the fifth page for November 8, 2009
On Sunday afternoon I phoned the woman I spoke about in my sermon, who used flour made from the wheat grown on her farm, to bake bread and buns that she sold to a local cafe’. Talking with her was a true joy. As nourishing as having lunch together in her farmhouse kitchen.
She reminded me that the money she earned from her baking all went to the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church. That is the mechanism our denomination uses to fund ministry beyond local congregations. Some of that money is spent inside Canada, and a lot of it goes to other places, allowing the United Church of Canada to participate in work being done with some of our mission partners.
In the same conversation I got an update on this woman’s family. In the sermon I mentioned her two sons. (She also has a daughter, who I forgot to mention! ) The daughter is happily married, to a local farmer. They have raised a great family. She has a “town job” which means that most days she is just a phone call and a few minutes away if her mom ever needs her at the retirement condo. This summer and fall she kept her mother, and her condo neighbours well stocked with fresh vegetables from her farm.
The youngest son is now working in Northern Manitoba as a social worker, involved with families that have been effected by Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. From what I hear, he loves the work, and it is exhausting.
The older son, the one who used to train soldiers in bomb disposal, is now out of the military altogether. He came back from his last tour in Afghanistan suffering the effects of traumatic stress disorder. Depression, the end of a marriage, and issues with alcohol are some of the ways his 20 years of service have left their marks on his life.
I don’t know if this man will attend a Remembrance Day ceremony this week. He will certainly be on my mind, and my heart as we take time to consider the costs of war.