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Memories, reflections from members

Choir members in red robes
The parish choir, Easter morning 2016. Back row L to R: Fr. Rick Durrett, Phil Cockshutt, Bernie Rousseau, Barry Craven, Gilles Côté Front row L to R:  Rhoda Burton-Levert, Catherine Smith, Nancy Craven, Lynn Meredith, Betty de Bretigny, Lydia Côté, Fred Meredith
By on May 1, 2021

Lynn and I first came to Church of the Resurrection (COR) at the beginning of 1980, together with a year-old daughter. Fr Ralph Smith was the incumbent at that time. I had just been hired as organist and choir director, and Lynn sang in the choir. Little did we know that this would be our spiritual home for over 38 years. Two sons would be born, one in 1980, the other in 1983, and both were baptized at COR. 

During the years when the Rev. Harry Brown was our rector, it was his wife Grace who initiated and directed a junior choir, with myself as piano accompanist. After the Browns moved on to minister at Morrisburg, I took over directing the junior choir, with Lynn accompanying. These were special years for us working with a group of very musical youngsters. Later, as these kids moved on into intermediate grades and then high school, and studied instrumental music there, we were blessed with a little brass and wind ensemble that played frequently at our Sunday services. 

We served under no less than seven rectors during our time at the Resurrection, and I learned something from each of them. From the members of my choir I learned the meaning of faithfulness and loyalty. 

The close relationship with Riverside United Church, with whom we shared the physical facilities as “Riverside Churches of Ottawa,” gave a unique flavour to the ministry of the parish. The choirs of both congregations came together every December for an Advent Service of Lessons and Carols. Over time, we came to establish other joint services: these were all occasions for the two choirs to work together. Each congregation gained familiarity with the liturgical practices of another Christian tradition, and we learned to respect and value each other.

There were the fun times too in the parish: we connected socially at potluck suppers and for many years we had a traditional Seder supper on Maundy Thursday. Young and old alike joined together at our annual parish picnics: an outdoor service in one of the local parks, followed by games and a barbecue lunch. And more than one rector got dunked in the Rideau River! As Christians we are all members of God’s family, and Church of the Resurrection truly felt like family. 

The parish has been decommissioned, but it lives on not just in our memories, but in the many lives that have been shaped there: God is the Potter, and we are the clay, the work of his hands. ­

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