Study Leave – Festival of Homiletics Gathering – May 14, 2023

Dear Grace United, It is the most wonderful time of the year for your minister, as she prepares to leave for her annual preaching conference – Festival of Homiletics. Yes, some people attend music festivals, garlic festivals, and many other sorts of festivals, but your minister attends a preaching festival. This festival is a learning, enriching and growing opportunity for all ministers and lay leaders from all over the world. I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend this festival, either live or virtually, since 2013. It is one of the most powerful lifelong learning events that I attend each … Read more

Time Away – Easter 2023

Easter 2023 Dear Grace United Church, What a joy it is to be journeying with you! Would you believe that this is our third Easter together? I have been blessed, and still am, to be serving congregations that understand the hardships of being a minister and offer a reprieve following the high seasons of the church, Advent/Christmas, and Lent/Easter. Preparing weekly worship with meaningful sermons is the small part of the iceberg that is visible from the pulpit each week. Not many realize the depth of accompanying all those who are walking through the shadow of death. Of course, there … Read more

Broken & Spilled Out – VIBE closing prayer – March 8, 2023

Holy One,  We come to you and offer all that we are       and all that we have.  We come to you broken and spilled out,       tired and worn out from the way of the world,       and TURN to Your Love; because Your LOVE       breaks down barriers, builds relationships,       and strengthens us to CARRY ON.  We pray, wholeheartedly,       and bow down at the feet of Your LOVE       and surrender all selfish ways and live in       the WAY … Read more

Words from the Heart for The Rev. David Timpson: A Man After God’s Own Heart – February 28, 2023

Dearly Beloved, I am Takouhi Demirdjian-Petro, and I serve the Creator through Grace United Church in Gananoque, the Canadian Gateway to the Thousand Islands. Today, I stand here before you because I had the amazing privilege to know David and Brenda since 2009, when I came to Ontario from Quebec to do my internship at Elgin-Portland Pastoral Charge in the Rideau Lakes Township (between Ottawa and Kingston). When I moved to Portland for the eight-month internship, I did not know the area and felt lost and out of place. However, there was a minister, Rev. David Timpson, who served the … Read more

Grace United Church – Gananoque – Minister’s Annual Report 2022 – AGM 2023 – February 12

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” First Corinthians 13:4-8a (NRSV) Dearly Beloved, the above verses are usually read at weddings. Last year, I had the privilege to officiate nine weddings. However, I also had the honour of presiding at twenty-two different funerals. I have learned, and now, I … Read more

Time Away – Feb. 15-22, 2023 – February 8, 2023

Dear Grace United Church, If I told you that I cannot remember many birthday celebrations, while growing up in Lebanon – but only four and a fifth one that is very blurry – you would not believe me. Four birthday celebrations in the first fifteen years of my life. Of course it did not help that the Civil War in Lebanon began when I was not even eight years old (1975). My very first memory of a birthday celebration was in 1977, my 10th birthday, when my sister Ruth and my dad, Vramshabouh, surprised me at school. They showed up with … Read more

Peace that Surpasses ALL Understanding – Jan. 29, 2023

Have you ever been in a storm, both figuratively and literally, but sense PEACE that surpasses all understanding? Today, we go back to Jan. 12, 2015, when Gary and I left our house to go to Gananoque to take care of a few errands. There was gentle snow coming down, but the weather was not stormy. We did not make anything about it and went on with our plans. We were about 10-15 km away from Gan, our Honda Element took a spin and Gary said, “Here we go honey, hold on tight”. Our car went zig-zag to the oncoming … Read more

Christmas 2022 Newsletter – Grace United Church

“Christmas is Generosity in Action, Even in the Midst of Scarcity!” Dear Grace United Church, Would you believe me if I told you this year marks our third Advent season together? I cannot believe it. It feels like it was just yesterday the very first Sunday I led worship celebration at Grace – that was Nov. 15, 2020. It is a shocking reality. Sometimes I sense, just because COVID-19 enforced us to stay home and be safe, not just for ourselves but for all those we love and care for, life still went on. The world kept on spinning, bills … Read more

Rev. Takouhi’s Reflection – Fall 2022 – September 15, 2022

Dearly Beloved, World leaders are celebrated with so much fanfare when they leave this physical world, I felt compelled that we need to dedicate this reflection to a loving leader, colleague and an example of a servant-leader, Rev. Seeley. Every September, I reflect on new beginnings. As the new academic year begins, Mother Nature reminds us that change is in the air with the cooler weather and prepares us for winter. I take my vacations mostly in fall, bringing me new and refreshing outlook to life, as we attempt to hibernate through the coming months of winter. However, this time … Read more

Vacation Time – August 28, 2022

Dear Grace United Church, Summer has come and almost gone in a blink of an eye. It is mind-boggling to see how fast these days are going by. Many people take time off to rejuvenate and restore their energy in the summertime, but for a minister, summer is one of the busiest seasons of the year. There is Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and then there is Summer, filled with weddings and funerals. As summertime is winding down, my family and I are just getting started to slow down and spend some time together, to rest and play. Therefore, I will … Read more

Click to access the login or register cheese