Newsletter - Trinity~Providence United Church


“Growing, Embracing, Sharing…..”
       To celebrate God’s presence,
   to live with respect in creation,
to love and service others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
      to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our


Minister: Rev. Rodney Smith-Merkley
Phone: 705-738-5136

Office Administrator: Susan Zilke Ward
Phone: 705-738-5135

Visit us at
44 William St., P.O. Box 426
Bobcaygeon, ON. K0M 1A0
Church office hours: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Or online at  or Like us on Facebook



Yo, yo, yo!  Yo’ minister had fun “rapping” at the recent Talent Show, which you can read about in the pages of this excellent Easter newsletter!  It’s good to step into a different or “seldom visited” side of our personality every now and then, especially when it’s to “Have Fun, and Help our Neighbours”.  It was also great to ham it up with Doug Bothwell (we do put the “tall” in “Lent”) and to enjoy the Children’s church video presentation, along with all of the other great acts.
To me this talent show was an embodiment of our purpose as “Growing, Caring, and Sharing” followers of Jesus, as it engaged many groups in our church and community.  Almost $600 was raised to boot!  Please share ideas with our “Into the Promise” team of Kim Draper, Jo Wesley, Marjan Hoorn and Debbie about how this might make a difference in addressing poverty in our community.  Currently this team is wondering how needs beyond food (as Bobcaygeon Helps is doing a great job addressing this need) -- such as hydro, housing, transportation, and dental care -- might be addressed.  
We enter this conversation knowing poverty is not so much a problem that can be solved, but is a wound to be healed.  This “Into the Promise” team invites you to read and reflect on Luke 10:1-12 with them, and to speak to them about how you perceive God’s Spirit at work in the community, and how we might assist or accompany that energy.  One area I see the Spirit at work is in the Bobcaygeon Truth and Reconciliation Committee, a community group of which our church is a part.  This group has been nominated for an “Award of Excellence” by the local Chamber of Commerce for its educational events, such as an art show and talk with Indian residential school survivor Freddy Taylor. (10- Noon on Sat. Apr. 8th at the Bobcaygeon library) Don’t miss it!
Anyhow, congratulations to Sue Pepper on another excellent newsletter!  It does a great job of giving us a look at some of what’s coming (summarized on the last page), what some of our needs are, and reflecting back on where we’ve been.  The Carillon (think bells!) also does a great job of introducing us to some of the people we worship with on a Sunday morning, and a little about their journeys.  Enjoy reading about Marg Ward and Ruth Maitland this edition.
Other information includes how we contribute to the wider United Church, specifically the article explaining “remits”.  Our council will be voting on this process of implementing change in our national and local church structures, but all are invited to a discussion after church on Apr. 23rd.  All are also invited to attend a Presbytery meeting (the last one I’ll be chairing as my two-year term comes to a close) at Trinity on April 19th.  Come for worship and gathering from 3-4, or speak to me about staying for the whole meeting, as we are looking for members from our pastoral charge to share in this work.  There is also a great opportunity for adults and youth to attend our Conference Annual Meeting May 26-28 in Brockville (again, speak to me).
Our Tuesday night youth group is growing (check out the 13 youth in the picture on the cover!) and I am meeting with two teenagers who plan to join the church, in the midst of my other duties as your minister.  Occasionally I am asked “I thought that you are supposed to be on holidays now”, I think folk are referring to my sabbatical leave from Aug. 14-Nov. 13, 2017.  Ministry and Personnel have been working with Rev. Bob Root who will be covering for me while I’m away.  This isn’t so much a “holiday” as a chance to “rest in God” after 5 years of service.  Bob will be speaking about sabbatical again on June 11th during worship, and a copy of his previous sermon on the topic is available on the bulletin board, or in the church office.
Finally, God’s richest blessing be with you as we enter this sacred season of Easter.  Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter services will be complemented by drama, reminding us God is with us in life, and death, and life beyond death.  Thanks be to God!


As I look out the window the snow is mostly melted. I heard that someone saw a robin recently so spring cannot be far away. Spring is a time of renewal. I personally look forward to planting gardens, cutting grass, dusting off the golf clubs and getting the bike out on the road. Spring is also a time of renewal for Trinity.
The New Year began for council by finishing off the old business from 2016.  On February 12, 2017 a Congregational meeting was called for the purpose to review the activities of 2016, accept the proposed budget, and deal with any business for the ongoing activities of the congregation.  Council is also pleased to announce that Armand Hachey and Jim Telford were elected co-chairs for the Property Committee. Cathy Bennett will be a Member at large with Debbie.

