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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?"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Freedom from Oppression

Wiarton Community of Christ
Today we begin a short series of articles written by a number of Community of Christ Evangelists in Canada East Mission.  We are pleased to offer the stories of these highly respected ministers for your reading.  It is our hope that their stories of faith will bring a blessing to your life.  Our first article is from Evangelist Alma Leeder of Wiarton, Ontario.


“You who are my disciples must be found continuing in the forefront of those organizations and movements which are recognizing the worth of persons and are committed to bringing the ministry of my Son to bear on their lives.” D&C 151:9

This counsel given in 1974 reassured me that any service or effort expanded on behalf of individuals or groups experiencing hindrances to their well-being, was worthy of my support –even required. In 1951, at the age of 21 and still single, I was invited to become a Rotarian. I soon discovered that the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” would lead me into activity beyond club boundaries, in less formal circles, and church-related projects. One example occurred when a few friends decided to raise funds to send a buddy to a U.S. clinic to try to reverse his MS condition. In the end, it was not successful and we lost him, but we knew that no stone was left unturned in the attempt.

Before government health care was the norm in Canada, service clubs had to raise money for corrective surgeries. I recall going with a senior club member to visit a family. This member had been the mayor of the town, and had to use all his political talents to persuade the family to have corrective surgery to the son’s Achilles tendon to allow his heel to touch the floor when he walked or ran. It was done.

In 1964, two Rotarians spearheaded a plan to provide a place of learning for the community’s mentally retarded children and youth. Our Wiarton congregation provided the venue by sprucing up the church basement. From a small start-up budget and an initial enrollment of ten individuals,
the program has expanded geographically to service over a hundred clients with an annul budget of $1,250,000. Of greater significance, the organization has a new name- “Community Living”-to better reflect its mission.

Oppression is any condition which prevents individuals or groups from reaching a lifestyle free from the ravages of hunger, disease, and all forms of hopelessness. World-wide, polio is 98% eradicated-sometimes at cost of brave souls who go to hostile countries to administer the vaccine. But many of the needs are close to home; here on the Bruce Peninsula, it is a daunting task to supply the food banks and provide resources for home heating during cold winters.

I am grateful that as a church, we can link arms with other faith groups and anyone with an idea to bring wholeness to the lives of others. My father, a World War I soldier, always spoke highly of the kindness he received from the Salvation Army overseas. Our congregation supports their efforts to alleviate distress in our community, and we do it gladly. The late Elbert A. Smith once told our people that the Lord has many forces at work for good in the world, of which we are not aware. I believe it!

Alma J.V. Leeder


  1. Great article by a man I remember at Port Elgin Reunion - that gives you an idea of how old I am.

  2. Hello Anonymous, It tells me you are close to my age as I also went to Port Elgin Reunion. Did we go to camp together?


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