocrity, and materialism, and selfishness, that have chilled his faith. Thomas Merton


"I think that I shall never see

A billboard lovely as a tree

Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,

I'll never see a tree at all."  -   Ogden Nash








For those who like poetry:


'Hope' is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.   
Emily Dickinson


"Houses"—so the Wise Men tell me—
"Mansions"! Mansions must be warm!
Mansions cannot let the tears in,
Mansions must exclude the storm!

"Many Mansions," by "his Father,"
I don't know him; snugly built!
Could the Children find the way there—
Some, would even trudge tonight!           
Emily Dickinson


“You Reading This, Be Ready”

Starting here, what do you want to remember?

How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?

What scent of old wood hovers,

what softened sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world

than the breathing respect that you carry wherever you go right now?

Are you waiting for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here,

lift this new glimpse that you found;

carry into evening all that you want from this day.

This interval you spent reading or hearing this,

keep it for life-- What can anyone give you greater than now,

starting here, right in this room,

when you turn around?                         William Stafford



Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever Gods may be

For my unconquerable Soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of Wrath and tears

looms but the horror of the shade,

and yet the Menace of the years

finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how Strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.


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