Remits are an important part of improving how we do God’s work. The following is a letter by Nora Sanders, General Secretary, General Council describing the remits.
“The next eight months will be a pivotal period in the life of The United Church of Canada. With the deadlines to vote on seven of the eight remits quickly approaching, we have a real opportunity to transform the church so it continues to play an important role in our society. Considering what is at stake, it is crucial that all pastoral charge boards/councils and presbyteries study the remit proposals and cast a vote. A wealth of background information is available online at, including study guides, informational videos, webinar discussions, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). This is a unique chance to involve members in major denominational decisions that will ultimately be voted on by the pastoral charges boards and councils. If you have questions, e-mail them to and a senior staff member will respond.
The five remits being voted on by both pastoral charge boards/councils and presbyteries are: (1) Three Council Model, (2) Elimination of Transfer and Settlement, (3) Office of Vocation, (4) Funding a New Model, and (6) One Order of Ministry. The three remits being decided by presbyteries only are: (5) Ministry Partners within Mutual Recognition of Ministry Agreements, (7) Candidacy Pathway and (8) Towards a New Model of Membership.
 While these remits aim to improve how the church operates, the rationale for them really comes down to better serving God. As the Rev. Cathy Hamilton, Chair of the Comprehensive Review Task Group, noted in 2015: “The need for change in how the church is and will be united in God’s work is pressing. This is not just about money or about structural change, but about vitality in the church.”
If pastoral charge boards/councils and presbyteries fail to cast a vote on any of these remits, that lack of response counts as a no vote. The paper ballots for remits 5, 7, and 8 must be mailed in to the General Council Office by February 17, 2017. Ballots for remits 1, 2, 3, and 4 must be received by June 30, 2017. The deadline for remit 6 ballots is February 28, 2018.
 A quick review of how the remits came about. All relate to proposals approved by the 42nd General Council last year. Most of them flow from recommendations made by the Comprehensive Review Task Group, which was directed by the 41st General Council to develop recommendations that would “best enable the church to live faithfully in God’s world at this time in the church’s life.” The following words from the Task Group’s report, United in God’s Work, capture their central message to the church: “We would have to let go of things we have always done and things we cherish. We would have to live within our means and accept that we will be smaller…there is hope of resurrection and new life.”
 As you consider these remits in all their complexity, please remember that church structures are not what’s really important. Our structures and processes are significant only when they support us in living out the teachings of Jesus Christ in our time and place. Church-wide participation in the remit process is vital, and I trust you will make your voice heard and help shape the future of The United Church of Canada.
Our congregation will hold a Remit Education Workshop on April 23 (bag lunch meeting) and vote will take place at the council meeting on May 7.

John Dragstra


This ‘N That

I am sitting here in Quebec on March 15 while the rest of my family are enjoying another day on the slopes at Mt. Tremblant. I am sitting this ski trip out due to a bit of a knee injury.   I am frustrated about that. However on the flip side, it is giving me hours of uninterrupted time to work on the newsletter. I enjoy doing the newsletter but I get frustrated when people do not abide by my deadlines. I have the gift of time right now but have run out of material to write about and to edit.  As usual it will be a mad scramble!
Have you ever wondered why I put all the coloured pictures on the cover page? I discovered that colour printing costs nearly 7 times more than black and white. Two hundred copies of an 18 page black and white newsletter costs $122.20. Two hundred copies of a coloured newsletter would cost $795.60.
Many of you have asked me when our second Syrian family is coming to Bobcaygeon. We were promised by the government that if we had all the papers in by the end of March last year, our family would arrive before the end of 2016. However, we still do not have a date yet. Just this week the family (Yousef’s sister and family) was invited once again to bring all their papers to the Canadian Embassy in Beirut. Once again they were sent back to their dismal shed they call home with no firm date! We know we will get very little notice. We think we are getting close…..but we have thought that before. Their new home is ready and waiting for them right across the hall from their brother. Unlike many sponsorship groups, we are very fortunate to not be paying rent on the apartment as we wait. We are blessed to have a compassionate, patient and generous landlord. I am sure Shiraz Jetha did not expect that the cozy renovated apartment would sit empty for so long. We are anticipating a very happy reunion of the 2 families! With the arrival of the Al Bashir family we will need additional “boots on the ground”. We will need additional drivers to help with transportation needs. We will need a team of 2 or three people to help with dental and medical needs. It would be great to have another retired nurse on board to help lead this team! Training will be provided! We have made lots of mistakes and hopefully the new team can benefit from them! Talk to me if you would like to get involved in any way.
Reverend Rodney’s take on what we could do for Lent was welcomed by our children’s church and many of us adults took heed.  Instead of giving up something, the children were asked to do random acts of kindness. When they reported back they told us they had: emptied the dishwasher without being asked, made breakfast for grandparents, made lunch for grandparents, shovelled snow in St. Catharines after the big storm, and Petra even put toothpaste on her mother’s toothbrush so it would be all ready for her! All the children agreed that they felt good inside about their kind acts. They were each given a package of gum and when they chewed a piece they were to be reminded about doing kind acts. I loved that idea. Gum chewing will never be the same!
I think we are all ready for spring. By the time you get this newsletter, spring will have officially arrived. Happy Spring everyone and keep chewing!
Sue Pepper


