Today's Walking Down Memory Lane presentation tells a few facts in and around Church Union, June 10, 1925. Rev. Martyn Sadler sent relevant quotes from The History of the United Church of Canada: (a History, 2012, Donald Schweitzer, ed) notes from Freeman Clowery who had written them for Rev. Jane Aikman and Plymouth minutes found at the ETRC archives have been most useful.
What is striking, it seems to me, is that past history is indeed connected with the passage of time right up to today.
The conversation about union began towards the end of the 19th century. As early as 1889, the Anglicans convened a meeting in Toronto and were joined by the Methodists and the Presbyterians. The Congregationalists supported it, but did not attend. The Congregationalists brought themselves together in a union of their churches in Quebec and Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in 1906.
By the time "the Joint Union Committee had agreed on the text", it was 1908. It was at this point in 1910, that the Congregationalists decided to proceed with Union.
A serious letter was received by the Board on March 25, 1924 from the Congregational Union of Canada lamenting that only $30 had been received for the Church Union Fund from three members: Mr. Haight, Mr. Sangster and Mr. W. H. Abbot.
On April 4, 1924, Plymouth Church Deacons declined an invitation from St. Andrew's Church to attend a meeting to hear Rev. Brown speak against the principle of Church Union as Plymouth considered themselves a part of the United Church. It seems that 109 people from St. Andrew's felt the same and 90 years ago joined Plymouth United Church. An effort was made to welcome them and the male members voted some of the male newcomers into positions of responsibility.
On Nov. 28, 1924, a letter was received with news that Plymouth Congregational Church was incorporated (7 George V Chapter 119).
Rev. Dr. Ellery Read, the minister at Plymouth, 1905-1936, and pastor emeritus 1936-1946 played a leading role at the Joint Union Committee meetings held in Toronto and so did Rev. James Robertson's grandson, Rev. Charles W. Gordon.
Apparently our first minister, Rev. James Robertson's daughter Mary, attracted the attention of the young Presbyterian minister, Rev. Daniel Gordon, from Lingwick, Quebec. They married in 1851 and their son the Rev. Charles W. Gordon authored Western fiction under the pseudonym of Ralph Conner. You may know some of his books: Cameron of the Royal Mounties, The Sky Pilot, The Man from Glengarry. As a strong supporter of Church Union, The Rev. Gordon, now Moderator of The Presbyterian Church played a significant role in the work concluding with the creation of the United Church of Canada. He may have been acquainted with Rev. Ellery Read when they both attended church union meetings in Toronto.
We are honored today to have our former minister Rev. Jane Aikman and John Foster from Moncton, New Brunswick with us. As well, we are delighted to have two of Rev. James Robertson, 4X great granddaughters Mary Delorme from Greenfield Park, Quebec and her sister Anna McClure from Sutton, Quebec. They are related to Dr. Robert McClure who was in 1968 the United Church's first lay Moderator.
In 1926 at an annual meeting, the new by-laws were passed to bring now Plymouth United Church in conformity with that suggested by the United Church in their Basis of Union. It was introduced by F. S. Rugg and seconded by W. H. Abbot.
Another topic leading through the passage of time up to us here today is about Rev. Frank Day, our seventh minister, 1896-1905. He came back on a pulpit visit in 1920 when he was the director of the Forward Movement, a spiritual movement and was concerned about raising funds to supplement Congregational ministers' and retired ministers salaries and for the African missions, particularly Angola. Its first mission station, Bailundu, was established in 1881 and Selma Chipenda Dansokho tells me that her grandfather, Jesse Chipenda, attended this mission school for a time and continued his education at others. It is quite amazing to think that perhaps the Plymouth mission support lead to Selma's path here. Who knows what doors will open for us here at Plymouth-Trinity when we give a donation to the Mission and Service Fund.
12th after Pentecost
Sherbrooke, August 2019
Dear Parents, Grandparents, guardians and friends of kids at P-T
Starting last May, our Education and Outreach Team helped organise a move to (almost) weekly children's church activities at Plymouth-Trinity United Church. Our goal is to provide a safe, educational, worshipful space for kids to be kids and also experience church. Georgia Barratt-Lamey has been hired to provide additional support and leadership, accompanied by parent volunteers.
Each week where children's church is offered, we will spend the majority of the service downstairs engaging in music, stories, prayer, crafting, games and free play with the children. And we will provide a healthy snack most Sundays. We will join the congregation upstairs during the celebration of Holy Communion, which the children are encouraged (but not required) to participate in. The program materials we are using largely come from the curriculum "The Whole People of God".
Our program is geared towards children aged 3 and up, and we will adapt as best we can to the ages in our group. We hope to be able to lead worship upstairs a few times during the year, as well as hold a few special events, like our Saturday Advent gathering (November 30th this year) and a spring Picnic!
We need help. Shanna and Georgia cannot be the only leaders for the children. For this weekly children’s church to continue we need other parents to help with supervision and ensure the safety of all the participants. Please add your name to sign-up sheet on the back table in the sanctuary. We may also reach out to the congregation for donations of supplies for projects or items to make our Children's church space more fun!
For little ones too small for Children's church, or on Sundays where we do not have programming, Hazel, Sarah & friends will still be taking care of the colouring table in the Sanctuary. We deeply appreciate her ongoing support and care for the children.
Thank you for your support and prayers; please, do not hesitate to contact any of us if you have a question or a remark.
For the Children’s ministry
Shanna Bernier, coordinator
Georgia Barratt-Lamey, part-time
Samuel Vauvert Dansokho, pastor
The General Council Nominations Committee has launched a call for nominations for several vacancies.
People across the church are invited to express their interest, or nominate others who have the gifts to serve well in these leadership roles. The Nominations Committee welcomes hearing from anyone, and particularly encourages those from groups which have been traditionally marginalized in our church, including (but not limited to) youth and young adults, Indigenous and racialized members, those active in francophone ministry, and people who identify as disabled.
You can find United Church job and volunteer opportunities here. Check back regularly!
Join us at Plymouth-Trinity for a family-friendly worship experience. Many Sundays feature a carefully planned children's church program, intended for those 3 and up. We also have a children's corner in the sanctuary with craft supplies and helpful volunteers for younger children, and for all kids on the Sundays when there is no children's church. Check the calendar elsewhere on this website to find out the schedule!
A reminder to please make sure your car does not cross the yellow lines outlining the bike path in the church parking lot.