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 hope.


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


Thanks to Sue Pepper (and everyone!) for another great newsletter. Thanks too for the chance to read it prior to writing my reflection. The thing that jumped out at me in reading it is the number of times the word “blessing” appears. (For anyone who can tell me the number of times it appears in the newsletter I’ll give you a candy cane!). We are a truly blessed people!

I was very aware of being blessed as I began and returned from my sabbatical. Thanks to the ministry and personnel committee, council, congregation, and Rev. Bob Root for allowing me to be apart for three months, resting in God. The United Church’s sabbatical policy has been around for approximately 15 years, and was brought into place to prevent burnout in ministers. I return with gratitude, feeling renewed after putting down the mantle of church leadership. This was my first time experiencing such a gift.

I have shared and will continue to share sabbatical stories: stories of seeing our beautiful Kawartha Lakes from a new perspective in my speedboat, stories of exploring by canoe new places not far from home such as the Queen Elizabeth Wildlands Park and the Irondale River, and stories of pow wow participation and wild rice harvesting at Curve Lake. Sabbatical also gave me time to explore Toronto, and visit with many students from our presbytery who are attending the Toronto School of Theology. It was good to connect with others on this spiritual journey!

I did some genealogy work, and learned more about my own “Merkley” family history-refugees from the Rhine River Valley in Germany in 1709 and welcomed to the Mohawk Valley in New York State. I was delighted to travel to New York with my father for a few days and learn about these stories of how some of my ancestors arrived in North America. While I did have some overnight trips, most of my adventures were day trips, which allowed me more time in my role as parent and partner (these were great gifts too!). I enjoyed slowing down and learning to live contemplatively, and couldn’t have had better weather!

Worshipping at other churches was refreshing and a good gift, although I missed singing some of our own hymns. I missed the church community, and found it difficult to be away for events such as the African Children’s Choir! While paddling or walking or sitting, there were times I found myself thinking of church members who have died, and how they have touched my heart.

As I return to my ministry, I want to hear how the Spirit has been active in your life over these past months. This newsletter helps inform me of some of that. While aided by helpful notes from Rev. Bob and others, I have shared that coming back feels “like trying to take a drink of water out of a firehose!” Two weeks in, the pressure is waning. A legacy I hope to carry from my sabbatical is to adopt a “less is more” approach, so that I am more fully aware of God’s Spirit, as well as to approach each moment with a PLAYFUL CURIOUSITY. In this approach, I feel I am at my best in service to myself, my family, the church, and the world.

As we enter Advent and Christmas, preparing for and celebrating the Incarnation of God’s love through the birth of Jesus (and through us who follow him), may you be blessed with hope, peace, love, and joy. Take note of some of the special preparations outlined in this newsletter, and be aware some details (such as a drama with children and youth) are still taking shape.

With much love and respect,

Rev. Rodney


Wow where did the summer go! It seems like it didn't start until September. Liz and I got out in the boat more in September than all of July and August. 

The summer challenge for us on council was filling Pastor Rodney’s shoes while he was away on Sabbatical. For me that seemed ominous. However Rev. Bob Root stepped up to the plate so smoothly as supply minister, that church life at Trinity never missed a beat. He has been such a blessing! His support at Council meetings was very much appreciated.

As Chair of Council I really appreciate the work of council members and the committees they represent. Each month reports of their activities are discussed. The committees are, Board of Trustees, Finance, Worship, Stewardship, Communication, Presbytery, Property, Pastoral Care, M&P, Outreach, Archives, Faith Formation, UCW, Providence, and Member at Large. 

The clerk/secretary Kim Draper records the minutes of each meeting and does an excellent job in providing accurate minutes.

Trinity is an active place where many groups meet. The hair salon business across the street will attest to that. Liz was in their shop and the talk was all about the activity at Trinity! 

We are now preparing for the Christmas season. As active as Trinity is, our financial position is not so good. Our revenues are falling behind and we need your support to meet our obligations. Please give this your prayerful and financial support.

In February our annual meeting and elections will take place for filling council vacancies. We are also still searching for a Music Director. We pray that God will touch someone's heart and bring us the person we are looking for.

I am saddened to report that the church building was burglarized and robbed of the Nov. 5th Sunday collection. The council will be reviewing the security procedures in an effort to better protect our building in the future. Trinity will remain strong, because of our faith. We are not alone. God is in this place.


John Dragstra


By the time you are reading this Rev. Rodney will be back from his sabbatical. I hope and pray that it was a meaningful time for him. We missed him and welcome him back! We were so fortunate to have Rev. Bob Root with us for the sabbatical. He helped us to understand what it means for a minister to be able to take advantage of this offering. I think we all enjoyed Bob’s great sense of humour, his insight and his meaningful messages. I have a feeling that Bob will not be a stranger in our pews. I am proud to be part of a church that embraces the concept of sabbatical.

I really do enjoy getting this newsletter together! However I DO NOT enjoy the arm twisting and the begging that I have to do to get people to submit articles. Kudos to those of you who submit things to me by the deadline or even before. I can count them on one hand! Rev. Bob got it right when he announced at church “It is the only time I have seen Sue Pepper grumpy!” (Doug would probably disagree with that!)

News from BARC is that we have started the process of bringing another family to Bobcaygeon. We have no idea at this point how long the process will take this time around. We were disappointed that the last 2 attempts were not successful in bringing another family here. This time we are trying to bring Mariam’s brother, his wife and 8 children. We will need more help as the timeline becomes more apparent, so watch for updates.

We will be away for a month over Christmas again this year and when we get back I will be having surgery on my foot and will be out of commission for around 3 months. (Worst case) I hope to get around using a knee walker since I will not be able to weight bear for that time. Try not to stare…it is a funny looking contraption but much safer than crutches for the elderly! (Yes…that is what my physiotherapist told me! First time I have been called elderly to my face!)

Christmas Blessings.

Sue Pepper


Dear Friends,

It’s been my great privilege to be your supply minister these last three months while Rodney has been on sabbatical. Deep thanks for your warm welcome and generous hospitality – it has been a blessing to be with you and to learn more about your life at Trinity and Providence.

