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. Dr. Bob Root

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

I have now identified myself as a procrastinator. I have had more time to work on this newsletter, but because I had time, I took lots of time, especially when it came to writing this “From the Editor” piece. I just could not figure out what to say without regurgitating everything that we have been listening to for several weeks. Instead, I have been knitting, reading, riding my bike, and watching the news. The first three keep me feeling positive…the news not so much. Perhaps after this newsletter is out, I can procrastinate about starting the spring cleaning!

You will find this edition of the “Carillon” a bit different from the past issues. For example, you will see that there is no “Gatherings at a Glance” page. The reason is obvious – we are not gathering

right now. The way it is being distributed is different…mostly electronically. Susan Zilke and Connie Picken have created a list of people who can’t access the electronic copy and those people will have theirs dropped at their door. If you are receiving this electronically, you can enlarge your print for easier reading or zoom in on pictures to see if someone has food in their teeth! Seriously though, take a look at the picture of Mary Tomlinson’s quilt. Zoom in on it and see all the beautiful intricate quilting design.

I have tried to gather travel stories from some of our people. I did get a few, but some people are not ready to “go public”, and I do understand. My own travel story is simple…a cancelled trip to Portugal. It was disappointing of course, but as the pandemic has evolved, I feel like we dodged a bullet. I could have done a piece on who had to cancel what! Trip cancellation seems so trivial now.

Because I am at a loss for words, which doesn’t happen very often, I will leave you with this reflection by Donna Ashworth. It offers hope and encouragement. As it says on our sign, “The church building is closed but our people are not”.

History will remember when the world stopped

And the flights stayed on the ground.

And the cars parked in the street.

And the trains didn’t run.

History will remember when the schools closed

And the children stayed indoors

And the medical staff walked towards the fire

And they didn’t run.

History will remember when the people sang

On their balconies, in isolation

But so very much together

In courage and song.

History will remember when the people fought

For their old and their weak

Protected the vulnerable

By doing nothing at all.

History will remember when the virus left

And the houses opened

And the people came out

And hugged and kissed

And started again

Kinder than before.

I wish you all a blessed Easter. Let’s stay together apart!

Sue Pepper


Dear Friends,

As comes the breath of Spring,

With light and mirth and song

So does God’s Spirit bring new days

Brave, free and strong.

So wrote David Lake Ritchie many years ago. His words are a good reminder that life is full of changing seasons.

Long ago, the writer of Ecclesiastes realized the rhythms of life which ebb and flow, a time for everything. We find ourselves in a season of COVID-19 at the moment. It’s a restless kind of time, an anxious time for many folks. The rhythms and routines of our daily living are disrupted. The introverts in our midst are delighting in self-isolation; the extroverts are a bit shell-shocked. We are finding new ways to be community and to continue to care for one another. It’s a creative time.

And, while it seems forever at the moment, and out of our control, this time too is a season. Even as winter is giving way to spring, this season too will pass. It offers us the same opportunity that every morning does: to live fully and well and be a blessing to others and to the world. We are still able to reach out to one another, still able to pray, still able to give thanks for the gift of life that is  ours

Larry Doyle is the minister at Faith United Church in Courtice. He recently posted a note which speaks about seasons. He invites us to ask these questions every day during this season:

What am I GRATEFUL for today? 


What expectations of “normal” am I LETTING GO of today? 

How am I GETTING OUTSIDE today? 

How am I MOVING MY BODY today? 

What BEAUTY am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today? 

Who am I PRAYING for today?  

And, of course, knowing that surely God is in this place and every place… 

How am I NOTICING God’s Presence today? 

And, in other great news, a new season awaits you with the arrival of your new minister, the Rev. Andrew Macpherson, on July 1. It’s an exciting time in your life together. It has been a real blessing for me to be with you during this season “between” and I am grateful for the roads we have walked together. You will continue to hold a special place in my heart as you enter into this new season. You are so ready for this new relationship and to continue your vital role as The United Church of Canada in this place!

Blessings on this and every season 



WOW! What a difference a couple of weeks make. When I first started thinking about writing this for the newsletter, I was thinking about the changes that would be happening in the church with our new minister Andrew coming in July and the plans for celebrating the 160th anniversary of the church. Never could any of us imagined what has happened with this coronavirus nor have we ever lived through anything like this before.

I want to thank Bob Root for his guidance and calming words to all of us especially in the early days of making the decision to close the church. Thank you also to all council members for their support in making this important decision. I also

want to thank Susan Zilke-Ward for continuing to hold down the fort in the church office even though the church is closed. We will continue to keep you informed as best we can through email, Facebook, our web page, or by phone of any changes as they happen.

We need to be thinking of all our church family here and of those trying to get home. We pray everyone is safe. Keep in touch with each other, especially those who will be unable to get out for groceries or medicine due to being quarantined. Even a phone call to those who are living alone would be welcomed as some may feel lonely.

It will be difficult for those of us who are constantly on the go to stay home. I have a list of things I can do while staying home such as maybe read one of the many books piled high on my desk. Or maybe I could start my spring cleaning early (oh joy!). One thing I have already started doing is sleeping in later in the morning which has been wonderful.

As I finish writing this it is Sunday morning and I am still in my pajamas and have just finished listening to Rev. Richard Bott, Moderator of the United Church of Canada, give a moving service on YouTube. I guess this is the new normal for a while. He asks us to think of how we can help each other during this time and also to always remember that we are never alone. What I feel is hopeful – hopeful that, even though it will take time, we will get through this.

Stay well and stay safe.


Cathy Bennett


Hello everyone from your worship group. We have such a lovely team. So proud to call them friends. 

