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The king of instruments: Pipe organs offer connection, celebration

in Just in Time by

Among the many cancellations wrought by the coronavirus on the arts and culture scene this year are the annual Christmas concerts, meaning that many of the magnificent pipe organs which lead festive carol sings in our area will be silent for the remainder of 2020.

One needn’t be a churchgoer to be captivated by the pipe organ. Over the centuries, it has serenaded bridal parties, accompanied silent films and warmed the hearts of concert-goers the world over. In lieu of hearing them in person this Christmas, I invite you to join me in this story as we embark on an “organ crawl” across Kawartha Lakes — discovering the history and character of these marvellous musical instruments, which in many cases have been operating for more than a century.

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Podcast teaser: Adapting to adjusting in 2020

in Community by
Student minister Kevin Fitzpatrick.

We adjust. We adapt. We learn.

Granted, some of us have achieved this more than others in 2020. And some have had to do more of it than others – often not for themselves, but for those they serve.

By his own admission, Kevin Fitzpatrick is no video producer.

Or, rather, he wasn’t until recently, at least. But the student minister who serves both Janetville and Mount Horeb United Churches rose to the challenge when he realized a nicely-produced, pre-recorded video church service would be the best – and safest – way to reach his congregations this Christmas.

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Places of worship: Keeping the faith during COVID-19

in Around Town/Community/Seniors by
St. Andrew’s developed a boxed lunch ministry for those who are ordinarily served by its Community Soup Kitchen. Photo: Evan Aube.

Most of us first knew something significant was upon us on March 12 this year when Ontario’s schools were shuttered. For those who belong to communities of faith, the pandemic didn’t really hit home until a few days later, on the morning of March 15 – a Sunday.

When places of worship closed, it was generally assumed that this would be, at most, a temporary hiatus. Like those who hoped against hope that the First World War would be over by Christmas of 1914, Lindsay’s churchgoers thought that they would be back in their meeting places by at least Easter. Alas, the most important festival in the Christian year came and went, with the “Alleluias!” of Easter being confined to private homes.

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New home and new outlook for Kawartha Lakes Food Source

in Community/Social Issues by
Jessica Topfer, administration and programs centre manager at Kawartha Lakes Food Source, welcomes visitors at the new location. Photo: Nancy Payne.

“It’s fantastic.”

Heather Kirby, executive director of Kawartha Lakes Food Source, is clearly grinning behind her mask when she describes the new home for the organization. What’s her favourite part about the new location?

“All of it.”

The new location at 164 Needham St. in Lindsay is big, bright, and fully accessible. It has a walk-in cool room and a freezer built with grant money from Food Banks Canada, and plenty of room for storage and sorting.

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Pandemic-era comedy performance by Grignon at Cambridge Street United

in Opinion by
Denis Grignon poses with two of his blank-faced audience members for a recent performance at Cambridge Street United Church.

It’s not that I was nervous.

After more than 30 years as a touring standup comedian, playing way too many “Tonight Only! Comedy! And Chicken Wings!” shows in roadhouses with an apostrophe in their names – O’Toole’s, O’Malley’s, O’Sheah’s, O’Lord-Get-Me-Outta-Here – I’ve become inured to even the most unwelcoming and uncharitable audiences.

“Thank you,” I’d say after my closing bit, often with no small hint of sarcasm. “And good night (enter town name here).” Then I’d get in my truck and drive off, thankful that I was unlikely to ever meet any of them again.

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Ring the bells that still can ring

in Community/Just in Time by
Ring the bells that still can ring
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Photo: Roderick Benns.

It’s a warm spring day in London, England. Sunday May 19, 2019, to be precise. My cousin, his girlfriend, and I have just left the famous Globe Theatre where we took in a performance of William Shakespeare’s Henry V.

After walking some distance, we come within sight of Southwark Cathedral, its 13 bells ringing out across the nearby River Thames. (As Charles Dickens, who watched Southwark’s bell-ringers over 150 years ago, reported, “the tenor’s voice becomes louder and louder, the ladder and walls shake more and more, until at last, as we are going to step onto the platform of the bells, we shrink back as from a blow, from the stunning clash of sound with which he greets us.”)

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Remembering the Lindsay Kinsmen Band

in Just in Time by

Back in the autumn of 2003, while in Grade 7 at Central Senior School, I decided to take on an extracurricular activity by signing up for the school band. Those of us who were interested attended a lunchtime meeting in the school’s music room, where instruments were assigned according to what aspiring band members wanted to play. When it came my turn to select a band instrument, I hesitated, not having completely made my mind up Keep Reading

Burial customs, past and present: ‘How they so softly rest’

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'How They So Softly Rest:' Burial customs, past and present
Riverside Cemetery, Lindsay. Photo: Ian McKechnie.

In 1991, the remains of an Indigenous man which had been unearthed in a Peterborough parking lot some three decades earlier were re-interred in the Curve Lake Cemetery. The actual interment was preceded by a Feast of the Living, with a sweet grass and sage smudge performed by four pipe carriers, and food prepared to accompany the deceased to the land of spirits. The following day, more smudging, honour songs, and offerings of tobacco accompanied the reburial of these 2,000 year-old remains. For the First Peoples, this Indigenous man was now on his way to meet his ancestors, as per their burial customs.

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Valerie’s Blessing will honour late woman and feed hundreds at Christmas

in Around Town/Community/Social Issues by
Valerie’s Blessing will honour late woman and feed hundreds at Christmas
Pastor Joel Holtz with Giant Tiger Manager Judy Sorenson. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Valerie Brunst may have passed away last year at the age of 77, but her gift to her church is ensuring her legacy will go on this Christmas — through Valerie’s Blessing.

Pastor Joel Holtz of Calvary Pentecostal Church in Lindsay says Brunst left her entire estate to the church — and now the church wants to find a way to “share some of this blessing with the community at large,” he says.

Brunst cut an eccentric figure, often seen on Hwy 36 about seven kilometres north of Lindsay in front of her house, hitchhiking for a ride into town.

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A Taste of India in Lindsay

in Around Town/Community by
A Taste of India in Lindsay
Lindsay has a growing Indian community. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Resisting the allure of Lindsay Ex candy floss and corn dogs, no fewer than 120 gathered in the St. Paul’s Anglican Church hall for “A Taste of India,” an opportunity for East and West to come together and break bread — well, chapati (a flatbread).

For many of those attending, it was a taste of the homes they’d left behind less than a month earlier for studies at Fleming College’s Frost Campus.

The event was organized by the church’s Youth Leader, Dan Farmer, and his mother, Pam and the purpose, as Farmer explained, was to welcome newcomers to their new community.

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