Rosie’s Devotions  Unsung Heroes

We remember the bad times, the bad news, and the bad people who have affected our lives by what they have done. Every day, television and newspapers scream out tragedies, horrific devastation, and suffering. Our minds are automatically drawn to such events.

But what about the good times, the good news, and the good people who have affected our lives and the lives of others by their good deeds and actions — the unsung heroes whom we don’t hear about — people who changed the world for good?

Let us think, for example, about the fire fighters, the search and rescue personnel, the men and women in the police force, the doctors and nurses, the heroic men and women who risk and sometimes sacrifice their lives, so that we can live in safety and peace.

After the United States Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, making it illegal to assist black slaves escaping to their freedom, a secret network of black and white abolitionists helped African-Americans escape from enslavement in the American south to free northern states or to Canada. Hundreds of people risked their lives and made tremendous sacrifices as genuine heroes of what became known as the Underground Railroad, the largest anti-slavery freedom movement in North America, which brought between 30,000 and 40,000 fugitives to freedom.

The 100-year anniversary of the four-day Battle of Vimy Ridge in the First World War helped to define Canada as an independent country, rather than a British colony. The 97,184 brave soldiers of all four divisions of the Canadian Corps, which fought together for the first time, suffered 10,602 casualties — 3,598 killed and 7,004 wounded — but their heroic sacrifice marked a significant Allied advance in the war, hastening its end.

There are many other people who have sacrificed themselves in order to bring about much-needed changes in this world. Their sacrifices, though, are nothing compared to the greatest sacrifice of all time: God the Father sacrificed His Son Jesus to suffer and die on the cross for the sins of the whole world.

For all of us.

For you and me.

To receive the forgiveness that He died to purchase for us, all we have to do is to believe. “But my faith isn’t strong enough,” you say. The Bible says:

Romans 10:9-10 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (NIV 2011)

Let’s make sure that the praises of our risen Hero are sung tomorrow!

Prayer: Lord God, thank You for moving within the hearts of unsung heroes. Continue to move within each and every one of us so that we may give compassion to those who need compassion, bring peace to those who are in turmoil, render aid to those in need, and share the good news of forgiveness and eternal life that You offer as a free gift to all people. Amen.


My 24th May Memories by Ed Donnelly

When I was in school this holiday was called Queen Victoria’s Birthday, but I don’t hear that anymore, but my parents no doubt followed that tradition. But I don’t remember doing anything that weekend except finishing planting the large garden that we had. This garden not only was for our family (which was small) but for the Barrie market as well.

But after mother passed before my early teen years, there was a cease in gardening, and we just took cleaned fowl to market along with apples from our orchards. Now this would be a weekend for doing nothing that I remember, except cleaning windows etc.

But when I got my drivers licence and a year or two earlier, my older friends who had their licence, we would go down to the Nottawasaga River fishing, but not really serious about catching anything, just doing something to get away from the farming, I guess.

We camped out over night one time in a local park and woke in the morning sore and tired as could be. The weather could be variable this time of year, and even wet and cold at times, so it was hard to plan anything big. Except the time I was invited to make a fourth for a canoe/fishing trip to Algonquin Park. I wrote about this trip and sent it into the Springwater News some time ago. It was quite a memory of which I will only spell out the highlights. First of all, we caught all the fish we could eat and carry home legally and secondly it rained all weekend, and poured thunderstorm on our way out of the park. We portaged into this special lake taking all day, fished two days and the fourth day spent coming out. I remembered carrying a canoe over my head and walking through these very tall pine trees when the lightening and thunder crashed simultaneously! I smelt the smoke from where it hit the tree and my friend felt the shock. It was that close. (Praise God for His Mercy) I will never forget that weekend ever.

After I got my first car, I was able to drive to ball tournaments that were held annually on this weekend. The coach’s wife would bring food along and we would have a picnic between games, this was something to look forward to each year.

So, the years have crept along and not being one that enjoyed the bumper to bumper traffic on Mondays I would avoid the weekend of May 24 for that reason. And now here I sit looking at being eighty on my next birthday enjoying the long weekend in May, thankful to the Lord for His many blessings.


Jewish Heritage

Am Shalom Congregation will offer no-fee Jewish Heritage education classes commencing in September 2022 for children aged 4-13. This initiative is a first ever for the region and will be offered to all Jewish children in the Barrie, Innisfil and Simcoe community for members of the Synagogue

Rabbi Audrey Kaufman, spiritual Leader of the congregation explained, “Last fall, I suddenly woke in the middle of the night with a dream – actually an epiphany – that our beloved Am Shalom Congregation was offering free Jewish education…the days of charging fees for our students had come to an end!  When I awoke in the morning and recalled my dream, I thought….why not? We can make it happen!”

With the generous support of donors, the program has become a reality. “Taught by professional Jewish educators, this educational program will provide students an opportunity to embrace their history as they move forward into their future as Canadian Jewish citizens,” explained the Rabbi.

By participating in the program, students receive a well-rounded education, understanding and appreciation of Reform Judaism that will help prepare them for and continue well after their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.

Furthermore, students will develop an understanding of Hebrew necessary for meaningful Jewish living, as well as an interest and desire to participate in local, national and world Jewish affairs, to take leadership positions in Jewish life, and to contribute toward the fulfillment of a just society and a united humankind.

To become a member of the Am Shalom Congregation, please contact Rabbi Audrey Kaufman at rabbiamshalom@gmail.com

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