Children's Church has been very active learning and exploring the stories of Jesus and having lots of fun too!  The Beatitudes had us investigating the language of Jesus to help make sense of his words for our lives today.  We listened to the United Church Moderator speak about the reality in the United States post-election and how to love our neighbours. 
Being part of the chili cook-off is an annual favourite.  We love being involved with the life and work of the church.   The youth also enjoy discussing big issues and grappling with tough questions.
 We are now preparing for the talent show...lots of talent amongst our youth!  Journeying towards Easter and preparing for the spring will be our focus over the next weeks.
Save the date for VIBE!  We will be hosting VIBE again for children/youth ages 4-12 from July 3-7 in the morning.  Any youth over 12 years of age are welcome to volunteer.  We need lots of young volunteers!
Suzanne Smith-Merkley


Hello again!
As spring approaches, lots of exciting things are happening in Bobcaygeon for the youth! We are making resumes, looking for summer jobs, and patiently awaiting the wonderful summer weather!
I was fortunate enough this March break to spend time in St. Catharines with my grandmother; the only unfortunate part was having to shovel 30 centimetres of snow!
 Charles and I are looking forward to meeting with Reverend Rodney in the next couple weeks to finalize the details of our confirmation.
The only sad part of spring for me is that figure skating comes to an end, but I'm really looking forward to our end of year Carnival showcasing the talent of Bobcaygeon’s young skaters! Our theme this year is “Happy Birthday Canada” and the program features all Canadian music! A great way to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday!
For the hockey fans out there, there are a lot of teams in the midst of playoffs around the community, and I'm sure if you wander down to the Bobcaygeon arena on any given night, you could catch a great game!
My brother Alec and I, along with 4 other Bobcaygeon students had the honour to present our speeches last week in front of the legion members and the community! My speech was about consumerism and Alec’s was about excuses! We worked very hard to research, prepare, and memorize our speeches and I think it payed off!
 I wish everyone a happy Easter and a wonderful spring!

Emma Nicholson


 As you would expect things have been very quiet at providence Church since the Christmas service. But…there are people working behind the scenes! The slate of ministers for the summer has been filled. Soon the music committee will have special music booked for all the Sundays. Providence’s first Sunday of the season is May 21st…..not that far away!
Marion MacKenzie


As spring approaches, we anticipate new beginnings---in our lives, in nature and in the world around us. Our Lenten journey leads us to the Cross and ultimately to the Resurrection. May peace be with you during this Holy Season.
On Jan. 31, we welcomed four new members to our church family----Doug Bothwell, Barb Brandon, and Dave and Debbie Lennox.
Holy week begins on April 9 with our Palm Sunday service. The Good Friday service on April 14 starts at 10:30 with special music and readings. On Easter Sunday, April 16, we will gather about 6:15 a.m. for a sunrise service on the property beside the Post Office overlooking the little Bob River, followed by a light breakfast at the church. Our Easter Sunday service with communion will be held at 10:30. There will be a hymn sing before the service on May 14 and June 11. Newly crafted prayer shawls will be blessed on April 23.
We accepted, with regret, Colleen Gilpin’s resignation from our committee. We are grateful for her many years of service, and wish her well.
We are thankful for the valued support and encouragement of our faithful committee---Audrey Mackay, Mary Justice, Geoffrey Frith, Doug Bothwell, Debbie and Rev. Rodney.
Happy Spring and Blessings to all.
Carol Young and Sandra Keevill, co-chairs.


