By Leslie Stirling
I know some folks think I am a bit of a ding-a-ling, and on Wednesday, June 10, I am going to be just that along with many members of the Church of St Paul congregation.
On that day we are gathering to ring in the 90th anniversary of the United Church of Canada by ringing our church bell 90 times.
The United Church was inaugurated in Toronto, Ontario, when the Methodist Church, Canada, the Congregational Union of Canada, and 70 per cent of the Presbyterian Church of Canada entered into an organic union. Joining as well was the small General Council of Union Churches, centred largely in Western Canada.
It was the first union of churches in the world to cross historical denominational lines and hence received international acclaim.
The United Church of Canada came into being on Wednesday, June 10, 1925. The inaugural service began at 10:30 a.m. at the Mutual Street Arena in Toronto.
This is why 10:30 a.m. has been chosen as the time, in every time zone, for United Churches across Canada to celebrate their presence in the community.
The members of the Church of St Paul (a shared ministry of Anglicans, Lutherans and Uniteds in Barriere) invite the residents of the North Thompson Valley to join us for cake and coffee on Wednesday morning, June 10 at 10:30 a.m.
We have a bell that sits in one of our front flower beds and although it no longer has a clapper we are going to ring it 90 times using a wooden mallet.
Although our plans aren’t firm, we are hoping to auction off the opportunity to ring the bell (five rings each) with funds going to Nepal earthquake relief.
The bell originally came from an old steam engine and was donated to Clearwater United Church by Stan and Betty Johnston.
When the Clearwater congregation gave up their building it was moved to Barriere for safekeeping.
We are hoping that many of the Clearwater folks will come down for the celebration. Barriere and Clearwater are the two points of the North Thompson Pastoral Charge.
Although the two congregations are fairly small – it doesn’t mean we can’t be part of this wonderful celebration!