By Cheryl Highmore
The Anglican Churches in Cambridge (A.C.I.C.) held our second joint service and picnic on June 26 at St. James Church. Last year we had to move the picnic indoors because of rain. This year, we were again inside, this time because of the extreme heat. The Good News is that St. James is air-conditioned and the over two hundred who attended had a great time! The guest musicians from Toronto, the “Etobicoke Band”, and our own local talents, Bill Nixon, Steve Robinson, and Annetta Whetham, along with the joint church choir, filled St. James with joyful music.
Each church supplied part of the food and refreshments and everyone brought a salad or dessert to share. What a feast! After lunch the musicians played and everyone joined in a sing-along. It was a great day full of music and laughter. Thanks to our clergy, A.C.I.C. members, and the volunteers for all their hard work. Our special thanks and appreciation to those who laboured outside, cooking, directing traffic, and assisting others in 40 degree heat, with a smile. Our cooks, Bill Bowlby and Ray Snow, do the barbecuing for every picnic whatever the weather, and always manage to keep us happy with plenty of good food.
Who is my Neighbour? During the service, we heard and saw the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan played out in a modern context by our clergy: Rev. Canon Linda Nixon (St. James), Rev. Stephen Berryman (St. John`s), Rev. Paul Silcox (St. Luke`s), Rev. Vickie Edgeworth-Pitcher (St. Thomas the Apostle) and Rev. Greg Jenkins (Trinity). Their enthusiastic presentation was given rave reviews by all present! The serious message of the Gospel play was how we put labels on people; how we judge them without knowing them. God’s love is not limited by any boundaries we may impose. Everyone is our neighbour.
Monday morning, when the city garbage collection truck arrived for pick up, there were eight bags for composting and a small bag of garbage for the landfill! The driver expressed his surprise when told how many were at the picnic. He congratulated us on making it a priority to reduce waste. That too is being a good neighbour; by helping our community and taking care of God’s creation.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Rev. Vickie Edgeworth-Pitcher. It was her last day before officially retiring. During the service she was surrounded in prayer and blessing by fellow clergy and all present before leaving for her new home. Her congregation at St. Thomas the Apostle and our A.C.I.C. members will all miss her. She was a part of our team and we thank her for her help and encouragement.
A.C.I.C. is about neighbours helping neighbours. Each of our Anglican churches has a community it serves, and all five together do joint outreach projects in the greater Cambridge area. At Easter, for example, we jointly donated hundreds of books to the Grand Valley Institution for their mothers and children’s reading program. In shared fellowship and worship we are reminded that we are called to extend the circle of God’s love ever wider.