Tag Archives: Canadians

Wonderful Women

I know some wonderful women whose names you’ve likely never heard.

They aren’t famous.  But each has done something special to help others in her community.

Blog Photo -- Mr and Mrs. Claus - Eddie Grant Photo

Photo thanks to Eddie Grant

Raphaelita Walker was the wonderful Mrs. Claus, a role she performed at the Jamaican Canadian Association in Toronto every Christmas for more than 40 years. (Her husband Gifford was Santa Claus.)

The children loved her. Adults loved her. Being Mrs. Claus was just one of Raph’s contributions to her community.

Raph celebrated her 90th birthday in December. She died on Valentine’s Day. 

Thank you, dear Raph, for all you’ve done, for so many.

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The other women are members of my church community.

Book Photo At Launch with Jane

Jane Carson, a retired teacher, musician and painter, has attended St. Thomas’ church for decades. She’s done much to help families here and abroad – particularly families with small children. But Jane’s most quiet ongoing ‘ministry’ is sending cards and letters to people who she thinks need to be cheered up. Thank you, Jane.

Blog Photo - Olive Ormiston who knits prayer shawls

Olive Ormiston makes prayer shawls. She’s one of the main knitters at St. Thomas’ Anglican. They create the shawls for those going through a tough time: personal or family illness, bereavement, and other times that test one’s soul. 

Every shawl is blessed by St. Thomas’ Anglican’s priest, Canon Claire Wade. Claire herself is a woman of wisdom and great strength.

Blog Photo - Canon Claire blesses prayer Shawl

Photo by Hamlin Grange

Joanne Schuetzl helps to distribute the shawls. Having survived some scary health challenges herself, Joanne keeps an eye out for others in the community who may need a prayer shawl, and gently approaches them.

Blog Photo - Cynthia and Joanne

Joanne and Cynthia at Wedding

Hooray for these women and other stars in our communities!

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Filed under A Good Home, Canadian Women, Wonderful Women

Living One’s Beliefs

It’s such an anxious time in the world right now. To help calm my nerves, I’ve been reading about the teachings of Buddha and Jesus.

I’m not sure this was a good move.

Self-sacrifice was a key tenet of their teachings– they demanded it of themselves and of those who wanted to follow them.

 

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So far, I’ve concluded that if most of us today did exactly what the Buddha directed, we’d be laughed out of town. And if we behaved as Jesus did, we’d be crucified.  

Metaphorically speaking, of course.  

Jesus was a revolutionary. The person whose birth we mark at Christmas didn’t give a hoot about people’s social standing or how much money they had. He valued their faith and actions, not their status.

He called out the rich, powerful and comfortable, lambasted the uncaring and the corrupt. He looked out for children, the sick and disabled.  He welcomed outsiders. 

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We Canadians have welcomed roughly 40, 000 homeless refugees in the last year. Some worry that in our zeal to provide a home to these vulnerable outsiders, Canadians risk our own safety or finances.  Do I understand that fear? Yes, indeed.

A friend of mine spoke passionately about his fears of Syrian refugees one week – and found himself sponsoring a refugee family the next.  He’d reflected on his fears and decided to live up to his own Christian values instead.

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Canada is a mostly Christian country, but I’m no expert on Christianity. Nor, judging by the New Testament gospel, am I even close to being a true Christian.  But I keep thinking about what Jesus might have said about welcoming refugees.

Perhaps he’d say something about acting on faith, not fear. About reflecting on our own privileges and comforts. And about helping the vulnerable by making room at the inn.

~~

Dedicated to people of all nations who are welcoming refugees to their homes and communities.

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Filed under A Good Home, Adopted HOme, Canadian life, Home