Posts filed under ‘community’
Pastor Peter Kuhnert and worship assistant at seminary, Black History Month celebration, February 2013
On Sunday, June 9th, Maranatha Lutheran congregation, with Pastor Peter Kuhnert, will join St. Philip congregation for a joint service. In recognition of the two congregations sharing the space on 236 Woodhaven Road in Kitchener, we will celebrate this first Sunday together.
We expect to share in various celebrations throughout the year, their congregation in some of our activities and we in celebrations that they organize, such as the Black History celebration that Pastor Rick Pryce, minister of St. Philip, and members of St. Philip council and others joined in February (as shown in link below).
From that point on, the St. Philip building will house both ministries. St. Philip worship service and Sunday school beginning at 9:30 am and Maranatha beginning their worship at 11:00 am. Each congregation will maintain its own identity, and we are excited for this new partnership.
photo, C. Wilker
photos of Black History month by Sylma Fletcher, used by permission.
Here’s a letter I had forgotten about, one I wrote in late 2009 when I was President of our Toastmasters club, the Energetics. I just unearthed the letter today and thought it was worth sharing.
Most organizations, I think, go through times of losing members and losing momentum. I’m happy to report that by the end of that year, we had gained momentum again and grown our club considerably. Here, for others who may be feeling discouraged by low enrollment or participation, is that letter.
Dear fellow Toastmasters
Two meetings ago, our theme was “Slow and steady wins the race,” a lesson we get from Aesop, a 6th Century B.C. Greek writer, who wrote The Hare and the Tortoise. He wrote entertaining short stories and fables that were meant to teach a lesson.
The tortoise, a rather slow moving creature, challenges the hare [rabbit] to a race. The hare sneers at the tortoise for his crooked legs and slow movements, and he brags that he can win the race easily. He accepts the challenge, assured that he can win. He leaps on ahead, while the owl, who is judge, and all the forest animals eagerly watch the race.
Hare had used so much energy bounding ahead that he decided to eat some carrots alongside the path, and then, since tortoise is still so far away, to take a nap beside the path as well. All this time, the tortoise plodded along steadily. Hare woke from his nap just as tortoise approached the finish line, and for all the hare’s hurry, owl declared the tortoise the winner of the race.
I thought how much that lesson compares with our Toastmasters journey—the slow and steady part. It might take awhile to get that Competent Communicator designation, but week after week and month after month of practice moves a member further along.
We are not to compare ourselves with others but to progress along our own course with the help and encouragement of the others. We learn from the others and not in isolation. The race analogy fails here. We are more like team members who work together to achieve something we cannot do alone. We are in a course alongside others who are also learning and growing.
If we continue along steadily, week after week and month after month, we will surely reach our goals. We will become better communicators and leaders. We are not in a competitive race to reach our goal, as the Hare believes. If one person takes two years and another member takes one to achieve the CC or ACB or whatever designation one chooses, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we join in and learn.
There has to be action and learning and cooperation among members. When only a few carry the load, they get tired and discouraged. When they get discouraged or drained from doing too much, the whole club suffers. Our club needs all of its members. And yes, I know, we have a life beyond Toastmasters.
Let’s renew our energy, beginning this new month of December, and continue on through the rest of our Toastmasters year, to reach those personal goals, and at the same time support others who are working toward theirs.
Sign on to the club website and put yourself in roles as often as you can. Work toward those goals you’ve set for yourself or challenge yourself to a new one for 2010. Let’s make the rest of the year a team effort where everyone wins. Game’s on!
At Open Doors Waterloo, a Toastmasters initiative
At Huron Natural Park, photo by James Woo, Clickr Photography
Last evening at our sister church, Reformation Lutheran, in Kitchener, we heard again the reading from the book of Matthew in Scriptures when Peter first objects to Jesus’ news about his upcoming trials, only to be followed by Peter’s denials. Well, not only Peter’s denials, but that of the other disciples too.
It’s just that faithful Peter, at Jesus’ side, wanted to spare his friend the trouble he was about to go through. Peter wanted to be there, or at least he thought he did, until he and the other disciples came face-to-face with the trouble—the Roman army and the chief priests, not to mention all the people who spoke against Jesus at the mock trial.
Faithful Peter was like us, because he was human. In his fear at the arrest of Jesus and the trial afterwards, his courage failed him. He denied three times: being a Galilean, being with Jesus and in the company of men who followed Jesus. And when the rooster crowed after that third denial, Peter realized what he had done and went out and cried bitterly.
