Weekly Newsletter
Castleton/Grafton United Church News for September Week 4

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

   Should you wish to receive this as email, please let us know
Join the journey

Very Warm September 2018 Greetings

My Dear Friends,

I wasnít sure if Iíd be doing another message on this my last email newsletter. I expect a newsletter in some form will continue, but it will appropriately have some changes in process, format and style, so with the transition, if you donít receive one in the next few weeks let us know.

After the ďdoĒ you had for me and indeed for you on Sunday I cannot not respond. Itís not a surprise to me that I am appreciated because all the way along these 7+ years you have always been very affirming and encouraging, but the extent and depth and thoughtfulness of your comments at the event and in print and action are very humbling and moving.

It was heartwarming to see so many out including from neighbouring churches. Thanks too for the shawl, the crook, flowers, pictures, prayer lamb, the song, and your M&S gifts. And the quilt with clearly many squares picked to highlight our time and ministry together, even going the distance to make it long enough for a long body. Of course it doesnít always work, but ministers are supposed to give 90 days notice of leaving. I think I maybe gave you about 3 weeks, and it may have been the setting of the reception date that really got the wheels turning, so the quilters were no doubt burning some midnight oil to work such a miracle in crafting that work of art.

You have been the best congregation Iíve had in terms of atmosphere, connectedness and certainly the most together charge with really no politics, and no one discouraging me from being who I am. As Iíve said to you, I have been most free here to be theologically honest, and less having to judge what the market will bear.

Anything I have accomplished is really what you have done. Sure I may have put out a suggestion or tease about refugees or affirming, or the screen, but none of those things would have happened if one or two of you and then a bunch more did not run with it. And I would never have had the chutzpa to do the Vicar of Dibley at the Presbytery level if you had not responded so enthusiastically to the several dramas we did here. I consider myself privileged to have journeyed with a group of folks so caring of one another, and so imaginative and outreach oriented modeling what a church can do.

Itís been said to me that its too bad you didnít have some real retirement years, but I canít think of a better way to spend them than with you.

I appreciate your concern of my health, and it must sound ominous, but I wonder if some of are not more concerned about me than I am. No question cancer is a dirty word and maybe especially bone cancer, but for me pain is a dirtier word, and I have no pain, at least yet, and when it does come, the Doctor says sheíll spotweld with radiation. The cancer didnít make me quit as I donít even know its there; itís rather the interstitial lung disease or fibrosis that is making breathing a challenge and so curtailing my energy.

But even then we are philosophical about it and continue to joke about it in our home. I canít say Iím worrying, except some about how my family will move forward. Iím mostly just so grateful that Iíve been able to put in such amazing innings, when I was told not to expect that with the scleroderma Iíve had 40 years. And besides none of us know the future. Yes, sure all of our time is limited, but I also think of how often Iíve baffled the doctors before, so my focus is pretty much to enjoy each day and continue to spread a little light and humour to anyone who happens to be around.

One person Sunday brought to mind how a couple of times I asked you to think of a couple of adjectives or nouns youíd use to describe your children or best friends. And then to ask how many of you came up with the word sinner. Of course none did. Then to ask: why is it then weíve been led to think thatís how God thinks of us as sinners, when we donít even of our own children. Weíve been taught to think of God as judge, but is he/she not -more lover? As Jesus says, if you being human know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more God...

Surely thatís gospel, so I hope you know that you matter, that you are loved, precious in Godís sight in Isaiahís words, that you were worth dreaming up, that you are children of God, called to treat all others as brothers and sisters.


Thanks for everything

See you around

Your friend David

Note annual service time change Sept 30; thanks to Rev. Jean Wilson for not having taken another position and hence being able to be minister here, appointed now till June.

