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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, May 7, 2012


Since attending St. Thomas congregation’s 135th Anniversary celebrations this past weekend, I have been reflecting, not for the first time, on our legacy.  A legacy, simply put, is that which is handed down from previous generations.

On Saturday evening of the St. Thomas weekend, time was spent recounting stories from the congregation’s founding period, or more accurately, “periods” since there were more than one.  Names were recalled that are famous to those familiar with Community of Christ history in this part of the world, including Daniel MacGregor, J. J. Cornish, and R. C, Evans among others.  Meetings began in a house with just a few people.  Later, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows hall was rented and used for preaching until it could no longer hold the crowds.  Then the first church building was constructed.

During the weekend, historic figures from the past were recalled, including those who sacrificed and took extraordinary risks so the church could be established.  The story was told of a man who allowed the use of his house so missionaries could hold church gatherings.  This generosity was met with threatening letters, undoubtedly from a  religious person or persons in the community warning him not to do this, asserting that his house and furnishings would be put at extreme risk of being destroyed by mob action.  The letter also held out the prospect of the man being tarred and feathered.  The missionary offered to cancel services, but the man courageously insisted on going ahead, and nothing appears to have come of the threats.  The church in St. Thomas exists today, in part because of the legacy of such brave persons.

A few generations later in 1970, there was a need to build a bigger church, and a new generation of heroes stepped forward.  This group gave the money to buy a nice lot, and then worked evening after evening, Saturday after Saturday, to build the new church.  These were members who worked at their day jobs, then went to the site to work on building the church until it was dark.  The lovely building we see today on Fairway Avenue was built by the sweat and sacrifice of those members, many of whom are still alive and were present at the Anniversary.  They are elderly now; walking with canes often held in arthritic hands, but they pass to those who are younger, a legacy of honour and love.  Of course they did more than build a church; that is just one of their accomplishments.  They also served their community with equal dedication.  I find them greatly to be admired.

This is just a sample of the great legacy that has been bequeathed to us; a history of love and generous sacrifice.  I find it both moving and remarkable.  It makes me wonder, what will our generation pass down to those who follow after?  How will they look back at us?  Will they see lives invested in the future?  If our stories of faith are considered worthy to be recounted, will  our successors listen with equal wonder and admiration?  I do not know the answer.

I can only speak personally here, but I have invested my life in this cause because of the legacy provided by generations of heroes who have gone before us.  The breadth of their sacrifice and the fervency of their testimony are powerful.  Now I look for those who will follow after us, and seek to instill in them a desire to love God and bless God’s people with equal diligence. 

May our legacy be worthy of the honour bequeathed to us.

Posted by Carman


  1. Saturday night was a humbling experience.

    1. I found the entire weekend both interesting and challenging. I appreciated your part in it Steve.


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