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GREENBANK by Mary Jean Till

Children are counting the sleeps till Christmas, nine sleeps left as I write. Grownups are hustling about with work and last minute things to do. Sunday, December 15th was a snowy, windy day for the McCowan family Christmas, held at Greenbank United Church, with the extended families of Jim (Dick) and Ron (Doc) Thomson, whose mother was Helen McCowan Thomson. Earlier in December it was also a snowy day for the pre-Christmas celebration of the M. Parish family, also held at the Greenbank United Church. The weather prevented some to attend, but were remembered I’m sure. December 15th was a special day for Rodd Foster on his 90th birthday, visiting with family and friends at Port Perry Villa. Son Reg and Mary Anne Foster of New York State were there for the party, and are staying for the Rodd Foster family Christmas, before returning home for December 25th. Family, friends, and acquaintances enjoyed this time of reminiscing on this happy occasion for Rodd, whose heart will always be in Greenbank, though its no longer his home. Happy 90th Rodd! Others with December birthdays are Bob Layzell on December 12th, Stephanie Richmond on December 14th, Eunice Rahm, Murray Stone, Cathy Terrier all on December 21st, Allison Crawford on December 24th. Best wishes go to all on their special days. On a sad note, I extend condolences to Bob Spencer, brother Dave, sister Barbara, and families with the passing of their younger sister Myrna Browns. A celebration of Myrna’s life was held at the Greenbank Centennial Hall on Sunday, December 15th. School holidays begin with the regular dismissal on Friday, December 20th. Classes resume January 6th, 2020. Kindergarten registration for September 2020, begins January 13th, 2020, at 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Sunderland Lions Music Festival is moved to April 2020. Mrs. Denise Bell continues to work with the school choir for this event, a volunteer deserving of much thanks for her various community events. Greenbank United Church activities and services are as follows; December 17th, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. office hours, 1 to 2 p.m. meditation every Thursday except holidays. December 19th, 7:30 p.m. Choir practice. Extras welcome. December 22nd, 11 a.m. Advent 4 – Worship. December 24th, 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service. December 25th, Merry Christmas to all, Happy Birthday Jesus. December 29th, 11 a.m. Worship. In 2020 the church is hosting “Reconciliation Through Education & Understanding”, The Kairos Blanket Exercise facilitated by L12 Stone Academic Choir, Indigenous Studies, Fleming College, January 25th, 2020. Service begins at 2 p.m. followed by a Picnic Style Potluck, bring your own dishes and cutlery. Space is limited, please contact Debbie Watson by email at or call 416-709-2306. In February, the Evening U.C.W. is hosting a Mystery dinner event. Contact any U.C.W. for info. At Advent 3 Cheryl and Steve Quantrill were the friendly Greeters. Please contact Cheryl regarding changes of the Observer magazine name, December special is $20 a subscription, $25 in January. Suzanne Lee and granddaughters Avary and Edie lit the three Advent candles and Christ Candle, with Avary reading the liturgy. Children’s time was a story “A Special Place for Santa”, how Santa was sorry people forgot about Jesus birthday, and how Joy comes to others, and us, through showing kindness, giving gifts, sharing family traditions, and in the story Santa was first to say Happy Birthday to Jesus. In her message, minister Stephanie spoke about the Joy felt by Mary who was to become the mother of Jesus, the Joy that comes to people in many ways of sharing, and to those receiving. Like the Sunday school class called the Joy Class, remembered by Shirley Lee meant J is for Jesus first, O is Others next, and Y is for You last. Advent 4 will be the Sunday of Love. As there is no Standard newspaper published for the week of Christmas, this is my last writing of the Greenbank News. Many thanks go to the readers of this column, to those who submitted news items, to all who have appreciated my 15 plus years of writing. Your kindness is humbling. To the people I have met at the Standard, and prior, it has been a pleasure, and I thank you for continuing the Shoreline’s news. We are still looking for someone to be the Greenbank correspondent for 2020. Please call Colleen at 905-985-6985, or email if you are interested. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Blessings of Hope, Peace, Joy, Love to all! Mary Jean Till.

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