Tuesday
Mar222016

Brown, Ron & Jean

Ron & Jean Brown

 Jean and Ron came to St. Paul's when they moved to Oakville in 1969 along with their five children. The children joined the Sunday school and Ron and Jean immediately joined the choir.  Why the choir? 

Not only do they like to sing but they felt it was the best way to get to know the people in the church and it also gave them an opportunity to spend one night together in the evening, as Ron was often traveling with his job.  Ron continued to run his business until this year, when they sold their home and moved to a retirement residence. During this total period of time, Jean was his secretary and looked after any office duties.
They still had time for their family and for their church. Jean was in the UCW (United Church Women) and, when needed, she would make a casserole for someone. Jean is also our "button collector" and she had a booth at the St. Paul's annual bazaar every year selling buttons.
Ron found time to be a clerk of session, to serve on our board for many years, and was a part of the Ministry & Personnel committee and Property committee. During his time on property, he remembers special times, like when he played a major role in the removal of the steeple from our roof and when he was involved with having the installation of the new entry and new doors on the west side of the church. He was also one of the security people who checked the church once a week in the evening to make sure it was locked up tight.
If  there's any sort of a problem, it seems we've always called on Ron. He has looked after proper maintenance of our yard equipment. He and Don Cox have looked after upgrading much of the electrical, and he played a huge role in setting up the sound system.
He and Jean were very involved when we brought refugees from Vietnam to Oakville, a family with ten children. They met them at the airport and had a standing appointment every Saturday, along with an interpreter, to go and see what things were needed. 
Ron worked on two houses that were built near him by Habitat for Humanity, and Jean, along with others from the church, was often involved with making lunches for the workers. 
For over seven years, Ron and Jean oversaw the shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse that were filled at St. Paul's for children overseas for Christmas.
Needless to say, they not only took time for themselves and their family but for their friends at St. Paul's and for people around the world who were in need.
Recently, Ron and Jean took the time to help a member of our church in need.  THis person has been a widower for several years and has no family except for a nephew.  He since transferred to another church.  Ron saw the need to help this person so he jumped in and took on the power of attorney, helped him clean up the house to sell, and move to an assisted living home. Ron still makes time, taking him for hospital visits or haircuts and seeing that he is well cared for.  Jean used to look after doing laundry and helped with the cleaning up of the house.

Ron and Jean are both well into their eighties and have worked as a team for many years.  They have used their time to offer their gifts to God, the community, and the world.

 

Tuesday
Mar082016

Farris, Bud

 

Bud Farris
Bud and Terry Farris came to Oakville in 1971. Before they even found a house, they found their church. While driving down Rebecca Street, they saw St. Paul's United Church and knew they had to buy a home in that area as they were coming from St. Paul's, Halifax. Bud always put church first, maybe even to the detriment of his family. His boys often said "Dad, come golfing with us on Sunday. It's the only free day we have."  He would say "No, I have to go to church". Only once, on his 75th birthday, with one of his sons traveling all the way from out west, did he give in and play golf on a Sunday.
His life was one of giving and sharing, a true Steward. When he retired from Sears in 1988, he went into real estate.  He always cared for his clients. He gave them all 110% of his time. While he had their home listed and if they needed work done, he would go and sit at the house with them while the workers were there so the women were not feeling uncomfortable, alone with strangers. Every Christmas and Easter, he would involve his whole family to deliver flowers to everyone of his customers to cheer them.
At St. Paul's he was involved as an elder, back when we had sessions. He was also on the board and and was a leader of AOTS (As One That Serves - men's group). In fact, he was given a life membership by the national AOTS group for his work. He always cooked several beef roasts and hams for our dinners and was the person who would buy the food ahead of time to be sure that he got it on sale and at the best price to save money for St. Paul's. For our corn roast, he would go up to Highway 5 to buy the corn fresh from the farmer. He and Terry both taught Sunday school. He loved the church picnics and would always participate in them. He had a gift of designing the most beautiful fruit trays you could imagine. Even during VBS (Vacation Bible School), you could be sure that Bud would arrive at some point with his beautiful trays of fruit. He took his turn on every committee within the church, with the exception of finance. However, he and Terry had a special bank account where they put a percentage of their income when money arrived for them and it was this money that they used for the church and other charities.  For about 25 or more years he was involved with organizing the Oakville prayer breakfast on the first Wednesday in December. Others always came first.
Church always came first for Bud. He was in church right up to the very last Sunday that he was alive. He is missed by many of us and he has left a legend for us to follow.

