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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?"

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Butterfly (reprise)

The following post first appeared in What's the Good Word in April of 2011.  Much has changed for our lovely butterfly over the intervening three years, and change will continue to occur.  What has not changed is our delight in this little congregation's colourful contribution to our collective life.  We continue to smile on days when the butterfly soars in the warmth of holy sunshine and watch carefully on days when it needs to seek shelter from the rain. As a way to look back and remember the delightful flight of this little entity, I offer the following reprint of that early post.


Consider the caterpillar; how he crawls along quietly going from leaf to leaf, staying mostly hidden, trying to blend in with his surroundings.  He wouldn’t dare stand out.  After all, he might get stepped on or eaten for some bird’s lunch!  So he quietly crawls along until it is time, then spins a cocoon with himself inside.  To all appearances, that is the end.  The caterpillar is no more.  The blend-in caterpillar, that perhaps no one knew even existed, has ceased to be.

But then something remarkable happens.  Transformation occurs!  The cocoon splits and a new creature emerges.  This new being does not immediately take to the air, but spends some time to get oriented and dry its wings in the sun.  Only then does it begin to float on the breeze and fly where it wills.  Gone are the drab, blend-in colours, replaced by bright and wondrous hues.  The urge to hide is replaced by a willingness to see and be seen as it visits the flowers and makes the world a better, more beautiful place.

In the Barrie congregation, we are beginning to see signs of a butterfly.  Our former presence there had reached the stage of its life when it needed its rest.  To outside appearances, the caterpillar was dead, but this was not the case.  From the cocoon has emerged a new creature and a fresh expression of Christian life is beginning to test its wings in that fair city. 

This past weekend, for instance, there was a gathering of youth and others on Thursday evening for fun and fellowship.  Friday saw our leaders out on the streets, visiting the unique flowers that are God’s people.  Saturday evening was their first worship event held in a downtown café, and the little coffee shop was packed with 31 people!  Then Sunday afternoon, despite some rain, a group gathered for a service project which consisted of picking up trash at a local park.  I have seen pictures of that event, and they were clearly having a wonderful time.  They didn’t even look like caterpillars!  Then they all went back to the pastor’s home for more conversation and play.

I think this butterfly is going to be absolutely beautiful!

Posted by Carman

Friday, June 6, 2014


Seventy years ago today my father was camped in a forest in England with his army outfit trying to put their gear back together.  A few days before they had been ordered to the docks for the D-Day invasion.  Their trucks had been waterproofed (I’m not sure how they did that) and everything was ready when a buzz-bomb hit them and “blew everything to smithereens!” (A direct quote from my dad I have never forgotten.)  The irony is not lost on me that that bomb may, in fact, have saved his life.

There are a few old soldiers, sailors and flyers left who were there; all old now but probably little more than teenage boys at the time.  There are still more who remember reading or listening to the news, wondering, worrying, praying for brothers, friends, sweethearts.  I am none of those.  I was not yet born, and had it not been for that buzz bomb, perhaps might never have been.  Yet, despite the fact that I was not there, it seems to me something should be said today, something reported or recorded in What’s the Good Word.  Some recognition should be given to those who fought and those who died so we and others might live.

When I was a child visiting my grandparents in Wiarton, my grandmother would often stop at a little house down the street and visit with Mrs. Meredith.  Mrs. Meredith lived alone in a tiny house on the edge of a hill on Gould Street.  There are only two things more I remember about Mrs. Meredith: she was not very tall, and her only son, her only child, went off to fight in the war and was killed.  Its not much for me to remember, but the memory must have been almost more than she could carry.

I was born a mere three years after WWII ended.  I remember people talking about things “during the war”, and to a child it seemed like it must have been something that happened a long time ago.  It wasn’t.  It isn’t.  And what is worse, for many people today war still rages.  While I sit in relative peace and try to coax these few inelegant words out through my fingertips, in many places fighting continues.  Will it ever end?  Will it never end?

So today, lets think about those teenagers who might have been our uncles, friends and neighbours.  Lets think too about those for whom war still rages…and let us pray for peace and justice for all.

Posted by Carman
In memory of 6-6-44.