Posts filed under ‘leadership’

Earthen Vessels

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Pastor Annette shared the music she had chosen for the weekend retreat ahead of time so that I could learn the pieces on my guitar. I was intrigued by the theme—Earthen Vessels—and the theme song by the same name, written by John Foley of the St Louis Jesuits. Each retreat member was to bring an earthen vessel hidden away in a wrapper of some sort.

Twenty-three women met at a church camp for our yearly Mount Zion Women’s retreat.  Worship, theme, food and crafts are all planned in advance, assuring an organized and enjoyable weekend for all.

Upon arrival at the camp, we greeted each other. There’s always someone coming for the first time and those who return year after year. This time one of the new people had ministry experience and the other, from my hometown, was in seminary.

We introduced ourselves, put our earthen vessel, still concealed, on the floor in the centre of the meeting room. We were to write something about that vessel and not put our names on the paper. The papers were mixed up and we picked one from the envelope. Then the activity was finding the person who got our note. After everyone had found the person with their note, we revealed our vessel and shared its significance to us. There was everything from an antique container for liquor to a newer vase or pitcher that someone used for pouring maple syrup. My vessel was a small container that was made by my friend Valda who’s done a lot of pottery.

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our earthen vessels

We ended our first evening session with worship, and sang two of the songs the pastor chose. Social time followed with all kinds of snacks around the large kitchen counter in the Stone House.

Doris and I had an 80-something senior sharing our room. We settled in and I told Pat a bedtime story, one I’d written for my first book. It brought a few chuckles. Was it the late snacks or the anticipation that kept me awake a long while? I don’t know, but I did eventually sleep.

The next morning, we had breakfast on our own, with the choice of muffins, toast, fruit and cereal. And the early bird, Donna, had the first pot of coffee ready. By nine am, Anne led us in stretches and movement to some lively music. Another tradition of this group is a lively game of Pictionary on Saturday night.

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We started the morning session by examining the meaning of vessels that have cracks in them and watched the video with Leonard Cohen’s Anthem. After that thought-provoking poem, we considered how we, as earthen vessels, also have cracks in us, and we pondered how God loves us in spite of those cracks. One exercise was breaking down some old clay pots and discussion of those things that cause breaks in us. And when we have those breaks and let God in, that’s letting the light in.

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Arlene and Ida putting finishing touches to their craft

Our pastor leader found something interesting as she prepared for the weekend, that there’s a Japanese art called Kintsugi, in which an artist puts pieces of pottery back together with a sort of glue to which gold is added “that give a new lease of life to pottery that becomes even more refined.”

I found our music worshipful and moving and the sessions provided great discussion. We listened to videos by Dr. Brené Brown, Jeff Christian, and the esteemed Jean Vanier, winner of the Templeton prize for his work founding L’Arche. All of these speakers had one thing in common, that they were willing to show their vulnerability. Jean Vanier said in the clip we heard, “Connection is why we’re here; it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”

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We ended our retreat with another session of worship, including communion and anointing of hands to go forward and use them in connecting with others and serving God while we did so.

I left the retreat encouraged, enriched and inspired as I know others did by their last words at our sessions. We have much to think on over the coming days and look forward to retreat next year.

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Ida’s turn at Pictionary

 

May 2, 2019 at 2:24 am Leave a comment

Piece by Piece book signings

Piece by Piece.cdr

 

Please note that I have several book events already set up for Piece by Piece

 

April 13th, at Family Home Health Care Centre in Palmerston ON, from 11 am to 3 pm

May 11th, at Tavistock Public Library, Tavistock ON, at 11 am, reading and signing books

And I will be at the Tavistock Fall Fair in September. More news on that one later. All of my books available at this event.

More in planning stages

March 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Special Olympics Summer Games 2018

Special Olympics Summer Games were hosted at St. Xavier University in the community of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, this summer, from July 31st to August 4th.  Athletes across Canada have been training for this event for some time now.

From specialolympics.ca

Antigonish has played host to many Special Olympics Nova Scotia Summer Games, providing incredible support for athletes, families and friends alike. St. Francis Xavier University was chosen as the host for the athlete’s village and several sports, due to the tremendous quality games experience that can be offered to Special Olympics athletes.

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photo shared by permission

 

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photo shared by permission

Sandra McNeil wrote on Facebook, August 2nd: My beautiful sister, Jennifer McIntosh, won bronze in her 200m race 💕🥉
We are so proud of you Jennifer!

 

I have particular interest in the events because of one young woman who participates. I’ve known Jenn since she was a six- or seven-year-old and I see the growth and confidence she has gained by being a part of the sports. At this year’s Summer Games, she earned two medals—one bronze and one silver in the 200 metre race (bronze) and 400 metre (silver) races. Her team from Lunenburg-Queens athletics did well overall with everything from bronze to gold.

Of particular mention are the corporate sponsors who help the organization fund such games, at the regional and national  levels. The athletes trained hard in their home communities under the direction of volunteer coaches and mission staff, which include members of the athletes’ families. Individuals qualify first at regional games and then go on to the next level, as happens in other sports.

Team Nova Scotia was cheered on by their news station, CKBW

The 2018 Canada Special Olympics Summer Games wrapped up in Antigonish over the weekend and the results were impressive.

Team Nova Scotia walked away with a total of 135 medals following the four day competition.

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Search by province and sport. Photo by Sandra MacNeil.

 

Dr Frank Hayden, founder of Special Olympics, deserves much credit for this organization. His actions have changed the lives of millions. While doing a research degree in science, he noted that students at the Beverly School in Toronto could benefit by having a program of fitness and exercise, just like any other child. He was encouraged to go to the United States to work with the Kennedy family to begin an event there. Following those few years away, he returned to Canada to found the Special Olympics.

