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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?"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Giants

I have a friend whom I have often heard say, when speaking about those who have gone before us in our faith movement, “We stand on the shoulders of giants!” I had occasion to think of that twice this past weekend, once at the funeral of Leighton Robinson, and again on Sunday while participating in the Wiarton, ON congregation of Community of Christ.

I had the great honour and privilege to read Leighton’s testimony at his funeral. His stories of healing are remarkable, and speak of the tremendous faith of this man, and that of his parents before him. It reminded me again of his father, Sam, driving from Wiarton to Stokes Bay so many Sunday mornings to bring a sermon and share his stories of faith with that little congregation. It may be partially because of him and others like him that I am who I am today.

There are many reasons why Wiarton holds a special place in my consciousness. It is the place where I can draw close to the very source of my own faith roots. In this church I can visualize my grandparents sitting in their place, paying fervent attention to the gospel message being delivered. This is the place where my father grew up. This was also the community that continuously upheld my mother and her family in prayer when she was dying at the pre-mature age of thirty-two. This is the community that surrounded her and us with their love.

The Wiarton congregation was probably the mother ship that launched several other congregations and many remarkable persons on their faith journey. It would be interesting to look at the surnames of the charter members of this congregation, and even more fascinating to know their stories. My memory, of course, does not go (quite) that far back, but I know some of the names who came after. They were the faithful, stalwart witnesses of my childhood. This list includes names like Farrow, Mason, Rydal, Leeder and Robinson to name a few, and of course there were multiple given names to go with each family name. Each of them nurtured the very marrow of the gospel in their bones, and they were always ready to share it. When I think of them, I cannot help but realize, “We stand on the shoulders of giants!”

Having spent this few moments looking back, it now seems appropriate to invest a moment or two in looking forward. What of those who come after us? When they look back, who will they see as being of critical importance in their faith journey? Will it be you? Will it be me? Will the testimony of our lives provide strength and stability, a place where they can grow to discover their own relationship with God? Will our testimonies and examples help them find or plant their own roots in the fertile fields of God's generous grace?

This morning I ask you two questions. Who are the giants upon whose shoulders you stand? Who is looking to you to provide a shoulder upon which they can depend?

Posted by Carman

2 comments:

  1. Wow, what a flood of memories those names bring back.I'm sorry to hear of Leightons passing. I remember the Robinsons well.The man I remember as being a spellbinding speaker, a true giant, was Joe Yager. He was amazing. My father would drive for miles and miles to hear him speak.

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  2. Paula, thank you for contributing to this conversation. My grandmother also spoke of Joe Yager and what a powerful speaker he was.

    You may be interested to know that Joe's son, Ron Yager, often speaks at congregations in your area during the summer months.

    Carman

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