Celebration of life service for Graham Norcutt Sept 28 Castleton UC http://www.maccoubrey.com/notice/5101

Coming Events for Castleton and Grafton United Church

Usual 2017-18 Service Time: Beginning Sept 30 --- Castleton 9:15 a.m. Grafton 11 a.m. Ė (times reverse from last year)

Each Thursday, 7:30 Choir practice for both congregations at St Andrewís Grafton. Newcomers welcome

Sept 28, 7:00 pm the Belles of the Barn Celtic Concert at St Andrewís, $ 15 as a fundraiser for Flight to Hope, for our two Syrian families recently arrived.

Sunday Sept 30 Annual Service Time Change: Castleton will be at 9:15 for the next year and St. Andrewís Grafton at 11

Wed. Oct 3, 2 pm Next St Andrewís UCW meeting @ the Church

Sunday Oct 7, World Wide Communion Sunday

Sunday Oct 14, Thanksgiving St Andrewís folks invited to bring garden produce anytime to decorate windows and the front.

Saturday Oct 20, Castleton United Church Roast Pork Dinner Call Marion at 905 375 8155

Saturday Oct 20, Night at The Trinity - a Murder Mystery Fundraiser for Flight to Hope 2 at Trinity United Cobourg -ask Melody Johnston 905 375 9789

Friday Oct 26, Games Night at St Andrewís

Saturday Nov 24, Snowflake Luncheon at St Andrewís Grafton

Thursday, October 4th, 6:30 PM, MEET THE ALNWICK HALDIMAND CANDIDATES Fenella Community Hall http://nccofc.ca/events/details/meet-the-candidates-alnwick-haldimand-1354

October 11th Alderville Visit sponsored by Presbytery. There is still space available if you are interested in this opportunity to participate in this Alderville tour and visit. Ask your presbytery rep

YOUTH RETREAT FOR GRADES 7 & 8 ďLET CREATION TEACH YOUĒ Experiencing and Celebrating Godís presence in Nature; Cost $45/youth To register or more info go towww.bayofquinteconference.ca and click on link marked ĎGrade 7 & 8 Retreatí For younger youth, an overnight retreat at Camp Quin-Mo-Lac Fri Oct 12- Sat Oct 13. Please note that this is a shorter time line than a full weekend- arrive around 7pm on Friday and depart at 4pm Sat. We need to know numbers by Tues Oct 9 (allowing for holiday Monday of Thanksgiving) https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12F1dCIuYHkqQHRPhYFiAnPb8VKFxf9YSqXi52ndkUBU/edit

Migrant Workers: There are now approximately 30 migrant workers in the Brighton area, working hard in apple orchards. Most of the workers are from Jamaica and a few are from Trinidad. The workers would very much appreciate donations of suitcases to be used for transporting items back home after the harvest has been completed. Both the carry-on size and large size suitcases would be very helpful. If you know of anyone who might have such an item to donate please have them contact Christine Hammond (613-475-0034).

Inaugural Yarns from the Mill Festival Weaves itself into Fabric of Castleton Community http://www.cobourgnow.com/?p=6332

A thanksgiving challenge for your Thanksgiving dinner by Greenwood coalition https://thanksgiving-challenge.ca/about/

Brookside Youth Centre news https://www.kiva.org/blog/how-young-men-at-a-juvenile-detention-center-became-kiva-lenders

Check our website www.castletongraftonuc.com if you wish to see the week's newsletter, our photo gallery, 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 .

Feel free to forward; if this was forwarded to you and youíd like to receive it, hit the subscribe button at the bottom, or if you get too much email, you can unsubscribe

Occasionally someone says they donít get the newsletter anymore. If there is glitch and you donít, do let me know or hit subscribe if you still have an old one

A few quotes and snippets: 

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust

Al Gore: We cannot go on using the sky as an open sewer.