Through music, words and the sharing of Holy Communion we will re-enact The Last Supper. All are welcome to join us. For more information call Rev. Ann @ 705-738-4086.

Our committee continues to oversee the committees that fall under their umbrella, but are responsible for their own reports e.g. U.C.W., library etc.  In February we hosted a “welcome evening” for those interested in becoming members of Trinity. We had five people attend the evening and four of the five joined our church family. Our newest Trinity members include Dave and Deb Lennox, Barbara Brandon and Doug Bothwell, Trinity’s new Music Director. There will probably be another opportunity to attend a “welcome evening” later this year.
We continue to have our pot-luck movie night on the third Friday of the month. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and movie at 7 p.m. All are welcome to come for an evening of great food, fellowship and family friendly entertainment.  April’s pot-luck movie night will be the last until the fall.
Catherine Junkin and Joyce Jones


So another year begins!  It was our hope that 2017 would be better than 2016, which ended with a Shortfall of $17,317.20. However as of the end of February we are at a shortfall of $5,353.26.  This compares with $4,395.20 last year to February 29th.  What is surprising is that last year we had paid the 1/4 Presbytery Assessment of $1015.50 in February.  This year we paid it in March.  Also this year we took credit for the 60% of Investment Earnings from the United Church Foundation of $2,909.00.

At the Congregational Meeting in February the Budget for 2017 of $194,035.00 for Operating Expenses was approved.  This amount is $8,303.00 greater than last year’s Budget.  Our Staff Salaries were increased a modest 1.1% for 2017 and we budgeted $7,410.00 to cover the cost of Rodney's Sabbatical.  Also with our new Music Director, Doug Bothwell, we now have a full staff.
Our Total General Revenue for 2016 was $161,206.00; we will need $32,829.00 more in 2017 to balance the books!  What can YOU do to help?

Bud Justice


Having had our plans in limbo for several years awaiting the resolution of the sale of the Bick House, our group was happy to meet in the summer to make plans for the future. We recognized that the main renovations that we wanted to do were very costly and could only be done if we got a sizable grant, possibly from The Trillium Foundation.
We felt that there were some projects we could tackle without grant money.
We identified three projects,
1) Build storage cabinets in the sanctuary. Completed Dec. 2016 at a cost of $3,200.
2) Build a 12 foot long movable storage island in Trinity Hall to house the card tables, table cloths, and other items currently stored in a cupboard in the Fellowship room, but used in Trinity Hall. The estimated cost of this is $5,000.
 A suggested fund-raiser to pay for this project is that, those who so wish, donate a toonie every time they take refreshments in Trinity Hall. If fifty people did this every week after church, we could pay for this item in one year.
3) Address the storage issues on the second floor, making the St. David’s room a walk through to the Bethel room and installing storage cupboards in both rooms. The estimated cost of this project is $16,000. (Editor’s note: no decision has been made on this improvement)
Mary Fedy

 HAVE YOU NOTICED That the organ sounds better? The organ needed some repairs to the tune of nearly $500! The choir generously helped defray that cost by donating half!  

The United Church Women across Canada is in the midst of a 5 year campaign to raise awareness of the issue of child poverty in Canada. In our opinion this problem has gone on too long. Our chili cook-off was one of many events to draw attention to and raise funds for this plight.
There was a 3rd annual fundraising Chili Cook-Off at Trinity on January 22. We raised and presented a cheque for $1000 to Ms. Hetherington, the principal of Bobcaygeon Public School. This money was greatly appreciated and will be put into a fund to help students who can’t afford to go on school trips.
 Winners are pictured from left to right. Mary Watson (event organizer), Rev. Rodney (always faithful tester), Ms. Hetherington (Principal), Ruth Maitland (1st place) Kathryn Murray (2nd place) and Jan Carson (3rd place)

The campaign draws to a close in December. There are still 2 more events to raise awareness and raise funds. On Sunday May 7 there will be a lunch after church sponsored by Faith Hope and Love. Funds will go towards the Chiapas Education Project. On Sunday June 4 there will be another luncheon sponsored by Harmony Unit with funds going to students in Nelson House, Manitoba.
Mary Watson

 I wish to thank all the cooks, cook's helpers, pastry rollers ("Holy Rollers"), fillers/toppers, celery chopper and my very special "Oven" lady for all the time and hard work producing the 600 pies we had for sale after service on Sunday, March 26th. It was another job well done and I sincerely thank-you all very much.
 Olive Macoomb
Editor’s Note: Olive has organized and driven this hugely successful fundraiser time and time again. Thank YOU Olive!