As we continue to learn the ropes of our new responsibilities, we pleaded for soups for our turn at the Wednesday Lenten Service. And you delivered. Many thanks to Audrey Mackay, Karen Foote, Joyce Jones, Morris Wesley, Meg Leonard and Mary Justice, we had 7 delicious soups to serve after the service. Last year I bought too many buns – this year I didn’t buy enough. Oops. We didn’t know at the time it would be the last of the Lenten lunch series before they were cancelled. We hosted around 80 participants. Only about 10 of those were from our congregation. It a lovely way to share community. Well… that was before social distancing. 

We had our first service cancellation on January 12, due to freezing rain. The new reality now is that we have had to close our doors due to COVID-19. I’m proud of the discussion and decision we made to act when we did. We are doing the right thing. Elbow to elbow, we take the road that God is showing us. We can be together alone…but we are never alone. 

I want to recognize the incredible faith work that Rev. Bob is doing. Each service, each action, each email, and each contact he makes, comes from his heart to keep our Faith Community together. We are trying new things to keep his messages coming to you.

We have planned the Palm Sunday (April 5th), Good Friday (April 10th), The Easter Sunrise service/breakfast and of course Easter Sunday Communion Service (April 12th). All that may look different this year. We just don’t know. All in Gods time. All in Gods hands. (I’m sure he is washing his hands – he he)

Please know you are cared for and are in our hearts always,

Debbie P and Audrey Mackey


Until such time that it is once again safe to meet in person, the Prayer Circle will continue to meet on a weekly basis, but only by phone. We will be passing on to each other all concerns and requests for prayer that are referred to us. However due to privacy in our individual households we will pray for those concerns in our personal prayer time only, and not at the time a request is shared. Due to the highly confidential nature of our ministry we will not be using email.

Rev. Bob and Sue Zilke Ward always pass on concerns and requests to the Prayer Circle. You may also contact a member of the Prayer Circle at the numbers below, however it is preferred that messages NOT be left on an answering machine.

Elizabeth Hull 705-738-5397

Catherine Junkin 705-738-6843

Sandi Schell 705-887-5372

Jo Wesley 705-738-9032

Carol Young 705-738-0267

In these uncertain times, may our Lord keep you, your families, friends, and those you love, safe and in His caring hands.

The Prayer Circle




Three more months await till I begin a new chapter in my life. I am eager to learn about your sacred stories and your relationship with Christ and Trinity Providence UC in Bobcaygeon. The corona virus has changed our worship environment and how we live. New terms such as “social distancing,” “self-isolation,” and “flattening the curve” are a new trinity to my vocabulary. I decided to write this article even though I do not begin till July 1st (I promised fireworks!) so I could share my experience on the front line at the Scarborough Health Network.

I work as a spiritual care provider and my patient interactions have been injected with more anxiety. This is also occurring with the nurses, physicians, and social workers who are working diligently in the face of fear to keep us safe. Their families are also afraid – who will tend to the healers? Within the Christian community many of our regular routines such as participating in church groups, community events, and even visiting loved ones have been affected. We have to adapt to COVID-19; this disease affects all people regardless of religious or secular affiliation. We do not know when a vaccine will be available for mass production. We are staring at fear; anxiety is born from fear. James Hollis (Jungian psychoanalyst) in his book “Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places” states,

“Anxiety is the price of a ticket on the journey of life; no ticket – no journey; no life.” Anxiety cannot be avoided but it can be managed. We can still live a fulfilling life being challenged by anxious moments and reminding ourselves we are not alone. We can support each other, pray for each other, write messages to each other. Most importantly, as Christians, we have our relationship with Jesus Christ. Christ walks with us on our journey in life, through suffering, and in joy and sadness. Christ is also with us when we feel isolated. The most powerful presence I had with Christ happened in March 2019 in Damascus, Syria. I was to return this year but cancelled my pilgrimage before St. Patrick’s Day. One of the reasons I cancelled is because I thought of others. I thought about the excellent relations I have with my colleagues at the hospital. These dedicated professionals are fighting a deadly virus and we shall overcome it. Amen. I also thought of my loved ones who were worried I may never return. I have been on other pilgrimages to Iraq, Iran, Syria and Israel/Palestine. These experiences have formed my relationship with Jesus Christ. The most profound presence I had with Christ was on Straight St. in Damascus. (Acts 9:11) I share with you my very strong conviction that the Risen Christ is real and walks with us even in a pandemic. There will be loss: human loss, relationships will be stressed, and our finances will be challenged. However, let us remember the Love of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that, “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant.” (1 Corinthian 13: 4-5) We have the Love, forgiveness, and grace of Jesus Christ as our compass to guide us into the light of Peace. The greatest peace is the Peace of Christ.

As I complete the requirements for a certified spiritual care practitioner, I am reminded of my journey in the footsteps of St. Paul. We are walking on an unknown path. As Saul was baptized, he emerged as Paul and helped spread Christianity through-out the Roman Empire. We have the blessing of self-isolating with Jesus Christ. We will emerge through COVID-19, and there will be new challenges. I hope your anxiety levels do not increase as a result of my singing voice. The integration of music and theology are two vital steps we can take to feed our souls. Practice self-care, remember others, and help heal God’s creation through the hands of Christ. A voice from

Straight St. is calling us. The Greatest Healer of all is with us. Amen.



Our friend, Marion Mackenzie has undergone back surgery in Kingston and we all wish Marian the very best and hope that she will soon be back among us, feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on her usual load of responsibilities at Providence. (no small thing!)

Our first Sunday is May 13 and Reverend Dr. Bob Root will be our guest speaker. Mike Chell and I will be providing piano and organ music again with special music from the Anglican Group “Caygeon Spice”.

We are anxious to see everyone on May 13th at 10 AM. Coffee and goodies will be served after church as usual.

Betty Knox



Questions! I Always Have Questions! Is your glass half full or half- empty? Does god allow us to experience trials? Quarantine… have we experienced one before? Is Mother Earth heaving a sigh of relief right now?

 We are so blessed in this country. We live in a democracy; we have freedom of speech; we have the right to vote; we have the right to worship wherever we want and marry whoever we love and be whoever we are.