 

Tuesday
Mar082016

Hamilton, Jean

 

Jean Hamilton

Jean arrived in Oakville from north of Kingston in the fall of 1956, just as St. Paul's was starting up. Jean was a young widow with three young children, so her mother came to live with her for 23 years while Jean taught school. Jean immediately became active in the church and has remained so to this day. She was brought up in a Christian home and saw the need to be a volunteer within the church. God gave her the gift of time and talent and she certainly has shared with all. Jean  was a Sunday school teacher and an elder and thinks back with a happy heart to the visits she made quarterly to about eight or 10 members of the congregation delivering their communion card. She served as chair of worship and has been a long time UCW (United Church Women) member. She helped wherever she was needed, often helping with funerals and taking flowers to the sick after church. She was in the choir for many years.

Although she doesn't remember all the little things she did, she believed that if someone asked her to do something, she would never say, "I don't know how." Instead she would say, "Show me how and I will do it."

At 95, she is no longer physically able to get out to Sunday worship but is a shining light at Vistamere Retirement Home and still keeps very close contact with many members in the church. I couldn't begin to tell you how many people she phones every day to see how they are doing. On November 11, she always phones the veterans to thank them for their service. Thankfulness is very important to Jean. No matter what one does for her, she always writes a thank you note in return.

The history of St. Paul's is also very important to Jean and she feels that there were many exciting times through the years.

She expresses her gratitude for the 60 years that she has been with the congregation in this letter. She truly is an inspiration to us all.

Friday
Apr082016

McNaught, Carilyn

Carilyn McNaught is another person at St. Paul's who recognizes how much she has been given and feels it is important to to share this with others. She and her husband Tom came to St. Paul's back in 1967, right  

after they were married. They have three sons and seven grandchildren and Carilyn is very involved in all their activities. I doubt either grandparent misses a concert or game in which their grandchildren participate.They have babysat each of the little ones, prior to school age, at least one day a week. Their family is growing older, so they are now down to just once a week, with one child.

She was also the treasurer and the captain of The Block Parent program, and she has worked at the bingo for eight different charities over the years.
When I asked her why she gives of her time and talents her response was "St. Paul's is like a family to me. The more I give, the more I get. I enjoy it."
Carilyn shares the role as chairperson and is also on the nurturing care team. She collects casseroles from many of our wonderful cooks in the congregation and delivers them to those who are in need. She visits people who are at home and in hospital. She also weekly delivers the bulletin to many of the shut ins. She encourages the Sunday school students to make holiday cards and sees that they get sent to those who are lonely and away from the church.

Carilyn, along with help from her wonderful husband Tom, has run the rummage sale for three years straight and for two years she was chair of the bazaar that we have annually. She arranges for couples to be on the welcome table and encourages them to have new members sign the guestbook. Every week she checks the book and if there is someone new she writes a personal note to them, welcoming them to St. Paul's. She also tidies the pews every other week.
She makes a point of greeting anyone new that she sees in church and, not only asks them to come down stairs to Watt Hall for coffee, but brings them downstairs and introduces them to others, one more step in making St. Paul's a welcoming congregation.

Carilyn has been very active with the Optimist Club, starting a program for juniors 9 to 13, and mentors them twice a month. She and Tom have been Foundation representatives for Central Ontario for three years and I'm sure she does as many things with the optimist club as she does with the church, and all with the support of her great husband. When Hopedale had their charity bazaar, she was the convener for St. Paul's for three years.
Along with all these activities she spends much of her time helping her friends.

 

Friday
Apr082016

Pinette, Jack

Young Jack Pinette has been an example of a steward in our church. You may have met him one Sunday when he helped greet, heard him play our grand piano, or sing a duet with his sister. They are both in the Joyful Noise, our children's choir. He has helped out in the kitchen during coffee time and, let me tell you, at our Remembrance Day service, no one got a way with not putting money in the poppy box.  He told his Mom he does it because he likes the people of St. Paul's.