You are great congregations with energy, commitment and a great sense of humour. You have done a great job in Rodney’s absence, filling in the gaps, looking after one another and continuing your great outreach into the community and beyond. Whenever there has been a need, someone has stepped forward to offer leadership and that’s a sign of a healthy pastoral charge. Many blessings as you welcome Rodney home again and continue your life of service to Christ with each other. You are a blessing to each other, to the community, the wider church and all of Creation!

With gratitude,




The fall season has been a busy one, and seems to have flown by! We have been blessed to have Rev. Bob Root with us during Rev. Rodney’s sabbatical, and are thankful for his support and wise counsel. We welcomed Rev. Rodney back on November 19. We are grateful to Doug Bothwell and Jan Carson for providing music ministry during the summer and into the fall. We are still actively looking for a music director, and would appreciate your prayers, as well as any thoughts or ideas you may have.

Our Remembrance Day service was a very inspiring one. Our own Karin Kinsman shared some of her experiences during the war. Several members of our congregation shared pictures and memories of loved ones who served in the wars. We also thank Shirley Outram for once again laying the wreath on the chancel.

Our 157th Anniversary was celebrated on November 12 with Rev. Kim Falls leading the service. Rev. Kim was a member of our congregation for many years, and received a warm welcome back. Rev. Bob Root conducted the service at Rev. Kim’s church...Bethel United. Our service was followed by a lunch and farewell for Rev. Bob.

Please check out the “Gatherings at a Glance” on the last page of the newsletter for all the dates and times for the many special events and services.

We want to thank all members of our team -Mary Justice, Audrey Mackay, Geoffrey Frith, Debbie P., Rev. Rodney, the tech team, Sue Zilke-Ward, and our congregational volunteers for their constant and invaluable support.

We wish you a blessed Christmas and a joyous holiday season.

Carol Young and Sandra Keevill


Trinity Church has much for which to give thanks. In the Sundays leading up to Anniversary Sunday, November 12, the congregation was invited to fill a Gratitude Tree.

The tree was an apple tree that had to be taken down. The branches were bare. It sat in a beautiful, old, rusted milk can – waiting…..

People were given paper leaves and asked to write a gratitude about something of the ministry of Trinity Church that has touched them deeply. Running counter to nature this time of year, our Gratitude Tree began to grow leaves covering its bare branches.

Here’s a list of the comments written on the leaves:

Caring, church family, community, bible study, church family, prayer shawl ministry, choir director fill ins, church family, friends, activities and those who make it happen, music, funeral services and support thereafter, Bob Root, fellowship, church family, the good our church does in the community, deep welcoming, and especially our church family....

Trinity Church has much for which to give thanks!

Trinity Church has much for which to give thanks. In the Sundays leading up to Anniversary Sunday, November 12, the congregation was invited to fill a Gratitude Tree.

The tree was an apple tree that had to be taken down. The branches were bare. It sat in a beautiful, old, rusted milk can – waiting…..

People were given paper leaves and asked to write a gratitude about something of the ministry of Trinity Church that has touched them deeply. Running counter to nature this time of year, our Gratitude Tree began to grow leaves covering its bare branches.

Here’s a list of the comments written on the leaves:

Caring, church family, community, bible study, church family, prayer shawl ministry, choir director fill ins, church family, friends, activities and those who make it happen, music, funeral services and support thereafter, Bob Root, fellowship, church family, the good our church does in the community, deep welcoming, and especially our church family....

Trinity Church has much for which to give thanks!


I wish we had good news to report that we have found a music director, but that is not the case. We have been blessed to have Doug Bothwell for the summer and early fall and Jan Carson for November and December. We are very thankful for their help. The truth is that there are very few people with the skill set and the time to take on the role. I see ads in the Observer regularly looking for a music director. At least we are not alone. Could it be that the times are changing? Do we need to change our model? The choir has been dedicated to helping lead the music, but it a challenge for us and our ministers to work with the changing music bench.

On a happy note, Trinity Choir is joining the Knox Presbyterian choir once again for a Christmas Cantata. There will be 30 voices in all. Ruth Eberts of Knox has gathered together 13 different pieces of music by different composers, added readings, and has made it into a cantata. She has named it “Comes the King”. See the box below for details.

And….speaking of music, the Bobcaygeon Choristers are presenting “Jingle All The Way” here at Trinity on Saturday Dec. 2 at 7pm. Tickets are $15.

Sue Pepper


Come and experience “Christmas Joy” at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday December 10 here at Trinity. The concert will feature the North Winds Concert Band, made up of 21 children from the area and led by Bev Tombler, several soloists from her studio and the Bobcaygeon Strings led by Karel Beck. Admission is by free will offering and proceeds will be given to Trinity.


Rev. Kim Falls was our guest speaker on the occasion of our 157th anniversary on November 12. Kim had been a member of our congregation for many years when she decided to go back to school to become a minister. She is now minister at Bethel United near Fowlers Corners.

After the service we enjoyed a celebratory lunch in Trinity Hall complete with a Nicolette cake. Rev. Bob made it back for lunch from Bethel where he was preaching. Being that this was his last Sunday as our supply minister he was given a great send off as our way of thanking him for a great job. Catherine Junkin created a beautiful card that we all signed and he was presented with a BIG drum. Walter Murray wrote a poem that we all sang to Bob to the tune of “Clementine”. To complete a wonderful celebration, Rodney surprised us by joining us for lunch. He said “I heard there was cake!” It was good to see him looking so rested and refreshed! It was a very happy day.

 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

Bob (the) Root

Bob (the) Root

  1. In Bobcaygeon , in our Hip-Town,

Excavating for Supply,

Dwelt a frantic church in panic:

Rooting deep we found our guy


Oh, our preacher! Oh our Teacher!

Oh our Pastor –Bob the Root!

Thank you for your time among us:

Our good friend is Bob the Root

  1. Down he dove beneath the water

One fall morning, just at nine.

Sank in coldness. Rose in boldness.

Now refreshed and feeling fine.