We shouldn’t be too hard on Peter. He represented a whole lot of us who forget Jesus when it’s easier to do so. People like you and me.
The pastor who gave the sermon, in our joint worship of three congregations, spoke of times when it’s just easier to tuck our Christianity into our pockets, sight unseen, to avoid the sneers of those who would mock us. To stand alone in a group and say, “That’s not right!” It’s just hard to do in the company of friends and coworkers, unless we only keep company with those who think and believe like we do. It’s probably not going to happen.
Sometimes actions catch us by surprise, like swearing in God’s name and we’re speechless. I remember a particular time that I determined that the next time someone did that, I would say, “Please don’t do that,” which I followed up on, and it wasn’t long after that I had occasion to put my resolve to the test.
I was chatting with a woman of Asian descent when the surprising words came out. I wondered if she said it because others used those words and she didn’t understand that the words she was using might have significance to others, but still it didn’t feel right. I pulled out my courage and said, “Please don’t swear in that name.” I told her that I worship Jesus and it’s not appropriate to swear in his name. She was surprised and stopped. There was no harassment, but also no comment, and while I’d missed other opportunities, I also felt better for standing up to the situation and doing so in a respectful way.
Peter is just like us after all, sad but true, yet we have the consolation that no matter how many times we deny or forget or neglect, we are forgiven when we ask for it. Jesus bore our sins in that horrid death on the Roman cross and we can be forever grateful for his sacrifice on our behalf. This Good Friday we reflect on that sacrifice and try again to do better.
Ready for spring!
You may also enjoy posts by Peter Black, Laura Davis and Glynis Belec and more. Come read what we have to say and leave a comment for the writer.
Carolyn R. Wilker
available from Fanfare Books, Stratford, Ontario; Merrifield Book Shop, Woodstock, ON, and from the author
Reproduced by permission of writer and editor of Cyber Pensioners,
I became involved with Special Olympics and Ark Industries (The Ark) because of our daughter Jennifer who is intellectually challenged. In 1996 my husband John, Jennifer and I moved from Kitchener, Ontario, to Riverport, Nova Scotia, to help look after my elderly parents. At that time Jennifer was in a Special Ed class in Ontario, and when we moved she was enrolled in the same type of class in Nova Scotia.
Her teacher was very involved with Special Olympics and encouraged all her students to take part in at least one of the sports offered. Jennifer was never involved with any sports before, and like many parents of a disabled child, I felt she would not be able to take part or know what to do. Jennifer became very active in many sports and currently competes in athletics in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter in addition to bowling and soccer. Between Special Olympics and her school she grew in leaps and bounds…
Read the rest of the story and see more photos here.
Today is Family Day in Ontario and several other provinces of Canada. Steckle Heritage Farm, a heritage farm within Kitchener city limits, hosted a day for families to have fun and spend time together. I’ll tell this story from a preschooler’s perspective, for all the young children who visited there today.
Mommy and Daddy had a day off.
We put on our snowsuits and mittens and went to a farm. I waited to see the animals.
Grandma and Papa are coming too. We will see them there.
Matt says hello.
The big barn. Let’s go!
Mommy helped me make a bird feeder. We’ll put it in a tree to feed the birds.
My little sister wanted one too. We got a pine cone on a ribbon for her too.
We went outside again. The snow is deep.
I walked with Papa to see the ponies. My fingers were cold, so Grandma helped me to put on my mittens.
Mommy, Daddy, and my little sister found the ponies too.
The ponies were hungry. They wanted some lunch.
We went into the barn again. I wanted to see the animals.
Here are the bunnies. They wiggled their noses and stayed still.
A baby goat said hello.
More little goats. See, they have water. They need a drink.
A little calf having a rest.
A wooly sheep in his winter coat. Does it keep him warm?
Krista said, “Blossom sometimes grumbles,” and she made the sound.
Kala* showed us a black pig. We said hello. My sister liked him too.
And roosters too. They go cock-a-doodle-doo!
Walking in the snow. Little sister is getting tired.
One more game. Little sister puts the bean bags through the holes.
I play hula hoop.
Mommy says, “It’s time to go home.”
We walk to our car, but little sister is tired so Mommy carries her.
Bye, farm, we had fun!
@ Photos and text by C. Wilker