This past December the Consciences Gathering for Humanity took place in Chiapas, Mexico. In addition to our family we invited two local scientists, Joseph Pitawanakwat, whose work involves connecting traditional Anishinaabe medicines to science, and James Wilkes, an associate professor in Trent University’s Indigenous and Environmental Science program, to come with us.  The gathering was held between Dec. 26th and Jan. 4th with approximately 2600 people from around the world in attendance.
The purpose of the gathering was to bring science minded people together to share their knowledge, foster scientific understanding and enhance our ability to apply science to the challenges faced by humanity and our world.  In part, the gathering is a response to the request of the people in Chiapas stating clearly that they want to learn – but they do not want to have to go away to city universities and schools to do so. Instead, the learning is brought to the people.  Over the eight days we learned about Cosmology, Ecology, Solar Energy, Biotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Electricity and Magnetism, and so much more.
Although much was shared and learned, ultimately the consensus is that there is much more to do. To that end, another science-focused conference is in the works for next December. Of particular interest to us is that a direct request for community-based science instruction was made….but more on that shortly.
In addition to attending the gathering, we were also able to make a direct donation to autonomous schools in Chiapas as well as visit the two communities we have worked in over the years.  This is always an emotional experience. Each time we do, the children that we once taught are that much older – many with children of their own now.  And of course, after reminiscing about our past times there, the question always come up – “When are you coming to stay with us for a while?”
So, after years of only visiting for relatively brief times, our family has committed to spending next autumn in Chiapas. It is time.  We are looking forward to living and working in community once again. This time we expect to work with community children, youth and educators to deepen their foundational understanding of science as that is what has been requested. There is also talk of having visitors down in the fall. Among others, Joseph Pitawanakwat and his family may return to strengthen the connections he made with traditional Mayan healers there.   All are welcome. As always, thank-you for your ever loving support.
 Sherry Telford, Marcelino Entzin Lopez & Anna & Sofia

Come help us celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday and the Retreat’s 20th Anniversary

APRIL 28TH - 30TH, 2017       COST: $230.00


Theme: Tales of Iona, Scotland Air/Water/Fire/Earth

Contact Mary Watson @ 705-738-3831
0nly 4 spots left


We have some new books for you to read from our Church Library.  To sign out a book, sign the card in the back of the book and place in the basket on the shelf.

Some of our new books are:

MEMOIRS OF HENDRIKUS by Harry Van Oudenaren

THE ILLEGAL by Lawrence Hill


BIRDIE by Tracey Lindberg. (A 2016 Canada Reads selection about a Cree

STONES FROM THE Ursula Hegi (a story about a Zwerg (dwarf) trying to fit in.).

CLARA Richard B Wright (about 2 sisters who are very different trying to make a life in the 1930s)

EXIT LINES Joan Barfoot (a Giller finalist...about residents in a retirement home)

A COMPLICATED KINDNESS by Miriam Toews (a finalist for the Giller about a young woman growing up and trapped in a Canadian Mennonite community

There is no time limit on having a book, but please return in a timely manner. Members of the Library Committee are Lillian Partridge, Sandra Keevill, Margaret Telford and Dorothy Strongitharm.

Lillian Partridge

Ruth often makes the trip to Nelson House Manitoba to visit her daughter Stacey who has been teaching there for several years. I have often wondered what that trip was like and with a little encouragement Ruth talked to Mary Watson who made lots of notes for me. Thank you, Ruth and Mary!