  1. Preached he sermons with a coolness:

His reflections well refined.

Prayers went down deep. Songs were up-beat.

None complained of sore behind.


  1. Taught he scriptures with assurance.

Every one could have their say.

Celtic Spirit: None need fear it.

Bob affirmed Creation’s Way.


  1. Pastoral care was front and center:

Spoke our names with quiet grace.

Tuned his hearing, Channels clearing.

Never judgment on his face.


  1. We will miss you. We will miss you.

We will miss you Bob the Root.

Seeds were sown. Roots were grown.

May your time with us bear fruit.




Finding a quiet moment during the busy holiday season can be difficult. We have a safe place and time just for you! The sanctuary will be open with only the quiet light of candles for moments of prayer and quiet reflection. You can drop in on Dec 20th and/or Dec 21st between 7:00pm to 9:00pm each night. 


Another season is over and the doors are closed until December. The summer flew by with inspirational speakers and delightful music every Sunday. We held our annual barbecue in August and the weather cooperated! We were able to be outdoors for the great food and lively music. Our Anniversary service in September was our closing service and we enjoyed our own Rev. Walter Murray’s thought provoking message.

Our popular Christmas Service is set for Friday December 22 at 7:30 p.m. Planning is underway. Stay tuned for details!

Marion MacKenzie



Autumn is passing quickly and soon we will be into Advent! We have been busy in Children’s Church over the past 8 weeks learning and growing our knowledge of foods from the bible and accompanying stories. Each week we delved into a story and made (and ate) related foods. Some of the stories were about Moses, King David, Queen Esther, and the Wedding and Cana. The youth enjoyed creating and eating a new food each week. Some examples included date cakes, hummus, pastries, and cheese spreads.

Throughout the next several weeks, the youth will be making Christmas ornaments in support of the Mission and Service fund. These ornaments will be available to purchase by donation following the service in late November and December. The youth really enjoy choosing items from Gifts with Vision and it will hopefully encourage them to make the Mission and Service Fund a priority in their personal life.

We plan to take part in Advent services…. stay tuned!


Suzanne Smith-Merkley


My Life - Beginning High School

Last June I graduated from Bobcaygeon Public School.  I went to school there for 10 years, so leaving felt good and weird at the same time.  I had a fairly busy summer.  I got lots of volunteer hours working with the Youth Unlimited Summer Camps.  I was a helper with the Art, Cooking and Sports camps.  I also got my boating license and spent lots of time in Pigeon Lake fishing. I golfed a little at our local club.  We spent a few days in the Kingston area.  I enjoyed the night show at Old Fort Henry.

This fall I began grade 9 at I.E. Weldon. I am taking French, Science, Math and Tech. So far I have some homework each night, but it is manageable. French is the hardest, but I like it.  Science has the most homework, but I like all the experiments. There are a lot of clubs and sports at school. We had a big Terry Fox campaign. I think I will curl and join the ski club.

I am still playing hockey.  My team loses a lot.  Mom says this is how we build character.  Apparently our characters are strong.  We would be happy to end this character building streak.

I hope everyone is having a busy and fun fall. See you on Sunday.

Charles Flynn


Hello All! And thanks for your continued support of the Youth Group on Tuesday nights. We’ve had a great time getting to know each other better these past few months. Since I came on board as youth leader this fall, we’ve moved to weekly meetings and been taking turns teaching each other new things. So far Claire has showed us how to make slime, Carson introduced us to a new fun game (that involved exploring, and hiding in, the church) and Julian brought in LEGO so that we could build cars for a smash up derby.

We’ve been enjoying yummy snacks courtesy of the UCW (thanks again ladies and hope you got our thank you card!) and we are also helping with some reorganization projects around the church. We are looking for outreach activities that we can do during our time together. We are hoping to go to one of the nursing homes in the area before Christmas and visit some of the residents. We are available to shovel snow for anyone in need. Our vlogging project hasn’t come together yet as we hoped but we promise to record any and all outreach projects when they happen.

Thank you for championing the youth; almost a dozen of us meet on a weekly basis and double that number show up once hockey/skating/and other lessons season is over and our friends are available to join us again! We look forward to more learning and laughing, and sharing our adventures in 2018 with the rest of you.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Jennine Profeta

The kids were all lined up for their snack at bible Camp. At one end of the table was a large dish of apples. The leader put a note on it “Take only ONE. God is watching” At the other end of the table was a plate of chocolate chip cookies. One of the kids left a note, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples.” 



The Stewardship Committee thoughtfully considered how Trinity United Church could make a positive impact. At a congregational meeting it was decided that 40% of the interest from our investments (sale of Bick house) would be shared locally and globally throughout God’s world. On behalf of Trinity, the approximately $3400 has been assigned to the following missions:

1 .The Congregation was invited to donate to the United Church’s Hurricane Relief Projects. The Stewardship Committee promised to meet the donations up to $2000. We are proud to announce that $3800 has been donated from our church and sent through the United Church of Canada to affiliated agencies throughout the Caribbean. We are part of the rebuilding.

2. We have sent $500 to Chiapas Education project. Hurricanes and political unrest are deeply troubling. Our church has long been connected with the Chiapas Education project. We are pleased to be able to help. We are part of the strengthening.

3. The remaining $800 was donated to Hospice Services, Community Care of Kawartha Lakes. After investigation they were found to be a group that services our Bobcaygeon area and is in need of financial support. We are part of the healing.

The work of the Stewardship Committee reminds us that our Church continues to move in powerful ways. The learning community of Christ worships, learns, sings, creates and celebrates together. Together we ensure Trinity United Church is a supportive and vital part of our everyday lives. The giving, strengthening, healing and growing projects we support are ways we spread God’s word throughout our community. Together we ensure Trinity United Church engages in Christ like ways. As we consider our personal budgets for 2017-18, let us remember our Church.

May the Joy of Christmas bring comfort and peace,

Kathryn Murray

Stewardship Chair     

One Sunday morning a pastor announced to his congregation: “Friends, I have here in my hands 3 sermons- a $100 sermon that lasts 5 minutes, a $50 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes and a $10 sermon that lasts a full hour. Now we will take the offering and see which one I’ll deliver.”