We have great medical care and a great educational system. My glass is more than half full. I hope yours is too.


Does God allow us to experience TRIALS? YES!!  In Deuteronomy 8, Moses said trials teach humility. The Corona Virus is showing us that we need to humble ourselves and work together and do whatever is necessary to protect and heal each other, with God as our helper.  WE ARE NEVER ALONE. 


 I experienced a quarantine many years ago as we five siblings came down with chicken pox one after another.  Times were simpler then- no TV, no computers, no cell phones or other hand held devices, no hand sanitizer. We survived and so did our parents.  The one positive thing that came out of our quarantine was that we knew each other better.

Is Mother Earth heaving a sigh of relief right now? Maybe…maybe we can do with less, demand less, consume less, share more, care more and do our part to slow down climate change.

This Easter Season let’s be truly thankful…thankful for the abundant life offered to us through JESUS.

Perhaps this COVID-19 is a trial. Let’s grow as Christians. Let’s continue to do God’s work as a faith community taking care of each other and our world!  Someone shared this lovely quote with me – author is unknown.


And the people stayed home.

And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being.

And were still. And listened more deeply.

Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.

And in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless ways the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully…as they have been healed.



Your Pastoral Care Team 

Your Prayer Circle

Your Healing Ministry. 


We are here for you, just a phone call away.



Joyce Kimble.




It’s an exciting time of the year for Trinity United Church and our team can feel the energy!

This year’s events have surprised, angered and bewildered some and enlightened others. The Social Tea was an exercise in the differing social classes, emphasizing the exceptional care of a few and the unfair treatment of others. The Team also offered a Lunch and Learn entitled – ‘Dive Deeper – What the Bible Tells Us Today’, which was led by Rev. Bob Root and enjoyed by many. With great leadership and further discussion amongst small groups, we learned that we can ‘Take the Bible seriously but not literally’, as demonstrated in the story of the Roman Captain and his ill slave (Luke 7: 2-10 or Matthew 8: 5-13).

Our next step is to present to the congregation, the council approved revised Mission Statement. It is as follows:






As followers of Jesus Christ, we seek to:


  • spread God’s liberating love and respect God’s creation, functioning as a caring faith community
  • encourage everyone to participate in all aspects of the life and work of the community of faith
  • further our spiritual growth through worship, study of the scriptures and deepening relationships

As an affirming congregation, we celebrate God’s love:

  • as expressed through diversity in ability, age, appearance, beliefs, capacity, ethnicity, family configuration, gender identity, personality, racial identity, sexual orientation, social status


We commit to God’s vision of wholeness for all creation.


Come, share this journey.

If this statement is approved by the congregation, the Affirm Education Team has completed this portion of the mandate and will be ready for a vote, from the congregation, as to whether we become an Affirming Ministry. This vote is scheduled for April 19th, 2020.

Hope to see you all there!


Your Affirm Education Team





Music is alive and well at Trinity United! After our wonderful Family Christmas service on December 15th, we had a lovely Christmas Eve service with the addition of Karel Beck’s violin music. Thank you to Karel for sharing his gift with us all. Our very last service of the year on December 29th was “Rhythm Church” led by Debbie Powell. Debbie brought in a variety of rhythm instruments, which were used by members of the congregation to create a mostly musical service. Songs included “He’s Got the Whole World,” “Rock-a My Soul” and “Michael Row Your Boat.” Thank you to Debbie for this meaningful and fun service. Our choir continues to provide praise music from a variety of sources on a regular basis. Thank you to the choir for their hard work and commitment at our weekly practices.

They are a super group to work with. The Trinity Faith Ringers (hand chime choir) is progressing nicely and presented “Joyful, Joyful” on Sunday, March 1st. Thank you to all the ringers for their dedication in learning to play the chimes. They make it look easy! I am looking forward to all things musical in the future at Trinity United Church. We are blessed to have such talent here at Trinity and that the musicians are so willing to share that talent.

Meg Leonard






A library for Trinity was a dream for Joyce Junkin. In the early 1980’s she started by carrying around a box of her own books for people to borrow. She realized her dream when she got a book case for the books and then other people started donating books for her library. Her first book case was in the Fellowship room and then more book cases were added and moved to a room upstairs, which is now the Minister’s office.

When the Church office was moved to the Bick House the library was moved downstairs to the old minister’s office, which is now the administrator’s office. When the renovations were done in the sanctuary, the books were all packed up and that room enlarged and painted and shelves were built. The books were unpacked again in that same office.

Over time we acquired a lot of books from former Ministers who had moved and from other people who downsized or moved, so we had to sort

through books and give some away to make room for new books.

In 2013 the Church Office was moved back to what had been the library, so we packed up the books again, sorted through them again and gave quite a few boxes to Christian Salvage in Hamilton to send overseas. Five bookcases were set up in the Fellowship room. So, we are back where we started!

With a bequest from Alice Prescott, the UCW had two new bookcases made. These were dedicated on Sunday Oct 23 2016.

In 2020 the fellowship room was painted and a new floor put down, so we packed up the books again. When we unpacked them, we sorted through them once again and more boxes were sent to Christian Salvage and some were sent to the Salvation Army store in Fenelon Falls.

In 1996 Joyce asked me to help her with the library. My only qualifications were that I like to read and I could type. My job was to type up the cards to put in the pocket in the back of the book for people to sign and to type up a master card to put in a file to keep track of the books, and to put books away that people have borrowed. I have continued in this same way that Joyce initiated.

There are many categories in the library such as Bible study books, Christian fiction, autobiography and biography, meditation books and program planning. It is not all dry reading. Check the library out, you may be surprised at the variety of books there. Just sign the card at the back of the book and place in the basket.

So, it is with thanks to the late Joyce Junkin that we have a beautiful library.

After doing this for over 20 years I have decided it is time to resign.

