Situated exactly an hour southeast of the nation’s capital, the one-stoplight town of Williamsburg sits just north of the St. Lawrence River as one of the 31 communities within the municipality of South Dundas.
Although South Dundas Lutheran Community Church only sees an average weekly attendance of approximately 30, the church council decided to tackle two areas of the ELCIC’s Reformation Challenge and the congregation has responded very well.
Church secretary, Pamela Ropars, who – between multiple part time jobs, weekly church business, and the providing of help with her family’s dairy farm – worked on many of the details regarding the placing of members’ orders for the planting of 210 trees at a local tree farm.
“Regardless of our small size, our church council wanted to find ways in which to commemorate this momentous anniversary,” Ropars said. “So I prepared posters and newsletters informing that one of ELCIC’s goals was the planting of 500,000 trees this year. The members’ orders were noted down, and I placed an order for 210 trees at Ferguson Tree Farm in Kemptville, Ontario – close to where I live.”
But it isn’t just the planting of trees that South Dundas hopes to cover.
“We have also announced, through our Sunday bulletins, about members donating to help with scholarships, and we plan to have a fundraising Oktoberfest barbeque later on this year, with all funds raised to go towards the scholarships,” Ropars added. “We also have in the works, the preparation of a Church Directory, with a mention on the cover to acknowledge the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.”
Ropars and the rural congregation are not even done there. With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation fast approaching, there may even be more in the works coming out of the Seaway Ministry Area of the Eastern Synod.
“We may also be planning other events to fundraise and raise awareness of this special anniversary later on this year, especially around October 31st,” Ropars said. “Council and our Pastor, Rev. Moses Prashad, are doing their best to keep this very important year current in our members’ minds. So far, the planting of trees has been a multi-generational showing of support towards ELCIC and commemorating our 500th Reformation anniversary. It will be a great reminder to the younger generation throughout the decades of this commemoration.”
Find out more about the ELCIC Reformation Challenge here: www.elcic.ca/ReformationChallenge