Since our recent break-in at the Church, I have been asked to give a short spiel on PAR – Pre Authorized Remittance. At present, there are 43 families on PAR. I send a form and a voided cheque to the United Church head office and around the 20th of the month your designated amount is taken from your bank account and one total payment is sent to our church. This is very helpful to the Treasurer as he can count on an exact amount coming in to pay salaries and bills etc. It is very easy to join. You can get a form from Sue in the office or call me and I will send you one. At any time you can change your amount, redirect where your money goes or opt out of PAR. You just have to give me a call or put a message in my box. The head office does like to be notified by the 10th of the month for any changes. If you want to make a special donation, just put your name on an envelope and the amount will be added to your yearly receipt. The next time you see the collection plate pass someone next to you without a donation don’t think they are not giving - we get their donation right out of their bank each month!!!! Speak to someone on PAR – everyone seems to be very happy with this arrangement.

Barbara Morgan (705-738-5048)

Envelope Steward


How quickly a season goes by! The fall has gone and winter is coming quickly. The fall clean-up was a huge success because of the number of volunteers that helped out. Many Thanks! The front flower bed beside our new sign was demolished and a new one constructed. The new

heat pump was installed in the kitchen and very much appreciated on those warm days. The storm windows in Trinity Hall are in place preparing for those cold winter days ahead. The driveway between the Church and the Bick House has been paved and the fence installed. This has really cleaned up the north side of our property. Now the upstairs rooms are in need of a facelift! We are planning to paint the walls and replace the carpeting with floor tiles. We will be looking for volunteers in the near future.

Jim Telford & Armand Hachey


Have you ever decluttered your house? Have you ever reorganized your closets? It is a big job. Now imagine doing that here at the church. Enter Mary Watson.

UCW has a lot of stuff and it has been spread all over the church. Our women were tired of looking for stuff and carrying stuff up and down the stairs. Mary, along with her able assistant Ruth Maitland, has taken on the job of reorganizing and decluttering our space!

Our upstairs is very tired. The door to the St David’s Room could barely be opened. The nursery was so cluttered there was hardly any room for babies. Both rooms had become so full of stuff that Mary thought it could be dangerous.

New cupboards have been custom built in Trinity Hall, so Mary has slowly been bringing stuff down from upstairs and organizing it in the new cupboards. She has been trying to sort out what stuff really needs to be kept and stored.

With the bazaar over for another year, she is encouraging us to give away the stuff that did not sell and to start with fresh stuff every year. Women’s Resources, A Place Called Home, the Salvation Army, and the Bobcaygeon Public School can always use the stuff! All the stuff will be cleared from the St David’s Room shelves, the orange carpet will be pulled up and the tiles that have been sitting in the corner for 15 years will be put down.

Mary has been consulting with the Property Brothers and the plan is to paint the upstairs to freshen it up to complete the project. Then we can fill it all up with stuff! (Just kidding Mary!)

And......she is still smiling!

Sue Pepper


Through October 31st this year we have a shortfall of $24,210.00 compared to $22,795.00 last year. Although our revenues are up by $1000 this year, our expenses are up by almost $3000. This year the Anniversary Offering was designated to the deficit. By November 12th we have received $7,337! Hopefully with your generous support through the end of the year we can make the shortfall less than last year’s final shortfall of $17,317.00

In addition to your regular givings there is another painless way to help and that is with:

Cash Cards

What a deal these cash cards are for you the buyer and for Trinity! You can purchase cards for the following local business- Foodland, ValuMart, Food Basics, Tim Hortons, Home Hardware, Shell, Esso, and Ultramar. If you buy a $100 card, you will receive $100 in value and the church will receive from 1% to 4% of the value depending on the merchant. We can get cards with values as low as $10. Every little bit helps! We also sell the Ultimate Dining Card which is good at Kelsey’s, Swiss Chalet and East Side Mario’s. For a complete list of available cards see me on Sunday morning.

So far this year we have earned $1773.97 (to Oct 31). If we had just 36 families using cards on a regular basis we could earn up to $8000 a year! Give it a try- you have nothing to lose and the church has much to gain!

Our first order date in 2018 is January 8th and then every 2nd Sunday thereafter. Let’s see if we can earn $8000 in 2018!

Bud Justice



The Movie/Potluck evenings are continuing to be offered monthly. The November 24th evening will be the last one for 2017. They will resume in January. The potluck dinners are at 6 pm, followed by a movie at 7pm. All are welcome.

On November 10th a Brain Fitness Seminar was presented by Linda Clark, a licenced Brain Gym Instructor from Peterborough. Twenty two people turned out for a very interesting presentation.

Joyce Jones and Catherine Junkin, Co-Chairs


Come to Trinity, watch and discuss a video "A Need for New Prophets" by Sister Joan Chittister, from the recent conference held in New York - "Being Fearless: Action in a Time of Disruption.” This will be held in the sanctuary on Mondays, 7:00-8:00 p.m.  Contact Rodney for more information.


On Saturday, July 15th The Outreach Team looked after the Community Table at the Farmer’s Market. We set up an information table with handouts, a children’s craft table, and provided some musical Instruments for the kids to try. Entertainment was provided by The Pacemakers and a Reiki Table was set up to spotlight our Healing Ministry. The children went home with a Rainbow Craft, a lollipop and a balloon. We were very busy and enjoyed a fabulous day of fellowship!

The Outreach Team & the Talent Show Organizers donated $200 towards the “Back to School Backpack” Fundraiser for Bobcaygeon P.S. students. The goal was to get the local Churches involved to help fill these Backpacks. On Saturday, August 19th thethe children and parents were invited for a BBQ, at which time the kids chose their backpack. This was a great success and was greatly appreciated by the students at Bobcaygeon P.S.

Coffee Talk continues every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Room. Adults enjoy a cup of coffee with a snack, while listening to speakers or just talking amongst themselves. Everyone is welcome regardless of any church affiliation. This is a wonderful fellowship time.

