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The Way I See It ...

The Dew of Little Things (May 2023)

When I moved to Guelph in 1990, one of the first things I did was start searching for a church home. Every Sunday, I went to a different church – sometimes United, sometimes Anglican – hoping to find a good fit for me. My two criteria: relevant and inspirational sermons, and amazing music. Harcourt was, if memory serves, the fourth church I visited … and after listening to John Buttars preach one of the powerful and inspirational sermons that he was so well-known for, and hearing our incredible choir, I never left! Harcourt very quickly became like a second home for me, and its members a second family.

As I thought about what has brought me joy over my years at Harcourt, a number of memories came to mind. Even the act of remembering brings me joy now.

I very quickly became involved in putting together the Harcourt Herald, and served as Editor for over ten years. (Interesting little bit of trivia that I suspect not many know: I was the one who changed the name of the publication, formerly known only as the Harcourt Newsletter, to the Harcourt Herald.) Those years using my editing/publishing skills putting together stories and information from members and friends of Harcourt were most definitely joy-filled.

As a member of the Fellowship & Communications (FAC) Committee, I initiated a children’s birthday card program. Sunday School children designed cards, and I mailed them to children in our Sunday School program for their birthday each year. Nothing brings more joy than children’s artwork!

I coordinated the annual Family Christmas Dinner for about ten years as well. A lot of work, but a LOT of joy. I’ll never forget Tom Moseley, who was my “potato guy” … peeling pounds and pounds of potatoes in the kitchen each year … and beyond happy doing it!

In addition to Tom, I connected with some other amazing people as a result of my work with the FAC Committee. I fondly remember those who are no longer with us in this world, and what stands out most for me:

Murdo MacKinnon – an exhaustive list of activities and accomplishments!

Bruce McCallum – dry, witty sense of humour that always caught me by surprise

Deane Sherman – caring and kind; a surrogate father figure for me

Fran Mathieson – always laughing, supportive, and full of JOY

I also remember Audrey Madigan, who worked in the church office when I first joined Harcourt. Her compassion and generosity have never been forgotten.

And of course no list of remembrances would be complete without Darko Cikovic and Cynthia Moseley. I treasure each and every interaction and conversation, short or long, I had with both of them.

What do the years 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2011 have in common? In each of those years, Harcourt put on a stage production …

2003: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

2006: Fiddler on the Roof

2007: Guelph Cares (a fundraiser for Anne-Marie Zajdlik’s Masai for Africa campaign)

2011: Godspell

Always a behind-the-scenes type of girl, I was honoured to work on the promotion for each of these events. Music feeds the soul. Giving back warms the heart. And the productions were phenomenal!

Unless I was away, I was always in church on Sunday morning. When my marriage ended, I went through a rather dark period, and wasn’t attending services regularly. I will never forget the day I got a phone call from John Buttars. “I haven’t seen you in church for a couple of weeks. Is everything okay?” The fact that he not only noticed I was missing, but also took the time to call and check on me, was another source of heartwarming sustenance.

Years later, when I had just extricated myself from a very abusive relationship, I received a prayer shawl from Harcourt. Another source of sustenance and healing. I remember that feeling, every time I look at that shawl.

For me, connection is not only a source of joy; it is vitally important to our self-esteem and sense of overall wellbeing. Harcourt has provided that connection for me, for over 30 years. And I am eternally grateful.

“For in the dew of little things,

the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


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