I would like to thank my helpers – Marg Telford, Dorothy Strongitharm and Sandra Keevill (until she moved). I enjoyed acting as your librarian.


Lillian Partridge


Editor’s Note: Did you notice how many times they packed and unpacked those books? Thank you, Lillian, for 20 years of looking after our library. Now you can just be a borrower!



Help Wanted

We need a new Librarian to fill these big shoes! Pay is not great, but rewards are many! You can read lots of books and never lack for a good book to recommend to someone.





Our ongoing church expenses that need to be paid each month are approximately $12,000. Fortunately, some of our members have switched their method of offering to PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance). This means that each month while we are closed, the church will receive approximately $5,000. Because we will have no extra income such as rental, etc. during our closure, we will have a shortfall of approximately $7,000 each month. In this Newsletter Kim Draper, the Envelope Steward is providing more information on PAR. Please think about using PAR. Donations can also be mailed directly to the church in the form of a cheque payable to Trinity United Church. The address is 44 William Street, Box 426 Bobcaygeon Ontario K0M 1A0. Deposits will be made monthly, so if possible, your cheque should be for your monthly contribution not the weekly amount. Thank you for your assistance at this time.


Bud Justice




For those who give their weekly offering through envelopes, perhaps now is a time to consider giving through the Pre-Authorized Remittance program, or PAR, which allows you to support our church through an automatic monthly withdrawal from your bank account.

The United Church of Canada administers the program following the giver’s wishes—for example, you might give X amount for local church expenses and X amount for Mission & Service or any other of our programs (World Development, Property Expenses, Faith in Formation, Chiapas, Food Bank). If you could consider changing your giving’s from weekly envelopes to the PAR program, please:

  1. Send Trinity United Church a letter stating the amount you wish to give each month and your instructions.
  2. Attach a sample cheque from your account marked “sample” or “void.”
  3. Mail both to the church (40 William Street, Box 426, Bobcaygeon ON K0M 1A0) or email to:

Please consider this change.

Kim Draper







We made 1,359 pies since January 2020.  Some of the pies were pre-sold to the women in the kitchen and then we sold them after worship service on Sunday, March 8th.  To date, I have turned over more than $5000.00 to the UCW Treasurer.


Due to COVID-19 our pie operations have stopped but if all goes well, we should be back in business and making more pies in September.


I wish to say THANKS to all my helpers…the oven lady, the cooks, the cook’s helpers, the pastry rollers, the fillers/toppers, the pastry makers and the choppers and the dicers.  Also, a big thank-you to everybody who bought the pies to help with this fund raiser.

Olive Macoomb



VIBE 2020






VIBE will be taking place again this year from Monday, July 27th until Friday, July 31st from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you are interested in signing up your children or grandchildren, contact the office at 705-738-5135 or e-mail the office at:


Applications will be available shortly. Volunteers are needed. We are looking for volunteers to help organize snacks, prepare the crafts and decorations, and to assist with the campers. We need a ratio of 1 volunteer: 5 campers. VIBE is for campers aged 5-12. Those aged 13 and over can volunteer and earn community service hours. A police record check will be needed. See office for forms.


At the beginning of January 2020, a few of us gathered to plan ways to celebrate this 160th anniversary of the founding of Bobcaygeon’s 1860 Methodist Church (now Trinity United) and the 130th Anniversary of Providence (1890).

Mary Watson, Karen Junkin, John Knox, Elizabeth Hull, Marion MacKenzie, Cathy Bennett and John Bick began to prepare some Moments in Time to present at services throughout the year.

The first presentation was in February when Elizabeth Hull reviewed the triptyck (3) wall panels created by artist Robert Milner and church friends from 2008-10 as part of our 150th events. They remain on the north wall of Trinity’s sanctuary highlighting Who We Were (1860-1960), Who We Are (1960-2010) and Who We Could Become (2010 andd beyond)

On Sunday March 01, John Bick shared some findings about the founders of Methodism in Bobcaygeon. We had their names as printed in former anniversary booklets but we decided to dig deeper to find out who they really were.

Pictured here is one of the founding couples.

Thomas Henley Taylor came here from Devonshire England as an infant in 1833 with his six siblings and parents to homestead south of Bobcaygeon.

Not only was he on our first Board of Trustees (1858), he was also selected as the chief carpenter

of the crew that constructed the original church (now Trinity Hall). His wife, Mary Iverson, was also the child of newcomers from the British Isles.

Descendants of the Taylors continue to reside in Bobcaygeon and area, including the following members of our congregation : Enid Given Kimble, Karen Junkin Oliver & her mother Bernice Taylor Junkin, sisters Barbara Pogue Brandon and Margaret Pogue Telford, Sherry Telford and daughters Anna & Sofia (the grandchildren of the late Ross Pogue), Allan Anderson, his daughter Wendy and his twin granddaughters.

We looked at the Census of 1861 taken while the church was under construction and these were our conclusions about the approximatley 35 families who were the founding members of Bobcaygeon’s first house of worhip.

  1. Our founding families were immigrants and/or refugees from the British Isles who took the biggest gamble of their lives coming here.

  2. They were risk-takers of the highest order with incredible faith that God would rescue them from the destitution they faced in their homelands and guide them safely here to begin a new life in the backwoods of Upper Canada.

  3. After weeks on the Atlantic confined to the filthy and crowded lower decks of timber ships, they arrived in Lower Canada (Quebec) where some were quarantined because of deadly cholera and other diseases.

  4. When they did eventually arrive in the Kawarthas, they soon realized that for the most part they were ill-equipped for the changes they would face in this strange and sometimes inhospitable place. Most of them had never cleared land, worked in a sawmill or operated their own business. They had never slept in a log cabin, paddled a canoe, built a cedar rail fence, or tasted maple syrup.

  5. Most importantly, they had never been without the benefit of clergy or a church. The earliest settlers: the Taylors, Ingrams,

    1. Junkins & Bicks who arrived in the 1830s gathered in one another’s rural homes to worship, but they were without an official church for almost 30 years.