Church was privileged to host “The African Children’s Choir” who performed on our stage Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Our Church was rocking with excitement as over 400 people enjoyed the singing, dancing and instrumental performance of 19 very energetic 7-10 year old African Children. What a Whirlwind! In just over 2 weeks to plan for the concert, we distributed posters and submitted advertising to radio stations and newspapers in The Kawartha Lakes. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our church families who opened up their hearts and homes to billet 19 children & 7 adults. The children enjoyed camping in the upstairs rooms at the church, walking through town, crossing bridges, sitting in big chairs at Bigleys and enjoying lunch and dinner provided by the U.C.W. THOSE KIDS COULD EAT! It was an amazing and inspirational experience, which could not have happened, without all of the wonderful volunteers who worked endless hours. Our Community was very generous with their free-will offering, sponsoring a child, and purchasing African made products, clothing and CD’s. The chaperones were humbled by everyone’s kindness and generosity. We raised over $7000. The children showed their deep appreciation through their warm smiles and hugs. If you want to learn more about the choir you can visit their website and view the Netflix Documentary “IMBA” which means “Sing”.

Your Outreach Team (Jo Wesley, Sandra Schell, Carol Young, Marjan Hoorn, Elizabeth Hull, Debbie, Armand and Susan Hachey and Kim Draper)

This year the Community Christmas Dinner is being hosted by Christ Anglican Church, 43 Sherwood. Dedicated volunteers from our local churches are getting organized. Call Ann Duncan at 705-878-9939 if you would like to help. If you would like to attend the dinner as a guest call Linda Reid at 705-738-5852. Everyone is welcome and a free will donation would be appreciated but not necessary!


It is Newsletter time again and in this edition, I thought I would tell you the story of how I came to know and practice Reiki. As you know, Reiki is a system of natural healing that was rediscovered by a Japanese gentleman called Mikao Usui in the late 1800’s and brought forward into the world through his followers, Chujiro Hayashi, Hawao Takata and continues today through the work of Takata’s granddaughter, Phyllis Furumoto. There are now Reiki Masters and Reiki students giving Reiki treatments to clients all over the world. I have met many of them at the annual conference of the Reiki Alliance, an umbrella organization of Reiki Masters in the same lineage as the founding Masters. Reiki is pronounced “ray-kee” and means universal life force or energy.

Now I want to take you back to 1995 when I was living in the small hamlet of Sandford with Ed and teaching full time at Ballantrae Public School. My teaching colleague, Sharon Corey, had just returned from a year’s sabbatical and while away, had taken up the practice of Reiki. Sharon introduced this practice to us at school. At first, I didn’t know what to make of it and I had many questions: How could this hands-on system work? Would it be a compatible practice with my Christian values? After a time, I accepted Sharon’s request that I come to her home for a complimentary treatment and much to my amazement, a chronic sinus condition was healed during that treatment. I remember thinking that there must be something to this practice, so in 1996, I took my first degree Reiki class with Sharon. It was a 12-hour class in which I learned the history of Reiki and the hand positions that are used in the treatment. As I began to treat myself every day, I felt the warmth of the energy flooding through my body. I felt grounded, deeply relaxed and comforted. I continued to treat myself and some members of my family and felt the benefits of Reiki more and more.

Two years passed and I became interested in taking the second degree of Reiki, which teaches a student how to send distant treatments of Reiki to others. This was also a 12-hour class and brought me much joy in being able to support family and friends with their need for healing. I graduated with my second degree in November of 2000. In the years following that second degree class, Sharon began asking me to assist her with her classes. I felt very honoured to be entrusted with some responsibilities in teaching and would travel to Mount Albert where she lived in order to work with her. It was during a second degree class we were co- teaching at a cottage on the Sauble River that I felt the call of Reiki to mastery. When I shared this with Sharon, her immediate response was “I know”. So Sharon became my Reiki Master and I apprenticed with her for 3 years, organizing classes here in Bobcaygeon and travelling to Sharon’s home to assist her with her own classes there. When we both felt that the time was right, Sharon initiated me as a Reiki Master on June 11, 2011. It was a beautiful ceremony attended by as many second degree students as could possibly come. I also invited my dear friends in Reiki, Marjory Mitchell (who has her first degree Reiki) and Carolyn Antonio (who is a Reiki Master as well). On June 12th, I held a huge celebration at the home of my very good friends, Bonny and Ian Manson. Over 60 people came to wish me well in my new calling.

Celebration Photo: (L-R) Reiki Master Norma Jean Young, my daughter Cathy, myself, and my reiki Master Sharon Corey.

So ever since 1996, I have been devoted to practicing Reiki and, since 2003, have shared this wonderful gift through the Healing Ministry at Trinity. I have also taught several classes and given many, many treatments to clients in my home. It is my joy and passion.

After reading my story, if you would like to experience this relaxing treatment for yourself, please call me at 705-731-0455 to book an appointment. We offer half-hour treatments every Wednesday from 1:30 to 3:45 in the sanctuary. There are 4 others who practice Reiki: Beth Halliday, Alda Silva, Suzanne Orchard and Maribeth Ireland. We would love to see you at the church any Wednesday.

Carol Wells-Gordon

Reiki Master in the Usui System of Natural Healing


It is hard to believe that Christmas is coming very quickly. We in the UCW are always aware of this when it is time to plan our BAZAAR!! By the time this newsletter is in your hands the bazaar will all be over for another year. I hope you all came to see what we had to offer. We thank you for supporting our work - work which makes us able to support The Boys & Girls Club, Trinity Youth Group, Youth Unlimited, Women’s Resources, Bobcaygeon Food Bank, Bursary Fund, Stephen Lewis Fund, Camp Quin-Mo-Lac, National Child Poverty, Kawartha North Family Health Team and of course Trinity United Church. Then we have our regular budget

for: Library, Kitchen Supplies, Kitchen Cleaning, Cheer, Meetings, Vibe, and

M & S.

Olive Macoomb continues to organize our Pie Makers. We thank her and the women who turn out whenever Olive asks, without fail, to give their time and skill to this very worthwhile endeavour.