This is a wonderful day. Iíve never seen this one before. Maya Angelou

You canít build a reputation on what youíre going to do. Henry Ford

"'I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.'" (Atticus Finch) Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird 

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Ana‘s Nin 

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

I really only love God as much as the person I love the least. Dorothy Day

There is something in everyone of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls. Howard Thurman

Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another's world. Bill Bullard

On particularly rough days I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that's pretty good.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some Style. Maya Angelou

Be like Jesus: Spend enough time with sinners to ruin your reputation with religious people. Joshua Harris

Growth is uncomfortable because you've never been here before. You've never been this version of you. So give yourself a little Grace and breathe through it. Kristen Lohr

The hardest command we have from Jesus - and one of the most revolutionary - is love your enemies. Archbishop Justin Welby

Thinking is difficult, that's why most people judge. Carl Jung

We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight. John Lennon

The church must never speak from a position of strength.... The church ought to be, if you will, as powerless as God himself, -who does not coerce but who calls and unveils the beauty and the truth of things without imposing them. Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be. Sonia Ricotti

Don't give up fight like you are the third monkey trying to get on Noah's Ark.

Being taught to avoid talking about politics and religion has led to a lack of understanding of politics and religion. What we should have been taught was how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way. Wayne Dyer

The other: There are nights that are so still that I can hear the small owl calling far off and a fox barking miles away. It is then that I lie in the lean hours awake listening to the swell born somewhere in the Atlantic rising and falling, rising and falling Wave on Wave on the long shore by The Village, that is without light, and companionless. And the thought comes of that other being who is awake, too, letting our prayers break on him, not like this for a few hours, but for days, years, for eternity. RS Thomas

Hope expressed without knowledge of and participation in grief is likely to be false hope that does not reach despair. ... It is precisely those who know death most painfully who can speak hope most of vigorously. Walter Brueggemann

When the world is falling apart around you, understand you have no power to hold it together. the only Power you have is Letting Go and releasing the chaos of your life into the arms of Christ to carry you through it. Paul Bain

The modern distortion of faith is the one I learned growing up around the middle of this century: faith as believing. Faith as believing the doctrines of the Christian tradition, faith as believing that there is a God, faith as believing that Jesus is divine, faith as believing that Jesus died for your sinsóin short, faith as believing certain statements to be true. There are a number of reasons why I say thatís a modern distortion. First of all, try to imagine what faith was like before the Enlightenment, that great period of Western history that began in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Prior to the Enlightenment, in the Christian culture of the Reformation, the Middle Ages, and earlier, nobody had any trouble believing that the Bible came from God, that the Genesis stories of creation were true, that Jesus walked on water, and so forth. It didnít take faith to believe any of that; that was simply part of the taken-for-granted understanding of people living in Western Christendom. Itís only when those things started to be questioned that suddenly faith came to mean believing what otherwise doesnít make a lot of sense to you. And faith came to mean what Bishop Robinson called it some thirty-five years ago: believing forty-nine impossible things before breakfast. Ė Marcus Borg - from "Days of Awe and Wonder"

When I am liberated by silence,

when I am no longer involved
in the measurement of life, but in the living of it,

I can discover a form of prayer in which
there is effectively no distraction.

My whole life becomes a prayer.

My whole silence is full of prayer.

The world of silence in which I am immersed
contributes to my prayer. Thomas Merton

ďThe deeper our faith, the more doubt we endure;
the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair;
the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring:
these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings.
If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain,
we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love." ~Parker J. Palmer

"There Are No Words To Express The Abyss Between Isolation And Having One Ally. Two Is Not Twice One; Two Is Two Thousand Times One." - G.K.Chesterton

ďLove is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.Ē 
― Robert A. Heinlein,

"A United Church minister in west-end Toronto is pitted against a Christian business owner over an outdoor signboard used to spread the word of God. https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/09/26/sign-meant-to-spread-word-of-god-sparks-rights-complaint.html

Gretta Vosper trial https://www.wikitribune.com/article/89031/

Submit your photos for church bulletins or calendar https://www.united-church.ca/community-faith/get-involved/submit-your-photos



A residential school survivor from Millbrook https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/ron-gosbee-stanne-residential-school-survivor-1.4833133



For those who like poetry:

I Am Standing Upon The Seashore.

