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The weather continues to swing back and forth between fall and winter, or so it seems from reports I get because, I have not been at home for almost 2 weeks. I am here in Palestine and Israel visiting most of the Holy land, seeing the country as citizens see it. Believe me, it is quite an eye-opener! Bethlehem, no longer a little town but a large city, was our first stop, but was a bit disappointing in that everything is so commercialized. There has not been any Christmas music playing, as we already were hearing at home, but there are Christmas decorations up, and on sale, and Christmas trees have already had their official lighting in many towns and cities. We spent a long day in Jerusalem, along with thousands of pilgrims from many countries. The architecture is fabulous but the purported association with Christ rather suspect at times. The country is fantastically hilly and stony, with good roads but constantly going up and down and around hairpin turns. We floated in the Dead Sea, viewed the Jordan River, (not quite as dirty as the Ganges), took a cable car to Temptation Mountain and are presently in Nablus, then to Nazareth, back to Bethlehem and home. Today we attended an Anglican church service, delivered in Arabic, and visited the colony of the Samaritans. The food is great with lots of super-sized vegetables. Aside from several of my nieces, and cousins, Barb Pratt celebrated a birthday this past week. Congrats to all! Great news from the Uxbridge Scott Historical Centre and society as they were approved for a $64,900 Trillium grant and $35,912 of Enabling Accessibility funding. The money will be used to pave pathways and a parking lot as well as a new parking lot by the school. The Museum reopens June 6th. However, the horse-shoe competition begins May 12th at 6:30 p.m. There were 31 competitors last year and more are welcome. The champions were Peter Bouchard and Don Dye with consolations going to Jim Heagle and Grant Manock. Zephyr and local communities showed their generosity when over 150 came out to Zephyr Hall for the benefit for Darryl McFarlane. They raised about $9000 to help with medical expenses. The Optimist Fantasy of Lights officially opens this Saturday, December 7th at 6:30 pm. The Optimists are looking for volunteers to help with this spectacular event. If your own house is lit up and you would like others to see it, contact “Uxbridge Daily” and they will put it on a free tour map along with other homes. The Nutcracker comes to town again December 18th to December 22nd, at the Uxbridge Music Hall, at 7 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $25 a person. The Official Board of the Sandford Zephyr Faith Community met on Tuesday evening, November 26th with our new Supervisor/liaison Reverend Paul Reed. As it had been 6 months since we had met previously there was much to discuss, creating a marathon 2 1/2 hours of discussion about the future in our new ECORC(East Central Ontario Regional Council). Despite inclement weather, Carol O’Neill conducted the service for the First Advent Sunday at Sandford with Ruth Baker at the piano. Those two will also be with us next Sunday but Adele Boy will take the service on the 15th, having recuperated from her trip to Palestine and surrounds. On December 22nd Reverend Bill Fritz will conduct a Communion sacrament service, with Nancy Wolfe at the organ. December 24th, at 7:30 p.m. will be the Christmas Eve service at Sandford United Church, with Pastor Gord Shreeve conducting. Carol O’Neill will be with us again December 29th to complete the year. Please join with us.


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