This fall we hosted a UCW Conference Event, “Mid-Week”. I am so very pleased that it was a resounding success. One hundred and fifty-one UCW Women from all around the Bay of Quinte Conference were in attendance. We had a momentous day from start to finish. I would like to thank all our UCW members who helped in so many ways, and other Trinity Women who worked very hard to provide a meal for 151 people. Also thank you to Rev. Bob Root for officiating during communion, and to our drummers who helped to make this a very moving experience.

We hope you have noticed some new cupboards in Trinity Hall. Last spring, the UCW decided we should have some cupboards built, as our supplies were spread all around the Church, which made it very difficult for us. We tried to make these cupboards not only functional but attractive, as many events take place in Trinity Hall.

The UCW has many things planned for 2018. Among them, the ever successful Fourth Annual Chili Cook Off and the “21st Annual Women’s Retreat”, are under the ever watchful organizing eye of Mary Watson.

In closing, I would like to thank all the members of Trinity who continually support the UCW in their efforts, especially the men of the congregation. Often we call on them to help us with moving chairs, tables, dishwasher duties and much more.

We would like to wish everyone all the blessings of the Christmas Season and a Happy Healthy 2018.

Colleen Gilpin

UCW President


The popular Women’s Retreat will be held at Fairhavens from Friday April 27th to Sunday April 29th. We have just received confirmation that Thea Patterson will be our keynote speaker for the weekend. Thea and her husband John have devoted their lives to making the world a better place. They have spent decades incorporating education, technology, business and faith into their work both here and around the world. In 2008 they founded Abbey Gardens, a not-for-profit charity comprised of a reclaimed open pit quarry in the Haliburton Highlands. It provides economic and recreational opportunities for the community as well as programs for learning about sustainable living. We don’t have a theme for the weekend yet but with Thea at the helm it promises to be a very interesting retreat. The cost for the retreat is $235 and includes 2 nights’ accommodation and meals. To secure your spot a $50 deposit is required. Place a cheque made out to the UCW or cash into an envelope, mark it with “Attention Anneke Beck, Women’s Retreat” and drop it in the offering plate or give it to Anneke.


The UCW is again supporting “Child Poverty in Canada” with this very popular fundraiser. It will be held on Sunday January 21st at noon. We are hoping to get a total of 15 chili’s entering the cook off for us to judge. The sign-up sheet will be in the Narthex in January. You can start planning now! This is always a great FUNdraiser so mark your calendars.


There was a buzz in church the day after our very successful bazaar. The numbers are not quite final yet but Mary Justice reported to us that the amount raised was approximately $9000! She thanked everyone who helped in any way but she gave a special shout-out to Olive Macoomb whose efforts in organizing the Holy Rollers is in a large way responsible for the increase in the raised funds. Congratulations to the UCW for a job well done.


I wish to thank everyone who helped make chili sauce in September.  We made 168 jars and sold them for $5.00 per jar.  All the chili sauce has been sold.  Also, I would like to thank all the ladies who helped make the beef and chicken pies.  Since the fall, we have made 1,253 pies.  Some were pre-sold but there were 700 pies available for sale at the bazaar.  All the pies have now been sold.  We took in $3,660.00 at the bazaar.  TO DATE FOR 2017, THE LADIES HAVE MADE 2,509 PIES.  Again, it has been a great fund raiser. THANK-YOU to everyone who helped. We are looking forward to making more pies in mid-January & February 2018, which will be available for sale after service in February or March.   

Olive Macoomb      


I love to work with my hands and knitting is one of my most favourite pastimes. Even though my arthritic gnarly hands may complain with the odd twinge or two, I persevere and find that my hands seem to loosen up a bit with the knitting fingers exercise. Even my licence plate bears witness to my passion -“KNIT N”.

The congregation at Trinity sports a lot of silver threads atop their heads, but their eyes still sparkle and shine when their owners are enjoying a few hours of peaceful knitting time. It is a centuries old craft, still popular in the 21st century and it offers therapeutic benefits as well as the satisfaction of producing something pretty, delicate, useful, warm or strong.

Late last year I followed an idea to form a casual circle of people who would enjoy fellowship with other knitters, while working on their own projects. We try to keep it simple and enjoyable - nothing tedious, no regulations, just do your own knitting at your own speed. We take no minutes and no attendance. We just click-click away as we enjoy each other’s company and happy chatter. It is a small group, 5 or 6, sometimes more, sometimes less. We warmly welcome more knitters to join our circle of friendship. Our knitting circle is on alternate Tuesdays in the Fellowship Room. You can cast on at 1:30 and cast off at 4:00. Your next opportunity to knit with us is Tues. December 12.

Iris Spriggs


Dave Mackay tells me that there is not much to tell from the Communication Committee! However their crowning achievement was the organization and research and installation of our new digital sign out front. Good job ….it looks great!

From left to right: Patrick Ward, Susan Zilke, Dave Mackay, Kim Draper and Bud Justice. (Missing is Lloyd McInroy)

Speaking of communication, I am trying to look after the Trinity Providence Facebook page. It is a great way to get information out there. If you have an event that you would like to promote send me the information. I am still learning, so be patient with me. One important thing though is to check the page regularly and then LIKE and SHARE the information. We want it to get out to everyone in the community. That is how we can extend our reach!

Sue Pepper


The Men’s Breakfast Group continues to meet on the second Saturday of each month at Eganridge Resort and Country Club, 6 km. west of Bobcaygeon off County Road 8.

Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m. and followed by a guest speaker. Usually we are finished by 10:30 a.m. The all in cost is $15.00.

In September, we heard from Lloyd Wicks about his experiences in Africa providing goat embryos. Only Lloyd can speak to this subject and make us want to learn more! We as a group, agreed to sponsor a goat at a cost of $450.00.

In October we learned about the future development plans for Bobcaygeon from Richard Fedy and John Bush of the Environmental Action Group. We heard how this dedicated group is assisting with the planning process for the betterment of our community.