“I worked my butt off, along the way, but the success has been built on the fact that we have been able to find people like this,” Hayden said, gesturing at the activity around him.

His involvement in what would become Special Olympics began with his research into the fitness level of children with intellectual disabilities.

Hayden was present at the nationals in Nova Scotia along with his wife, to cheer on the athletes. And they, in turn, were glad to see him.

frank_hayden_04_largePhoto from Cape Breton Post

 

If you wish to learn more about Special Olympics, go here. They welcome your support, in whatever way you can offer. Cheer them on too, when you have opportunity to see their events.

 

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photo by of the SouthShore Breaker

 

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Triumphant! photo shared by permission

 

Photo credits noted, several by newspaper and radio and others by Sandra MacNeil,  sister of an athlete and a volunteer coach for one of the sports.

September 6, 2018 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

Kawartha Settlers’ Village

 

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Search page given to our granddaughters on paying the entry fee

On one of our days away, we went with our host family to Kawartha Settlers’ Village that’s located just outside of Bobcaygeon.

According to the tour booklet for the village,

In 1990, the dream of establishing a museum to preserve history and the development of the area became a reality when a small group of people calling themselves the Kawartha Region Arts and Heritage Society convinced the village of Bobcaygeon to lease them the land to establish the Kawartha Settlers’ Village.

 

Follow along with me on our tour of some of the buildings. Here’s the map that’s in the program booklet. It’s an easy walk through for visitors of any age.

http://www.settlersvillage.org/tour-the-village

The receptionist at the main building gave each of our granddaughters a card showing pictures of things to look for in the village and a crayon to mark off items as they found them. It became a game for all of us to help them find the items.

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Quilters meet regularly in the Wray House to learn their craft. There were many interesting quilts hanging in this home.

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A rather colourful and picturesque quilt

 

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A child’s room in another home

Our granddaughters interest was limited in some areas due to their ages of 6 and 8, although the adults could have spent more time. Another time perhaps. The girls did enjoy wandering through the village and checking off the items on their card. They awaited a prize at the end.

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The firehall housed an old engine and hoses and hats. The building is a replica of the original Bobcaycaygeon Fire Company station.

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The Fairbairn Church

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a wooden offering plate

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Inside the classroom, one modelling the dunce hat and one drawing on the chalkboard

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What’s inside this desk?

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Outside the trapper’s cabin

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A warm rug inside.

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If the printer needed a graphic for a newspaper or flyers, he’d have these images…

 

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or even these images. Not simply drawings but carvings that someone had made.

 

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And a bit of fun at the end of the Kawartha Settlers’ Village.

The girls showed their cards at the admission centre and got their little prize and could keep the cards to remember the visit.

If you’re in the area this summer, go to the village and take the self-guided tour. It was well worth the time and price of admission, which was quite reasonable.

July 28, 2018 at 11:56 am Leave a comment

Tax Time–oh the woes of it

Wrapping up the end of a  year financially can be an extra busy time, different than Christmas, but busy all the same. And here’s the time that accountants, and bookkeepers who help us get our books in order, move into an extra stressful time. So much to do and the same number of hours in a day to do them.

I looked up some sayings people use that are pertinent to February, March and April when they’re at their peak of work. Some quotes may be amusing and others more serious:

 

A fool and his money are soon parted. The rest of us wait for tax time. -unknown

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling.   ―Paula Poundstone

…but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
―Benjamin Franklin

No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity.
―Rush Limbaugh

The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.   -Albert Einstein

Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax.    -Charles Kettering

 

Being serious about this business, I know several bookkeepers and accountants who work very hard and do their best, so appreciate those who do the task for you.

February 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

Memoir Writing Opportunity

Do you know of a senior, who lives in Kitchener, who maybe doesn`t get out much but who would like to begin to share their stories. Everyone has a story.

I`m pleased to have been offered the time to present my workshop.

Senior Connections Jan 11

http://www.carolynwilker.ca

Canadian Networker Fall Business Expo

December 30, 2015 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

Beyond our resources

This morning I posted to The Word Guild professional blog, Canadian Authors who are Christian, as I do once a month.

Today, being Remembrance Day, I wonder how many of the returning or wounded soldiers relied on resources beyond them to get through active duty. It certainly would not be an easy place to be, despite claims of heroism and passion to serve one’s country.

To appreciate their effort and sacrifice, I dedicate my blog piece today to all members of the Canadian military in whatever role they played, whether front line or behind the scenes, such as mechanics and chaplains.

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Here’s the opening to that post:

It’s rare that I go to the movies or even watch one on television, but recently I went to see one at the theatre with a friend, 3-D glasses, giant screen—the whole deal, except for the popcorn.

The Martian opens with a group of astronauts on the planet of Mars. The captain decides to abort the mission when a sandstorm comes up, and the team is in agreement—except that one of the six was hit with flying debris, and they believe him to be dead. The remaining crew members leave the planet without him.

On their return to Earth, the chief scientist at NASA announces sombrely that the crew has returned from the mission to Sol except for the sixth member, Watney (played by Mark Damon). They hold a funeral service for him back home and the other members of the crew go back to their duties. Sometime later, as NASA explores the planet by satellite, they discover movement at Sol and discover that Watney is very much alive, proven when he begins sending messages back to Earth.

Read more here.

Photos on this blog are copyright to C. Wilker, unless otherwise noted.

November 11, 2015 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

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