    2. Most of them had been baptized in the old country, but almost all as Anglicans in the Church of England or Presbyterians in the Church of Scotland. Their 1st generation children born here had to be baptized or married in Peterborough or Fenelon Falls where an Anglican Church existed from the 1830s.

    3. They were converts. Gradually Methodist preachers arrived in the area. They came on horseback and trudged up the rugged trails to the scattered settlers’ clearings. They read scripture atop a pine stump, led the lonely settlers in holy song and conducted communion in crude cabins. Not that all the settlers, especially the women, could read the Bible or even write their own names, so having men of the cloth preach to them in a simple yet enthusiastic manner, with plenty of singing, made for easy conversions.

    4. When the new Methodist church on William Street was ready for services in 1862, some of the founders may have struggled to understand one another. They spoke with various native accents … poor man’s English, Irish dialects, Gaelic from Scotland and a sprinkling of Welsh. In their countries of origin, they had never been exposed to this much diversity of language or culture.

    5. However, in spite of differences, their determination to have a holy edifice at long last was not impeded. They were united in their love of the Lord. And it worked.

    6. A generation after its founding there were some 300 souls in the area following the Methodist ways, sharing a conviction that they could adjust to one another under God’s roof and follow a path forward together…eventually calling themselves The House of Friendship.

    A lesson is in this for all of us today, as we explore new ways to worship and better ways to make this a welcoming place.

    John Bick




It seemed appropriate to interview John as we prepare for our 160th Anniversary. John was born and raised here, had a teaching career in Thunder Bay, and then came back here to his roots. He enjoys a special positive perspective of our community.

John’s mother Dorothy Bick gave birth to John in 1946 at a birthing house on Jane Street. There they looked after her for 1 week after John was born…a bit different from today! John grew up in the house that his grandparents built in 1901, where he and wife Jan live today.

John went to public school at the Ingram School on Cosh’s Road (now a private residence). It was a one-room school and Catherine Junkin was one of his teachers for 1 year. Catherine still plans get-togethers with some of her students from those times…something John really appreciates. Betty Knox (then Miss Umphrey) had been a teacher there too. Just before John was to start school, he met Betty at a community function and she dispelled all his fears about going to school. He was very disappointed when he went to school and Miss Umphrey had moved on to another school. When he started high school, he rode the bus for an hour to get to Fenelon Falls High School.

John went to Sunday School here at Trinity when church was a happening place for most families in the community. Harry van Oudenaren was his Superintendent for many years. Harold and Betty Beatty and Ruth Thompson were 3 of his teachers. John especially recognizes that Harold Beatty had a big impact on him and provided a role model for him. John felt that these special people really cared for their students. Church and Sunday School were

very important to the farming community. Church was a social as well as spiritual event. It was not easy getting to church. The early chores had to be done faster so everyone had to work faster. John’s father never wanted to be late for church because he didn’t want to sit in the front row! The Bicks were mixed farmers, with some dairy, so the chores could not wait until afternoon. Country folk did a lot of visiting on Sunday afternoons and John said his Mom was always adding another potato to the pot to feed unexpected guests.

After high school John attended the University of Toronto. It was quite a contrast from the family farm life. He had only ever been to Toronto once in his life! He graduated in 1968 with a degree in history. He accepted a teaching position in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), as a high school history teacher. Times were different then, and they were looking for teachers everywhere. John had 13 interviews in one day before he accepted the position. He chose Port Arthur because of the opportunities to be outdoors and into nature. He stayed there for 32 years. While he was there, he met and married Jan, originally from Nova Scotia, who was a public librarian in Port Arthur. They lived there for 32 years. John and Jan became very involved with and friends of the many Chilean refugees that came to Port Arthur to work in the pulp and paper mills. They thoroughly enjoyed that experience and they were reminded of their grandparents, who came to their new country as immigrants not all that many years ago.

After Dorothy Bick died in 1999, Jan and John took an early retirement and moved back to the family farm on Anderson Rd. to help with the care of John’s father, Lloyd. They then set about renovating the family home and in 2002 Jan and John opened a B & B, Spruce Lane Bed and Breakfast. They ran the B&B for 10 years.

John is a humble and busy man. It was like pulling teeth getting him to talk about how he fills his days. He has always been active in the community. His parents and his church taught him the importance of giving back to his community. First and foremost is his commitment to being Jan’s caregiver. He says there is a silver lining to Jan’s illness – a blessing from which we could all learn. She lives in the moment…doesn’t worry about

yesterday and certainly doesn’t worry about tomorrow. Farming taught him that concept too.

His interests are many and those interests have evolved into his involvement with many different organizations. He loves the church and is a member of the Tech Team. He also was on the Search Committee to find us a new minister.

He loves gardening and has a BIG garden. He tries to grow most of their food and grows extra for the Foodbank. He shares his garden now with a young family who are learning to garden. His hope is that eventually they will look after his garden while he supervises from the shade! He is an avid preserver of jams and jellies and puts his freezer to good use too. Food sovereignty is very important to him. He is a member and Past President of the Bobcaygeon Horticultural Society and his long-time assignment has been to look after the gardens at Settlers’ Village. He looks after the pollinator patch at the Wilderness Park. (He says the job there is to just leave it alone if it is doing its job!) The Bick farm is about 100 acres and he now rents out some pasture land. He also grows some hay which he barters for food. He is a Director of the Environmental Action Group and was a founding member of the Bobcaygeon Farmers’ Market.

He loves history. At Settlers’ Village, he is in charge of their artifact collection. Each year he sets up a new display of as many artifacts as possible in the Muir House. Local history of the area is of great interest to him and he feels it is important to talk to descendants of the original settlers before that history is lost forever. He has been interviewing many farmers and recording their stories. Every family that he has interviewed has their own file folder and stored in a box in his dining room. It’s a big box!