The Journey
 A 10:30am flight out of Toronto involves rising at 4am for a 6am pick up at her house just outside Bobcaygeon. She arrives in Winnipeg at noon for a 5 hour stopover. The flight to Thompson carries 30 to 80 passengers and arrives in Thompson at 6:30pm. Stacey provides a personal taxi service and picks her up in Thompson and the 11.5 hour drive to Nelson House begins. They stop for gas and supper enroute and arrive at Stacey’s at 8pm. By 8:05 Ruth’s feet are up! The total travel time, door to door, is 16 hours in reasonable weather.
On the way home the travel time is a little shorter, leaving Stacey’s at 5am and arriving home in Bobcaygeon at 6:30pm…. only 14.5 hours! She notices big differences between the 2 arrival destinations. She says everything in Toronto is rush rush rush. She waits for what seems to be a very long time to collect luggage in Toronto, then rushes to get a ticket for the express train to Union Station so that she can catch the Go Train to Oshawa and then the Go Bus to the Cavan Go Bus Park and Ride for pick up at 5:30. She finally arrives home at 6:30. In Thompson she walks off the plane into the terminal where the luggage is laid out on a counter for pick up. She walks out of the terminal and gets in a car!  

The Wedding
On her most recent trip Ruth attended a Native Catholic wedding at Nelson House. The bride Angela is a fellow teacher of Stacey’s. She wore a long white A line gown with a white fur shoulder wrap. She had 3 bridesmaids, 3 flower girls and 1 ring bearer…. all formally dressed. The groom Justin, a conservationist, wore a 3piece black suit with a white vest and tie. He had two groomsmen dressed similarly. They are now a blended family with 6 children ages 2years to 19 years.
Stacey and Ruth were the first guests to arrive for the 2pm service. The mother of the bride was busy sweeping the plank floor. They sat on 8-inch board benches with a plank backrest. The church was all white inside with brightly coloured accents and lots of native art.  The ceremony finally started at 2:45. Ruth noticed with interest the relaxed informality of time and preparation for such an important occasion. The service lasted about 30 minutes.
The reception was held at the Wellness Center at 5pm. Taking our cue from the late ceremony start they arrived at the center at exactly 5pm and much to their surprise 2 seats were difficult to find! There were about 100 dinner guests. They served turkey, salad, stuffing, potatoes and gravy with ice cream for dessert. There were 2 cakes, one for the bride and one for the groom. The bride cut her vanilla cake first and served it; then the groom cut and served his black forest cake. When they ran out of plates they served the cake in cups. The speeches were short and congratulatory and very much an open mic style. The event was alcohol free and ended around 8pm.
Ruth feels that we could all learn something from the relaxed laid back approach. She often finds herself saying to herself, “Relax Ruth Relax”.
Sue Pepper (from notes by Mary Watson)

