Christmas without Ribbons

Do you remember the Grinch? In Dr. Seuss’ book of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” the Grinch comes to the realization that Nothing can stop Christmas from coming. After he steals all of the presents from the people of Whoville he hears them singing while he is 10,000 feet up on his mountain of garbage:…

Advent Reflections

Beginnings are always an ideal time to look both to the past and to the future.  It requires little effort to look back over this past year to know the hard times this nation has faced. The pandemic has affected us all in so many ways, but it is no secret that many families are…

Reflections

By Rev. David Illman White Centretown United Church Ottawa, Ontario Canada Clergy Renewal Week Participant 2010 As we draw near to the end of November, the air has grown crisp, the days shorter; the growing darkness causes us to cherish the sun in those moments when it is at its brightest. In the Christian year,…

It’s a New Day!

On April 30, 2020 my term as IOKDS President came to an end.  An ending is always an opportunity to look back and to look forward.  In 2016, I took up my responsibilities promising to be a servant leader.  As such I worked to motivate the Board of Directors and all leaders to fully grasp…

What Are You Growing In Your Garden?

The beginning of May is a special time for my family due to the abundance of birthdays and anniversaries.  It also signals the return to the outdoors and the return of warmer weather with yard work.   I don’t have a green thumb, but my grandfather absolutely loved his beautiful garden where he spent hours nurturing…

ONE HOUR

With all this unscheduled time available right now due to sheltering at home, like many others we have been busy catching up on the long-neglected chores.  David has been busy with outside yard work, and together we have been decluttering inside the house.  Obviously we have devoted more than ONE HOUR to these projects, so…

“Our Anchor”

One of the things I like to do is bowl.  I got hooked on the game of bowling while in high school…probably because I bowled my highest game ever…a 247 (out of a possible 300 game score).  Anyway, since retiring from the USAF, I’ve been bowling on a women’s league called Tuesday Night Strikettes.  Currently,…

Nowhere to Go but Inside

As we hunker down at home to help flatten the pandemic curve, our time and routines change in multiple ways.  What are you discovering about yourself and others during this time? I am learning about how empathy unfolds creativity from homemade signs of encouragement taped in house windows to neighborhood donations via Venmo sending restaurant…

“Faith In Action”

A short time ago, I was enjoying a wonderful vacation in Palm Springs, CA, savoring special times with friends, soaking up the mild temperatures and sunshine, and swimming (well floating mostly!) in a 92-degree pool!  On one of our exploring sightseeing expeditions, we visited the Palm Springs Air Museum.  What interesting and educational displays they…

My Sun-Catcher

Thirty-three degrees, but it is a relaxing morning at my lakeside home while getting my coffee fix and reading my devotional. Is it just me, or do you notice how timely the devotional messages are as we are sheltering at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic?  Today’s Upper Room devotion cast a light on Galatians 5:…

Empty Pews

A recent Pew Research poll found that four in ten millennials, ages 24-39 years, now say they are religiously unaffiliated which is nearly equivalent to the number of millennials who identify themselves as Christians. What does this mean for IOKDS? Because our long-term organizational future depends on attracting young members, the statistic tells us that…

Look Out

I recall a poster from WWII in London’s Imperial War museum:                      Your courage, Your cheerfulness, Your resolution will bring us Victory! Every citizen of the world can learn from this 1939 pre-blitz motto from the past and apply it to our viral pandemic today.  For…