On November 11th we heard from Christiane Celiopoulos, owner of the Egg Smart Restaurant. She spoke about her business career and provided insights from her perspective.

Our own Rev. Rodney Smith-Merkley will speak at the December 9th meeting about his recent sabbatical. This meeting is open for our ladies to join us. Christmas music will be provided by Karel Beck

If you require additional information, please call Hugh Spriggs 705-731-0693 or Dave Mackay 705-731-0099.

Hugh Spriggs


We had 10 boxes of library books stored away when the library was moved. We sorted through them and we kept some and took the rest to Millstream Bible Camp at Reaboro. They take them to Hamilton to Christian Salvage where they are sent overseas.

We have had a few more books donated:

OREGON OUTBACK by Elizabeth Goddard

THE CENTER OF THE WORLD by Jacqueline Sheehan

AND SHE SAID by Betty Radford Turcott. (A wonderful resource for Bible Study and programs for women’s groups)

Come take a look at your library in the Fellowship room. You might be surprised at what you might find to read. Just sign the card at the back of the book and place in the basket on the shelf. Return in the same manner. We have a good supply of Christmas fiction on the top shelf of the bookcase next to the window into the kitchen.

Merry Christmas from the library staff,

Lillian Partridge, Sandra Keevill, Marg Telford and Dorothy Strongitharm



Jean was born and grew up in north eastern England where she spent her high school teenage years acting in school plays, singing with a local dance band, and writing letters to a pen-pal in Montreal Canada. When she was 22 she immigrated to Canada and came to Montreal where she lived with that pen-pal, Shirley, who by then was married and had two children. Jean stayed in Montreal for a year, working as a secretary for the firm of what is now Burns Fry. After a year she transferred to the Burns Fry office in Toronto and eventually became secretary to the President.

For a while she lived at Georgina House on Beverly Street in Toronto – a place run by the Anglican Church for single girls. While living there she met Neil on a blind date. That was in February of 1957 and they were married in September 1957 – a marriage that lasted for 58 years until Neil’s death in 2015. Jean worked at Burns Fry for four years. They then moved to Los Angeles where Neil worked for the main Jaguar dealer in Hollywood. After a year they returned to Canada. Their first daughter, Aileen, was born in May of 1962. Neil decided to go into business for himself. He first owned a BP gas station. He next opened a shop of his own (The Hub) specializing in Jaguars and sports cars. Jean did the books for the businesses. Julie, their second daughter, was born in 1965. Jean and Neil bought a house in North York (next door to Tove) and a few years later acquired a cottage on Stormy Lake in Haliburton.

Meanwhile Jean volunteered at the local school library then worked for five years as church secretary to Rev. Malcolm Sinclair at Victoria Village United Church in Toronto. She was very active in the UCW and served two years as UCW President there.

Jean also took a course in creative writing at the YMCA in Toronto and had her first short story published in a local newspaper in 1976. Since then Jean has published many short stories and articles and three novels for young people - Mystery House published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside (translated into French, Swedish, Italian and Chinese]) Ellen’s Secret published by Scholastic, also in Japanese, nominated for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for best historical fiction for young people, and Still At War published by Scholastic. In total her novels have sold over 100,000 copies!

When the children were older Jean decided she would like to have a degree and began taking a few courses a year at Glendon College, York University. She graduated with a degree cum laude in English at the age of 60.

Jean and Neil sold their cottage in Haliburton and bought another one in Bobcaygeon on Sturgeon Lake which they owned for ten years. After Neil retired they sold that cottage and their house in Toronto, and moved to Port 32 in Bobcaygeon. They joined Trinity United Church. Neil served on the property committee for several years and Jean was on M & P and is currently a member of the Pastoral Care Committee. She now has four grandchildren – Ryan 23, Shannon 21, and twins Cal and Theo age 7. Neil and Jean were devastated when Ryan was born with Down Syndrome but watching him grow and become the affectionate, unique person he is, changed their perceptions. He is an enthusiastic hockey player and loves to play table tennis and Balderdash with his Grandma. He is loved very much by all the family. Granddaughter Shannon is studying Mechanical Engineering at Guelph University and the twins are – well – just two very energetic little boys who leave Jean happy but completely exhausted after each visit.

Editor’s Note: Thank you Jean for responding to my pleas for articles! I feel like Jean should edit my work….not the reverse!


Most of us have come to know Bob in the 3 months that he has served as our supply minister while Rodney was away on sabbatical. During one of his messages he mentioned in a “by the way” fashion something about his first career and it got me thinking that I wanted to hear his story. He was a reluctant interviewee, said he thought he was not that interesting. I beg to differ!

He was raised in Carleton Place near Ottawa. His family was a churched family as most families were back then. He opted for the commercial stream in high school, and was one of only a few boys who learned typing, shorthand and bookkeeping. He graduated from grade 12 at age 17 and got 3 secretarial jobs in a short space of time (1966-1967) all in Ottawa- first with the Canadian Centennial Commission, then at a real estate firm and then with the Canadian Festival for Fine arts (He says “No, I didn’t get fired….it was the days when jobs were easy to get and I had reasonable skills.”). His goal at that time was to run his own real estate business someday.

Before he left home and set himself up in his own apartment, his parents sat him down for “a talk” and suggested that he find a church home. He took their advice and did just that. He started attending Dominion Chalmers United Church in Ottawa and joined a young people’s group there. He was warmly welcomed. He attended the Wednesday evening Lenten services and sometime during those few weeks he felt called to ministry. At the tender age of 18 he had a very vivid dream of Jesus saying to him, “Come follow me”. He didn’t tell anyone at first because he thought they might think he was crazy. But during that Lenten programme it was starting to make sense and his call to ordered ministry became clear. He went to the minister and told him of his thoughts. The minister’s advice was “If you can do anything else to find happiness, do that.” After some soul searching Bob decided ministry was his path to happiness. He listened to the still quiet voice inside him telling him there was something else for him.

