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Years and Years


by Donna Sinclair I knew trouble was coming when we pulled away from the curb after a lovely visit with friends in Ottawa, five hours by highway from our home in North Bay, Ont. The car was noisy. Very noisy, even for what we generously call our “student car” or (in honour of our daughter […]

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A family's shoes

International Day of Families: May 15


by Donna Sinclair A congregation operates more like a family than any other human structure. We bring to it tantrums, hungers, rivalries, allegiances, and affections just like the ones we knew as we grew up. Furthermore, we expect to see families in the pews, as microcosms of this larger community. And people do, obligingly, quite […]

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A family plants a tree

A Real Celebration of Earth Day


by Donna Sinclair In my own small way, I love to care for Mother Earth. Today I worked in my still-almost-bare front garden, pulling grass (where does it come from?) ignoring passing cars, envisioning summer. The lupines are just poking through, and the daylilies show their green tips everywhere. Soon the Oriental poppies will blast […]

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Holy Moments


by Donna Sinclair I got these beans at the seed exchange. “Crossbred Romano Bean” is written on the old envelope containing them. “MUST BE SUPPORTED” in large letters, followed by “very good.” I talked to the grower later. “Tall growing,” she added, along with fervent good wishes. The best beans she has ever grown. Eat […]

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The Six Assets of an Activist


by Donna Sinclair A week or so ago, when Natural Resources minister Joe Oliver called environmental activists “radicals,” I seethed. He was talking about me, gardener, bread baker, Nana. I listed for my patient spouse all the ways that I am a true conservative, aiming to preserve the natural heritage Canada enjoys. My spouse nodded […]

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A Democracy in Distress


By Donna Sinclair It starts with the morning newspaper, rescued hurriedly from the icy driveway by either Jim or me. Whoever brings it in is the first to get the prized front section. This has led to my getting up earlier. Since the paper usually arrives around 7:00, it is useless to get up at […]

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Elders: Aware and Opinionated!


by Donna Sinclair Like all elders, I have experienced a lot of life. There is no way around this. That means I have opinions based on having bumped into a horde of circumstances and people. Strong opinions. Which I usually express. But sometimes a note of caution intervenes, especially since I live in a small […]

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Living in Seasonal Time

Living in Seasonal Time


by Donna Sinclair Winter is coming. And that’s fine. We live in Northern Ontario, after all. I know it is close at hand because Jim and I are wearing heavy fleeces all day around the house, and he has resurrected the toque he likes to keep on his bedside table, ready for cold ears at night. […]

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Fresh Fruit at a Montreal Farmers Market, Quebec, Canada

What Churches Can Learn from Montreal


by Donna Sinclair This week I was in Montreal, one of my favourite cities in the universe. Big trees, planted along all the streets and even around the parking lots. Lots of parks.  Imaginative boulevard plantings in the summer. Tobogganing on Mount Royal in the winter, which more than compensates for salty snow-covered streets and […]

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Time and Eldership: A Necessary Pause


by Donna Sinclair Last night three of us enjoyed a pleasant, pre-meeting chat while we waited for the fourth member of our little church committee to show up. She didn’t. She had forgotten that we had a meeting. I was secretly rather pleased. Our missing member has recently retired. I too am retired, a little […]

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