He loves to be out in nature. He is an avid birder and hiker. He has been Editor of “The Kawartha Field Naturalist” for 5 years. He is very interested in genealogy, especially of his own family. He has discovered that he has many distant cousins in the area!

John is very appreciative of all the people who have moved to Bobcaygeon and who have taken an active role in the many organizations in our town. He feels they are a special kind of people and their new ideas are very welcome. We are very fortunate to have John involved in our community.

Sue Pepper


A little birdie told me that Betty Knox had written something for “Renaissance”, a magazine for retired teachers. With Betty’s permission, here it is… a recollection of what it was like for her as an 18-year-old teacher!

In 1948, at age 18, I ventured out to teach in the wilds of Haliburton County, Ontario, with no qualifications whatsoever – just grade 13. I was an only child and had scarcely been away from home overnight.

I was boarding in a farm home with a strange family – quite an event for me, never mind my first morning at school.

I walked a mile or so on a country road to the white schoolhouse at S.S.#1 Snowdon Township. There I was greeted by three young boys from Finland who spoke very little English except to say “Good morning”. They had come to Canada to live with their grandparents and start a new life, and I quickly realized that my role as their first teacher was a very important one.

Five other children attended Snowdon, and I must say, they were of considerable help to me as we welcomed the newcomers to their new school.

As was usual in those days, there were no books or supplies of any kind. I, with the help of my five English-speaking pupils and their kindly manners, attempted to teach our newcomers to read using

only a health chart with pictures and the chalkboard. “Sneezing”, “coughing”, “sleeping”, and “playing” were some of the first words in their new vocabulary. Then each student and I added the verbs and adjectives until the Finnish boys could make sentences.

I watched with delight as the boys were welcomed on the playground at recess and were taught our Canadian games while they taught us some of theirs.

News of our little student population travelled to Minden, and during my first week, the school inspector visited us. I think he appreciated the enormity of the task that lay ahead of me, but the only advice he offered was, “Don’t rush things. This will take considerable time.”

When winter came, the Finnish boys skied to school. Haliburton County lent itself to skiing with an abundance of hills, some of which were right in the schoolyard. When the weather was too cold and blustery to play outdoors, we taught them how to play cards.

When spring arrived and the inspector visited us again, he seemed very pleased that all three were reading from the readers intended for their grades. And I know for sure that they understood every word because when he questioned them, they answered correctly.

I followed the progress of those boys a number of years and am happy that they were given a warm welcome and were able to fit into the different roles that they were offered in Haliburton County.

This was the best possible teaching position for the beginning of my career. The warm and caring attitudes demonstrated by the local students to both me and our newcomers taught me the importance of atmosphere in the learning process.

I never forgot my Haliburton class, and I tried always to make sure that kindness and laughter were a part of my classroom environment.

Betty Knox

This seems like an appropriate spot to add Betty’s little ditty which she has saved for a long time…words to live by! She has no idea who wrote it.

Nobody said that it couldn’t be done

But he with a chuckle replied,

That maybe it couldn’t but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so ‘til he tried.

So he buckled right in with a bit of a grin

On his face – if he worried he hid it.

Somebody scoffed, “Oh you’ll never do that,

At least no one ever has done it”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or “quit it”.

He started to sing and he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done and he did it.


As I sit in my sun filled den looking out of my window I watch enviously as two plump black squirrels play on my patio. Why am I envious? I am in self-induced isolation and have been for over a week. Outside, a poisonous virus is creeping across the world and has now made its way to Bobcaygeon and as someone in my 80s with other medical conditions, I am particularly vulnerable. I am feeling helpless and scared.

TV doesn’t help, yet I am strangely unable to switch it off. Instead I channel surf and come across PBS. They are re-running a show called Magic Moments – best of the 50s Pops. ‘Sincerely’ and ‘Sugar time’ by the Maguire Sisters bring back long forgotten memories. Patti Page singing ‘Old Cape Cod’ and Pat Boone’s ‘Love Letters in the Sand’ remind me of songs I danced to when I was young and carefree. I grab my walker and find myself dancing to the music. For half an hour I am transported back to my 20s. For half an hour I manage to forget about the dire situation around me and for half an hour I get some much-needed exercise. As the program ends, I can’t get the words of Johnny Ray’s song, ‘Cry’, out of my mind. “Remember sunshine can be found behind a cloudy sky”. Let’s hope we soon find our sunshine.

Jean Booker




In December one of my customers brought me the teal material which was a solid teal in the middle and the beautiful caricatures on each side, as well as three very large bath towels.  I then cut these bath towels in half and shaped them into aprons. The solid teal of the material was cut into sashes and ties and sewn to the top of the towels which made beautiful aprons.  

So, now I was left with all the sides of the fabric with the caricatures and some solid teal pieces.  

When my customer picked up the aprons, she said I could keep the remainder of the material.  

Of course, I was thrilled and my imagination went into action and I figured out quickly I could make a quilt out of it.  

Now the only time I can actually quilt is when I go to Florida where I work with a quilting group, and with some great ideas from the ladies, this beautiful quilt was created.  Once I sewed all the pieces together it then went off to a professional long arm quilter who worked out a very complimentary stitching pattern that followed the theme in the caricatures.  This is now a real treasure I will cherish for many years.  

Mary Tomlinson



We were travelling through the Atlas Mountains into the Sahara Desert on a three-day tour in a

mini-van when the couple we were having lunch with told us that they were not able to go back to their school in Italy because the borders were closed. Word quickly passed through our group of twelve. We had already experienced SO MUCH that we decided to cut our trip short by two weeks. Some telephone tips for travelers – (1) always, always keep your phone charged (2) always, always purchase a travel plan for your phone ((3) and take along the proper chargers and converters for where you are going. It took us two hours on the phone to arrange alternate flights which ended up being Marrakesh to Portugal to London to Iceland and to Toronto. Our original plan was to go back to Spain after Africa but Spain was also busy closing their borders. The sights we saw and experienced, the food we ate, the places we stayed (always lots of stairs) and the people we met all made for such a wonderful experience that we most certainly do not feel that we missed out on anything.


