Larry Eugene Cochran – Sunrise, March 14, 1944  –  Sunset, September 21, 2023

Reflection from the Celebration of Life held on September 29, 2023 at Portland United Church, Portland, ON. “Suck it Up Buttercup!” If you had the chance to meet Larry, your life never would be the same. The day I met him, in March 2013, the St. Patrick’s Stew supper was taking place at Portland United Church. I had just started a New Call at the church on Feb. 1 of that year. I was informed there were many newcomers to this town since I last finished my internship in May 2010 and completed student ministry on Aug. 1, 2010. I … Read more

Summer Time Away – August 14 – September 6, 2023

Dear Grace United Church, This year, summer arrived with vengeance, and the weather has been as unpredictable as life itself. It seems summer is lingering, yet it is almost running away. I do not know if it is “coming out of COVID” or what, but this summer seems to be busier than ever before for the ministry we share together, and I am ever grateful. Today, August 13, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism and officially welcome members to this Community of Faith. When I tell people that summer is one of the busiest seasons of the year, they don’t … Read more

A Prayer of Thanksgiving – ORIGINS – June 7, 2023

God of Creation, Out of darkness you brought Light, Out of nothingness you brought Life. From mud you created humankind, Yet, you gifted Your Image to all,  And instilled Your Breath in everyone.   Thank You for the Gift of Your Life-Giving Word. Thank You for the Gift of Your Spirit in and with us. Thank You for the Gift of each other.   May we go forward from here knowing that we are not alone. We live in Your World, In Your Womb, In Your Love – Today and Always.   Amen. 

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

A Prayer of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide
April 24, 1915

April 24 is the Armenian Genocide Commemoration date. In 2015, the Canadian Parliament passed Motion M-587 to declare the month of April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month, and mark April 24 as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day. A Prayer of Remembrance – Armenian Genocide – April 24, 1915 [1] Holy and Life-Giving God, we come to you today with trust, knowing that Your Spirit hovers over all existence, bringing Light out of darkness, Life out of nothingness, Beauty out of ashes and Resurrection from the depths of the earth. Today, we remember the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire, that was … 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

Mandate of Love – for Holy/Maundy Thursday

Holy One, Your mandate to us is to live Love, and make this world a better place. Jesus, our Teacher, Friend, and Example to follow, took bread, blessed, broke, and gave it to others. He was the Word made flesh, Your Word, the Bread of Life. Today, we want to be like Jesus, and have your Word live in and through us. Therefore, we urge you to bless us, break us, and help us share ourselves with others – even to the point of death. You promise to sanctify and multiply all that we willingly give and help us make … 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

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

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