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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Port Elgin

In Friday's blog, Marion has already alluded to the fact that this past weekend, the CEM staff was scattered to the four winds. Mike Hewitt was in Ottawa, Marion Smith went to GTA-West on Sunday after being in Port Elgin on Saturday, Susan Skoor offered ministry in Grand Valley, and I was in Port Elgin. I will share a brief report on events in Port Elgin, and perhaps we can catch up on some of the others another day.

The occasion was the gathering of the four congregations that make up the Mighty Waters Mission Advocacy group: Wiarton, Owen Sound, Port Elgin and Collingwood. The weekend began with Marion leading the group through the Discover Your Spiritual Type workshop. If you have never had a chance to work through this study, I highly recommend you do. The text is the book of the same title by Corinne Ware. I have participated more than once, and it is always very revealing. It is a pleasure to see congregation members begin to understand why different people react to various ideas and practices the way they do, and why they don’t “just all think like me.” The workshop, along with the wonderful food provided by Port Elgin’s members made for a very rewarding day.

Sunday’s activities began with the awarding of Port Elgin’s annual Peace Scholarship, given each year to a student from the local high school. The selection committee that reviews all the applications for the scholarship is made up of people from the community as well as representatives from the congregation. 2011 is the tenth year this scholarship has been awarded, and the committee reported having a very difficult time choosing between six fine applicants. Each of them would have been deserving of the scholarship due to their peace making efforts in their community and beyond. In the end, the scholarship went to a very deserving young lady who is definitely making a difference. We wish Emily every success in life, and look forward to hearing more of her efforts for peace.

The congregation then gathered for worship to celebrate Pentecost. I do not know if it was the stimulation caused by the awarding of the peace scholarship that made everyone so attentive, but as a speaker, I have seldom had a congregation as focused as this group was. Pentecost is a unique day in the Christian calendar, and in some ways, a difficult one to grasp deeply, yet this congregation remained sharp and attentive, even as the minute hand made its rapid way a little past noon. It was gratifying to see a group so interested in the story of the Holy Spirit’s movement. Of course the service was followed by a wonderful pot-luck lunch and lots more great fellowship.

Perhaps the most delightful surprise of the weekend for me, however, was meeting old friends and acquaintances, some of whom I had not seen for more than 40 years. Each brief reconnection was followed by an all too short visit to try to catch up on what had happened to each other in that interval. Not all the news was good, but the visits and reconnections were wonderful.

So another busy weekend has come and gone, this one spent in the charming community of Port Elgin. There is much more I could share, however I will summarize by saying that this was a wonderful weekend indeed.

Posted by Carman

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