While in Florida, as the virus news was escalating, two of my friends in our resort approached me to see if I would like to follow them home. I was delighted as that would give me a support for a safe drive home.  I was driving my car, pulling my motorcycle on a trailer so I was happy to accept their offer. She was so kind to prepare all the meals for the three of us for the next three days.  They also offered to let me sleep in their fifth wheel every night. During our travels we noticed even more tractor trailers than normal, which was quite a sight knowing they are providing the country with much needed supplies.  When stopping for gas, we noticed most restaurants were closed and the only food available was what the service centers had available. 

 Upon arrival at the border, there were no line ups and the officer asked me specific questions regarding COVID-19 and of course all the normal questions and handed me a piece of paper with all the requirements to remain healthy and to remain in quarantine. I then stayed with my friends in Chatham again in their fifth wheel.  While traveling along Highway 401 it was like Canada had shut down.  I stopped for gas at a Husky in London and used the facilities and bought a sandwich. The clerk stayed behind the desk and there was a sign 3 feet from the counter stating to stay behind the sign and use a credit card.  Another customer walked in behind me and stayed 6 feet away.  Traffic did increase a little across the city but nothing like normal.

Every time I had the chance, I checked Facebook to see what was happening in Bobcaygeon and I found the Valu-Mart post that they had 4 volunteers to pick up groceries and deliver to homes. That was great news as I was not planning to get my own! I called one of the volunteers, Aaron Shaw, of Crazy Monkey Tree Service. He went to both grocery stores to get all the things on my list and even went to Paws and Claws to get my Gizmo’s dog food.  By 4 P.M. the same day he delivered my groceries! He was protected with gloves and an industrial mask.   I paid him and put in some extra money and he advised me he was donating any extra money to the food bank.

As of March 27, I am still in quarantine and have been very fortunate to have friends drop off anything I needed.  We are so blessed that we live in a giving community. I urge everyone to remain at home and only go out for necessary things, we are in a very contagious village.


You probably don’t know Brian but he is a very good friend of my very good friend Susan Cameron. If you know Susan, you will know that she can sometimes be bossy but in a loving way! Brian and wife Julie Ann were in Florida and Susan was advising them from Bobcaygeon as to how to be safe. This is the note that Brian sent to his friends to let them know they were home safely.

Well here we are … once again safely ensconced in Our Sanctuary … away from that rampant bug.

The entire trip was quite uneventful but for having to put gas in the vehicle a number of occasions. Now, ordinarily that would not be a major challenge BUT, whilst travelling, our friend Susan reminded us (via email) that we should not touch the pump handle with our bare hands lest we pick up THE VIRUS. What to do?

No fear. Fortunately, Susan passed on the advice (from the CDC, I assume) that one should don rubber gloves prior to beginning to fill the tank. Unfortunately, we had none with us. Not to worry, we went to the nearby store to pick up a few pair for the remainder of the trip. As it happened, however, they were not only out of toilet paper but also rubber gloves (and I won’t speculate on any connection between the two).
So, I was in quite a tizzy. As we all know, when Susan points out something as important as this, you ignore it at your peril.
Then I saw a drugstore. Did they have rubber gloves? No … “there has been a run on rubber gloves”. Then … thinking about rubber…and in the spirit of MacGyver, inspiration struck. Did they have condoms? Yes, they did! Shelves of them in all shapes and sizes. Apparently, no one had thought to stock up prior to self-isolating for a few weeks. A baby boom could be imminent! I bought a box of condoms. My plan was to simply slip one on my hand prior to pumping gas each time for rest of the trip. Necessity is truly the mother of invention. At our next gas station … with Susan’s words in my ears … I was proud as punch, as I got out of the car to gas up. I put my credit card and my zip code in the pump and I was ready to go … safely, I might add. I dig out the box, pulled out one of the little packages … managed to open it … and pulled out the condom. Then I slipped it onto my hand. Well … actually I tried to slip my hand into it. No matter how hard I pulled and tugged It did not slip on easily. After a number of tugs, it ripped. One down.
Time for plan B. This time I took out two condoms, thinking that since they were a bit smaller than what I needed, that I would put on one that would protect my middle finger, my ring finger and my little finger. And another that would cover my index finger and thumb. That way I could wrap the three fingers around the handle and manage the lever with my thumb and forefinger (protected from the virus, of course).
Unfortunately the condom squeezed the three fingers together so tightly that they gathered into a useless little bundle. And both had a gaping hole before I could successfully get the other one on to my thumb and forefinger. Three down.

Not to worry. As I was pulling out two more condoms, I heard a voice from above. Apparently, the time on my pump had expired so I needed to reinsert my card, etc., etc.
The third try in putting on my protection was, however, much more successful. I was able to undo the two packets and I now had the technique down to successfully slip them on the appropriate fingers and I was ready to rock ‘n roll.
I picked up the nozzle, punched the 87 with my protected forefinger, and prepared to insert the nozzle. Unfortunately, I had barely got the nozzle to the opening of the tank and, when I pressed the lever, the hose bucked back like a bronco out of my hands onto the ground. Who knew that there was that much lubricant on those suckers??? I tried to pick up the hose but it was like trying to get hold of a greased snake. So, I reluctantly slipped off the condoms to try and retrieve the hose. Five down.
In any event, I was now in a real pickle. Down to one, and still no gas. I guess I should have bought a box of twelve.

Anyway, long story short, I dropped these last two condoms off on the top of the already full garbage beside the pump! While doing so however, and with my good friend Susan’s words still echoing in my ears,. I spied the little brown towels beside the windshield cleaning fluid … and managed to remove 90% of the lubricant from my hands. Then, grabbing two more towels, I wrapped them around the nozzle and actually pumped gas … safely.
I found that it works better than rubber. It seems to work quite nicely. I was not certain what to do with the sixth and final condom but finally decided to put it where I could find it … in with the vehicle registration certificate and insurance. Hope I don’t get pulled over any time soon.