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone"
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!" 
- Henry Van Dyke, author of the 4th Wiseman, and Joyful Joyful we adore you

Time is 
Too slow for those who Wait, 
Too swift for those who Fear, 
Too long for those who Grieve, 
Too short for those who Rejoice, 
But for those who Love, 
Time is not. Henry Van Dyke

Song for Autumn By Mary Oliver
In the deep fall

donít you imagine the leaves think how

comfortable it will be to touch

the earth instead of the

nothingness of air and the endless

freshets of wind? And donít you think

the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,

warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come ó six, a dozen ó to sleep

inside their bodies? And donít you hear

the goldenrod whispering goodbye,

the everlasting being crowned with the first

tuffets of snow? The pond

vanishes, and the white field over which

the fox runs so quickly brings out

its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its

bellows. And at evening especially,

the piled firewood shifts a little,

longing to be on its way.

O Come Sweet Autumn

May your leaves 
Dance in the sunlight
of delight and shadows
that play and rest 
the colours of life.

Come like new wine 
pouring out her songs
of healing grace 
flooding our soul

Come sweet autumn
Come swirling
Around my feet
In stillness caught
like starlight thoughts
on the winds of heaven
to rest in my heart.

O come sweet Autumn
Come whisper
the stillness
of glory and rest
deep peace
and shalom. ~ Bob Holmes

Mining The Heart

Let us kneel
before the stream
of our lives

mining for those
golden moments when
we see right through

to the real kindness
laughter, innocence,
the light of all things

Then, slowly
release all the rest
allow it to flow

the way life will when
we learn what to hold, 
what to let go. ~Arlene Gay Levine #SerenityPrayers

Every part of the earth is sacred, 
every shining pine needle, every sandy shore.
Every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy. The rocky crest, the juices of the meadow, the beasts and all the people, all belong to the same family.

Teach your children that the earth is our mother;
whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. The waterís murmur is the voice of our fatherís father, 
we are part of the earth, and the earth is part of us. 
The rivers are our brothers; they quench our thirst. The perfumed flowers are our sisters.

The air is precious, for all of us share the same breath. The wind that gave our grandparents breath also receives their last sigh.

The wind gave our children the spirit of life.

This we know: the earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth.

This we know: all things are connected, like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Our God is the same God, whose compassion is equal for all.

For we did not weave the web of life: we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

Let us give thanks for the web in the circle that connects us. Thanks be to God, the God of all. ~Chief Seattle


ĎGod Knows'

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
ďGive me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.Ē 
And he replied: 
ďGo out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.Ē 
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still: 
What need our little life
Our human life to know, 
If God hath comprehension? 
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low, 
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision, 
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him, 
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes, 
When, as the sweeter features
Of Lifeís stern face we hail, 
Fair beyond all surmise
Godís thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.
[3] Minnie Louise Haskins

The Linnet By Robert Service of The shooting of Dan McGrew, and the Cremation of Sam McGee

Today within a grog shop near, I saw a newly captured linnet,

Who beat about his cage in fear, And fell exhausted every minute;

And when I asked the fellow there, If he to sell the bird were willing,

He told me with a careless air, That I could have it for a shilling.

And so I bought it, cage and all, (Although I went without my dinner,)

And where some trees were fairly tall, And houses shrank and smoke was thinner,

The tiny door I open threw, As down upon the grass I sank me:

Poor little chap! How quick he flew... He didnít even wait to thank me.

Lifeís like a cage, we beat the bars, We bruise our breasts, we struggle vainly;

Up to the glory of the stars, We strain with flutterings ungainly.

And then God opens wide the door; Our wondrous wings are arched for flying;

We poise, we part, we sing, we soar. Light, freedom, love... Fools call it --dying

Let Evening Come BY JANE KENYON 
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving 
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing 
as a woman takes up her needles 
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned 
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den. 
Let the wind die down. Let the shed 
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop 
in the oats, to air in the lung 
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and donít 
be afraid. God does not leave us 
comfortless, so let evening come.


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