He had a long road ahead of him. He had to go back to high school for enough grade 13 so that he would be eligible for university. He did a 3 year degree, majoring in English, at Carleton University that took him 4 years. (He liked 1st year so much that he did it twice!) He then went to Queens University for his Theology degree. He met Dolwyn at Britannia United Church where he was a student minister. He says she was the gorgeous blonde in the choir. He was ordained in 1974 and married Dolwyn the same year. His first placement was at Clarenceville Pastoral Charge, south of Montreal. They stayed there 3 years. He then accepted a call to Trinity United in Peterborough as an associate minister. He was there 4 years when he accepted the call to Mark St. United in Peterborough where he remained until his retirement in 2014, 33 years later.

Bob stated that his ministry has not always been an easy one. He has wrestled with his beliefs and has questioned his faith along the road. He is often reminded of Jacob wrestling with his faith in the Genesis story, but he always comes back to one belief that he can rest in God and that he can trust in God.

Fourteen years into his ministry he thought that perhaps God was calling him out of ministry just as God had called him into it. He thought that teaching might be his next career. He needed a degree in education to teach, but he and Dolwyn had 4 children by then so being a full time student was not an option. He discovered that if he took his Bachelor of Education he would have to go to school full time. By chance he discovered that he could do a Masters of Education part time. He enrolled as a part time student at U of T (OISE) and got his Master’s degree in Education in 4 years. It was a busy 4 years for the whole family. He never did take up a career in teaching, but the additional education was helpful to him in ministry. He found he was able to resolve some of the issues that were causing him to doubt his career choice. A few years later he embarked on another educational journey. He began the Doctor of Ministry programme at St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton. Five years later he received his Doctorate from St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton. His thesis was entitled “Functional Theology for Men in the United Church”. My eyes glazed over when he said this but when he explained it to me briefly, it sounded very interesting and left me wanting more. (I believe there could be some interesting and meaningful workshops there, but we must include women too!) Ask him about it some time. He had 2 sabbaticals during his career and found them to be invaluable. It was after his 2nd sabbatical that he had a new call to strengthen worship.

His core belief comes from Luke 24 vs 13-35, the story of Jesus appearing and walking along the Emmaus Rd. with 2 of Jesus’ followers who were full of sadness, doubt and despair because of the crucifixion of Jesus just days before. Throughout Bob’s journey of discovery, Bob always had a deep understanding that he was not alone and that help was always available to him.

Bob feels their family was very fortunate that Dolwyn was a stay-at-home Mom when the 4 children were very small. She did child care in their home for a while and then ventured out of the home to work part-time in a grocery store. Eventually she started doing “in-their-home” child care for many years-going to other people’s homes. Bob always went to the church early on Sunday morning, leaving Dolwyn to get 4 kids ready for church and out the door. It was a busy household and lots to coordinate. He has a very good understanding of what Rodney and Suzanne deal with on a daily basis. Dolwyn somehow managed to find the time to be involved in musical theatre productions, Peterborough Singers, and of course she sang in the church choir. She has a love of horses and rides whenever she can.

Bob loves to be outdoors - his sanctuary. He is an avid photographer of nature. Sometime in his busy life he found time to take some photography courses! He loves to bike, hike, canoe, kayak and camp.

Their 4 children are all married and living in Ontario. They have 7 grandchildren and another on the way. When he is not doing supply ministry somewhere, or walking in the woods, or participating in an art show, or babysitting his grandchildren, you will see him in the pews at Trinity. We are not saying goodbye; we are saying “See you later Bob”.

Sue Pepper


Most homes in Holland have names on them, Karel's family home included. So his dad took part of each of his children’s name and named their home. The children’s names were Trees, (pronounced Trace), Karel and Annie. So he named their home “TREKANIE” and the sign was made. The sign meant a lot to Karel- he even named his sailboat “Trekanie”.

When his parents’ house was sold, the sign went to his sister Annie and they put it on their house. When they sold their house they took the sign off and stored it. When Ann and Karel were in Holland this summer they felt the sign deserved a special place so they brought it back to their home in Bobcaygeon. When Karel is able he will put it on their house.

Below is a picture of Karel’s childhood home with the name displayed proudly.


(Gord and Yvonne Gibson responded to my pleas in the bulletin asking people to tell me what brought them to Bobcaygeon. Perhaps more of you will take a lead from them for the next newsletter!)

Gord and I had always planned to build a log home up north in the Kawarthas when we retired. Gord’s brother and his wife were living on Indian Point in Coboconk, so Gord wanted to be near his brother. During a conversation one week-end, the topic of our retirement home came up and they suggested we visit Jim and Rosemary Quinn (who were good friends of Tom and Bette and had a log home at the Beehive. On our way home we dropped in to visit them and Jim drove us around the area to see the properties. The development was formerly a Hockey School owned by the late Allan Stanley and Punch Imlach and they had divided it into acre lots.

As soon as we saw the property on the hill we knew it was meant for us. We started to build our “forever” home in 1991 and moved in the month of September and have never looked back. Rosemary and Jim are gone now but we will always be grateful for their part in helping us fulfill our retirement dream. Gord was still working for several years following our move and I would drive down to Scarborough for meetings once a month, but we were always glad to come back home to our “blessed home”. Gord’s brother is now living in Richmond Hill and has often suggested that we relocate to the City again, but our home is our “forever home” and here is where we’ll stay!

Gord and Yvonne Gibson



Sunday Dec.3 - 1st Sunday of Advent 10:30AM

Sunday Dec. 10 - White Gift Service 10:30AM


Concert featuring North Winds Band and Bobcaygeon Strings…..3PM

Sunday Dec. 17- Cantata with combined choirs from Trinity and Knox Presbyterian at Knox...7 p.m.

Wed. & Thurs. Dec. 20 & 21- Quiet Christmas... drop-in from 7-9PM

Friday Dec. 22- Providence Christmas Service… 7:30PM

Sunday Dec 24-Christmas service at 10:30AM


Christmas Eve Service with communion at 7 PM

Mon. Dec.25- Community Dinner at Christ Anglican Church at Noon

Sun. Dec. 31-Rhythm Church service with music and instruments @ 10:30AM

Sun. Jan 21- Chili Cook-off at Noon