We are home. We did not stop at my sister’s as we would normally do, as her immune system is low and we did not want to take any chances. We did not even stop at our daughter Lynn’s in Newmarket. We really pushed ourselves over the last three days to get home.

It was a bit of a scary time with this outbreak of the virus. When we first heard about it, I was ready to

eave, but you know Karel, “don’t worry- what are we going to do at home in this weather.  Then, things started to close down at the park. Band practices, church services, and Sunday evening concerts all were cancelled. The hobby show was cancelled – that is where every group in the park (the sewers, knitters, woodworkers, artists, etc.) display their creations. 

Then Lynn cancelled hers and Matt’s flight, Karel said “We are going home!” 

I am so glad to be home. We had no problem at the border – it took half hour to get through customs. We gave our passports to the border patrol agent; he looked at them and said “you have to self- quarantine for two weeks and have a good day.” He handed us some printed health information and we were on our way.


As many of you know, Bob and I experienced quite a wonderful trip a year ago now until it was abruptly halted with Bob’s quite unexpected and fatal heart attack! That happened as our cruise ship was docking in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 18, 2019!

Although I was ‘Alone’, Yet I was Not Alone! God was with me in very tangible ways and I absolutely sensed His great love and care (as I’ve shared with some of you).

With the turmoil and unsettled times, we are experiencing now, I must admit, that although of course I would have loved more time with Bob, I give thanks that THAT event was last year and not this March! At least in 2019, I received many hugs, plus friends and family could come alongside me in my grief journey when I returned to Canada. It sure wouldn’t have been the case in March 2020!

As it happens, our daughter, Angela, had suggested to me late last spring that she would go on a cruise with me (as Bob had purchased another ‘Vacation Package’ in October 2018 and it would expire soon if not ‘booked’)! She ‘organized’ her work schedule to allow her time off, thinking March 2020 would work well! (We never even considered that March Break would occur at the same time! I guess it shows I’ve been retired from teaching for a few years!)

So, in July 2019, we booked a trip – the one Bob and I had hoped to do, to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. One blessing is that the 1st choice Ang and I considered had been a River Cruise in Europe! Thank the Lord that Ang and I didn’t go forward with that! Instead, we chose a 7-day cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. We booked our flights to and from Honolulu and allowed 2 days ahead of the cruise by including a hotel stay!

Prior to leaving Toronto on Thursday morning, March 12, there was talk of a ‘virus’ in China and Korea, but there was nothing alarming at that point. (I can’t remember if it had hit Italy yet or not). I didn’t want to be paranoid and exist in fear; it had taken me months to build up the courage to feel ok about going on any cruise, especially in March! We had received emails from the cruise line as well as the airline about their protocols, screening process and extra disinfecting that they were implementing to ensure the safety of crew and passengers. I found that reassuring! So, on Thursday morning, my son drove me to meet Ang at Pearson.

We left Toronto at 2pm flew to Vancouver and after a couple of hours layover, flew on to Honolulu arriving at 9:30 pm. (In reality, we were in the air at least 13 1/2 hours but time zones sure make a difference!) Friday morning in Honolulu was sunny, warm and just delightful. We went walking to Waikiki Beach, fairly close to our hotel and along a beautiful street for several miles (it seemed to me)! After lunch, we headed back to the hotel. I decided to check at Reception as to how to get a shuttle booked to the cruise ship the next morning, only to be told that I’d better check my email! I soon discovered that our cruise had been cancelled!

Our challenge then was to get our return flight changed from March 21 to asap! After being on hold for over 2 hours, the agent from the airlines was about to complete the change when he declared someone else had just completed a booking and that flight was now full! Again, I was put on hold while he tried again. Success! He was able to book us a return flight (at many extra hundreds of dollars, but what choice did we have??) for Sat., March 14 at 10:50 pm arriving in Toronto during the evening of Sunday, March 15! Now, we needed to plan what to do during the next day. when we would not have a hotel room any more.

In the lobby, there were people selling tours so we booked a day-long bus trip around the island of Oahu! What beautiful sights!! The most upsetting part was a lady sitting across the aisle and back one, who coughed a lot into her HANDS!!! Even my kindergarten students years ago knew not to do that! The teacher in me was so tempted to ‘teach her’ but I resisted… ahhh, self-control.

I should have completed my self-isolation of 14 days as of Sunday, March 29. But I developed cold symptoms on Friday, March 20! They seemed minor but I was being cautious. On Wed., March 25, I was concerned enough to call my doctor to describe the differences I was noticing!

He ordered an inhaler for me and I’m pleased to report that I am ‘on the mend’. It has loosened and it doesn’t hurt to cough, laugh or cry now! My isolation turned into quarantine and so I am home alone for at least another week. I am so fortunate to have one son, Jeff, living in Lindsay! He responds to my text messages, picks up my groceries and leaves them on my front porch for me. What a blessing!

My Granddaughter, Alaura, (who sang a duet with Bob at Trinity), expressed her concerns to me last fall after Ang and I had booked the trip. Her words were: “Oh Grandma, I don’t think you should go on a cruise in March!” My response was that I understood what she was saying but I was looking at it 2 ways: 1) I’d be seeing something totally different from anything I’ve ever seen before and 2) it’d be better than sitting at home alone! Well, folks, how’s it go… “out of the mouths of babes!”

How am I coping? I read several devotionals online, listen to uplifting messages by local ministers and other wonderful speakers like Max Lucado!! I listen to my CD of Bob singing wonderful messages and read over numerous hymns (& sing them in my head).

Yes, I am Alone, Yet I am Not Alone!

When this all ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be, we were called to be, we hoped to be, and may we stay that way – better for each other because of the worst