Marg Ward
 On a cold and sunny March morning I had the privilege of visiting Marg at her cozy and peaceful home on South Bayou Rd.
Marg is the eldest of 3 children. She was born in Toronto, moved briefly to Midland with her family, and then moved back to Toronto. Her family had always had a cottage in the Kawarthas so it was a simple decision to move here permanently when she retired.
She started grade 1 in Midland at age 5, then continued her schooling in Toronto. She skipped grade 4 and combined grades 7 and 8 in one year, so she was always one of the youngest in her grade.  Her father died of lung cancer when she was 14 years old leaving her mother to raise Marg, her brother (12) and sister (7). Marg realized that she was never going to be able to get to university as she had planned, so she finished grade 12 at Parkdale Collegiate in the west end and transferred to the Western Commerce and Technical Institute at age 15 to take shorthand, bookkeeping and typing etc., so that she could get out to work as soon as possible. Her mother had connections through their church and helped Marg get a job at Loblaw’s to help her through high school and Business College. She graduated from Western Commerce at age 16 and again with the help of her mother’s connections, she got a job at Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company at age 16 in their Group Pension and Insurance Department. She had always loved Mathematics and she was happy to not be doing the usual secretarial work. Instead she was putting together contracts, determining the cost for groups, all at the young age of 16. She married her first husband at the age of 17. It all seemed normal to Marg because her friends and co-workers had always been older than her.  In three years she gave birth to her daughter Cheryl. The marriage lasted another 5 years.
She spent a total of 9 years at Manufacturer’s.  While she was working there she watched the “big shots” come and go and she realized that they all (mostly men) had university educations. She decided she wanted to become an Actuary, so she started taking Math courses by correspondence. She did well, but when it came time to learn Calculus, she enrolled at Ryerson. She was astounded when another student at Ryerson asked her if she was looking for a husband! She said that it really hit her then how difficult it was for women to get ahead in this field. She finally wrote the Actuary exam and failed!  She was determined to get ahead though so she decided to take the RIA (Registered Industrial Accountant) course by correspondence (Now it is a CPA designation). This course was paid by her employer as long as she continued to pass the exams.
 During this time of study, work and raising a daughter, she secured a position with the Ontario government as a Pension Analyst. There she learned how to work and comply with the Income Tax Act and the new Pension Benefits Act of Ontario had been recently passed. This career was also a male dominated one and it involved a lot of travelling to conferences. One time her boss called her into his office and said that one co-worker’s wife did not want her husband to travel with a woman. Marg’s response was, “Well…I guess he won’t be able to travel anymore!”  Marg continued to travel!
After 6 years with the Government she learned that Ontario Hydro was looking for someone with pension experience. Both she and her supervisor applied for the position and both were interviewed. The interviewer told her that it was difficult for a woman to get ahead with no university degree. Marg was very bold and described what it was like to be a single mother, study by correspondence, work and maintain a home and a cottage property. She got the job and they continued to pay for her RIA courses!  At Hydro she administered their Pension Plan. She researched trends by visiting other companies and comparing terms in order for management to better negotiate the plans. She enjoyed working with lawyers and actuaries. She never did become an Actuary, but after 8 years she completed the RIA course and graduated from it at the same time that her daughter graduated from Shaw’s Business College.
She knew she had reached her glass ceiling about the same time as all the middle management downsizing was taking place in many companies in the early 1990’s. In 1993 her Director called her in and asked her to design a retirement package that even she could not refuse. She did just that. It was approved and she took it at age 52. She then moved to South Bayou Rd with her 2nd husband Duncan. In her retirement, she has enjoyed trips to many states in the US, Central America, Iceland, the Caribbean, and a river cruise in Russia. In 2012 she had the trip of a lifetime when she embarked on a 55 day cruise from Hawaii to Tahiti, then circumventing Australia. Her biggest thrill was swimming in the Great Barrier Reef. In her free time she enjoys Aqua fit, bowling, line dancing, golf, tai chi, playing cards and mah-jong.  She has 4 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
The last 4 years have been a challenge for Marg. Her husband Duncan passed away in March 2016. Her younger brother passed away from lung cancer. Her daughter Cheryl is battling lung cancer. Her dear friend Isobel Chapman passed away. Marg is currently undergoing maintenance chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer and radiation treatment for brain cancer. She feels that most of her time has been taken up with appointments and treatments. Through all this her faith has remained strong. She has been a lifelong member of the United Church of Canada. She was confirmed at Parkdale United Church, transferred to Fenelon Falls UC and then after meeting Reverend Rodney at a friend’s funeral, she transferred to Trinity.
Through my chat with Marg, I got to know a strong, intelligent and determined woman. She was a feminist before there was even a word for it. These qualities served her well in her career and continue to serve her well in her illness. She is truly an inspiration!
Sue Pepper


The Men’s Breakfast Group is alive and well! We now meet at Eganridge, 6 km. west of Bobcaygeon off County Road 8 at 26 Country Club Drive. The delicious breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m. After breakfast at approximately 9:30, we welcome a guest speaker. We are generally finished by 10:30 a.m. The all in cost is $12.00.
Our guest speaker in January was Mike Hendren from the Kawartha Lakes Land Trust. In February we learned more about our Indigenous People from John Bird, former editor of the Promoter. We had a speaker from Parks Canada in March.

On April 8th, our guest speaker will be City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham.  On May 13th, our guest speaker will be Sherri Peel, owner of Bigley’s Shoes and Clothing! The women are invited to join us for this special topic, which should be of special interest to both the men and the women. Sherri will be speaking about the history of Bigley’s and perhaps designs of the future.
Our Group is selling 100 raffle tickets for $10.00 each. The winner will be provided with a day boat cruise on a 42 foot cruiser including lunch and lockage into Pigeon or Sturgeon Lake for a family or four adults. We are attempting to raise funds for charities and cover operating shortfalls.

If you require additional information pertaining to the above, please contact Hugh Spriggs 705-731-0693 or Dave Mackay 705-731-0099.

