Effort to house Ukrainian refugees puts the Golden Rule into practice

I was honoured to be asked by the Essex Fun Fest planning committee to lead a non-denominational worship service at 8:30 am on Sunday, July 10, at the BIA Heritage Pavilion, 87 Station St. in Essex.

As our communities open up again, it is worth considering what values and meaning should be the foundation of our lives. An old Sunday School song reminds us that the “wise one builds their house upon a rock.

”I am the pastor at Harrow United Church. My starting point tends to be with the tradition that formed me. One of Jesus’ essential messages predates his earthly ministry and is expressed in many different ways in cultures and faiths around the world. We often call it the Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Gospel of Matthew 7:12)

At the Fun Fest worship service, Essex Mayor Richard Meloche and a number of town councillors will read aloud versions of the Golden Rule as found in the seven faith traditions that are, according to Statistics Canada, most represented in our country.

This will show the Golden Rule is a universal principle. It’s also a good reminder that our country is ethnically, culturally and spiritually diverse.

We will be welcomed to the Heritage Pavilion by the bagpipe playing of John Woodbridge. During the worship service we will be treated to three songs by the talented singer-songwriter Jeff Gorick, well known around the county for his ministry of music.

An offering will be received for the Kyiv Home Project. Kingsville developer Gary Taveirne and his family began the project to build a house in the new Woodridge Estates subdivision in Cottam for displaced families from Ukraine.

This project is gaining momentum and a number of local businesses have pledged their support. They will supply needed materials to create a comfortable and beautiful place of shelter and refuge for people fleeing the horrors of an undeclared war as Russia persists in its invasion of Ukraine.

Cottam United Church is a partner in this community effort. Representatives of the Kyiv Home Project and Cottam United Church will be on hand to provide information, receive donations and chat with those who may want to help.

Displaced families will need more than a roof over their heads. They will need the support, compassion and kindness that is expressed so well in the Golden Rule.

For information about the worship service contact Rev. Darrow Woods at 647-406-9003.For information about the Kyiv Home Project contact Jennifer Baggio at 519-990-9187 or visit www.thekyivhomeproject.com.

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