Friday, November 17, 2006

The Church Bazaar

Here are a few pictures from the Church Bazaar, setting up for the big day, all the hurly burly of the selling tables and the friendly chat over tea and the ladies' scrumptious dessert.

The Bazaar is a well loved and well attended tradition in the community. In that it draws people to help who look upon the church as "their own", even though they don't attend or support in any other way, it is a form of mission into the communityl And one that is hard to give up.

After a fifty year run its future is considered year by year, but the congregation is loathe to abandon it. Nature hates a vacumn - what might replace it?????

Dessert was delicious, wonderful time was had by all, - but at the end of the day I wondered if there wasn't some little niche I could fill that didn't require so much work!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Remembrance Day was observed with due respect and loving memories. The Day has passed, but the memories are eternal.

Life turns over so quickly, - we are now into busy Bazaar times, at the same time we cope with shifts at the Bargain Centre, (the church's mission outreach). A traditional event, the Bazaar is part of the vitality of the Church and the Community, in cooperation. As is the Bargain Centre.

I muse about this cooperation in the secular society that has evolved in the last forty years, and am grateful that the spirit lives on in many non-church-goers, as much as it does in those who gather to worship and keep the church alive.

The congregational members of the church age, and we lose them, one by one. The few young people who are still part of the parish have found other places to put their energies, - all of them of the utmost value.

If I go back fifty years and remember the Evening Branch of the ACW, - all young women with young families, and full of young ideas - I have a better perspective of what keeps the young people of the Parish from participating in this "old ladies" endeavor.

We weren't old ladies then, - we were young and full of new ideas, vast stores of energy and enthusiasm. When "Rummage Sales" outgrew the small parish hall we looked for a place to store and sort and make these sales available to the community on a weekly basis. It was a lark, and great fun! It contributed to a growing friendship amongst the members, and established the Bargain Centre in the community as a place of outreach and help. We moved around from spot to spot as the enterprise expanded and required more room. In the meantime we grew middle-aged, - still having fun and making inroads into an ever growing mission in the community, - providing clothes and household needs at bargain prices from donations that arrived with generous abandon.

When the Anglican and United Churches came together to form an ecumenical parish the United Church parish hall was made available to us, and we grew by leaps and bounds.

And when the secular world had made sufficient inroads into the church family, so that church givings were not large enough to enable us to maintain a full time minister, then the Bargain Centre and the Community who supported it, helped in meeting these expenses. And everybody profited, - where there is a church there is a sense of spiritual stability, even to those who have lapsed. In this community there are people who refer to the church as "our church" even though they have not been inside it's doors for any reason except a baptism, a wedding or a funeral.

Ah, but alas, - now the original members who started with such enthusiasm, have grown old. The spirit is still willing, and the friendships which have been forged are strong and true. But oh, the flesh is weak, and so we value and appreciate all the younger people who come from the community to assist us in our Bargain Boutique.

Next month we will take them all out for a Christmas Lunch, - but our true thanks lies in our grateful response to their help, week by week. It is a wonderful example of friendship and cooperation between Church and Community that strengthens the bonds that tie us together.

I'm off to knit another scarf for the handicraft table at the Bazaar!!