Hugh Spriggs

The Truth and Reconciliation Bobcaygeon Chapter invites you to meet Freddy Taylor on Saturday April 8 from 10am to noon at the Bobcaygeon Public Library. Freddy is a talented Indigenous artist and a residential school survivor. Come and hear his story and view his art.

 I would like to buy a record player, a CD player and a cassette player. I am also looking for a single bed for my 3 year old great granddaughter.
Dorothy Strongitharm (705-738-5471)

Two people to serve as Presbytery Representatives for Trinity and one for Providence. No experience necessary. Meetings once a month. Take the opportunity to travel the Presbytery area and enjoy a meal with new friends. Contact Rev. Rodney or John Dragstra.

I have a loveseat and 2 glass and wood end tables that need a new home.
Georgina Lawrence (705-738-6747)

(Taken from “Kid’s View of God” by Candice Dunn & Rebecca Mann)
God created religion because he liked hearing about himself. Caleb (5)
God is a seatbelt. Claire (4)
God put the wishing star in the sky just for me. Joshua (4)
God knows everything that you do before you do it ‘cause he hides behind a door. Alex (5)
The best time to pray is when you have said something mean. Emily (6)
Jesus died on a crossing. Ben (6)
Jesus was a person, not just a swear word. Josh (6)
Smoking gets you into heaven ‘cause if you smoke you’re dead. Angus (5)
You know when God is around because you get a nice feeling in your heart. Saskia (9)

The Reunion Choir, featuring many local singers, will perform a concert “Ode to Canada” at Trinity on Sunday May 28 at 2:30pm.

The Community Talent show held on Sun. March 26 was an unqualified success! The church was almost full and it was truly a fun event to raise money to help with local poverty reduction. Trinity- Providence was well represented! Debbie P. was our enthusiastic MC and also took park in a rousing rendition of “We Will Rock You” with Rev. Rodney and Doug Bothwell. Fortunately, Doug did not fall out of his rocking chair! John Knox sang one of his original songs about cows running away and then a more serious John Denver song. Mary Fedy, Susan Zilke Ward and Cathy Bennett provided us with 2 very funny skits. Our own Space Cadets were in top form. Then our little Petra sang a solo, played the piano and then to complete the trifecta performed a beautiful ballet piece. Our Children’s Church provided us with a unique take on the familiar story of “Three Little Pigs”. The Scouts performed 2 funny skits and sang a camp song. There was a big contingent from the Trentside Baptist Church. Liv and Ella J. sang a duet and the Trentside Baptist Youth Band really made the house rock! Melda Clarke entertained us with her storytelling and Yvonne Kendrick performed 2 songs.  Debbie and Rodney “rapped it up” with a hilarious rap “Walking a Step in my Shoes”.  The Finale had the entire cast on the stage and we all sang together. A good time was had by all!
Sue Pepper

Tues. Apr. 4 @ 10:30am …..Coffee Talk at Tim Hortons
Sat. Apr.8 @ 8:30am…..Men’s Breakfast at Eganridge
Sat. Apr. 8 @ 10am…..Freddy Taylor, Artist and Residential School Survivor at Bobcaygeon Library
Sun. April 9 @ 10:30 am….Palm Sunday Service
Thurs. April 13 @ 7pm…..Maundy Thursday Service at Knox Presbyterian
Fri. April 14 @ 10:30am…..Good Friday Service
Sun. April 16@ 6:15am…..Easter Sunrise Service by the Post Office
Sun. April 16 @ 10:30…… Easter Communion Service
Wed. Apr.19 @3pm…… Trinity hosts Presbytery
Sun. Apr. 23……Prayer Shawl Blessing and after service…. Remit Education Workshop
Apr. 28 to Apr. 30……Women’s Retreat at Fairhavens
Sun. May 7 @ noon…..Fundraising lunch for Chiapas
Sat. May 13 @ 8:30 ………Men’s Breakfast at Eganridge
Sun. May 14 and Sun. June 11…..Hymn Sing before service
Sun. May 21…….Providence opens for the season
Sun. May 28 @10:30am ……Conference Sunday…..UCW to lead service
Sun. May 28 @ 2:30pm……….. Reunion Choir Concert in the sanctuary
Sun. June 4 @ noon….Fundraising lunch for Nelson House
 Don’t forget VIBE dates……..July 3 to 7!