by Beryl Martin
The congregation of St. David’s (Welland) embarked on a year-long celebration of our 70 years of ministry beginning on St. David’s Day as Bishop Susan Bell made her first visit to the parish.
The joyous day began as the children of the parish put on a puppet show under the direction of our Family and Youth Ministry Coordinator, Alison Steele. Following the service everyone was invited to a birthday luncheon; balloons, streamers, a birthday cake and other goodies made it a true Birthday Party, and the Bishop led the guests in the singing of Grace and then distributed cake much to the delight of all who were present.
As the year ramped up several ACW sponsored events followed including the launching of a 70th Anniversary Cookbook, a Fashion Show with fashions from Lilie’s Boutique in the Stevensville Gallery modelled by parish members, and a Trivia Night held at the Fonthill Legion, all of which ran alongside our annual Fall Barbeque, Pancake Supper, Plant Sale, Thanksgiving Food Drive, and Parish Bazaar. In addition to all these events the Altar Guild generously donated new green altar hangings to replace those which had been used for many, many years.
Special worship services were also conducted. Under the direction of Laura and Randy Scott guest musicians were brought in to perform a Baroque service during which a harpsichord constructed by Randy Scott was brought into the church and played during the service. The event generated great excitement and appreciation from all those who attended.
In honour of the 70th Anniversary, with the help of Gord Rendell a talented horticulturalist and an active member of our church, the City of Welland created a flower garden which was on display all summer for the residents of the city to admire. Colourful flowers greeted all who passed one of the busiest intersections in the city.
A 70th Anniversary Banquet was held in late October at the Fonthill Legion and we were delighted to be joined by former Rectors: The Reverend Derek Pringle and his wife Pam who travelled all the way from Hampton, Virginia, The Reverend Canon Jim Powell and his wife Bonnie from Niagara Falls, Archdeacon, The Venerable Dr. John Course and his wife Bev, and our current Rector, The Reverend Terry Holub and his wife Tina. Rounding out the clergy in attendance was The Reverend Deacon Richard Middleton and his wife Linda. Many current and former members attended and renewed friendships and memories. A display of our parish history was on hand including pictures of our Green School House days.
Our year-long celebration was completed when our young families entered a float in the Welland Santa Claus Parade. It featured the nativity scene with real life figures bringing onlookers to tears. Parents, grandparents and children walked alongside the float and distributed candy canes to all who watched. To our knowledge this was the first time that a Nativity scene was a part of the city of Welland’s Santa Claus Parade.
Finally, we are proud to say that all of this celebrating did not interfere with our outreach programs: Hope Centre luncheons, our Gently Used Clothing Store, our Prayer Shawl and Davy Bear ministry along with many other caring programs that serve our community.